Yes - Hard Rock Live Hollywood - August 1

Categories: Concert Review

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The last time I saw Yes perform live was a year ago. It also marked the first time I saw this legendary prog-rock group. I then declared myself "won over" by a band I had never paid much attention to despite many years of love for peers like King Crimson, Genesis, and Pink Floyd. Their recreations of both The Yes Album (1971) and Close to the Edge (1972) seemed beyond note-perfect. The show included incredible moments of musical gelling that felt positively transcendent. I even had no trouble forgiving the absence of original frontman Jon Anderson (much to the offense of some commentators).

But then, something happened later that year. I interviewed Anderson and attended his solo show. His personality -- that which gave so much to the band's metaphysical and cosmic lyrics -- was extremely charming. He also expressed his hope to reunite with the band someday. Then there was his one-man show featuring tales of the construction of some classic Yes tunes, a light show, and mostly him on acoustic guitar and that voice.

See Also: Yes at Hard Rock Live, Hollywood, with Commentary by Ed Matus

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Gavin DeGraw, Matt Nathanson - Hard Rock Live, Hollywood - July 30

Categories: Concert Review

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LJ Woolston via Hard Rock Live

Pop-rock singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw has been putting out music since 2003 when his hit "I Don't Want To Be" became the theme song of primetime soap One Tree Hill. His first album Chariot kept him on the map with various hits like "Follow Through" and "I Don't Want To Be." Now over a decade later, DeGraw is still going strong, putting on energetic live shows for new and dedicated fans alike.

To celebrate the release of his fifth studio album, Make A Move, DeGraw is touring with fellow headliner and rocker Matt Nathanson and opener Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness. The tour is a testosterone packed event that "rocked our socks off" just like McMahon promised the crowd it would at the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood last night.

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Vans Warped Tour 2014: The Maine Says Pitbull Makes "Pretty Horrible Music"

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The air was hot and damp, punk and pop sounds blared, teens ran amuck in band T-shirts, the primary color of the day was black. This weekend at Cruzan Amphitheatre, the Vans Warped Tour blasted through West Palm Beach.

After watching Beartooth and a few other acts (we couldn't make out some of the screams, but we think we heard, "College never worked out for me, but I like this gig."), the Maine caught our ears. Greeted by a slew of screaming fans, its set kicked off with lead singer John O'Callaghan, a clean cut Kurt Cobain look alike, lifting his shirt to show off his tattoo. Nasally high school fans sang along to the poppy and infectious "Girls Do What They Want," drenched in sweat. Toward the end of the song, O'Callaghan pulled a guy with shades onstage named Alex. Alex fumbled with the lyrics, but still got cheers. The Warped crowd is a nice one.

A bystander squealed and grabbed her boyfriend's hand when she recognized the first seconds of "Right Girl." She was 20-year-old Chandal, aged the same as the now classic tour. When we asked what she thought of the Maine, she said, "Honestly, I've loved them since sixth grade. They used to be into a lot of love songs but now they write about adult stuff, like life. It's like I grew up with them!"

We managed to get an interview with the band's drummer Patrick Kirch. The 24-year-old told us about Florida shows and the Pitbull shoutout O'Callghan kept giving on set.

See also: Top Seven Signs You're Too Old for Warped Tour

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The Musical Box Perfectly Recreated Genesis at Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale on July 25

Categories: Concert Review

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Gustavo Quintas

The Musical Box
Parker Playhouse, Fort Lauderdale
July 25, 2014

Better than: You can do better only by using a time machine to see Genesis in 1973.

In the midst of several lengthy, early-era Genesis songs that the Musical Box performed last Friday, I came to a realization. There is just no way a band like Genesis could have existed today. Young music fans just would not have the patience for it. They wouldn't appreciate the rich complexity of these songs, the wry, surreal humor that references everything from myth to sexuality.

Genesis was an amazing product of a popular music movement revolting against short pop songs, prog rock. It, and similar British bands like Yes, King Crimson, and Pink Floyd, practically dared pop radio to pull one of its songs out of context from its albums in search of a single. This was nearly impossible given that some prog rock songs even took up the entire length of one side of a record.

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Sara Bareilles - Hard Rock Live, Hollywood - July 25

Categories: Concert Review

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Amw9991 at en.wikipedia

When I originally told my plus one I was bringing her to a Sara Bareilles concert, she smiled at me with a look that said, "I don't do chick music." I tried to get her amped about the show, describing how hilarious Bareilles is, how her voice is magical, how she plays piano like a boss. I even got her to wear a little black dress with me for the occasion, appropriate, given it was the Hollywood, Florida, stop at Hard Rock Live of the singer's Little Black Dress Tour.

On our way to the concert, I played a bunch of Bareilles' songs to get the mood going, and I lucked out, because when my guest heard "I Choose You," she already started to change her mind on the matter.

See also: Hannah Georgas' Calls Girls Using Her Song "an Honor" and MC Hammer Her Guilty Pleasure


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The Fray - Hard Rock Live, Hollywood - July 22

Categories: Concert Review

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The Fray brought out pop-rock in full force, with openers Oh Honey and Barcelona, and even a song about the Lord their God to Hard Rock Live in Hollywood last night.

Oh Honey warmed up the crowd with jokes about encountering gators, scary rides at Disney, and wanting people to stalk the band on Facebook like it's Justin Bieber. The band played its most popular song "Be Okay," and I was one of many in the audience who was left wanting to know more about this opening act. The group isn't a household name, and one of the band members joked, "We're going to play a new song. Well, if you've never heard of us before then these are all new, but this one is new for us."

After Oh Honey, Barcelona hit the stage with some heavy screaming, especially from a particular group of young girls in the front row who were most likely on the verge of fainting.


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American Idol Live! Tour: Not a Perfect Ten, but Close Enough

Categories: Concert Review

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The American Idol Tour stopped by the Broward Center for the Performing Arts this Saturday with almost all ten finalists from season 13 of the popular Fox show. This included CJ Harris, Jena Irene, Caleb Johnson, Jessica Meuse, MK Nobilette, Alex Preston, Majesty Rose, Malaya Watson, and Sam Woolf.

The concert kicked off with the whole crew doing a rendition of One Republic's "Counting Stars." Contestants came out one by one, starting out with finalist Caleb Johnson. But as they emerged with stunning vocals, we counted only nine. Weren't there supposed to be ten? Upon closer examination, we noticed that country singer Dexter Roberts was missing. Why, you ask?

The interwebs and a tweet from Jessica Meuse said the reason for his disappearance can be credited to an "illness." However, according to the Hollywood Reporter, a publicist stated that "both parties mutually agreed that he would be released from his contractual obligations to continue performing on the tour." Regardless of the reason, as the adage goes, the show must go on. And so it did.


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Dave Matthews Band - Cruzan Amphitheatre, West Palm Beach - July 18, 2014

Categories: Concert Review

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James Argyropoulos

It was a sticky South Florida summer night when Dave Matthews and his band hit Cruzan Amphitheatre for the first of two evenings of world sounds, straight jamming, and displays of great instrumental prowess.

The entire crowd was dripping with sweat, so it's no surprise that by the end of the show, poor Dave was soaked. We didn't envy his spot under those glaring lights. Matthews cracked jokes with the crowd, smirking as he said, "This humidity is messing with my hairstyle." And man, it certainly was.

See also: Dave Matthews Band at Cruzan Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach (Slideshow)

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Lionel Richie & CeeLo Green - Cruzan Amphitheatre, West Palm Beach - July 15

Categories: Concert Review

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Sayre Berman

"You're always going to remember three things from tonight. Where you were, what you were doing, and who you were doing," Lionel Richie told the large crowd at Cruzan Amphitheatre on Tuesday night before letting out that wide grin underneath his signature mustache. He then sauntered over to the piano to sing "Easy."

Say what you will about Lionel Richie, and many critics have over the years, but the man does not lack confidence. He named his tour All the Hits All Night Long, and for the two hours he was on the stage, nearly all of the two dozen songs he played were ones that anyone whose car radio ever got stuck on an easy-listening station would recognize.

Not that Lionel would let you forget how many hits he was responsible for.

See also: Lionel Richie and CeeLo Green at Cruzan Amphitheater (Slideshow)


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Tim McGraw - Cruzan Amphitheatre, West Palm Beach - July 11

Categories: Concert Review

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Sayre Berman

Cowboy boots and skimpy duds were the look of the evening at Tim McGraw's Cruzan Amphitheatre show. This Friday, the singer stopped by West Palm Beach on his Sundown Heaven Town Tour. Tailgaters stumbled onto the lawn with freshly poured beers and taco drunchies from the food trucks, awaiting McGraw's arrival.

The legendary cowboy's silhouette hit the stage first. He fist-pumped in a black and white video. The opening song was "One of Those Nights," but it came with sound issues -- the singer sounded muffled, like a speaker had blown. But nothing was stopping McGraw from rocking on the eve on the supermoon.

He donned tight ripped jeans, a black tank top, and cowboy hat, and brought maximum energy. The audience didn't seem to mind and gladly complied when McGraw said he wanted "everyone on their feet." Excuse us for being direct, but with him looking that fine, how could we not?

See also: Photos of Tim McGraw at Cruzan Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach


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