Great Summer fun with some great outdoor fests featuring classic legends, up & commers & everything in between!
As Summer winds down but we are staying cool with these great shows.
LoneStar 92.5 Bo & Jim Bash w/ Foreigner, Cheap Trick & more - August 18th - Starplex Amphitheater - Dallas, TX
Ok so every year popular morning radio hosts Bo & Jim from Lone Star's 92.5 Classic Rock station throw their annual shindig with a usually pretty stacked lineup for their listeners & even perform themselves with a cover band made up of friends & associates.
This year also included Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience but thanks to a snafu at Will Call we didn't make it until right as the mighty Cheap Trick was taking stage:
Though they may have been around for over 40 years Cheap Trick is NOT an oldiest act. My definition of that is a band that no longer makes any original music, the majority of it's performers are not original members & tour on the back of their residual catalog.
That would not define Cheap Trick in anyway, still touring like teenagers with 100+ shows a year & just released a fantastic new LP appropriately titled We're All Alright.
-That they were indeed as singer Robin Zander still has one of the best voices in Rock N Roll & they show zero sign of slowing down.
On Top of the World
Long Time Coming
I Know What I Want
Stop This Game
I Want You to Want Me
Ok so up next was Foreigner, the headliner who are celebrating 40 years as a band. To my (limited) knowledge they would completely fit the description of the Oldiest act I described above & cynically we thought we'd catch a few songs & split.
We couldn't have been more wrong as this was perhaps the most rocking show all Summer & one of the most kickass & just plain enjoyable rock shows I've ever seen.
Kicking off with a high-energy Double Vision, they moved from hit to hit with ease in its well-paced set. With back-to-back hits including Head Games, Cold as Ice, & Dirty White Boy, it was like a classic rock radio station brought to life. Like every song was a hit - I wasn't sure how many Foreigner songs I actually knew but each song I kept thinking "Well I know this one" & it just kept coming.
Mick Jones at 73 years young came out looking healthy and playing spot-on guitar and keyboards with the group he created. And while the rest of the band aren’t original members (though they had just reunited with all surviving original members a few weeks back in NYC) they’ve all been there for a long time at this point I came to learn. Lead singer Kelly Hansen joined when Jones resurrected the band in 2005 and has been there ever since & their bass player is freaking Jeff Pilson from Dokken!
The issue I was originally taking was the absence of singer Lou Gramm but Hansen was the SHIT who seems to possess unlimited energy. He never stopped moving, dancing and working the crowd as he hit all of the notes perfectly.& sounded so good and so close to the originals.
Wrapping up their set with a knockout encore of I Want to Know What Love Is with a full local middle school choir and Hot Blooded, they left the crowd fully satisfied that it had heard all of the songs it wanted to hear, and had heard them done well, with solid musicianship and awesome showmanship.
Cold as Ice
Waiting for a Girl Like You
Blue Morning, Blue Day
Dirty White Boy
Feels Like the First Time
Juke Box Hero
I Want to Know What Love Is
Bedford Blues Fest w/ Buddy Guy - September 1st-3rd - Bedford,TX
A staple of Summer for as far as I can remember after living in this part of Texas off & on for over 25 years is the Bedford Blues Fest held not in Dallas or Fort Worth but right here in good 'ol Mid-Cities.
Wheras I'm proud to call myself a reoccuring figure of this fine festival, the title of true stalwart goes to legendary Bluesman Buddy Guy.
If I've been to this event more than 10 times over the Labor Day Weekend through the years I think Buddy has headlined most (or all) of them & this time was no different & we aren't complaining. He was in fine form if not a little worried minded as his demeanor suggested concern for all the woes for the current state of baffling dysfunction this country is currently experiencing.
This festival has grown also into a BBQ competition & they were some fine pitmasters onsite churning out some certainly award winning dishes.
Wanna thank the fine folks from the City of Bedford (especially Natalie Foster) for having us & treating us to such great hospitality.
Honda Civic Tour w/ One Republic & more - September 11th - Starplex Amphitheater - Dallas, TX
The 2017 Honda Civic Tour is now in its 16th year and the traveling tour continues to pack in audiences across the country every year with a variety of top notch names. This year's edition features James Arthur, Fitz and the Tantrums and headliners OneRepublic.
Brutal Texas summer heat didn't stop a largely diverse crowd from packing into the venue. OneRepublic started what essentially amounted to a hit dance party as they pulled out one radio single after another to the delight of the swaying crowd.
They started things off with "Stop and Stare," "Secrets," and "Kids," and just relentlessly hit the audience with one hit after another, that they were compelled to sing along to. The band's massive light and laser show and frontman Ryan Tedder's boundlesss energy and enthusiasm kept the crowd entertained and kept their own energetic level on high throughout. The encore included the band's signature "Counting Stars" and the popular "Love Runs Out".
Fitz and the Tantrums and James Arthur kicked off the show with solid sets each that featured Arthur's hits "Say You Won't Let Go," "Impossible," and "Can I Be Him."
Fitz and the Tantrums burst onto the stage and in spite of the heat, which had to be affecting frontman Michael “Fitz” Fitzpatrick and vocal partner Noelle Scaggs, who were sporting heavy white jumpsuits, they kept the pedal to the metal for the whole set.
Then of course the tour was to promote the new Honda Civic model & also Honda's new CR-2 motorcylce.
Faster Pussycat 30th Anniversary Tour - July 7th - Trees - Dallas, TX
Earlier in the Summer during 4th of July Weekend the Faster Pussycat 30th Anniversary tour rolled on visiting the DFW area for the third time in less than a year (& no one is complaining). While they too have had their numerous lineup changes over the years & only frontman Taime Downs remains from the bands late 80's heyday, much like Foreigner above the current lineup has been solid longer than the original one was & this version of Faster Pussycat is still kicking much ass.
Downe’s is no spring chicken from the spandex-wearing, high-hair glory days, but can still sing with the nasally cat-scratch shriek like he did back in the late-’80s. At this point that’s all the fans want, even if they all look like sleazy biker dudes with a million miles on their tires.
Songs like Cathouse and Slip of the Tongue still retain their immature sexed-up charm & power ballad House of Pain (with Downe crouched down on a litup arrow) may have been the best thing heard all night - "Enjoy them while they are here, because when their gone, their gone" - Glad these guys are still here.
Jack the Bastard
Slip of the Tongue
Number 1 With a Bullet
The Power and the Glory Hole
Shooting You Down
Don't Change That Song
House of Pain
You're So Vain (Carly Simon cover)
Bathroom Wall (w/Deep in the Heart of Texas - Alvino Rey cover)
Sin City (AC/DC cover) (Chad Stewart on vocals)
Chinese Rocks (The Heartbreakers cover) (Ace Von Johnson on vocals)
Pretty Fucked Up (Supersuckers cover) (Danny Nordhal on vocals)
Shut Up and Fuck (Betty Blowtorch cover)