Dave Britton of Britton On Guitar

October 22, 2010 at 2:06 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Back in the 80’s (eighties) there was a guitar player in San Diego. Well, there were a lot of guitar players in SD, but Dave was …well…Dave Fricken Britton.

The audio here was recorded at Adams Avenue Theatre (then known as Rogo’s) back in the day. Sorry, its only sampled at like 96k, and involved some questionable recording techniques as all good bootlegs do – anyway, without his permission, but I hope his blessings – here it is.

Lust Never Forgets – Britton

 

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Speedwagon and Benatar; A Serious Rock Concert

July 25, 2010 at 3:39 am | Posted in Concert, Rock, Uncategorized, Vocal | 2 Comments
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REO Speedwagon Pat Benatar Ticket Stub

Rule 1 – Kick ass.

Rule 2 – Have Fun.

Rule 3 – Make sure everyone in attendance knows you are abiding by rules 1&2. (Involving them in the process helps immensely.)

Edwin McCain Review

Kevin Cronin of REO ran out to introduce this guy as his good friend while the house lights were still up. Those house lights were immediately killed and Edwin started to tell stories. Yes, actual stories. He talked to the audience. Why? Because, it turns out the guy is pretty easy to listen to, and his songwriting is awesome. It also tells stories. Good stories. Listenable stories.

Along with his long time buddy, Craig Shields, they told stories and played great songs that kept the crowd engaged the entire half hour that they were in front of us.  This guy grabbed my attention from word one, and captivated me through the last note.

REO SPEEDWAGON REVIEW

What can I really say here? If you  normally read my reviews, you know what it boils down to – they suck or they don’t.

This is different. This should be the encyclopedic definition of ROCK CONCERT.  Okay, aside from the fact that Dodge Theatre isn’t going to allow pyro, nor smoking inside the venue – this was a rock show by definition in any form.

Kicked ass.  Guitars made of solid pieces of wood and sporting fresh steel strings, wailing under fluid fingers. Turned to 11, I’m pretty sure. Drum beats were so solid, so tight that I can’t begin to tell you how great they sounded.

Kevin Cronin, the lead singer, sang the songs just like you always heard them. Whether you heard them on vinyl, CD, or 8-track; it doesn’t matter. That’s how you heard it live, assuming you heard a live version. 🙂

The players played. They interacted with one another like they had been friends for years. Probably because they have. They gave their stage techs a hard time over mis-tuned guitars or the inability to hear something through their stage monitors. It was all casual and fun, like friends ribbing each other over a mis-spelled word in a scrabble competition.

Seriously, the band was incredible. Sound mix was incredible.

The light show was awesome. Finally, a lighting operator that understands you can mix colors. Orange and purple – cool. Red and white – very cool. Move the color zones, very nice. Not everything has to be a wash of one color. Complementary and contrasting colors are put into a wheel in art school for a reason. This operator used those wheels well. Kudos.

I believe the stage and light setup was designed by Paul of Masterworks. Looked awesome, and you should give him credit for that. He is, apparently, a badass that doesn’t subscribe to the front/back  linear truss theories but likes triangular lighting designs married with a clean back line. I like that too. Cheers, Paul.

Bottom Line – REO Speedwagon Kicked Ass. No need to take our names.

Pat Benatar ReviewPat Benatar Logo

What do you want me to say? She subdued the video intensiveness of REO, preferring to go with primal colors and simple objects for the most part. The moving lights, that were so accentuated during REO, became bit players in a choreography that did nothing but drive her vocal abilities home.

Tonight proved that Patricia, as her husband and guitar player calls her, was not an MTV fluke. She didn’t sell millions of records because she looked cute. She sold them because she can belt out lyrics like nobody else, and present a story that is timeless.

Pat is a vocal powerhouse.  She’s a  girl with a voice 50 feet tall. I want to see her do a duet with Rob Halford, or Bruce Dickinson; perhaps Geoff Tate. I don’t know. She is in that class.  The waters where nobody wants to even tread.

Her hubby, Neil, is a guitar master. The two of them together have to be seen to be believed. Well, maybe not. You know the songs. They are just like that in real life, only better. She belts, he makes his guitar scream. It’s awesome to witness. The drummer is surrounded by glass, because his drum kit really is that badass. Of course, the bass player is up to par too. You really have to see the four of them onstage to really understand why MTV made theirs’ one of the first music videos ever aired. They rock.

Summary

Kick ass rock and roll. Go see them. Don’t miss them. Plan on being on your feet for at least 3 hours. This, my friends, is a rock concert. Moving lights, smoke, video, and above all awesome musicianship and vocal abilities that will keep your fists pounding and ass shaking. Rock on.

Tony Bennett – Tradition Personified

June 7, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Posted in Concert, Jazz, Uncategorized, Vocal | Leave a comment
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Last night’s performance at the Dodge Theatre was, as you’d expect, very well received by the audience. This is a performer that has been around the block a time or two. His distinctive vocal stylings are unmistakable and pitch perfect.

What I realized at that show is that performers like Tony and his musicians are more than the sum of their parts. They produce music that seems almost tangible.  The air fills with the sounds emanating from the stage. You can feel it, and the emotion behind it. Tony’s voice, his band’s musical artistry, and traditional craftsmanship combine to transport you on your journey right into the sound.

His band uses their instruments as extensions of themselves to reach out and envelop the audience.  There’s no new-fangled technical wizardry in their bag of tricks. They rely on old-world craftsmanship. Hardwoods bent and shaped by an artisans hands. Strings stretched taut across the Steinway soundboard, or the length of their stand up bass. Cymbals hand hammered and tuned by ear.

It takes instruments like these, and capable musicians to play them to back a legend like Tony Bennett. The man has one device – his voice.  He projects that voice into his only aid, a handheld wireless microphone, expertly.

From a technical aspect, all the sound and lighting crew have to do is remain as transparent as possible. Expertly engineered microphones  reinforce the sounds emanating from these works of art, or propel Bennett’s voice to your ears. Lights change color and intensity, but never distract from the performers.

This is not a modern audio-visual extravaganza. This is expert musicians expressing emotion through well-crafted instruments. This is Tony Bennett, tradition personified.

A Multi-Channel Audio Primer – Are You Listening?

January 20, 2010 at 2:09 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This is gonna be an acronym-fest. I’m sorry.  I’ll break this in a copule of paragraphs, you can follow the link if you want to learn something about what you are hearing or what your buttons on the A/V receiver remote actually do.

Multi-channel audio is a product of the movies. Although there are a couple of examples where it applies to music, its main purpose is to enhance movies. If you are concerned with perfect imaging of orchestral music or being able to place Phil Collins’ snare drum while listening to headphones…this is not the article you are looking for. Move along.

So, are you ready for a quick primer on home and theater sound system differences. Dolby vs THX? SDDS vs DTS? Then follow me… Continue Reading A Multi-Channel Audio Primer – Are You Listening?…

Creed & Staind Hit Jobing.com

October 1, 2009 at 1:11 pm | Posted in Concert, Rock, Tickets, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I’m all for “rock with a positive message” as long as it’s done by a band like Creed, rather than say Stryper. Not that I have anything against 80’s hair bands in bumblebee spandex outfits…wait…I do if they are Stryper. Just saying. But I digress…

Lo-Pro opened the show, and apparently played a 19 minute set. We walked in as they were playing their last notes…so can’t really comment on those guys. I can comment on the fact that draft beers were $10.25. That is just ridiculous.

Aaron Lewis and Johnny April - Staind

Aaron Lewis and Johnny April - Staind

It wasn’t long before Staind took the stage and rocked the house. The lighting designer and soundguy were spot on! Great show both audibly and visibly. Rather than a giant video screen they opted for a seven panel display from pixled from what I gather around the net. Technically and artistically the band was definitely at the top of their game. Of course, they played all of their hits including the ones I didn’t even realize were theirs!

Scott Stapp & Mark Tremonti

Scott Stapp & Mark Tremonti

Creed put on a rock show. Yes. With fire and pyro and sound system turned up to a hair past 11. I know it was a hair past because there were some moments during the loudest passages that took the system just past its limit and you could tell. Everyone knows you never go past 11. Those moments were few, and for the most part the show was great. You gotta love a tour that includes excellent video screen with awesome imagery, Varilites on suspended elevators and explosives. You just can’t go wrong with explosives and fire.

Did I mention they had fire that we could feel from the back of the arena? Well they did. Brings a whole new dimension to entertainment. In fact some movies have tried to pull off this “4th Dimension” experience with puffs of cold air or rumbling seats. They failed. Why? Because they didn’t use fire! Apparently flames are the key to bringing some of that onstage energy into the crowd. Who knew?

The drawback to random, giant bursts of flame is that they are random and therefore, hard to capture adequately with a still camera. Varilites, giant video screens and elevators aren’t. Check the concert photos page for some of the shots I managed to grab.

Oh! a shout out to @Stang5_0 who asked me to go because he had some tickets from @JobingArenaGirl. Thanks so much!

IMAX or LieMAX Locations on Google Maps

May 12, 2009 at 7:18 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

View IMAX or LIEMAX? in a larger map

This is a REBLOG of james Peach’s work and his map!

IMAX or LIEMAX?

Need to report a new location? Email me at jamespeach@gmail.com.

Need to know more? Go to http://destroyfakeimax.blogspot.com. A green marker indicates a “real” IMAX screen, a red exclamation mark indicates a “fake” IMAX screen.

IMAX is ruining their brand and deceiving their advocates. For those that want to know, here is a map of known “real/fake” IMAX screens, based on screen size and aspect ratio. Please email jamespeach@gmail.com if you have a screen you want added.

Condron.us Blog Traffic Thingy

April 10, 2009 at 10:41 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Condron.us.

That’s one of the engines I am using currently to see if I can increase traffic to my blog. It’s a cool thing…it displays random blogs from around the world for about 7 seconds (this is user selectable, and pausable), then changes the page to a new one.

You should check it out.

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