Posted tagged ‘U2’

Concert Review: James Wesley Keeps it “Real” at The Rodeo Club in San Jose, California

December 3, 2013

As most of you know, I love to go to concerts. Lots of concerts. Country concerts…rock concerts…punk rock concerts…you name it! I guess it’s pretty obvious if you’ve listened to me talk for even five minutes.

I’m proud to say that I’ve seen them all, across genres: Kenny Chesney, Brooks & Dunn, Florida Georgia Line, Zac Brown Band, Tim McGraw, Blink 182, Green Day, Pearl Jam, Metallica, U2, The Rolling Stones and the list goes on and on.

So if I were to tell you that I went to one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to, then you’d probably stop and take notice, right?

I can honestly say that in all of my 35 years, I can count on one hand how many times I’ve been to a show that seemed to have as much energy as there was at the Rodeo Club in San Jose, California, on Friday, November 22. I wonder if Chevon and Christine would agree with me?

The gang together at the show!

The gang together at the show!

Ladies and gentlemen, if you don’t know him already, go take some time on YouTube (or below) and check out Broken Bow recording artist James Wesley. If you can only catch one show in 2014, this is the guy to see. Dead serious! OK, maybe not just James. Marshall Weidner, Jesse LaFave, Neil Alexander, Michael Blakemore and Eric Burgett are all pretty damn good too.

For those of us who follow country music closely, this man is already known. With hits such as “Real”, “Didn’t I” and “Thank a Farmer”, James has been getting airplay for quite some time thanks to stations like KRTY (but definitely not enough airplay and I can’t stress this enough!!!). His videos have reached the top of the GAC charts and if you see him in concert just once, you’ll be hooked.

James Wesley and I after the show.

James Wesley and I after the show.

James is a traditionalist which I find rare in country music these days. He’s also passionate about his music…and his fans. He writes his own songs and he plays his heart out each and every time he takes the stage. During his show in San Jose, he mixed his own music with the sounds of Hank Williams Jr., Merle Haggard, George Jones and Johnny Cash. I’ll admit, anytime you can absolutely NAIL “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Family Tradition”, you’re doing something right!

Good Times!

Good Times!

I think one of the best parts of the show was the opportunity to hear new songs that haven’t made it on the radio yet. There are a few songs that I expect to be hits in 2014 including “Running”, “The You I Wanna Know” and “You Should Be Here with Me”. I really wish I would have shot some video because I’d love to share these songs with you, alas my phone was dying and wouldn’t allow me to. “Running” (co-written with Marcum Stewart and Zac Wrixon) is the one that stuck out in my mind as the one that should be the clear-cut radio hit next year (do you hear that Indiana Al at KRTY???). I think I probably live-Tweeted that thought multiple times during the show. Loved both the lyrics and the beat.

Rockin' Out!

Rockin’ Out!

And now for my favorite part of the evening. Following the show, James does what a lot of other artists don’t…he spent hours meeting, talking to and taking photos with his fans. I’m lucky enough to have had the opportunity to meet James via Twitter (@jameswesley1) last year and have had a number of conversations with him over the past few months. You don’t realize that sometimes, just sometimes, artists are exactly the same in-person as they appear online. James truly is one of these people. He doesn’t pull punches. He’s as friendly in-person as he is on Twitter and really makes every effort to get to know each and every one of his fans. I wish more artists would follow his lead.

Having Some Fun!

Having Some Fun!

I’ll say it again: if there is one artist that you see in concert in 2014, make it James Wesley. From the stage presence, to the music to the time he spends with his fans, it is not just a concert…it’s an experience. A “Real” experience that music lovers of all ages and genres will enjoy. You won’t regret it!

Have you seen James and the band in concert? What did you think? Feel free to leave your comments and thoughts in the comments below! Would love to hear about your similar experiences!

James Wesley Setlist: San Jose, CA on November 22, 2013

James Wesley Setlist: San Jose, CA on November 22, 2013

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Bono Hitches a Ride with NHL Player

June 2, 2011

U2 front-man Bono and his assistant were out for a walk in Vancouver, British Columbia when wouldn’t you know, it started to rain.

Bono later told a concert crowd that Edmonton Oilers player Gilbert Brule and his girlfriend were driving in a truck when they spotted the two and offered to give them a ride.

From CNN:

“I like ice hockey, because people who play ice hockey are the kind of people who pick up hitchhikers,” Bono told a concert crowd Wednesday in Edmonton, Alberta, as seen in a video posted on YouTube. “I know this from personal experience.”

Kelsey Nichols told CNN affiliate CTV, that she didn’t believe her boyfriend, Brule, that the hitchhiker was Bono. “I said no, we’re not picking up a hitchhiker. We’re going to die,” she said later, with a smile. “There’s no way.”

But Nichols, who was driving, changed her mind and turned around. According to the Edmonton Sun, the couple had set out for a local park to walk their German shepherd — a dog that eventually shared space in the back of the truck with the singer and his assistant.

“He was very cool,” Bono said of Brule, describing him as a “very modest man.” “He said, ‘Where do you want to go?’ And I said, ‘Just take me to where The Edge is'” — a reference to U2’s well-known guitarist.

Woodstock: 40 Years Later

August 13, 2009

It’s hard to believe that it has been 40 years since Woodstock! Not that I would remember, I was 9 years away from being born at that time 🙂

But the memories live on and we will no doubt relive the peace and love of the festival over the coming days as the anniversary approaches, this Saturday, August 15.

Were you there? How was it? What were you’re thoughts?

If you didn’t go, did you want to? Do you regret not going?

From the Associated Press:

The town of Woodstock didn’t want the concert and promoters were bounced from another site at the 11th hour. Lang settled on a hay field in Bethel owned by a kindly dairy farmer named Max Yasgur. The concert did come off Aug. 15-18, 1969, but barely. Fences were torn down, tickets became useless. More than 400,000 people converged on this rural corner 80 miles northwest of New York City, freezing traffic for miles. Then the rains doused everything.

It should have been a disaster. But Americans tuning in to the evening news that weekend saw smiling, dancing, muddy kids. By the time the concert movie came out months later, Woodstock was a symbol of the happy, hippie side of the ‘60s spirit.

Baby boomers are the “Woodstock Generation” — not the “Monterey Generation” or the “Altamont Generation.” Bethel’s onsite museum has logged more than 70,000 visitors since last summer, a fair number of them college students born well after Woodstock. A roadside monument there regularly logs visitors from around the planet.

“It’s almost a pilgrimage,” said Wade Lawrence, director of the Museum at Bethel Woods. “It’s like going to a high school reunion, or it’s like visiting a grave site of a loved one.”

From Lollapalooza to All Points West, there have been plenty of big festivals focused on youth culture. The continent-hopping Live Aid shows of 1985 did that and more, enlisting top names like U2 and Madonna to fight hunger in Africa. None have the cultural cachet of Woodstock. Who would ever ask a Generation X-er: “Were you really at Live Aid?”

People who went to Woodstock say the crowd set it apart as much as the music. The trippy anarchy of Woodstock has become legend: lots of nudity, casual sex, dirty (and muddy) dancing, open drug use. The stage announcer famously warned people to steer clear of the brown acid.

New U2 Album Due in March

December 19, 2008

It’s being reported that U2 has named their new album “No Line On The Horizon,” and will release it worldwide in early March. I for one can’t wait!

From Reuters:

The quartet’s 12th studio album was originally expected to be released by the end of this year, but the band announced in September that it would keep writing more tunes. Recording took place in Morocco, Dublin, New York and London.

Interscope Records will release “No Line On The Horizon” internationally March 2, and a day later in North America.

It marks the follow-up to “How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb,” which was released in late 2004 and went on to sell 9 million copies worldwide, according to Interscope. It also garnered U2 their second album of the year Grammy, following 1987’s “The Joshua Tree.”

The new album was produced by long-time collaborators Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, with additional production by Steve Lillywhite. Tunes recorded in 2006 with producer Rick Rubin, the man behind Johnny Cash’s comeback, have been jettisoned.

The Police Ride Off Into the Sunset

August 10, 2008

151 shows later and $358,825,665 richer, The Police have wrapped up their final tour, capping it off with a final performance at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Thursday night. The band played many of their all time greatest hits on their set list including: Message in a Bottle, Wrapped Around Your Finger, Every Little Thing She Does is Magic, Roxanne and Every Breath You Take. They also played covers of Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze” and Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love”. The tour was the third highest grossing tour of all time according to Billboard Magazine.

From the article:

The final gross puts it only behind the Rolling Stones’ 2005-2007 A Bigger Bang tour ($558 million), and U2’s 2005-2007 Vertigo tour ($389 million), and ahead of the Stones’ 1994-95 Voodoo Lounge tour ($320 million), according to Boxscore.

Bassist/vocalist Sting, guitarist Andy Summers and drummer Stewart Copeland began the proceedings with a surprise cover of Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love.” Afterward, the New York Police Department band augmented normal set-opener “Message in a Bottle.”

There was only an intermittent amount of sentimentality to the show, with Sting at one point telling the crowd, “It’s been a huge honor to get back with my good friends. The real triumph of this tour is that we haven’t strangled each other — that doesn’t mean it hadn’t crossed my mind.”

The tour, the band’s first live performances since 1986, began May 28, 2007, in Vancouver and sold 3,300,912 tickets from 146 shows, plus five festivals, according to Live Nation.

Here is the set list from the MSG show:

“Sunshine of Your Love”
“Message in a Bottle”
“Walking on the Moon”
“Demolition Man”
“Voices Inside My Head” / “When the World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What’s Still Around”
“Don’t Stand So Close to Me”
“Driven To Tears”
“Hole in My Life”
“Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic”
“Wrapped Around Your Finger”
“De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da”
“Invisible Sun”
“Can’t Stand Losing You” / “Reggatta de Blanc”

Encore one:
“Purple Haze”
“Roxanne”
“King of Pain”
“So Lonely”
“Every Breath You Take”

Encore two”
“Next To You”

I never had the opportunity to see The Police live. A major part of that may have been the high ticket prices for this final tour. If only we could go back to the days when you could actually afford to go see your favorite bands play. Thoughts?