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LIVE SHOW REVIEWS


It Was 50 Years Ago Today - The Beatles Arrive In The U.S. - 92 Y, NYC, 2.6.14

by Michael Sherer

92 Y hosted a terrific tribute and dialog to the Beatles’ 50th anniversary of arriving here in the U.S., via NYC, for the first time. The format was a panel discussion, which was moderated by Martin Lewis. Lewis is a protégé of former Beatles publicist Derek Taylor, and has been connected to the group since ’67 in several capacities.


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Paul Mooney - BB King’s, NYC, 1.16.14

by Michael Sherer

As a former writer for Richard Pryor, television’s Sanford & Son and others, Paul Mooney has been in the big-time comedy business since the early ‘70’s.         

Mooney has a conversational, free flowing approach to deliver his wealth of material, and did so from a couch on the center of the stage. Next to him was an ice bucket with bottle of champagne in it, which he didn’t touch.


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Animal Collective

Animal Collective

Orpheum Theater goes Psychotropic 10/16/13
by John Noyd

Having to cancel at the last minute this past spring due to sickness, the four original members of Baltimore’s Animal Collective wiped any ill feelings away with a visually stimulating, sonically omnivorous hundred minute set October 16th at Madison’s Orpheum Theater. With most of the restlessly attentive audience crowded onto the floor for maximum exposure to the band’s unique brand of blissful mischief, the swampy stomps, tongue-tripping gymnastics and psychotropic light-show mesmerized the throbbing mob into a receptive collective. Employing a stage designed like a gaping mouth complete with projection screen teeth, and deploying a set list focused primarily on but not exclusive to Feels, Merriweather and Centipede, AC let the lights and sound pilot the ride. Hard-working, but relatively complacent ringmasters, the band spun a ten song set plus two song encore into a crazy carnival anointed in disjointed joy-rides of mercurial fury, crawling squalor and dazzling imagination for an absolutely transporting experience that was certainly worth the wait Filling the sizeable shoes left when the rescheduled show lost Dan Deacon as the opener, Dirty Projector’s Deradoorian’s slow hypnotic splendor stood in stark contrast to Animal Collective’s ricochet rock, methodically operating a dark electro-stalking gothic consumed in gloomy beauty.


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Ben E. King

Ben E. King & friends - BB King’s, NYC, 9.27.13

by Michael Sherer

On the eve of Ben E. King’s 75th birthday, he and his special guests put on a soulful, rollicking and old school show. The guests were, in order, saxophonist and singer Lonnie Youngblood, singer LaLa Brooks, (former lead singer of the Crystals) and Charlie Thomas of the Drifters accompanied by back up singe

Youngblood is both a very good singer and player, and is able to sound quite similar to whichever singer’s song he’s interpreting. He did a heartfelt rendition of “A Change Is Gonna’ Come” by Sam Cooke, which for me is the most memorable tune played. When I said to Youngblood that his playing reminds me of the late saxophonist King Curtis, he said that he in fact studied with him, and that Curtis was a role model.


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Gene Wilder, interviewed by Robert Osborne, 92 Y, NYC, 6.13.13

by Bruce Alexander

Making a rare public appearance at 92Y in New York City, screen legend Gene Wilder spoke of his unforgettable role in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” as well as a variety of personal subjects. For this special event, the host of Turner Classic Movies, Robert Osbourne, traced Wilder’s film history, and interviewed him.


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Heart

Heart & Jason Bonham Experience

Jones Beach, NY, 6.27.13
by Bruce Alexander

This was a very special triple hitter concert as The Jason Bonham Experience opened for Heart, and then ended the show with Heart doing Led Zeppelin songs with Jason Bonham on drums.

Opener Jason Bonham, taking after his late father John, put together one amazing band of musicians with a singer that sounded very much like Robert Plant. He had the pipes as well as the moves. Next, Heart, featuring the Wilson sisters, plunged right into their classic rocker, “Barracuda.” They followed it with “Heartless.” Ann then sang their 1980’s ballad,  “What About Love”.  It was the next song, “Magic Man”, that really had the crowd going as it brought back memories of the ‘70’s hard rock heyday. It’s quite fantastic that Nancy still rips that guitar and Ann still sings those high notes. They really turned the energy level up on ” Kick It Out.” The band also played “Even It Up,” which is just what they do as two of the most amazing women leading their strong band. Ann’s voice also shined during their beautiful ballad “These Dreams,” which was a hit for them.


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