Tag Archives: Concerts

Sir Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney sign outside of Miller Park

It was a bit of an adventure getting to Miller Park last night, but my friend and I made it. Once there, we found massive amounts of people in line at the stadium gates. The rumor was, the sound check took longer than expected, and the gates opened an hour later than originally scheduled. After about 30-40 minutes of inching our way forward we eventually got in, and made the climb to our seats in the upper deck.

I’d been looking forward to this show for a while. I have never seen Paul McCartney perform live before, and heard real good things about the shows on this current tour. I was not disappointed. Sir Paul played with Springsteen like stamina: 38 songs over a 2 hour and 45 minute show that would put musicians half his age to shame.

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Emmylou Harris and her Red Dirt Boys

I’ve been fond of Emmylou Harris‘s music since the early 1980’s. I started out a casual fan, but the intensity of my fandom grew along with the music she was making. When her 1995 masterpiece Wrecking Ball came out, I was a seriously hooked. Through all that time, I never had the oppotunity to hear Emmylou Harris perform live. But that finally changed last night, when I attended her outstanding show at Madison’s Overture Center.

Emmylou Harris’ set began somewhat subdued. Early on she played one of my favorites of the night, the hauntingly beautiful “Red Dirt Girl.” That tone continued with a cover of Lucinda Willams’ “Sweet Old World” and the somber waltz “I Miss the Mississippi and You.”

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Balla Tounkara et Groupe Spirit

I’ve been meaning to try some concert photography and last night’s performance of Balla Tounkara et Groupe Spirit at the free La Fete de Marquette festival in Madison provided the perfect opportunity.

The band is from Mali and played some very infectious afro-pop. I enjoyed their music a lot. At times when I was shooting, I had to remind myself to stay still for a good shot. It was really hard not to move while they were playing.

Balla Tounkara et Groupe Spirit

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Recording: Ryan Adams & the Cardinals in Madison

Thanks to Muzzle of Bees, I discovered a recording of the excellent Ryan Adams & The Cardinals show I attended about six weeks ago. Here’s one of my favorite songs from that night, “Easy Plateau.”

This is an outstanding recording, available in lossless FLAC format, released by the Cardinals themselves. The entire show is posted in the audio section of the Internet Archive: Ryan Adams Live at Overture Hall on 2008-10-05.

What a great souvenir of a great concert. A must for all Ryan Adams fans.

Todd Rundgren’s arena rock

Todd Rundgren and his band rocked Madison’s Barrymore Theatre last night, and I do mean rock. Oh and for those of you counting, that’s two big concerts in three days for me (it’s been a good week).

The show began in a big way with “Love in Action” from his days in Utopia. When the band repeatedly sang the line before the title phrase, “You can’t stop, you can’t stop…” I thought, what you can’t stop is the energy emanating from the stage. They played with a garage-band-like ferociousness, pounding out the power chords.

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Ryan Adams & the Cardinals’ marathon jam

Last night Ryan Adams & the Cardinals were in town, playing at Madison’s Overture Hall in support of their upcoming release Cardinology. Because of the venue, I expected good acoustic sound and I wasn’t disappointed. This could have been one of the best sounding shows I ever attended. Musically the band seemed to give it their all, playing for almost three hours (with a 15 minute break between sets).

The concert started off with two new songs, which went over fairly well with the audience. Next was a solid “Everybody Knows,” a pained and somber cover of Oasis’ “Wonderwall”, followed by another new song. By this point Ryan and the band seemed to be functioning like a well-oiled machine, and came to the first big highlight when they played “Goodnight Rose.” It included a wonderful instrumental jam featuring harmonizing guitars, an almost whispering chant of “goodnight, goodnight” toward the end, which segued into the signature musical riff of the song at full volume to finish.

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Orchestra Baobab’s laid back groove

Orchestra Baobab plays a laid back, Afro-Cuban style, and their show last night at the Barrymore Theatre was almost perfect for a beautiful summer evening. The band from Senegal has nine members: three guitarists, two saxophonists, and four people who spent their evening singing, and taking turns at the three percussion stations.

Orchestra Baobab sings in their native languages (Wolof? Mandinka? and some French) and I’m sure most of us in the audience didn’t have a clue what they were singing about. But that didn’t matter with the easy going groove their music had.

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