Wednesday, July 30, 2014

John Legend Brings The All Of Me Tour To Cedar Park Center

Grammy award winning and multi-platinum selling artist John Legend brought his smooth R&B vocals to the Cedar Park Center on July 22. Legend is touring North America this summer in support of his critically acclaimed fourth studio album "Love In The Future."  The All Of Me Tour is named after Legend's #1 hit single "All Of Me."

Backed by a string quartet, muted drums and a subdued electric guitar, Legend delivered an intimate, stripped-down set of R&B love songs while accompanying himself on a baby grand piano.

Songs included during Legends show included "Made To Love," "Get Lifted," "Ordinary People," "Cloud Nine," and "All Of Me" as well as covers of The Beatles' Something" and Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water."

Opening for John Legend was English singer, songwriter Marsha Ambrosius.

Boston’s Heaven On Earth Tour Touches Down In Central Texas

The Cedar Park Center, in the Austin suburb of Cedar Park, Texas, played host to some good old-time Rock and Roll on July 20 when Boston and tour mates, Night Ranger, performed for an enthusiastic crowd of fans. Long-time fans of both bands had high hopes for an entertaining evening of music and they weren't disappointed by these veteran acts.

Boston performs at the Cedar Park Center

Night Ranger

Night Ranger was first on the stage. They quickly claimed the audience’s attention as guitarists Joel Hoekstra and Brad Gillis showcased their phenomenal guitar skills and front man, bassist Jack Blades lead vocals on “Touch of Madness.”

Night Ranger opens for Boston at the Cedar Park Center

After that, drummer Kelly Keagy took over the lead on “Swing Me Away.” From then on, the audience was as much a part of the band as the actual members, singing along for 50 minutes to many of Night Ranger’s mega hits. The audience’s participation fit well with the band’s high-energy performance, as Hoekstra, Gillis and Blades freely moved across the stage gratefully smiling at the crowd.

Joel Hoekstra, Brad Gillis and Jack Blade perform with Night Ranger

Joel Hoekstra of Night Ranger

Blades, one of the founding members of Damn Yankees, lead the band in covers of “High Enough” and “Coming of Age.” Other songs performed included “Four in the Morning,” “High Road,” “Eddie’s Comin’ Out Tonight,” “When You close Your Eyes,” and “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me.”  After the rest of the band left the stage, drummer Kelly Keagy and keyboardist Eric Levy began a subdued intro to “Sister Christian.” The rest of the band rejoined them for a powerful finish and the closing number for the night, “(You Can Still) Rock In America.”

Eric Levy, Joel Hoekstra, Brad Gillis and Jack Blade of Night Ranger

Drummer and lead vocalist of Night Ranger, Kelly Keagy

Joel Hoekstra of Night Ranger


After Night Ranger got the audience pumped for some rock and roll, Boston took over the night. Boston is currently on tour in support of their long-awaited 6th studio album, “Live, Love and Hope,” which was released last year. This was the first album released since the 2007 death of the band’s lead singer Brad Delp. While the band has numerous illustrious members since the release of their first album 38 years ago, Boston is still led by founding member, guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter and producer Tom Schulz.

Founding member Tom Schulz of Boston

Boston performs at Cedar Park Center

Boston’s new lead singer, Tommy DeCarlo, did a good job as the band performed hit after hit including “Rock and Roll Band,” “Smokin’,” “It’s Been Such A Long Time,” “Don’t Look Back,” “Amanda,” and “More than A Feeling.” Along with the classic Boston hits, the band also added “Life, Love and Hope” and “Last Day of School” from their latest album. During “Walk On,” American Idol Season 9 finalist Siobhan Magnus sang lead vocals. In all, the set consisted of twenty-two great tracks that satisfied Boston’s classic rock and roll fan base.

Vocalist Tommy DeCarlo and Rhythm Guitarist Kimberley Dahme of Boston

Joining Schulz and DeCarlo on tour are 28-year Boston member Gary Pihl on guitar and vocals, Kimberley Dahme on rhythm guitar and vocals, and Tracy Ferrie on bass and vocals. The drumming duties on tour are being split between veteran Boston drummers Jeff Neal and Curly Smith, with Neal handling the first leg of the tour and Smith the second.

Guitarist Gary Pihl and Bassist Tracy Ferrie of Boston

Vocalist Tommy DeCarlo and Bassist Tracy Ferrie of Boston

Boston’s Heaven On Earth Tour will continue across the United States through September 5. While the opening acts have varied from .38 Special to Night Ranger to The Doobie Brothers and Cheap Trick, you can be sure you will be able to hear some great old Rock and Roll at any of Boston’s tour stops. 

 Vocalist Tommy DeCarlo and Drummer Curly Smith


Drummer Curly Smith of Boston

Boston Setlist:

1.       Rock and Roll Band
2.       Smokin’
3.       Feelin’ Satisfied
4.       Last Day of School
5.       Life, Love and Hope
6.       Peace of Mind
7.       It’s Been Such A Long Time
8.       Cool The Engines
9.       Surrender To Me
10.   Don’t Look Back
11.   Something About You
12.   Amanda
13.   The Launch
14.   More Than A Feeling
15.   Instrumental – Tom Schulz guitar solo
16.   A New World
17.   To Be A Man
18.   Walk On – with Siobhan Magnus on lead vocals
19.   Get Oran-ized
20.   Walk On (Some More)
21.   Foreplay/ Long Time

22.   Encore: Party

Friday, July 25, 2014

July Performances Show Diversity Of Austin Audiences

The month of July has brought a diversity of musical acts to the Austin area. We have seen well-established acts as well as the up-and-coming stop by our venues and thrill the Austin audiences. Here are a couple acts who performed at our popular small-capacity venues.


Veteran artists, Devo stopped by Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater on Thursday, July 2.  Devo was formed in 1972 by two sets of brothers, Mark and Bob Mothersbaughs and Gerald and Bob Casales, with Alan Myers. Devo's musical style has varied from punk to alt rock and new wave. With their kitsch music and theatrical stage show including haz-mat jumpsuits and red cone hats, the band developed a cult following that is sill loyal to them today.

After Bob Casales' unexpected death earlier this year, the band decided to go on a 10 city tour and dedicate it to Bob2. Austin was the last stop on the tour. Instead of replacing Bob2, the band chose to perform songs from 1974- 1977, before Bob had joined the band. Thus the Devo Hard Core Tour was born. The band contributed the proceeds of the tour to Casales' family to help defray the cost of the ER hospital bills.

At the beginning of the show, each member wore a t-shirt emblazoned with a photo of the late Bob Casales. Later in the show, the band donned their signature industrial jumpsuits, clear plastic masks and blue hardhats.

The Neighbourhood

The Neighbourhood rocked the house on July 18 when they stopped by Stubb's outdoor theater in downtown Austin as part of their El Tour Blanco. The sold-out crowd started lining up in the early morning hours in order to secure a great spot to see their favorite band. The alt rock band includes vocalist Jesse Rutherford, guitarists Jeremy Freedman and Zach Abels, bassist Mickey Margott, and drummer Brandon Fried. The Sweater Weather singers are touring in support of their first studio album, I Love You.

White Arrows

Opening for The Neighbourhood was White Arrows. This psychedelic pop group hails from Los Angeles and is comprised of Mickey Church (lead vocals and guitar), Steven Vernet (bass), Andrew Naeve (guitar and electronics), John Paul Caballero (electronics and guitar), and Henry Church (drums).

Travi$ Scott

Also on the bill and starting the night off was rapper Travi$ Scott.

The End of An Era: Mötley Crüe, With Special Guest, Alice Cooper

After 30 plus years together and over 80 million albums sold, the iconic rock and roll band Mötley Crüe announced their retirement. With drummer Tommy Lee explaining “Everything must come to an end” the band has begun their “All Bad Things Must Come To An End” Tour. The tour, which started on July 2 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, made its 10th stop on the 70-date farewell tour at the Cedar Park Center, in Cedar Park, Texas, a suburb of Austin.

The Raskins
Opening the evening were the high-energy duo, The Raskins. Twin brothers, Logan and Roger Raskin, produce an interesting sound, a blend of rock, metal, and punk. Although most of the audience did not know there would be a third act performing until 15 minutes before show time, the band was well received by the audience and they probably earned some new fans.

Alice Cooper
Touring with Mötley Crüe, and possibly the reason many fans chose to attend this show, was the legendary “Godfather of Shock Rock,” Alice Cooper. During his 50 minute set of 13 songs, the now 66 year old Cooper performed several of his greatest hits including “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” “Under My Wheels,” “Billion Dollar Babies,” and “The Ballad of Dwight Fry.” Alice was in great voice and the set was a great, full show complete with costume changes, props, pyro and choreographed numbers. During “Feed My Frankenstein,” Alice was “transformed” into a giant Frankenstein monster puppet. Not one to disappoint his fans, Cooper’s props also included a boa constrictor for “Welcome To My Nightmare”, a bloody crutch, and a guillotine. Alice closed out his set with an audience pleasing sing along to “School’s Out.” This set was pure Alice Cooper and the fans loved it.

Mötley Crüe
While Alice Cooper was no mediocre opening act, Mötley Crüe was the true headliner of the evening, performing a two-hour set and thrilling the sold out crowd with fan favorites. Many fans had seen on line that Tommy Lee’s trademark 360 degree drum solo routine had been extended to a roller coaster for most shows. Unfortunately, the Cedar Park Center couldn't support the entire coaster, but fans were still thrilled with Tommy’s hanging-from-the-rafters solo. The voice of lead singer, 53 year old Vince Neil, was in good form this night, coming through and hitting those high notes. Guitarist Mick Mars added plenty of killer riffs to the night including those for “Dr. Feelgood.” Overall, fans were pleased with the group’s “do it our way” attitude show. After a rocky start at some of the earlier stops, the Cedar Park show seemed to go off without major problems. Fans were treated to performances of songs like “Live Wire,” “Too Fast For Love,” “Shout At The Devil,” and “Girls, Girls, Girls.”

Most of the show was filled with tons of lights, lasers, smoke and fire. Fireworks, flash bombs, and Nikki Sixx’s flamethrower bass helped to make this show one loud and electrifying event. For their encore, Mötley Crüe ended on a different note. The band exited the stage to reappear on a tiny, suspended stage in the center of the venue where they closed out the night with their 1985 ballad “Home Sweet Home.”