Photos and words by G.
Eric Clapton! The legendary rocker celebrated his 70th birthday (a bit late as his actual birthday is March 30) with a pair of sold out shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden. I attended the first show on May 1, 2015. I’ve seen nearly every living rock and roll legend in some fashion over the years, but this was my first glimpse of Eric Clapton, so you can imagine my excitement.
Saying very little to the crowd (aside from “thank yous” after each song), Eric Clapton brought out his first guest star 3 songs in – John Mayer. The two jammed on the song “Pretending.” For what Clapton lacked in saying in words, he sure made up for it by playing some amazing guitar solos all night that let you know without a doubt you made the right choice by attending the concert.
John Mayer and Jimmie Vaughan
John Mayer was not the only guest of the night as Clapton also brought out Jimmie Vaughan, Doyle Bramhall II and Derek Trucks. Also in his band was Paul Carrack, who sang a few songs including “You Are So Beautiful.” Clapton also saluted Ben E. King, who died earlier in the day and dedicated “Driftin’ Blues” to him.
Doyle Bramhall, Derek Trucks
Aside from the absence of Cream songs, Eric Clapton played songs from all eras of his career from “Can’t Find My Way Home” by Blind Faith to the acoustic rendition of “Layla” that he’d made famous decades earlier with his group Derek and the Dominoes. He also played “Tears in Heaven,” which resulted in tears in Madison Square Garden from the audience as the song is about the death of his child.
Other highlights of the night were covers of “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out,” “Cross Road Blues” “Hoochie Coochie Man” as well as “I Shot The Sheriff” and “Cocaine.” You can imagine how cool it was to have the whole of Madison Square Garden shout out in unison – “COCAINE!” The show ended with an all star jam on the Joe Cocker cover “High Time We Went.” Eric Clapton told the audience that this was the best birthday he’s ever had and with that, the 2 hour show was over.
The Finale at Eric Clapton’s 70th birthday show (from left: Eric’s backing singers, Paul Carrack, John Mayer, Jimmie Vaughan, Doyle Bramhall II, Derek Trucks, Eric Clapton, Nathan East)
The setlist was:
Somebody’s Knocking / Keys to the Highway / Pretending (with John Mayer) / Hoochie Coochie Man / You Are So Beautiful (with Paul Carrack) / Can’t Find My Way Home (with Nathan East) / I Shot The Sheriff / Driftin’ Blues (acoustic) / Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out (acoustic) / Tears In Heaven (acoustic) / Layla (acoustic) / Before You Accuse Me (with Jimmie Vaughan) / Wonderful Tonight / Let it Rain (with Derek Trucks and Doyle Brahmhall II) / Cross Road Blues / Little Queen of Spades / Cocaine.
Encore: High Time We Went (all star jam)
Jimmie Vaughan and Eric Clapton
Photos by G.
To say the Kraftwerk show (their second of 2 sold out nights) at the United Palace Theater in New York on April 2, 2014 was mind-blowing is taking the easy way out. The show took all of your senses on a journey for 2 solid hours and frankly, I don’t know if I’ll ever be the same again. Here are 10 things I observed at the Kraftwerk show. As you look through these pictures, please note that the show was in 3-D, which pushed the boundaries out a little further on the definition of the word “epic.”
1. Mind-blowing visuals were not saved for the finale. The show got better and better with each new song. With a 20 song set list, my brain was so over-stimulated, I could barely even function once the show was over! Of course, I pulled it together eventually
2. The United Palace Theater is absolutely stunning. It’s very ornate (more so than the Beacon Theatre), and though it’s located on 179th Street, the trek was completely worth it. Security would not let you find your own seat. They insisted they help you to your seat which caused a traffic jam of epic (and extremely annoying) proportions.
Ralf Hutter of Kraftwerk
3. Ralf Hutter is the only original member of Kraftwerk that is still in the band.
4. Despite being one of the most visually stunning shows I’ve ever seen, SO MANY PEOPLE felt compelled to keep getting up during the show and walked back and forth thus obstructing the views of so many people who actually attended the show to WATCH IT! I swear, what is wrong with people?! Either they text too much, talk too much, or in this case walk around too much. What’s the point of going to a show if you aren’t going to be present?
5. The lone words Ralf uttered to the crowd were “Auf Wiedersehen.”
6. Even though some of their songs are 40 years old, they still sounded fresh and contemporary. Accept no other robot substitutes (read: Daft Punk)
7. Being in a room filled with nearly 4,000 people wearing 3-D glasses was super cool!
8. This show definitely goes down as one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to, and I’ve seen thousands of bands.
9. Coldplay (on their song “Talk”) basically stole the music for “Computer Love” and 2 Live Crew (on their song “Dick Almighty”) took “The Man-Machine.” I hope they paid royalties! Hearing their music makes you realize what pioneers Kraftwerk are and how many musicians owe them a lot for being so forward thinking.
10. If Kraftwerk ever comes to your town, DO NOT MISS THE SHOW UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!
And now, enjoy some more stunning photos from the show!
Ralf Hutter of Kraftwerk and Geoffrey Dicker
Great meeting you Ralf, and as I told you in person – thanks again for one of the most amazing shows I’ve ever attended! You are a god!
Stay tuned for a video of “The Man-Machine” (where you will see what I complained about in Observation #4).
The setlist was:
The Robots / Metropolis / Numbers – Computer World / It’s More Fun To Compute / Home Computer / Computer Love / The Man-Machine / Spacelab / The Model / Neon Lights / Autobahn / Prologue / Tour De France 1983 / Tour De France 2003 (Etape 1) / Tour De France 2003 (Etape 2) / Airwaves / News / Geiger Counter – Radioactivity/ Ohm Sweet Ohm / Trans-Europe Express – Metal On Metal – Abzug / Boing Boom Tschak – Techno Pop – Musique Non Stop
Encore: Aero Dynamic / Planet of Visions
Photos by G.
America! Get ready for the next great singer. Britain’s Jake Bugg played a sold out show at New York’s Bowery Ballroom on January 14, 2013, his 2nd show in the US to date, and there’s no doubt that he is going to be a superstar! Jake Bugg has been making music since he was 12 years old and though his voice has the characteristics of an old soul, one of the most incredible facts about Jake is that he is currently only 18 years of age!
He’s already been endorsed by Noel Gallagher (formerly of Oasis), is being compared to Bob Dylan!, and his country/folk music is currently residing at the top of the charts in England. It’s so exciting to see such a young person possess so much talent and surely he’s only going to get better with age. Head on over to his official site and get a free download (for a limited time only) of his song “Saffron.”
Although his self-titled debut album is not out in the USA yet, that didn’t stop the sold out crowd from singing along to his European hits “Taste It,” “Country Song,” and “Lightning Bolt.” I’ll be posting a video from the show in the coming days so stay tuned. Jake Bugg is so talented and again when you consider how young he is and how great he already sounds, it will blow your mind. As I tend to do when I go to concerts, I had the opportunity to tell Jake Bugg how great his show was and he was extremely cool. You can see a photo from that moment as well as the set list after the jump.
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Photo by G.
Scissor Sisters, Morrissey Posters
New York is gonna have a big old Kiki this weekend as Scissor Sisters play 2 shows! Hope to see you at Terminal 5 this weekend! Morrissey, who is also pictured above, will not be in attendance, but we can confirm that he totally disapproves of this post!
Photos by G.
Orlando Weeks of The Maccabees
If you missed out on seeing Wild Belle and The Maccabees at Webster Hall in New York on June 13, 2012, you missed out on a great show! Opening act Wild Belle got the party started around 8:15 pm. Their music has elements of pop, R&B and reggae. The band are comprised of brother and sister Elliot and Natalie Bergman and several members of the group NOMO. Natalie sang nearly every song (except for one) with her brother playing keyboards, backing vocals and saxophone! Natalie’s voice was very soulful and their songs were mostly short and sweet with fun beats that I am looking forward to hearing as soon as their debut album is released (as of press time, no word on release date).
Natalie Bergman of Wild Belle
British indie-rock band The Maccabees hit the stage around 9:30 and played a solid 18-song set that was really rockin’! If you don’t know much about The Maccabees, here’s a few fun facts: the band, who is not religious at all, got their name from flicking through the Bible and randomly chose “Maccabees.” The group has been around since 2004 and have released 3 albums including their 2012 record “Given To The Wild.” If you’ve never heard their music before, imagine bits of Coldplay, Arcade Fire, Jose Gonzalez and Foals blended together.
Four out of the 5 members of The Maccabees lined up in a row to produce a (literal) guitar wall of sound, whilst their drummer sat behind in the center of the stage. With a great light show and rockin’ songs, the audience was jumping up and down for a majority of the set and the floor at Webster Hall was vibrating! Highlights for me were many of the fast paced songs like “X-Ray,” “Glimmer” and “Child” (which starts off slow and builds to a great climax).
If you missed the show, you might be waiting a while to see The Maccabees perform again in the states as this was the only scheduled US show they have for awhile, but it sounded like lead singer Orlando Weeks mentioned something about being back in the fall. If that is indeed true, don’t miss The Maccabees!
See the set list after the jump.
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