Show Reviews

by Max Ink Staff Writers


Periphery rocking the Majestic - photo by Sal Serio

Periphery rocking the Majestic - photo by Sal Serio

Periphery’s “Escape From The Studio Tour”
Live at the Majestic Theatre; September 21, 2014
Show Review By Sal Serio
Posted: Sep 2014
(1749) Page Views

Often, I have unease and doubts when a metal show is brought to Madison, as far as whether there truly is an audience that will turn out to show their support. Especially if it’s a progressive and mega-heavy band, as opposed to the more generic pop-metal heard on the radio. The Periphery concert at the Majestic provided some welcome relief to this trend, in both the music’s challenging aesthetic, and the solid turnout there to appreciate it.

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 - photo by Bruce Alexander

- photo by Bruce Alexander

Matthew Sweet - City Winery, NYC, 7.18.14

Show Review By Bruce Alexander
Posted: Jul 2014
(1578) Page Views

Matthew Sweet has been playing these annual gigs at The City Winery for some time, now. For this round, he performed a selection of favorites from his past albums. He started his set with “Time Capsule”, a tune from his Altered Beast album. “Birddog,” a recent tune from his “Sunshine Lies” release followed.

Not only is Sweet an excellent songwriter and singer, he also knows how to wail on that guitar of his. Sweet’s band is a tight group of players that consists of Ric Menck banging out wild percussion on drums, Dennis Taylor providing rock solid guitar riffs and Paul Chastain playing amazing bass lines.

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Deborah Harry & Chris Stein - photo by Michael Sherer

Deborah Harry & Chris Stein - photo by Michael Sherer

Deborah Harry & Chris Stein, with Anthony DeCurtis, 92 Y, NYC, 5.28.14

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: Jul 2014
(2661) Page Views

As the band Blondie is in its 40th anniversary, its co-founders Deborah Harry and Chris Stein sat down with journalist Anthony DeCurtis for a conversation at the fabled 92 Y. Harry came out with black tape over her mouth, which got some laughs. Stein asked her if it meant that she wouldn’t be talking, and Harry in turn removed the tape and said that she would speak.

Harry, 68, was rather reserved throughout, with Stein being the more talkative of the two. Stein, 64, has been photographing since ‘68, and is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts in lower Manhattan as a photography major. Stein has spent much time putting together a forthcoming photography book that has lots of photos of Harry and the band from their earliest days. There was good deal of discussion on the book, which I enjoyed. Being a photographer myself, this was the most interesting part of discussion for me. It became more so when many images from the book were shown on the screen. Some were really quite good.

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PULSE Art Fair - Metropolitan Pavilion, NYC, May 8 -11, 2014
PULSE Art Fair - Metropolitan Pavilion, NYC, May 8 -11, 2014
Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: May 2014
(718) Page Views

Since its inception in ‘05, the Pulse Art Fair has been a popular draw both here in NYC and in Miami. It’s prime mission is to allow for the discovery and acquisition of cutting-edge contemporary art, often by young artists. It’s held at the Metropolitan Pavilion, which is in the Photo district area on West 18th Street in Manhattan. Tthere were two highlights for me, and they’re both from young Cuban artists.

One was an interactive installation called Nearness by Arlés del Rio. It was presented by Times Square Arts and the Cuban Artists Fund and was financed by The Rockefeller Brothers Fund. It was initially featured in the plazas of Times Square from July 8–August 18, 2014. del Rio utilizes space and physical barriers to challenge participants to consider penetrating forbidden areas to satisfy their curiosities and desires toward it. The Times Square exhibit consisted of 17 life-sized orange sculptures, assembled from galvanized steel, iron and concrete. They’re in the form of human cutouts of various sizes, and have a silhouette like quality. Participants are able to easily to pass through the panels, which serve as a metaphor for the social, political, cultural and personal barriers that separate strata of people. The indoor art fair version consisted of a much smaller scale presentation made of black, chain link fence material with the cutouts within. The concept and metaphor was the same, though.

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Lisa Robinson with Mick Jagger, '70's

Lisa Robinson with Mick Jagger, '70's

Lisa Robinson in conversation with Fran Lebowitz, 92Y, NYC, 5.8.14

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: May 2014
(2067) Page Views

Lisa Robinson and her close friend of 41 years, Fran Lebowitz, had quite an engaging and humorous chin wag, as the British say. Robinson’s new autobiography, “There Goes Gravity,” was the catalyst for their sit down at the fabled 92Y on the Upper East Side of NYC.

Robinson has been a music journalist since 1969. She’s written for several magazines, the long defunct and Michigan based Creem being the most interesting in my view, and has been with Vanity Fair since ’99. The ‘70’s and ‘80’s saw very few women holding down this role, as the music world has been, and still is for the most part, run by men. Interviewing musicians, singers and entertainers has been Robinson’s specialty, and she’s done countless numbers of them.

Fran Lebowitz, a writer also, began being read by the public when she was hired by Andy Warhol to contribute a column to his Interview paper in the early ‘70’s. She became popular very quickly, due to her acerbic, dry wit and keen observations. A stint at Mademoiselle magazine followed.

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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
(2113) 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
(2207) 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
(1167) 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
(1464) 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
(2008) 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
(2379) 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
(1935) 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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