Manchester University 1970-1971: Thirty eight live acts in two semesters…No problem!


We all had this tremendous appetite for live music.  Coming from disparate corners of the UK, all of us being 17 or 18 years of age, escaping the boredom of living at home with families in sleepy neighborhoods, we just could not believe the plethora of live music many nights of the week at the University of Manchester Student Union, the Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), downtown venues and surrounding colleges.  My recollection of those times was that our ‘band of friends’ would venture out most weekend nights for one of two performances, and also mid week when possible.  I recently came across my first year (freshman) student union card, on the back of which I diligently recorded the band/artist roster for the first two semesters of that first year.  A list-making & collecting compulsive/obsessive pattern that has followed me into adulthood.

A total of Thirty Eight performances over the first two semesters – here is the illustrated list with a few annotated memories.  This is a pretty amazing list in retrospect.

Starting with the most memorable for me – Led Zeppelin at the Students Union, March 19th.  Although it was March, the Union Hall was packed solid, standing only and getting very hot.  I recall making my way over the tall window on the west side and climbing onto the ledge – fabulous view over the heads of all and then cracking open the window to help cool the room.

mcnahester71tkt manchester1971_postermanchester_11-24-71_a manchester_3-71Act #2: John Mayall Continue reading

L.A. Phil/Disney Concert Hall/Dudamel/Wang/Rachmaninoff


A confluence of excellence at the Walt Disney concert Hall on December 22nd:

1.  The building itself – another Gehry spectacle

2. The LA Phil – flawless

3. Gustavo Dudamel – one of the main reasons we flew from Chicago to attend

4. Rachmaninoff #3 – probably my favorite piece (thanks to Hugh Harrington, my Beth Israel, chief resident neurologist house-mate, while living in Boston {1980})

5. Yuja Wang – for the piano brilliance (and, yes, that outfit!)

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Jim Peterik at SPACE, Evanston 2013


Guest at Judith Adam’s and Harry Shearer’s immensely enjoyable Christmas sing-a-long show.  JP started off with, as you would expect, Eye of the Tiger with a hilarious intro (eye of the dingo, etc).  You can feel the fun that we, the audience, are having here.

Muscle Shoals – Sundance Festival 2013


 

Muscle Shoals – Sundance Festival 2013.

Highly recommended to anyone who grew up listening to contemporary music in the last 50+ years – that is everyone!  I think that I will be like most people who see this documentary – amazed and thrilled at the full story behind this small town in Alabama and its pivotal role in the development of the sound of much of the best of modern music for over half a decade.  Gotta see it.

Ethel and Todd Rundgren: Tell Me Something Good | Pick-Staiger Concert Hall


 

Ethel and Todd Rundgren: Tell Me Something Good | Pick-Staiger Concert Hall.

Tuesday evening in Evanston – great combination of Ethel, the alternative string quartet, and the unpredictable, charismatic, humorous and talented TR.  Also a great deal – thank you NorthWestern.  Check them out if they come touring your way.

The Black Keys – Live At the Crystal Ballroom


    Like many of you, I have been following the Black Keys for quite a few years, during that period when most people were unaware of this band as they were emerging.  They are still a great pair of guys, seemingly dealing well with sudden fame.  But for the hords of new fans that have just discovered them in the last two years or so, to see the raw energy and excitement of a live performance before they were widely discovered, you should check out this 2008 concert recorded, where else, in Portland, OR.  What a cool town.  What an atmosphere – it must have been a blast to be there.

iTunes – Movies – The Black Keys – Live At the Crystal Ballroom.