Live Concerts

Meltdown Festival - Carmen Consoli Live - London 22/08/15

The Meltdown Festival is a music festival where every year, a guest curator chooses acts to come and play at that wonderful venue, which is Southbank Centre. Thanks to the genius of David Byrne (Talking Heads), this year's curator of the Meltdown Festival in London, we are fortunate enough to see a generous number of female artists performing in such Festival. Italy has got a well-deserved presence in this musical kermesse through possibly one of the best singer/songwriter coming from that part of the world, Carmen Consoli.

Consoli has almost re-written the way of approaching music in Italy in the last quarter of a century through a versatile sound formula that stretches from traditional folk style that comes straight from the south of Italy, where she comes from, to latin rhytms or grunge-esque rock, with a very thin layer of pop music. Her songwriting style is pure poetry-on-the-go. Carmen Consoli writes about a woman's universe like no one else does; Consoli's style can be dry, sweet, subtle and naughty at times but always capable to narrate the most intimate feelings of an italian woman through her captivating, poetic approach.

carmenconsoli (Photo by La Repubblica - Italy)

 

The sicilian "Cantantessa", a nickname given to her by Consoli's most devoted fans, has just recently released an album called "L'Abitudine Di Tornare" (The Habit Of Coming Back) and there is a certain trepidation from the crowd about her performance tonight, at the magnificent Southbank Centre in London, given the fact that Consoli had been here in UK last time almost a decade ago.

At 20.45, the lights go down and there is only a little beam of light that point straight to the centre stage, where Consoli decides to surprise everyone by performing a stunning version of the classical "Casta Diva" from Bellini's Norma accapella to open the show. When the other musicians join Consoli on stage, it is rather refreshing to see that the Italian artist has decided to bring an all-female three-pieces band with her on stage.

Consoli is an artist a 360 degrees and her live performance is a true mirror of the deep understanding she has about music. The Italian singer/songwriter is capable, throughout the show, to move gracefully from ballads such as Esercito Silente to torch songs permeated of elements of bossanova like Sintonia Imperfetta (both from her new album) until exploding in pure Sonic Youth-esque rock style on songs such as Per Niente Stanca and Venere.

carmenconsoli2 (Photo by Giovanni "Gio" Pilato)

 

Her performance never lack of intensity and purity in any moment of the show. The crowd doesn't want to let her go and Consoli comes back again for three Encores, in which she offers, once again, clear signs of her immense artistry and eclecticity. Her acoustic renditions of some of her classics, such as L'Ultimo Bacio and Parole Di Burro and the loud, angry electric finale of Besame Giuda are ultimate examples of how much Carmen Consoli lives and feel deeply her music and her lyrics.

The Meltdown Festival has brought to London a fortnight of starry nights. And one of those  stars, one of the brightest,  is, without a shadow of doubt, the "Cantantessa" Carmen Consoli.

 

 

Giovanni "Gio" Pilato

 

 

The Meltdown Festival Link

Carmen Consoli Official Website

Sean Taylor - Live At The Old Ford Inn, Aldershot, UK

                                                                                By Giovanni "Gio" Pilato

 

sean taylor

 

There are places, scattered around the globe, where local people believe so much in music or any other forms of art that they are prepared to go all the way to make it possible. Those are the places that keep the spirit of music, any music, alive and kicking. One of these places is The Old Ford Inn, a pub in the army town of Aldershot, UK, that has hosted wonderful evenings of blues and folk music and tonight, they have managed to bring in one of the best British artists of this generation, Sean Taylor.

Sean is currently touring his latest album, The Only Good Addiction Is Love (reviewed previously here on Bluebird Review) and this evening he is going to perform an intimate, acoustic gig for the local fans before embarking his European Tour.

The venue might be small but the intensity of the performance that the young artist from London carries in his voice and his guitar, almost hypnotize the crowd throughout the whole 70-minutes set. Taylor travels across his whole discography during the acoustic set but personally, I felt the performance reached its pinnacle through two of the tracks on Taylor's new album, The Only Good Addiction Is Love and Bad Light. The purity of Taylor's voice is a rare jewel to find in nowadays' music scene and when he sings, one can feel that he means every word he sings about.

Sean Taylor does not forget the lessons of his music heroes and throughout his set, he pulls out of his magic hat three splendid covers, Hard Time Killing Floor Blues by Skip James, Sixteen Tons by Merle Travis and the powerful Freedom, by Richie Havens, with which the singer/songwriter concludes his concert.

A concert made of class, elegance, simplicity and great artistry at the same time. For one night only, the people of Aldershot felt like a star fell from the sky and shone in their gardens for a little while. That star is called Sean Taylor.

 

Sean Taylor Tour

 

 

 

 

Walter Trout - The Return On Stage

walterdanaandlaurence (Photo courtesy of Dana Fuchs)

 

I was only 25 when I first heard Live (No More Fish Jokes) by Walter Trout. That album was, and still is, in my modest opinion, the epitaph of what Blues/Rock should sound like. Very few artists have been able to replicate that energy, vibes and intensity that Trout put on that record or in many of his studio albums he has recorded in his long and successful career but they rarely succeeded to do so.

In the last couple of years, horrible and heavy health issues have been very close to take away forever Trout not only from music and family but from life, in a very cruel way. Through the love and devotion of his family and fans, Trout has been able to overcome such issues and is living now a second life, to the point he struggles himself to believe he made it through.

Many people will remember the Lead Belly Tribute evening at the Royal Albert Hall in London on June 15th for the incredible quality of the line-up. Dana Fuchs (what a dynamite!), Laurence Jones, Paul Jones, Jools Holland, Billy Bragg, Eric Burdon, Van Morrison and many others. But Walter Trout stole the whole show. He just couldn't wait to go on stage, he didn't feel like doing anything else than playing tonight.

When that splendid woman that Marie, Walter's wife is, announced him to the London crowd, the whole Albert Hall rose on their feet for three Standing Ovations through the 10 minutes Trout had been on. Walter, visibly emotional, played a couple of tracks, one homage to the late great B.B. King, the other to Lead Belly, joined on stage by the young and very talented Laurence Jones during the whole performance. Apologies to all the readers at Bluebirdreviews about the fact I didn't take any photos. Purposely. I just wanted to feel and breath the whole emotion of that moment. To see Walter Trout on stage again, where he belongs, performing Live, has been an emotional and intense moment for myself and everyone present that night.

The Trout is back again, this time forever

 

Giovanni "Gio" Pilato

 

See Walter Trout Comeback on YouTube

 

Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band Live in London, April 15th 2015

There must be no better place in the world to celebrate 20 years of glorious carrier on the road for a "Shepherd" then the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, UK. The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band is on the last date of their UK Tour of 2015 and London is paying a massive tribute to this phenomenal artist and his boys with another sold out night.

The night starts very well, with an intense blues mini-set performed by one of the most promising talents coming from England, named Ben Poole. Ben has been building himself a solid reputation in the genre in the last few years and this evening is no exception at all. Just about time to re-arrange the stage and at 20.45, a Blues Explosion detonates for the next two hours. Kenny and the band don't hold back from the minute they set foot on stage; Never Lookin' Back, Everything Is Broken and The House Is Rockin' set fire to the evening in style and Kenny and his band seem certainly to the top of their forms.  

Read more: Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band Live in London, April 15th 2015

Barefoot Truth, Evans and Driscoll, Reunite at The Iron Horse

The Iron Horse Music Hall hosted a full house to welcome native New Englanders, Will Evans and Jay Driscoll, the original members of roots rock band, Barefoot Truth. The band, with frontman, Will Evans, has recorded four full length albums and several EP's of his original music. Their most recent release, "Carry Us On", debuted at #10 on the iTunes Rock Chart. BFT went on hiatus in 2012, but Will Evans and Jay Driscoll have never stopped creating globally inspired roots rock music. Will Evans has shared the stage with many top artists including Crosby and Nash, Grace Potter, Bruce Hornsby, State Radio, Badfish and members of Dispatch.

Read more: Barefoot Truth, Evans and Driscoll, Reunite at The Iron Horse

The Replacements at Boston Calling, 2014: Review, Photos, Set List

Sunday, September 7, 2014.

" ... raise a toast, to a rock and roll ghost."

We were Boston bound for the Minneapolis sound. Replacements fans around the globe suffered through rock and roll purgatory, waiting for a Westerberg-Stinson reunion we thought would never happen. "Should we give it up?"

On Sept 7, for New England fans, it was all over but the shouting. At 8:15 sharp, Jesus rode beside us. Tommy Stinson and Paul Westerberg were all smiles as they walked onto the Boston Calling stage. (Yes, SMILES!)

thereplacements38They were joined by Boston native, guitarist, Dave Minehan, (Who worked with Paul Westerberg, on his solo album, 14 Songs, and plays in the band, The Neighborhoods) with Josh Freese on drums. (Freese has played with: A Perfect Circle, Paramore, Nine Inch Nails, Devo, The Vandals, Sting, Paul Westerberg, Guns N' Roses, Fliptop, Ween, Kelly Clarkson, The Offspring, Weezer, The Desert Sessions, Mötley Crüe, Sublime with Rome, Avril Lavigne, Meraki)

Unlike younger bands, the Mats had no rebel reputation to prove. (Was the wine in The 1975 guys' staged bottle even real?) Dressed like gents, they looked crisp and sharp tonight, ready to take on the multi-generational festival pumped crowd. Tommy was finishing a beer and mumbled something to Paul, to which he laughed, "Hippies ... F*ckin' Hippies ..." Within a flash, Westerberg took off his jacket and they got down to the business of completely blowing our minds beyond expectation.

Read more: The Replacements at Boston Calling, 2014: Review, Photos, Set List

Gordon Lightfoot at the Calvin Theatre, The Carefree Highway Tour

"If you want to know my secret.

Don't come running after me. 

"For I am just a painter. Passing through in history."

From, "A Painter Passing Through," Gordon Lightfoot.

Wearing a blue satin vest, pressed white shirt and gentleman's boots, Gordon Lightfoot delivered a rich and elegant performance at the Calvin Theatre on July 13, 2014. The Canadian singer-songwriter legend, honored the Northampton full house, receiving multiple standing ovations throughout the night. With long set list of deep cut classics from his expansive catalog, his warm textured voice continued to deliver the same intensity and drive as it has since his first Toronto recordings in 1962.

When the band walked out and Gordon followed, cheers, whistles and applause filled the room. The band had equal command of the audience. The material played, which changes throughout the tour, was delivered with timeless impact that a group can only master from experience. They brought their history of folk, rock, country, and even a little jazz sound, to multi-generational crowd. For many people who grew up with the 70's singer-songwriter comfort of radio and early folk, the songs were heard through our souls.

Read more: Gordon Lightfoot at the Calvin Theatre, The Carefree Highway Tour

BOSTON with Cheap Trick Bangor, ME 2014

Boston w/ Cheap Trick

Darling's Waterfront Pavilion
Bangor, ME USA
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
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Written by: Matthew Joel Phillips

Photography by: Chris Joles

Summer's only begun, but school was back in at Darling's Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor, ME as classic rock legends Boston (on tour with Cheap Trick) showed every live band how to put on a show, rainy weather be damned.

Bringing their "A" game on Wednesday, July 2nd, the Boston mother ship landed just as skies darkened and our first taste of special effects came not from the stage but from overhead, and the original pyrotechnic wizard: Mother Nature.

Boston is of course led by Tom Scholz: guitarist, singer, inventor, producer, principal songwriter and graduate of MIT (the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and he proudly wears a gray shirt with the school's logo during the concert. (And his instrumental "Last Day of School", from their latest album, was one of my many early highlights of the show).

Read more: BOSTON with Cheap Trick Bangor, ME 2014

Rich Robinson at the Paradise Rock Club

Rich Robinson Rocks the Paradise
June 6th, 2014, Boston

The tour bus was parked out on the street as the line of concert goers stood waiting for the doors of the Paradise Rock Club to open. A Boston original, the 'Dise" sits on Commonwealth Avenue at the edge of the Boston University campus. The Paradise holds just over 900 people and opened its doors in 1977. In 1981, U2 played their very first show on American soil here. Many Bands coming through Boston make this Rock Club one of their stops.


Rich Robinson and his band did exactly that on June 6th, a beautiful warm Friday night in Boston. Robinson, a founding member of The Black Crowes, is touring in support of his critically acclaimed album The Ceaseless Sight. Ceaseless Sight is his third solo album and was released just three days before this show.

Read more: Rich Robinson at the Paradise Rock Club

Ray Lamontagne Tours on SUPERNOVA

Ray Lamontagne began his summer tour on May 27th, a rainy Tuesday evening in Portland, Maine. Listen to the the title track to his newest release, in summer fresh colors and sounds - SUPERNOVA:

 

Former Drive By Truckers alumni, Jason Isbell, opened the show for Lamontagne. Isbell is from Alabama and has been on a worldwide tour since the release of his 4th Studio album Southeastern in 2013.

Read more: Ray Lamontagne Tours on SUPERNOVA

The Iron Horse Tribute to Lou Reed, Jan 9, 2014

The Iron Horse Tribute to Lou Reed, Jan 9, 2014.

"Oh ye of little faith ..." (Lou Reed, "Busload of Faith," New York).

How do we say good-bye to a person who influenced the world for generations in music, writing, performing, poetry, art and consciousness? 

We don't.

We don't say good-bye. (I've decided).

In getting ready to attend the Lou Reed tribute at the Iron Horse Music Hall, I was torn about going, because it would make Reed's passing all the more real. Yet, I did not want to miss the opportunity to be in the same room with fellow fans and bands who also love Lou Reed. The last time I saw Reed was 2008 at the Calvin Theatre . It was a satisfying performance, validating who Reed is, yet filled with surprises, humor, depth and poetics, that let us get to know him even better. The gathering of artists tonight, in their elegant presentation of Velvet Underground songs and Lou Reed classics, accomplished a similar feeling. A tribute to hold these songs and memories for the rest of our times here, allowed Lou Reed's influence to continue to be celebrated.

Read more: The Iron Horse Tribute to Lou Reed, Jan 9, 2014

Subcategories

Out On The Tiles

Jane's Addiction at the State in Maine, 2012

Review and Photography by Micah Gummel. thumb janes addiction micah gummel-1

Portsmouth, ME.

In keeping with the trend for the Great Escape Artist tour, this was a sold out show to over 2000 people of the State Theater of Portland Maine. Soon after the doors opened, the fans wasted no time to pile in to the State. Within minutes, we were packed in like sardines.

Read more...

 

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Maine Music News

Dont let the name fool you! Maine Music News provides live concert reviews and photography for shows throughout all of New England. Our photographers cover shows in Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts and anywhere else we can! Our writers provide detailed album reviews and expertly written interviews as well. We may be called Maine Music News, but we dont let the Maine border stop us!