KISS In Fresno

On Saturday, JR and I saw KISS in concert in Fresno.Screen shot 2009-11-27 at 9.45.27 PM (photo courtesy of JR Beckwith)

We got there just before 8:00 and the opening act, local band Shiver Fox was playing. Neither of us had ever heard of them. They were pretty good, but I can’t remember anything they performed. I just thought it was cool that a local band was playing as the opening act.

Just after 9:00, the lights went out and the crowd went crazy. The video screens on the sides of the stage showed Gene, Paul, Tommy and Eric walking backstage and then the obligatory “You wanted the best, you got the best. The hottest band in the world... KISS!”.

Needless to say, the place went nuts!

The set list:

Deuce - of course they opened with this one! Strutter Let Me Go (Rock and Roll) Hotter Than Hell Shock Me - sang by Tommy Thayer... awesome! Dr Love Modern Day Delilah - good choice from the new album Cold Gin - Paul asked the crowd not to drink and drive Tommy guitar solo Parasite Say Yeah - another selection from Sonic Boom 100,000 Years / Eric drum solo - I miss Eric Carr, but Eric Singer is awesome! Gene bass solo I Love It Loud Paul plays intro to Stairway To Heaven Black Diamond - sang by Eric Singer Rock And Roll All Night

The band exits.

A minute or so later, at 10:40, the band came back on the stage for their bow. As the fans scream for an encore, Paul says “it will be the longest encore you've ever heard”.

Shout It Out Loud Lick It Up Love Gun - Paul sang some of it from a platform in the middle of the floor. Detroit Rock City

At 11:00 the show was over for good. Awesome show!

Of course the show came with flames shooting from the stage, as well as from Gene’s mouth, fireworks, including those shot from Tommy’s guitar (one of which hit an overhead set of lights, causing one end to swing free from the rafters), Gene flying up to the top of the arena, not far from the ceiling, and huge platforms that must’ve been 3 or 4 stories tall.

I consider myself a die-hard KISS fan. The fact that the band is performing with “hired hands” playing the roles of Ace Frehley and Peter Criss has caused some controversy. Seems that some fans dislike Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer playing those “characters”. I think the band is much better with Tommy and Eric. Ace and Peter are due heaps of respect but their time has come and gone, and come and gone again. Let’s not forget that there were other awesome musicians in the band. Criss was replaced by the late Eric Carr, who lost his battle with cancer 11-24-1991 (side note: don’t get me started on the Freddie Mercury / Eric Carr bit). Eric Singer joined the band after Carr’s death and has been there through some great and some terrible music. Ace was replaced by Vinnie Vincent, Mark St. John (one of my favorites), Bruce Kulick and then, ultimately, by Tommy Thayer. On the latest release, Sonic Boom, Paul, Gene, Tommy and Eric, came up with a sound that is classic in every sense of the word. Their sound is timeless and clean. I have no doubt that Tommy and Eric “dumbed down” their playing to match the style of their original band member brethren. This line-up is, by far, the best one Gene and Paul have put together. Period.

The Fresno show, and many others, was not a sell-out. Does that mean that KISS has lost their touch? I wouldn’t say that. After 35 years, the fact that they can put on this type of spectacle 4-5 nights a week means they still have it!

Gene’s age showed but he looked a thousand times more of the rocker than he does on Family Jewels. Paul’s voice was not 100% the entire show but talked to the crowd more than I remember him doing in ’96 when I saw them in Sacramento. If they go back out on tour in another 13 years, the 2022 tour, I can only imagine that Gene and Paul will have replaced, or cloned, themselves.

Check out the pics here.

Weird Al Concert

I am not the only Weird Al fan in our family. Yes, Dawn and the girls were all very supportive when I told them we were going to the fair tonight to see Weird Al Yankovic in concert! The girls actually know a lot of his music and had a blast at the show. The odd thing was that I didn't realize (or remember) that he was playing our local fair this year... a little ironic since I just posted the Weird Al is a Geek entry.

Picture 3

The concert went from a little after 8:30 until just before 11:00 and was filled with a lot our favorites. Here's the set list:

Polkarama Canadian Idiot Drum Solo Close, But No Cigar Why Does This Always Happen To Me Jessica Simpson - Al TV interview It's All About the Pentiums Mariah Carey - Al TV interview Celine Dion - Al TV interview You're Pitiful Madonna - Al TV interview Steven Tyler - Al TV interview Wanna Be Your Lover (he came out and did this one in the audience) Eminem - Al TV interview Medley: Couch Potato / Do I Creep You Out / I'm In Love With The Skipper / Headline News / Confessions, Part 3 / A Complicated Song / EBay / Bedrock Anthem / Ode to a Superhero / Pretty Fly for a Rabbi / Trapped in the Drive Thru / Radio Time / Gump / Eat It Keith Richard - Al TV interview I'll Sue Ya Paul McCartney - Al TV interview The Saga Begins Yoda Cher - Al TV interview Justin Timberlake - Al TV interview Weasel Stomping Day (video) Smells Like Nirvana Avril Lavigne - Al TV interview Homer and Marge video Amish Paradise K-Fed - Al TV interview White and Nerdy Fat

Encore: Cell Phones Albuquerque

His costume changes, as well as the band's) made the show really entertaining. We all had a great time!

Check out the pictures on Flickr, not the greatest of pics, but that's to be expected with me and concerts.

Nickel Creek Farewell For Now

Dawn and I saw Nickel Creek in San Francisco last night. It was an awesome show. They played a lot of their hits, including The Fox, The House Carpenter and Reasons Why. Even though I was bummed that they didn't play Lighthouse Tale it was still an awesome show. It was the first time either one of us had been to the Warfield which was a perfect venue for these guys. It's hard to believe that they have been playing music together for 18 years. Even though they are officially going on an "indefinite hiatus", I'd be surprised if they didn't get back together in a few years. It'll be interesting to see what solo work come from Chris and Sarah.


A short clip of The Fox.

A short clip of Smoothie Song.

Check out the (some are blurry) pics here.



George Jones02.13.02 - Stockton, CA - Fox Theatre 02.16.02 - Kelseyville, CA - Konocti Resort It was a dream come true... George Jones live in concert.  George Jones is simply the greatest crooner of all time and I had waited a long time to see The Possum.  Well, I got to see him twice in 4 days !!! What a time !!! 02.13.02 - Stockton, CA - Fox TheatreAs a big fan of "true country" today was both a good day and a bad day.  Waylon Jennings, one of the best voices in music, passed away today.  He will be missed.  Tonight, at the end of "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes", he added some touching comments about Waylon.  It was very moving. When I saw that KAT Country DJs were there with all their glory I couldn't resist.  I asked the morning show DJ why they were there if they never played his music.  "Well, we only play what the record companies allow us to play." he replied.  If you live in the Stockton / Modesto area, try switching to 93.9FM KEJC - they play REAL COUNTRY !!! [click here for the 93.9 website] George was awesome !!! He said his throat was sore but he went on anyway. Here was the playlist: Hightech Redneck Once You've Had The Best The Race Is On Bartender's Blues Black Mountain Rain (Instrumental) Choices Sinners & Saints A Picture Of Me Without You I'll Give You Something To Drink AboutWho's Gonna Wear Their Shoes(with a special tribute to Waylon) One Woman Man 50,000 Names Fire On The Mountain (Instrumental) Tennessee Whiskey The Man He WasMedley of: Share My World, Window Up Above, The Grand Tour, Walk, Through This World With Me, White Lightning (INCREDIBLE!), She Thinks I Still CareHappy Birthday (to some lady named Fran) He Stopped Loving Her TodayGolden Ring - with Barry Smith and Sherry Copeman-Smith Rocking Chair - with Barry Smith and Sherry Copeman-Smith God Bless The USA - with Barry Smith and Sherry Copeman-Smith on lead vocals

02.16.02 - Kelseyville, CA - Konocti Harbor This is the greatest venue to see a performer like George.  Our table was five rows back (table 79) which gave us an incredible view of the stage.  Uncle Dennis was supposed to make the trip with us but had to work.  Since it was impossible to sell a single ticket she gave it to a guard outside and told him to just give it away.  About half way through the show a woman joined us and then switched with her husband so he could watch the end. The opening act was California Cowboys, from Vacaville.  A pretty cool band. The show was almost the same exact show as in Stockton except for those that sat close enough to see him get really upset at the sound crew because of some technical problems.

Jones Boys Ramblin' FeverMuscle Car Man - with Barry Smith and Sherry Copeman-Smith The Sweetest Thing - with Sherry Copeman-Smith Mama Used To Whoop Me With A George Jones Album (That's Why I Sing This Way) - with Barry Smith and Sherry Copeman-Smith Don't Rock The Jukebox The Possum Possum_021602_20b The set:

Hightech Redneck Once You've Had The Best The Race Is On Bartender's Blues Black Mountain Rain (Instrumental) Choices Sinners & Saints A Picture Of Me Without You I'll Give You Something To Drink About Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes One Woman Man 50,000 Names Fire On The Mountain(Instrumental) Tennessee Whiskey The Man He Was Medley of:Share My World, Window Up Above, The Grand Tour, Walk, Through This World With Me, White Lightning, She Thinks I Still Care Happy Birthday / Happy Retirement He Stopped Loving Her Today Golden Ring - with Barry Smith and Sherry Copeman-Smith I Don't Need Your Rocking Chair - with Barry Smith and Sherry Copeman-Smith God Bless The USA - with Barry Smith and Sherry Copeman-Smith on lead vocals


Kenny Chesney & Tim McGraw

KC_TM2Mike, Shauna, Dawn and I saw Kenny Chesney & Tim McGraw in Marysville at the Sac Valley Amphitheatre.  It was a great show with Kenny getting the place really pumped for Tim.  He did "I Wanna Know How Forever Feels" and released about 20 "big orange balls" into the stands.  When the first verse ended, "I wanna know how Jimmy Buffet feels..." he and the band broke out into "Margaritaville" and then continued the song.  The highlight of his show for me was his cover of Billy Joel's"You May Be Right."

Tim McGraw was electrifying!  His show was just as much visual and anything else with huge screens just behind the band that provided some cool backdrops to his tunes.  His show opened with the Elton John classic"Tiny Dancer" which he started singing in the middle of the audience on a barstool and then made his way to the stage walking through  a sea of crazed fans.   Tim did a lot of songs from his new album "Set This Circus Down" and a lot of his classics.  During "Don't Take The Girl" the screen in the back was showing the words to the song so everyone could sing with him (as if there was anyone there that DIDN'T know the words!)  Mark Collie, Kenny Chesney came out and helped Tim finish the show with the last song.  Oh, and in case you were wondering.... there was no Faith Sad