Review & Video: “Karma Chameleon / Get It On (Bang A Gong)” live by Boy George in NYC

Posted by The G on April 23, 2014 under G Reviews, G Videos | 5 Comments to Read

HD Video, Photos and Words by G.

Boy George

Boy George

BOY GEORGE!  Performing a way sold out show on April 22, 2014 at New York’s Irving Plaza, Boy George took to the Manhattan stage for the first time in over a decade (not counting DJ gigs) and it was a night to remember!  Kicking off the show by playing his new album “This is What I Do,” Boy George played a beefy 24 song set that covered the musical gamut from reggae to country and back to rock, covers from Yoko Ono (“Death of Samantha”) and Bread (“Everything I Own”) to Lou Reed (“Satellite of Love”), T. Rex (“Get it On (Bang A Gong)” and Bob Dylan (“It Ain’t Me Babe” and “Make You Feel My Love”) plus a handful of Culture Club classics (“Church of the Poison Mind,” “Karma Chameleon,” “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?” “Victims” and his solo hit “Bow Down Mister”)!   His new album, if you haven’t already gotten it, is very diverse musically and George’s band kicked out the jams that feature extremely mature and spiritual lyrics.  George quoted Eckhart Tolle telling the crowd to stay in the now and songs included “Feel the Vibration,” “Live Your Life” and George proclaimed that “love is bigger than war” during the track “Bigger Than War.”  George, who seemed happy to be back on the New York stage soaked up the love that the crowd (which included Miss Guy and Debbie Harry) was showering him with.  He told funny anecdotes in between songs and thanked the crowd for not talking too loudly to each other during the new songs.  He especially thanked the crowd for supporting his new album.

Boy George

Boy George

When he got to “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?” he went off on the crowd for taking invasive cell phone photos and video saying that “if he wanted the video to go up on youtube, he’d film it with a crew himself and not make us do it.”  I was up in the VIP section in the balcony (not using flash, nor blocking the crowd trying to take annoying iPhone videos, nor being close enough to distract or annoy the performer) and I got the whole thing on video.  Should I post it?  You decide and let us know in the comments section.  I was near the soundboard, so I was far from being invasive, but it’s a fine line you walk when you want to get the video out to the people and also want to respect the wishes of an artist you’ve loved for three decades!!!  I did, however, post a video of the classic “Karma Chameleon” which immediately segued into a cover of T. Rex’ “Get It On (Bang A Gong).” Excuse me for a minute while my inner child freaks the fuck out for a little bit!

Now that I’ve regained my composure, can I just say on behalf of New York, please come back and play for us more regularly!  We’ve missed you desperately George!  If we have to rely on the thinly talented RuPaul as a hero in the gay community, we are seriously doomed!  xx

And now… “Karma Chameleon” and “Get It On.”   Just press play.

Boy George Irving Plaza Set List

Boy George Irving Plaza Set List

The set list (despite the picture) was:

King of Everything / Death of Samantha (Yoko Ono cover) / Any Road (George Harrison cover) / My God / Feel the Vibration / Love and Danger / Live Your Life / Bigger Than War / Nice and Slow / My Star / It’s Easy / It Ain’t Me Babe (Bob Dylan cover) / Satellite of Love (Lou Reed cover) / Turn on a Little Light for Me / Church of the Poison Mind (Culture Club cover).

Encore:

Do You Really Want to Hurt Me? (Culture Club cover) / Everything I Own (Bread cover) / Karma Chameleon (Culutre Club cover) / Get It On (Bang a Gong) (T. Rex cover) / Bow Down Mister

Encore 2:

Play Me / Victims (Culture Club cover) / Make You Feel My Love (Bob Dylan cover)

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Must See Show: Joey Arias and Sven Ratzke at Joe’s Pub

Posted by The G on April 21, 2014 under Encounters with G, G Reviews, G Videos | Be the First to Comment

HD Video, Photos and Words by G.

Joey Arias and Sven Ratzke

Joey Arias and Sven Ratzke

New York!  Do not sleep on your chance to go see legendary performers Joey Arias and Sven Ratzke on April 27, 2014 at Joe’s Pub (Ticket link will open in a new window).

If you’ve ever read this site before (and if so, you are my hero – THANKS!), you know that I am crazy for Joey Arias.  Joey keeps alive the part of New York that only exists in vintage photos and recollections of “the good old days” before New York became gentrified, when creative expression was much more important than the financial bottom line that everything seems to be reduced to these days.  Aside from Prince, I’ve probably seen Joey Arias perform more than anyone else, and no matter how many times I see him, I always leave his shows inspired and with a huge smile on my face.  He socks it to you with a great voice, stunning costumes and with comedic delivery that makes you come back for more.

Joey Arias and Sven Ratzke

Joey Arias and Sven Ratzke

Seeing Joey on his own is well worth the admission price, but sweetening the pot is the fact that for 2 special shows (April 20 and April 27, 2014, respectively) German/Dutch cabaret star Sven Ratzke (along with his fabulously talented piano player Charly Zestru) are also on the bill.

Before the night is over, prepare to be wowed by Ratzke’s amazing voice, prepare to laugh your butt off with Sven and Joey as they ad-lib with the crowd and most importantly, they will seduce you with their voices – and it’s likely you’ll hear songs like “You’ve Changed,” “Windmills of Your Mind,” “Diamonds Are Forever,” “God Bless The Child,” “Perfect Day” and as you are about to see, “Alabama Song.”

Just press play!

Thanks to Joey, Sven and Charly for a fabulous night!  If you’re a fan of the site, you already know that my night didn’t even there, however.  The night reached the crescendo when I chatted with the stars of the show at its conclusion, who are just as amazing off stage as they are on.

Charly Zastru, Sven Ratzke, Geoffrey Dicker, Joey Arias

Charly Zastru, Sven Ratzke, Geoffrey Dicker, Joey Arias.  Photo taken by a complete stranger.

Thanks again Charly, Sven and Joey.  I heart you!!!

10 Observations From the Kraftwerk Concert

Posted by The G on April 3, 2014 under Encounters with G, G Reviews | Read the First Comment

Photos by G.

Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk

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.”

Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk

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 ;)

Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk

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.

Kraftwerk

Ralf Hutter of Kraftwerk

3. Ralf Hutter is the only original member of Kraftwerk that is still in the band.

Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk

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?

Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk

5. The lone words Ralf uttered to the crowd were “Auf Wiedersehen.”

Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk

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)

Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk

7. Being in a room filled with nearly 4,000 people wearing 3-D glasses was super cool!

Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk

8. This show definitely goes down as one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to, and I’ve seen thousands of bands.

Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk

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.

Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk

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!

Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk

Ralf Hutter of Kraftwerk and Geoffrey Dicker

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

Chelsea Clinton and Lily Cole Launch “Impossible” App at Apple Store

Posted by The G on March 20, 2014 under G Reviews | Be the First to Comment

Photos by G.

Chelsea Clinton and Lily Cole

Chelsea Clinton and Lily Cole

On March 19, 2014, Chelsea Clinton and model/actress Lily Cole discussed Lily’s new app “Impossible” at the Apple Store in SoHo, New York.  Despite the negative connotation with the title of the app, “Impossible” seeks to help connect people to find others out there with the same interests, connect people to make their impossible dreams come true (sort of like how Craig’s List offers services) and also just gives a space for people to just show their gratitude.

Chelsea Clinton

Chelsea Clinton

The information presented was quite awesome.  It gives you the feeling that there can be an self-moderated online community that seeks positivity instead of whining and bitching about all that is wrong with the world.  It also seems to present an alternative to the time wasting and ever-present negativity that you find on Facebook and Twitter.

Lily Cole

Lily Cole

On a personal note, I’ve fallen for celebrity/politician bullshit many times in the past where you see them speak (either on TV or in real life, for me mostly in real life) and they seem to be such pleasant people, but once the cameras are off and they have the chance to really ‘put their money where their mouth is’ so to speak, you see a different side of them completely.  Lily and Chelsea Clinton spent a good amount of time talking about giving gratitude and being thankful for all their blessings and moments after the talk, Clinton showed her gratitude true colors by having ZERO intention of stopping to talk to the couple of fans that were interested in meeting her.  What happened to all that gratitude she just mentioned?   Hmmmm….. The moral of the story: NEVER TRUST A POLITICIAN.  I’m grateful that I never have and I never will.  Thank you.  Thank you. Thank you.

10 Observances from Arctic Monkeys live at Madison Square Garden

Posted by The G on February 10, 2014 under G Reviews | Read the First Comment

Photos by G.

Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys

Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys

If you read any music website these days, they can’t stop stroking it over the band Arctic Monkeys.  During the release of last year’s “AM” album, their fifth record, the band blew up and are now playing arenas.  Despite their growing popularity, prior to seeing them live, I’d only heard two of their songs.  Because I am in a position to meet the people that create the art, I often choose to meet the artist before I take a look at their work because from experience, countless artists of all genres that have severely rocked my world have been super cool and others whose art I could take or leave have turned out to be pricks.  There is too much choice in the world for me to waste my time with people that have little or no respect for the very people that have contributed to their success.  Despite having TWO bad experiences meeting this band, I fully admit that the two songs I know from this band I quite enjoy, so I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and see them live.

This has happened to me many times before where I am literally sitting in an arena filled with 18,000  people and I have NO IDEA of any of the music I am about to hear.  This method is not for everyone, but I highly recommend it.  You can truly go in with an open mind and let these people do their jobs as rock stars and turn you into a fan before the night is over.  Arctic Monkeys played their largest ever US show on February 8, 2014 at Madison Square Garden in New York.  Here are 10 observations from my experience at the show.

1. The concert was not much of a ‘show.’  Playing Madison Square Garden is a privilege and not a right, so one would have thought this show would have been a spectacle as most concerts at the Garden are, especially since the band has spent 5 albums working up to this moment.  Instead, the Arctic Monkeys had a gigantic but thin “A M” sign behind the band that lit up predictably during most songs.  It was definitely a medium sized show placed in a large venue.

2. Arctic Monkeys do very little to get the crowd engaged.  There was little banter between lead singer Alex Turner and the crowd.  Turner played guitar for most songs and as a result, he stood in one place behind the microphone stand for the majority of the show.  Crowd sing-a-longs were not happening either, which brings me to point number 3…

3. Arctic Monkeys songs are mostly forgettable.  They do have some catchy moments, but would I rather listen to or see a band like Kasabian, Fratellis or Scissor Sisters whose music will not leave your head once it burrows itself inside?  Yeah, any day!  I mention these three bands because to me, Arctic Monkeys are an amalgamation of these 3 bands.  I made myself a playlist of all the songs they performed in concert so I can focus on the studio versions and  like I felt at the show, the music is pleasant and not offensive, but that’s about all I can say for it.  I don’t see myself listening to their music on constant repeat.

4. Their music is very formulaic overall.  Not very exciting verses and large choruses.  So original.  NOT!

5. They focused too much on their new album.  They played all but 2 tracks off their newest record so fans that have been with Arctic Monkeys since the beginning have effectively been forgotten at their largest show to date in America.  What a way to say thanks to your fans.  Based on my not good experiences of meeting them, I am not surprised one bit.

6. The crowd was limp.  As I said earlier, the band did very little to get the crowd engaged but for this bullet point, I’d like to focus on the lack of the crowd getting excited during songs.  Sure there was generous applause in between songs, but it seemed that once a song started, people went back to texting and taking annoying cell phone pictures of either the band or the people they came with instead of getting involved with the show.  I spent a lot of time looking around at the crowd reaction during the songs and for the lack of excitement I saw, I think people would have been better off playing the records at home and saving the expense and hassle of going to an arena.  This is actually an observation that can be noted at most concerts as technology has really hindered people’s ability to live in the moment, but that’s a grievance for another day.

7. Their music, though popular, had little crossover appeal with people over 30.  The crowd was extremely young and I felt like a dinosaur.  For a rock band, I thought the crowd would be a bit more diverse, but I was wrong.

8. Lead singer Alex Turner is cute.  Not the hottest guy I’ve ever seen, but he definitely has a 1950s greaser vibe going on and when I found myself getting bored, I was happy that I had some eye candy.

9. They covered The Beatles as safely as possible.  It was the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles being on the Ed Sullivan Show on the weekend of the Arctic Monkeys concert so they played a little tribute to the Fab Four.  They chose “All My Loving.”   It was a “by the numbers” cover.  No risk involved.  Of course, every music site is juicing all over it like they took a risk and played “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey” or “Helter Skelter” which would have been much more suited to their style.  But with the new trend in playing covers, I am grateful they didn’t do an ironic cover where they played an acoustic version of a song that has no business being disrespected that way.

10. Final thoughts.  I am more familiar with Arctic Monkeys than I was before I walked into the show.    I can’t say I hated the show, because I did not.  I also can’t say that I will become a die hard after seeing them live.  They have a handful of songs that I can see myself revisiting and they have many more that were completely forgettable to me.  I make it my mission to have fun wherever I go, in spite of my surroundings, and yes, I had fun.  But that says more about me than it says about Arctic Monkeys.  I can’t believe that in the two times I’ve seen this band in “autograph situations” they chose to ignore fans because I see no reason to patronize a mediocre band who have let a tiny bit of fame go to their heads.  There are plenty of other bands who appreciate the position they are in and who are better performers.

The setlist was:

Do I Wanna Know? / Brainstorm / Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair / Snap Out of It / Crying Lightning / Old Yellow Bricks / Fireside/ Knee Socks / Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High? / Arabella / Dancing Shoes / Pretty Visitors / I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor / Cornerstone / I Wanna Be Yours / Fluorescent Adolescent / 505 (with Miles Kane)

Encore:
All My Loving (The Beatles cover) (with Miles Kane) / One For The Road / R U Mine?

Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys 2

Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys

 

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