Wednesday, March 26, 2014

HUGE news for Tom Petty fans

Thanks to the good people of the Mudcrutch forum [link], here's an exclusive Rolling Stone piece regarding the new, upcoming record by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. David Fricke describes the album, coolly titled Hypnotic Eye, a "decisive return to the concise Sixties-rock classicism and drive of Petty's first great New Wave-era albums, 1976's Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and 1978's You're Gonna Get It." I love the sound of that! Another mouthwatering surprise for fans will be the long-awaited reissue of 1994's classic Wildflowers, and a possible live album taken from the band's NYC & LA theater residences last year. Man, those setlists were out of this world. Can't wait!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Highway To Hell (feat. Eddie Vedder)

Multi-cam synced with the official bootleg audio. My greatest concert moment ever.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Rolling Stones @ Marina Bay Sands

MARCH 19 UPDATE: I offer my sincerest condolences to Mick Jagger and family. I'm as disappointed as everyone else who had tickets to the upcoming shows in Australia, but postponing of the tour had to done [link]. There was no other way around it. I look forward to the day when I can see the band live one last time at the Adelaide Oval.

The Sands Grand Ballroom may be the biggest of its kind in Asia, but it's definitely not the place to hold any rock concert. The fact that it was very wide made for not-so-good sight lines for those seated at the sides. At least the organizers made these 'cheaper' seats (not so cheap) elevated, if not we would be watching the show on the screens because the height of the stage was so low. There were small standing pits at the extreme ends of the stage, probably set up to maximize the capacity as much as possible. To allow for more intimacy, there was a catwalk which extended quite far out into the small room. The room acoustics sucked though, so much so they made the opening Jumpin' Jack Flash sound really weird. Once the show began, many people started filling up the aisles, but kudos to the lax security for not doing anything. The sound did improve as the show went on and only hit its stride halfway through. I wouldn't have minded if I didn't get tickets to this show, as I was already going to watch them in Adelaide. But there's a feeling unlike anything else seeing the world's greatest rock & roll band in your home country. Singapore was the last stop on the Asian tour. Mick Jagger said that when the band played Singapore in 1965, it was their first show in Asia. I think it's safe to say the Stones won't be coming back to this part of the world anymore, given their age.

The band's performance was simply top-notch. The sound was raw and had that unrehearsed, ragged quality to it. I don't recall Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards hitting any bump notes. Charlie Watts, as much as he didn't look like he wanted to be there, was on fire. Keef put on great vocal performances on the lesser known Slipping Away and Before They Make Me Run. Other than that, it was a very safe, greatest hits-type setlist. I'm certainly not complaining; all these warhorses are what made The Rolling Stones so legendary and it's always good to hear them live. But I felt they could've slipped in a couple more deeper cuts like they did during the North American tour last year (actually I felt those 50 & Counting shows had better song sequences). Mick's singing, not to mention, moves, hit all the right spots, except when he went off-key during the first two verses of Sympathy For The Devil. The song request that oddly got the most votes was Live With Me, and not Let's Spend The Night Together. Highlights were Lisa Fischer belting it out on a near-flawless Gimme Shelter, and Mick Taylor coming out to rip it up on Midnight Rambler, the absolute best performance of the night. The local choir introducing You Can't Always Get What You Want, note for note just like on the record, gave me lotta goosebumps. And the way their voices blended with the band was so damn good -- for a while it felt like a gospel revival. The show ended at exactly two hours, which is kinda short (I admit I'm spoiled after seeing Springsteen). But it was an enjoyable experience overall, one I hope will be much improved in a stadium setting in Adelaide this coming Saturday. What really made my night was hearing Mick Jagger making comments in Singlish in between songs!

The view from the S$400 seats

Jumpin’ Jack Flash
You Got Me Rocking
It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll (But I Like It)
Tumbling Dice
Wild Horses
Doom And Gloom
Live With Me
Honky Tonk Women
Slipping Away
Before They Make Me Run
Midnight Rambler
Miss You
Paint It Black
Gimme Shelter
Start Me Up
Sympathy For The Devil
Brown Sugar

You Can’t Always Get What You Want
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band in Brisvegas

Taken from
God how I wish I were at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre. I think it's fair to say Brisbane got the best setlist of the 2014 Australian/New Zealand tour. It was the last show in Australia, and Bruce was determined to pull out all the stops and put on the best show this continent has ever seen. If you thought covering AC/DC or INXS (and most recently, Lorde) was 'shocking' enough, Bruce decided to open the show with the one cover that no one ever expected in a million years. The band brought a very unique spin to The Bee Gees' Stayin' Alive; it was more Stax than Disco, and it sounds fantastic on the official bootleg. Things began to get real interesting from then on; the show's structure was unlike anything that had come before; it was obscurity after obscurity, audible after audible, sign request after sign request. Four songs in a row from the first album, including another awesome Growin' Up story. Save My Love (which I was lucky to hear in Manchester '12) -- "too fucking happy" to be on the Darkness record,as Bruce describes it. And three rarities from The River, including the ULTRA-RARE and one of Little Steven's all-time favorites, Fade Away, gorgeously performed in Brisbane, and blowing the one from NYC '09 (the famous River show) out of the water. One can't even begin to contemplate what it must have felt like for the diehard fan to hear this song live.

But of course, this was nothing compared to Bruce deciding to perform the entire The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle album, for the second time ever. And that alone is worth the price of the whole bootleg. Causal concertgoers must have been scratching their heads for the first 2 hrs 20 mins. A funky E Street Shuffle into Sandy into a 15min Kitty's Back into Wild Billy (with Garry Tallent on the tuba) into an EPIC Incident into Rosalita, and into the rarest of them all, NYC Serenade (with strings!) just can't fucking beat that!!! And that little transition from Rosie to Serenade was done just like on the album! After that it was hit after hit, crowd-pleaser after crowd-pleaser. I've never heard The Ghost Of Tom Joad performed this fast. Eddie Vedder even came back to sing on Highway To Hell; I suspect he might have planned his solo tour dates around Bruce's. According to official reports, the total duration was about five minutes shy of Melbourne Night 2 (still waiting in vain for the official download), making it the second longest show of the tour, and also one of the longest E Street shows ever. It has been two truly wonderful summers seeing Bruce and the band in Sydney and Melbourne, and meeting many fans along the way, and I can't wait to do it all over again.


Stayin' Alive
It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City
Does This Bus Stop At 82nd Street?
Growin' Up
Spirit In The Night
High Hopes
Just Like Fire Would
You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
Sherry Darling
Save My Love
Fade Away
The E Street Shuffle
Fourth Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
Kitty's Back
Wild Billy's Circus Story
Incident On 57th Street
Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
New York City Serenade
Darlington County
Waitin' On A Sunny Day
The Rising
The Ghost Of Tom Joad

Glory Days
Born To Run
Bobby Jean
Dancing In The Dark
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
Highway To Hell (with Eddie Vedder)
Thunder Road (solo acoustic)

P.S. 17 shows in South Africa, Australia & New Zealand. And over 120 DIFFERENT SONGS performed. Most bands don't even play that many different songs live throughout their entire careers. Just incredible.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Two more weeks...

The rumors of a Singapore date had been swirling around for a few months. And it was finally announced only four weeks prior to the show. Ticket prices ranged from SGD250-700, and it's the most expensive rock concert ever held here. But considering the venue capacity is less than 6000, all the tickets sold out in two hours. Marina Bay Sands Grand Ballroom isn't the most ideal place to host the world's biggest rock & roll band, but this being the smallest show on the 14 On Fire tour, it should be a very intimate one. For the many who couldn't get tickets, the organizers are kind enough to simulcast the show live on a giant screen somewhere at MBS [link]. After that, we're going to make our way to the biggest show on the tour...