Rock music has long been the genre of epic road trips: top down, wind in your hair, thrashing guitars pumping from the speakers. So, as summer gets closer and more and more of us pack up our trunk and hit the tarmac, having the right music to get you through the journey is essential.
In my life, I’ve made two life-altering decisions to relocate to a new area of our country and in both instances, after a hearty amount of research and a tremendous amount of reliance on my heart, I quickly grew to love my new homes.
There has been a flood of David Bowie everything this week, and rightfully so. His offering to the art world will be sorely missed.
He transformed the cultural landscape musically, and dramatically, touching all aspects of culture, fashion, and art. Many artists become artists with the assistance of inspiration of the Bowie aesthetic.
Thanksgiving Songs – Songs about “Thanks”
In honor of Thanksgiving, I started a list of great Thanksgiving songs. I got to my top three and the creative juices stopped; Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant,” Poi Dog Pondering’s “Thanksgiving” and Stephen Kellogg’s anthemic “Thanksgiving” offering are all strong Thanksgiving songs, but other than those three, only Adam Sandler’s horrible “Thanksgiving” came to mind. So, I shifted my focus to the Best Songs with “Thank” in the title, and one of the aforementioned makes the list. They’re not all beautiful, and often have nothing to do with gratitude, in fact most of them are more on the bitter side…
Destination Cleveland: The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame
I recently decided to escape the sweltering summer heat of Orlando for… well, the sweltering summer heat of Cleveland and made my first pilgrimage to the mecca of rock music, the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and Museum. What an amazing journey…
American Idol Performers Wow Florida
After 14 seasons, American Idol Live has tweaked its approach and in this, their penultimate year, they’ve nailed down a formula that works exceptionally well.
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The uber-talented Top 5 rolled into Melbourne’s King Center For the Performing Arts in Melbourne, and enjoyed their increased time under the spotlights. This was the third show of the nascent tour, and by this night, everything was running smoothly.
This year for the first time in the tour’s history, they’ve whittled down the traveling contingent from the Top 10 to the Top 5 and it was a fantastic decision. As a result of the more concentrated line-up, we get a much better glimpse into the talents of each musician as well as a compelling look into their backstories, as each Idol took a few minutes to share their own personal journeys.
Each of this year’s Top 5, had their share of moments on this evening, led by 2015 winner, Nick Fradiani and the rest of the crew, Clark Beckham, Jax, Rayvon Owen and Tyanna Jones. Under the new format, each singer had a chance to deliver a handful of riveting solo performances. All five of this year’s Idols boasted fantastic vocal performances, confirming that these five were clearly very deserving of their lofty status.
Our Facebook photo link: American Idol Concert Photos
The highlight of the night for me were the performances of the Top 3, particularly 2nd Place finisher Beckham and 3rd Place Jax.
Beckham has a personality built for the stage, and a voice beyond compare. He introduced himself with “I love singing for people, and I can’t ever remember music not being a part of my life,” and it showed. He delivered stunning versions of a Ray Charles inspired version of “Georgia On My Mind” and my favorite performance of the night, a killer version of Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason.” As I listened to his voice, I couldn’t help wondering how he’d sound singing a Robert Plant song – yeah, he’s got a special gift.
He also displayed an affable fun side comfortably perched behind his piano, as he slickly weaved in a few classic TV and advertising jingles. At one point, he said “Hi” to his guitar tech Tim, then shared “Tim is a great guitar tech; well, he’s the only guitar tech I’ve ever had, but I’m pretty sure he’s the best ever.”
The performer I was most anxious to see was Jax, the creative 20 year-old from New Jersey. She’s a charismatic singer with a distinctive, captivating voice and a rare ability to connect with her audience. Her range is impressive, as well, one second flying around the stage tearing through a rollicking version of “My Generation,” then minutes later absolutely nailing a precise, compelling rendition of Dido’s “White Flag.” Great stuff.
She stated she was more comfortable being on stage than being alone in her own bedroom, and it showed. She raced across the stage, jumped into the crowd, high-fived fans, smiled incessantly, took selfies, and generally bonded with the crowd and members of her dedicated JaxPack.
While you are here, check out our recent Jax interview here: Jax Speaks…
Fradiani’s offerings were just as good. It’s easy to see why he won this year’s competition, as he’s got a polished stage presence, dynamic voice and a personality built to perform. The highlight of his set was an original song that he penned with his former band “Beach Avenue.” He mentioned the roll of the dice Idol performers endure with their first single selected by the Idol team, but how pleased he was to be gifted a song like “Beautiful Life” which he nailed.
Owen and the 16 year-old Jones (from nearby Jacksonville) also displayed their exquisite voices. Although they are not great fits for a rock music website such as ours, they both delivered engaging performances, and boast bright futures. It was refreshing listening to the two performers share how important their family was to them and to the development of their budding careers.
In general, I found that the group performances fell kinda flat, but there were two notable exceptions. Jax offered “Something beautiful can come from a broken road” and the group delivered a stirring version of Rascal Flatts’ “Broken Road,” and later in the evening, they delivered a tremendous version of Sia’s Chandelier,” highlighted by Owen’s dulcet voice.
Joey Cook, one of this year’s more compelling characters opened the show with a quick ten minute set, where she quickly bonded with the crowd, while dishing out three excellent songs, including one of her all-time favorites “Dream A Little Dream,” an apt way to start the journey for these future stars.
We will have a slew of photos from the show and all six performers over the next day forthcoming on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@rarasfarm). Here’s the Facebook photo link: American Idol Concert Photos
Upcoming Florida Dates:
7/11/15 Orlando, FL Hard Rock Live
7/12/15 Ft. Myers, FL Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall
7/14/15 Fort Lauderdale, FL Parker Playhouse
7/15/15 Jacksonville, FL Florida Theater
See more at: http://www.americanidol.com/tour
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The Best Rock Bands Touring This Summer
A RARAsFarm look at a dozen “Can’t Miss” rock bands touring this summer.
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As we leap into June, and the dog days of summer, I took a look at the best live acts on the road today. There were many killer rock acts to choose from, including a few bands we have not previously seen, but we decided to limit the list to a dozen acts that we can personally vouch for as guaranteed to deliver a great rock ‘n roll music experience.
Here you go – twelve bands from very different rock music genres, but all twelve linked together as the top dozen live rock artists touring this summer; a dozen bands who put on a fantastic show every time they hit the stage.
I list them here in alphabetical order, but every one of these acts delivers a killer show every night, and they are all absolutely worth seeing.
|Neon Trees Photos||Frank Turner Photos||Matt & Kim Photos|
|Foo Fighters||Dave Grohl is one of the most dynamic front men around, and he’s got one hell of a catalogue of songs to play. The Foo Fighters are playing a bunch of stadiums on this tour, but I’d recommend one of their more intimate arena stops if you can swing it||Tour Dates ||
|Frank Turner||He just might be the best storyteller gracing the rock ‘n roll landscape today. Every show is a diverse, eclectic collection of wonderful songs from the punk rock icon turned rock ‘n roll troubadour. (Read our review)||Tour Dates | Review|
|Matt And Kim||Surely the most pop-infused artist on our list, but this talented couple dish out fun danceable rock music that is guaranteed to keep you moving. Matt Johnson on keys and drummer Kim Johnson are energetic, athletic, and fun to watch.||Tour Dates | Review|
|Neon Trees||They’ve had a few big hits, but these talented Alt-rockers truly shine during their killer stage shows, and the spotlight shines brightest on charismatic frontman Tyler Glenn who is one of the best live performers on the rock landscape today.||Tour Dates | Review|
|New Politics||Energetic Danish pop-punk that translates perfectly in their powerful live show. Acrobatic lead singer David Boyd flies around the stage, often sings from amidst the crowd and is guaranteed to deliver at least one headstand each show.||Tour Dates | Review|
|Nothing More||Industrial hard rock out of Texas with a very unique twist. This quartet does a lot of fun and dishes out unique stuff on stage, always delivering an entertaining and loud show. As an added bonus, they are touring with another great live act, Shinedown||Tour Dates | Review|
|Of Monsters And Men||One of the more mellow rock acts on the list, but the folksy Icelandic quintet always deliver a tight performance and sound perfect. Their unique blend of Indie rock is a joy to listen to and they pour out creative boy/girl rock onstage.||Tour Dates | Review|
|Paul McCartney||Sir Paul does not tour much, but when he does, it’s “Can’t Miss” rock personified. He is rock ‘n roll royalty, and in his 70’s, still delivers an amazing show every night. Three plus hours of engaging music from the greatest catalog ever and he still glides effortlessly through all of the offerings.||Tour Dates | Review|
|Radkey||Three young brothers who know how to rock. They’ve got a unique garage rock sound tinted with clear punk stylings. This trio is uber-talented despite the fact their average age is under twenty. Catch them now while they are still playing smaller venues.||Tour Dates | Review|
|Rolling Stones||You may have heard of these young guns out of England? They’re celebrating 50+ years of touring together and still boast the same line-up that first appeared 40 years ago! These guys are timeless and still deliver a great rock ‘n roll experience every time they storm the stage.||Tour Dates ||
|Super Bob||This Virginia quartet work their asses off; touring constantly and pouring themselves into every show. Frontman Matt Santoro is a fantastic entertainer, paired with three other maniacs who love playing live. Their blend of dancey hard rock is a guaranteed good time for any rock music fan.||Tour Dates | Review|
|21 Pilots||Hip hop meets alt-rock, and this duo have created a fantastic niche in the rock landscape. Aside from delivering catchy addictive music, these two guys fly around the stage and always deliver an engaging, interactive show.||Tour Dates | Review|
|21 Pilots Photos||Super Bob Photos||Nothing More Photos|
Okay, well if you made it this far in the article, you are obviously a rock music fanatic like the Rock And Roll Animals at RARAsFarm. Do us a big favor and like our Facebook page for future updates, rock news and photos. Thanks and please spread the word to other intelligent, creative, beautiful music fans like you 🙂