Show Reviews

by Max Ink Staff Writers


Keith Richards, 1971 - photo by Norman Seeff

Keith Richards, 1971 - photo by Norman Seeff

Norman Seeff at The Photography Show by AIPAD, April 14-17, 2016, Park Avenue Armory, NYC

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: Apr 2016
(1738) Page Views

For the past 36 years The Association of International Photography Art Dealers, AIPAD, has been presenting its annual exhibition in the historic Park Avenue Armory in New York City. Featuring more than 85 prominent photography galleries from throughout the country, this is a major show. A variety of genres are on display, including contemporary, modern, nineteenth-century and photo-based media. I always have a great time and stroll up and down the labyrinth like set up in this very charming and classic venue.

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Freddy Cole - photo by Michael Sherer

Freddy Cole - photo by Michael Sherer

Freddy Cole & band - Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, NYC, 2.11.16

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: Feb 2016
(2675) Page Views

It was a real treat to hear this living legend, especially in the spacious, classy and high rise venue Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, a part of Jazz at Lincoln Center. It’s located adjacent to Columbus Circle on Broadway at 60th Street, Manhattan. Mr. Cole, 84, still plays piano and sings at a high level and has a fine band. They are Harry Allen on tenor saxophone, Herman Burney on bass, Henry Conerway on drums and Chris Kaiser on guitar. Each instrument sounded clear and the blend of them all was very tasteful. The volume was just right.

The theme was love songs for Valentine’s Day, and there were many gems. My favorites were “Blame It On My Youth,” “Where Can I Go Without You,” “Since I Fell In Love With You,” “Never Trust A Woman’s Kiss,” “Say That You’ll Be Mine,” “It Was All My Fault” and “I’ll Be Seeing You.”

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Jerry Lee Lewis - photo by Michael Sherer

Jerry Lee Lewis - photo by Michael Sherer

Jerry Lee Lewis, BB King’s, NYC, 12.16.15

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: Dec 2015
(2907) Page Views

West 42nd Street in NYC’s Times Square has an old nick name: “The Deuce.” BB King’s club on this street was treated to a romp from one of the pioneers and most influential of the first wave of rock and rollers from the 1950’s who also has a nick name, and a formidable one: “The Killer,” Jerry Lee Lewis, even at 80, rocked the house.

Lewis’ band came on with out him and played for a good twenty minutes. Led by guitarist Kenny Lovelace, all the band were from Nashville, with Lovelace saying he’s from Memphis after introducing the others. They were crack, veteran players who set the stage with an extended introduction for the ringmaster at his piano. Looking very good for his age and dressed in a dark suit upon strolling out, Lewis can still play and sing convincingly. The mostly full club ate it up with much enthusiasm, cheering several times. Prior to Lewis coming on a short documentary about him was played on the screens to the sides of the stage.

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Derek St. Holmes & Brad Whitford - photo by Michael Sherer

Derek St. Holmes & Brad Whitford - photo by Michael Sherer

Whitford/St. Holmes - BB King’s, NYC, 11.18.15

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: Dec 2015
(2738) Page Views

The reunion of Brad Whitford and Derek St. Holmes, of Aerosmith and Ted Nugent Band fame respectively, has been a long time coming. They formed in the early ‘80’s after leaving their bands, those being Aerosmith and Ted Nugent. They released one record in ‘81, titled simply Whitford/St. Holmes, and soon fizzled out.

They’ve now written and recorded nine songs that comprise a new album entitled Reunion, being released early ‘16, unless you bought it at one of their shows during their brief club tour of ten dates. Their reunion is surely not about sales or making much money, though. It’s about the enjoyment of playing with an old friend in a relaxed, simple setting, that being clubs to intimate audiences as they did in their youth before any fame.

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Joe Jackson - photo by Michael Sherer

Joe Jackson - photo by Michael Sherer

Joe Jackson - The Town Hall, NYC, 10.21.15

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: Nov 2015
(2039) Page Views

I find that versatility and having the ability to combine a cross range of musical genres is one of the most important qualities to posses. Joe Jackson, pianist, keyboardist, saxophonist, harmonica player, composer, lyricist and singer, certainly has it. And so does his band, as he’s not going to have any slouches with him. They combine jazz, swing, classical, rock, blues, salsa, techno, dance and more.

Jackson, 61, (born David Ian Jackson) has been recording since 1979, after being signed by A & M Records. He’s been prolific, having released nineteen more since his debut. Jackson’s latest was released early last month by Caroline/Universal. Titled Fast Forward, Jackson still sounds inspired and has always stayed true to his muse and broadening musical forays.

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Shirley Manson of Garbage - photo by Sal Serio

Shirley Manson of Garbage - photo by Sal Serio

Garbage with Torres at the Orpheum Theater Madison, WI
Garbage celebrates Twenty Years Queer 10/18/15
Show Review By John Noyd
Posted: Oct 2015
(2446) Page Views

Declaring their intentions right from the start, Garbage kicked off their sold-out Madison show with, “Subhuman,” and the line, “burn down your all your idols.” Dropping the curtain for, ” Supervixen,” the band exposed a well-oiled machine engulfed in blinding lights and purple haze with pink princess, Shirley Manson holding court. Celebrating the twentieth anniversary of their self-titled debut, the Twenty Years Queer tour spotlights the heady years of 1995-96 with a robust roster of international hits, b-sides and covers. Even the pre-show music of Cornershop and Stereo MCs circled around those transformational years when Garbage exploded on the scene with their techno-funky synthesis of rock and electronics; flirting with convention and trashing preconceived notions of gender and power.

As the city where much of this all started, Madison greeted the band with unchecked adoration, gobbling up every reference to Madtown Ms. Manson threw out, turning the Orpheum into a mosh-pit of mutual appreciation among old friends. “This is our home away from home,” Shirley announced at the beginning of their exhaustive two hour performance and soon followed it up with stories of being hammered at Cafe Montmartre, flying into Madison for the first time and her experiences with downtown hotels from cockroaches to yellow satin waterbeds.

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Phil Campbell & Lemmy - photo by Michael Sherer

Phil Campbell & Lemmy - photo by Michael Sherer

Motörhead - Nikon At Jones Beach Theater, Wantagh, NY, 9.16.15

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: Sep 2015
(2232) Page Views

It’s been forty years since a thirty year old Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister started Motörhead in London, England. The band name is a slang term for a user of amphetamine. Many line up changes and fifteen million album sales later, the only constant throughout the four decades is Lemmy being at the helm, and a band that plays nasty, greasy, fast and loud rock and and roll throughout the world. Unfortunately, Lemmy has been drinking Jack Daniels and Coke and smoking a whole lot of cigarettes for over fifty years, and his health has been declining. Unfortunately, it may spell the end of touring soon.

With this very much in mind, I was determined to make the trek from Manhattan to Jones Beach, Long Island to see them for the first time. I was also keen on catching the opening act, Anthrax. Motörhead’s speed and aggression influenced legions of bands that followed them, Anthrax being one in the early 1980’s. They were in top form here, and are surely proud to be on the bill with Motörhead.

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Ace Frehley at Diamond Jo Casino - photo by Sal Serio

Ace Frehley at Diamond Jo Casino - photo by Sal Serio

Ace Frehley at Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque, IA
September 11, 2015
Show Review By Sal Serio
Posted: Sep 2015
(3619) Page Views

September 11th… a date that will live in infamy. Not only because of the tragedy in New York City and Pennsylvania in 2001, but because of the brutal rock ‘n roll concert that completely leveled Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque, Iowa, in 2015! This show was apocalyptic! Another conspicuous anniversary was that this Dubuque concert was almost 40 years to the day since the definitive live album of the 1970s, ‘KISS Alive!’, was released.

The large concert room at Diamond Jo’s (named the Mississippi Moon Bar) has always been a favorite concert venue of mine because of it’s comfort level, excellent sight lines, and the sound is typically impeccable. The Ace Frehley concert on 9-11 was no exception… but, now if they could only do something about the train tracks on 5th Street that lead in to the casino. I literally waited almost a half hour for the train to move out of the intersection so I could get to the place!

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Carlos Santana - photo by Michael Sherer

Carlos Santana - photo by Michael Sherer

Santana - Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, NY, 8.14.15

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: Sep 2015
(2013) Page Views

Carlos Santana has a new and first time all Spanish language CD out called Corazón, and he’s on tour for it. He’s been performing since the late 1960’s, getting a huge and very early break with 1969’s Woodstock Festival in upstate New York with approximately 500,000 people in attendance. Venues and its audiences are a big part of the concert experience. For this concert, a tennis stadium in Queens, NYC was the locale. Opened in 1923, the newly renovated and reopened Forest Hills Stadium has about 13,500 seats, with some 1,200 of them having been added in the lower section. It’s been about twenty years since the was last used for a concert, and it was ‘77 that it ceased to be used for professional tennis and the U.S. Open championship.

The place looked to be at full capacity, with a wide cross section of fans. This is a very good thing, as it’s indicative of timeless and quality music that appeals to all ages, ethnicities and genders. Santana himself is of Mexican descent, and grew up in the Bay Area of Northern California. San Francisco was, of course, an absolute hotbed of counter cultural activity during Santana’s formative years, so he was in the right place at the right time.

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Eddie Van Halen & David Lee Roth - photo by Michael Sherer

Eddie Van Halen & David Lee Roth - photo by Michael Sherer

Van Halen - Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, 8.13.15

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: Aug 2015
(2135) Page Views

Since 2007, Van Halen has consisted of Eddie, Alex and Wolfgang Van Halen (son of Eddie and former wife Valerie Bertinelli) and original singer David Lee Roth. One wouldn’t be able to guess that Dave and the rest of Van Halen, especially he and Eddie, had a falling out in 1985 that led to twenty three year split when seeing them hit the stage at Jones Beach in Long Island, New York for their first of two shows there. The first thing we saw was Alex sit down at his sprawling drums. Then came Dave and Eddie sauntering out, spinning around arm-in-arm, and shaking hands while grinning at each other. Finally, Dave kissed Eddie’s hand.

Dave has said that they had the same same old conflicts immediately upon his return to the band, but my solid guess is that the joy and excitement of playing together in the group that they were in since the mid ‘70’s, and in front of huge adoring crowds, makes that go away for the duration of the performances. Surveying the packed audience of about 15,000, I saw a lot of guys in their 40’s and ‘50’s cheering them on. I fit right in as a 45 year old.

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Ginger Baker - photo by Michael Sherer

Ginger Baker - photo by Michael Sherer

Ginger Baker’s Jazz Confusion - BB King’s, NYC, 6.17.15

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: Jul 2015
(2325) Page Views

As is often the case with jazz based groups, this band said nothing as they took the small stage of BB King’s and began delivering their first song, “Footprints”, by saxophonist Wayne Shorter. (This was their sole cover song.) The only man to eventually speak throughout the set was Baker, and his first words were about how he was in hospital and at death’s door with pneumonia just a couple weeks prior, but that God didn’t want him yet. Baker added that he thanks the Almighty for that.

Baker, 75, a habitual cigarette smoker for at least fifty five years and former heroin user for many years is actually quite lucky to be alive. He’s frail, but yet defies his outward weakened state when behind a drum set. Not with power, speed or flash, but with his lifelong gift of great timing, finesse, dynamics, accents and especially the difficult odd time signatures that pointedly separates him from the majority of rock drummers. Baker, after all, started as a jazz drummer in the ‘50’s, and has never left that mindset. If anyone in the audience was expecting even one Cream song, or anything resembling rock, they were in the wrong place. Baker, notoriously cantankerous and volatile, made it clear that has has no tolerance for any prodding from the crowd for such music. He summed this up by getting right to the point when quipping: “Hecklers Will Be Shot.”

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Belle & Sebastian stinking up the Pabst Theater - photo by Sal Serio

Belle & Sebastian stinking up the Pabst Theater - photo by Sal Serio

Courtney Barnett
Enduring the petty jealousy of Belle & Sebastian - Milwaukee, 6.19.15
Show Review By Sal Serio
Posted: Jun 2015
(2391) Page Views

I’m not sure who else recalls the sad condition of 1970s and 80s concerts when the headlining band would deliberately sabotage the opening group in various ways to ensure they would not be upstaged, but it seems those days have not entirely gone away. Truth be told, many elements of this concert pairing befuddled me. Diminutive yet charismatic Australian rocker Courtney Barnett has been surfing a wave of popularity, topping the CMJ charts, and appearing on major late night television programs. Yet, she was opening for boring old fart Scottish band Belle And Sebastian?

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