In my teenage years in the late eighties, there were many acts that I longed to see, but never seemed to find the opportunity. The Pixies were one of them. Until recently, every time they were around, I could not seem to score tickets! That is, until Music Midtown 2005 brought the best line up ever. When I heard the Pixies were going to be playing Music Midtown 2005, I knew I had to be sure not to miss a moment! Black Francis a.k.a. Frank Black, a.k.a. Charles Thompson (vocals, guitar), Kim Deal (bass, vocals), David Lovering (drums, some vocals), and Joey Santiago (lead guitar, vocals) serenaded the crowded 99x stage with the grace of no other, as they will in their upcoming tour of the world.
They kicked off their headlining performance Saturday Night with “Wave of Mutilation” from the 1989 Doolittle album. It wasn’t until the start of “Debaser” from Doolittle that we truly heard from bassist, Kim Deal. I think she must have really turned up the bass for this one. I have always admired the chemistry between Black and Deal’s vocals. They blend well. This is quite evident in Doolitle’s “This Monkey’s Gone to Heaven.” Continue reading →
Ever since I heard “Dookie” back in 1994, I have had a respect for Green Day that has been set in stone with their latest release, “Bullet in a Bible.” This set comes with a fantastic live album, as well as a DVD with a video of the biggest Green Day tour, to date. A total of over 130,000 Londoners were the luckiest to have been privy to the two in a row sold out shows that led to “Bullet in a Bible” in June 2005 at Milton Keynes National Bowl in England. For sure, the peak of the tour in support of “American Idiot!” Billie Joe Armstrong (lead vocals, guitar), Mike Dirnt (bass, vocals), and madman Tre’ Cool (drums, vocals) stepped up to the plate as one of the best punk/rock bands of our generation with this representation of their onstage energy and flawless talent. Weather or not you have ever seen Green Day perform live, their production of “Bullet in a Bible” transcends the lack of intimacy that usually comes from watching live concert video recordings. These guys have such a strong presence that they command their audience, even from the comfort of your living room couch or favorite chair. Continue reading →
There’s no secret that some of my favorite events of the year happen on the weekend of Music Midtown every year. A weekend full of so many different types of artists all coming together in the middle of the City of Atlanta to put up their best effort to draw the biggest crowd between six stages. This year, hats off to 99x, the local “Everything Alternative” Radio Station, who managed to book the most impressive line up on one stage that I have ever experienced.
Out of all of the bands that I was overjoyed to see, I have to say that the most unexpected delight of the weekend was the grand finale headliner on the 99x stage, DEVO! Even though it had been nearly 20 years since DEVO had played Atlanta, you wouldn’t have known it from the warm welcome they got from all the happy “spuds” and future “spuds” on Sunday evening. The DEVO energy dome hats must have been working to keep the rain away, because Sunday ended up being the only dry day of the festival. DEVO packed a high-energy punch with or without “flower pot” energy dome hats and radiation suits. Their message is as politically charged as ever and complete with social commentary and fun. Their set list was a balanced mix of their more popular songs and rarities. We got to hear “That’s Good,” “Girl U Want,” “Whip It,” “Satisfaction,” (Rolling Stones cover) “Uncontrollable Urge,” “Mongoloid,” “Blockhead,” “Jocko Homo,” “Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA,” “Gut Feeling/Slap Your Mammy,” “Gates of Steel,” Encore: “Freedom of Choice,” and “Beautiful World” with a special appearance by Booji Boy. Booji Boy seems to be sort of the social voice of DEVO, with his stories and lessons. My favorite ever Booji Boy moment was his role in the 1982 Neil Young movie, Human Highway. Continue reading →
The summer is always the time for festivals to come through town. Summer, 2005 offered many to choose from. The weekend of June 10 through 12 proved a challenge for the indecisive. Of course, everyone and their brother (except me and Leah) made the trek up to Tennessee for Bonnarroo. Then there were those of us who remained faithful to Atlanta’s Music Midtown, which took place the same weekend. If that weren’t enough, Atlanta also hosted the first annual VIBE MusicFest. The VIBE MusicFest line-up rivaled the others from beginning to end. From Ludacris to Faith Evans, Big Boi to Lauren Hill, even Common and Kanye West made an appearance. For me, though, the group that got the least amount of “press” was the most uplifting and enjoyable. The Marley Brothers’ celebration of their Father, Bob Marley’s Life of work touched me on the deepest part of my soul. The actual sons of Bob featured in this particular event were Stephen Marley and Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley.
From the first note of the introduction of the Marley celebration, I knew that VIBE MusicFest was in for a Kingston-style treat! The Marley Brothers were the first of the night on Saturday night, but brought the energy of a headliner. We were first introduced to Bob’s youngest son’s 1996 “Mr. Marley,” which is obviously a shout out to his father and the music he left behind. Damian Robert Nesta Marley a.k.a. “Junior Gong” started the show with high energy and a heavy reggae vibe on some of his solo material. Stephen then joined Damian onstage for a “Marley Brothers” version of the classic “Kaya.” Both of these boys have their own voice, unique to them only. However, when Stephen hit the stage with one of Bob’s signature outfits, the jean shirt and jeans, I could have sworn there had just been a resurrection. Stephen and Ziggy Marley are the spitting image of their Father, so every time I see them play music, I can’t help but wish Bob could walk out and join them for a few songs. One day. Continue reading →