Friday, March 28, 2008

Joe Cocker and Steve Miller play at Summerfest Milwaukee

June 29th, the old school artists of Joe Cocker and Steve Miller come to Summerfest. All I can say is Huh? What? Did I read that right? Joe Cocker and Steve Miller. Joe Cocker's last top ten hit, was 25 years ago. Up Where We Belong was part of the soundtrack to the movie Officer And A Gentleman back in 1983. His only number 1 hit charted forty years ago!! As for Steve Miller, his last successful album charted back in 1982. That's not to say that these guys don't represent classic rock. It's just a surprise to me to see them on the big stage at Summerfest. That's the issue. Do we need more classic rock? When I find out about these concert announcements, I often wonder if anyone else is on tour? The side stages at Summerfest are host to any number of current artists that deserve to take a shot at the Marcus Amphitheater. If we are going to have Joe Cocker and Steve Miller play the Marcus Amphitheater, why not have them come at a time when Summerfest is over.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Michael Buble plays his super smooth jazz at The Resch Center

Michael Buble managed to nab two awards at the fourth annual Canadian Smooth Jazz awards. He walked away with vocalist of the year and best original composition for his famous song "Everything." I don't know if anyone actually listens to smooth jazz. Smooth Jazz is the music you hear while some cute hygienist is cleaning your teeth. Real jazz is the music you are proud to say you listen too. Smooth Jazz is the music you try to think over when the co-worker in the cubicle next to yours decides to turn up their radio. Mike plays Green Bay's Resch Center on April 23rd. The Resch Center ticket holders for that show are a range of young and old. Perhaps the snow will melt by the time Mr. Buble's dreamy smooth Jazz vocal styling drifts across the Resch Center and into the ears of all those Smooth Jazz fans.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Jimmy Buffet on July 19th at Alpine Valley Wisconsin

Parrotheads unite! Has it been one whole year since Jimmy Buffett graced the stage at Alpine Valley in Wisconsin? They will gather in the parking lots. They will drink fruity drinks in his honor. Some will attempt to pace themselves in hopes of seeing only one Jimmy Buffett on stage at Alpine Valley. Double vision is a bad thing when it comes from all the rum you drank in the hot, hot sun of south-central Wisconsin. The pool, made from the back of a man's pick-up truck will surely be full of babes. The vomit will rise, but you must keep it down. Sun burned, rum soaked, and sweaty, you must file into the venue to bow down in parrothead unison. For your god is Jimmy Buffett. Your overlord sings just a tinge off-key, but no matter, he has more cash than the earth has ocean water. You relish the moment, with your espadrilles flecked with mud and grass, and your eyes squinting in the setting sun. Jimmy Buffett plays Alpine Valley July 19th 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

New Van Halen Date is set for Bradley Center and Bruce Springsteen plays Milwaukee

The new Van Halen date for the Wisconsin Bradley Center tickets you have in hand is April 28th. So the bump over to the new date wasn't too bad, was it? Bruce Springsteen played at The Bradley Center last Monday night, and I heard that there was no big screen above the stage. That is surprising, because The Bradley Center is a very large venue. The Springsteen review for Milwaukee spoke more about the aging of the band, over the quality of the music. Bruce is pushing 60 years old. They can't all be Mick Jagger in their energy. Springsteen's latest disk is more about preaching. What energy to you put into a sermon? I'm still going to get an upper level ticket for Van Halen, just to watch the spectacle.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Stevie Wonder Summerfest

Stevie Wonder opens Summerfest 2008. I think that this is the sleeper show of the Summerfest lineup. Stevie Wonder has a fan base as broad as Tina Turner, or Elton John. The kicker is that Stevie Wonder hasn't played in Milwaukee for years. The Stevie Wonder appetite has not been satisfied. Other side stage shows have been announced as well. My future posts will comment on those shows. For now we leave you with Mr. Wonder. I remember an old clip I found on Youtube of Stevie Wonder playing the drums. He played a workmanlike job, but I prefer him on the keyboard and vocals.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Van Halen tour dates revised

From Mercury News - "A posting at, the band's official Web site, says the band is calling off shows so the guitarist "can continue medical tests to define a course of treatment." It also states that "rescheduled dates will be announced shortly." No, it's not about the partying, it's about being healthy. Van Halen wants to be out on the road, in front of their fans. They just need to give Eddie some time to heal. The Bradley Center will be shaking soon enough. Give Van Halen time and they will come to Milwaukee.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Spring shows or sports?

It's hard to think about going to a show this summer. It's hard to think that the weather will be warm enough to hang out along the Milwaukee River, after seeing a show at The Riverside Theater. With the snow piled high, it's hard to think that the Milwaukee Brewers will be playing baseball with the roof wide open. We made it to the top four most snowy winters in Milwaukee history. The snow kept me out of the clubs for the past two weeks, save for one benefit show in Racine. Spring will explode into form, seeing that March is 10 days in and the winter has an iron grip. Lastly, it looks like Van Halen may be rescheduled. It's not official, but that is the rumor.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Rilo Kiley at The Pabst Theater

Rilo Kiley comes to Milwaukee on Friday, May 23rd. It's a general admission show, so I'm fighting my way up to the first ten rows for sure. On the CD, Under The Blacklight, you will find the drummer to be playing some interesting hi-hat notes. Two former child actors are in the band: Jenny Lewis and Blake Sennett. When I listen to a Rilo Kiley CD, I hear songs that are fashioned to fit Jenny Lewis' vocal range. That's a good thing. We don't want singers trying to be something that they are not. With that, the song Dreamworld is sung by Senntt, as far as I can tell from the liner notes. Another interesting thing I hear on this disk is the bass drum. I have spent many a day in the recording studio, and I would love to know how they managed to capture the bass drum sound on the cd. It feels live, real, and mighty-good. Yes, the "B" side songs come up rather quickly, but that's ok. The world is full of B-side songs.

Jenny Lewis gets more recognition than the rest of the band. That's bound to happen. But when Sennett got his chance to shine, he certainly did. There are lots of guest musicians on this disk. The list includes Jackson Browne.
The Pabst Theater is a great venue for this show. See you at the Pabst on May 23rd.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

What's up with Turner Hall?

Turner Hall's Ballroom has settled into its own now. Funny thing, I don't know ANY of the bands coming through the venue. I must be getting old. Ok, perhaps I know a couple of the names on the website, but not many. That means nothing really. Just because I don't know who the bands are at Turner Ballroom, doesn't mean that they aren't popular acts. As long as they bands keep coming, I'm sure to find a reason to go to a show at Tuner Hall Ballroom. They have the same booking manager as The Riverside and Pabst Theater. That's a plus. The Riverside management has access to touring acts that just don't fit in the larger venues, but would be a perfect match for Turner Hall.