Wow! Some of you readers are still kinda salty that I had such a killer Friday last week. This is a perfect time to tell you about a discussion I had a couple weeks back. Back in March right after we went to see Billy Joel in MSG I was talking to some work peeps about how great the show was and so on. We then were talking about great and not so great performances that we have seen in our lifetime. My friend started telling me how one of his buddies was dying to see either Bette Midler or Barbara Streisand. They paid a king’s ransom and got tickets to see the show. Apparently the performer wasn’t really into it that night and “phoned it in”. Let’s just say my friends buddy was pissed and to this day hates that performer with all the bile in his belly.
I can say that with my past life experiences I got to see both the front and back of stage shows. I won’t name any names but I have seen Diva’s and some people that I keep waiting to come across the teleprompter saying they have been found dead from an Overdose. I will list a couple here in a few later but last Friday when we were waiting for The Avett Brothers to come on stage we had a similar discussion. One of my work cohorts said that they already knew that the Avett Brothers will kill it tonight. I looked at this person with the (Southerner didn’t comprehend what the Northerner said) puzzled look and they tell me “Dude this is Madison Square Garden. It is the Mecca of venues. You either bring your A-Game or you stay the F at home!” It makes sense is you think about it. Which do you think that a performer is going to get more fired up for; the 1PM time slot at the Washington County Fair or opening act at Madison Square Garden?
Anyway not to rub further salt in the wound but The Avett Brothers came on stage and completely shredded that stage! Not to further rub it in to my friends in Memphis but living up here really doesn’t suck. First of all you have everybody and their brother trying to get a date in MSG (they have an event 365 days a year) or if they can’t swing that they go to a smaller venue that still is killer. When we saw Squeeze they both admitted that they were pumped to play in New York. Anyway without further ado here is a short list of best and worst performances I have seen in my lifetime;
Worst Shows CBT has seen
- Diana Ross @ Live At The Garden – phoned it in and didn’t give a feck)
- Hank Williams Jr @ The Mid-South Coliseum – Dude was so shitfaced he could barely stand (don’t judge)
- Little Richard @Beale Street Music Fest – If you have to have a teleprompter to remind you where you are and you still screw that up….retire dude.
- Sheryl Crow @ Beale Street Music Fest – I won’t say that she was drunk but even the kids who passed out on the grass said she sucked.
- Eric Clapton @ Mud Island Amphitheater (I am going to take some shit for this one) The man is a legend but if he is just going to come out and sing his songs and not say one word that wasn’t a lyric…..I got the CD too Mr. Clapton, I could have just listened to that instead.
Greatest Shows CBT has seen (in no particular order)
- Michael Franti @Beale Street Music Fest – I know right? He came on stage and played his heart out and bared his soul. Seriously because of that experience I am now a fan.
- Billy Joel @MSG – The official House Band of Madison Square Garden. He gets it and he loves it!
- Billy Joel & Elton John @ The Pyramid – I hear they aren’t the best of friends but they sure do fake it and put on a great show.
- Rod Stewart @ The Pyramid & @ The Mid-South Coliseum – He loves to tour and play.
- Earth Wind & Fire @ Beale Street Music Fest – I have said it before, I attended a religious experience on the banks of the river that Sunday.
- Jimmy Buffet and the Coral Reefer Band 1986 @ Mud Island Amphitheater (The Rain Show) *back story* The band came out and was able to get 2 songs in before the heavens opened up and rained for 45 minutes. Maybe 750 fans stayed and Jimmy came out and sang acoustic because if he tried to amp up he “Would Shock the Shit out of himself” and played all the great songs.
- Jason D. Williams @ Center for The Southern Folklore Street Festival – If you have a chance to see him get it on stage by all means do it!
- Blues Boy King @ Opening Night at BB Kings Memphis – Got a special invite to sit in on sound check and even at his age the man loves to play.
- Seal @ Live at The Garden – I admit it, I wasn’t really looking forward to this show when the lineup came out but he changed my opinion. High Energy and he loves to play.
- Harry Connick Jr. @ Live at the Garden – Harry is and always be the consummate performer. This was the epic “I am playing my ass off and all I get is a chicken wing?” show where table guests put platters of food on the stage for him.
- KC & The Sunshine Band (Sound Check the Day Prior) @ Sunset Symphony – Pretty much this is a closed set but because I was a child slave labor worker for MIM I got to attend. The Band interacted with the Memphis Symphony and performed the band’s songs. KC had a riot and loved it. This is where we have the infamous “Where is Robert Ross (stage manager)? Robert Ross I want bongos for ‘Shake Shake’. Do you hear me Robert Ross? I want fucking Bongo’s!” Oh this was on a hot mic that probably could be heard in Mud Island. As we all stood with our mouths open I believe it was BK who said “KC don’t fucking play does he?” The show on Saturday was ok but I think the sound check was better.
Jason D. Williams getting it on stage! This concert series showcases the local musical acts and is a free festival, if you have ever attended the old King Biscuit Blues festival down in Helena, it reminds me of it. As old Charlie Musslewite used to say “Son if you don’t have the blues after you spend an afternoon at festival then you ain’t got no soul!”
He absolutely destroys Piano’s!
Consummate Showman! Sure he is crazier than squirrel poop but you got to love a professional.
Puddle of Mud at BSMF – You ever heard 6K people scream “Fuck You”?
Ever wonder what a wall of speakers looked like?
Harms and I at Earth Wind and Fire’s Sunday Service. Top 5 Moment!
I am not saying that KC is a Diva but ‘she’ does expect the best from his stage performers.
I won’t go into great detail but the River and MIM will change you.
So what’s your favorite show?