Category Archives: Reviews

Meshuggah

meshuggah i coverI (Special Edition) by Meshuggah (Nuclear Blast Records)

Ten years ago this past summer Meshuggah released the 21 minute epic I to commemorate the beginning of their friend Jason Popson’s Fractured Transmitter label. While fans are hungrily awaiting the next Meshuggah full length, we’ve got this re-release of I to sate us. As disjointed as the various parts may have been prior to mixing, they all sound of a single ear-melting piece. The band didn’t have to appeal to their present label, given release for one song to support Popson, the band still had the pressure to continue to impress their fans.  Every member an imaginative musician, I feels like classic Meshuggah: downtuned guitars and insane solos, harsh vocals, the percussion of three men in one, multiple rhythms and tempos and movements within songs among other elements. Turn it up loud and revel in the ambient guitar string plucking, followed by double-bass kicks, guitars locked into tight circles leading to a chugging and angry section, then a slow yet menacing guitar segment building to a futuristic “protecting the world from extinction” vibe that would make Geddy Lee smile.

Also included in this special edition is a live version of Bleed, taken from their 2012-13 tour.  The band play with such precision I wonder if they’ve been bionically augmented to be able to keep up their style of playing. Dancers To A Discordant System follows, also from the same tour and released last year as a free promotional release for Scion. Dancers is a slower song yet no less thrilling for it, the band playing variations of the same riff, the groups coming to an agreement at the halfway point then getting down to a truly godlike headbanging session for the ending, mountains crumpling at the power.  Pitch Black ties up the EP. Recorded in 2003 and previously released on the Scion download with Dancers, Pitch Black reveals a more accessible yet still brutal side of Meshuggah.  beginning with a downtuned guitar chug accompanied by tribal drum tattoo, mysterious guitars pluck in the shadows, Jens Kidman’s vocals a smoky and subtle chanting, a guitar solo crashes down, at first sounding like a hard jazz saxaphone.  Later, the quiet segment features a guitar part that is bluesy and played with soul. Then to bring it all to a destructive conclusion, the band combines performances from all the previous parts for one serious pit-stomping party.

(by Bret Miller)

LINKS
www.meshuggah.net
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SPC ECO

spc eco sirens coverSirens and Satellites by SPC ECO  (Saint Marie Records)

SPC ECO is the band created by former Curve architect Dean Garcia and Dean’s daughter Rose Berlin. Father and daughter have been making music together ever since Rose displayed singing talent as a baby.  As SPC ECO they make music for themselves, at their own pace, without label support.  Musically, at least on the new album Sirens and Satellites, this is like I imagined it would: a further evolution of the Curve sound (or I should say the Garcia Sound).  The overarching feel is fire and ice, with Rose’s vocals icy beauty and Garcia and friends offering the heat and sizzle from guitar textures, synths and usually midtempo percussion. Fallen Stars will bring chills up your spine upon hearing the swirling, grinding and wailing guitars against thrumming bass, Rose’s voice powerful yet restrained. Delusional Waste goes to the dancefloor with a techno bass and beat, Rose’s voice ice cold, yet still inviting. Hold You Up is one of the most delicate tracks on the album, simple bass, drums, synths and voice building to a quiet yet powerful end.  High On It is another dance track with pulsating beats, guitar echoes and Rose’s dancing ice queen vocals.

spc eco Rose-pop2-crop4-460x460Songs like Zombie and The Whole Day Long are as good as anything Garcia’s done in the past, Make Me Say is brutal and bloody guitar slashes and crunchy rhythm loops, Rose  purring and cooing like a mantis before taking off  your head.  Don’t Need Fear is a slow bass dub, guitar effects aiding Rose’s voice insinuating itself deep inside your psyche. Tweet Fields At Night opens pleasantly with sweet vocals and feathery synths, A trip-hop beat kicks in, joined by a uplifting guitar melodies to accompany those light synths, the loveliness of it all punctuated by a big swell of guitars and big drums, then taking the first part and dirtying it all  up with distorted guitars and bass, closing with the nostalgic refrain, leaving you with a sense of wonder.

Sirens and Satellites surprises on so many levels, from their genre-blurring compositions to their juxtaposition of light and dark, fast and slow and fire and ice, the invigorating, dark, emotional and beautiful songs on Sirens and Satellites will be enjoyed, dissected, danced to and be the inspiration for many for years to come.

(by Bret Miller)

LINKS:
Youtube channel
SPCECO.COM
Bandcamp
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Information Society

Information Society - Hello World - Cover Art_hello world by Information Society (HAKATAK International / MVD)

I had to take a refresher course in early Information Society and quickly realized why I didn’t follow the band. They made pop music from all the latest technology that was being used by the likes of C&C Music Factory and the flash-in-the-pans of pop radio and MTV.  Their videos were kinetic and colorful and their singles were catchy.  Fast-forward 26 years and the main trio have returned with a quite solid and danceable album in _hello world.  Now I’m a fan!

Photo credit: Wil Foster / rockcandyphoto.com

Photo credit: Wil Foster / rockcandyphoto.com

There’s a techno dance party that you might want to go to, and if Arnold Schwarze-negger tells you to “Get your ass to Mars” you should listen. The Prize is all pumping beats, buzzing synths and popping bass, with Kurt Harland singing “I’m coming up from the ground with my eyes on the prize” like he’s trying to overcome some herculean challenge.  If the challenge is to get the listener to dance then they’ve succeeded.  Where Were You starts out all dark and industrial/gothic before adding a more bombastic chorus.  Get Back is high energy techno with skittering beats and James Cassidy’s pumping bass, Paul Robb’s keys putting some much needed emotion into backing Harland’s impassioned singing.  I imagine clubs all over the world with kids singing this song at the top of their lungs, floors slick with sweat.

Jonestown is a more traditional song structure and all the more accessible for it.  Anthemic with churning and funky bass and dramatic piano work, this should be a live favorite.  Dancing With Strangers shows the trio still have some weird in them, Harland rapping over  buzzy synths and banjo then singing over a looser beat for the chorus, making nonsense sounds like he’s chanting to the musical gods.

Speaking of musical gods, Devo’s own Gerald V. Casale joins Information Society for a spirited rendition of Beautiful World and the trio do Casale proud (“Hey hey!”). Above and Below slows down with dramatic and anguished vocals by Harland and tasteful piano from Robb, showing the band can do sexy too.  _Hello world comes to a close with Tomorrow the World, strings backing Harland’s up-front and powerful vocals, sounding for all the world like Dave Gahan, joined by electric guitar and clattering percussion.  This song proves the musical prowess of Robb, Cassidy and Harland off the dancefloor as well as on.

(Review by Bret Miller)

LINKS
informationsociety.us
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The Ocean Blue at The Troubadour

theoceanbluejl1The Ocean Blue, The Troubadour, September 9, 2014

The famous West Hollywood venue was filling in for second support band Western Lows as the trio started out quiet and midtempo, their gazy style soon picked up tempo and distortion ending their short set to guitar squalls and glorious applause.

Perhaps as a joke to the Hershey, Pennsylvania band, Nirvana blared over the speakers as the members set up their equipment.  The Ocean Blue was an antidote to all the distorted guitar angst of the “grunge” bands.  They started out their set with Mercury, one of their peppier numbers from second album Cerulean, singer/guitarist David Schelzel and bassist Bobby Mittan still boyish after all these years. Their first two albums were written and released while the members were still teens and it is on the edge of the loss of innocence that some of their best music rests.  The band followed up with the more muscular Sad Night, Where Is The Morning? from their 2013 comeback album Ultramarine and it was evident that the band still has the fire and melodic sense to write thrilling and catchy tunes.  Shelzel prepared the audience to hear some new tunes, that it wasn’t going to be a nostalgia tour, yet their music is so timeless, decades of music blended into an exciting flashback and forward to good times throughout our lives, The Ocean Blue our soundtrack.

theoceanbluejl2The title track to their second album Cerulean came next, Shelzel’s ethereal vocals were well grounded by Mittan’s muscular bass playing. From the new Waterworks re-release the band broke out previously unreleased Can’t Let Go, a song that echoes 80′s British bands pre-Brit-Pop with well-paced vocals that channeled JAMC’s Jim Reid and Ian Curtis for thrilling effect.  Released on the original Waterworks, the lush Pedestrian had a shuffling beat and dramatic and jangly guitar work from Oed Ronne.

Sublime on album is one thing, but live, Mittan and Anderson’s rhythm section really boost the energy of the song, Shelzel’s lilting vocals took us on flights of fancy, the audience singing along “sub-bu-bu-buliiime”.  On Vanity Fair, from their S/T debut the boys took the song from twee to raveup with the tempo winding up, Mittan and Anderson looking at each other to see how fast they could get. On Give it A Try the band once again displays power and focus and Mittan’s slinky bass rhythm smoldered while Ronne’s guitars sizzled and sparked.

theoceanbluejl3After the double whammy of Ballerina Out of Control and Between Something and Nothing, The Ocean Blue presented us with a previously unreleased song that Shelzel wrote in high school.  The band originally recorded it for the movie Naked In New York but the song was cut.  Now fans can find it on the Waterworks reissue.  City Traffic sounds like the singer was listening to a whole lot of Peter Weller as a teen.  The breezy and fun song  kept the audience moving even as some were leaving the venue.  The Ocean Blue finished the night with a rough version of The Cure’s Just Like Heaven, Shelzel inviting the audience to sing along. We didn’t dissapoint, raising the song to a celebration of the power of music.

The Ocean Blue in 2014 look and sound like they’re doing it for all the right reasons, without outside stress, releasing their music on their own.  The sold out Troubadour proved that the boys still have much to offer from their past accomplishments as well as their future endeavors. I’ll be at their next L.A. show!

(Review by Bret Miller –  Photos by Jack Lue)

LINKS
The Ocean Blue 
Facebook
Korda Records
Shelflife Records
City Traffic Video
Can’t Let Go Video

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Midge Ure

midgeurefragile1Fragile by Midge Ure (Hypertension Music)

The vast and glorious career of Midge Ure features time spent in such notable bands as Visage, Ultravox and Thin Lizzy. The artist is also known for being the co-writer / producer of the Do They Know It’s Christmas? single for the Band Aid charity project with Bob Geldof in 1984.  Midge Ure also has a distinguished solo career, with Move Me being his last effort of original material released in 2001. Clearly demonstrating that all wonderful things are worth waiting for, Fragile by Midge Ure is an opulent masterwork whose sheer artistry should endear even the most hardened of music critic.

midgeure2Fragile commences with the exhilarating sounds of I Survived, a song of hope and perseverance that is wondrous to behold. Are We Connected then reverberates throughout your speakers like an exquisite dream. Let It Rise takes off into the stratosphere with its hypnotic passages – co-written by Christopher von Deylen from the electronica outfit Schiller.

The pulsating beats and vibrant vocals envelope the inspiring Become, a track that could be played all over the more adventurous radio airwaves. Star Crossed is a stunning composition, featuring breathtaking vocals rendering this poignant selection an absolute standout. Wire and Wood is a pensive instrumental showing Midge Ure at the very height of his creativity.

The onset of the haunting Dark, Dark Night then emerges, featuring the keyboards and programming of none other than special guest Moby. For All We Know conveys an explosive amount of emotions all within the realm of an ominous soundscape. Bridges is a second instrumental cut weaving an intriguing spell throughout. And then closing out the album is the tremendous title track Fragile, featuring Midge Ure’s heartfelt vocalist sweeping the listener towards a dazzling grand finale.

Fragile is a fragrant bouquet of goodness that should enrapture both ardent fans and those discovering the magic that is Midge Ure for the very first time.  Ten gorgeous tracks await all whom wish to endeavor upon the auditory journey, and it’s surely one that listeners will want to revisit time and again.

(Review by Ken Morton)

Midge Ure Official Homepage
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Twilightfall

energyofcover1The Energy of Soul by Twilightfall (Svarga Music)

Twilightfall is a melodic death metal collective based out of the Ukraine, featuring a former member of the notorious Nokturnal Mortum within their ranks. Guitarist / vocalist Wortherax played lead guitar on Nokturnal Mortum’s legendary Lunar Poetry and Twilightfall releases and has made appearances in noted Ukrainian bands such as Munruthel and Khors.  Fans of old school In Flames and Children Of Bodom will be thoroughly enraptured by the dynamic compositions Twlightfall has to bestow to the world. The Energy of Soul is the triumphant debut for Twilightfall – a stunning collection of songs that will envelope your senses with it’s heavy yet majestic reprieves.

The magnum opus rages into supersonic gear with the staggering title cut The Energy of Soul, demonstrating at once the supreme musicianship to found within the Twilightfall experience. Spirits of Ancestors is spiraling and mystical, weaving intrigue throughout the powerful European death metal soundscapes. A Mirror of Dreams and Reality continues the spellbinding odyssey followed by the epic sonic declarations to be discovered within Welcome To New Day.

twilightfallphoto1Your Chance will make the listener want to wave their fists in the air and jump into the nearest mosh pit. Go A Long Way To Each will haunt the senses with its gorgeous serenity merging into a sweeping wall of intensive sound. The grand finale then commences with the magnificent Storm leaving a lasting impression upon all heavy metal adventurers.

The musicians who present the Twilightfall manifesto include the aforementioned Wortherax on guitars and vocals, Aywar on guitars, Odalv on drums, and Freyr on bass. Svarga Music may also be counted upon to present the very best in extreme metal from the Ukraine, and with The Energy of Sound by Twilightfall, the label has issued a genre classic that many will wish to revisit throughout the grand and glorious metal ages ahead.

(Review by Ken Morton)

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Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators

slashjl2Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators, Charm City Devils, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula, CA, August 9, 2014

Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators are currently on the road opening for Aerosmith and then headlining their own shows throughout the country. One of the most extraordinary guitarists in the world today, Slash certainly did not disappoint with epic solos and searing axe work that was wondrous to behold. Complete with Alter Bridge vocalist Myles Kennedy devastating the senses with his vibrant singing and a lineup that brought it home with an all-out vengeance, their show at the Pechanga Resort & Casino would be an absolutely unforgettable event! In addition to their own songs, classic Guns N Roses tunes were also unleashed to a wildly appreciative crowd along with many other surprises.

Charm City Devils

charmcity2jlFirst up was an appearance by the Charm City Devils, a fiery rock and roll band that really tore down the house with their thoroughly dynamic set. Personally selected by Slash to open on various dates throughout the tour, the audience was clearly captivated by the Charm City Devils and their wildly infectious songs. Kicking off the set with the rollicking refrains of Spite, this Baltimore based collective clearly won over the Pechanga crowd in a big and glorious way. Devil Is A Woman is a down and dirty rocker, performed with a fiendish glee while True Love (Hell Yeah) had the audience singing along to its wickedly wonderful chorus. After an explosive cover of I Got Mine by The Black Keys, Charm City Devils let loose with a powerful version of the traditional Man of Constant Sorrow. The set then ended way too soon with their raging new single Shots from their forthcoming Battles magnum opus on The End Records.

charmcity3jlFront man John Allen displays a showmanship that is exhilarating to witness – performing each and every song with a heated amount of heart and soul. Superb musicianship was in full force, featuring the participation of Vic Karrera on guitar, Nick Kay on guitar, Anthony Arambula om bass, and Jason Heiser on drums. Judging by the line at the merch booth to meet the wildly charismatic John Allen after their set, there is little doubt that Charm City Devils is headed straight into the stratosphere. Raising hell and taking names, Charm City Devils left an indelible impression to be sure!

Set List:
Spite
Devil Is A Woman
True Love (Hell Yeah)
I Got Mine
Man of Constant Sorrow
Shots

Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators

slashjl3And it was time for Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators to take over the stage, and they did so with an all-out vengeance, opening with the ferocious You’re A Lie from the Apocalyptic Love album. Then it was time to hear the first of several Guns N Roses cuts – Night Train was played full force, sounding first rate with Kennedy’s passionate vocals meshing well with the dazzling guitar work of  Slash. Then it was over to the devilish inflections of Halo rising throughout the cavernous auditorium. The raging rockers kept on coming, with the crowd reveling in standout tunes such as Stone Blind (from the upcoming album World On Fire), You Could Me Mine, and You’re Crazy.

slashjl5A stunning highlight of the night was when Rocket Queen was magnificently performed, featuring a mesmerizing solo from Slash – clearly demonstrating that he is true royalty on guitar! Not For Me was a power ballad leaving quite an impact with Kennedy’s emotional vocals and Slash’s equally effective playing enveloping the auditorium. Anastasia hit all the right notes and had many in the audience singing along. Towards the end of the 20 song set, the classic guitar riff of Sweet Child Of Mine was heard, and the entire venue rose to their feet to celebrate the timeless G’nR tune. And the closing out the show was Slither, a surprise selection from Slash’s Velvet Revolver days that thrilled the rocking Pechanga masses. A well-deserved encore then took place, with Slash and Company delivering a powerhouse tour through the streets of Paradise City – thoroughly enrapturing all in attendance.

If you live in the Los Angeles area, be sure to catch Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators as they take over the iconic Hollywood venues The Troubadour (9/23), The Roxy (9-25), and The Whisky (9/26). A night with Slash, Myles Kennedy and the mighty Conspirators is an epic experience that is not to be missed!

Setlist:
You’re a Lie
Night Train
Halo
Standing in the Sun
Back from Cali
Stone Blind
You Could Be Mine
Doctor Alibi
You’re Crazy
Not for Me
30 Years to Life
Rocket Queen
No More Heroes
Starlight
World on Fire
Anastasia
By the Sword
Sweet Child O’ Mine
Slither

Encore
Paradise City

(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)

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Heartist at Chain Reaction

received_m_mid_1408059631039_43efff5cef34e22497_1Heartist, Chain Reaction, August 6, 2014

Heartist at Chain Reaction was out of control. Heartist is on tour with Our Last Night & Set it Off as support. Their stop at their local hometown venue in Anaheim was sold out and PACKED. These hometown heroes had a great amount of crowd interaction, between crowd surfing and stage diving it was just a ton of fun for everyone.

They opened up their set with ‘Pressure Point’, a single off their new album that just released on August 12th, called Feeding Fiction. People were singing along already knowing the lyrics since Heartist played this song on BlesstheFall’s Hollow Bodies Tour about 3 months ago.

Heartist played several new songs off Feeding Fiction at Chain Reaction, each one of them receiving a different, but good reaction. After the new songs, they played ‘The Answer’ off their EP “Nothing You Didn’t Deserve”. During that time, vocalist Bryce Beckley shared a special moment with a fan. A fan crowd surfed his way onto the stage and was singing along the lyrics while crying and hugging Bryce. It was a heartwarming moment and it’s always very touching when you see this happen at shows, a special connection.

Everything that night was on point, even their fill in drummer. Heartist almost dropped off the tour due to their drummer, Matt Marquez getting sick. Luckily, they found a fill in drummer just in time. Matt Marquez was reunited with the band that night and was set to join the tour the next day in San Diego.

Setlist:
Pressure Point
Black Cloud
Skeletons
Where Did I Go Wrong?
The Answer
Disconnected

(Review and Photo by Talia Farber)

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Zgard

contemplation1Contemplation by Zgard (Svarga Music)

There’s black metal, there’s Pagan metal, there’s epic metal – and then there’s the grand and majestic tapestries of the mighty Zgard -combining the three influences, coming up with a masterwork that is absolutely stunning to behold.  Contemplation is the fourth magnum opus presented by Zgard from the mystical and troubled Ukraine, seven absolutely visionary tracks that will set your imagination in flight. Yaromisl is the mastermind behind Zgard, and the compositions he has bestowed upon the world at large present a thrilling auditory odyssey that you’ll want to revisit time and again.

After the freezing winds and haunting chants prepare you for the sonic perils ahead, Contemplation opens with the gigantic refrains of Highlands, enrapturing the listener with its sheer magnificence and vibrancy. It is then time to ring the Underworld Bells, a sweeping track that will transport you to the darkest of places with its absolutely cinematic refrains.

zgard2014_1The title track Contemplation is then unveiled, a staggering epic where spoken word and intensive vocals are mixed with a mesmerizing wall of sound. Wedge Of Cranes soars into the stratosphere with its captivating sense of intrigue, complete with thunderous guitars and assorted exotic instruments.

An ominous reprieve is then found within Silence, an instrumental piece demonstrating an ambient side to the Zgard experience. Incarnation Memory then places the metal into overdrive, where bombastic choirs, impassioned vocals, and even more folk instruments render this track a celebrated standout. And then closing out the spellbinding journey is Through The Forest, commanding and ambitious in scope, showing a true artist at the very height of his creative prowess.

One of the most exciting entities within the Ukrainian metal scene and beyond, Zgard is sure to fascinate music aficionados all across the world with the splendid Contemplation. An underground classic of epic proportions, Contemplation is sure to wind up on more than a few Top Ten lists when 2014 spins to its conclusion, It will be exciting to see what adventures Yaromisl and Zgard has in store for us all next…

(Review by Ken Morton)

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The Soundtrack of Summer Tour

styxsountrackThe Soundtrack of Summer Tour with Foreigner, Styx, Don Felder, The Greek Theatre, July 26, 2014

It was one of those perfect nights in Southern California under the stars at The Greek Theatre. The Soundtrack of Summer Tour had made its way into the Southland, featuring the  legendary duo of Foreigner and Styx co-headlining with rock solid support from Don Felder, formerly of the Eagles. The event was packed to the rafters – a sold out performance with fans of all ages ready to rock it out to the classic tunes from the 70’s and 80’s. Once again proving that a truly great song is indeed timeless, it was a joyful sing-along throughout the entire night as hit-after-hit emitted enthusiastically from the stage.

Don Felder

donfelderjl1First up on the bill was Don Felder and band, kicking off the proceedings on a wildly vibrant note with the Eagles ‘classic selection Already Gone. Instantly winning the audience over with his appealing demeanor and the suburb musicianship of all involved, daylight slowly merged to dusk as Felder and company thrilled the crowd. Felder co-wrote many of the Eagles’ greatest hits, and delivered a healthy dose of the supreme cuts, including One Of These Nights, Victim Of Love, and Heartache Tonight. Felder’s recent solo endeavor Road To Forever was highlighted with the striking sounds of the bluesy You Don’t Have Me reverberating throughout the Greek. The five part harmony of Seven Bridges Road was absolutely breathtaking – certainly a high point in the Don Felder set. Another wonderful treat was when Felder and company performed Heavy Metal (Takin’ A Ride) from the cult classic motion picture of the same name. And if you thought the auditory adventure was about the end, Tommy Shaw of Styx would join Felder onstage for a stunning rendition of Hotel California – breathing new life into one of the most haunting songs ever recorded by the Eagles.  Be sure to check into Road To Forever to find out what Don Felder is up to today – it’s been reissued with bonus tracks so it’s well worth seeking out!

Don Felder Set List:
Already Gone
One Of These Nights
You Don’t Have Me
Victim Of Love
Seven Bridges Road
Heavy Metal (Takin’ A Ride)
Witchy Woman
Heartache Tonight
Life In The Fast Lane
Hotel California

Styx

styxjl1With the progressive opening notes of the mighty Grand Illusion, you knew Styx was going to take over in a vast and glorious way. On the stage were Tommy Shaw, James “JY” Young, Lawrence Gowan, Todd Sucherman and Ricky Phillips – absolutely consummate performers ready to transport you back in time with their gigantic repertoire of hits! Early on in the set during a rousing rendition of Fooling Yourself (Angry Young Man), original bassist Chuck Panozzo joined Styx onstage, and the atmosphere was magical! One of the amazing new additions to the lineup of Styx is keyboardist Lawrence Gowan, a magnificent talent who can thrill the audience with his expressive voice and charismatic stage presence.  Just take a  listen to his solo turn on Lady, and you’ll be hooked! One of their more obscure songs Superstars from The Grand Illusion was performed with so much conviction; it was easy to be swept away by its majestic artistry.  Don Felder would then make his way back on stage, lending his talents to the lively Blue Collar Man. The ever resourceful Gowan then was left on stage to go solo, greatly entertaining the crowd with an imaginative medley of You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Live And Let Die, and Bohemian Rhapsody. This was the perfect segue way to an epic rendition of Come Sail Way, where Gowan was rejoined by the rest of the band unleashing a mesmerizing version of Styx’s most celebrated song.  For a much deserved encore. Panozzo joined his bandmates for spiraling rendition of Renegade.  Styx in 2014 remains a vital rock and roll force that can still rock the Paradise with a magnetic force!

Styx Set List:
The Grand Illusion
Too Much Time On My Hands
Fooling Yourself (Angry Young Man)
Lady
Light Up
Crystal Ball
Superstars
Blue Collar Man
You Can’t Always Get What You Want / Live And Let Die / Bohemian Rhapsody’
Come Sail Away

Encore
Rockin’ The Paradise
Renegade

FOREIGNER

foreignerjl1Even as Foreigner emerged on the stage with no original members in tow for the first part of the set; the current lineup was hot and heavy and ready for action. Unleashing a rocking trio of hits right off the bat, Double Vision, Head Games, and Cold As Ice instantly had the audience on their feet and ready to party.  One notices right away the powerful lead vocals of former Hurricane member Kelly Hansen, belting out the great Foreigner classics with a fiery sense of passion. Also among the current Foreigner lineup is Jeff Pilson, the former Dokken bassist, leaving a lasting impression from the pulsating low end of the sonic spectrum. After a remarkably moving performance of Waiting For A Girl Like You, Hansen introduced founding Foreigner lead guitarist Mick Jones, and the Greek responded with a rapturous applause. Jones would join Foreigner for the rollicking Feels Like The First Time, and stay for the duration of the set. One powerful highlight was when Jones took the time to introduce one of his favorite deep cuts Strarrider from their Self-Titled debut album, and then proceeded to sing lead vocals – perhaps the most poignant single moment of the entire evening. For the encore, Foreigner was joined onstage by The Imagination Choir from John Muir Middle School located in Burbank, and proceeded to play the heartfelt I Want To Know What Love Is. And then Tommy Shaw, JY, and Don Felder would join in for a hell raising performance of Hot Blooded, sending the music temperature into the stratosphere. An unforgettable Saturday night with truly great bands and musicians performing songs that will be revered for a lifetime!

Foreigner Set List:
Double Vision
Head Games
Cold As Ice
Waiting For A Girl Like You
Feels Like The First Time
Urgent
Starrider
Juke Box Hero

Encore:
I Want To Know What Love Is
Hot Blooded

(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)

Don Felder Official Home Page
Styx Official Home Page
Foreigner Official Home Page

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