Tag Archives: U2

U2 Croke Park Review – Dublin

U2 Croke Park Review: Tonight, we can be as one

U2 just might be my favorite band.  They were the first “new” band to catch my attention as a young rock fan hooked on classic rock. And, over the last 35 years, I’ve seen them a handful of times, including some of the most memorable shows of my life.  I’m also a bit of a closet Irish Republican, and early U2 had a special place in my heart.

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Bucket List: Seeing U2 at Croke Park, Dublin

I’ve been a U2 fan since I first heard Edge’s frenetic guitar lick that kicked off “I Will Follow.” Up until that time, I was a classic rock kid growing up on the tasty album rock my uncles had served up for me, but this was something fresh… and new… and special. Adam Clayton’s bass pacing the way, thunderous drums from Larry Mullen, and that passionate Irish voice of Bono’s. Damn near genius.

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Hello Hello – It’s U2 3D in Orlando

Orlando Science Center Offers Immersive U2 3D Experience

A week ago I was at Croke Park in Dublin to catch U2 as they delivered a scorching set on their 30th Anniversary Joshua Tree Tour.  The show was excellent, but you can never get enough live U2, right?  As I caught up on my email, I was excited to see that the Orlando Science Center was offering a special screening of U2 3D for the next few weekends.  Perfect timing.

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The Yugos – Ingenue

Ingenue assaults your headphones as a long rush of fuzz and distortion but gradually transforms into a slick indie rock offering. The song is a meandering track that demands attention and delivers a creative vibe much different than anything else on the markets these days.  At times, I felt like I had my ass parked on a huge bass speaker in the corner of the dance floor at The Revival in Philadelphia listening to a killer new wave dance party.

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Joshua Tree Tour Announcement

Joshua Tree Tour Dates

in 1987, as I was about to begin my short-lived career at the Trump Organization, U2 released their greatest album. Joshua Tree was one of those rare perfect albums that come out about twice a decade. Today, the iconic Irish rockers announced that for the first time EVER, they will playing the album live.

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Top Grossing Tours Of 2015

For anyone wondering why so many aging rock legends hobble back on stage to reunite for the one final, or “this time we really mean it” farewell tour, take a look at the cash they were able to stuff into their deep pockets. With nostalgic Baby Boomers more than willing to pull a few Franklins from their wallets to rekindle their early life memories, plenty of classic rock artists are cashing in.

The Big Ticket crowd
The Big Ticket crowd enjoying the music.

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Best Albums of 1987


It was 25 years ago today…

I just realized that it was 25 years ago that The Simpsons first graced our television screens, then got to wondering what was the music we were listening to back in Bart’s nascent years. As it turns out, it was a damn good year.

(You can click on the title of each selection to sample it on iTunes)

Here’s our RARA’s Farm Top Dozen in reverse order:

12. Whitesnake – Whitesnake – Usually a band eponymously names their first album.  For some reason, David Coverdale decided to do it on Whitesnake’s seventh. Who am I to argue? This one was the best of the bunch, and the band’s biggest commercial success.   Coverdale’s signature vocals soared on “Here I Go Again,” “Still of the Night” and “Is This Love.” Tawny Kitaen writhing on the hood of the car in the “Here I Go Again” video was a nice bonus.

11. A Momentary Lapse of Reason – Pink Floyd – This was really more of a David Gilmour solo album, and the absence of Roger Waters was definitely noticeable.  Waters basically said the album sucked, and it was not great by Floyd standards, but “Learning To Fly” and “On the Turning Away” are great tracks.  Still some excellent Gilmour guitar throughout no matter what Roger says…

10. Document – R.E.M. – These guys were on top of their game at this point in the 80’s, where everything they produced sounded great as Stipe and crew constantly evolved.  “It’s the End of the World…” and “The One I Love” got all of the airplay.  “Welcome to the Occupation” and “Finest Worksong” were better.

9.  Permanent Vacation – Aerosmith – RUN DMC breathed some air into their deflated sails, but this release from the boys from Boston is what truly welcomed them back into the rock spotlight.  Some HUGE hits on this one: “Angel,” “Dude Looks Like a Lady” and “Rag Doll.”

8. One Way Home – The Hooters – Yup, I was frequenting the Philly rock bars in 1987, but that had nothing to do with this selection; it’s just a damn good album.  Rob Hyman and Eric Bazilian wrote well together and paired their vocals fantastically.  And our favorite drummer, David Uosikkinen was at the top of his game.  “Satellite,” “Johnny B” and “Fighting on the Same Side” were brilliant.

7. Floodland – Sisters of Mercy – Speaking of Philly, does anyone remember The Club Revival?  These guys were mainstays at the after hours haunts of the 80’s equivalent of emo (folks like me).  This is dark, driving dance rock, featuring “Dominion/Mother Russia,” “Lucretia My Reflection” and the amazing “This Corrosion.” Hey now, hey now now…

6. Diesel and Dust – Midnight Oil – Spinning records in a former life at a mythical place named the Jersey Shore, an Aussie walked in during INXS and told me I need to hear Midnight Oil. He was right and they were the real deal.  With “Beds Are Burning,” “The Dead Heart” and “Dreamworld” they caught the attention of lots of ears on this continent.

These Top Five are in a separate class from the first seven on the list.

5. Hysteria – Def Leppard –  With Hysteria, the guys from England made a roaring return to the rock music scene after taking a n unexpected hiatus following Rick Allen’s accident that cost him his left arm. They didn’t miss a beeat with this hit album which featured “Animal,” “Rocket,” “Love Bites” and the anthemic “Pour Some Sugar on Me.”

4. Appetite for Destruction – Guns N’ Roses -The first was this masterpiece debut from Axl and Slash.  I’m sure some of you have this closer to the top, but the album was basically half a dozen great songs and half a dozen mediocre. Always loved “My Michelle,” but this one is all about “Paradise City,” “Sweet Child o’ Mine” and “Welcome to the Jungle.”

3. Strangeways, Here We Come – The Smiths –  Morrissey is a genius, and on this one, may be just a tad less uber-depressing than The Smiths’ other offerings.  “Unhappy Birthday,” “Girlfriend in a Coma” and “A Rush and a Push and the Land Is Ours” only scratch the surface of this deep album. So, step off that ledge and dig into some joyful “Death of a Disco Dancer.”

2. Kick – INXS – Atlantic Records reportedly hated the album and begged the band to can it and start over.  Lesson #857 on why we need less record company intervention and more independence for rock musicians.  These Aussies had a bunch of good albums, but this was their best and most diverse offering.  “Devil Inside,” New Sensation” and Need You Tonight” were huge hits. “Mystify” was the best of the bunch, though, on an album where every song is great.

1. The Joshua Tree – U2 – This one is in The 25 Albums of All-Time, and in my opinion somewhere near the top of the list.  “Red Hill Mining Town,” Trip Through Your Wires” and One Tree Hill” are absolutely amazing, and there’s not a soft cut on the album which is woven together perfectly.  You amy also have heard of “Where the Streets Have No Name,” “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and “With or Without You.” Pure Genius!

Let me know what you think by adding a comment below, and click the linked album titles to sample this great stuff on iTunes.

Mike G

 


Orlando Jai Alai Fronton – Historic Rock ‘n Roll Venue

When I heard that the Marshall Tucker Band was playing the Orlando Jai Alai Fronton I was surprised. I never picked it as the right atmosphere for a rock show. So, when I trekked out to Fern Park to review the band, I was just as curious to check out the venue as I was the show. As it turned out, it was an excellent experience. (Check out the concert review here)

The Jai Alai can accommodate around 1,200 fans, with every seat fairly close to the stage. The stage is set-up on the playing surface, with the seating area being narrow and wide. The result is that there are only about 20 rows of seats, giving the venue an intimate feel. I’d strongly recommend the seats within the first 10 rows or so (anything under Row G) as the seats are huge and comfortable with copious leg room.

During the Marshall Tucker show, the sound system was excellent. There were a few issues with a buzz on one of the guitars, but that appeared to be an issue with the band’s equipment.

After returning from the show, I researched the Jai Alai venues after hearing Marshall Tucker front man Doug Gray comment about playing the venue in the 70’s. I was surprised to learn that huge acts such as Bruce Springsteen, U-2, Kiss and David Bowie have played there. I’ll definitely keep my eyes out for another opportunity to see a show here and hopefully catch some other future rock legends.

Miscellaneous Thoughts:

  • Plenty of free parking on-site
  • There were about a dozen seats available literally on the stage
  • Decent bar selections at decent prices
  • Security strongly discouraged folks from standing during the show