Show Reviews

by Max Ink Staff Writers


Kyng rocking the Majestic - photo by Sal Serio

Kyng rocking the Majestic - photo by Sal Serio

Kyng at the Majestic Theatre
April 19, 2014 in Madison, WI
Show Review By Sal Serio
Posted: Apr 2014
(2072) Page Views

The night before Easter Sunday a gathering of the black concert t-shirt contingency gathered at the Majestic Theatre in Madison for a different type of resurrection. Namely, a resurrection of the rock ‘n roll ritual, punctuated by fists and horned-hand-signals held high. And beer. Lots and lots of beer.

This show was headlined by Italian rockers Lacuna Coil, who are on the road promoting their new album ‘Broken Crown Halo’. While Lacuna Coil are an exciting live band, whom I’ve seen on stage many, many, times, the real draw on this particular evening, for me personally, was the So. Cal. hard rock trio Kyng. This gives me pause for a moment to reflect on the too-cool-for-school routine of many to show up late, just for the headliner, and totally blow off the opening bands. I can not express enough how much I feel this is in grievous error. So many times I’ve caught some impressive up-and-coming group, that I previously knew nothing about, just because I made the effort to get there early and show the openers some respect.

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 - photo by Michael Sherer

- photo by Michael Sherer

Edgar Winter, Iridium, NYC, 3.8.14

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: Mar 2014
(2143) Page Views

Edgar Winter and his fine band delivered an exuberant and rockin’ performance in the intimate and inviting setting that the Iridium provides. Located in the Theater District in midtown, the long standing club is in the heart of the city. With fine food and drink and a friendly staff, it’s an excellent venue to attend.

With a veteran artist like Winter, who has an extensive catalog dating back to the early ‘70’s on the Columbia/Epic label, there was much material to choose from. Winter has two major hits that FM radio has played a whole lot: Frankenstein and Free Ride. The set concluded with these two respective songs. The rest were, in this order: Rebel Road, Eye On You, Hangin’ Around, Tobacco Road Short, Texas Tornado, Real Good Time, Explosion and Possitive (sik) Drinking. Winter told the crowd that he came up with that song while roaring drunk, and that he really likes it. There were also a couple Led Zeppelin songs thrown in, which the band played with much gusto.

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 - photo by Michael Sherer

- photo by Michael Sherer

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

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: Mar 2014
(1133) Page Views

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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 - photo by Michael Sherer

- photo by Michael Sherer

Paul Mooney - BB King’s, NYC, 1.16.14

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: Feb 2014
(1414) Page Views

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

Animal Collective
Orpheum Theater goes Psychotropic 10/16/13
Show Review By John Noyd
Posted: Oct 2013
(1966) Page Views

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 - photo by Michael Sherer

Ben E. King - photo by Michael Sherer

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

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: Oct 2013
(2339) Page Views

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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 - photo by Bruce Alexander

- photo by Bruce Alexander

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

Show Review By Bruce Alexander
Posted: Oct 2013
(1881) Page Views

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 - photo by Bruce Alexander

Heart - photo by Bruce Alexander

Heart & Jason Bonham Experience
Jones Beach, NY, 6.27.13
Show Review By Bruce Alexander
Posted: Jul 2013
(1908) Page Views

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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Elias Soriano of Nonpoint 5-21-13 at the Orpheum Theater in Madison - photo by Kris Huehne

Elias Soriano of Nonpoint 5-21-13 at the Orpheum Theater in Madison - photo by Kris Huehne

Nonpoint Slays The Orpheum In Madison
May 21, 2013
Show Review By Sal Serio
Posted: May 2013
(3354) Page Views

“Did you miss us?” ROAAAAAAARRRRRRRR! This was how Nonpoint cannonballed their way into a 50 minute sweaty, impassioned, high-octane hard rock set of musical solidarity May 21st in Madison. The only thing wrong with that report is the “50 minute” part… I mean, really? Nonpoint has a fervored fanatical following here in the Mad City… and they got billed as an OPENING ACT? To a trendy, kitschy, flavor-of-the-moment act? Utterly ridiculous, but let’s dwell on the positives.

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Joel O'Keeffe of Airbourne tearing it up at the Frequency, April 17, 2013 - photo by Kris Huehne

Joel O'Keeffe of Airbourne tearing it up at the Frequency, April 17, 2013 - photo by Kris Huehne

Airbourne and Convoy
Rock and Roll On The Rocks, at The Frequency, 4-17-13
Show Review By Sal Serio
Posted: Apr 2013
(3661) Page Views

When you’re on a roll, it’s best not to upset the balance. Lately, I have been picking the BEST rock shows to attend, and this streak has been consistently smokin’ HOT! Without question, one of my most anticipated shows of this Spring was the fist-pumpin’ power-chord double-bill of Australia’s mighty Airbourne, and the Chicago area’s main contenders, Convoy. Not only were my expectations fully met, but far, far, exceeded! The pure spirit of sweat, volume, and energy, had this show rocketing the stratosphere from the opening notes.

The atmosphere inside Madison’s Frequency rock emporium was surely one of anticipation when the doors opened at 8:00. Since the bands were still sound checking, basically the club’s bar area went from empty to cram-packed instantaneously, as we all grabbed drinks and waited to get in to the band area. This was definitely a “black t-shirt concert event” with many fired-up head-bangers donning their Airbourne apparel from past aural assaults.

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 - photo by Photo courtesy of High Rise PR

- photo by Photo courtesy of High Rise PR

The Consequence of Being Crystal

Show Review By Mario R. Martin
Posted: Apr 2013
(1564) Page Views

The third installment in the Crystal Castles legacy was released in late 2012, just in time to become the soundtrack for the demise of music, as we know it.

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Bill Dickens - photo by Michael Sherer

Bill Dickens - photo by Michael Sherer

Icons of Funk - Highline Ballroom, NYC, 2.5.13

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: Mar 2013
(1565) Page Views

The nicely-renovated Highline Ballroom, with its couches and tables on the sides and inviting atmosphere, was an ideal venue for these Icons of Funk. From start to finish, the audience was enveloped with the deeply resonating, bad-ass bass grooves of Bill Dickens. It was this that struck me first, especially as it shook the house much like the old elevated trains that used to inhabit the area would have while they ripped past.

While some casual listeners of music aren’t aware of just how literally fundamentally imperative the bass is, and completely so in black orientated music, this listener couldn’t be more cognizant. Dickens knows it so well that he was armed with a white, gold pegged, SEVEN stringed extended bass. (Probably custom made) This provided ranges above and below what a standard four string allows. Bottom line? (Pun intended) MF’s like Dickens unleash seemingly rather simple bass lines that are the most responsible element of the sound that makes people move and dance. In reality, cats like Dickens, and the number one influence on them all, the late, great and sometimes uncredited James Jamerson of the Motown house band, make it seem easy to play like this, but it isn’t. If one doesn’t have the right feel and funk within, one just can’t do it right.

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