Sunday, August 26, 2012

John Mayer Trio and John Mayer Live Albums

I've never been into live albums as a rule generally.  I've never been into them for some reason.  But that's not to say that there are not any good live albums.  I just have yet to discover them I guess.  Three that I like are Eagle's "Hell Freezes Over," Coldplay's "LeftRightLeftRightLeft," and "Score" by Dream Theater.

Now there is an album by the John Mayer Trio that I first heard while attending Covenant Bible College (CBC).  "Try" is a spectacular live album.  This album features hits by John Mayer.  I recently downloaded it and it's still a great album.  The musicianship is phenomenal.  John Mayer and his sweet his guitar playing is why he is in my top ten guitarists.  The way he makes sweet love to his guitar (inside joke with my friend Mark) is just so awesome to listen to.

As I said, they some of John Mayer's hits.  They played "Daughters," "Gravity," and cover a Ray Charles song entitled "I Got a Woman" to name a few.  If you are a John Mayer you'll dig the tunes that are played on this album.  It's a good selection of songs.  You can't go wrong with the songs picks for this album.

My friend Mark and I have this inside joke about this album about a couple of things on the album.  These things are part of what makes the album so good.  I can't describe it good enough it to do it justice.  You'll have to listen to the album and see if you can figure out these things are that I'm referring to.

Where the Light Is: John Mayer Live in Los Angeles is another great album that features John Mayer hits and covers.  This is a two CD set and DVD.  The two CDs are broken up into acoustic set, John Mayer Trio set, and John Mayer Band set.  It features a lot of hits and songs like "Daughters," "Gravity," "Waiting on the World to Change," "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room," "Why Georgia," "Who Do You Think I Was," and many others.  It also features covers like "Free Falling" by Tom Petty, "I've Got Dreams to Remember" by Otis Redding, a blues standard entitled "Everyday I Hate the Blues," and a few Jimi Hendrix covers.

The acoustic set is a great change from his electric guitar work.  His cover of "Free Falling" was met with critical acclaim.  It is just that good.  I get you might not like the song "Free Falling," but this version I do.  His acoustic renditions of some of his songs are great.  Done in this way is a great change from the way he normally does them.  I knew the John Mayer Trio set would be good because of their live album "Try."  You can start with "Try" if you want.  I personally recommend starting with that album because it's a great starting point.  The album is capped off with the John Mayer Band set which is also very good.  You can't go wrong  with some John Mayer hits and a few covers.  The style Mayer he has weaved for himself is amazing.  The blues his does is just phenomenal.  It ends the two disc set very well.

I definitely recommend giving both albums a listen.  They are well worth it if you do.  They are just that good.  Blues, blues rock, rock, and a bit pop rock is a great way to go.  Even if you don't like live albums that much, these two you might!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Our Lady Peace Concert Review

On Thursday, I went to another concert at the Saskatoon EX.  This time it was the Canadian alternative rock band, Our Lady Peace.  A lot of non-Our Lady Peace fans or non-Canadians don't know who they are for the most part.  But they did a theme song for the late professional wrestler Chris Benoit and their 1997 album "Clumsy" is the one of the quintessential alternative rock albums of the 90s and of all-time.

I already knew beforehand that the crowd for this concert would be vastly different than Foreigner.  A lot more younger people in the crowd.  I felt old...  But nevertheless it was an awesome concert!

They played their classic songs like "Naveed," "4am," Superman's Dead," "One Man Army" (my all-tine favourite song by them), "Is Anybody Home," "Somewhere Out There," "Innocent, and many others.  I was wanting them to play "One Man Army" and of course they did.  It's such an awesome song.  Steve Mazur broke a string when they played "Clumsy."  He kept going till the end of the song which is the professional thing to do.

Rain Maida, the leader singer, has such a unique presence on stage.  He is like an enigma.  He has this presence on stage which makes him hard to figure out.  He isn't like a lot of other rock singers that run around the stage expending a lot of energy.  It's just incredible to watch him on stage.

They had images on this panels.  Which was pretty cool.  Some of images went along with the songs they played.  The sunset during "Paper Moon" was pretty cool.

We chanted drum solo and we got one.  I expected more from this drum solo.  It was decent at best.  I've seen better drum solos live and on DVD and whatnot.  Brian Tichy of Foreigner, his drum solo was made Jeremy Taggart's drum solo look like he just started playing drums.  Don't get me wrong, Taggart is a good drummer, but he needs to do better drum solos.

There was a lot of crowd surfing going on.  I don't crowd surf because on major rule of rock concerts is that fat bastards should not crowd surf.  But some did anyways.  A few of the crowd surfers almost made a splat on the ground.  The bassist, Duncan Coutts pointed in my direction.  I didn't know why he was.  Than a bunch of us got plowed into by a crowd surfer.  There was also mosh pits.  The first mosh pit was behind, but to the side of where I was.  Than later another mosh pit formed behind me.  Some chick got mad at me because I bumped into her.  But, she obviously didn't get that there was a mosh pit behind us.  I pushed a couple of people into the pit.  There was a mom at the barricade with her kid.  She got mad because she got bumped into.  So she threatens to punch people.  But she was at an Our Lady Peace concert at the very front.  What did she expect?  Dumbass...

I told my aunt at the wedding about the concert and she said she hoped there is no bad stories,. So I said no, there isn't.  But if you've heard my stories, you know this isn't true.

Overall, the show was awesome.  The only thing that wasn't good was the drum solo.  But I can overlook that because of how good the rest of the show was.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Foreigner Concert Review

This past Tuesday was the start of the Saskatoon Ex.  You may call it the fair, but we call it the Ex (short for exhibition) in Saskatoon.  The Ex always has concerts at the grandstands.  Over the years there have been some great ones pass through which I've missed.  But this year three great bands are coming through.  Well, ones that I would see.  On Tuesday, the legendary rock band Foreigner was the first band this week.  They did not disappoint.

Considering their age, they still got their chops.  They moved around the stage like they are in their 30s.  They had these little raised up platforms and the lead singer tripped and fell over one of them.  He even joked about it later in the show.  After he tripped he kept going which is the professional thing to do.  The lead singer also ran through the crowd while a solo was being played during one of the songs.  That was pretty awesome that he did that.

Speaking of solos, their were a lot of bad ass solos.  Guitar, saxophone, keyboard, and drum solos.  The drum solo blew my mind.  He even played the drums with his hands.  That was crazy good.  I've seen, not live, a number of drum solos, but this one ranks up there.  That's how good it was.  It's always good to show your chops on an instrument that isn't always a focal point like a guitar.  The keyboard/synthesizer solo was good too.

The songs choices were their classics obviously.  But there was one or two I didn't recognize.  But the rest I did.  "Jukebox Hero, "Hot Blooded," "Dirty White Boy," "Head Games," "Waiting for a Girl Like You," "Urgent," "Double Vision," "Feels Like the First Time," "I Wanna Know What Love Is," and a few others were played.  Classic, classic songs.  During "I Wanna Know What Love Is," they had the Tommy Douglas Collegiate senior choir perform with them which was cool.  Also before they got into the song, the lead singer said to put your arm around the person beside you.  I was just standing there and he looked at me and said "you have chops, but you have to put your arm around someone."  I thought him talking directly to me was awesome.  Also during "I Wanna Know What Love Is," there was a couple making out in the crowd behind me.  This lady behind me broke it up, but they want back to it.  Mick Jones, the leader singer, made a comment about that.

Overall, the concert was so bad ass.  They were just so good.  If you ever have the chance to see, I recommend you do.  You will not be disappointed.  I guarantee it!

Oh and yes, Mick Jones wailed!