Show Reviews

by Max Ink Staff Writers


Michael Douglas, Stephen Galloway & Sherry Lansing - photo by Gianna Bertoli/Michael Priest Photography

Michael Douglas, Stephen Galloway & Sherry Lansing - photo by Gianna Bertoli/Michael Priest Photography

Sherry Lansing and Stephen Galloway in conversation with Michael Douglas, 92Y, NYC, 4.28.17

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: May 2017
(1600) Page Views

There’s no doubt that Sherry Lansing has had a stellar and storied career in the film industry. She was the first female president of 20th Century Fox and later went on to become chairman of Paramount Pictures. She’s also been a very successful independent producer. Ms. Lansing recently met up with old friend and colleague Michael Douglas and author Stephen Galloway at the 92nd Street Y to discuss her biography, written by Mr. Galloway, titled “Leading Lady: Sherry Lansing And The Making of a Hollywood Groundbreaker.” Mr. Douglas took the role of moderator and was clearly comfortable asking questions surrounding the book and reminiscing about his long standing professional relationship with Ms. Lansing.

Read More...


Aimee Mann captivates the Barrymore audience - photo by Mary Sweeney/sweeneysphotography.com

Aimee Mann captivates the Barrymore audience - photo by Mary Sweeney/sweeneysphotography.com

Aimee Mann brings “Mental Illness” to Madison’s Barrymore Theatre 5.2.17

Show Review By Sal Serio
Posted: May 2017
(2806) Page Views

After more than 30 years in the role of “Music Reviewer” I am happy to report that the activity hasn’t become rote and automatic. Because, often I am pleasantly surprised by the concert experience, especially when it is outside the limitations of my initial expectations. After being asked to review last night’s Aimee Mann concert at the Barrymore in Madison, I definitely walked away feeling like I got way more than I initially bargained for (in my mind, that is). Which clearly begs the question, what did I expect? Well, first let’s look at the latest release by Aimee Mann, titled ‘Mental Illness’, a beautifully crafted album of strong material, anchored by Mann’s driving acoustic guitar rhythms and her lilting singing style. The 11 songs are typically in an introspective, borderline melancholy mood, perfect for a rainy day. But this shouldn’t shock anybody. Mann’s nearly 25 year solo career has been founded on this sort of emotion… a dark humor balanced by melodies that stick in your head long after the record is off the turntable. Akin to watching an excellent drama, and having it’s major themes stuck in your subconscious for days or weeks after.

Read More...


Bob Dylan circa 1963 - photo by Jim Marshall

Bob Dylan circa 1963 - photo by Jim Marshall

The Photography Show - Presented by AIPAD, March 30 - April 2, 2017, Pier 94, NYC

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: Apr 2017
(1551) Page Views

Now in its 37th year, The Association of International Photography Art Dealers, (AIPAD), has been presenting its annual exhibition in New York City. This year it was at Pier 94 on 12th Ave at 55th Street. Featuring more than 85 prominent photography galleries from throughout the country, this is a major show indeed. There’s so much to see throughout the isles of this spacious venue. There’s a bar on hand as well. A variety of genres are on display, including contemporary, modern, nineteenth-century and photo-based media. There are also talks given by photographers and artists. This year I was especially keen on hearing veteran photographer Lee Friedlander. He and his wife Maria were interviewed by their grandson Giancarlo. They’re all in business together owning the longstanding Haywire Press, which publishes Lee’s work since he started photographing in the late ‘50’s. Much of that work is known for its urban “social landscapes,” with many of Lee’s images incorporating store-front reflections, structures outlined by fences, street signs, etc. He also loves jazz and took photos of many musicians of this American invented genre, including John Coltrane’s Giant Steps, that wound up on many covers of Atlantic Records in the ‘60’s.

Read More...


The Zombies - photo by Michael Sherer

The Zombies - photo by Michael Sherer

The Zombies - The Town Hall, NYC, 3.25.17

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: Apr 2017
(1655) Page Views

I was quite pleased to be present for The Zombies’ last tour as it came through the most major of all its U.S. stops, my hometown of NYC. And what a venue to experience it, the fabled Town Hall, one of the oldest and charming venues in the city. Opened in 1921 in the Times Square area with a capacity of 1,500, its acoustics and sight lines are excellent, especially from my seat a few rows away from center stage.

Some contextual history for this band is in order. They were founded in 1961 in St. Albins, Hertfordshire, England by Rod Argent, Paul Atkinson and Hugh Grundy, with Colin Blunstone and Paul Arnold joining soon after. All were late teenagers still in school. They were originally called The Mustangs, with Arnold suggesting changing it to the far more unique The Zombies. After scoring some hits, the band unfortunately broke up in December of 1967, months before their second record was released in April, 1968. That record, Odyssey & Oracle, is ranked number 100 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. This final tour is to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its recording. It contains one of their best songs, written by Rod Argent, called “Time Of The Season.” It was a big hit, peaking at number 3 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in 1969, after building up from its release the year before.

Read More...


UFO - photo by Michael Sherer

UFO - photo by Michael Sherer

Saxon & UFO, BB King’s, NYC, 3.29.17

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: Apr 2017
(934) Page Views

With UFO being around since ‘69 and Saxon since ‘77, some vintage British hard rock rolled into NYC at BB King’s in Times Square. Saxon opened, and played their hits such as Denim and leather, Wheels Of Steel, Princess Of The Night, Crusader, Motorcycle Man and Strong Arm Of The Law.

Saxon are a prominent band in the movement called New Wave Of British Metal (NWOBM) that came about in the late ‘70’s and early ‘80’s. Iron Maiden also came out of this movement and would go on to have the most mainstream and worldwide success. British Journalist Geoff Barton coined the term in a May 1979 issue of the British music newspaper Sounds to describe the emergence of new heavy metal bands in the late 1970s, coinciding with the period of punk rock’s decline and the dominance of new wave music.

Read More...


Neal Schon of Journey rocking the Madison crowd! - photo by Mary Sweeney/sweeneysphotography.com

Neal Schon of Journey rocking the Madison crowd! - photo by Mary Sweeney/sweeneysphotography.com

Journey and Asia at the Coliseum in Madison 3.28.17

Show Review By Sal Serio
Posted: Mar 2017
(1980) Page Views

First, I must make a few disclosures in advance of this concert review. In a nutshell, I honestly did not know what to expect. My personal years of digging the band Journey were circa the ‘Infinity’ and ‘Evolution’ albums, so… late 1970s… geez, almost 40 years ago now. By the time they became a mega-huge pop band in the early 80s, my tastes in music had changed toward the more aggressive and/or more esoteric. Most of the Journey hits on classic rock radio were songs I truly disliked at the time they came out, since they directly flew in the face of my angry-young-man/anti-commercial attitude and lifestyle. However, we all age, and as a result we mellow out… one can’t stay an angry young man forever. Indeed, I now often find myself scouring the used record bins to reacquire LPs that I had in my youth that had been sold back in the hardcore punk rock days.

So, here I was on the evening of Tuesday, March 28, attending the Journey and Asia concert at the Coliseum in Madison as a member of the press. I had many ponderances and tried to avoid speculations. I wondered if there was still an audience for this type of concert in Madison, especially at a venue the size of the Coliseum, whose heyday was many decades earlier. I wondered if I would enjoy myself, or be caught in a quagmire of revulsion being lumped in with the members of my own generation that never went down the path of expanding their musical or artistic horizons, and never experienced anything alternative-whatsoever in their lifestyles. I wondered whether this concert would have energy and appeal. Generally speaking, I was wondering what I was getting myself in to.

And so… (cue Bugs Bunny) “tonight what heights we’ll hit, on with the show, this is it!”

Read More...


David Cassidy - photo by Michael Sherer

David Cassidy - photo by Michael Sherer

David Cassidy - BB King’s, NYC, 3.4.17

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: Mar 2017
(1694) Page Views

With David Cassidy, 66, retiring from touring this year due to the onset of hereditary dementia, I was glad to catch his last NYC appearance. Cassidy told a few stories to provide context to his 47 year career, and I’ll give some too here, as he’s had an interesting journey.

Cassidy explained from the stage that he chose BB King’s for his last NYC performance because he really likes the club and the late B.B. King himself, and due to it being in Times Square, which is where he made his acting debut in a Broadway musical. It was called The Fig Leaves Are Falling and it was in 1969 when Cassidy was 19. Although it closed after only four performances, a casting director saw it and asked Cassidy to do a screen test, whereby he moved from West Orange, New Jersey to Los Angeles and signed with Universal Studios soon after arriving. He then appeared in a few T.V. shows, but of course his big break came the following year when he landed the role as Keith Partridge in the show The Partridge Family. The program, which ran through March of 1974, was about a musical family with the lead being matriarch Shirley Jones, Cassidy’s actual step mother in real life. While Cassidy was signed primarily for his teen idol looks in addition to being able to act, he convinced the show’s musical producer Wes Farrell that he was good enough as a singer to be the family’s lead vocalist, rather than Jones, who was and is an actual singer. They then soon had a big hit with “I Think I Love You,” composed by Tony Romeo.

Read More...


Dick Gregory & Paul Mooney  - photo by Michael Sherer

Dick Gregory & Paul Mooney - photo by Michael Sherer

Dick Gregory & Paul Mooney - BB King’s, NYC, 2.10.17

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: Feb 2017
(2469) Page Views

These two veteran comics make for a good pairing and have been appearing as a double bill for a few years. Mooney, 75, goes on first. He has a background that involves a lot of comedy writing in addition to being a comedian himself. He made his mark as a writer for one of the legends, Richard Pryor, during the ‘70’s as well as for television’s Sanford & Son, Good Times and In Living Color, as well as several films. Gregory, 84, has been quite involved in activism, human rights and health issues. He ran for the mayor’s seat in Chicago against Richard Daley in ‘67 and then for President of the United States in ‘68 as a write-in candidate of the Freedom and Peace Party, which had broken off from the Peace And Freedom Party. He garnered 47,097 votes and wound up on Nixon’s master list of political opponents. Despite Gregory’s racially charged material, it was Hugh Hefner that gave Gregory a huge break when hiring him as a regular at his Playboy Club in Chicago in the ‘60’s. Both men made their home in Chicago at the time and this was Playboy’s first club. 

Read More...


Mary Wilson - photo by Michael Sherer

Mary Wilson - photo by Michael Sherer

Mary Wilson, BB King’s, NYC, 2.3.17

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: Feb 2017
(1571) Page Views

Mary Wilson has been a part of the music and cultural fabric for about fifty five years through being an original member of The Supremes. Coming from humble beginnings in the Brewster-Douglass Housing Projects in Detroit, The Supremes were one of Motown’s earliest signings in ‘61 since Berry Gordy formed it in ‘59. It’s been forty years since Mary left The Supremes, at which point they disbanded. Diana Ross left in ‘70, with various members coming and going in the intervening years. It’s the original trio of Mary, Florence Ballard and Diane Ross (changed to Diana) that’s most fondly remembered by most true fans.

Read More...


Ron & Ernie Isley - photo by Michael Sherer

Ron & Ernie Isley - photo by Michael Sherer

The Isley Brothers - BB King’s, NYC, 1.14.17

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: Jan 2017
(1737) Page Views

The Isley Brothers are one of the most legendary and important groups in R & B and music period. Among other distinctions, they have a major one of being the only group to have been in the top 50 of the Hot 100 charts during the ‘50’s, ‘60’s, ‘70’s, ‘80’s, ‘90’s and 2000’s.

Founded as kids in ‘54 in Cincinnati Ohio, they consisted of brothers Ronald, O’Kelly, Rudolph and Vernon Isley. They were initially a gospel singing group until Vernon’s death a few years into their existence after he was tragically hit by a car at the age of thirteen while riding his bike in their neighborhood. This devastated the remaining three brothers and they temporally disbanded out of major grief. It wouldn’t be until ‘59, and after having relocated to Englewood, New Jersey that the young men found formidable success, as their first big hit song that year, “Shout,” went on to sell over a staggering million copies. After bouncing around between a few record labels, including Motown, they would find their true calling with a more funky, hybrid and sophisticated sound in the late ‘60’s. By then they were on their own resurrected label, T-Neck, which had previously been distributed by Atlantic Records a few years prior. It was shut down after some time when Atlantic dropped them and they tried their luck on Motown. Seeking much more artistic and overall control, they resurrected T-Neck in ‘68 with Buddah Records now distributing it. (That would change again to the much more powerful Epic in ‘73.)

Read More...


Lee Rocker - photo by Michael Sherer

Lee Rocker - photo by Michael Sherer

APAP - Hilton Hotel, NYC, January 6th - 10th, 2017

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: Jan 2017
(1775) Page Views

Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) is one of my favorite music based event series to come around every January. Held at NYC’s flagship Hilton Hotel on 6th Avenue at 54th Street, it consists of loads of eclectic showcases of musical artists/groups, workshops, luncheons, discussions and more. This includes many tribute bands/artists and original artists performing. This year I was most interested in guitarist Larry Carlton and John Pizzarelli playing together, the Branford Marsalis Quartet, Lee Rocker of the Stray Cats, (featured in photo) Peaches & Herb, Terence Blanchard and Heart To Heart, which is a tribute to Heart that features two former members, those being bassist Steve Fossen and drummer Michael Derosier. There are tons more.

Read More...


Adam West (Television's Batman) - photo by Michael Sherer

Adam West (Television's Batman) - photo by Michael Sherer

New York Comic Con - Jacob Javitz Center, NYC, October 6th - 9th, 2016

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: Oct 2016
(559) Page Views

I always look forward to the annual New York Comic Con convention, held at the Javitz Center and other surrounding venues. Designed as a fan convention covering comics, animation, graphic novels, Japanese manga comics, video games, movies, toys and television shows, the convention has grown, to borrow a familiar related phrase, “in leaps and bounds” since being formed in 2006. In fact, that would be an understatement. It’s a massive success, with a staggering 180,000 fans attending this year’s three day convention.

Produced by ReedPop, it’s a blast for these fans that come in droves and often dressed up in a comic related persona. Personally, I’m especially interested in the actors and personalities that represent characters they’ve played. Some of the actors appearing at the convention haven’t portrayed a character per se. Adam West, (pictured) who of course played Batman in the 1960’s television show, was a highlight for me. Others were, in random order, Lee Majors, Geena Davis, Matt Damon and Keanu Reeves.

Read More...

View More

Viewing Page 3 - of 11

 < 1 2 3 4 5 >  Last ›