Saturday, December 1, 2012


After a three year absence, I jumped at the chance to buy tickets to see The Killers at the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield, just north of Denver.  In support of their new album Battle Born, The Killers went on a world tour. It began on October 26th in Glasgow, UK and the North American portion kicked off here in Broomfield, on November 29th.  Touring with them on the U.S. leg of the tour are Tegan and Sara, two women from Canada with their band.  They kicked off the show with a good performance, good enough that I'm planning on listening to some of their music which stretches back into the 1990's.
 Drove up with the wife, had dinner in a bland Mexican restaurant in Broomfield and then took or place in line outside the 1st Bank Center.  After the doors opened, I found my way onto the floor, getting as close to the stage as possible.

No sleeping in the woods tonight!

The Killers charged out of the gate with "Flesh and Bone," a thunderous new cut from Battle Born, their fourth studio album. It showcased Flowers' vocals -- my god, the man can sing a note with the best of 'em -- while also proving just exactly why they're still here ten years on: sheer talent, determination and the romance of Springsteen-esque lyricism.

As the first show on the Killers' US 2012 tour since going overseas for about two months, it was clear Flowers and company were glad to be back. Flowers smiled like he meant it -- genuinely. The guy was all pearly whites the entire show. You really could tell he wanted to be there on that stage playing 1STBANK Center, and as long as he continued to give 110 percent, his audience wanted him to be there, too.

Flowers didn't even have to particularly try. The overly grandiose lyrics would have been too much of a mouthful for anyone else -- particularly "Little birdie whispered in my ear/You've been cooking up a world of fear" in "From Here On Out" -- but for Flowers, it was clear he was right at home in repeated themes of hometown pride, victory, relationships and more hometown pride, with words too complicated for the average new age rocker.

Read more here:

Human by S4T


Download the mp3 320 kbps show here:

Monday, November 19, 2012


The English Beat cane to town with The Ruckus, a band that plays Ska/Funk/Soul out of Manhattan, Kansas.  The ticket was a gift of a friend and I met up with several others to enjoy yet another night with some great music performed by Dave Wakling and his band.  Some made it into the dressing room where all were smoking "cigars."  What I did notice was now that Amendment 64 passed legalizing marijuana in Colorado, the whiff of that fine herb we evident in the air throughout much of the show.

As always, the altitude gets to Dave, requiring a breather between songs while sweat pours out of his skin.  He's always entertaining and the music kept everyone in the packed house dancing on their feet.  The audience loves the band, the band loves the audience, Dave and his crew taking the time to shake hands with all after the show.  We appreciate his appreciation!

I biked back to the office where I found my secluded spot under the cottonwood trees along the creek where I spent a quiet, restful night.

The English Beat were one of 'ten best concerts listed for this weekend.  They described them as:

Inspired by the first wave of punk in the U.K., the Beat combined the social critique of punk with the broader emotional and sonic palette of reggae. Formed in 1978, the English Beat (so named when the band made its way across the Atlantic) released three classic albums before Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger moved on to form General Public, where they realized great commercial success. The two eventually parted ways to front their own versions of their original band.

This regular Westword feature is great to learn about who's playing here in the Denver area.  As shown on this top 10 list, there were plenty of great bands performing here this weekend that I would also have liked to seen.

Download the mp3 @ 320 kbps here:

Friday, November 2, 2012


On Monday morning I took Amtrak to San Diego from Union Station. Wanting to travel light, I ditching most of my stuff in the Stillwell Hotel in LA. In about two hours time I was standing in the downtown area of San Diego a very short distance from the water front. First stop was to their Museum of Contemporary Art. Best of all was Isaac Julien’s movie exhibit “Ten Thousand Waves,” an intriguing video project on nine screens throughout the room making for an experience in which I felt I was standing in the middle of the action occurring in this 50 minute long show that continuously looped.

“Julian weaves this folk tale together with the Morecambe tragedy to create a spectacular visual poem displayed across nine enormous screens. Images of modern Shanghai intercut with 1930s film noir shots of the city; images of the remote Fujian landscape, shrouded in clouds just like ancient Chinese scroll painting; scenes of Mazu floating over the hypnotic, rolling sea, looking for the sailors; and in the background a poem especially commissioned for the film is recited in Chinese.”

The film’s original musical score is by fellow east Londoner Jah Wobble and the Chinese Dub Orchestra and Maria de Alvear. As we all know Jah Wobble was the original bass player in PiL in the late 1970s and early 1980s. What a nice coincidence!

I spent considerable time at the end of the nearby wharf that stuck out into the bay, smoking a cigar and watching the bustling harbor. Several aircraft carriers parked nearby. Helicopters and jet aircraft buzzing the sky. Jets continually taking off at the nearby airport. It was an impressive sight but caused an uncomfortable feeling within me, like I was sitting inside this unstoppable monster-like military machine that was destined to serve only one bloody purpose, regardless of the people's will.

I had dinner at a restaurant not too far from the House of Blues. Once again I was at the foot of the stage in the theater shortly after 7 PM. A local punk band, Retox, warmed up the audience with a half hour of loud and fast songs, one blurring into the other.

PiL took the stage sometime after 9:30, returning me to that sweet spot in my mind as I tried to absorb every bit of the music and resulting experience. San Diego was the better of the two shows for me, perhaps because of my location (on the barricade) and choosing to limit the use of the camera in order to just experience the show. There were two events during the show I will always remember. The first was in between songs when I yelled out "You are a legend!," to which John stood there thoughtfully for a moment and then replied with something like, "I am humbled into silence," before heading off into the next song. Even better...throughout both shows between songs Johnny would take a swig of water and swallow, followed by a swig out of a bottle of liquor (Courvoisier?) that he would then spit out into a bucket in front of the drum kit. Well, I remembered what he always scolded the audience for in shows during the 80's and shouted out "No gobbing!" as he spat out the drink. What he did next was press his finger on his left nostril, tilted his head and then blew out the contents of his right nostril into the bucket/onto the floor to the audiences pleasure, followed by "All these years and you're still f*cking shy of me." I think he recognized me from the show the night before. I got the distinct impression he was turning a lot in my direction with direct eye contact, like he was performing especially for me. That too made this show a very personal experience.

A group of people hung out at the stage exit door watching the road crew load equipment on the trailer, hoping to meet the band as they made their exit. But alas, the band departed from another door on the other side of the building, leaving us to watch the road crew board the bus and head off to their next destination in Arizona. People express disappointment and then disappear into the fog enveloping the city. I grab a bite to eat and then head on down to the train station in anticipation of catching a 6 AM ride, only to learn that the station is locked up, probably to prevent the many homeless from turning it into their overnight home. I “slept” on a bench at the station, wrapped in a plastic trash bag to warm me from the cool, damp air coming in off the bay. I eventually board the train and return to LA where I catch my flight back to Denver. So many miles traveled in such a short amount of time. I was exhausted that evening and slept well.

Retox opened up the show for PiL:

"I realized that there were no other opening acts listed so I figured I would see if we [Retox] could get on the bill as an opener. Our agent got a hold of the promoter and they said we could play but they could not pay us since PiL's guarantee was fairly large and would not be met," says vocalist of Retox, Justin Pearson, in our chat after the gig. The deal was, Retox could have as many guests as they wanted. "Now that probably means something different to most people. But we had no problem at all getting our list up to triple digits. And, well, they [House of Blues] were a bit bummed. But we were not getting paid and it was in writing, so they honored it."

Read it here:

Asphalt, power lines
Highway, rooftops, spewing stacks
Human cancer spreads

Sparkling blue ocean
Gentle waves break and rush forward
Caress the sandy shore

Wide as the ocean
Life of unfulfilled desires
Drifts from shore to shore

Led to the ocean
Find not the journeys promise
But waves of sorrow

Our humanity
No longer understand it
Think like a machine

Rows of powerlines
Like giant robots in the sky
Long armed monsters march

Download the mp3 show here:!download|831p10|1648740902|MP3%20San%20Diego%20October%2029_%202012%20320%20kbps.rar|283004|0|0

Download the flac show here, parts 1 and 2:!download|301p3|1612065758|FLAC%20Part%201%20San%20Diego_%20CA%20October%2029_%202012.rar|396384|0|0!download|772p6|1435569044|FLAC%20Part%202%20San%20Diego_%20CA%20October%2029_%202012%202.rar|363212|0|0