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.
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.
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.
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.
Jon Anderson (Photo courtesy the artist)
Jon Anderson released 1,000 Hands, a new solo album, on March 31. The album features his former Yes bandmates Steve Howe, Alan White, and the late Chris Squire! Jon plays songs from the new record solo at The Birchmere on Monday, Aug. 5.
Chris Keating of Yeasayer performs at 9:30 Club on July 12, 2019. (Photo by Brenda Reyes
Hailing from Brooklyn, Yeasayer consists of Chris Keating, Ira Wolf Tuton, and Anand Wilder. The band took the stage at 9:30 Club recently under a simple, long, sequin fabric running from the ceiling to the floor, almost acting like a makeshift disco ball. Everyone set their instruments, and they were ready for the night to begin.
Phish performs at Merriweather Post Pavilion on June 22, 2019. (Photo by Andy Jillson)
American jam band Phish performed to the utter delight of a stupified sold-out crowd at Merriweather Post Pavilion recently, and I was there taking photos and spacing-out to the music and getting into the groove.