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Thursday, September 27, 2007


In the past two weeks I've seen three shows. I enjoyed them all, but some were just better.

What makes better?


The first was Kings of Leon at Radio City.

Radio City is a great venue, and I always enjoy seeing bands there. The Kings of Leon were no exception, though I must say I liked the support act - Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - more than the Kings.

The Kings of Leon are very popular, the capacity crowd knew the songs, sang along, and everybody had a good time.

It wasn't very exciting though.

Maybe I'm old and curmudgeonly, but I want a band to do more than stand up and play the songs. I want action, or something, to lift the performance into an event.

I want to be entertained.

That's why I don't go for much of the folkie, singer-songwriter type stuff.

Blame Gene Simmons I guess, but I expect more.

The second show was The Chemical Brothers at Hammerstein Ballroom.

That shit was awesome.

I try not to use 'awesome' much, because I believe the meaning of the word has been diluted, but I mean it when I say that The Chemical Brothers put on an awesome show.

Jackson, you are saying, how can two guys with zero guitars impress me so?

It's simple, they put on a show........behind them.

The video/graphics displayed on a massive screen behind the banks of synths and samplers were mind blowingly good. I dare say even Tony Alva would have been entertained.

I'm not knocking the music either. Yes it's all machine driven, but it rocks, it's creative, it's live, and it has groove.

Groove is what the Kings of Leon lacked. It's all very straight eighth note mid tempo grid rock.

They are young though, maybe they'll grow into groove.

Last night was the capper, the apex, the Scorpions at the Beacon.

Holy fuck!

Rudy Schenker is my fucking hero.

He has an acoustic Flying V.

Who else would do that?

Those old fuckers hit that stage and tore it the fuck up for two fucking hours. They had to have had oxygen tanks backstage.

And Klaus? Fucking Klaus?

His voice is amazing - is it possible he's gotten better? His skills at tossing tambourines back stage, as well as his drum stick distribution are beyond reproach

Mathias, the new kid still after 27 years (think Ron Wood, but German and Metal), shredded skillfully and flawlessly, just like it was 1983.

Young pup rhythm section was great too. Fresh blood has kept this band going.

Generally bass solos are a bad idea, and I stick by that, but if you must, in order to give the nearly sixty year-old band members a breather, have a bass solo; do what this guy did, a medley of popular rock riffs. The audience likes familiarity, and let's face it, the bass isn't a solo instrument.

Really, it's not.

So, what have we learned?

Rock isn't dead, it's just getting on in years, it doesn't come 'round as often, but, while your waiting there's some other very cool stuff happening.

I can say that the two shows i went to were great.
Thanks to youtube I can see the scary clown again.

I'll have to trust you on the Chemical Bros. thing...

I'm going up to Ashville NC to see BRMC in a club up there. My bro had me pick up thier new one and I'm listening to it now. KoL record is not bad, but I am liking the BRMC one much better.

But the Scorps, holy shit! I saw them 7 years ago by myself cause nobody else would go with me and they totally kicked fucking ass!!! Man I wish I was there...
That's just is, they totally kick ass. They really want to rock you like a hurricane, or any other natural disaster.
Def felt the wind blowing during the Scorpions solos.
Was is from oxygen tanks, or a vacuum caused by them inhaling three feet lines of Charlie? Big city, big city nights! Oh yeah!
Can you make me a Scorpions mix tape? I am a converted fan!
Awesome post (yeah I said it AWESOME)

Not at all a king of leon fan, but I am a huge BRMC fan. I'm sure their portion of the show was great.

I also love the chemical bros I have a friend who turned me onto them as well as Daft Punk - I never in my life thought I would be a fan of such music - but it's not bad. I would imagine you would need visuals for a live show. And I'm sure they were pretty kick ass.

I'll bet that Scorpions show kicked MAJOR ass. That dean acoustic V is funny as hell. Guitar Center has some - definitely not as full sounding as a Martin or Taylor but hey... it looks fuckin cool.

great post I had to put "Blackout" on my iPOD after I read this - currently listening to "California" with my ear goggles as I write this.

btw great description of Matthias - (think Ron Wood, but German and Metal)
i was with Jackson at two of these shows.

i certainly was entertained by the Scorpions but KOL is more my speed these days.

KOL should not be playing Radio City.

they were great at Roseland where the mosh pit was cranking. i think Radio City put them to sleep.

the bass solo was OK but the young drummer's solo was killer.

but nothing beat Coast to Coast. Those four guys standing side by side jamming hard in their german precision just can't be beat.
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