Tuesday, August 27, 2013

"Hide what you have to hide and tell what you have to tell."

Concert going has always been a passion of mine and when I had the chance to combine my other big passion, writing, along with it, it was a natural fit.

Because of my writing I have gotten to see a ton of bands I might not have otherwise over the last few years and there are very few of my favorite bands/musicians that I have not gotten to see at one time or another.

Earlier this summer I was able to scratch Metallica off of that list and on Thursday, I finally got a chance to see the legendary Depeche Mode when they kicked off their U.S. tour here in Michigan at Pine Knob (DTE).

The long wait was definitely worth it as the band played a passionate two hour set full of their biggest hits, some rarely played gems and a number of songs off of their latest album, Delta Machine.

Classics like "Enjoy The Silence", "Personal Jesus" and "Policy of Truth" drew the biggest crowd reactions but some of the newer material like "Soothe My Soul" also got the crowd moving and singing along.

The band sounded great and they had a fantastic production behind them with eye catching visuals and eye popping lighting and lasers.

Frontman Dave Gahan has not lost any of his energy as he pranced and swayed from one end of the stage to the other and he clearly still relishes his sex symbol status.

Guitarist and chief songwriter, Martin Gore, also had his moment in the spotlight performing "Higher Love" and "But Not Tonight" back to back and returning later in the encore set with a heartfelt rendition of "Home".

The set also found the band pulling out their hit "Just Can't Get Enough", which had been left off their set list for many years and began with Gahan egging on the crowd with, "Do you know this song?"

Depeche Mode closed with a  five-song encore that wrapped with "Never Let Me Down" and an enduring image of everyone in the packed pavilion and on the lawn swaying with their arms raised.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

"Stuck it out this far together. Put our dreams through the shredder."

Been a crazy weather Summer here in Michigan and the last two months have been some of the rainiest on record.

The weather has made it hard to make any firm plans but I have been trying to get out and see some of the many big shows that have swung through recently.

Planned on seeing America a couple of weekends ago but after trying to set up during numerous storms a number of times, the band finally had to cancel the show all together.

After a couple of hours of running in and out of the Renaissance Center, everyone was pretty disappointed to say the least.

The annual Stars and Stripes Festival, which moved to Freedom Hill in Sterling Heights this year, was also plagued by the rain, forcing a lot of acts to rearrange their set times.

Critical Bill had to shorten their set that Friday and found a much thinner crowd by the time they finally hit the stage.  The band is releasing a new album this Fall and should be announcing a cd release show shortly.

Randy Travis played that night in the actual amphitheater and sounded great.  Kind of cool to hear all those songs I used to love as a kid live.  Reminded me of spending time with my grandmother listening to the radio.

Ended up being memorable because just a week later Travis was rushed to the hospital with heart problems where he also suffered a stroke.  He was released yesterday but there's no telling when or if he will be back out on the road again.

Before the show I ended up talking to a huge fan outside the theater who introduced me to Travis' guitar player, who was super nice and seemed to really be enjoying getting a chance to talk to the fans.

The storms delayed Collective Soul's set but they hung around and waited and managed to make it to the stage and they really rocked the place pulling out everything you can imagine.

Saturday, Detroit's own Kaleido drew a pretty large crowd for such a early set. 

Everlast also played the main stage.

And then I finally got to see Halestorm blow the stage up.

Had to miss out on Rockstar Mayhem this year but am in the process of setting up a number of interviews with some of the bands. 

Got to do two really amazing interviews last month with the Goo Goo Doll's John Rzeznik and The Cult's Chris Wyse.  (http://www.examiner.com/article/goo-goo-dolls-bring-positivity-to-tour-with-matchbox-twenty and http://www.examiner.com/article/the-cult-s-chris-wyse-reflects-on-his-career-and-owl-s-new-album).

Both guys are really knowledgeable and had a lot to say.  It's always great when the problem is trying to decide what to use when it is published rather than trying to figure out how to create a article out of nothing.