Friday, December 04, 2009

Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Random Notes

What do you get when you mix a sub, a pea and a stone? The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame!

I watched the AARP, um, I mean Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert on HBO. The Hall of Fame is often a bone of contention in the blog world, probably because it presents what I would consider an elitist view of rock music. It follows a doctrine that considers R&B and hip hop as part of rock and favors punk and alternative (i.e. critics darlings) over commercially successful bands in the 70s and 80s. Only recently have groups that didn't start out as music critic favorites (Van Halen and Metallica) begin to make it in, presumably because they are running out of people they would prefer to let in before them. I'm sure if they could induct Bob Dylan every year, they would.

Anyway that's my Rock and Roll Hall of Fame rant, I'd love to see it if it weren't in Cleveland but that's life. I did see this Hall of Fame concert and found it pretty enjoyable. A nice format where a band would anchor a set that includes its own material and then back various stars on songs as well. The backing bands included Crosby Stills and Nash, Paul Simon, Metallica, U2, Bruce Springsteen and I feel like I left someone out but can't recall. Oh yeah, Stevie Wonder. I wrote down my impressions of the concert while I watched it and in honor of Rolling Stone magazine who seems to have put on this shindig I'm calling it Random Notes:
  • Hey it's Jerry Lee Lewis at the start, I saw him play at a concert a few years ago he still can put on a show.

  • So that's what Steven Stills looks like sober. I saw CSN&Y play at the same concert as Jerry Lee Lewis, Stills was so wasted he barely performed and spent most of the set wandering the back of the stage that evening. Here he's blasting through his vocals and reeling off burning guitar solos. I feel cheated.

  • Jackson Browne, one of my favorite artists singing one of my favorite songs "The Pretender"! With Nash and Crosby on background vox!! Holy crap, Browne has had plastic surgery and his face doesn't move!!! It's like Phantom of the Opera, his eyes and mouth moves but nothin else!!!!

  • Stevie Wonder pays tribute to Michael Jackson by performing "The Way You Make Me Feel", is it a crime that I like Wonder's version better than the original?

  • Sting, give Jackson Browne his raggedy beard back he needs it more.

  • Stevie Wonder is smokin' through his set, everyone brought their "A" game to this show.

  • Jeff Beck shaves his arm pits? Is this for more aerodynamic guitar solos?

  • The Spectre of Spector is all over this Brill Building montage as I don't remember him getting named in this segment.

  • Dion gives Paul Simon a fist bump. You know a trend is about to die when you see the elderly adopt it. Give them both Boost mobile phones while they're at it.

  • During Simon & Garfunkel 's set, my wife reminds me of that Flight of the Conchords episode where one of the Conchords is made over by a woman into the image of an Art Garfunkel sex slave. Too funny!

  • Oh cool, "The Boxer". Freakin love that song.

  • Aretha Franklin slays 'em in Madison Square Garden.

  • Sisters are doin' it for themselves again, Annie Lennox joins Franklin for "Chain of Fools"

  • Metallica! Finally some actual rock music in this show. Wow, is James Hetfield losing his hair? Never thought I would see that happen to a guy that used to look like the Lion King. "For Whom The Bell Tolls" sounding good. The audience reaction reminds me of when I saw Metallica open for The Rolling Stones, not a lot of movement out there just polite applause.

  • Metallica backs both Lou Reed and Ozzy. Guess with their legal battles there was no way Ozzy would show up with the rest of Sabbath?

  • I wonder if Ozzy saw Dave Matthews make fun of him on Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago?

  • Ray Davies jumps a lot through "All Day And All Of The Night" with those awesome crazy split leg poses that you used to see in mid 60's photographs like he's Austin Powers. Groovy!

  • "Enter Sandman". F*ck yeah!!

  • U2 follows Metallica? I've got "Vertigo".

  • U2, Springsteen and Patti Smith charge through "Because The Night" with spectacular results.

  • I like how Bono worked in a bit of Springsteen's "The Promised Land" at the end of "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"

  • Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas steals the show from Jagger on "Gimmie Shelter". Though they can't top the fiery rendition Keith Urban and Alicia Keys gave at Live Earth.

  • It's a "Beautiful Day"!

  • For some reason Jeff Beck's bass player looks like Chelsea Clinton or Fiona Apple to me.

  • Buddy Guy and Jeff Beck deliver some serious six string sting.

  • Jeff Beck plays a very cool instrumental version of "A Day In The Life"

  • Sam of Sam and Dave jams with Bruce and the E Street Band, PBS is going to have a field day when they get their hands on this. Pledge now!

  • I ain't no For-chew-nate-uh. That's John Fogerty speak for "Fortunate".

  • Tom Morello kickin' ass with Springsteen on "The Ghost Of Tom Joad".

  • Wow, it's "Jungleland". I did not see that coming, generous of The Boss to play a song that highlights his band :)

  • Billy Joel's limping, that's a bummer. "New York State Of Mind" trading vocals with Springsteen sounds great and Joel even brought sax man Mark Rivera with him. Joel sounds killer on "Born To Run" too.

  • The big finish! All hands on deck.

All in all, this was a good show. Each performer gave 110% in their performance (but wait, it's mathematically impossible to give more than 100%). If you're a fan of rock and roll or old school R&B, its worth seeing.


Arsenette said...

LOL.. you are right.. not even half of the list was rock and roll.. LOL AARP.. no kidding...

Mr. Mike said...

Maybe the first rock concert where there was more snow on people's heads than in their noses :)