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annnnd we’re back!

August 22, 2010

Okay, well apparently I took a summer break. It’s been almost a month since my last post but I’m back and plan to be updating much more regularly as we head into fall. First order of business: the massively overdue recap of my favorite summer concerts….

Robert Plant (July 26/Stubb’s/Austin, TX) – Other than feeling like I was going to pass out from the heat the entire time, this was a great show. The Band of Joy has some really strong members and at times, they even seemed to outshine Robert himself. My favorite song of the night was actually Darrell Scott doing “Satisfied Mind.”  But Robert was ever the entertainer, throwing some solid, crowd-pleasing, Zep covers in along with the folkier offerings from his forthcoming album. And for my money Robert, who celebrated his 62nd birthday on Friday, remains the sexiest man in Rock & Roll. (Despite our 37-year age difference I will proudly defend that statement to anyone.) My only qualm with the evening was that I missed almost all of Bettye Lavette’s opening set. Be warned: When your ticket to Stubb’s says “Doors at 7” they mean, get your ass down there or miss the opening act.

The Black Keys (July 30/Great River Stage/Philadelphia, PA) – It seems my mantra for these first two shows should have been “get your ass down there.” Arriving at this outdoor, riverfront stage as the show began the amphitheater area was completely full. And the way the stage and seating area is shaped if you are outside the bowl you might as well have saved the money and stood outside the chain link fence. The sound was super wack and muddied from where we found a spot. Big drag. Despite that, the Black Keys put on a stellar show featuring a hefty portion of songs from their masterpiece of a new album Brothers. The deplorable sound situation was only acceptable because I’ll be seeing them again at ACL in October, so fingers crossed for some better sonic luck!

Tom Petty & Mike Campbell

Co-Captains Tom Petty & Mike Campbell (Photo by Alison Becker)

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (July 31/Wachovia Center/Philadelphia, PA) – This was my second show on the Heartbreakers summer Mojo tour. While I definitely prefer to see Tom and the boys playing in the wild, the crowd at Wachovia Center was fantastic. And the band kicked out another killer set. Plus, I accomplished my lifelong goal of getting backstage at an arena (another story for the memoir…). TP&HB are one of the best live bands around and they deliver a consistently solid, hit-filled show. Though they devoted a good chunk of time to the new material from Mojo they still fit in a ton of crowd-pleasers from their extensive catalog of hits. I’ll be seeing them again when they swing through Texas but honestly if I had my way, I’d just follow the band around and watch every single one of their shows. But I guess that would make me a legit groupie….

Bob Dylan (August 4/The Backyard/Austin, TX) – Bob kicked off his U.S. summer tour with a bang here in Austin. He came out swingin’ and put on one of the most energetic shows I’ve seen him do. It didn’t hurt that Arc Angels guitarist Charlie Sexton is back in the band. Or that Ivan Neville sat in on keyboards, lending a little New Orleans soul to “Beyond Here Lies Nothin” and “Workingman Blues.” They played a solid setlist that drew from many eras of Dylan’s impossibly massive stable of incredible songs. Always love to see Bob.

It’s been a great summer of music and it looks like there is a lot on the horizon for classic rock lovers this fall. I’ll be doing my best to keep the site up to date, so definitely stay tuned!

musicnotesSummer Days” – Bob Dylan

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