Category Archives: Music

Concert reviews, bands, albums, etc.

Duran Duran with the Neon Trees

Ross and his notepad. Yes, he is a writer.

September 30, 2011 – The Joint @ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

The Neon Trees – celebrated an incredible breakout year with their debut album, ‘Habits,’ the flashy Utah-based pop band played through a fun, upbeat set. Wearing a red glitter-covered jacket and a Mohawk, singer Tyler Glen lead the crowd both young and old into rock themes of nostalgia.  He spoke about making mixed tapes, mentioned Duran Duran and launched into songs, “1983,” “Sins of My Youth” and their first single, “Animal” which skyrocketed to platinum on Billboard’s Hot 100 in just weeks. The band has had an amazing year, performing at the KROQ Weenie Roast, SXSW and Coachella.

Elaine Bradley pounded the drums, giving an edge to the pop band. Chris Allen, guitar, and Branden Campbell, bass, complete the band’s sacred harmony. A few songs into their set, frontman Tyler Glen said he’ll now ‘Take you to church.’ He’s known for mentioning how ‘music is a sacred act of communion’ for himself and the ‘heart of the band.’

From the nostalgic past, we now take you to the ‘now’ as in ‘All You Need is Now,’ Duran Duran’s 13th studio album, released digitally on December 21, 2010.  ‘Now’ sports new songs and lead singer Simon Le Bon sported a new beard. Producer Mark Ronson, an avid Duran Duran fan, revitalized the band’s ‘hunger.’ Drummer Roger Taylor remarked in a press release on the band’s website that Ronson told them to ‘go back and reclaim’ their original sound.

Those screaming female Diehard Duran Duran fans older now still roared as the band entered the stage. They launched into a set of songs old and new. Highlights include: “Planet Earth,” “Rio,” “Come Undone” with back-up singer Anna Ross and “The Wild Boys” as the band mashed the song into Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s “Relax (Don’t Do it).”

Images and videos screened on the back wall such as silhouettes of Bond girls to “A View To a Kill.” Other special effects appeared on four giant faces above the stage. Matrix-like effects accompanied new song “Blame The Machines.”

Bassist John Taylor, an avid tweeter, encouraged the crowd to tweet, using #duranlive when Simon Le Bon took a break. After thirty years or so, Duran Duran is still a viable and exciting band.

Crosby and Nash

There’s no question who the men were entering the stage at the Mandalay Bay Theater on September 9. They may have been a part of other famous 60’s bands such as The Byrds and The Hollies, but David Crosby and Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills, Nash or CSN & Y (Young) have stood the test of time and expressed a solid stage presence. This dynamic two-time winning Rock and Roll Hall of Fame duo didn’t need lasers or flashy kaleidoscope backgrounds. It was all about their peaceful classic rock music, a homecoming of good vibes and a long time connection with fans. Fans sang with and without encouragement. Some fans clapped while others danced in the aisles.

The duo kept their sense of humor too. When one of the techs entered the stage to make an adjustment, Crosby joked that he’d better get it right or he’ll have to ‘go back to Neil’ (Young). After a fan shouted a request for “Almost Cut My Hair,” Crosby joked about the bald fan not having hair. Nash told the story of how a friend inspired him to write a song in twenty minutes before he left. “Just a Song Before I Go” is about leaving loved ones behind before going back on tour.

The supportive musicians were excellent. James Raymond, the keyboardist, played in rock and R & B bands in his teens before discovering his birth father, David Crosby, in the mid-90’s. Not only have father and son reunited, they’re now playing and touring together. “Don’t Dig Here,” written by Raymond, is about keeping nuclear waste out of the Yucca Mountain in Nevada. No nukes!

Crosby and Nash made everyone feel at home with classics; “Teach Your Children,” “Wooden Ships,” “Our House” and The Byrds “Eight Mile High.

For article in Vegas Seven Magazine click here.

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