Reviews

/Reviews

Beach Boys 2018

September 26th, 2018|

I risked my rock’n’roll cred by attending a concert by Mike Love’s Beach Boys at the Granada Theater last Friday (9/21/18). Although not actually billed as such, the tour seemed at least a commercial endeavor, at worst a vanity project, by the former lead singer, who was the only actual original Beach Boy in the […]

Leon Bridges

September 16th, 2018|

In order to understand why he is given so much airplay on Sirius-XM’s Spectrum as well as to keep my mind open to new sounds, I went to see Leon Bridges at the Santa Barbara Bowl September 13. He is a good dancer, although no Michael Jackson or Prince (or maybe Bruno Mars), he has […]

Ain’t Too Proud to Beg

September 8th, 2018|

If history, as they say, is written by the victors, it may also be written the survivors, and in this musical at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles the Temptations’ story is told by the sole surviving original Temp, one Otis Williams. They are all equal contributors, of course, but David Ruffin is a diva, Eddie […]

Jackson Browne

August 13th, 2018|

An Appreciation

Jackson Browne was my favorite singer/songwriter of the ‘70s – The Decade of the Singer/Songwriter – and both he and his songs have aged well, as his sold-out concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl on August 3, 2018 proved again and again. I can’t think of ever having a more comfortable and pleasurable concert […]

Natalie Merchant

July 20th, 2017|

From the moment she started singing at the Bowl Saturday night, you knew Natalie Merchant still had one of the greatest, if not the greatest, female voices in rock (not that she admits to being a rock singer). With the power of a foghorn, the timbre of an oboe, her voice is a musical instrument; […]

Joan Baez

November 4th, 2016|

What a privilege to spend 90 minutes listening to Joan Baez from the second row of the Arlington Theater (thank you, UCSB Arts & Lectures)! With appropriate song and still-beautiful voice and brief but intimate introductions, she took us back to 1959 coffee houses in Harvard Square and before, up through the draft-resistance and anti-war movement and […]

Ryan Adams v. Weezer

August 17th, 2016|

Back-to-back nights at the Bowl brought us shows headlined by Ryan Adams (Thursday) and Weezer (Friday). The first was perfect, the latter a disappointment. I only knew about a third of Adams’s songs, but I enjoyed every one. Scoring a walk-up seat in the center of the sixth row made Adams’s exchanges with the raucous […]

Florence & the Machine

October 22nd, 2015|

If Joan of Arc were reincarnated today, she could do worse than finding herself in the person of Florence Welch, British rocker and star of Florence & the Machine, who performed at the Bowl last night (10/20/15). With barefoot purity, strong voice, handsome face and flowing red mane, Florence overflowed with charisma and could have […]

Buffett at the Bowl

October 18th, 2015|

It doesn’t seem fair or nice to describe a Jimmy Buffett concert as “ho-hum,” but that is the word that comes to mind as I look back on his appearance at the Santa Barbara Bowl on Thursday night (10/15/15). Jimmy is so ebullient and appears to be having such a good time, you can’t help […]

Moussorgsky Lite

September 19th, 2015|

The USC Symphony Orchestra came to the Granada Theater in Santa Barbara to play “Pictures At An Exhibition,” the only classical piece I can hum, not counting those that have been turned into rock songs. The orchestra was fine, so far as I can tell, and the Moussorgsky work remains my favorite. The gimmick was […]