Views on pop culture through my eyes

Posts tagged ‘review’

Josh Groban Shines at the Bowl

Josh Groban in Concert
Thursday, July 4, 2013
Hollywood Bowl

July 4th Fireworks Spectacular

With the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra

Songs performed: Brave, False Alarms, February Song, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, Un Alma Más, Mai, Broken Vow, Hollow Talk, Vincent, Vocé Existe Em Mim, You Raise Me Up, I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever), SmileJosh-Groban1

Comments: The Hollywood Bowl is a great place to celebrate Independence Day. You get to bring a picnic dinner with you and enjoy an evening of great music under the stars. After all the hot days where I live, it was nice to be outside on a cooler evening. The first half of the show featured the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Sarah Hicks. They performed selections from John Williams (Olympics theme), movies (Battle march from a John Wayne movie that includes a whistling solo), as well as the traditional salute to the troops (where current and past members are encouraged to stand up and be recognized).

For the second half of the show, the Orchestra was joined by Josh Groban. He was dressed in a black suit, white T-shirt and white sneakers. This was his third night there during this engagement, and he was saying how much of an honor it was. He remembers going with his family to the Bowl on the 4th, and how he would often sleep through the singers just to see the fireworks. His entrance song was his current single “Brave” off his recent CD “All That Echoes.” He sang a lot of songs from the new CD as well as selected highlights from his song catalog. “February Song” had Josh playing the piano.

The band’s violinist got a solo number for an instrumental version of Aerosmith’s “Dream On.” Then the drummer and percussionist started their solos, and the spotlight traveled to show Josh also playing drums. Who knew he could play drums too? The song that he performed on the drums was “Vocé Existe Em Mim” from his “Illuminations” CD. He brought out famed trumpeter Arturo Sandoval for 2 numbers. No other special guests for the evening, despite fans hoping for appearances by David Foster and Celine Dion (it was not to be).

Josh is very serious when he sings. But in reality he is actually a very funny guy. He commented on how he identified with being one of the riff-raff that was sitting in the back. And how he said he was covered in stars and stripes under his clothes, and then someone yelled “then take them off”. He said he would be cold if he did.

Josh’s portion of the show ended with his own “You Raise Me Up,” and 2 covers — Steve Wonder’s “I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)” and Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile.” He was joined on the first 2 by a choir on both sides of the stage.

Then it was on to the fireworks, and the orchestra playing the patriotic background music.

Thanks to Josh, his band and the orchestra for a fantastic evening at the legendary Bowl.

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.


Madonna: Still Wowing Us

Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Staples Center

MDNA Tour 2012

Special guest: Martin Solveig

Songs performed: Gregorian Chant Virgin Mary Intro, Girl Gone Wild, Revolver, Gang Bang, Papa Don’t Preach, Hung Up, I Don’t Give A, Best Friend/Heartbeat 
(interlude), Express Yourself/Born This Way/She’s Not Me, Give Me All Your Luvin’, Turning Up the Hits 
(interlude), Turn Up the Radio, Open Your Heart, Holiday, Masterpiece, Justify My Love (interlude), Vogue, Candy Shop/Erotica, Human Nature, Like a Virgin, Love Spent, Nobody Knows Me 
(interlude), I’m Addicted, I’m a Sinner, Like a Prayer, Celebration

Comments: Madonna brought her 9th tour, in support of her 12th studio album “MDNA”, to Staples Center last night for a 2-night engagement on a world tour.  Madonna’s shows are much more than a  typical rock concert. They engage, confront and entertain you as the night goes on. The different segments of the show are Transgression, Prophecy, Masculine/Feminine and Celebration.Madonna MDNA Tour

Thirty years into her career, Madonna shows no signs of slowing down or playing to the masses. She is a superstar and the queen of pop. She definitely gives her fans a big bang for their bucks. You will be wowed/enthralled by one of the consummate entertainers of our generation.

Starting late at 10:15 PM, the lights finally went down and the show began.  From where I was sitting, you could see Madonna walking up to the stage from the back of the arena.  Monks came out and started ringing a bell. Then a giant incense burner was raised and swung out over the crowd. Three men dressed as high priests were raised up on stage and began chanting. Madonna’s voice intro from “Girl Gone Wild” was played, leading into the song itself. She was shown in silhouette, and then she broke the glass she was behind with a  rifle , and marched out in a black suit. As the song kicked into high gear, the monks began to show more skin revealing chiseled male dancers, in tights and high heels like in the video.


Hollywood Bowl 2011: Hall & Oates

Daryl Hall & John Oates in Concert
With the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Hollywood Bowl

Songs performed: “Maneater,” “Sara Smile,” “She’s Gone,” “Rich Girl,” “Las Vegas Turnaround,” “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do),” “Out of Touch,” “You Make My Dreams,” “Private Eyes”

Comments: The Hollywood Bowl is one of those uniquely Southern California places that don’t really exist most other places. It is a seasonalDaryl Hall and John Oates venue, operating pretty much from May to Sept (with a few additional shows outside of the regular season).  It is a great place for a summer concert. I had been to the Fourth of July spectaculars in the past… but it was usually with some artists I was not so familiar with or someone of my parent’s generation. But here it was with Daryl Hall and John Oates, one of my favorite groups from the 80’s. I remember seeing them back in their heyday quite a few times… but here they were in 2011 playing an 18,000 seat venue for 3 nights even.


Long Live the Boy Bands!

New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys (NKOTBSB) in Concert
Friday, July 1, 2011
Staples Center

Special guests: Ashlyne Huff and Jordin Sparks

Songs performed: “Viva La Vida/Single/The One” NKOTBSB; “Summertime” NKOTB; “The Call” BSB; “Dirty Dancing” NKOTB; “Get Down (You’re the One for Me)” BSB; “You Got It (The Right Stuff)” NKOTB; 
”Larger Than Life” NKOTBSB; 
”Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind)” NKOTB; 
”Valentine Girl” NKOTB; 
”If You Go Away” NKOTB;  “Please Don’t Go Girl” NKOTB; 
”Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely” BSB;
”10,000 Promises” BSB; 
”I’ll Never Break Your Heart” BSB; 
”Inconsolable” BSB; “Drowning” BSB; 
”Incomplete” BSB; 
”Step by Step” NKOTB;
”Cover Girl” NKOTB; 
”My Favorite Girl” NKOTB; 
”Games” NKOTB; 
”Click Click Click” NKOTB; “Tonight” NKOTB;  “Shape of My Heart” BSB; “As Long as You Love Me” BSB; “All I Have to Give” BSB; “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)” BSB;
 “I’ll Be Loving You Forever” NKOTB; 
”I Want It That Way” BSB; 
”Don’t Turn Out the Lights” NKOTBSB; “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” BSB; 
”Hangin’ Tough/We Will Rock You” NKOTB; 
Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)/Hangin’ Tough (Mash-up) NKOTBSBNKOTBSB

Comments: NKOTBSB (The Super Group made up of New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys) performed a high-energy, fan friendly performance at the Staples Center. These groups definitely still have some life left in them as they kept the crowd on their feet for most of the 2.5 hour show. All the guys are in their 30’s and 40’s now, they are men not boys, but both have a lot of great pop songs in their catalogs. It was definitely a co-headlined show, as both groups took the stage together, traded off with each other throughout the night, and they ended the show together also (something I would have loved Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera to have done when they had their co-headlining tour a few years back).


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