Gregg Allman | KCRW’s “Country In The City” Concert Series | 7/19/14 [REVIEW]

CLICK HERE To Check Out The Blog Entries Of The Other Acts Performing At KCRW’s “Country In the City” Concert Series

Donato Sardella/Getty Images for Annenberg Foundation
Donato Sardella/Getty Images for Annenberg Foundation

Headlining the inaugural concert of the County In The City concert series, inspired by The Annenberg Space for Photography’s newest exhibit,Country: Portraits of an American Sound,” was Gregory LeNoir “Gregg” Allman, an American rock and blues singer-songwriter who was the founding member of the The Allman Brothers Band. Inducted with the band into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, and named one of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time” by Rolling Stone magazine, Gregg Allman brought his vast catalog of music to the adoring Century City crowd

Dressed in a jeans, a t-shirt and a leather jacket, Gregg stepped onto the stage with his eight piece band and sat behind his now-trademark Hammond organ, his waist-long pony tail swaying from side to side.

Gregg has had a tough go at it this year. He’s been hospitalized on several occasions due to a variety of ailments (bronchitis, a wrist injury, and other undisclosed health issues) and he did look a bit gaunt to me has he perched himself atop his organ bench. I noticed in between songs that he’d quickly reach for tissues from a box perched on his organ. He even took a break midway through his set, I’m assuming to catch his breath and recharge.

Donato Sardella/Getty Images for Annenberg Foundation
Donato Sardella/Getty Images for Annenberg Foundation

He may have been under the weather, but his performance was not noticeably effected by it. With his right foot steady on the organ’s pedal, his left foot vigorously tapped to the beat of each song throughout the set.  His voice still had that soulful blues tenor rasp that got me interested in The Allman Brothers Band in the first place. Was he ill? I doubt anybody really noticed.

Being a fan of his repertoire, I was just thrilled to be able to see him performing live. “Black Hearted Woman/Hot Lanta”. “Melissa”. “Midnight Rider”. Those songs, especially “Melissa”, made my night.

The only letdown for me was when he performed “Whipping Post”. Maybe it was because he wanted to use the full sound of the band, but the arrangement of it was a little to nouveau for my tasted. In my opinion, “Whipping Post” is supposed to be raw and gritty. This version was more sass and flash. The chorus (“Sometimes I feel / Sometimes I feel / Like I’ve been tied / To the whipping post / Tied to the whipping post /Tied to the whipping post  /Good lord I feel like I’m dyin’) is supposed to wail. The arrangement that was performed that night was a bit anticlimactic.

That’s not to say that I did not love his performance. “Whipping Post” aside, I have no other complaints. Any chance to see a rock legend perform is a privilege. Any chance to hear one of the greatest voices in rock and roll live is privilege.  I was privileged just being there.

Set List (actual order might have been slightly different)

  1. STATESBORO
  2. ANGEL
  3. DON’T KEEP ME WONDERING
  4. STORMY MONDAY
  5. AINT WASTING TIME
  6. BULLETS
  7. I FOUND A LOVE
  8. SWEET FEELING
  9. James Brown medley (GA BREAK)
  10. -BAND INTROS-
  11. BLACK HEARTED WOMAN/HOT LANTA
  12. (MEDLEY)
  13. MELISSA
  14. MIDNIGHT RIDER
  15. LOVE LIKE KEROSINE
  16. WHIPPING POST
  17. Encore: ONE WAY OUT

CLICK HERE To Check Out The Blog Entries Of The Other Acts Performing At KCRW’s “Country In the City” Concert Series

Jonathan McReynolds | BET Experience: Music Matters | 6/29/14 [PHOTOS]

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On the second day of the BET Experience at L.A. Live, I decided to watch the various acts performing on the main stage of the convention center. Each of the acts performed short sets to give the audience a sampling of what their music was all about.

The second act I was able to catch was Jonathan McReynolds; a contemporary gospel artist who ministers through music. His music is a fusion of R&B, jazz and gospel.

His set seemed shorter than the others, but he was still able to able to touch the audience with his message and, as he joked, made them feel okay about missing church that Sunday.

Check out Jonathan’s Facebook page to keep up with his music. CLICK HERE to get redirected to Facebook.

CLICK HERE to check out a collection of Instagram videos of most, if not all, of the songs Jonathan McReynolds performed at this concert.

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

LiV Warfield | BET Experience: Centric Certified | 6/29/14 [PHOTOS]

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

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On the second day of the BET Experience at L.A. Live, I decided to watch the various acts performing on the main stage of the convention center. Each of the acts performed short sets to give the audience a sampling of what their music was all about.

The first act I was able to catch was LiV Warfield, a powerful R&B vocalist and member of Prince’s New Power Generation. Prince is high on LiV, and the public should be too.

Passionate, soulful and dynamic, her live performance is one that engages the audience and gives everyone a serious case of happy feet. It certainly didn’t hurt that she was supported by a first class band (with Prince’s NPG Hornz).

I was duly impressed with her set, and I highly recommend catching her perform live when she is in your town.

Like her Facebook page by CLICKING HERE to keep updated on her touring.

Setlist:

  1. The Unexpected
  2. NotGVNGUP
  3. Soul Lifted
  4. Why Do You Lie
  5. Black Bird

CLICK HERE to check out a collection of Instagram videos of most, if not all, of the songs LiV Warfield performed at this concert.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

Tank | BET Experience: Acoustically Speaking | 6/28/14 [PHOTOS]

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

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Hosted by the former Rap City and 106 & Park host Big Tigger, perhaps my favorite part of the BET Experience FREE Fan Fest was the intimate afternoon of performances at the Acoustically Speaking showcase. Taped live in front of an audience of not more than 300, the performances and interviews gave me an opportunity to “Experience” the sounds of some seriously talented, developing and established recording artists.

Each artist performed a short set of 4-5 songs. Each performance was followed by a one-on-one interview with Big Tigger. The performances and the interviews gave audience members an opportunity to really connect with each of the artists. It was truly a one of a kind performance experience.

Closing the Acoustically Speaking showcase was Tank. Clearly, his performance was for the ladies. As he walked on the she stage in his fitted, all-black, three-peice suit, the females in the audience erupted with pleasure. Clearly, he knows how to cater to his audience, even interrupting the performance by walking off-stage to give a zealous fan a hug.

But perhaps the most genuine moment of the set was when he gave his young daughter, sitting two rows behind me, a shout out and preached that he does what he does for the women (his daughter and his wife) in his life. In a fit of approval, his daughter went HAM with cheers of approval. Cuteness overload.

During his interview with Big Tigger, he dropped some updates on the projects he was working one, giving the audience of females a chance to cheer some more with his announcement that TGT (his collaborative musical efforts with Tyrese and Ginuine) was in the process of putting together another album.

Hopefully, BET will air the entire performance and interview at some point, but in the meantime, CLICK HERE to check out what video clips have been posted on BET’s website.

CLICK HERE to check out a collection of Instagram videos of most, if not all, of the songs Tank performed at this concert.

By this time in the day, my second (and last) battery pack was running on empty. My camera intermittently shut off while I was shooting this performance, and I didn’t really have time (or the battery) to set the camera to the right settings, so I shot with whatever setting my camera was already set at. I wish the photos could have been better, but I guess I’ll have to live with them. Next time, I’ll remember to bring a THIRD battery pack. LOL.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

Sturgill Simpson | KCRW’s “Country In The City” Concert Series | 7/19/14 [REVIEW]

CLICK HERE To Check Out The Blog Entries Of The Other Acts Performing At KCRW’s “Country In the City” Concert Series

Photo by Donato Sardella/Getty Images for Annenberg Foundation
Photo by Donato Sardella/Getty Images for Annenberg Foundation

KCRW has once again curated a summer concert series with talent overflowing. Inspired by The Annenberg Space for Photography’s newest exhibit,Country: Portraits of an American Sound,” which will be on display through September 28th, 2014, KCRW’s “Country In The City” Concert Series brings to Los Angeles a country music line-up that any Nashville resident would be proud off.

Kicking off the concert series with Sturgill Simpson, KCRW brought a brand of outlaw country music that has had critics raving since his debut 2013 album, “High Top Mountain”. Since then Sturgill has been going at it hard, touring relentlessly, recording his follow-up album in four days, and releasing “Metamodern Sounds in Country Music” in May of 2014, gaining more and more fans along the way.

Perhaps it’s his gruff voice. Perhaps it’s his passionately effective lyrics. Perhaps it’s his unassuming and down-to-earth honestly. Whatever “it” is, it seems to be working.

Sturgill took the stage with his band (Miles Miller on drums, Kevin Black on bass and Laur Joamets on Guitar) and immediately announced to the audience that he was honored to be opening for Gregg Allman. After powering through the first song, he earnestly apologized to the audience for being less than 100%, promising the audience that he was still going to, “hit it hard, and try to get to 90%”.

His “country” humor came out when he introduced “Long White Line,” stating, “This ones for the ladies …. That’s bullshit. It’s all for the ladies”, and afterwards he introduced his band members, noting that his guitar player, who was effortlessly strumming country licks, Laur Joamets, was from Estonia.

“Just keeping it real,” Sturgill smirked with a sly look to his players.

He mixed in a little bluegrass, and some covers. Before playing his cover of Lefty Frizzell’s “I Never Go Around Mirrors” noted that this time last year when he played “the Hotel Cafe, there was 20 people there.” A look of appreciation beamed from his grizzled face as looked into the audience.

He even gave the audience a little history behind several of the tunes. For example, before closing the night with “Railroad of Sin”, he explained that when he was starting his path as a songwriter, his wife said that he had to have a song with a train in it cause every country artist had one. When it was all said and done, and before closing the set with “Railroad of Sin,” he told the audience how lucky they were to have Gregg Allman coming up proclaiming that, “That ain’t no bullshit.”

Happy he was going to have the rest of the evening off, he joked that he and the band usually stayed sober after gigs in order to travel to the next venue … but not tonight.

I certainly hope you had a chance to unwind Sturgill. You deserved it.

(Approximate) Setlist:

  1. Sitting Here Without You
  2. Water In A Well
  3. Long White Line
  4. Poor Rambler (Carter Stanley cover)
  5. Medicine Springs
  6. Life Of Sin
  7. Living The Dream
  8. I Never Go Around Mirrors (Lefty Frizzell cover)
  9. Railroad Of Sin

CLICK HERE To Check Out The Blog Entries Of The Other Acts Performing At KCRW’s “Country In the City” Concert Series

KCRW Presents “Country In The City” | Century Park | Summer 2014

Photo courtesy of KCRW and shot by Jeremiah Garcia
Photo courtesy of KCRW and shot by Jeremiah Garcia

KCRW returns to Century Park in Century City this summer for FREE all-ages outdoor concerts inspired by theAnnenberg Space for Photography’s newest exhibit,Country: Portraits of an American Sound, which will be on display through September 28th, 2014.

I was approved for a media pass the during the week before first concert in the series, so I wasn’t able to post a preview for the first concert, but I will be posting previews and reviews/photos for the second two concerts of the series.

All of the concerts that are a part of this series are free and open to the public, provided that you RSVP and arrive early enough to gain admittance before the venue reaches capacity.  The doors for the concerts open at 5pm and the line for each show starts at 3pm. I highly recommend getting to the venue early to wait in line, as the lines for the concerts will definitely be long, with the potential to wrap around blocks (note, plural, blocks) in Century City.

You can RSVP for the shows on the KCRW website. CLICK HERE to get redirected to the website.

Below are my blog entries for this concert series:

July 19, 2014

  • Annenberg Space for Photography Exhibit: “Country: Portraits of an American Sound” | Review (Coming Soon)
  • Sturgill Simpson | Photos and Review
  • Gregg Allman | Review

July 26, 2014

August 2, 2014

Yuna | Twilight Concert Series | Santa Monica Pier | 7/17/14 [PHOTOS & REVIEW]


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Talib Kweli | BET Experience: Acoustically Speaking | 6/28/14 [PHOTOS]

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

IMG_7140

Hosted by the former Rap City and 106 & Park host Big Tigger, perhaps my favorite part of the BET Experience FREE Fan Fest was the intimate afternoon of performances at the Acoustically Speaking showcase. Taped live in front of an audience of not more than 300, the performances and interviews gave me an opportunity to “Experience” the sounds of some seriously talented, developing and established recording artists.

Each artist performed a short set of 4-5 songs. Each performance was followed by a one-on-one interview with Big Tigger. The performances and the interviews gave audience members an opportunity to really connect with each of the artists. It was truly a one of a kind performance experience.

The only rapper to perform at the Acoustically Speaking showcase was Talib Kweli, a Brooklyn-bred rapper who started his career collaborating with Mos Def as the collective, Black Star. Accompanied by two horns, a upright, string bass, keys and a guitars, his performance was filled an energy and vibrance that you don’t often get from hip-hop/rap concerts nowadays.

Perhaps one of the more eloquent rappers in the game, Talib Kweli’s interview with Bigg Tigger touched on some of the social topics that he is known to support, like the influence of hip-hop culture on society at large. The interview was as good as the performance, and trust me, the performance was fire.

Hopefully, BET will air the entire performance and interview at some point, but in the meantime, CLICK HERE to check out what video clips have been posted on BET’s website.

CLICK HERE to check out a collection of Instagram videos of most, if not all, of the songs Talib Kweli performed at this concert.

By this time in the day, my second (and last) battery pack was running on empty. My camera intermittently shut off while I was shooting this performance, and I didn’t really have time (or the battery) to set the camera to the right settings, so I shot with whatever setting my camera was already set at. I wish the photos could have been better, but I guess I’ll have to live with them. Next time, I’ll remember to bring a THIRD battery pack. LOL.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

Alice Smith | BET Experience: Acoustically Speaking | 6/28/14 [PHOTOS]

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

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Hosted by the former Rap City and 106 & Park host Big Tigger, perhaps my favorite part of the BET Experience FREE Fan Fest was the intimate afternoon of performances at the Acoustically Speaking showcase. Taped live in front of an audience of not more than 300, the performances and interviews gave me an opportunity to “Experience” the sounds of some seriously talented, developing and established recording artists.

Each artist performed a short set of 4-5 songs. Each performance was followed by a one-on-one interview with Big Tigger. The performances and the interviews gave audience members an opportunity to really connect with each of the artists. It was truly a one of a kind performance experience.

The second artist to perform was Alice Smith, a recording artist whose musical styles are anchored in rock, R&B, blues, jazz and soul, and whose latest album, the 2013 release “She” is a powerfully, emotional album that shines a light on all of her musical leanings. I love the eclectic nature of the album, and it’s one that I intend to pick up on wax if I can find it somewhere.

After her set, the videographer I was sitting next to and I looked at each other an nodded in approval with her performance. If we were both duly impressed, I’m sure you will be too. Hopefully, BET will air the entire performance and interview at some point, but in the meantime, CLICK HERE to check out what video clips have been posted on BET’s website.

Follow Alice Smith on Facebook by CLICKING HERE  to be updated about her upcoming performances and musical releases.

CLICK HERE to check out a collection of Instagram videos of most, if not all, of the songs Alice Smith performed at this concert.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

Stacy Barthe | BET Experience: Acoustically Speaking | 6/28/14 [PHOTOS]

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

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Hosted by the former Rap City and 106 & Park host Big Tigger, perhaps my favorite part of the BET Experience FREE Fan Fest was the intimate afternoon of performances at the Acoustically Speaking showcase. Taped live in front of an audience of not more than 300, the performances and interviews gave me an opportunity to “Experience” the sounds of some seriously talented, developing and established recording artists.

Each artist performed a short set of 4-5 songs. Each performance was followed by a one-on-one interview with Big Tigger. The performances and the interviews gave audience members an opportunity to really connect with each of the artists. It was truly a one of a kind performance experience.

The first artist to perform was Stacy Barthe. Though you may not know much about her, you certainly know her music. She co-wrote “Hummingbird Heartbeat” for Katy Perry. She wrote “Everywhere You Go” for Kelly Rowland. She co-wrote “Cheers (Drink to That)” for Rihanna. Yeah, you’ve heard her music.

This was my first time listening to her music, and based on what I learned of her through her interview with Big Tigger, I could really feel how much emotional capital was invested into her music. Her struggles, her triumphs … her life … was all on display, and it was a revelation. Hopefully, BET will air the entire performance and interview at some point, but in the meantime, CLICK HERE to check out what video clips have been posted on BET’s website.

Her album is scheduled to be released on October 28th. Follow her on Facebook [StacyBartheOfficial] to get further updates.

CLICK HERE to check out a collection of Instagram videos of most, if not all, of the songs Stacy Barthe performed at this concert.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE