The Concert Thread

Started by Chris L, Sep 16, 2017, 03:28 PM

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Chris L

I seem to recall starting a thread like this on the old FTC, where you could write about concerts you'd seen. Type of music is irrelevant. I'm going to repost (and expand on) what I just wrote in yesterday's Daily about the Eric Clapton concert Amy and I saw last night at the Forum (a former sports arena in Inglewood).

It was a long show, starting at 7:30 p.m. There were two opening acts, Jimmy Vaughn (Stevie Ray Vaughn's brother) and Gary Clark, Jr. (who must be big, because our Lyft driver afterward geeked out over him), with a half hour of empty stage after each, then Clapton for 90 minutes. He brought on Vaughn and Clark to sing the encore with him as 11 o'clock approached.

The first part of Clapton's set was very blues oriented, then he went into a greatest hits portion: "I Shot the Sheriff," "Layla (acoustic)," "Lay Down, Sally," "Tears in Heaven," "Wonderful Tonight" and "Crossroads." The show let out right after 11 and we caught a Lyft back to Amy's office, where we'd left the car. (Concert parking was $25 and tightly packed, so we decided to avoid it.)

All in all, a terrific concert, even if it did run a bit later than we'd expected.

Like most modern rock/pop concerts, there were a lot of lighting effects and projections. The most interesting of the latter used a row of six or seven screens arranged horizontally to show a greatly enlarged close-up of Clapton's guitar in real-time, an appropriate choice given that Clapton is one of the most highly regarded rock guitar players still alive. (Jimi Hendrix dropped out of the competition pretty early.) His harder rock songs, like "Cocaine" were accompanied by appropriately psychedelic pattern animations.
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?


Great, this is what was done here at MSG too.  There were rumors that this is his farewell tour so I wish I could've gone.

Chris L

We saw Art Garfunkel in concert tonight at Disney Hall. At one point in the show, he listed his five favorite songwriters. The first, God bless him, was Stephen Sondheim, though I'm pretty sure Garfunkel has never recorded a Sondheim song. (Amy suggested he should do "Finishing the Hat.") The others were Jimmy Webb (God bless him again), Randy Newman, James Taylor and, of course, Paul Simon, who was the composer of about two-thirds of the songs in the concert. ("I love Paul," Garfunkel said, pointing at the audience. "Write that down.")

Garfunkel's voice has lost some range and doesn't quite have the angelic quality it had when he was young. (He announced his age when he came out, raising his arms and saying to the audience, "This is the new 76!") There were some pauses built into a couple of the songs that Amy suspects were for breath control purposes. And I was a little disappointed that he turned Jimmy Webb's lovely "All I Know" over to his pianist as an instrumental, but it was a nice chance for the young piano player to show off. I wish I remembered his name.

He did a great deal of the Paul Simon songbook, climaxing (of course) with "Sounds of Silence," rearranged with an almost frighteningly intense, driving guitar beat in the middle portion, as though to contradict the title. He did throw in Gershwin's "Someone to Watch Over Me," which Garfunkel recorded on his album of standards Some Enchanted Evening. There was also an unusually sweet love song by Randy Newman and a song that Garfunkel had written himself, which answered a question Amy had asked on the drive into town: "Why doesn't he write his own music?" He included several poems from his recent book of poetry between songs.

I've always thought Garfunkel, in his prime, had one of the two most beautiful male voices on earth. (The other was Nat King Cole's.) He still has most of it and the feeling and phrasing are there. He made several admiring comments about Frank Gehry's architecture at Disney Hall, which I suspect were sincere, because Amy noticed in the program notes that Garfunkel was an architecture major in college. He seemed genuinely excited to be there, but he said his favorite venue is the Royal Albert Hall in London. I've never been there (and certainly never sung there), but it sounds like it must be a thrilling place to perform.
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?