I recorded the HBO special this weekend, and while I watch it, I figured it might make for an interesting, post for some people at least…
Now some of you may ask “What does a live blog of some 4 hour concert have to do with atheism or skepticism?”.
Well I can answer that easily. Not a god damn fucking thing.
But I enjoy music, this concert is just amazing, and it’s my blog so I get to do what I want.
– Tom Hanks as the MC? Really? Nothing against him (he is a really good actor), but is there ANYBODY in history who’s as famous as him and LESS “Rock and Roll”?
– Goodness, gracious, I think I just fell asleep… Jerry Lee Lewis is a rock and roll legend, no doubt about it, but to see him now is a bit depressing. I did not realize it was possible to yawn during Jerry Lee Lewis doing that song, but now I have evidence that it is…
– Finally something to get into: Crosby, Stills, and Nash. Not the greatest I’ve heard them, but this is certainly Rock and Roll and it FEELS like it!
– I love Bonnie Raitt and she still looks and sounds (and dresses) exactly like she did in the ’80s.’
– Never been a big Jackson Browne fan, and this song is a bit slow, but I’m really digging it none-the-less…
– A really fun version of Love The One You’re With with Crosby, Stills, Nash and James Taylor… And I’m not really fan of anybody on the stage, but much respect to them all right now…
– For Once In My Life Stevie Wonder has me dancing along (ok to be honest for twice in my life, he ROCKED the house at Dylan’s 30th Anniversary)…
– Smokey Robinson is easily one of the most underrated voices around. And when you consider the praise he has gotten during his career, that shows just how much of him. Tracks Of My Tears has to be one of my “desert island” songs, and this version does not disappoint…
– Stevie Wonder and John Legend doing Michael Jackson. I’m not sure why John Legend did not really get to sing during the song, because frankly it would have been better to see them go back and forth (like B.B. and Stevie do on the next song)…
– The Thrill Is most certainly NOT Gone, when B.B. King steps on stage and belts out a song like only he and Lucille are capable of. Oh and Stevie Wonder chimes in for a verse, but B.B. is the MAN on this song.
– A bearded guy who looks an awful lot like Sting (but pretending not to be a douchebag) joins Stevie on stage to play bass guitar for Higher Ground and sing Roxanne. Amazingly he not only looks just like a less douchey Sting, but he sounds just like Sting too.
– Jeff Beck comes on stage to help Stevie do one last song and get off. And since I think he is contractually unable to go more than 15 minutes without singing it, the song is of course Superstition. The guitar solo is classic Jeff Beck, which needless to say, means it is too short, but extraordinary…
– Edie Brickell’s husband sings one of the most fun songs of all time, the only thing missing is Chevy Chase on the bongos. Although if you close your eyes, you’ll be hard pressed not to see Chevy and Paul goofing around together in your mind.
– Crosby, Simon, and Nash do a very gentle version of George Harrison’s Here Comes The Sun making we wish George was alive and wonder why Stills is not on stage…
– Paul Simon has a few more guests (including the curly haired half of his more famous years), a few more songs, nothing spectacular, but a relatively fun time (especially for fans of doo-wop and other sounds of early rock), and he manages to keep things up-beat (which when talking about half of Simon and Garfunkel, that does not always come easy).
– Aretha Franklin.
Need I say more?
Has the woman EVER hit a bad note in her life? Or not brought down the house with the power of her voice?
– And now Annie Lennox joins her on stage? Without a doubt, this is THE highlight of the show to this point… I keep catching myself turning up the volume, so that it’s starting to get REALLY loud now. And that is exactly how it should be.
– And to put the Rock into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concert…. Metallica.
For Whom The Bell Tolls is not exactly the obvious choice to follow Aretha singing Chain Of Fools, but it’s working for me…
– And again Metallica surprises me by bringing out Lou Reed and finding a way to combine their own sound with his vocals for Sweet Jane.
– If Metallica are Rock royalty, then Ozzy is a Rock deity… And he joins Metallica on stage to do Iron Man and Paranoid, and they bring the audience to it’s feet instantly. Not to mention, everybody on the stage has the look of kids opening up presents, grinning from ear to ear. This
– After Ozzy leaves, Metallica does another teaming that I would not have thought would work, but they put together a good version of All Day And All Of The Night with Ray Davies before finishing up their set with Enter Sandman with just Metallica on stage and the crowd going nuts. While I think Ozzy’s two songs were the best of this set, it’s hard ot argue against Enter Sandman as the finale for Metallica.
– U2 does a set which is good, but having seen them in person this summer, it’s not quite the same as “their” show they put on with all of their effects (lights, moving stage, screens, pretentious preening, etc). I kid U2 a bit too much. Their live show I saw this summer was frankly just unbelievable, and I’m not a U2
– At least until Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith join them on stage. Then it becomes a clash of two very different styles and worlds, and yet it works stupendously. This is certainly one of the highlights of the show, and would easily be on the highlight reels of any concert I am aware of.
– This is followed by Mick Jagger and the half of Black Eyed Peas who’s names you’ll actually know joining U2 on stage for a pop version of a Rolling Stones’ song.
I can’t help but wonder if Fergie even knows who Mick is. Hell, she mioght not even recognize Bono for that matter. She’s never struck me as the type to be into the history of her “art”.
WARNING, if you watch this show in High Def, do not stare directly at Mick’s face (or arms, or basically any part of his exposed skin). In fact, I’d like to request that HBO burn the HD part of this show that has Mick and replace it with the low res version for all future broadcasts.
– Will I Am and Fergie leave the stage and Mick sings with Bono for a bit. Good song I guess, just not for me I think…
– After Mick leaves the stage, U2 finishes up their set with a fantastic version of Beautiful Day (which incidentally is one of my favorite songs of theirs).
– What I’m guessing is going to be the final act of the night, and from the intro seems to be an homage to the blues, is lead by Jeff Beck on guitar and has Sting singing. As a fan of the blues, I’m able to get past the idea of Sting being totally the wrong person and just get lost in the sound of the music and especially Beck’s guitar work on People Get Ready (which is just such a fantastic song, part of me hopes they end with this, while part of me wants the show to continue).
– Well Sting seems to be done, but the show will go on with Buddy Guy coming on stage (if there is a god, he’s obviously a fan of Buddy Guy, I mean how can somebody NOT be a fan). Damn for a guy who’s gotta be mid in his mid-70’s, he can fucking ROCK!
There is only one word.
And if there could be two words, they would be “Fuck Yeah!”
– After Buddy Guy brings down the house, Billy Gibbons (of ZZ Top fame) joins Beck to play some Hendrix (because when you have guitar gods get together, at some point somebody has to do Hendrix, in fact I think it’s actually in the UN Charter that they must).
– Finishing up his set with A Day In The Life (which while not the amped-up type of song I’d expect him to go out on seemed to work as a way to bring his part of the show to an end with what he turned into a great piece of blues), Beck does a masterful bit of guitar work to the Beatles song and makes it his own, without singing a note.
– Wow, I’ve lost track of time, becasue apparently there is still more to come. Bruce Springsteen gets his own set, and brings out Sam Moore to start off this set (based on the feel I’m kinda hoping/expecting Brice to close out the show, but we’ll see). You usually can tell when somebody is around a person they idolize, and based on the expression of Bruce’s face, he idolizes Sam Moore (with good reason) and is having the time of his life right now.
– Tom Morello joins Bruce on Stage after Sam Moore is done, and together they do a truly amazing job. It’s another one of those moments when I realize that I keep turning up the volume every little while until the sound is just drowning out everything else around me (and perhaps freaking out my dog a bit). Morello is a fantastic guitarist, and while the show obviously belong to Bruce and the band right now, he manages to add his own flair to the song and it works amazingly well.
– John Fogerty comes on stage to take over for Tom Morello, and I must say based on how Morello finished off, I’ll be a bit shocked if I’m not let down a bit, no matter how well he does.
As expected, they do a very good job, but just had the misfortune of following what was an absolutely unbelievable moment that there was no way to live up to. Nothing bad about Fogerty or the songs they chose, but Morello just set the bar too high.
– I worked with somebody a while ago who was a huge fan of Springsteen (his love of Bruce could rival my own love of Dylan possibly, if that is possible), and I must say, from this set I can see why he (and others) say that the E Street Band put on a great show. While the set peaked with Tom Morello, the music of just Bruce and the E Street Band was simply great. Very powerful. Very soulful. Very
– Darlene Love joins Springsteen, and one instantly understands the creation of Phil Spector’s wall of sound. Her voice is just wowing me and the audience. I think I even saw the dog’s tail moving in time with the music.
– Bill Joel takes over along side Bruce for Darlene, and while I like him, I’m sad to see her leave so quickly. Ohh well. He’;s stuck with the same “problem” that plagued John Fogerty, he’s following an act that just overshadowed him, and he’s not living up to what came before.
– The night is brought to an end with all of Bruce’s guests coming on stage for a rendition of Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher, which while really fun just did not quite live up to a few of the earlier moments. That said, this was an amazing set, an amazing evening, an amazing show… And a must see (and/or listen)!