Sunday, September 25, 2011

Taylor Swift Concernt Recap - Kansas City 9/24/11

Last night was Taylor Swift's Speak Now Tour at Arrowhead Stadium.  It was the second concert at Arrowhead this summer, the other being Kenny Chesney.


My wife is a huge Taylor Swift fan, she knows the words to every song.  I enjoy her too but she is singing for all the little girls, the teenagers and the moms too.


The opening acts were people I had never heard of....probably the worst part of the show.  The first up was Adam Brand...he was fine but the acoustic set did nothing for me.


Next up was Charlie Worsham, he was okay I guess too.  I didn't really have a problem with him but I had never heard one song and I don't feel like I need to go pick up his music today.  Again, his music might just be aimed at the women there.


And the final opening act was Needtobreathe...again, I am not sure how the fit the concert.  They played some sort of watered down rock.  Not really for me again, the sooner they were done...the better.


Next up, was finally Taylor Swift.  Her stage show is so great.  She has dancers, pyro, and just other things always going on.  I have seen so many concerts and I don't think I have ever seen a stage show like hers.


Lots of people talk about how Taylor Swift can't sing...well, maybe she doesn't have the voice of an opera singer but she sounded perfect to me last night.  Maybe the crowd was helping that much, but I really don't think so.


The crowd was a really different mix than I am used to at concerts.  We were one of the few couples there without kids.  There were very small kids (we were smart and left our 4 year old at home), tweens, teenagers, groups of twenty-something friends, and then moms with Taylor shirts.  So far, Taylor has really stayed out of scandals so she is a great role model to all the women.


Taylor also played plenty of instruments:  electric guitar, acoustic guitar, piano and banjo...since she writes her songs too you have to admit how talented she is...



Did I mention she had some crazy stuff going on?  Like a fake wedding??


Causing a near riot, Taylor made her way to a back stage opposite of the main stage.  She sang three songs back there by herself which was pretty good.  It was pretty crazy all around us...


Once she was done there, she made her way back to the stage.  This time she came my way.  When she got to me, I got a really extra long high five.  It was pretty cool.  This picture was right before that...


I would have to say this one of the most fun concerts I have ever been to.  I hope she comes back soon so I can take my daughter.  She will love it!  I would enjoy it again too...

Here she is singing "Our Song"...


And finally, here is her singing one of my favorite songs by her..."Mean"

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Dierks Bentley Concert Recap - Quapaw, OK 9/16/11

Dierks Bentley is my favorite artist.  My wallpaper is from a Dierks Bentley show and I have seen him 16 or 17 times.  Also, lots of states....last night I added Oklahoma.  So again, this is not a review, just a recap...


The show was a little unique for me.  No M&G, got tickets pretty late (Kept hoping he would come closer), and there was no opening act.  It was held at the Downstream Casino, which of course didn't come up on the Garmin.  So we found the town of Quapaw but the actual casino was really far away.  Made us really hurrying to get the concert.  Also, the toll booth that only took quarters sucked! Even once, we got to the concert we had to go inside the casino to get our tickets.  The concert was pretty much just out in a field.

Even though we thought we were going to be late, we got there just in time to hear him start playing "Feel That Fire".  No worries at all!


I have seen him so many times I think I have almost every song on YouTube.  He played "So So Long" and "My Last Name" which doesn't always happen.


I was excited to hear a couple new songs.  The first one was "Country and Cold Cans".  The bass is a little heavy in the video, but you get the idea.


We were around 10 miles from Joplin.  Dierks said he had been to the YMCA in Joplin and words couldn't really describe what it looked like.  His next single will be "Home" and he dedicated it to the people of Joplin.  You can even hear him talk a little about it at the end...


Without an opening act, it seemed to go really quick.  For the encore, he didn't even leave the stage since it had been raining and cold all night.

I have seen him bring a girl on stage many times for "Come A Little Closer".  This girl was different, she didn't just sing the chorus...she went for the whole song.  When she said "Dierks, I want to strip you down", she meant it.  She grabbed him by the shirt and pulled.  Well, pearl snaps are no match and he pretty much lost his shirt.  It was pretty funny!


It was a great night.  Stopped in for a Dierks show and got out.  We were probably on the property for 2 hours.  Looking forward to my next Dierks show...let's make it happen soon and closer to home.


And finally, Dierks singing "My Last Name"...

Friday, September 16, 2011

David Nail Concert Recap - Lawrence, KS 9/16/11

Before last week, I had not been to the Bottleneck in 15 years.  Now I have been there twice in a week, last week for Sunny Ledfurd and last night for David Nail.  If they keep having good country concerts, I might just end up there more frequently.


I think if you asked me 6 months ago, "would you go to a concert to see David Nail?"  I probably would have said no.  But I saw him at Yallapalooza and I thought he did such a good job there, I would give him another chance.  Good call by me!

I am really glad I went.  I am not sure he is really that country, but I don't see anything wrong with that.  He is a little more rock/blues.  Here is his current single, "Let it Rain"


Even when he did a country song, he changed it up.  He did a cover "Are you Sure Hank Done it this Way?".  He turned it into a blues song even though I swear the music behind the words was more like "One Headlight."  I kept waiting for a verse of that to creep in but it never did.   It was definitely one of the highlights (of course, I didn't file it though).

David Nail makes it known he is from Missouri.  He even has a Missouri seal on his drum set.  That takes some balls to do that in Lawrence, KS.  But I think he saw Lawrence was pretty cool, and the KU people there thought a singer from Missouri was pretty cool too.


Since David Nail is from the area and lots of his band is too (Topeka & Wichita), they had lots of family in the audience.  The drummer's father was sitting next to me.  It was pretty cool to see how proud he was watching his son.  David's cousin was also sitting right in front of me.  Because of that, I think David was on his best behavior.


David Nail really doesn't have any songs that rock really hard but he still kept the energy up all night.  I really thought it was a fun show.  Being in such a small venue was really nice.

His first big hit was "Red Light".  He got quite a sing along on that one...


And finally for his encore, he did "Turning Home".  It is a really long video because of the intro and he did some talking in the middle.


Overall, it was a great night.  I am so glad I went and I can't wait to hear new music from David and will look forward to seeing him come through the area again.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Lady Antebellum "Own the Night" out 9/13/11

Tomorrow, Lady Antebellum will release their third album, "Own the Night".  From the songs I have already heard, they are just going to get even bigger with this release.


We went to see them at their Fan Club Party in June in Nashville which was a really cool experience.  It was in a music school to raise money for the school.  They played a couple of the new songs, one that we had not heard at all.


I have always thought it is the three of them together that make them such a great band.  They all sound really good individually but you put the three voices together and it makes a special sound.


In some ways, Lady Antebellum is not that country.  They are more like what 70s radio used to sound like but they do have some southern influences that make them as country as they get.  I am not complaining at all, country music has so many shades.  I would love to hear them and Little Big Town do a concert together...the sound might be so pretty that sparkles would come out of your ears.


I really enjoyed their party and it was cool to get to meet them.  They seem like some of the nicest people in country music, I hope after this CD is crazy successful that they stay that way!


The new songs that they sang off the new album were the already now hit song "Just a Kiss"..


The second one is "Dancing Away With My Heart" which was one I had not heard before coming there.  It was great too!


They look to have another hit on their hands and I can't wait to see them when they go on tour this fall!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sunny Ledfurd Concert Recap - Lawrence, KS 9/08/11

Last night, I went to see Sunny Ledfurd in Lawrence, KS at the Bottleneck.  I haven't been to the Bottleneck since maybe high school to see the Bloodhound Gang.  It was a great night, Sunny puts on such a fun show!


The crowd was a little less than expected, but I think it was because it was not promoted at all and it was against night #1 of the NFL.  The crowd that was there was treated to a hell of a performance.


I would love to ask him what kind of music he plays, how he categorizes it.  It for sure isn't country.  It is kind of a mix of country, Kid Rock...I am not even sure.  It is unique and I like it.  He sings about things that I really don't have knowledge of.  Drinking like crazy, doing some pot and just having a general all around party.


Even saying that we don't have anything in common...I just love his music.  It is so fun and catchy.  And when he sings about drinking, he is not joking,  He had a cooler on stage with him and he slammed those beers like no one I have never seen.


I knew about every song he sang by heart.  I have CDs in my car that have nothing but Sunny Ledfurd on them.  He sounded almost exactly like the album cuts too.  His band was awesome too...how many people have a saxophone/harmonica player in the band?

I was disappointed with the attendance of the show, but Sunny Ledfurd still kicked ass.  I know he is much bigger on the east coast, but I hope he builds that following here too.  I think the people who were there last night will now be huge fans.


After the show, Sunny came out to party with the crowd. I really wanted to meet him and take a picture.  He was at the bar, so I felt bad bothering him.  Even so, he was cool and still took a picture with me


I can't say enough how much I enjoyed this show.  I considered going to see him in Columbia and Salina, it was that good.  If he comes back here or to your town, you should go!


One of our most quoted songs....Myrtle Beach!!!


And when Sunny comes to your town, you better watch out for the Nickle Sized Hail and Damaging Winds!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Blake Shelton: CMT Invitation Only Recap

Courtesy of CMT.com


This post will be more about my experience at the event than the music itself.  Blake Shelton was great, sounded awesome and this special will be great!

Not at the concert...no cameras only in the event
The opportunity to go was through the Blake Shelton Fan Club...I got the email from them and I was concerned right away.  It said to wear nice clothes, no shorts, no logos, solids, no blacks...so right away I was worried about what to wear.. You could also pre-submit a question, I did that and got an email that was going to go and I would be able to ask a question.

The concert was held in Studio A in the Grand Ole Opry.  It was raining slightly so we checked in at a small tent.  I got to check in early since I was picked to ask a question.  Once you checked in, they walked you back inside the studio.  All the "question people" stood in a line along the wall.  It was quite an unsettling scenario since it seemed like they might be looking at your appearance more than your question.

I wasn't picked initially which was pretty funny, but they did come back and get me later.  Then I was led into the room and got sat in a giant leather chair with the #7.  They went around the room and put the lights on each person to make sure you looked okay.  I just sat there with cameras and lights close in your face, it was very awkward.  They also took your picture with an iphone so they had that on file.

It was a very strange experience to be at a concert without a camera or a phone.  They asked not to even bring them.  I did not want to get kicked out and you could understand not wanting to see that on TV.  I was so close to the stage and I really don't have any proof I was there (till it is on TV of course!)

After they had the lighting configured, they did some crowd shots.  The audience was asked to clap, do standing ovations, and all that kind of stuff.  The cameras during the show were pointed at the stage so they wanted to do the crowd shots before.  It will be interesting to see what it looks like on TV since we also did that stuff to different lighting.

When Blake came in, the first thing they did was have us ask our questions.  It was pretty good stuff and Blake was a good sport about it even though it was awkward.  I was very nervous when it came to my turn.  I think it came out okay, Blake seemed to like the question.

My question...
Once the questions were over, it was finally time for the music.  He played a ton of his hits including "All About Tonight", "Some Beach", and "Hillbilly Bone".  It was my first time to hear him do "God Gave Me You" live.  It was all the first time I know of that he performed "Footloose" in front of an audience which will be another huge hit for him.  It will be interesting to see what songs make the show and what doesn't. 

He was very funny too....saying "Toby Keith told me once 'I have never met a music critic that I couldn't kick his ass' ", once the crowd was quiet and he said "It is so quiet in here, I feel like I am at a Craig Morgan concert".

I am not sure I will ever get to go to something like this again.It was very neat but it was strange to see how made for TV it was.  I think there were lots of fans there but also a ton of people were there because they looked good on TV.

The special will first air on the Dish Network in October and later on CMT in late October or early November.  I can't wait to see what the final product looks like...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

KCPL Hot Country Nights 2011...and suggestions for 2012

Last week was the last concert in the Hot Country Nights series at the Kansas City Power & Light District.  Most of the summer it was very hot which lived right up to its name.

Justin Moore kicked it off in early May which was one of my favorite shows.  The Fourth of July weekend show of the Band Perry was one of the most crowded.  My absolute favorite was Corey Smith and that was mostly because I have never seen him before (& he put on a hell of a show).  I think I only missed a couple and I am pretty sad to see it over.

Even though it is over, I have some suggestions for 2012 to make it better.  I am thinking since there were few people there more than me, I hope these are good ideas.

1)  Fix the Sound

The sound was bad at almost every concert all summer.  You couldn't hear the artists talk and you sure couldn't hear them sing.  I thought that Better than Ezra was just going to walk out during one of the shows it was so bad.

2)  Stop letting in Children

I am just not sure that little kids should be in the bar district.  There are some nights when it is okay but most of the time it is so hot and a drunk fest that they just shouldn't be there.  During the Band Perry, I saw a kid vomit and his mom made him stay.  Just not a good situation.

3)  Check IDs

I also think there should be more security and people checking IDs.  I felt like I saw too many underage kids drinking there.  It would only take one serious accident for something to happen that would be really bad for the district and for the underage kids involved.

4)  Better Opening Acts

I think I saw some of the same opening acts way too often.  Instead of a cover band from KC, I would like to see more very small national acts.  I know the local bands are trying to make it, but it is just boring.  I don't even know why, but they always say "This is from our latest CD".  Sorry, none of us have it and probably don't want it.  When the Dirt Drifters and Reckless Kelly opened, it was just a way better show.

5)  Right Sized Acts

The worst times I have ever had at P&L are when huge artists are there.  Dierks Bentley, Blake Shelton, Eric Church and The Band Perry...maybe just charge a $5 cover to keep some of the stupid people out that don't really come for the music.  I like seeing the fresh acts that are just trying to break out.  Once they get too big, the P&L District just can't handle it.

Those are really minor issues.  Overall, the summer of 2011 was a great success.  Going to be a slow winter but I look forward to next year.

Finally, here is a highlight video I made of all the concerts I went to a Power & Light this summer....