Views on pop culture through my eyes

Posts tagged ‘performance’

Concerts from the Past I Wish I Could Have Attended

 

As a huge live music fan, this is a fun topic for me to talk about. All the performances mentioned happened in my lifetime. I am sure it would have been great to see Elvis or the Beatles during their heydays too, but I am not so familiar with their tours or performances. So that is why they are not included here. So in no particular order, here are performances I wish I had seen in person:

Blondie’s “The Hunter” tour
One of my all-time favorite groups, this was the last tour before they broke up in the 80’s… I think they even broke up during this tour. They were coming off a string of commercially successful albums (Parallel Lines, Eat to the Beat, AutoAmerican, “Call Me”); and this was the most successful version of the band as far as the lineup of the members. This tour played the Greek Theater in Los Angeles.

Bee Gee’s “Spirits Having Flown” tour
They had just come off the successful “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack, and this was their first album since that breakthrough. This album had hits too: Tragedy, Love You Inside Out and Too Much Heaven. This tour stopped at Dodger Stadium.

Donna Summer’s “Bad Girls” tour
Donna was also celebrating back to back hit albums at this point. She had shown the world how great a live performer she was on the “Live and More” album. The tour for this fantastic double album I am sure was amazing. This tour stopped at the Hollywood Bowl.

Madonna’s “The Virgin Tour”
The first tour from the material girl. Tickets sold out so fast… I wasn’t able to get any. These would be the smallest venues she would ever play on a regular tour. And she has been at it for over 30 years now. It was just her, 2 backup dancers and the band, but you could tell from her performance this was someone to be taken seriously… with how she commanded the stage. This tour stopped at the Universal Amphitheatre and the Pacific Amphitheatre too.

Madonna’s “The Girlie Show”
Madonna was on the outs in the US during this tour. There had been a backlash after the Sex book and the “Erotica” album. There were a couple of US dates on this tour, but most of it was outside of the US. It would have been excellent to be there. No Los Angeles area performances.

Live Aid
The bi-coastal concerts to benefit hunger relief in Africa. Simultaneous concerts in both Philadelphia and London, this was the TV event of 1985. Anyone who is anyone was on this show: Queen, Madonna, Thompson Twins, Duran Duran, Mick Jagger, Tina Turner and so much more. It would have been great to say you saw part of it in person.

Luther Vandross
One of the greatest soul singers of the last century — he was one of those people who could sing practically anything. I never followed his career that closely… so I can’t single out a single tour from him. But when he died, I regretted never having the chance to see him perform live. Performed Hollywood Bowl, Universal and more in Los Angeles area.

Diana Ross “Concert in Central Park”
I remember seeing this performance on TV… the day with the rain and the makeup show too. Diana was a true trouper and definitely made sure the show went on. I have seen Diana a few times at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, but that show would have been fun to be at.

So that’s my list. What performers and tours did you miss? I would love to hear from you.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Advertisements

Top Ten Madonna Performances

In the 30+ years of Madonna’s career, she has only gone on tour 9 times. The tours were: The Virgin Tour, Who’s That Girl Tour, Blonde Ambition Tour, The Girlie Show, The Drowned World Tour, The Re-Invention Tour, Confessions Tour, Sticky & Sweet Tour and MDNA Tour. She just won the award for Top Tour on the Billboard Music Awards this past week. In honor of Madonna’s latest tour coming to TV on Epix (plus a DVD later in 2013), I thought I would count down what I think are her 10 Best Live Performances:Madonna 2013

Like a Virgin (Blonde Ambition)
Who could forget the staging on this one? Madonna in gold lame with cone bra with 2 male dancers in exaggerated cone bras too, in some sort of harem/middle Eastern setting. And ending with a simulated masturbation sequence. Great lead in for the religious segment of the show.

American Life (Re-Invention Tour)
So the album was a flop, but the tour was not. Madonna gave us a hard rock version of this song. The dancers were dressed in military fatigues, while images of war and casualties played on video screens. There were some dancers dressed as religious figures (priest, nun, etc.). Plus dramatic use of a descended walkway.

Music Inferno (Confessions Tour)
I was absolutely going crazy during this one when I saw it. Madonna in a white suit inspired by “Saturday night Fever” as well as the lighted multi-color dance floor from the movie too. Plus John Travolta’s famous choreography from his dance solo in the film too. This was an awesome number!

Sky Fits Heaven (Drowned World Tour)
One of my lesser favorite tours only because of the lack of oldies, this was one of the stand-outs for me. The number had Madonna in a geisha oufit — swinging and flying around the stage like something out of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Holiday (Who’s That Girl Tour)
Pure joy! Madonna has always had love for this song, and often reworks it for her shows. Celebrating her first stadium tour, this was her most elaborate show up to that point. Madonna, her band and dancers perform a high-energy routine that has everyone on their feet.

Give Me All Your Lovin (MDNA Tour)
From her most recent tour, Madonna as drum majorette leading cheerleaders and drummers in a high-stepping, demanding routine. She worked the V-shaped stage down front, and also had drummers suspended from the ceiling too.

Into the Groove (The Virgin Tour)
She has definitely had bigger productions of this on later tours, but the simplicity of the production is part of her charm here. This was her first tour, and it was obvious she was a star. Just Madonna (with a tambourine) and 2 male singer/dancers.

Give It to Me (Sticky & Sweet Tour)
Her 2nd time doing a stadium tour in the US, this was the finale song for this tour. An amped-up version compared to the album version, the set was inspired by video games and after the 2-hour show she performed, the lyrics took on new significance (No One’s Going to Stop Me!).

Fever (The Girlie Show)
Sadly, I never got to see this tour live as the show never came to Los Angeles. It was her take on the Peggy Lee classic “Fever” with her and 2 hot scantily-clad male dancers working it for all their worth. It ended with the 3 of them surrounded by flames as they descended under the stage.

Live to Tell (Confessions Tour)
Never one to shy away from controversy, this one had Madonna hanging from a mirrored cross with a crown of thorns on her head. Behind her on the video screens showed images of poverty and destruction caused by the AIDS crisis in Africa with emphasis on all the AIDS orphans. My take on it was she was saying that we should be like Jesus and do something to help these people.

With so many great performances through out her long and varied career, it was hard to narrow it down to just 10 songs. So did I get it right? Did I leave out one of your favorites? I would love to hear from you. I am sure I will be adding to this list after future tours.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and  Rock the Kilt lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

A View from the Cheap Seats

Remember the first concert you went to and how you were blown away by the performance? How the performer had the whole world in the palm of their hand and the crowd on their feet singing and clapping along? So do I.A View from the Cheap Seats

This is the beginning of my first eBook, A View from the Cheap Seats. This book, has been a labor of love for me. When I started going to concerts about 34 years ago, putting a book together was probably the last thing on my mind. But as time went on, I started going to more shows and compiling the set lists as well as reviews of each show. I realized how much material I had and thought about how I could present it to the music-loving public.

This book contains reflections and reviews from 30+ years of concert going

to over 300+ shows — everyone from Peter Paul & Mary to Wynonna Judd to Madonna to Journey and much more. It also includes my thoughts on the music and concert industry. For example, is it best to see someone when they are hot or not, or how about cheap seats v. down in front. What about the times I actually touched the performer? Or experienced something interesting happening… like Patti Labelle’s meltdown at the Hollywood Bowl.

Going to concerts is one of my favorite things in life. For a few hours, I can forget my troubles and be swept away in the performance. I am the type of guy who is singing, and dancing along the whole show. Believe it or not, I actually have made my hands bleed because I was clapping so much! I didn’t even know it until after the show!

(more…)

J Lo and Enrique: Latin Pop Royalty

Jennifer Lopez and Enrique Iglesias in Concert
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Staples Center

Special guest: Frankie J

Songs performed: Tonight (I’m Loving You), I Like How it Feels, Dirty Dancer, No Me Digas Que No, Bailamos, Stand By Me, Ring My Bells, Hero, Be with You, Escape, I Like It, Tonight (I’m Fucking You)  (Enrique Iglesias); Get Right, Love Don’t Cost a Thing, I’m into You, Waiting for Tonight, Goin’ In, I’m Real/All I Have/Ain’t It Funny, Jenny from the Block, Baby I Love You (video), Hold It Don’t Drop It, If You Had My Love, Until it Beats No More, Let’s Get Loud, Papi, On the Floor, Dance Again, Follow the Leader (w/ Wisin & Yandel) (Jennifer Lopez)

Comments: Latin pop royalty Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez played to a packed house at Staples Center. Both are coming off good years as far as their careers are concerned. This is definitely one of the hottest shows you will see this year.J Lo and Enrique Tour 2012

Opening act Frankie J was decent. He replaced previously announced act, Wisin & Yandel, who backed out of the tour due to concerns about set length. He did a cover of Extreme’s “More Than Words.” And sang a new song in Spanish.

Enrique Iglesias was up next. I had seen Enrique before back on the “Escape” tour as well as meeting him at an autograph signing. He has improved his stage presence since I last saw him. He was running around the stage and working the crowd. He picked a guy out of the crowd and sang with and to him on Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me.” He said it was the first song he loved to sing when he was a kid. Turns out the guy was gay and liked another guy in the audience. They also took a shot of rum before the song (the brand that Enrique shills for “Atlantico”). “I Like How it Feels” another recent collaboration with Pibull was played as well as the album track “Ring My Bells” from his flop “Insomniac” album. He must like Duran Duran’s “Ordinary World” because they played an extended intro to “Be With You” that featured that song. For “Hero”, he was on a small stage on the opposite side of the main stage. He pulled a girl out of the crowd to sing to her. Turns out she was married, but she had  a ”Hall Pass” for the night, and kept hugging him. Enrique wanted the crowd to surround the stage more, but Staples security was not letting that happen, despite a few pleas from Enrique. They had the disco ball overhand for lighting. Behind the main stage were 3 large horizontal video screens, which displayed graphic elements to highlight the songs. There were a lot of lasers and smoke effects during his show. He shot off confetti cannons during the “Escape” number. I wish he had done “Rhythm Divine,“ but he didn’t that night. Usher was shown on video for the duet of “Dirty Dancer.” “I Like It” was the highlight of his set.  And they launched a bunch of big balloons for the crowd to bounce around during “I Like It.” I am glad that he sang the dirty version of ‘Tonight (I’m Loving You).” That is the version I am more familiar with. I had to laugh when I saw a little girl with a homemade sign coming into the venue that had “Enrique” in a big heart, with the words on the outside of the sign saying “Tonight, I’m Loving You.” Did the parents not know about the dirty version? He is a solid entertainer for sure…. But he’s got nothing on Jennifer. Remember how Enrique was going to tour with Britney Spears in 2011, but said he didn’t want to be anyone’s opening act? He was this time for Jennifer.

(more…)

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: