Archive for Theater

1/16/15…Liverpool Legends @ Rockbox Theater, Fredericksburg, TX

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Liverpool Legends are not just a Beatles tribute band, they are a Beatles tribute experience!  I probably never would have had the opportunity to see this performance if not for getting back in touch with an old friend.  Thanks to Facebook and its constant stream of “suggested friends”, I recently reconnected with my friend, Marty, who plays George Harrison in Liverpool Legends.  I hadn’t been in touch with Marty since 1996, so I was super excited when he told me that he would be making a stop in Fredericksburg for the show.  The timing was actually pretty perfect.  What wasn’t perfect was the traffic the day of the performance.  I was hoping to get there a little early to catch up a bit with Marty before their performance.  But Friday afternoon traffic before a long holiday weekend is NEVER good.  What would’ve been a 90 minute drive turned into two hours and I barely made it for the beginning of the show.  Thankfully Marty had set a ticket aside for me, so I walked in right as the show was beginning.  Unfortunately somebody was in my seat, so the usher had to ask this person to move and FINALLY I was able to settle in to enjoy the show.  I should add that as a lifelong Beatles fan, I was super excited to see this show.  The added surprise was finding out that the show really captures the essence of the band by using Liverpudlian accents and witty banter.  You really feel like you’re watching the Fab 4 perform.  The band also encourages audience participation.  Since I was by myself, I probably didn’t participate as much as I should have, but I still enjoyed the overall experience.  The audience consisted of mostly seniors who were obviously Beatles fans from the 60’s.  But it was nice to see a smattering of kids and younger adults getting into the show.  During the second song, I also realized that the gentleman that played John Lennon was a former band mate of Marty’s.  This was the band Marty played with when I met him back in the day.  I thought it was pretty cool that he & Kevin were still playing together.

After the show was over I waited while the guys had a brief meet & greet with the audience.  Then I finally got to hang out with my buddy, Marty. We only got to catch up for a little bit because he was feeling under the weather.  But he assured me they would be back in Texas this year, so I definitely look forward to seeing them play again.  I think this is a show my parents would also enjoy.  Before I left, Marty insisted I take a picture with the band.

Me & the boys

Me & the boys

After the picture, Kevin asked me, “Do you have our CD?”  I said, “No”, and he said “Happy Birthday” and proceeded to hand me a Liverpool Legends CD of original music.  I’ll be including my favorite songs on an upcoming Music Picks playlist.  I was happy that they were still making original music in addition to all of their Beatles performances.  If you’re a Beatles fan and never got to see them perform, this is a great show to see.  And even if you’re not a Beatles fan, it’s still a really fun experience!  You should definitely look into seeing Liverpool Legends perform.

8/25/13…Dawes @ ACL Live

Dawes @ ACL Live 8/25/13

Dawes @ ACL Live 8/25/13

I have tried several times to enter my email into the random drawings for Austin City Limits tapings in the past, but this was only my second time being chosen & my first time actually attending.  I first saw & fell in love with this band during SXSW earlier this year.  I went from merely knowing the band’s name to becoming a true-blue fan of their music.  So you can imagine how crazy excited I was to receive the email telling me that I had been selected in the random drawing to receive two free passes for this taping.  I was so very happy.  I have been to this beautiful venue a couple of times before, but I always had seats.  This time I was determined to be on the floor near the stage.  I brought my friend, Ben, with me to the taping.  He really wasn’t familiar with this band either.  He was pretty much in the same situation I had been just months before.  The great thing was that he walked out of that taping a new fan.  I LOVE that.  This band is the real deal.  They’ve been working hard for the past several years, touring & playing, trying to build their fan base.  And I feel like people are finally starting to catch on.  That makes me very happy because they’re the type of artists that put a lot of time and effort into their songwriting & musicianship.  That is very evident.  The best thing about this show was that they played most of my favorite songs by them.  I was just beaming from ear to ear the whole night.  The worst thing about this show was the big-bellied geezer that insinuated himself into my personal space by pressing his nasty stomach against my back so he could move closer to the stage.  The annoying thing was that he didn’t even seem to know who Dawes was.  I could not understand why he felt the need to get closer.  I kept telling Ben that I was gonna punch him in the face.  He finally did get in front of me and THEN he started blocking my amazing view of the middle of the stage.  I was literally three rows back from the front.  I was in heaven.  How dare this disgusting man get in my way??!! lol  I finally told him off, just blatantly pushed his shoulder and said, “DUDE, you’re killing me!!  I’m shorter than you and you’re blocking my view!!!”  He stammered, “I’m not trying to be.”  And I said, “But you ARE!!”  It was a tug of war from this point on till the end of the show.  He’d move his head the wrong way to block my view & I’d push his shoulder to indicate that he was in my way.  He finally left during the last song.  What an idiot!  Thankfully there was a super nice couple next to me that kept offering to let me stand near them so I could see better.  The girl was an obvious fan and was dancing and singing along, even more than I was.  It was great to see her enjoying the band so much.  It’s always a pleasure to meet such nice people during a show.  After it was over, this same couple ran over to me and Ben to commiserate about the dumbass guy that was an annoyance to us AND to them.  At least they ‘got it’!! 😉  Dawes’ set was short, but plentiful in its awesomeness:

4/26/12…Al Green @ ACL Live

ACL Live

ACL Live

The day had finally arrived for me to see a legend on stage.  Al Green is the sort of icon that you sit back and enjoy in the privacy of your home and long to have been around  when he was in his prime, spreading his beautiful soul music to the world.  The fact that he decided to head out to do some live shows this year was one of the best treats I could have given myself…so I did.  I bought myself a ticket and waited for the day to come.

Al Green

I was bursting at the seams all day, just counting down the hours to his show.  I was even more excited that it was going down at ACL Live’s Moody Theater.  Since I had already experienced a wonderful show there some months ago, I knew the Reverend would shine on their stage.  I was unaware that he had an opening act, so when they introduced Dan Dyer at 8 o’clock, I was a little surprised.  Turns out, Dan is a local artist and he’s damn good.  For such a short set, with only his keyboards and guitar in tow, the man blew a ton of soul into the audience.  Man, does he have some strong & emotional vocals to share.  He really sounded great.  And later, I got to tell him so.  I’ll come back to that.  Dan only played a 30 minute set and then it was time to set the stage for the main guy.  The Reverend Al Green.  In between sets, I met up with a former classmate of mine who was also at the show.  We chatted a bit and took some photos before it was time for Al Action.

Laura, Sharon, & I at Al Green 4/26/12

Laura, Sharon, & I at Al Green 4/26/12

His band and back-up singers were the first up on stage.  He started off with 13 players…a horn section of 3 (trumpet, trombone, and sax), a keyboardist, a guitarist, a bassist, a percussionist, a drummer, 4 back-up singers, and what looked to be a DJ, but to be honest I really don’t know what this guy was doing up there.  lol  Once everyone was on stage, the band started playing, and then along came THE MAN…Al Green.  He strolled up onto the stage and the crowd went bananas.  He waved to the audience and walked over to his bucket of roses and started handing ‘em out to “tha ladiesssss”.  Ever the ladies man, even at 66.     The entire show was completely old-school Al.  He stuck to his main hits, including major covers he did back in the day like “Oh, Pretty Woman”, & “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?”.  I have to say that when he hit his first high note, the audience was on their feet going CRAZY!!!!!  The fact that he can still get up there just blows me away.  I was giggling with delight.  It was AWESOME!!  Al put on a show.  He was dancing, and kidding around with the audience, and he continued to pass out roses throughout the show until that bucket was empty!!  He was so hilarious when he refused to give a rose out to just any woman who ran up to the stage.  He said, “I’m giving this to someone who deserves it”, as he proceeded to flip it out to someone further in the back.  Gotta love it.  He’s still making ‘em work for it.  About midway thru the show, a dancer came up on stage and Al took one look at him and said, “What are you doing here, boy?”  I laughed out loud!!  Hilarious!!  He actually ended up with two male dancers on the stage with him.  That was probably the oddest addition to the show.  I thought they were ok, but really unnecessary.  One of the funniest moments of the evening was when Al decided that one woman was not only worthy of a rose, but also a kiss.  He actually knelt down and leaned over to give a kiss to one very lucky lady.  As soon as the other women in the audience saw THAT, they all kinda rushed the stage.  To no avail.  He did not give out any more kisses.  I thought for sure at that moment, I would see some panties flying up there.  But no, that didn’t happen.   The only other thing he threw to the audience was the handkerchief he used to mop his sweaty brow.  Oh yeah!  Towards the end of the show, Al dropped a strange little medley of songs honoring some of the late greats, like Otis Redding.  He only performed snippets of each song and would dramatically cut them off before starting a new one.  It was cool, but also kinda weird.  As great of a show as it was, it was TOO SHORT!!  After one hour, on the final notes of “Love & Happiness”, the Reverend left the stage with his band members following him off shortly after.  And that was it.  No encore.  No nothing.  Just 60 minutes of Al and then he was gone.  Poof!  One of the greatest things the venue did to keep the party going was set up a DJ on the terrace outside.  As you left the building, you ran directly into this set-up and this guy was blowin’ up the old-school tunes.  It made me stop and hang out for almost an hour longer.  And I wasn’t the only one.  The crowd was up & dancing.  It was fantastic.  I wish I could’ve stayed longer.  Everyone was having a blast and it almost made me forget that Al had put on such a short show.  Very smart on the venue’s part.  Big props to the Eleventh Hour Lounge.  Oh, and before I forget, it was during this dance party that Dan Dyer walked by me in the crowd, and I stopped him and told him, “Great show, man!” And he shyly thanked me and shook my hand.  Somehow I always seem to run into the artists that I’ve just seen perform.  Why didn’t Al come by????  Maybe next time…