Tag Archives: Setlist

Kolars Show Review

Kolars at Will’s Pub – Orlando

Kolars are one of the most compelling acts to hit the rock music landscape in recent memory.  They serve up a delicious mix of distinctive music that is best described as Rockabilly Dance, or perhaps Danceabilly.  And, as I witnessed earlier this week, they deliver an incendiary live show.

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Here Come The Mummies

These days, we celebrate with reverence the amazing careers of iconic bands like The Rolling Stones, The Who and The Moody Blues, all of whom are touring an impressive 50 years after breaking through onto the rock ‘n roll scene. Impressive? For sure, but it pales in comparison to the 5,000 years that the members of Here Come The Mummies have been working their magic.

Here Come The Mummies at Plaza Live in Orlando - rarasfarm
Here Come The Mummies at Plaza Live in Orlando

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Def Leppard Storms Into Tampa


 

Def Leppard in Tampa
Def Leppard in Tampa

 

Def Leppard and Styx Impress Tampa Rock Fans

“Besides the Rolling Stones tour, the Def Leppard/Styx/Tesla show is the biggest classic rock tour of the summer” according to the Bradenton Herald, and RARAsFarm hit the road to see them on the first night of their summer tour!
 

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On Tuesday night, the classic rock legends kicked off their 60 city tour on a thunderous night in Tampa.

Almost as soon as we arrived at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, the skies opened up with some torrential rains and an amazing lightning show that lasted long enough to cancel Tesla.

Since the Amphitheatre was not letting folks in until the lightning stopped we tailgated in the parking lot and endured a lengthy delay, before finally slipping in to find several thousand people already jumping in and out of their drenched seats to the legendary Styx.  We, however, only got to catch a few of their songs, which was amplified by the fact that they had to shorten their setlist due to time, noise ordinances, and the desire to let Def Leppard perform their entire setlist.

They still dished out a hit-packed set, including “The Grand Illusion,” “Too Much Time On My Hands,” “Foolin’ Yourself,” “Miss America” and “Blue Collar Man,” before closing their night with rollicking versions of “Come Sail Away” and “Renegade” which every single person in attendance sang along to.  The stage backdrop featured album covers, as Tommy Shaw (vocals and guitar)  took charge of the crowd and entertained us all by prowling the stage with fervid enthusiasm, shouting out to the crowd “All you fabulous brave people who are out here braving the lightning – thank you!”

The crowd was immediately on their feet as Def Leppard took the stage and started singing “Rock! Rock! Till You Drop.”  The band, all nearing 60, still look like the consummate rock and roll animals they have been since the 80’s. And, on this night, they boasted a clear British flair. The band is an anomaly in today’s classic rock landscape, as they still feature their original line-up – a rare treat.

Phil Collen, strutted around the stage shirtless, showing off his buff chest, donning a special guitar he received as a gift for his 50th birthday which reads London 1957 in bold black letters.  Vocalist Joe Elliot had his mic stand wrapped in a British Flag, while drummer, Rick Allen, had the flag emblazoned on the large headphones he wore, and bassist Rick Savage played a bass guitar with the flag painted on it.

“Tonight we set the limit – this is where it all starts – 59 more shows!”  Elliott also announced to the crowd on behalf of their old tourmates, Tesla, that “they’re really sorry they couldn’t play – let’s give them a round of applause”.

Elliott and his bandmates owned the stage and the crowd as they delivered hits such as “Animal,” “Foolin’,” “Love Bites,” “Armageddon It,” “Rocket,” “Hysteria” and “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak.”  They also offered up a cool cover version of David Essex’s “Rock On.”

As Elliott introduced Def Leppard, he specifically wanted to give a shout out to their long time guitarist Vivian Campbell who was out in LA visiting with doctors, who he “hoped to see him back on the road in a couple days.”  Campbell has been fighting Hodgkins Lymphoma and has since noted on their webpage that he will be rejoining the tour Saturday in Birmingham, Alabama!  Trixter guitarist Steve Brown filled in wonderfully for this show, highlighted by a jam session after “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak.”

Other highlights included a phenomenal bass solo by Rick Savage, and a nice acoustic version of “Two Steps Behind” from Joe Elliott.  Barefoot drummer Rick Allen did a bit of a drum solo that had everyone cheering!

They closed their set with “Pour some Sugar on Me” which had the entire crowd singing along. The crowd begged for more, and after a brief break, drummer Rick Allen uttered the famous words “gunter, glieben, glauchen, globen” which started the encore “Rock of Ages.” They ended the night with their timeless hit “Photograph” and Elliot’s words:  “Until next time – and there WILL be a next time!”

Rock On!
RARA’s Girl

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Kongos Impress Orlando

Kongos Orlando Concert Review

When your father preaches “Only thing I can say to you is ‘You gotta be good and you gotta be true,’ and you respond by creating the unique, distinctive brand of rock ‘n roll that the Kongos brothers deliver to their fans, you’ve definitely made your dad proud, while simultaneously impressing rock fans across the world.

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Kongos Live at The Beacham Orlando
Kongos Live at The Beacham Orlando

(Below the story, make sure you check out our show photos from the RARAsFarm Facebook page and the night’s setlist.)

A few years ago, when I first heard the powerful, tribal-infused rock music from this talented foursome, I thought Kongos was a perfectly fitting name for this band with distinctive South African roots. As it turns out, Kongos was actually the last name for these four tremendously talented brothers.

Their father John Kongos had a few hits in the 70s, including “Tokoloshe Man” from which the aforementioned lyrics came from. As we saw last week at the raucous Beacham Theatre in Orlando, his four sons inherited fantastic musical talent and are just dripping with rock star potential.

Their show on this night was electric and fresh and the enthused fans at The Beacham soaked it in. The music is different – different in a deliciously fresh, yet classically comfortable way. The Phoenix-based quartet have South African roots, were raised in a household filled with classical music, and several of the brothers are formally trained jazz musicians. The result? Four immensely talented rockers with a unique and powerful brand of rock music.

They took the stage to tribal music and jumped into a rollicking “Hey I Don’t Know,” featuring drummer Jesse on lead vocals. It was quickly apparent that Kongos are driven by their distinctive rhythm section. Bassist Dylan creatively teamed with Jesse’s polyrhythmic playing throughout the show. It’s a unique approach and on this night it provided a great canvas for the band’s music. Dylan took over lead vocals on the next track, “Sex On The Radio” and the two traded-off lead duties all night, with guitarist Daniel and Keyboardist Johnny providing nice harmonies.

Like both of the excellent opening acts, Sir Sly and Colony House, the band played next door at The Social just last year. On this tour, they headlined the much larger Beacham and if this night was an indication, I expect we’ll see them playing larger venues in the very near future. Their sound is big, heavy and attention-grabbing, and well-suited for arenas.

The foursome clearly feed off of each other and work together… well… like brothers. While their live sound was superb and is already top notch, they still have some maturing to do as a headlining act, but that’s only a matter of time. These guys are destined for great things on the rock music scene.

Daniel dished out staccato guitar riffs that reminded me at times of The Clash, other times of early reggae and still others hard driving rockers. As an example of their multi-instrumentalist abilities, Daniel and Dylan traded off instruments a few times throughout the show. On “Kids These Days,” and a handful of other songs, the band offered a unique rock ‘n roll twist with Johnny playing a captivating accordion.

Highlights from the set included crowd favorite “Take Me Back,” which is a huge drum-powered stadium rocker, and the antithesis, “Traveling On” which Dylan introduced with “One of the advantages of headlining a tour is the ability to play some of our slower songs.” It sounded great, and added nice balance to the well-constructed 90 minute set. “It’s a Good Life,” was a zippy journey with a South African flair, punctuated by killer accordion, that had the crowd engaged throughout, and “I Don’t Mind” featured great keyboards from Johnny.

Kongos Live at The Beacham Orlando
Kongos Live at The Beacham Orlando

Their two biggest hits “Come With Me Now” and “I’m Only Joking” were embraced by the fervid crowd, which probably hit its most frenetic point during “Come With Me Now.” My personal favorite was a Beatles cover. It’s the song they played a dozen years ago when they hit the stage for the first time in a high school talent show. They performed “Eleanor Rigby” as you’ve never heard it before – a special reggae-laced version with a brief rap interlude where one of their stage hands jumped out and offered a cool little rap. Great stuff!

For their encore, they closed with a tribute to their father, a cover version of his aforementioned hit “Tokoloshe Man,” and a smoking (literally) version of “Blue Monday,” which leaned much more towards the hard-driving Orgy take than New Order’s more famous dance version. Check out our photos for a shot of the cool smoke rings they fired over the crowd throughout the song.  Definitely, a powerful, exciting end to a fantastic show.

To see a little glimpse into the show, check out our show photos here.

Rock On!
Cretin

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 🙂

Setlist
Hey I Don’t Know
Sex on the Radio
Kids These Days
Escape
I Don’t Mind
Take Me Back
It’s a Good Life.
Traveling slow
This Time I Won’t Forget
Come With Me Now
Eleanor Rigby (The Beatles cover)
Take Me Back
It’s a Good Life
I Want to Know
Take It from Me
I’m Only Joking
Encore:
Tokoloshe Man (John Kongos cover)
Blue Monday (New Order cover)

Paul McCartney Amazes as he Kicks Off US Tour


Paul McCartney Out There Concert Review

Paul McCartney kicked off his U.S. Tour at the Amway Center last night, and the show was spectacular. He made his first visit to Orlando in thirty years a memorable one; a show that was amazing in every sense of the word.

  • 165 minutes of amazing hits.
  • 38 songs.
  • 25 Beatles songs.
  • A dozen priceless stories.
  • At least 5 Beatles songs never before played by McCartney in the US.
  • 2 encores.
  • 1 amazing genre defining show.

Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I’ve been attending rock shows for many years, and have probably seen a thousand rock artists perform live.  I was too young to catch The Beatles and somehow never caught Sir Paul. Saturday night in Orlando, I realized what I’ve been missing all these years. Simply put, it is just one of those shows that needs to be in any rock and roll animal’s concert-going portfolio.

“Oh my, that man is 70 years-old”

Uncharted charisma, boundless energy, superb musical talent, a liberal sharing of his immense library of timeless hits and a voice that is still one for the ages; it’s a sure-fire recipe for success.

This is a show and a tour that any rock fan of any age needs to attend.  At seventy, there likely won’t be many more chances. And, regardless of the age, he puts on a performance absolutely better that almost any artist on the road today.

As an honest confession, I started the show as a reporter, but less than an hour into the spectacle, I had changed my perspective to “Screw it, I am going to just sit back (or stand up), enjoy this evening and soak it all in.” And damn sure, that’s exactly what I did.

Now, before I get into the details, here’s a spoiler alert: If you are going to see the show soon and want to be surprised, now might be a good time to stop reading.  The setlist is provided here if you’d like to check it out.

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Paul McCartney at Amway Center
Paul McCartney at Amway Center in Orlando

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Show Recap:

It didn’t take long to get the sold out Amway Center crowd on their feet. McCartney and his band mates took the stage to a rousing welcome and kicked into a smashing version of “Eight Days A Week,” a song Paul has rarely played, and not once since 1965! Not quite Beatlemania, but the crowd was instantly at near-fever pitch. He followed that with a powerful version of his Wings hit “Junior’s Farm” and the electricity never left the show.

The stage set-up was fitting for a rock show of this magnitude. Their was a large video screen behind the stage, flanked by two smaller ones for fans to the sides of the stage. However, the coolest video feature was a stage floor that was fully animated, adding an extra level of interactive entertainment to the experience.  The lighting was fantastic and the pyrotechnics excellent.

Throughout the evening McCartney showcased his broad musical talent. At various times, we saw him play an assortment of guitars, bass guitar, ukulele, piano and keyboards. Although the show is all about McCartney, he has again surrounded himself with a superbly talented band. Guitarist Rusty Anderson and the versatile Brian Ray traded off nice leads all night, while keyboard player Paul Wickens and Drummer Abe Laboriel were excellent, as well.  Most of the players have been touring with McCartney for years and they were extremely tight on stage.

McCartney dug deep into his robust catalog for a few other Beatles songs he had never played before in the United States.  We heard the American debuts for “Your Mother Should Know,” a rollicking version of “All Together Now” and a cool take on John Lennon’s masterful “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” He pulled out “Lovely Rita” during the first encore set and also played his seldom heard classic “Another Day.” Lots of unexpected treats for the fans from Florida.

During the bluesy Wings rocker “Let Me Roll It” we heard the now familiar tribute to fellow lefty Jimi Hendrix, and a nice long snippet of “Foxy Lady,” where McCartney nailed Jimi’s solo.  He again shared a nice story about how Hendrix opened his 1967 tour with a version of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” just two days after the album was released. It’s a story, like a few others this night, that we’ve heard before. But, Paul, a master story-teller is like that beloved uncle sharing the same old stories and still bringing a smile to your face every time. We heard some new tales, too, including a few humorous stories from his recent Brazilian tour and the virally famous grasshopper incident. As McCartney said, “just Google McCartney Grasshoppers” to see it.

An hour into the show, McCartney grabbed an acoustic guitar and moved to a small platform in front of the main stage, while the band took a short break.  As he played the Civil Rights-era anthem “Blackbird,”, the stage elevated about twenty feet. Before descending, he also offered up a poignant version of his John Lennon tribute “Here Today.”  There were some minor sound issues on the latter, but still a highlight moment.

He pulled out the ukulele for a cool re-imagined version of “Something,” sharing a story about jamming on duel ukuleles at George Harrison’s place. He then shared Frank Sinatra’s timeless quote that “Something” is “the greatest McCartney/Lennon song ever written!”  Great compliment, but as Paul noted,”George wrote it.”

Towards the end of the main set, we heard a few popular Wings’ songs. “Hi, Hi, Hi” was a fun surprise and another one not often played by McCartney, and was followed up by a killer version of “Band on the Run.” From there it was “Back in the USSR,” an electrifying “Let It Be” and the explosive “Live and Let ie.”  He closed the set with an extended sing-along version of “Hey Jude.”

Over the course of the two encores, he offered up eight more Beatles classics, including “Day Tripper,” “Get Back,” a tender solo version of “Yesterday” and a heavy, powerful rendition of “Helter Skelter,” where the video boards and stage were fantastically animated.

As we neared the three hour mark, it was the familiar closing medley of “Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight / The End,” the fantastic culmination of “Abbey Road” and a fitting end to a magnificent night in Orlando.

Rock On!
Cretin

 


Live’s Ed Kowalczyk Entertains at Velvet Sessions


It was about twenty years ago when a friend called to see if I wanted to check out this hot new Pennsylvania band playing a gig at the Jersey Shore. I passed on the show in order to take advantage of some cheap drink specials at a local dive – Stupid decision! A year later, Throwing Copper was released, and Live was a worldwide smash. Somehow in the ensuing decades, I never caught them “live,” but finally the stars seemed to align.

Ed Kowalczyk, the band’s charismatic singer and front man visited one of my favorite local venues, Hard Rock Hotel’s Velvet Sessions.  This event was billed as Live’s Ed Kowalczyk, as he and his band mates are going through a rancorous separation.  The rest of the original band is touring as Live, but now has a new lead singer. Kowalczyk is touring with his own band.  With that iconic distinctive voice, it was a no-brainer.

Kowalczyk is still a first rate performer, but quite honestly his band was mediocre.  The voice is the same and his on stage persona rocks, but this definitely isn’t the Live we knew and loved. The band took the stage and immediately ripped into a rocking version of “All Over You.” The crowd was rocking, but then came down a bit with “The Great Beyond” off of his 2010 debut solo album Alive. For most of the evening there was a similar ebb and flo.  Fever pitch for the Live classics, then a lull for the solo efforts.

His interaction with the crowd was excellent, and we had a chance to experience a bit of the storyteller in him.  He introduced his solo effort “Everlasting Love” as a song about his daughter, and “Heaven” a reflection on the women in his life.  Kowalczyk offered a nice nugget off of the first album, introducing “The Beauty of Gray” by offering “good songs hold up.”  He also spent a few minutes discussing a charity near and dear to his heart, World Vision, and actually auctioned off quick YouTube moments for folks willing to sponsor a child, rewarding them with instantaneous “Big Ed hugs.” It was a cool gesture.

For me, the highlights of the seventy minute set were an interactive version of “The Dolphin’s Cry” and “I Alone.” For their first encore, the band absolutely killed it with a romping version of  “Lakini’s Juice” that had the crowd in a frenzy.  But, then another dragging solo effort, this one the title track off of the new EP, “The Garden,” before closing the night with a stellar version of “Lightning Crashes.”

For those of you who have not been to a Velvet Sessions set, it actually takes place in the hotel lobby, and has a very cool vibe, and usually a surprisingly good sound mix.  For this show, it was off a bit, possibly caused by a rumored airline snafu, where the band’s equipment was lost the day of the show.  If so, certainly understandable.

All told, it was a decent show, but nothing spectacular.  Sure, we heard a bunch of Live classics and they sounded decent and were welcomed by the packed crowd, but there was just something missing.

Rock On!
Cretin

The setlist courtesy of a generous guy named Oliver is provided below.


Setlist from Ed Kowalczyk
Setlist from Ed Kowalczyk at Hard Rock Velvet Sessions in Orlando

A Silent Film Rocks The Social


From the first time I heard these UK rockers and their distinctive piano driven Alt-rock sound, I’ve been anticipating the opportunity to catch them in person, anxious to see if their live show measured up to their fine albums.  Monday night at The Social, I discovered that the band’s exciting live show was just as impressive.

Led by charismatic front man Robert Stevenson, this quartet makes a powerful and lasting impression. They are the complete package, tight talented musicians, affable personalities, energetic songs and a dynamic show.  Surprisingly, they did not pack The Social, but the few hundred in attendance saw a young band about to break out big. I suspect their next time through Orlando is going to find them in a much larger venue.

The band’s songs are wonderfully constructed and highlight the group’s versatility.  Stevenson, the lead singer and keyboard player had on-going dialogue with the audience and appeared genuinely appreciative of the crowd and their interaction.  He joked with the fans throughout the evening and offered up some enjoyable commentary on Mickey Mouse and the whole Disney thing, including an impeccably timed “F –  Mickey” at one point.  Drummer, Spencer Walker also impressed. He offered up a powerful driving beat, solid background vocals, and an occasional emergency lead vocal, also sharing witty banter with Stevenson and the crowd.

Stevenson was battling a cold and shared that he was going to have a problem hitting some of the high notes.  His honesty was refreshing, and endeared him to the crowd  as he stepped up to the challenge (sometimes with mixed results).  He handled those challenges with aplomb, a bit of humor, and a little help from his friend behind the drums.

The show kicked off with rousing versions of “Reaching the Potential” and “This Stage Is Your Life,” also the first two tracks off of the band’s 2012 hit album Sand & Snow. The latter cut featured excellent guitar work from Karl Bareham.  The current album was heavily spotlighted throughout the show, but we also got a glimpse of two of the band’s earlier hits “You Will Leave a Mark” and the fantastic “Driven By a Beating Heart” off of their debut album The City That Sleeps.

The highlight of the show was the breakneck closing trio off of their current album.  Three tremendous offerings, all with nice crowd interaction.  “Love Takes a Wrecking Ball” was another spotlight for Bareham’s guitar and offered some tender moments from Stevenson before rocking to a close.  Walker led the crowd’s singalong for the opening of “Harbour Lights,” a track that also features killer bass from Ali Hussain.  They then closed with a flourish offering a fantastic version of their biggest hit “Danny, Dakota and The Wishing Well.”  (RARA’s Farm’s #3 Song of 2012).

It was a great cap to an energetic, dynamic set from a band just beginning to build their legend.

Denver-based folk-infused rockers Churchill opened the show and offered a nice 40 minute set.  Orlando fans were fortunate, as this was the only show on the tour where they the Denver-based band is opening for A Silent Film. They’re also a band with considerable potential, and offering up a diverse sound.  They were led by boy/girl lead vocals Tim Bruns and Bethany Kelly and offered a unique touch with Mike Morter playing mandolin throughout the set.  It was an excellent mix highlighted by a cool version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way” and by the fantastically good “Change” and Kelly’s Duff-esque vocals.

Two excellent bands on their way up – a promising way to start the year.

Rock On!
Cretin

See the setlist and link to the album below…

Robert Stevenson at The Social
Robert Stevenson at The Social

 


Setlist
Reaching the Potential
This Stage Is Your Life
Driven By A Beating Heart
Queen Of A Sad Land
Anastasia
You Will Leave A Mark
Thousand Mile Race
Love Takes A Wrecking Ball
Harbour Lights
Danny, Dakota & The Wishing Well

Lovedrug Concert Review

Lovedrug touched down in Orlando this weekend as they tour in support of their excellent new release of Wild Blood.

They played an energetic, yet short set in the cozy confines of Back Booth.  The quartet sounded excellent and seemed to truly enjoy their limited time on stage, from Michael Sheppard’s opening guitar riff on “Pink Champagne” through the powerful closer “Anodyne.” The group was tight, and sounded excellent during the forty-five minute set.

Lovedrug Michael Sheppard Live
Lovedrug Michael Sheppard Live at Back Booth

The first three selections were all off of Wild Blood. “Pimk Champagne” and “Wild Blood” had the crowd bouncing and singing along to kick the show off, and singer/guitarist Michael Sheppard sounded great.  Jeremy Gifford, who played guitar most of the night shifted over to keyboards during “Dinosaur” which was one of the early crowd favorites, particularly during the call-and-answer segment.

The highlight of the show was the fantastic “In Red” off of the band’s Pretend Your Alive album. Drummer James Freshwater and bassist Thomas Bragg absolutely powered this driving song, and seemed to have a blast doing it. Gifford and Sheppard traded off impressive guitar leads, with the latter displaying his broad vocal range hitting some nice high notes.

The foursome closed out the show with a great version of “Anodyne,” the song that also closes out the new album.  The crowd packed the small club and knew all of the songs. Speaking with the band after the show, they felt good about the Orlando welcome, and were looking forward to the next few months on the road.

I was hoping to hear “Ladders” and “Premonition” but imagine they were casualties of the shortened set time.  All told, it was an evening that whet my appetite for more Lovedrug.

Local bands Valise and Savannah did a nice job opening the show.

Rock On – Cretin!

Check out our Album Review of Wild Blood

Setlist:
Pink Champagne
Wild Blood
Dinosaur
Blood Like
Ghost By Your Side
Pushing the Shine
Great Divide
In Red
Black Out
Anodyne