Though we skipped SXSW this year to take a break after an already insane year, we stayed plenty busy this month.
Catching up with some of faves from the 90s that are still going strong + innovators & the world of Hip-Hop, Funk, Metal & beyond.
Beck - March 23rd - Toyota Music Factory - Irving, TX
We were just talking about Beck the other day & checking out his new LP Colors a rejuvenating foray into full-blown pop, when it occurred to me that I've only seen Beck perform twice & the last time was 1997.
Now I've been all over the world & lived in NYC & LA during that generational span of time so it never occurred to me that now back in my hometown of Dallas that he doesn't play here that often & this show was something of a rare appearance. A reality he acknowledged early in the show:
“It’s been a long time — much too long, We’re going to try and make up for lost time tonight.”
Beck Hansen is 47 now and doesn’t seem to have aged appreciably (notwithstanding the occasional unforgiving close-up in high-def) in the interim between dominating MTV with his year-end fave list & decade-defining Odelay LP, though his publicist still made me shoot the show from the soundboard.
Before the set started I worried if I was gonna be familiar with any of the material or if he still remembers that stuff. I was completely blown away the first five songs all came from when his left-field music saturated the airwaves. Kicking off with powerful live versions of Devils Haircut & Black Tambourine, then The New Pollution, Que Onda Guero & Mixed Bizness, a dazzling showcase for his particular strain of boundary-blind alt-rock.
Seven band members, all of whom breathed life into the singer-songwriter’s famously dense compositions, backed Beck. The man himself alternated between electric and acoustic guitar, often forgoing any instruments at all to roam the stage and whip the room into something resembling wildness.
“That was a party,” Beck observed after he and the band brought “Loser” to a crashing close.
Opening the show was Twin Shadow who has amassed a strong body of work over the course of his relatively brief career, enough so that an hour show can be presented without lulls or giveaway tracks.
I’m Ready” sounded as confident as the rallying cry of its title. Lewis & Co. clearly has a lot of support from Warner Brothers at the moment & we are all better for it.
The Toadies w/ Helmet - March 2nd - The Bomb Factory - Dallas, TX
As the 90's nostalgia continues (see above) two of my faves, old friends The Toadies & the unstoppable Helmet takes to the stage and immediately get the party started with tracks from their early years before showcasing several tracks from their most recent 2016 album Dead To The World.
And they just kept pounding, I was really wanting the light guy to fuck off with this annoying spotlight into the crowd that wasn't doing anything but turning people off, but with my eyes closed even I could feel how powerful Helmet was as they kicked into high gear.
Life or Death
Exactly What You Wanted
Drunk in the Afternoon
I ♥ My Guru
Like I Care
In all fairness you can't really call either one of the bands nostalgic acts because they never really stopped & continue to make great albums. Sure their most critical & monetary success in the mainstream came during that time but still kicking ass & the case of the Toadies, they may be more popular now than they've ever been, certainly that's the case in Texas where they have established themselves of something of a Classic Rock outfit that is your birthright as a Texas to witness at least once.
Though I've seen them probably a hundred times since, it also occurred to me that I hadn't seen the Toadies in this building since the night 1995 became 1996 during the Bomb Factory's original run in the mid 90s. They struck back hard last year with The Lower Side of Uptown that this rollicking set featured most of.
Push the Hand
When I Die
Mama Take Me Home
Song I Hate
You'll Come Down
I Want Your Love
You Know the Words
Take Me Alive
I Come From the Water
Hell in High Water
Hell Below / Stars Above
Pressed Against the Sky
Broke Down Stupid
I Put a Spell on You (Screamin’ Jay Hawkins cover)
U-God of Wu Tang Clan - March 13th - The Rail Club - Fort Worth, TX
On his way to SXSW in Austin, U-God from the legendary Wu-Tang Clan stops in for a rare show mid week at an obscure club out in the sticks of Fort Worth. So it was no surprise that the attendance was less than scarce. About 40 faithful showed up to hear tracks from his new LP Venom set to drop at the end of the month.
He was very appreciative of the audience no matter the size - "I respect what I got & all of you are my hardcores & I appreciate yall being here" - A busy man he also has his long-awaited tell-all book RAW coming out soon & after reading an excerpt from the book this is going to really fill in some much info about the dysfunction of the rap collective. Hopefully we will have U-God on TrickyKid Radio soon to discuss.
Mixmaster Mike - March 17th - Lava Cantina - The Colony, TX
And speaking of TrickyKid Radio, we had a blast welcoming Mixmaster Mike to our show while he was in town for a super fun St Patrick's Day celebration!
Earlier that day, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Mike for a great talk that if you click the above link you can check out for yourself, Lot of great info & stories you might not have heard before. That evening, as you can tell by the above photo, he blows the roof of the place with a full on-assault that covered Rock, Hip-Hop, Metal, Punk & everything in between.
He takes on the wheels of steel for Cypress Hill this Summer, look for tour dates & check out our episode with one of the most innovative personalities in the world.
George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic - March 3rd - House of Blues - Dallas, TX
For the second straight year, George Clinton and his Parliament-Funkadelic hit the road for the funk legends' Mardi Gras Madness Tour. The legendary songwriter, bandleader, and record producer, at 76 years young, put on a rapturous, stunning, extraterrestrial funk fest The audience of Clinton and his band Parliament Funkadelic was a delightful mix of the aged and the not-so-aged, all races and walks of life, but essentially the young at heart.
On a personal note, last Spring was my girlfriend (now fiancee') first date & I took her to see Parliament/Funkadelic & being recently engaged, this was a special celebration for us. The show was amazing & they dug deep into the setlist, however a major critique would have to be that the actual sound (particularly the volume) perhaps not the fault of the band, though I'd be quick to defend the staff here as they have been long trusted professionals that I've known personally for years.
The sound was so loud at times it became distorted & while this may sound like an easy fix, at a P-Funk show, the music never stops so if theirs problems you are forced to endure them. Still couldn't believe Blackbird did all of Maggot Brain & it made it all worth it.
Added for this tour was Brandi Scott a striking (& quite resourceful) dancer (barely) dressed in current EDM Festival attire shamelessly self-promoting as she would often walk onto the stage with a giant sign that had her Instagram account of nakid87 on it (when she wasn't taking selfies on the wings of the stage).
Get Off Your Ass and Jam
Cosmic Slop - 1973
Pole Power - 2014
Baby Like Fonkin' It Up - 2014
Get Low - 2014
(Not Just) Knee Deep
Ain't That Funkin' Kinda Hard on You? - 2014
One Nation Under a Groove - 1978
Maggot Brain - 1971
Dirty Queen - 2014
Alice in My Fantasies
Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)
I'm Gon Make U Sick O'Me
Steel Panther - March 22nd - House of Blues - Dallas, TX
There’s not much we can say about Steel Panther that we hasn’thaven't already said before.
Readers of this site know, we have been covering them since their inception & for several years in LA, we went to their Sunset Strip residency every Monday for weeks at a time. When they first came onto the scene back in 2009 you didn’t know if these guys were for real, or if they were a comedy show. As we all grew to either love them we realized that this was a comedy act playing a part as if they were a modern day Spinal Tap. Their lewd sexual jokes, their lycra trousers, ripped T-shirts and big hair all came as a bit of a shock to today’s pretty boy rock stars. Fast forward 9 years and Michael Starr and co are still churning out great albums of super fun albeit sexually explicit glam metal.
This being said, you don’t exactly go to a Steel Panther show, unless you know what you are going for. You go to the show because you are expecting the sexual deviance, the toilet humor, the bad hair, & juvenille behavior. You get all this in truck loads. Two songs into the set and we are delivered the first of the seemingly rehearsed comic routines between Starr and Satchel, all the whilst Lexxi re applies his lip gloss. There is no denying the musical genius within these four. Starr and Satchel possess enough talent on their own instrument to rival any of the greats throughout rock history. They have put in the miles & deservedly are going to continue to squeeze every moment they can out of their success. And hey, why so serious? Let's have some fun, as this tour is designed to celebrate the history of very era that they parody/worship. What that means however for the setlist is more covers & less originals which is kinda a drag cause I love their original material. However in showcasing well-known songs, it becomes live karaoke which for them translates that the girls are gonna hear the songs they love & sing them with the band when their invited onstage.
Eyes of a Panther
Goin' in the Backdoor
Jump (Van Halen cover)
Round and Round (Ratt cover)
Crazy Train (Ozzy Osbourne cover)
Hot for Teacher (Van Halen cover) (Fan from audience on drums)
Just Like Tiger Woods
Girl From Oklahoma
Livin' on a Prayer (Bon Jovi cover)
Pour Some Sugar on Me (Def Leppard cover)
Death to All but Metal
Party All Day (Fuck All Night)