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July 31, 2007

Bleeding Through/Slayer/Marilyn Manson in Atlanta, July 28 Hifi Buys Ampitheatre

I'll start off by apologizing for the lack of pictures in this review.  The staff at Hifi Buys Ampitheatre obviously has no clue what they are doing, and after 25 minutes at Will Call, and 30 minutes of walking around the actual venue to try to find the person with my photo pass, I felt it was time to retire for the evening, sadly without any pictures of the show.  Hopefully something can be sorted out as this is the second time the "professionals" at this venue have let me down.

Anyhow, big props to Bleeding Through for getting me the hookup and into this show.  I would have loved to get some shots of them, but instead I had to listen to their set from the Will Call booth, and from the outer edges of the venue.  If you had to pick a band to open for Marilyn Manson and Slayer, this is the band to do it.  These guys are intense, to say the least.  They put on a really strong set, and I would have to say that the drumming was my favorite part of their act.  The beats were great, and the double bass was absolutely killer.  The crowd was pretty into these guys as far as I could tell.  If you're into heavy metal or just want something to listen to while you crash cars or demolish bulidings, check them out.

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Bob Weir & RatDog / Keller Williams / Los Angeles 7/28/07

I pulled into Griffith Park, home of the Greek Theatre, at 2:30 Saturday afternoon. The temperature was in the high 90s and the sky was clear. Another scorching day at the Greek. I had not been to the Greek Theatre since last year when Bob Weir & RatDog shared the stage with the String Cheese Incident. It was good to be back.


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Brett Dennen @ The Box - New York 7/29

I headed down to The Box to check out Brett Dennen on the 25th. I was a little shocked when I got there and found this sign staring at me at the entrance.


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July 31, 2007

7/26: Xavier Rudd @ Highline Ballroom, NYC

I can’t remember the last time I felt this excited about discovering a new artist. Of course, I didn’t “discover” Xavier Rudd, but in terms of my own music library he is the newest and best addition. I knew I really liked his chill yet funky sound when I downloaded his newest release, White Moth, but I was absolutely blown away seeing and hearing him live.


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BRYAN LEE & THE BLUES POWER BAND @ Buddy Guy's Legends, Chicago, IL 7.26.07

My long-awaited trip to Chicago finally arrived!    Gary and I are BIG Eric Clapton fans -- he's got a 37-year old son named Eric after you-know-who, and I, a more recent fan, have a dog named Layla!   (Speaking of Layla ... she is a VERY SPECIAL Dalmatian, and was just bred -- so we hope to have a houseful of little "Laylas" soon.   As the doggie people say, "Keep fingers & paws crossed!")    Anyway, we are BIG blues fans, and BIG MUSIC FANS in general, and when we heard Clapton was putting on another "Crossroads Guitar Festival," this time in Chicago, Illinois on July 28th ... our summer music festival travel plans were SET.   We both have to work for a living ... I have two young kids (and three dogs) ... as much as we'd LIKE to, we can't do them all.     No doubt about it ... there would be no 10K Lakes or High Sierra or Vegoose or any other trips this summer for us ... we're goin' to CHICAGO!!!

Arriving at our hotel after midnight Wednesday night (with a big thunder storm approaching), we decided it was too late to strike out in search of live music that night (silly us!), so Thursday night, after a day of sight-seeing in a surprisingly BEAUTIFUL and CLEAN big city (with no homeless people sleeping in doorways, and the most gorgeous flowers you've ever seen growing in planter boxes and hanging baskets EVERYWHERE) we headed over to Buddy Guy's "Legends" to see Bryan Lee & the Blues Power Band.

Bryan Lee & The Blues Power Band were H-O-T.    This guy is one busy musician ... check out the schedule on his website (http://www.braillebluesdaddy.com/schedule_dates.html) and you'll see he's booked 5-6 nights a week through October.


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July 30, 2007

Bob Weir & RatDog / Keller Williams / San Diego 7/27/07

Friday afternoon in San Diego and once again the weather is perfect. The sun is shining and the Humphreys is SOLD OUT. Not a seat left in the House. Keller Williams takes the stage to little fanfare, Honestly, I think that because the show started at 6pm and there was no way to lower the house lights, some people didn't know that Keller had started. 0727071842a

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Carrie Underwood, Dixon Fairgrounds in Dixon, CA. July 28, 2007

800 miles round trip. Three full tanks of gas. Two half-days spent in the car. $140 non-budgeted dollars for two tickets. All for one chance to take the most exciting picture of my life, for one person, Carrie Underwood. Three months of anticipation were fulfilled through an incredible experience and opportunity to not only see, but personally meet one of the top artists in music today. On a night where the Dixon Fairgrounds were illuminated by a breathtaking full moon, Underwood and her band put together an unbelievable set that featured the first ever live performance of her new single "So Small," and exceeded any and all of my expectations.


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July 28, 2007

Jay Reatard; Clockcleaner; Home Blitz: Johnny Brenda's 07.26.07

Jr072607_3 Once again I headed to Johnny Brenda's on Thursday night, that glistening jewel in the crown of Philadelphia's hipster bar scene. Granted, the place looks like a glamorous old music venue but on a closer look, as my friend that night suggested, there's no graffiti tags lingering on the walls. A lot of bands manage to grab the appropriate aesthetic markers, but in the end there's not much there there. Mind you, this isn't a call to arms for authenticity, 'cause I believe fake can be just as good -- sometimes better than the real thing, baby -- just sayin' that advertising looks are not enough.

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July 27, 2007

Boys Night Out Summer Tour West Palm Beach 7/19

Its hotter than hell itself, the walls are sweating, the sounds is bad, and its darker than a cave. All this can only mean one thing; you’re at Rays Downtown Blues in West Palm Beach. One of the few venues left in West Palm, you can tell Ray has not invested much money into fixing up the place. From the peeling paint, and lack of lights.

I am not here to talk about Ray’s though, that would be for a whole other review. What I am here to talk about is Boys Night Out’s summer tour, with Olympia and June, and what a damn good show it was. You just have to look past the terrible sound, and heat of Ray’s and just get sucked into the music. Once that first band takes the stage it rapidly reminds you why you came, and that, my good friends, is to rock out, and forget about every single care in the world you might have at the moment.

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Hanson: Avalon, Boston MA 7.21.07

I’ll never say no to a concert, but I was a little hesitant about going to the Hanson show I was assigned to this past weekend. Sure, I owned the “Middle of Nowhere” CD back in elementary school like everyone else, but it’s not exactly something I’d be proud of putting on my iPod. I had heard some of the group’s more recent music, and although I have to admit that it wasn’t bad, I was more hesitant about being among the people who would actually go to a Hanson concert than about hearing their music. All I could picture was the same room of crazy, screaming girls I was always a part of during my regrettable boyband years, and it was a frightening thought now that I’ve entered the laid-back realm of indie rock fandom. When I arrived at Avalon, there they were. And the point at which I was completely terrified came right after I got up to the press pit – when I saw a girl in the front row with a real license plate that said “MMMBOP.”


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