Tag Archives: Setlist

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.

If you’re going to exit, do us a favor and Like Us on Facebook or Follow Us on Twitter first 🙂

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

Visit our Facebook Page for more photos

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

An All Day Buffett – Margaritaville Style

Jimmy Buffett brought his party to Orlando on his Welcome To Fin Land tour last night. I’ve seen Buffett a few times in the past, and his shows have become predictable.  It’s typically that same laid back, feel good, beach party vibe; a formula that he’s mastered.  Realizing that the pre-game festivities are typically as much fun as the show, I decided to focus on that aspect of a Buffett show this year.

For this year’s tailgate, our group ratcheted the experience up a bit by booking a party bus.  So, for this review, the beers were flowing almost as quickly as the fingers were hitting the keyboard.

  • Eight hours before showtime: My wife and I exit the house with a case of Yuengling, a case of water and a few pounds of marinating garlic shrimp.
  • T -7.5 hours to showtime: Arrive at the departure rendezvous point. There are 24 of us on the bus and enough coolers, bags, chairs, grills, etc… for a group 10 times our size. We learn the bus has a blown tire and is on the side of the highway somewhere.  Pacing myself, I grab a Diet Coke. Need to stay sober for awhile…
  • T-7.25 hours: We take advantage of our unexpected break and we pose for a group photo. I suggest all of the women get on their knees. They refuse…
  • T -7 hours: Tire still not changed.  Crack the lid on beer number one.
  • T -6.5 hours: Tire repairman is on the spot, somewhere on the ludicrously expensive toll roads of Central Florida. Bus will arrive shortly. Party in the driveway begins to pick up. Beer 2.
  • T -6 hours: Still waiting. Someone passes around some Cuban sandwiches. Not a fan of mustard nor pickles on my sandwich and our raw shrimp is probably not the best alternative. Stick with my liquid lunch. Beer 3. Flexibility is the key to a happy life.
  • T -5.5 hours: We’re enjoying the driveway party so much, we make plans to do it again the next weekend.  The neighbors hope we are joking, but look up the phone number for Code Enforcement just in case.  Suddenly, the pure white bus appears like a vision. Someone yells out “Looks like a bloodmobile.” It does.
  • T -5 hours: It takes us thirty minutes to pack.  We really have a lot of stuff, more than we could ever possibly need…
  • T -4.5 hours: We arrive at the arena. Our driver parks and rearranges the bus three times, as the clueless lot attendants can’t figure out where to put us. Twenty minutes later, we park right where we started. En route, another beer, two jello shots and dozens of photos. No one tries the stripper pole, but the ride is a blast.
  • T -4 hours. My wife hears “Escape (The Pina Colada song) at a neighboring tailgate and confesses it was her first 45.  Really? Shouldn’t that be disclosed during the dating process?  Where was the responsible parenting? Although I think I need a shot, I grab another beer.
  • T -3.5 hours. A confused Parrothead named Bridget/Gretchen adds the name of a Buffett song to everyone’s red Solo cup to keep us from getting confused.  By this time there are 40 happy people who already have song names on their cup. I don’t know 40 Buffett songs.  I’m okay with drinking out of a bottle the rest of the day.
  • T -3 hours. Cruise the tailgates and see a very diverse crowd. We visit the tailgate spot for the split personalitied Bridg-chen. Although confused she’s pretty damn artistic.  Here’s her posse doing Margaritaville Tequila shots.  Is there anything Buffett doesn’t slap his name on and sell? They are in front of her Cheeseburger in Paradise tribute. I passed on the shot.  Tequila is bad bad stuff.
  • T -2.5 hours. Damn the food is good. The grill is fired up. Awesome brats, appetizers and Jerk chicken wings. Go to cook the shrimp and realize we need aluminum foil to keep them from falling through the grate. Rest assured, there’s a roll in one of the many crates we spent 30 minutes packing.  These folks are like Boy Scouts, we have everything we could ever want (and great company, too).  The shrimp is pretty damn good, too.
  • T -2 hours. David and I kicking ass at beer pong.  Well, mostly David, but I still get to bask in the victories. We go undefeated, but the problem with Beer Pong is that even the winners still drink a bit. Afterwards, sit down in one of the 600 chairs our group packed and sip some water. Good idea…
  • T -1.5 hours.  Last tour through the lots. Very festive group, but truthfully  more subdued from past Buffett shows, either because his fans are getting too old to party, or because the new lot under I-4 just doesn’t have the same ambiance. We notice a huge cross on a nearby building overlooking the crowd as we talk to a nice group winding down their tailgate.  They’re all devout Christians.  Seems like kismet, or maybe just all of the beer I had consumed?
  • T -1 hour. The group packs up and most head to the Amway Center. A few of us stay behind, preferring our $1 beers to the $11 beers inside. We watch three people stop our driver and negotiate to use the bathroom. (Note to self on a future business idea).
  • T -15 minutes. We’re in the arena, and the place is alive, a very cool vibe. I make a rest room stop just as a haggard looking Parrothead Redneck stumbles in. Someone yells “We have a leaker.” There’s a small wet spot on the front of his jeans. The Dude turns the corner, stumbles, almost regains his balance then goes down.  The stain gets a lot bigger. So much for the cool vibe…
  • T -3 minutes. We step into the seating area as “Hot, Hot, Hot” pumps through the P.A. with beach balls flying, happy fans singing and swaying; the festive atmosphere is definitely back.

As for the show itself; the concert was classic Jimmy. Clad in boat shorts and bare feet, he seemed to be having fun, and the sold out crowd had a blast. Buffett and The Coral Reefer Band kicked off the show with “The Wino and I Know” and were sounding great right from the start.  Shortly afterwards, Mac McAnally slid into Alan Jackson’s role from “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” and the party kicked up a notch. The show was laid back throughout and generally just a fun time.

The two hour set featured all of the hits and a few nuggets, as well (see the setlist below), before wrapping up with a rousing version of “Fins,” “Brown Eyed Girl” and then Jimmy alone on stage with a nice acoustic version of  “Tin Cup Chalice,” a great way to put a wrap on two hours of buffet and eight hours of pre-game festivities.

Rock On! Cretin

Check out more photos on RARAsFarm’s FaceBook

Jimmy Buffett Orlando Concert
Jimmy Buffett Live in Orlando

Setlist

The Wino And I Know
License To Chill
It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere
Pencil Thin Mustache
Come Monday
Life Is Just A Tire Swing
Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes
Grapefruit-Juicy Fruit
Bama Breeze
Volcano
Cheeseburger In Paradise
One Particular Harbour
Creola
Floridays
Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw
Margaritaville
Son Of A Son Of A Sailor
School Boy Heart
Last Mango In Paris
Knee Deep
Woman Goin’ Crazy On Caroline Street
A Pirate Looks At Forty
Back Where I Come From
Southern Cross

Encore
Fins
Brown Eyed Girl
Tin Cup Chalice