Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Life is Good!!

The Great Blue Hill.
What an incredible show!  I am still reveling in the happiness three days later!  My friend and I arrived at the Historic Prowse Farm in Canton, MA for the Life is Good Festival at about 4PM.  Our goal was to pick up our passes, tour the festival grounds, grab something to eat, and settle into our spots for the show.

Our passes needed to be picked up at Will Call upon arrival.  After traveling from the parking lot to the festival grounds via the super efficient shuttle, we proceeded to the Will Call tent.  My tickets for entry were waiting...however, my passes for side stage viewing were missing.  Of course anxiety set in...but the Life is Good staff is wonderful and they assured me my passes would be found and delivered within an hour.  They allowed us to go into the festival and told us to return in 45 minutes or so.  

Life Is Good Food Stalls.

Let me just say, what a beautiful setting for a festival.  Prowse Farm is an amazing piece of land with a lovely meadow and a pond in the center.  This historic property boasts the Great Blue Hill as it's backdrop.  The festival grounds are clean with trash/recycle/compost repositories within every few yards.  Staffers are stationed at these repositories to help you make decisions as to where your trash needs to go.  It's quite incredible!  Children pranced, danced, and frolicked in the meadow as their parents looked on from their blankets.  It was such a wonderful, family friendly atmosphere.  Music played from one of the three stages at all times.  An overwhelming positive feeling and good vibes were present for the entire evening.

Summer Shack Ribs, Cole Slaw, Kettle Chips, and Magic Hat.
Delicious smells wafted through the air from the line of food stalls that met us upon entering.  After walking the grounds and checking out the different areas we decided to have a bite to eat.  We split the ribs and an order of kettle chips from the Summer Shack booth.  Needing a beverage to wash that down we each selected a Magic Hat #9....it's got a great apricot finish...must find this at my local package store!!  Both the ribs and kettle chips were great and hit the spot quite nicely!  

We finished our food and beer and then it was time to check for the passes.  Upon arrival at the Will Call tent we were greeted by the wonderfully friendly and helpful Chelsea who had our passes ready to go!  YAY!  We were golden!  I was so excited to learn that our passes were actually listed as artist's guest passes and would give us full backstage access.  Omigosh!  Hyperventilation!  

Life Is Good Artist Hospitality Area

Off we went to the backstage entrance, proudly donning our wristbands!  Sure enough, we were allowed right in and treated like queens!  And the first face we saw upon entering the artist hospitality area is celebrity chef Ming Tsai!  (As an aside...call me crazy...but the best perk might just have been the REAL bathrooms as opposed to the Port-A-Potties!)  

We needed another one of those Magic Hat #9's!  As we were in line, who popped up??  Brian Dunne, drummer extraordinaire!  As always, he was super nice and we were so happy to see him.  Chatting away with Brian I suddenly felt an arm around my shoulder....ELIOT LEWIS!  So great to see him and talk...it had been a few months...always glad to catch up!!  

Me, behind the soundboard.
We still needed that beer!  HA!  Back in line we went like giddy school girls!  2 Magic Hat #9's please!  The artist hospitality area was a great space.  Lots of areas to relax and enjoy the music and food.  Beautiful tents, chairs, pillows, and floral arrangements.  We found a nice little seating area and took in the surroundings.  
Sea of people!

We could hear The Roots playing in the background at the Positive Purpose Stage (they were supposed to be on the Main Stage however some of the band ran into some travel issues which forced the stage swap with Dawes).  It was getting close to show time so we took our places behind the soundboard at the Main Stage.  We could look out and see The Roots finishing up their set.

Teleprompter laptop
Andrea, my favorite Production Assistant, arrived and took her place behind the ever important laptop which controls the teleprompter on stage.  She promised me a set list after the show!  (And came through as always!  Thanks, Andrea!)

The butterflies hit!  Out of nowhere!  It's that pre-show excitement/nervousness/elation.  It happens every time!  Then we see the guys coming up on stage, waiting off to the side.  Wooo!  We are about to get started.  Daryl donned his guitar.  Porter and John waved to us!  All of the guys were casually chatting.  Each one with a smile on his face.  Here we go!!  The band ripped into Out Of Touch!  Being a festival they decided to go with a set list used previously at the Ryman Auditorium show in Nashville earlier this year.  
Happy Daryl!

I will say that they played one of THE best versions of Uncanny that I have ever heard.  It was the perfect combination of funky and soulful!  The crowd simply ate it up!  Daryl and John were both loving the crowd right back.  Daryl had very few issues with his monitors and even the sound tech was rocking out!  At one point John did have trouble hearing drums but that was quickly remedied.  Looking out on the sea of people, I was so proud of my favorite band.  

John Oates in the zone!
After the show we spoke with Paul Pesco for a few moments then headed back to the hospitality area.  One more celebratory beverage was in order!  Daryl Hall & John Oates had once again proved that they can deliver a stellar show that is fresh and fun even after 40 years.  

Next on deck....The Borgata - Atlantic City, NJ on October 4th and Tower Theater - Upper Darby, PA on October 5th.  Until then...Do It For Love!  x K


Daryl moves the hair from his face.

Set list and passes.

Daryl & Charlie

The fellas.

Joe and D chat between sets.

Charlie and Porter

The Professor

Paul Pesco snaps and audience pic.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Life Is Good and a Change of Season

Well, the summer is coming to a close and I am gearing up for the upcoming Hall & Oates performance at the Life is Good Festival in Canton, MA on Saturday September 21st!  The weather forecast is looking good and I am excited for the chance to see my most favorite band play in the late summer sun!  

I'm currently debating what camera to bring.  Do I go with my old standby...the Canon PowerShot S5IS or do I step out of the box and try the Olympus SP-600UZ that I have been procrastinating on picking up and using?  The Canon takes excellent shots in dark theaters where there are frenetic stage lights...that's usually why I go for it.  But given that this is an outdoor show where presumably there will be lots of natural lighting...I may be tempted by the Olympus!  I really won't have room for two cameras in my bag so I need to make a choice...and fast!

Another reason I am excited for this particular show is that The Roots will be on just before H&O take the stage!!  Oh yes...THE ROOTS!  This wouldn't be the first time these fellas would share a stage.  It should be noted that Daryl Hall sat in with The Roots on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon back in October of 2011 upon the release of his album Laughing Down Crying.  Also, Daryl performed at Philadelphia's 4th of July celebration along side The Roots and Queen Latifah back in 2012.  

As a fan, I am secretly hoping for a mini jam session between H&O and The Roots.  I have this sneaking suspicion that they will make it happen.  I hope I am not proven wrong!  

And seeing as we are in this transition of seasons I thought it would be the perfect time to post some pics of the Change of Season Tourbook.  It's one of my most favorite books with some amazing photos inside.  Enjoy!  And I will have a full report on Life Is Good this weekend!  Until then, do it for love!

Change of Season Tourbook Cover

Daryl in the mirror.



Dressing room.

I Ain't Gonna Take it This Time.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Las Vegas Turnaround 2013...the final mission!!

The Nirvana Pool...peaceful palms and sand.
Saturday...the day of the second show.  I think we were all exhausted from the night before.  Most of the crew hit the pools at the Hard Rock Hotel.  I really enjoyed the Nirvana Pool on the HRH Tower side of the resort.  Lovely loungers were placed along the zero-entry sand bottomed pool.  Palm trees gave the illusion of being on an island paradise.
Daryl on keys.

Our paradise couldn't be allowed to last the entire day, however!  We needed to ready ourselves for the Hall & Oates concert as well as Eliot Lewis' performance at Vinyl Las Vegas.  Strangely enough the security folks allowed cameras in without issue!  And I did manage to take some cool shots once I got to the stage for the encore.  In case anyone has forgotten, I've added a pic of the set list from night two down below.  It was a normal greatest hits set, wish they would have mixed it up a little bit more.

John Oates

The show ended in a frenzy and the crowd loved it!!  And we weren't done yet!  We all bolted over to Vinyl to grab seats for Eliot's show.  Having seen last night's performance and turnout we knew the place would be packed!!  Thanks to Dawna, always looking out for the fans, we were able to get some great front row seats.  Perfect for taking some shots of Eliot and his special guests.  

Eliot Lewis & Klyde Jones

Mr. Lewis reached the stage and the place went wild.  It was a show filled with one great tune after another.  If you haven't done so already, I highly recommend picking up his latest album called Enjoy The Ride.  Once again tonight, Klyde Jones and Porter Carroll Jr joined Eliot for Walk on By and Sara Smile respectively.  The crowd was thrilled and brought to their feet on many occasion throughout the 90 minute set.  After the show Eliot kindly signed autographs and posed for pictures as did other members of the Hall & Oates band and crew.  It was a great time for everyone and no one really wanted to leave.
Kerri & Frank - dueling hair.

A few of us ended up at Mr. Lucky's 24/7 for a late nigh snack.  Specials for the evening included shots named after Hall & Oates songs.  Way cute!!  As we sat and noshed we began to plan for the AM and what our plan of action might be.  You see, our lovely friend Carol came all the way from Australia to see these shows and hang out with all of her H&O pals.  Two years ago Carol met John in an airport back home in Australia.  She narrowly missed meeting Daryl and was heartbroken.  So we were determined to make it happen for her.

Check out those drinks!
So here we were bright and early on Sunday morning.  We had in on good authority that THE BIG MAN would be traveling on the bus to the next gig.  So we grabbed our coffee and found the bus.  Of course we were excited but at the same time nervous we would miss him and all would be for naught.  As we stood under the porte-cochere near the bus all the fellas said goodbye as the boarded.  Eliot blew us kisses from the steps of the bus.  Then moments later the bus began to PULL AWAY.  Wait, what???  It's leaving?  How did we miss him?  How did this happen?  

Jimmy, being antsy in nature, started to walk down the
Carol and Daryl!
block a little bit...just in case they were going to pick him up at the HRH Tower entrance.  Sure enough, there was the bus!  Parked and waiting!  Jimmy to us frantically!  Off the rest of us went running down the sidewalk in 105 degree heat!  I haven't moved that fast in years!  It was a sight to see indeed!!  Phew...made it to the bus with time to spare.  

After a few moments he appeared with his iced coffee in hand.  He was wearing his ever present shades, flip flops, shorts, and a button down shirt sleeve shirt.  He met us with a friendly "Hi, guys!".  I truly felt that he was happy to see us.  He asked us all how we were doing and Carol was able to tell her story about being there in Vegas all the way from Australia.  He gladly chatted and took pictures with us.  Once we said our goodbyes off he went onto the bus.  I am pretty sure Carol shrieked with delight.  I was so very happy for her!  After being a fan for 30 years she was finally able to meet Daryl!  We were all on cloud nine for the rest of the day.  It was certainly an amazing morning!  And another wonderful Hall & Oates trip for the memory books. 

Set list - August 3, 2013 - The Joint Las Vegas, NV

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Nile Rodgers...the Hall & Oates connection.

INXS, Daryl Hall, and Nile Rodgers during the recording of Original Sin.
Anytime I see Nile Rodgers performing on television, etc, this picture pops into my head.  Nile's Sunday night's appearance on the MTV Video Music Awards with Pharrell Williams and Daft Punk was no exception.  

This picture was taken in 1983 during the recording and production of INXS's Original Sin from their 1984 album titled "The Swing".  Nile was producing the album for INXS.  He had worked on producing and arranging the remix of the Hall & Oates' hit "Adult Education" earlier in 1983 and decided to call in Hall for some additional vocals on Original Sin.  Daryl and Michael Hutchence (pictured seated next to Daryl) supply the vocals for the chorus.  

As I mentioned above, this wasn't the first time Daryl had worked with Nile.  Rodger's had worked on the arrangement and production of the remix of "Adult Education" earlier in 1983.  Nile and Daryl would hook up once more in the eighties.  This time both Hall and Oates would be involved.  Daryl and John cut a cover of the Gamble & Huff classic, "Love Train" for the original motion picture soundtrack, "Earth Girls are Easy".  It just happens that Rodgers was the producer for the project! 

This wouldn't be the last time Daryl, John, and Niles would get together!  In December of 2003 they were each presented with New York Heroes awards by the New York Chapter of the Recording Academy.

Photo courtesy BMI.com
I urge you to check out Niles' recent work with Daft Punk.  It's got that just-right mix for R&B and Funk.  Here are a few vids to check out!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Las Vegas Turnaround 2013 - Part 2!

OK...where'd we leave off??  Oh that's right...our lousy 80's party!  HA!  Fear not!  Our next day was truly one for the record books!  We started off with a delicious breakfast at Mr. Lucky's 24/7.  For what they are (a Rock n' Roll Denny's according to one waiter), the food was quite good!  Jimmy opted for a Bacon Waffle...wish I had thought to take a snap of it....the thing actually had chips of crunchy bacon IN IT!  IMO, you can't go wrong with bacon....EVER!  

Jim and Phil at the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop.

Off we went to our bus!  This lovely bus would be taking us on our History Channel Tour of Gold & Silver Pawn Shop (Pawn Stars), Toy Shack (Pawn Stars), Ultimate Sports Cards & Memorabilia (Pawn Stars), Rick's Restorations (American Restoration), and Count's Kustoms (Counting Cars).  

We had an incredible day meeting all of these History Channel stars and getting to see where all the action takes place.  It was really a once-in-a-lifetime experience!  Special thanks to Phil Nichols and Susan Perrin of Right Track Booking Agency for organizing the event.

The D-Man.  Courtesy Vicky Sullivan.
And now...on to the show!  I always get this nervous butterflies-in-my-tummy feeling before every single Daryl & John concert.  I don't know if it's the excitement of being with all my friends or knowing that my idol is going to be singing my favorite songs only feet from me...after all the gigs I've seen, I still can't explain it.  It's an experience that just takes over every cell and seeps through every pore.  True elation!  

The set list was standard and to be expected for a casino show.  Daryl was dashing in his black western style shirt with white trim.  John looked fab in his button down shirt and jeans.  The band was at top form!  They sailed through hit after hit with ease!  This Las Vegas crowd ate it up!  They loved it, and the more love the crowd showed the more the band threw that love right back out there!  Amazing!  

As always, we were treated to two encores and then the party was over...but, was it?!?!  Oh no, the night was young.  We still had to DASH over to Vinyl Las Vegas (also in the Hard Rock Hotel) to see the one and only Eliot Lewis perform at 11:30 PM.  Seats secured, Jimmy ran up to our room to get our cameras which were not allowed into the Hall & Oates show.  

Eliot Lewis and John Oates performing "Save Me".
The place was packed at showtime!  Eliot took the stage and treated the crowd to his own tunes as well as covers of songs from some of the greatest musicians that have influenced his musical journey throughout the years.  Special guest appearances were made by John Oates, Klyde Jones and Porter Carroll Jr.  

Eliot Lewis performing at Vinyl - Las Vegas.

Lewis and Oates treated us to a new track,from John's latest solo venture (Good Road To Follow), called Save Me.  This was truly one of the best songs John has ever written!  Klyde Jones joined Eliot and they shared with us a song that both artists have sung lead vocals on in past incarnations of the Average White Band...Walk on By.  And later in the show Porter Carroll Jr. took us all to church with a super-soulful rendition of Sara Smile.  Dare I say I may have enjoyed this experience more than the Hall & Oates concert?!?!  Hmmm....almost!

Next up!  Night 2!!!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Las Vegas Turnaround 2013 - GOODIES EDITION

On every H&O trip we venture out on we inevitably come back with various Daryl & John (and band) related goodies!  Some we find by accident and some we go in search of!  Here's out haul from Las Vegas Turnaround 2013!  

H&O spread in HRH Magazine!

History Channel Tour laminates signed by the cast of American Restoration.

Signed CD's from Klyde Jones and Paul Pesco.

Paul Pesco Special Edition Guitar PickLace.

Night 1 Set List.

Night 2 Set List.

HRH Schedule w/ H&O Promo.

Eliot Lewis @ Vinyl Las Vegas Tickets.

Paul Pesco Special Series Chrome PickLace.

AMS Catalog signed by Paul Pesco & a Paul Pesco LFDH pick!