Posts Tagged ‘Live at The Albert Hall’

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Roger McGuinn discovers a long-forgotten soundboard of the Byrds’ last true live line-up sitting in his garage, sharing the flashback to a time when the band was on its way down while virtuoso guitarist Clarence White was on his way up.

The Byrds weren’t just one of the greatest and most influential bands of all time, they were several of them. There was, of course, the original folk-rock version of the Byrds, which started the psychedelic version of the Byrds, which in turn begat the country-rock version of the Byrds, which in turn begat a hodgepodge of all those iterations before the group burned out once and for all. But each version of the Byrds likewise showcased what could generously be categorized a constant shifting line-up, with Roger McGuinn as the sole constant up through the band’s somewhat unsung end in 1973.

Yet McGuinn’s not the star of the line-up captured on “Live at the Royal Albert Hall 1971”, the masters of which the singer recently found sitting in his archives.

Rather, the focal point is former bluegrass prodigy turned rocker Clarence White, whose short-lived career ended around the same time The Byrds did, when he was struck and killed by a drunk driver while loading gear. White got his start in the Kentucky Colonels, crossing paths with The Byrds several times before McGuinn eventually invited him to join in 1968 as a permanent member. His virtuoso solos and interplay with McGuinn are what kept the band interesting, especially in its later years and particularly for a band never renown for its live prowess.

Albert Hall 1971 isn’t The Byrds‘ only live album– portions of 1970’s (Untitled) were recorded live, and 2000 saw the release of Live at the Fillmore – February 1969. By this point the band’s flame was growing dimmer, its focus diffuse, and you can hear the roots of the nascent jam-band movement as the songs’ melodies give way to relatively aimless noodling. Just listen to how Bob Dylan’s “My Back Pages” is given a rushed and busy reading en route to a rendition of Jimmy Reed’s “Baby, What You Want Me to Do” which recalls what the Grateful Dead (also frequently drawn to Reed) was up to on its parallel folk-rock route.

A few of the Byrds’ better known songs are well represented, but renditions of “So You Want to be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” and “Mr. Spacemen” are loose and hardly definitive. The setlist is also distractingly schizophrenic, veering from the likes of “Lover of the Bayou” to Dylan’s laid-back “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” with little in the way of segue. Singing lead on a handful of songs, such as Jackson Browne’s “Jamaica, Say You Will”, White offers a vocal counterpart to McGuinn, but the harmonies from the band’s heyday are largely nowhere to be found. The a cappella “Amazing Grace” that closes the set is a far cry from the McGuinn, Gene Clark, David Crosby, and Chris Hillman frontline that helped make the band famous.

But then there’s the guitar. McGuinn and White tear it up on cuts like “Jesus Is Just Alright” and “Lover of the Bayou”. “There are so many songs we’d all like to hear, and there are so many songs we’d like to do for you, but there’s only a little bit of time,” apologizes McGuinn before someone requests “Nashville West“. “You want to play that one, Clarence?” he asks, before letting White off his leash. Even acoustic, the pair shines. The traditional “Black Mountain Rag/Soldier’s Joy” includes two of the disc’s best minutes, easing into a 12-string free “Mr. Tambourine Man”, Woody Guthrie’s “Pretty Boy Floyd”, and Leadbelly’s “Take a Whiff (On Me)”, tracks that showcase McGuinn and White sans clunky rhythm section.

Indeed, the two later lead a radically reworked “Eight Miles High” past the 18-minute mark, but that also includes a lengthy interlude featuring the plodding bassist Skip Battin and drummer Gene Parsons who, frankly, drag down the John Coltrane-inspired epic (the liners note the section was mostly inserted to give McGuinn and White a cigarette break). It’s partly their fault that Live at the Royal Albert Hall 1971 never quite reaches the heights McGuinn and White aim for, but it’s also clear, instrumental aptitude or not, that The Byrds had moved beyond the logical end of its creative road. Listening to this set, it’s easy to imagine the band deciding to tour forever, like the Dead did, existing for fleeting moments of ephemeral glory while memories of its better days faded away. But that was not to be, and in retrospect, with fine but hardly earth-shattering documents such as this one as proxy witness, pulling the plug was probably for the best.

Setlist:
Lover Of The Bayou (3:35)
You Ain’t Going Nowhere (2:44)
Truck Stop Girl (3:25)
My Back Pages (2:20)
Baby, What You Want Me To Do (3:40)
Jamaica, Say You Will (3:30)
Black Mountain Rag/Soldier’s Joy (2:04)
Mr Tambourine Man (3:33)
Pretty Boy Floyd (2:40)
Take A Whiff (On Me) (2:45)
Chestnut Mare (5:16)
Jesus Is Just Alright (3:16)
Eight Miles High (18:35)
So You Want To Be A Rock ‘N’ Roll Star (3:07)
Mr Spaceman (3:01)
I Trust (5:28)
Nashville West (2:39)
Roll Over Beethoven (3:02)
Amazing Grace (2:36)

Iggy Pop will be releasing 'Post Pop Depression Live At Royal Albert Hall' for Record Store Day

3LP set, Best gig ever, Iggy Pop’s Post Pop Depression album, a collaboration with co-writer and producer Joshua Homme from Queens Of The Stone Age, is his most critically acclaimed and commercially successful album for many years. On 13th May 2016, Iggy Pop brought his Post Pop Depression live show to London’s revered Royal Albert Hall and almost tore the roof off! With a backing band including Joshua Homme and Dean Fertita from Queens Of The Stone Age and Matt Helders from the Arctic Monkeys, Iggy delivered a set focused almost entirely on the new album plus his two classic David Bowie collaboration albums from 1977, The Idiot and Lust For Life.

Fans and critics alike raved about the performance and this will definitely be remembered as one of Iggy Pop’s finest concerts. This relentlessly energetic show at the Hall, performed as part of Pop’s Post Pop Depression tour, was certainly one of the live events of the year and one of the standout shows of his career.

The 69-year old rocker, and his supergroup lineup of Josh Homme, Dean Fertita, Troy Van Leeuwen, and Matt Helders, powered through a blistering two-hour set packed with Pop’s biggest hits. The extraordinary atmosphere of this once-in-a-lifetime event, more like a life changing event rather than just another rock concert has been captured remarkably in the recording of the night by Splinter Films.

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One of the most surprising things about Heart ‘s new live album is that, after more than four decades of being a band, it was their first time playing the historic London Royal Albert Hall. It was a gig that had special significance for several reasons.
“We wanted to go to England and play in Britain, because we haven’t been there for some years,” Ann Wilson explains  “But we wanted to do it in some kind of special way, not just go up and down the country doing the typical shows. When [the opportunity to play Royal Albert Hall came around, it just worked out great, and it was special for everybody.”
Finding the right balance between the band and the orchestra can be a tricky thing. Wilson says it was a combination of carefully rehearsing each song, but also making sure that everything was properly miked to capture both sides, something that they left up to the technical folks who had been brought in. “I think all of the people who were working on that end of it were really professional and they were good and careful,” she says. “It turned out great — it sounds good and it looks good. But it doesn’t look too worked over.
Fans can hear and see the results on Live at the Royal Albert Hall, which was recently released on audio and video.
For the singer, it was quite an experience going onstage at the Royal Albert Hall. “It felt similar to what it feels like to step out onto the Carnegie Hall stage,” she says. “It’s got a certain amount of gravitas to it, for sure. It’s so traditional [and] there’s so much history there, it can be somewhat intimidating. But as it turned out, it was just a real nice rock evening.”
Leading off with “Magic Man” from their 1976 Dreamboat Annie album, it was clear that the guitars were not going to take a backseat to the orchestra at the gig. The added instrumentation elevated the emotional levels of the material in that evening’s set list, breathing fresh air into fan favorites like “What About Love” and fleshing out some of the songs from the band’s latest album, Beautiful Broke.
According to Wilson, the idea to revisit some older songs for the Beautiful Broken album was one that came about during discussions with their record company, which suggested the project. “We sat in their office and discussed it, and it seemed like a fun idea,” she says. Songs like “Johnny Moon,” from 1983’s Passionworks, were given “another chance” at finding an audience that might have missed them at the time they were originally released. The album came along at a time that the band had already been working on new music, as Wilson described in a 2015 interview.
“We’ve been recording live off the stage in soundchecks, because you don’t really have to go into a traditional studio anymore,” she said at that time. “We’re going to take the tracks that we get off the stage and mess with them.”
Beautiful Broken found Heart moving in a different direction than what they had planned. So what about those original recordings? Wilson says that there’s a possibility that they might do something with them at some point. “We still have all of those live tapes and everything sitting around,” she says. “We have all of the files from years of playing live, so that stuff is still available to access.”
For now, she’s just enjoying a short break after another full year of touring. There are no solid plans for a new Heart studio album right now, she says. “At this point, I think we’re just writing. The process is just getting ideas and just writing and then as you go along with that, you start getting bigger ideas on how they could be brought out. We’re rolled back to just having come off the road, a situation that means complete sacrifice from everything. That’s touring — we toured [this past year] and the year before and the year before, so we’re really kind of just calling in new ideas right now.”
There is new music on the horizon from her other musical passion, the Ann Wilson Thing!, who will release their third EP sometime this year. Wilson says three of its five songs are originals. “We’re just taking a break right now from it all,” she says. “We’ll be coming back with fresh things.”

Heart Live At The Royal Albert Hall – released 25th November 2016

Iggy Pop Post Pop Depression Live

Soon, you’ll be able to take home Iggy Pop‘s heralded summer stop at London’s Royal Festival Hall on his Post Pop Depression tour. The 22-song concert, simply dubbed Post Pop Depression Live at the Royal Albert Hall, will be released as Blu-ray or two-disc DVD on Oct. 28 via Eagle Rock.
Iggy Pop was joined by a supergroup lineup that included Josh Homme and his Queens of the Stone Age bandmates Dean Fertita and Troy Van Leeuwen, as well as Matt Helders from the Arctic Monkeys. Together, they tore through songs from Post Pop Depression as well as two older Iggy Pop classics, his David Bowie-produced The Idiot and Lust for Life. A complete track listing is shown below.
The May 13th, 2016 show marked Pop’s headline debut at the legendary venue – and drew wild praise from British media. The NME called it “the best show of 2016 to date,” while the Telegraph said Pop “all but ripped the roof off the Royal Albert Hall.”

Ironically, Pop said he was considering retirement not long after this show. The Top 20 hit Post Pop Depression ranks as the highest-charting album of Pop’s career; next on the list of The Idiot, which went to No. 72 back in 1977.
Track listing for Post Pop Depression Live at the Royal Albert Hall:
“Lust For Life”
“Sister Midnight”
“American Valhalla”
“Sixteen”
“In The Lobby”
“Some Weird Sin”
“Funtime”
“Tonight”
“Sunday”
“German Days”
“Mass Production”
“Nightclubbin”
“Gardenia”
“The Passenger”
“China Girl”
“Break Into Your Heart”
“Fall In Love With Me”
“Repo Man”
“Baby”
“Chocolate Drops”
“Paraguay”
“Success”