Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Who play Detroit

Last night, I saw the Who play the Palace at Auburn Hills. I was in Row 14 on the main floor, with a great view of Daltrey and Townsend. The rest of the band consisted of rhythm guitar, bass drums and keys. The sound was just right, plenty loud, but not too loud, and the sound balance was good. The Detroit crowd gave them a pretty warm welcome.

They kicked off with "I Can't Explain", and then ran through "Seeker", "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere" (extended version with lots of guitar), "Teenage Wasteland", "Behind Blue Eyes", "Who Are You", "You Better Bet", "My Generation" (extended version), "Pinball Wizard", "Won't Get Fooled Again" (extended version), ending with a medley from Tommy as an encore.

There were a number of new songs interspersed, some of which I don't know the names of. Some of them were quite good ("We Got a Hit", "Fragments"), others didn't make much of an impression on me ("Man in a Purple Dress", "Tea and Theatre"). But I'll probably buy the new album, and also the DVD that they are going to bring out of the show.

Townsend played really well, mostly Stratocaster through a stack of 4 Fender VibroKings, although he also used a big Gibson acoustic that looked like a J200. Plenty of dramatic chording and arm windmilling, of course! But he used his big sound tastefully, and was always both rhythmic and in synch with the mood of the song.

The last time I saw the Who was in 1965, at Nottingham's Dungeon Club, which was a favorite Mod hangout of that era. (I saw the Yardbirds with Eric Clapton there the same year.) Keith Moon's drumming simply blew me away; I'd never seen anyone play like that, and I'd already seen good drummers, like Viv Prince of the Pretty Things. I was 16 years old, and I'd never heard any band play that loud before.

On that long ago evening, Townsend totaled a Rickenbacker in a fit of gratuitous violence. He was also very into scraping the strings against the mike stand and other sonic antics that irritated some folks in the crowd. Paper cups and other items were hurled on stage, and Roger nearly came down to the floor to sort a few people out! It was fun, but also a bit disturbing, to tell the truth.

Monday, September 25, 2006

First Caterwaul gig of the season

On September 22nd, Caterwaul played a set at the French Press Jazz Cafe in downtown Saint Paul. All numbers were original compositions by Lisa Meyer and Todd Tanji, with the exception of "Four" by Miles Davis. I played my Parker Fly bass through an Ampeg amp. Barbara Bjork also sang a set, accompanied by Paul Renz (gtr), Lisa Meyer (keys), and Jeff Jones (bass). Songs included "Twisted", "Nature Boy" and "Agua de Beber".

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Larry Coryell concert

September 19, Sandy and I went to see Larry Coryell at the Dakota Bar and Grill in downtown Minneapolis with Victor Bailey on bass guitar and Lenny White on drums. This was an awesome show, with Larry playing some very new and radical stuff, often in heavier, rockier style. They did a fabulous version of Led Zep's "Black Dog", featuring a fantastic bass solo by Victor, and also a nice acoustic version of "Black Orpheus". I got Larry to sign my CD in the intermission and managed to find a table so we could stay on for the second show. I feel fortunate to have seen Larry again and also to have seen Larry Carlton earlier in the year. They are both masters of the guitar; no one can play like these guys.

Jazzkickers at

On September 19, the Jazzkickers played two sets at the West Building in Eagan, MN in aid of the Employee Giving Campaign (see photos). I played my Les Paul Elegant through a Fender Princeton Chorus. Songs included "All Blues", "Take the A Train", "Stolen Moments" and many more from the Real Book. Gregory Bannister joined us on sax and clarinet, playing duos with Carmin and adding a whole new dimension to our sound. Many thanks to all who turned out in support!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

September 1st gig

Last Friday was September 1st, so I played the "First Friday" gig with the Mike Hachey Band at the University Club of Saint Paul. The core band is Mike Hachey (drums), Ron Peterson (keys), and Bruce Morrow (bass). Guest vocalist was Jessie Shelton, with father Jerry Shelton on trumpet and self sitting in on electric guitar. We played two sets of jazz standards, including "Four", "Summertime", "Wave", "Freddie the Freeloader" and other numbers from the Real Book. I used my Ibanez AF105F through a Carvin tube amp (again). I have at least two other gigs coming up this month: an Employeer Giving Campaign event at West Publishing in Eagan with the Jazzkickers, and a Caterwaul appearance at the French Press Jazz Cafe in Saint Paul on September 22nd.