Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Giants Stadium Preview

After the first three dates were announced back in May, I actually contemplated on flying to Jersey for this. So the rumors are true. Those lucky bastards are gonna get full album shows:

Sep 30: Born To Run
Oct 2: Darkness On The Edge Of Town
Oct 3: Born In The U.S.A.
Oct 8: Born To Run
Oct 9: Born In The U.S.A.

I know people are probably pissed that Born In The U.S.A. is being played twice, while there's only one Darkness show. A Wild, Innocent, E Street Shuffle show would've been fucking cool. Maybe Bruce is saving it for Madison Square Garden? Does that mean that the Spectrum will get the same treatment? I won't be surprised if Bruce decides to play the entire River album for the Philly fans later this month. Now all they need to do is film all these shows and release 'em on Blue-Ray soon!

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Costello. He's playing here next Monday. Solo concert. Though I'm not really familiar with his stuff, I probably won't get to see him again. And besides, I'm looking forward to see what covers he's gonna pull out. Probably a Springsteen song? I won't be surprised; just a few days after Bruce's 60th birthday, he appeared as a guest on Elvis' talkshow, Spectacle. He covered Point Blank then. Let's hope he'll do it again.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Today is your birthday!!!

Bruce "The Boss" Springsteen turns 60 years old today! Despite his age, he's still going strong and has become the most prolific artist of his generation. Just look at the amount of new music he has released since seven years ago: The Rising, Devils & Dust, Seeger Sessions, Magic and Working On A Dream. And he's been touring very consistently behind those albums; and not forgetting 1999's Reunion Tour. As always, the E Street Band's still on fire (with many fans trying hard to stump them), and their best shows are just around the corner---five night stand at Giants Stadium, four night stand at Philly, two night stand at Madison Square Garden, and a couple more before closing out in Buffalo. After November, everyone's gonna be taking a very long break. The future is uncertain for the E Street Band. Of course, fans like me are hoping that this isn't their last merry-go-round. But knowing how Bruce works, he's definitely gonna be surprising us very sooner than expected :)

Quick update: Eddie dedicated The Who's The Real Me to Bruce during the opening night of PJ's Backspacer tour in Seattle. While in New Jersey's Giant Stadium, U2 covers She's The One (then moving into Desire). Contrary to many rumors, Bruce did not appear onstage with the band.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sep 21 -- Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, IA

1. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
2. Badlands
3. Candy's Room
4. Two Hearts
5. Outlaw Pete
6. Hungry Heart
7. Working On A Dream
8. Seeds
9. Johnny 99
10. Youngstown
11. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction (sign request)
12. Cadillac Ranch (sign request)
13. THE WANDERER (sign request)
14. Incident on 57th Street
15. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
16. Waitin' On A Sunny Day
17. The Promised Land
18. Into The Fire (sign request)
19. Lonesome Day
20. The Rising
21. Born To Run
22. Thunder Road
23. Hard Times
24. Bobby Jean
25. American Land
26. Dancing In The Dark
27. Glory Days

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sep 20 -- United Center, Chicago, IL

As you can see, this setlist was a little different tonight!!!

1. Seeds
2. No Surrender
3. Johnny 99
4. Cover Me
5. Outlaw Pete
6. Hungry Heart
7. Working On A Dream
8. Thunder Road
9. Tenth Ave Freeze-Out
10. Night
11. Backstreets
12. Born To Run
13. She's The One
15. Jungleland
16. Waitin' On A Sunny Day
17. The Promised Land
18. Radio Nowhere
19. Lonesome Day
20. The Rising
21. Badlands

22. Hard Times
23. DA DOO RON RON (sign request)
24. ROCKIN' ROBIN (sign request)
25. I'm Goin' Down (sign request)
26. American Land
27. Dancing In The Dark
28. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I'm not gonna start by stating the many reasons why Pearl Jam is the best rock band in the world right now. Go google up their history and you'll know why. But I'll say this; I like PJ because they never once compromised their musical integrity. They have never once sold out, unlike many of their contemporaries. And they also make it a point to acknowledge the greats that came before them. You can just hear it in the music; 50 years of Rock & Roll in there. And they got some of the best fans in the world. It's a pity that most people here only know them by one song (that local radio occasionally plays), and that's Last Kiss. This, in turn, makes the listeners think that Last Kiss is one of PJ's most well-known and best songs. Of course, someone from the Ten Club might say that it's fucking bullshit. Besides, that song isn't even theirs!!! It's a fucking cover, for Christ sakes!!! Anyway, I'm starting to sound like one of those record store guys from High Fidelity. I'll stop my bitching and move on to more important matters....

Backspacer is Pearl Jam's 9th studio effort (not counting Lost Dogs). It's also their shortest one, clocking in at just over 36 minutes. That doesn't mean it's a bad thing, cause it's not. In fact, it's totally different from their previous Avocado record. For one thing, I can hardly hear any politics in Backspacer. This is five guys having good clean fun. The music is mainly straight up loud, fast and 'in your face' rock & roll, fueled by the usual, but always effective 'Ramones and Who-like' punk guitar riffs. Oh yeah, and Eddie Vedder sings pretty great too. Even on those quieter songs like Just Breathe and the devastating but beautiful closer, The End, his voice is simply amazing.

Gonna See My Friend is an awesome album opener, and it's followed by Got Some, a kick-ass tune with one of the best PJ choruses ever. It took me a while to really dig The Fixer, but now I begin to realize that Matt Cameron is a fucking genius. He's got a knack for those odd time signatures when he composes, and this song kinda makes you wanna let your hair down. I can just imagine everyone in the crowd singing along to those 'Yeah Yeah Yeah' parts! Another one worth mentioning is Supersonic, a Stone Gossard tune that has a Mankind riff. While every song here is equally good, I have to say the standout is Amongst The Waves. I like it when Eddie uses the ocean and surfing as ways of singing bout hope and freedom. Also, I have a feeling that Unthought Known is gonna be fantastic on stage. I love the way the song slowly builds up, and then everything comes crashing in together. Eyes closed, arms wide open, with the wind blowing against your face. Fucking beautiful.

I can't say enough good things about Backspacer. Kudos to producer, Brendan O'Brien, who's come on board to work with the band since 1998's Yield. I find it hard to rank all the Pearl Jam albums in order, cause every one of them is so great and unique, despite the occasional (and sometimes strange fillers). The band's almost twenty years burnin' down the road, and this album really shows their maturity have grown. It's hard to believe just fifteen years ago, they were a bunch of angry looking long-haired punks. I'm really looking forward to this tour. They've only played a handful of shows so far, but they've been really mixing up their setlists. The first batch of bootlegs are out already. Slightly better mix than year's boots. I decided to get Chicago Night 1 first because of the setlist. Long Road, In Hiding, The Real Me, The Needle And The Damage Done, Rats, Smile....need I say more?? My next boots will be Chicago Night 2, London, definitely Seattle and Philly (their soon to be legendary four night stand at the Spectrum).

It's less than two months away to my first PJ show. Not only that, I'm actually gonna be getting an official recording of that show! Now, how cool is that??

Album Rating: 4/5

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sep 16 -- Bi-Lo Center, Greenville, SC

1. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
2. Badlands
3. No Surrender
4. Hungry Heart
5. Outlaw Pete
6. Working On A Dream
7. Seeds
8. Johnny 99
9. Atlantic City
10. Raise Your Hand
11. This Hard Land (sign request)
12. (I CAN'T GET NO) SATISFACTION!!! (sign request)
13. Ramrod (sign request)
14. Waitin' On A Sunny Day
15. The Promised Land
16. Backstreets
17. Radio Nowhere
18. Lonesome Day
19. The Rising
20. Born To Run

21. Hard Times
23. American Land
24. Glory Days
25. Detroit Medley
26. Dancing In The Dark
27. Thunder Road

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sep 13 -- BankAtlantic Center, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

1. Working on the Highway
2. Badlands
3. Night
4. Cover Me
5. Outlaw Pete
6. Out In The Street
7. Workin On A Dream
8. Sherry Darling
9. Seeds
10. Johnny 99
11. Factory
12. Raise Your Hand
13. Be True (sign request)
14. Cadillac Ranch (sign request)
15. So Young And In Love (sign request)
16. Waitin' On A Sunny Day
17. The Promised Land
18. Backstreets
19. Radio Nowhere
20. Lonesome Day
21. The Rising
22. Born To Run

24. Jungleland
25. Hard Times
26. American Land
27. Dancing In The Dark
28. Thunder Road

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sep 12 -- Ford Amphitheatre, Tampa, FL

1. Badlands
2. Out In The Street
3. My Lucky Day
4. Spirit In The Night
5. Outlaw Pete
6. She's The One
7. Working On A Dream
8. Seeds
9. Johnny 99
10. Point Blank
11. Raise Your Hand
12. ALL OR NOTHING AT ALL (sign request)
13. Growin' Up (sign request)
14. JOLE BLON (sign request)
15. Waitin' On A Sunny Day
16. The Promised Land
17. Racing In The Street
18. Lonesome Day
19. The Rising
20. Born To Run

21. Hard Times
22. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
23. American Land
24. Bobby Jean
25. Dancing In The Dark
26. Hungry Heart
27. Thunder Road

Friday, September 11, 2009

Beatlemania all over again!

This is my first post about the Beatles! 40 years after the Fab Four parted ways and 'phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust', the music world is witnessing their 2nd coming. Beatlemania has indeed risen from the dust, and it's here to stay. As most of us should've known by now, the Beatles' remastered catalog was released on 9-9-09, in stereo and mono. I bought 'em both on the same day. It beats me as to why the mono set costs 50 bucks more than the stereo and those cds are only available as a box set. But it seems now that the mono sets have sold out everywhere around the world.

Ok, so after over four years of painstaking remastering, do the songs sound better than before? YES, they fucking do!!! For one thing, the volume levels are much louder than the original 1987 releases, but this doesn't compromise on the dynamic range of the songs. I could spend hours listening to 'em on my headphones, and I won't get any ringing in my ears. Everything is so clear now. I'm beginning to hear stuff I never heard before. Paul's bass and Ringo's drums sound more upfront this time. The intro to While My Guitar Gently Weeps is strikingly sharp , and that's the same for the rest of the song, including Clapton's lead guitar. And don't get me started on the harmonies. My God, these remasters really reveal how great the singing is. For proof, check out every Lennon song on The White Album; Dear Prudence, I'm So Tired, Happiness Is A Warm Gun.

I'm also beginning to fall in love with songs that I previously didn't have a fondness for....Tomorrow Never Knows (the stereo version fucking blew my mind), She's Leaving Home, I Want You (She's So Heavy), and most of the stuff from their first four albums. No matter how many thousands of times we've heard the Beatles, the remasters give us the impression that we're really HEARING them for the first time. After listening to Here Comes The Sun, I couldn't believe what I've just heard. George Harrison's voice and guitar playing never sounded so good!

As to whether which versions are better (mono or stereo), it's really up to individual preference. The liner notes mentioned that up until Sgt. Peppers, the Beatles intended their music to heard in mono. But I think to really fully experience the Beatles, it's essential to get both versions. There are lots of differences between the two. I still can't stand some of the stereo mixes on some songs, where the drums and vocals are panned to the extreme opposite ends. I'd prefer mono for those.

These remasters are well worth the wait, and money. People will still complain about how they're getting ripped off. But for me, to hear some of the greatest pieces of music ever recorded, in high pristine quality is truly an 'out of this world' experience. If you close your eyes, you can almost imagine Paul, John, George and Ringo in the same room.