Spring is here! A loaded month with great shows, return of legends & some celebrating longevity. Play ball!
The Pixies - April 29th - The Bomb Factory - Dallas, TX
To say there was a buzz in the air would be an understatement - This band will never not command the kind of manic must-see mania no matter who's playing bass for them it seems. They just have that gravitational pull to them, even just saying their name conjures an irresistiable mystique.
After long-time member (& much to founder Black Francis' chagrin) & for some the face & heart of the band Kim Deal left in 203 a mere week into recording their long-awaited comeback LP a few cried "No Kim, No Deal".
Not the case on this evening as I've never seen this place so packed. Like I knew it was sold out & arriving literally seconds before they took stage and stressing to get my photographer into the pit before it closed but you couldn't move.
In 2014 they delivered their first new studio work with the multi-EP series Indie Cindy and last year released their first proper studio album, Head Carrier, since 1991’s Trompe Le Monde. The new songs retain the Pixies sound & they play more than half of the new LP.
With zero talk between songs, the band hammered through a marathon set of over 30 songs & with a show that long it's amazing how well Black Francis' voice sounded as strong as ever, Joey Santiago was typically flawless, and the rhythm section of drummer David Lovering and new bassist Paz Lenchantin were very strong.
I'm proud to say that I was able to attend their original return at Coachella back in 2004 - It really felt like hell had truly frozen over & was a glorious moment. I caught four more shows on that tour. During their 90s hiatus I worked at an indie record store seeing their influence everywhere & lamenting with the store's owner about what it look like if they were ever to reform.
Oddly in a strange form of universal kharma, the first person I saw when I ran into the near fire-hazard of a crowd was the store owner, whom I haven't seen in 15 years.
The final songs of the set were among my faves as the ones they started with, culminating with my absolute.
The band would take a bow, the smoke machines would shroud them completely. Soon it became apparent it was a metaphor when you heard the unmistakable first notes of Into the White. While Lenchantin admirably filled original bassists Kim Deal’s shoes, there was little emphasis on the songs that featured Deal’s vocals so I was certain we wouldn't be hearing this one & was seriously losing my shit when we did.
Where Is My Mind?
The Holiday Song
All the Saints
Brick Is Red
La La Love You
Break My Body
Winterlong (Neil Young cover)
Ed Is Dead
Um Chagga Lagga
Wave of Mutilation
All I Think About Now
Monkey Gone to Heaven
Head On (The Jesus and Mary Chain cover)
Into the White
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers 40th Anniversary Tour - April 22nd - American Airlines Center - Dallas, TX
A special feeling was in the air - As only night #2 on Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers 40th Anniversary Tour celebrating four decades of timeless hits that were about to be played to one of the most appreciative crowds I've ever witnessed. I've always felt the crowd can equally make a show, no matter how good the band is, I love it when the band is right there with it.
“Hope you paid the babysitter well, ‘cause it’s gonna be a long night!”
Petty smiled widely & the sold out roared in response. This came after the one-two punch of opener Rockin' Around (With You) from their first LP to 90's inescapable Mary Jane's Last Dance to illustrate the multitude of hits across as many decades.
The cheers were certainly not lost on Petty as he seemed almost stunned by the reaction & voiced his appreciation at every opportunity with sincere, clearly moved gratitude.
He also did this really cool thing, where he had an old fashioned giant trunk, that he used as a prop.
Inside were all the immediately identifiable hats that Petty as worn over the years so are instaneously linked to the music of the period so this trunk served as time machine taking you back over the past 40 years as he would reach into the trunk & remove a hat & you instantly knew what was coming.
A fantastic rawking affair that just had unforgettable written all over it. The band & crowd enjoyed a momentum that lasted all the way throughout the encore implying the insatiable crowd would have been fine if they played all night.
Rockin' Around (With You)
Mary Jane's Last Dance
You Don't Know How It Feels
You Got Lucky
I Won't Back Down
Don't Come Around Here No More
It's Good to Be King
Time to Move On
Learning to Fly
Yer So Bad
I Should Have Known It
Runnin' Down a Dream
You Wreck Me
Joe Walsh and company opened the festivities highlighted by a moving cover of The Eagles’ Take It To The Limit dedicated to Walsh’s bandmate, the late Glenn Frey. Walsh is such a badass & could have easily filled this building on his own so having the both him & Petty as a one-two punch made the night just that much more special.
I personally have been on a bit of Walsh tear as of late. While I'm admittedly not the being Eagles consumer, I've always loved Joe & his swagger mixed with friendly face & fiery guitar just frames something I really can't seem to get enough of. I was invited to his pre-tour Vegas residency back in January that mark some of the best shows I've ever seen by anyone. So much so that a little over a week while the Petty tour was having a day off, Walsh was doing his own headliner gig and I just couldn't resist.
Joe Walsh - April 30th - Winstar World Casino - Thackerville, Oklahoma
Joe Walsh is a legend and, once again, proved why he has earned that distinction. His performance was flawless and highly entertaining, just as it has been for decades. His witty sense of humor and appreciation for his faithful fans always adds to the great experience of sharing a couple of hours with him.
Walsh had all of the babyboomers out of their seats and rockin for 90 minutes straight. A true entertainer with his small talk between songs and jokes about growing older and the intrusion/confusion of the internet era. Great energy from the stage and the audience. Everything from the Eagles, James Gang and just enough of a smattering of his new stuff. Didn't want it to end.
Ordinary Average Guy
A Life of Illusion
Everyday People (Sly & The Family Stone cover)
Take It to the Limit (Eagles song)
The Bomber: Closet Queen/Bolero/Cast Your Fate to the Wind (James Gang song)
Turn to Stone
In the City
Funk #49 (James Gang song)
Life in the Fast Lane (Eagles song)
Life's Been Good
Rocky Mountain Way
Brant Bjork - April 28th - Gas Monkey Bar & Grill - Dallas, TX
What better way to end this glorious month of fun activity than with the original drummer & founder (& all around awesome dude) of Kyuss, Brant Bjork. Touring in support of last year's Tao of the Devil it was great to see Brant & co in top form.
An unexpected surprise was towards the end when he brought out another desert legend in Sean Wheeler from Throw Rag & a million other projects for a few tracks including an awesome cover of the Stones' Jumpin Jack Flash - Check out Sean with the the Mutants & more with my man Dave Catching's release party for his Shared Hallucinations Vol 1 on May 27th at Pappy & Harriet's. Good times.
Buddha Time (Everything Fine)
The Gree Heen
Lazy Bones/Automatic Fantastic
Stokely Up Now
Freaks of Nature (with Sean Wheeler)
Jumpin' Jack Flash (The Rolling Stones cover) (with Sean Wheeler)
Low Desert Punk
Let the Truth Be Known