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#172
Date February 20, 2005
City Bloomington, IN
Venue Axis
Headline ROBERT RANDOLPH
Support Rose Hill Drive
Ticket $20.00

Keeping it real - Robert Randolph and the Family Band heat up an otherwise cold Bloomington night in February. The venue appeared to be oversold and the fans couldn't get enough of the blues-rock-jam band whose entire repertoire seems to be graced by the roots of southern gospel. Rose Hill Drive, who has enjoyed oppportunities as opening act for Van Halen, was inaudible. While they seem to have practiced their classic rock licks, one could not help but draw obvious parallels to "That 70's Show" or the movie "Detroit Rock City".

ROBERT RANDOLPH
ROSE HILL DRIVE


#173
Date March 08, 2005
City Indianapolis, IN
Venue The Patio
Headline JAMES McMURTRY
Support N/A
Ticket $10.00

Best selling author, Stephen King, recently wrote to the effect that James McMurtry may be the fiercest songwriter of modern day. I couldn't agree more. McMurtry has consistently demonstrated an intuitive and insightful sense of story-telling throughout his recording career. People, places and times are recalled with stark honesty and painted in words more vivid than a picture. What seems to bind it all together is the overwhelming realism employed by the artist. Listen to the words. You know these people, you've been to places very much the ones described, but maybe it's been a long time since you were there. That's the magic of McMurtry's gift. His concert at the Patio in Indianapolis is one that I have long anticipated and it was nothing short of expectation. Particularly nice was the fact that the small size venue added an extra ambience to the set.

SETLIST:
St Mary of The Woods
Fraulein O
Red Dress
No More Buffalo
60 Acres
Rachel's Song
Out Here In The Middle
Choctaw Bingo
Lights Of Cheyenne
Levelland
Max's Theorem
I'm Not From Here
Too Long In The Wasteland
Rex's Blues

JAMES McMURTRY

#174
Date May 28, 2005
City Indianapolis, IN
Venue Music Mill
Headline

OVER THE RHINE

Support Kim Taylor
Ticket $15.00


OVER THE RHINE
KIM TAYLOR


#175
Date June 15, 2005
City Indianapolis, IN
Venue Music Mill
Headline

CALIFORNIA GUITAR TRIO with Tony Levin and
Pat Mastelotto

Support N/A
Ticket $18.00

This turned out to be an incredible opportunity to see California Guitar Trio along side two stellar players best known for their connections to King Crimson. CG3 are also tied to King Crimson, as they were all students of Robert Fripp in his League of Crafty Guitarists. Of course the opportunity to see and hear Tony Levin in such an intimate venue was bonus. Fabulous show.

CALIFORNIA GUITAR TRIO


#176
Date June 15, 2005
City Indianapolis, IN
Venue Murat Theatre
Headline

MARK KNOPFLER

Support N/A
Ticket $60.00

Nevermind the many comparisons to Eric Clapton and other strat cats, Mark Knopfler is without a doubt the heir apparent to American guitarist Chet Atkins. The former Dire Straits frontman continues to hone his craft at writing meaningful songs, whether they be about people, historical events or the occasional novelty value topic. It may have been a more common path to have continued in the rock/blues genre, but Knopfler has incorporated a fair amount of old school Nashville and sounds of native Scotland into his work as well. On this tour, Mark Knopfler and his band of not-so-famous, but noticably capable players tear through a two hour set of Mark's solo work plus some crowd pleasing Dire Straits hits.

The show starts off with a mix of favorable solo tracks, including "Why Aye" , "What It Is" , and "Sailing To Philidelphia" combined with the occasional Dire Straits track, such as "Walk Of Life". Clearly, MK was getting a feel for the show and for the venue with quiet, often conservative guitar contributions. By the fifth or sixth number of the show, Knopfler gave a nod to the band as he tore into the classic favorite, "Sultans Of Swing". At this point he obviously felt things were falling into shape nicely and unloaded a barrage of inspired guitar on an audience who came to here him play. The rest of the two hour set consisted of only a shortlist of tunes from his current release, Shangri-La, one of my favorites, "Rutiger" from Golden Heart, and "Speedway At Nazareth" , a song familiar to Indianapolis fans because it includes a verse about the Brickyard. The show closed with "Money For Nothing"

MARK KNOPFLER

#177        
Date July 27, 2005        
City Indianapolis, IN        
Venue Music Mill      
Headline STATIC X
Support American Headcharge, Bloodsimple, 10 Years
Ticket COMP        

Great bands, great turnout. Ten Years turned out to be my favorite of the support acts. This was also their last night on the tour. They sound a lot like Staind. I was a lot more impressed by the appearances of Bloodsimple than their music. Kyle on bass is a lot of fun to watch, but otherwise not so much to report musically. American Head Charge seemed to have the most seniority, if one could call it that, among the support acts and the fans seemed to know their music pretty well. Again, not my thing. My buddy said they were trying to be like Korn. Static X was by far the most veteran and entertaining group of the evening. After a solid debut album and a spot on the infamous Ozzfest Tour several years back, they were the undisputed must see act of the night. After a few roster changes, it was good to see Koichi back on guitar.

STATIC-X
AMERICAN HEADCHARGE
BLOODSIMPLE
10 YEARS

 

#178        
Date Sept 2-4, 2005        
City Indianapolis, IN        
Venue Military Park      
Performers RICK SPRINGFIELD, TED NUGENT, JOHN WAITE, Lovin Spoonful, The Squirts, BIG HEAD TODD and The Monsters
Ticket FREE        

From many sources, I have heard that Rick Springfield is both a perfectionist and a consumate performer. So, my expectations were slightly higher than average when RS took the stage at this year's Rib festival. Springfield started off with a 5 minute prerecorded intro before taking the stage - a build-up that would prove unnecessary. He led off the set with songs from "Shock/Denial/Anger/Acceptance", an album that I'll bet 95% of the crowd didn't know. Obviously the crowd came to hear Rick's 80's hits - however his post-hit period music tended to be much harder in song and often more bitter in lyrics. That doesn't mean the music is bad - just illustrates that he wasn't really connecting with the audience right away. The first two or three songs were not performed well. By this I mean that Springfield was so busy pretending to be a cool "guitar god" that he missed words while singing. By the fourth song, the popular "I've done everything for you", the band and band leader weree more in synch and the show started sounding better. This was followed by a couple of tracks from "Living In Oz" which were again, not so well performed. Springfield attempted to do a guitar solo segment of the show, which was about as enjoyable as having a tooth drilled at the dentist. He then traded guitars for a '62 strat and made a comment to the crowd - "This is my '62 strat, it was made before most of you were born." This led into a cover of the Jimi Hendrix classic, "Red House" which I must say sounded great. After a few more tracks from S/D/A/A, Springfield offered a few more covers, namely the 10CC hit, "I'm Not In Love" - a somewhat forgotten Dream Academy single, "Life In A Northern Town", which by the way sounded so true to the original that I overheard people of the audience comment, "I didn't know this was Rick Springfield". This was followed by a rousing version of "Gloria". RS teased the audience several times with an intro to "Jesse's Girl" before offering up "Love Somebody" from the movie "Hard To Hold". We ended up leaving the show about here, while Springfield endulged himself by walking into the audience to sign autographs. "Rule number one," he said, "is don't touch my butt." Check please.

RICK SPRINGFIELD SETLIST:
I'll Make You Happy
Will I
Affair Of The Heart
I've Done Everything for You - Sammy Hagar cover
Rock Of Life
Red House - Jimi Hendrix cover
Don't Talk to Strangers
Speak to the Sky
I'm Not In Love - 10cc cover
Life In A Northern Town - Dream Academy cover
Gloria - Van Morrison cover
Love Somebody
Jesus Saves
You Really Got Me - Kinks cover
Human Touch
Jessie's Girl

ENCORE: Love Is Alright Tonite

The next day started off with Lovin' Spoonful, a 60's folk rock era group responsible for such hits as "Summer In The City" and "Do You Believe In Magic". The sound was amazingly good and three of the four original members were accompanied by 2 additional musicicians. In absence was original member and key song writer, John Sebastian. Nevertheless, the group sounded genuine and clear. Under beautiful skies in early afternoon, Lovin' Spoonful played to a late 40 and 50+ year old crowd of maybe 750 happy people.

The Spoonful ended their set as Ted Nugent started signing autographs from 3:00-6:00. The line was long, but organizers kept it moving at a brisk pace. Nugent, always the hunting advocate, was also promoting his camp for kids and insisted that adults help keep kids off drugs through strong family and patriotic values. The Nuge was happy and gracious, accepting fan requests for photos and questions.

Following the evening's fireworks display, Ted Nugent and band took the stage promptly at 9:00, cranking out protein enriched classics from the 70's and 80's, such as "Wango Tango" and "Hey Baby" along with a couple new selections from his most recent release, Craveman. This was easily the largest crowd so far of the festival. I'm not great at guesstimating crowd size, but there must have been 5,000 - 6,000 or better on hand for the controversial rock icon. Ted makes no bones about his beliefs in family values, patriotism, and hunting and often uses the stage as a pulpit to address fans on these subjects. He saluted the men and women of the armed forces, which drew ample crowd applause. He directed his fans to encourage those who drink and drive to give up their keys and if they refused, beat the crap out of 'em! Likewise, Uncle Ted had choice words for users, abusers, pushers, and makers of methamphetamine. The 56 year old sportsman/rocker poured out hit after classic hit for a solid 90 minutes.

Ted NUgent's setlist, in no particular order and incomplete: Wango Tango, Cat Scratch Fever, Stranglehold, Great White Buffalo, I'm A Soul Man, Free For All, Yank Me Crank Me, Stormtroopin', Kiss My Ass, Hey Baby and lots more

A friend of mine (I cannot remember who) once said that if John Waite wore his hair long, he was all rock-n-roll. If he cut it short, he was in a sappy ballad phase. John Waite went on at 4:00pm with very long hair and a beard. He rocked. Evidentally due to a miscommunication, the former Babys singer and platinum solo artist played a 45 minute set even though the published schedule of events had him down for 90 minutes. The abbreviated set was not short on hits however, including career highlights from The Babys, Bad English and various solo ventures. The last time I saw John Waite, he muffed the lyrics to his most popular hit, "Missing You" however he nailed the song this time and sounded great throughout the set. Unfortunately, Damon Johnson was absent from the band this time. Guitar licks were supplied by Jimmy Leahy.

Big Head Todd & The Monsters sounded good as well. I am far less familiar with their individual songs, but I was satisfied hearing a number of great tracks from the Sister Sweetly album. Of course, "Bittersweet" was a crowd pleaser, along with "Sister Sweetly" and "Broken Hearted Savior".

John Waite setlist: (In no particular order and incomplete) Missing You, Midnight Rendezvous, Change, Isn't It Time, When I See You Smile, Bluebird Cafe, The Hard Way, Rock And Roll (Led Zeppelin) and a handful of others.

RICK SPRINGFIELD
BIG HEAD TODD
TED NUGENT
LOVIN SPOONFUL
JOHN WAITE

 

#179
Date Sept 16, 2005
City Indianapolis, IN
Venue Music Mill
Headline

CALIFORNIA GUITAR TRIO

Support N/A
Ticket $18.00

Unlike the show a few months back, this concert was strictly CG3 without Tony Levin or Pat Mastelotto. Also unlike last time, the setlist was completely different, which made for a great evening of music. For guitar geeks like myself and even the ordinary listener, you have to be awestruck by the fretskill of Bert Lams. The show lasted about 90 minutes and ranged in styles from bluegrass to classical, rock to surf guitar. The great thing about attending a CG3 concert is that you need not be familiar with their CD's in order to know some of the content. This evening's show included Symphony #9, as well as an acoustic version of Queen's popular "Bohemian Rhapsody". The setlist also featured theme music from "The Good The Bad & The Ugly" and another familiar western, blended seamlessly into The Doors classic, "Riders On The Storm". Also previewed at this engagement was an excerpt from Jon Anderson's new concerto for four guitars - obviously performed only on three guitars. For an extra interesting encore, the trio elected to perform a track from the popular movie soundtrack to "Napoleon Dynamite"

CALIFORNIA GUITAR TRIO


#180
Date Sept 19, 2005
City Indianapolis, IN
Venue Jazz Kitchen
Headline

ACOUSTIC ALCHEMY

Support N/A
Ticket $25.00

U.K. based Acoustic Alchemy stopped in at the Jazz Kitchen for two performances in support of their latest release, "American English". What began as an impressive guitar duo has over time evolved into a much larger band with a broader sound. Although the current album features a roster fo 6, a smaller quartet version of the group performed a very intimate show here. The group's co-founder, Nick Webb, passed away several years ago, replaced by the very capable Miles Gilderdale on guitar. His partner, mainstay Greg Carmichael, completes the string section of the band. The newest member of AA is drummer Greg Grainger from Baltimore, MD. Rounding out the quartet is pianist Terry Disley, who has joined Acoustic Alchemy on and off for a number of years. The evening's show got underway just as a severe storm passed throgh the city. This caused a few minor electrical problems, but all sound issues were worked out quickly. To begin, the band's manager introduced the program as a unique words and music performance, with any number of anecdoatl stories of the band's history being told by the members themselves. The 90 minute setlist spanned the entire AA catalog and featured several crowd pleasers, including "Mr. Chow" and "Red Dust/Spanish Lace".

ACOUSTIC ALCHEMY

 

#181
Date October 5, 2005
City Indianapolis, IN
Venue Music Mill
Headline

AL DiMEOLA

Support N/A
Ticket $30.00

A larger than average Music Mill turn out for a pioneering jazz/fusion guitarist who has not played the Indianapolis area for a long time. From the start of the show, DiMeola wasted little time re-introducing himself (to anyone who may have forgotten) as the reigning king of 10 fingers on two hands. Al DiMeola fans will almost immediately acknowledge two distinct periods in the guitarist's career. First, the 70's proved to be Al DiMeola's most popular, as he pioneered the jazz/fusion genre along side John McLaughlan, Stanley Clarke, Paco Rivera and others. While often employing latin-american sounds in his music, DiMeola blazed as a leading guitarist of the era, known for his lightning fast yet controlled attack. Post 70's jazz saw a reduced interest in fusion, while DiMeola pursued an often softer sound. Eventually, the name "Al DiMeola" faded from conversation. This concert tour clearly re-asserts the jazz-fusion era DiMeola in prime form.

Along side DiMeola this evening, Mario Parmisano keyboards, Ernie Adams drums, Victor Miranda bass, and the evry animated Gumbi Ortiz percussion.

AL DI MEOLA


#182        
Date October 14, 2005        
City Indianapolis, IN        
Venue Holiday Inn South      
Performers ERIC SINGER and FRIENDS featuring Damon Johnson, Ryan Roxie and Chuck Garric
Ticket $20.00        

This was the first of two benefit concerts by Eric Singer and Friends (Ryan Roxie, Chuck Garric, and Damon Johnson). The guys played an incredible A-List of classic 70's rock cover songs and they nailed every single one, even to the most discriminating ear. No wonder, because this is Alice Cooper's touring band. Alice had performed the night before here in Indianapolis. The band stuck around two more days for the benefit, before heading off to Las Vegas to catch up with Mr. Cooper for a show on Sunday. Having met Eric a number of times before, the real treat for me was the opportunity to meet guitarist Damon Johnson. E.S. and his friends hung out after the show to sign some autographs. Importantly, a lot of money was raised for a good cause!

Setlist: (Incomplete) No More Mr Nice Guy, Highway To Hell, Surrender, Love Gun, Black Diamond, Fox On The Run, Rock 'N' Roll All Nite, Jailbreak and more.

ERIC SINGER and FRIENDS

 

#183
Date October 19, 2005
City Indianapolis, IN
Venue Jazz Kitchen
Headline

JOHN SCOFIELD

Support N/A
Ticket $25.00

This was the third show of four total booked by Scofield at the Jazz Kitchen. Two shows, two nights and wow, what a treat for fans of jazz guitar! John Scofield performed an evening of music paying tribute to one of the all-time greats, Ray Charles. Of course the arrangements were designed to be showcased by a world class guitarist such as Scofield. Charles classics such as I Got A Woman, I Don't Need No Doctor, Sticks & Stones and countless others were served up with steaming guitar solos, while the beautiful Georgia was the highlight of the evening for me.

JOHN SCOFIELD


#184
Date November 21, 2005
City Indianapolis, IN
Venue Music Mill
Headline

JON ANDERSON

Support N/A
Ticket $55.00

Jon Anderson: for over 35 years, the unmistakable voice of the progressive British rock group, Yes. Then there was that other commercial Yes formation featuring newcomer guitarist, Trevor Rabin (90125-era). And let's not forget the other formation Yes, legally remembered as Anderson-Bruford-Wakeman-Howe. Anderson is probably lesser remembered for his 1980's collaborations with the greek maestro, Vangelis. In addition, Anderson has delivered a number of solo outings, including my favorite, Animation. How would anyone begin to create a setlist from this?

The performance was designed to feature Anderson, unaccompanied save for a few instruments and midi-effects. In performing the obligatory Yes-classics, Anderson was hit-and-miss. The hits were Soon (excerpt from Gates of Delirium), And You And I, Wondrous Stories, I've Seen All Good People and White Buffalo. The misses included rambling ventures into song segments, unrecognizable except in lyrical content. These featured parts of Close To The Edge and The Revealing Science Of God. Completely missing the mark was an ill-advised performance of the 1984 hit, Owner Of A Lonely Heart, featuring Anderson's vocal and the bare bones chord structure of the song strummed acoustic.

The show lasted nearly 2 hours with encores and the audience was generally pleased with anything Andersoon wanted to do, including a few songs from the Jon & Vangelis collections. In all the show was quite enjoyable, topped off by a meet-n-greet afterward.

JON ANDERSON


#185
Date December 9, 2005
City Indianapolis, IN
Venue Conseco Fieldhouse
Headline

NEIL DIAMOND

Support N/A
Ticket $77.00

Neil Diamond is the king of showmen. If this was not true, he would not have packed the house at Conseco Fieldhouse just days before Christmas at a minimum ticket price of $77. Such was the case Dec 9th. While Diamond sounded a bit winded from time to time, he is an elder statesman of the entertainment business, this is his first outing in a few years and the show was nonstop service to hitsville. Huff and puff all you want to Neil. The band was of course tight and from where I sat, the lead guitar player was significantly louder than his counterparts in the band.

SETLIST:
Crunchy Granola Suite
Desiree
Remember Me
Beautiful Noise
You Got to Me
Kentucky Woman
Cherry, Cherry
Play Me
Love on the Rocks
America
Thank the Lord for the Night Time
Forever in Blue Jeans
You Don't Bring Me Flowers
Wake Up The Band
Be
Lonely Looking Sky
Skybird
Holly Holy
Sweet Caroline
I'm a Believer
Glory Road
And the Grass Won't Pay No Mind
Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)
I'm on to You
We
Shilo
Red Red Wine
Soolaimon
I Am ... I Said

ENCORE:
Cracklin' Rosie
Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show

NEIL DIAMOND