Here's a flier for a show in a week. It's bound to be a delightful show, but I can't understand why I've received at least 6 comments regarding Mary Hartman since I posted it an hour ago. Kerri Harrop mentioned Mary Hartman to me earlier this afternoon which was the inspiration to use her image, but I've received four emails stating that people just hated that television show. Dan Paulus referred to it as "unnerving". Hugh Elliott revealed, "OMG, I LOVED THIS SHOW SO MUCH!"
by Jen Graves
on Sat, Feb 20, 2010 at 2:24 PM
People like likable.
Yesterday was a big day for Bon Jovi. They kicked off their Circle World Tour—circle as in, that's the name of their new record, and circle as in, we are all in this together and we should hold hands in a circle (JBJ has been campaigning for social causes and lefty candidates since 2000, and the new record is an Issues Record)—with two solid hours of soft hard rock at what JBJ called "Key West Arena," they stood in solidarity as shredder Richie Sambora insisted on wearing feathers, and they learned from a neon yellow sign held up by someone in the cheap seats that "I AM NAMED JOVI SAMBORA." Jovi Sambora, that is a serious condition you have.
My camera's battery died before they took the stage, but I couldn't have beaten this anyway. RIGHT?
It was a great concert, frankly. People love a Bon Jovi, and for good reason. Jon, who'll be 48 next month, is still a nice guy with the face and body of a heartbreaker. He's earnest and deeply likable. He also has a lovably awkward way with his own butt and legs. (The top half of his body, including his head and his eternally lustrous hair, is fairly spectacular and moves properly.) The rest of the band is out of central casting: the poodle keyboardist (remember him?!), the tough-guy sunglassed drummer, and then Richie, the sorta bad boy who was married to Heather Locklear and dated Denise Richards and has trouble with the booze.
"I want to thank you very much for your friendship," Jon announced to the crowd of, what, about 17,000? He was so comfortable onstage, and so excited and grateful to be back arena-rocking it. At one point he actually asked the audience, during the encore, if any people remaining in their seats would "do me the honor of standing up?" (He's on a roll; last week he was on "30 Rock." He also checked out a homeless shelter as a model for his own foundation's charity work while he was in Seattle, which I wrote about here.) And his voice is as melodious-yet-husky as ever. He sang his heart out this kickoff night (I worried about tonight!).
There were songs from the new record, songs from the very first record in 1984 ("that's like showing somebody your baby pictures," Jon said after "Roulette" and "Shot Through the Heart"), songs from "New Jersey" (Richie sang "Homebound Train" for the first time in concert, and he was great and gruff and bluesy), and, of course, what everybody was hoping for—songs from "Slippery When Wet."
Thing is, the guys didn't seem tired or washed up at all.
There were two major highlights: Jon doing Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah"—if there's one major difference between Bon Jovi now and Bon Jovi then, it's that they're more musical now; they actually seem musically capable of more, despite older throats and fingers and whatnot—and the final number, which, of course, was "Livin' on a Prayer."
The beauty of that song, aside from the beauty of the song WHICH IS CONSIDERABLE (I have strong, strong feelings on this subject), is that it demonstrates that this band's seeming newfound social activism on behalf of working and poor people isn't actually new—Tommy had his six string in hock way back in the day, somewhere not far from where these guys are from in New Jersey.
So if you're debating going tonight, do it. There are still tickets left from what I can gather over at the Bon Jovi web site. You'll get ridiculous Bolshevik graphics and cheesy montages and heartfelt cliches, and it will all be just great. Unless somebody gets named Jovi Sambora.
If you want to see a photo and a set list, check out Ernest Jasmin's coverage here or a slew of photos of the concert at Back Beat Seattle.
by Brian Cook
on Tue, Nov 11, 2008 at 12:10 PM
November 8th 2008
There were two people in the venue that night that spoke English remarkably well. Winds up they were from Columbus, Ohio. They were an American noise band named Sword Heaven. I had never heard of them before. They were remarkably polite and soft-spoken.
The drummer mentioned that they did a couple of dates with Skinny Puppy. The shows apparently did not go over very well. According to one hateful email, the band was too fat and should focus on eating more cheeseburgers instead of making music. The drummer bared a striking resemblance to Zach Galifianakis.
Sword Heaven usually play on the floor, but the venue was too crowded. So the two-piece set up their portable PA system, drum set, four-track tape machine, and assorted electronics on stage. Then the drummer took his shirt off, tied a rope tethered to three broken cymbals around his ankle, and began to drunkenly stumble and weave through the crowd while growling, moaning, and barking. The cymbals clattered and screeched across the cement floor. On stage, the other half of the duo brandished a metal pipe outfitted with a guitar strap and a contact mic. He dragged a piece of scrap metal along the inside of the pipe, creating a Godzilla-like howl. The drummer finished his rounds through the audience, crawled back on stage, and duct taped a contact mic to his throat. His indecipherable animal sounds suddenly became amplified demonic roars. He picked up a pair of mallets and began to beat the drums. The drum set was worn to shit, but they were outfitted with triggers that made each hit seem impossibly huge and blown out. There was no tempo, no beat, no patterns; just spontaneous bouts of thunder with distorted shrieking on top. The scrap metal player made tape loops while they played, creating strange echoes and Doppler effect pitch shifts. One of the house PA speakers blew.
It was a disturbing and unsettling half hour. The crowd crept to the back of the room, but remained transfixed throughout the performance.