Monday, January 16, 2017

Chevelle, and a huge show at Sacramento's Ace of Spades

Chevelle, Ace of Spades, Sacramento
Chevelle's show at Sacramento's Ace of Spades, this past Saturday, was my favourite Chevelle show to date--by far. The light show was stunning, the sound, as perfect as it could be at this venue; the crowd was full and loud and enthusiastic--tickets had sold out many weeks before. The show really went with a venue smaller than a huge festival stage, bringing the three members of the band, Pete Loeffler (vocals/guitar), brother Sam Loeffler (drums), and Dean Bernardini (bass), close and tight and together in a way that I hadn't appreciated on the vast expanse of a festival stage.

Pete Loeffler, vocals and guitar, Chevelle
Pete Loeffler, vocals and guitar, Chevelle
The show kicked off with Another Know It All, The Clincher, Take Out The Gunman, with Hats off to the Bull, Door to Door Cannibals and many more from Chevelle's eight studio albums. Excellent, long set, and did I say how much I loved the lights???

Dean Bernardini, bass, Chevelle
Dean Bernardini, bass, Chevelle
Terrific show!

Sam Loeffler, drums, Chevelle
Sam Loeffler, drums, Chevelle
A few more dates in the USA, and then Chevelle are off to Europe, touring with Avenged Sevenfold. Catch them if you can!

Chevelle's sold-out show at Sacramento's Ace of Spades
Many more photos in the Chevelle Ace of Spades 2017 photo gallery: click here!
More Chevelle photos:

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Midge Ure at Harlows, Sacramento: still dancing, with tears in my eyes

Midge Ure
Midge Ure, Harlows, Sacramento
In town on Monday evening, at Harlows Restaurant and Nightclub, Sacramento,, was Midge Ure, OBE,

Midge Ure
Midge Ure
Yes that Midge Ure, he of British bands Visage and Ultravox and more, co-writer with Bob Geldof of one of the most successful songs ever, (which was written to raise money for the famine in Ethiopia, not for personal gain... and it did, click on the link to find out more)... co-organizer, again with Bob Geldof, of Live Aid, an event that has to be one of the most memorable of my lifetime to date. You have to have been there... and by being there, I don't necessarily mean being in the crowd at Wembley stadium, London, or JFK stadium in Philadelphia, though that would have been incredible, but part of the global, motivated and hopeful audience watching the show, donating and raising money, and believing, truly believing, that everyone could play a part in helping to fix a horrendous and enormous human disaster. Yes, there have been events since Live Aid with similar motivation and goals, but there was something so fresh, so trusting and so huge about the first Live Aid that it remains a milestone in both musical events, and in humanitarian action. (If you're too young to even know what I'm talking about, you can read all about it, and buy a recording of most of the performance, and please do.)

Midge Ure
Midge Ure is seriously-good-people... and a seriously-good musician and songwriter, too. Playing to an intimate but passionate audience, two years to the day since the last time he was here in Sacramento, and which I somehow inexplicably managed to miss and I still can't figure out how, just blame it on a business trip... and Midge Ure and his band are still able to bring tears to my eyes. After all these years, I still can't work out if Vienna or Dancing that's my favourite song, but it doesn't matter because favourite doesn't matter, all of the songs are somehow-magical, old or new: it's the emotion in the music, the love in the song, and the heartbeat behind it all. You leave the show thinking that Midge Ure could be your best friend, your kindly neighbour with the Scottish accent, the guy with a gently-self-deprecating yet very funny sense of humour.

Midge Ure
Midge Ure
The setlist included songs from all of Midge Ure's career,  and closed with a cover of Starman, a wonderful tribute to David Bowie:

Midge Ure Setlist Harlow’s Night Club, Sacramento, CA, USA 2017

Whether it's Wembley stadium in 1985, or a Sacramento nightclub in 2017: wonderful show.

Find out more on Midge Ure's website! Tonight, they play San Francisco's Social Hall: then several more dates in the USA before heading back to the UK and Ireland. And then Australia and New Zeland! All tour dates, click here.

More photos from Monday's show at Harlows in the photo gallery, just click!

(I can't believe I wrote this without mentioning the lighting once. Ooops.)

Monday, January 9, 2017

Some nice dream-pop for a winter's day: Oslo, from Anna of the North

If you're feeling a little wintery or homesick, here's something that will take you a little further north... Oslo, from Norway's electronic duo, Anna of the North (Anna Lotterud and Brady Daniell-Smith). It's a song of homesickness, penned from the other side of the world... Australia.

Find out more on their Facebook page!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A few more examples from the Alison Toon Photographer print portfolio

Classic Rock best of 2016
Best of 2016, Classic Rock magazine
Bitter-sweet: my photo of Marillion's Steve Hogarth, in the end-of-year edition of Classic Rock... which together with other of the Team Rock portfolio, announced that the were now "in the hands of administrators", appointed on 19th December 2016. Meaning that for the immediate future there are not likely to be any more editions of Classic Rock, Prog, Metal Hammer magazines, nor the award shows that Team Rock has been promoting, nor anything else... So nice to have my photo out there, sad it's likely in the final edition of this magazine. Buy a copy--they just arrived in the USA--and keep it in memoriam.

Also published in December, Revolver Magazine with this photo of Tom Araya of Slayer, taken at Houston Open Air, and part of an article about the Danny Wimmer Presents festivals. And I'm already looking forwards to more festivals this year... how about you?

Revolver Magazine,
Revolver magazine, December 2016
And if you are heading to the Steve Rothery Band concerts, look out for the poster using this picture too!  Wish I could be there!