Concert review: The Led Zepplin Experience with Jason Bonham

There are some moments in music you will never forget. One that I recall vividly was the first time I heard Led Zepplin IV with my best friend. From the moment I heard “Hey hey mama” in “Black Dog” I was blown away. These guys were hard, they had great drums, an amazing singer, a great bassist and some of the best guitar riffs I had ever heard. After hearing Zepplin IV three of four times I ran out the following week and blew my entire paycheck on Led Zepplin I, Led Zepplin II, Led Zepplin III and of course Led Zepplin IV. That summer became the summer of Zepplin, and I ended up destroying my Houses of the Holy cassette tape because I played it too much. That set me back an additional $15.

My fascination with led Zepplin landed me concert tickets to see Jimmy Page and Robert Plant in 1998, and boy was that an experience. A huge venue, two of my music idols, Robert Plant belting out all of my favorite Led Zepplin tunes and Jimmy Page playing guitar like no ones business. I can still remember the 20+ minute Kashmir solo they did, and how it brought chills to my body. They were true roll & roll pioneers, and I think they did as much for music as any other music legend. They also inspired me to learn how to play guitar, and for that I am crazy thankful!

Two weeks back my buddy called me up and asked if I wanted to go see Jason Bonham’s Led Zepplin Experience. For those that don’t know, Jason Bonham is the son of the late Led Zepplin drummer John Bonham. I can’t turn down any show that has Led Zepplin associated with it, so of course I said yet. This turned out to be the right choice, and the show was absolutely amazing. Let me share some of the awesomeness with you.

There wasn’t an opening band, and it turns out one wasn’t needed. Jason and his fellow musicians made the evening an intimate tour through Led Zepplin history, and along with playing a wide variety of Led Zepplin songs he also shared various pictures and home movies that his family had made. He also worked through the entire Led Zepplin collection, playing songs from Led Zepplin I – Led Zepplin IV, as well as tunes from Houses of the Holy and Physical Graffiti.

I don’t think a true Zepplin fan could ask for a better setlist. They started the night off with the “Immigrant Song,” and followed it up with timeless classics like “Rock & Roll, “Your Time Is Gonna Come,” “Thank You,” “Moby Dick,” “Over The Hills And Far Away,” “Stairway To Heaven,” “Since I’ve Been Loving You,” “When the Levee Breaks,” “Kashmir,” “Whole Lotta Love,” and one of my personal favorites “Dazed & Confused.” Every song was spot on, and when I closed my eyes I could almost picture myself at a Led Zepplin concert. Jason and his bandmates were THAT GOOD, and are some of the most talented musicians I’ve ever seen live (I was in awe with their guitarist, their vocalist sounded just like Robert Plant, and Jason was AMAZING on drums).

I’ve already mentioned that the show was killer, so you know I’m going to give it a 10/10. So what were the HCMs (Holy Crap Moments) from show? Was it The killer drum solo Jason did during “Moby Dick?” Was it the the guitar heroics on “Stairway To Heaven?” Or was it the amazing keyboard and bass work done during “Dazed & Confused?” I really can’t say, since everything sounded so good. You could see the artists love for Led Zepplin, and that poured out into their instruments. This is one of the best shows I’ve been to in a long time, and I’d like to thank Jason and his band for such a magical evening. If you are a Led Zepplin fan you need to catch this one. It’s the best $20 you can spend (If you don’t think so check out some of his videos on Youtube). :)

Concert review: Guns N’ Roses with special guest Buckcherry

If you’ve seen any of the concert reviews I’ve done in the past you would know that music is one of the things I love. I try to see as many shows as possible, and am constantly mixing up my musical genres. One day you will catch me listening to Alice In Chains, the next day I’ll be listening to Toby Keith and the day after that I’ll throw on some techno. Of all of the bands I’ve listened to, Guns N’ Roses has probably received the most airplay on my home stereo (I have all of their albums, but Appetite For Destruction has definitely gotten the most airplay).

It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in my parents recliner watching MTV (back when they had music videos). The opening riff to Welcome To The Jungle came on, and I still remember the scene where Axel gets off the bus and heads out into the city. That was a pivotal point in my life, and I became one of the most hard core GNR fans from then on. So fast forward to this week. The new GNR (Axel Rose w/ an all new supporting cast) came to town this week, and I was fortunate to get tickets to the show.

A local band started the night off, though I didn’t catch their name. Buckcherry was next, and they played an amazing show that included “Sorry,” “Crazy Bitch” and “Everything” to name a few. Josh Todd is an amazing lead singer, and he has a phenomenal stage presence. I commented to my girlfriend during their performance that very few bands have a solid presence on stage, and they have no idea how to get people into the show. IMHO that is one of the reasons you spend big bucks to come out and see a band.

Once Josh and the boys finished up we got to sit around for close to two hours while they prepared the stage for GNR. The lights eventually went dim, and the band members came on stage to the theme song of the tv series Dexter (I wonder if Showtime can ever top Dexter season 4). They then cut into into their first song of the night, Chinese Democracy, which is fresh off their relatively new album of the same name. Once they finished Chinese Democracy the crowd got something they had all been waiting for, the opening riff to Welcome To The Jungle. Everybody and their brother knows the intro, and Axel and boys played a killer version of it. Awesome!

For a band that had been out of commission for years, I was amazed at how sharp Axel was. He was dancing around, it looked like he was having fun, and his interaction with his bandmates looked solid. He kept running off the stage when he wasn’t singing, and I kept asking myself “Is Axel OK?”. Based on his performance and the fact that they didn’t stop the show, I think Axel was A-OK.

Now on to the setlist they played. They performed almost (no Civil War) every hit you can think of, including “Welcome To The Jungle,” “Nightrain,” “Live And Let Die,” “November Rain,” “Rocket Queen,” “Sweet Child Of Mine,” “Patience,” “Knocking On Heavens Door,” “It’s So Easy,” “Mr. Brownstone,” “Don’t Cry” and the fricking awesome rendition of “Paradise City.” You can see the full set list here.

So how would I rate this experience? Well I have to give this experience ten stars out of ten stars. The music sounded amazing, the band played for 3 hours (the concert didn’t let out until 2am), Axel was in good spirits and I got to hear a bunch of my favorite songs performed live by the original lead singer. The only thing that would have made this experience better would be to have had the original GNR members (Slash, Duff, etc.) take part in the festivities. Good times my peeps!

Concert Review: KISS

When I was growing up, the people around me were constantly exposing me to various forms of Rock & Roll. It seems like just yesterday I was driving to the store with my cousin, who put a KISS cassette in this stereo and told me give it a good listen. The music resinated with me, and something about the band hit a happy musical note with me. I bought one of their albums, and played it over and over and over … Eventually I outgrew KISS, but a piece of them has always stuck with me.

Now fast forward 20-years, and we have Gene Simmon’s Family Jewels and a version of KISS without Ace Freely and Peter Criss. This brought back memories of me mozying around with my cousin jamming out to their music, and I knew I had to see these guys live. I got my chance a few weeks back, and the entire concert experience was amazing!

The show started out in crazy KISS fashion, which plenty of pyrotechnics and Gene and Paul putting on an amazing stage presence. Paul was running around the stage getting the crow into the show, Gene was struting his stuff and wagging his tongue, and the newbies in teh band looked to be having a blast as well. A ton of awesome music was performed, including hits such as “Cold Gin”, “Crazy, Crazy Nights”, “Calling Dr. Love”, “Love Gun”, “Black Diamond”, “Detroit Rock City”, “Lick It Up” and their biggest hit IMHO “Rock And Roll All NIght”. The fans at the show were insanely awesome, and a number of them painted themselves up for the event. Nice!

I can summarize this show with the following two words. KICK ASS!

Concert Review: AC/DC

It seems like just yesterday my best friend Dan told me about AC/DC, and put the Back in Black album in his CD player. I was floored by the music I was hearing, especially “Hells Bells”, “Givin The Dog A Bone” and my personal all time favorite AC/DC tune, “Back In Black.” Well, I was fortunate enough to get to see AC/DC perform live this week, and what an AMAZING experience!

The band came out in their typical attire (Brian Johnson in a cutoff shirt, Angus Young in his well known shorts and tie, etc.), and they sounded clear, focused and energized from the minute they started playing their instruments! The opening song “Rock N’ Roll Train” sounded amazing, and their stage presence absolutely floored me (Angus still has his classic kick and strut!).

The biggest surprise of the evening was the song “Whole Lotta Rosie,” which had one of the coolest backdrops of any song I’ve ever heard (you need to go see them to understand what I’m talking about). In addition to “Rock N’ Roll Train,” the band also played their big hits including “Back In Black,” “TNT,” “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” Hells Bells,” “Highway to Hell,” and “For those about to rock (we salute you)” live and in their entirety!

Now if I had to rank the show on a one to ten scale, I would definitely have to say the show went to eleven. It ranks in my top ten, which given the number of shows I’ve attended, is a hard feat to muster. So if the guys from AC/DC come across this short concert review, we here at Prefetch salute you (I say this literally, since I just picked up one of their live albums and a cool t-shirt)!!

Concert review: Drivin’ N Cryin’

Last year I did a number of concert reviews, but not nearly as many as I would have liked to. This year I plan to review 2 – 4 shows per month, and the acts will range from small local bands to large national headliners. I am also hoping to get peoples feedback from the shows, and take pictures if the venue allows them. So to start off 2009, I thought I would share my experiences from the Drivin’ N Cryin’ show I attended a few weeks back.

The show was scheduled for a Friday night at a relatively small local venue, and I decided to venture out by myself at the last minute to attend. Once I arrived at the venue, I grabbed a drink from the bar and then proceeded to chat with a bunch of folks who were attending the show. While in the middle of a conversation with a hard core Drivin’ n Cryin’ fan, I heard music off in the distance and realized it was time to make my way into the venue to take in the show.

The show started off with a bang, and I was amazed with Kevn Kinney’s vocals. He had such a way with his delivery, and I am still in awe at how well the guys in the band jived with each other musically. Since this was my first DNC show, I’m not 100% certain what the set list was for the night. I can tell you that my favorite tunes were their huge hit “Straight To Hell”, “Fly Me Courageous” as well as their rendition of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ In The Free World”.

I have to say this was one of the better concert experiences I have ever had, and the folks who were in attendance LOVE this band (seriously, they LOVE them!). Everyone was crazy nice at the show, and I made a couple of new new friends while chatting with random folks at the venue (hi Kelly!). Good times were had, and here’s to some killer shows in 2009! Happy New Years everyone!

Concert review: Cowboy Mouth

I have been a long time Cowboy Mouth fan, and still remember the first time I saw them play a concert in Delaware. They had an incredible amount of energy, and where one of the few bands I had seen that wanted the crowd involved in every aspect of the show. When I heard they were playing one of the local festivals here in town, I decided to venture out with a few friends to see them.

The show started off like all Cowboy Mouth shows with a ton of energy, and the lead singer (who also plays drums) jamming on drums to get the crowd into the show! I don’t recall the full set list, but the show peaked when they jammed out their classic hit “Jenny Says”! These guys are totally rad, and I can’t wait to see them again in the near future!