Sunday, March 24, 2019

Kiss Explode Onto Mohegan Sun As Part Of Their "End Of The Road" Tour

When the rock giants Kiss stepped onto the stage for the first time back in 1973, no one (except maybe the band) thought that it would last over 45 years. Kiss are finally closing the last chapter in "Kisstory" with their latest tour named "The End Of The Road." The Mohegan Sun Arena last Saturday night was ground zero for this tour to make its final appearance in Connecticut.

Kiss was never the conventional band, as they used explosions and neon lights, before they became the norm at rock concerts. So, Saturday night started out with another choice for an opening act that may have seemed odd. Performance painter David Garibaldi ("America's Got Talent" finalist) got the night rolling with a mix of music with a trio of paintings, depicting Ozzy Osbourse, Jimi Hendrix and of course Kiss.

Then is was time for the headliner, as the famous words rang through the speakers "You wanted the best, you got the best! The hottest band in the world, KISS!" The curtain dropped and the band descended from the rafters, as explosions and fireworks lit up the stage. Kiss dove right into a trio of classics with "Detroit Rock City," "Shout It Out Loud" and "Deuce." The dozen or so octagon shaped lighting dishes along with the huge video screen only added to the lasers, fires and explosions that a Kiss concert is known for. 

Plus, no Kiss concert would be complete without the fire-breathing, blood spurting demon (Gene Simmons) getting the crowd riled up. Simmons and his partner in crime, Paul Stanley (only original members) traded lead vocals, as Kiss ran through a history of songs, including "I Love It Loud," "Heaven's On Fire" and "Lick It Up," which also featured The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again."

Drummer Eric Singer and guitarist Tommy Thayer got their moments in the spotlight with their own extraordinary solos. The night also featured Simmons ascending up to the roof to perform "God Of Thunder," while Stanley's own theatrics of flying over the crowd got a big applause from the fans.

Kiss closed out their main set with one of their oldest songs, "Black Diamond," which was originally released on their debut album, back in 1974. The encore began with Eric Singer rising up through the stage on a white grand piano to sing the famous ballad, "Beth." After a quick bow from the band, the night closed with the pounding rhythm of "Do You Love Me" and the confetti-filled, explosiveness of "Rock And Roll All Nite," as Simmons and Thayer flew over the crowd, bringing the music out to the audience.

If this is the final word on Kiss in Connecticut, they certainly left their impression on the packed arena.  The fans came out for one reason, to thank a band that has stood the test of time and gave us one amazing soundtrack to our lives.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

UB40 Are Preparing To Release A New Studio Album "For The Many" On March 29th

The English reggae/pop band UB40 are preparing to release their first album of new music in over five years. The new release titled "For The Many," is the band's 19th studio album and also features a load of special guests. UB40 may be best known in the U.S. for their number one singles "Red Red Wine" and "( I Can't Help) Falling In Love With You."

The new album kicks off with the upbeat, reggae vibe of "The Keeper," as their music still feels timeless. The band slow the rhythm down, but let the horns take over on "Broken Man," which features contributions from reggae singer, Kabaka Pyramid. It's time to hop aboard the "Gravy Train," as you feel transported to the islands of the Caribbean with the song's laid back vibe. The album's lead single "Moonlight Lover" is a fun piece of music as UB40 invite fellow Birmingham reggae artist Gilly G. to swap lyrics. The album finishes with the light-hearted island vibe of "Poor Fool" and the more emotional tone of "All We Do Is Cry," which features British/Asian pop artist Hunterz.

UB40 are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year with a huge European/U.S. tour this spring and summer. The are heading out on the road on March 23rd, before hitting the U.S. in August. For a complete list of shows and to find out more about their new album "For The Many," please visit ub40.global.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Todd Rundgren's Utopia Return With New "Live At The Chicago Theatre" Release

Arriving April 5th, from classic rock icon Todd Rundgren is a new live album titled "Live At The Chicago Theatre." The show celebrates his band Utopia, which originally formed in 1974. It has been over thirty years since Rundgren has performed strictly Utopia music live, and for this special occasion the entire concert was filmed in high-definition for this new special release. The new deluxe edition features a Blu-Ray, DVD and 2 CDs, while a special edition green double-vinyl version will also be released, but two weeks later on April 19th.

The show kicks off, much like Utopia's debut album, with the 14-minute, mostly instrumental "Utopia Theme." Todd Rundgren is joined onstage by Kasim Sulton (bass), Willie Wilcox (drums) and Gil Assayas (keyboards). The band perform a shorten version of "The Ikon," before rocking out to a cover of Electric Light Orchestra's "Do Ya." Utopia keep the energy flowing with "Freedom Fighters" and "Back On The Street," as this latest version of Utopia have the perfect chemistry. The first disc closes with the progressive rock appeal of "Overture/Communion With The Sun" and the more aggressive rocker "Last Of The New Wave Riders."

The show continues with the "Road To Utopia," which originally kicked off the band's 1979 album "Adventures In Utopia." Todd Rundgren's Utopia dives into their eighties catalog with the songs "Play The Game," "Swing To The Right" and "Princess Of The Universe." Utopia's two most successful singles "Set Me Free" and "Hammer In My Heart" finally find their way into the set list, as the audience appreciates the trip down memory lane. Todd Rundgren's Utopia finish up the show with the popular ballads "Love Is The Answer" and "Just One Victory."

Todd Rundgren is heading out on a two month tour, beginning April 3rd in the Netherlands, before hitting the U.S. the following week. For a complete list of tour dates and to find out more about the new release from Todd Rundgren's Utopia "Live At The Chicago Theatre," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/toddrundgren.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Give Us "The Best Of Everything"

Since the untimely passing of Tom Petty in October of 2017, The Heartbreakers, along with Tom's family, have released a giant set of unreleased gems titled "An American Treasure." It features over 60 songs from the Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers vault. It also seemed like the right time to sum up the career of a man who has touched so many rock 'n' roll hearts. Back on March 1st, Geffen Records/UMe teamed up to create the ultimate Tom Petty 'greatest hits' package titled "The Best Of Everything." This new set, released as a double-disc CD set or a four vinyl record set features 38 tracks that covers Petty's entire career with The Heartbreakers, as a solo artist and for the first time as a member of Mudcrutch. 

Of course, will all 'best of' collections, you are going to have some of your favorite songs not make the cut, but for starters, this set kicks off with the Petty solo greats, "Free Fallin'," "You Wreck Me" and "I Won't Back Down." Then it shifts to the Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers' classics "Don't Do Me Like That," "Breakdown" and "The Waiting." Petty's last greatest hits set "Anthology: Through The Years" only reached up to 1995, while "The Best Of Everything" includes songs from his last four albums with The Heartbreaks, as well as his final solo release "Highway Companion."

The set does not run in chronological order, which actually helps you absorb each song individually, as Tom Petty worked on making each album it's own work of art. Some of the welcome additions to this career-spanning release is of course the song "Wildflowers," which certainly belongs on every Tom Petty "best of" compilation. Others that may not be as well known, are the Mudcrutch songs "Scare Easy," "Trailer," "Hungry No More" and "I Forgive It All," but they fit in perfectly along side other recent favorites like "American Plan B" and "Square One." This set also includes two unreleased songs, an alternative version of the title song "The Best Of Everything," which originally appeared on the "Southern Accents" album. This new version restores the lost second verse. The other previously unreleased gem, which is the latest lead single from the band, is the song "For Real," which was originally recorded during the sessions for "The Last DJ" album. It begins with just Tom strumming on an acoustic guitar, before the rest of the band join in on this ballad.

This new release also includes a new essay, specially written for this collection, from author, journalist, director Cameron Crowe. To find out more about Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers' latest release "The Best Of Everything," please visit tompetty.com.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

New Music On The Horizon From Bambi Lee Savage, Creature And The Woods and Faux Co

Arriving in May, is the new album titled "Berlin-Nashville Express" from Americana rocker Bambi Lee Savage. Bambi entered the music industry as an audio engineer, working on such classic albums as U2's "Achtung Baby" and Nick Cave & The Band Seeds' "The Good Son." After being featured on the "Sling Blade" soundtrack, Bambi entered the studio to release her debut album in 2003. Now sixteen years later, she is preparing to release her fourth studio album, which features ten tracks, beginning with the Texas-flavored, country roots of "Honey" and "This Blue Heart." She continues with the swift pace and sweet slide-guitar of "Get Out My Pillow (I'm Comin' Home)" and "Baby Come Back." Bambi pours her heart into the soulful ballad "I'll Have To Leave Town (To Get Over You)," before finishing her new album with the boost of energy supplied by "Drinker Of Gin" and the beautiful, sweeping melody of "Darlin' (Savannah Remix)." To find out more about Bambi Lee Savage and her latest release "Berlin-Nashville Express," please visit bambileesavage.com.


Next, from sunny San Diego comes the new four-song EP from the Americana/rock band, Creature And The Woods. Their new album titled "J Tree" looks to follow the success of their debut album "Rise," back in 2017. The album begins with the pounding rhythm and slices of guitar during "Widow's Waltz," as the band come together for the powerful chorus of, "Dark days of the summer are ending now." They slow the tempo down for the bluesy feel of "Head Above Water," while "Oh, Well" is a modern, psychedelic rock masterpiece that plays perfectly with headphones. Creature And The Woods wrap of their new new four-song EP with the up-beat, acoustic sing-along of "Two Golden Coins." To find out more about Creature And The Woods and their latest release "J Tree," please visit creatureandthewoods.com.


Arriving April 5th, is the debut album "Radio Silence" from Chicago's own Faux Co. Their new eight-song release begins with the bright, guitar-strumming melody of "Prozac Spaceman," as their sound seems familiar, but at the same time original. They mix together a sixties pop sound with an alternative rawness for the addictive "Set The Record Straight," before slowing down for the nostalgic trip of "Oh, Mother Night." Faux Co draw upon the influence of the early Rolling Stones' records during "Gimmie Sumthin'," before they close out their new album with the acoustic pop harmonies of "It's Nothing, Really" and the build-up of the psychedelic rock ballad "Get A Say." To find out more about Faux Co and their latest release "Radio Silence," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/fauxcoband.