Live Review: Rick Wakeman @ The Birchmere — 9/25/19

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Rick Wakeman performs at The Birchmere on Sept. 25, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Rick Wakeman’s Grumpy Old Rock Star tour featured a man who is anything but. Rather, we got a wonderfully intimate, hilarious, and jaw-dropping performance from the former Strawbs, on-again off-again YES, and unparalleled session keyboardist recently at The Birchmere. Not a grumpy soul in the room, least of all Mr. Wakeman himself.

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Live Review: God Is an Astronaut @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 9/14/19

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God Is an Astronaut performs at Rock and Roll Hotel on Sept. 14, 2019. (Photo by Marc Caicedo)

“Buying records cheers me up…whenever I feel low, I buy some new records.” Peanuts by Charles M. Schultz

The ability of music to lift us from pain born of tragedy is one of its enduring qualities. Recently, God Is an Astronaut (GIAA) showed us how despair and grief can be relieved — if only temporarily — with soaring melodies, a huge backbeat, and the sort of musical intimacy between player and listener that gives solace at the Rock and Roll Hotel.

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Snapshots: Dante Frisiello @ Jammin’ Java — 9/9/19

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Dante Frisiello and his band perform at Jammin’ Java, Sep. 9, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

Dante Frisiello was in a state of nirvana one night recently at Jammin’ Java in Vienna, Virginia. The progressive rock composer and guitarist released his debut album, Alignment, earlier in the year — and this evening was his third opportunity present the material to live audience. That alone would have been enough; but on this evening, Dante was on stage as the opening act for one of his favorite musical influences, instrumental rock drummer Virgil Donati. It was a dream come true.

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Live Review: Jon Anderson of Yes @ The Birchmere — 8/5/19

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Jon Anderson performs at The Birchmere on Aug. 5, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Getting older, aging, maturing — whatever you’d like to call it — does have its upsides. Like wine or whisky, guitars and violins, aging produces deep tones and a richness that can’t be duplicated any other way. The same can be said for music, the timelessness and appeal that cuts across space and time.

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