strumzilla

​A blog/journal about my life and the stuff I like. Popular subjects include music, guitars, gear, books, movies, video games, technology, humor.

Filtering by Tag: Jazz

NGD...335 Style

I got Household 6 approval and worked out a deal for about 10% off from Sweetwater, so next week I'll be the proud owner of a Classic White ES-335. It's not precisely the Alex Lifeson guitar, but it's very close in spirit and actually more to my aesthetic preference all things considered. I'll break it in appropriately with some Alex flavored licks and excerpts. It should fill a nice niche that's been empty in my arsenal, a semi hollow body that will allow me to cover a wide array of tones. 

Guitartastic… (Collage de Stubs 05/06)

were the years of 2005 & 2006. My "Triad of Guitar Ascendancy" (that's copyrighted, but feel free to quote it) includes Eric Johnson, Tommy Emmanuel, and Pat Metheny; in these two years I was able to see all three of them. Over one weekend I saw Tommy play twice and also attended a four hour workshop where it was Tommy and about fifteen of his truly dedicated fans in a small jazz lab.  He started the workshop off by saying "Let's bless the room" and launched into Amazing Grace, and I was overwhelmed. I can't describe what it's like to be sitting about 3 feet away from Tommy when he starts playing in a room so quiet you could hear a mouse breathing. 

The Pat Metheny Group show was the best I have attended out of the five times I've seen him. He started the show by playing "The Way Up" which is an entire album in one song. That song is among the most important American compositions of the last ten years and it's truly meant to be heard live. In a time of ever shortening attention spans, a single composition that lasts nearly an hour (and not by trick or gimmick, it's a fully developed piece that should be that long) is a criticism of the current culture and a perfect response to the hit single mentality of the music business. I think the song has relevance outside of music as well, since anything worthwhile in life takes time and attention.  Not one to short change the audience, the group commenced to perform for an additional two hours featuring songs from every era, including tunes like "Lone Jack", "Song for Bilbao", and "Are You Going With Me". It was a very satisfying experience and I was lucky enough to talk with and get an autograph from Antonio Sanchez (drummer), Gregoire Maret (harmonica, vocals, percussion), and Nando Lauria (guitar, percussion, vocals) after the show.  

Billy Idol is much better in a smaller venue as compared to when I saw him in 1986 at Reunion Arena. Having just released what I think is his best studio album thus far, his set list was quite good as well. It was general admission but we got there in time to have spots right against the stage on Steve Stevens side. Aeyong had her first near-groupie experience as she seemed to spark a little interest from Steve and he smiled at her several times during the show. I managed fist bump from Billy during "Dancing with Myself"  and was content with that :).  

Finally, in 2006 we got to see a full length Eric Johnson set at Juanita's in Little Rock. I have previously posted a detailed review of the 2007 show, and the 2006 set was similar. The sound levels were a little bass heavy and loud overall, but it was still great to see Eric live (from 5 feet away). As Eric was walking offstage, I was able to get him to sign a Guitar Player from 1986 that I had kept all these years (see honey, sometimes being a fanboy packrat pays off) (ok, it was just the one time). 

 

 

Oh, Sweet Nectar (Collage de Stubs 2003/04)…

Didn't realize how much I missed live music until Steely Dan took the stage at Smirnoff/Dallas in 2003. The notable shows were the acts we had never seen live before including Eric Johnson, Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac, Sarah Mclachlan, and Norah Jones.  The most enjoyable show for me was easily the Rush 30th Anniversary Tour show. Well documented with a DVD shot in Germany, this tour show was over 3 hours long split into two sets and featuring deep album cuts from all their various eras. Just a great show on all levels from the set list, to the sound, to the production (lighting, sets, etc.) and as usual the videos were always entertaining, whether serious, atmospheric, or funny.

Also notable was the Eric Clapton Crossroads festival where I got to see Eric Johnson, Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, Steve Vai, Robert Cray and many other great players.  Too bad it was a festival and all the sets were short. In a bit of self-indulgence (kinda the theme of the site just this once, promise) I pasted a screen capture from the Crossroads DVD showing me in the audience during the Saturday show which featured EJ among others. (That's me behind the Crossroads ticket stub) (Damn, I look good) Fleetwood Mac was also especially good, due in part to great seats, but mostly to the band just being really tight and well produced.  They also had a great set list and I must admit that I didn't miss Christine McVie as all of my favorite FMac songs are by Buckingham and Nicks. Steely Dan and Sarah McLachlan (MIA on the ticket stubs since they were internet tickets, wahhhh) were both great shows as well, and we were both very happy to finally see them live. I had been wanting to see Steely Dan for over twenty five years (FMac too) so it was great to finally get the opportunity.

Sting was a bit of a snoozer, unfortunately.  He was good on his first solo tour in 1985, and I imagine the "Soul Cages" tour would have been great as well. At this point he is going on about 3 albums in a row that have more forgettable than great songs, so the highlights were mostly his older material and the Police stuff of course.  He did play "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic", so that was great to hear.  

 


 

The End of an Era (Collage de Stubs 87-92)…

Here are the dying gasps of my teenage concert going years and a lone Metheny show from 92 when I was stationed in Kentucky and lucky enough to attend a show in Louisville. With the exception of the Metheny show, I wouldn't attend one concert from 1988 through 2003, mostly due to the remote bases where I was stationed. After transferring to Oklahoma for school in 2003, we decided to try and start seeing more shows in OKC and Dallas. I've now decided that no matter where I'm posted, I will try very hard to attend shows with bands/artists that I really like.