Saturday, 31 December 2016

2016 Lemons later...

A lemon. Having travelled all the way from Athens, Greece, it finally came to rest under one of the seats of Manchester's Etihad Stadium, having seen its favourite band, The Stone Roses live...
Several years ago, I was warned by a fellow blogger, to avoid writing a "Year In Review" post at the end of the year. So I'll try not to do that. (And I hope that she'll probably be reading this from somewhere in Poland). I won't mention every gig I went to in 2016, but I will instead stop at some key moments that happened this year which I have been waiting for for several years. (As Bruce would say, they've been a lot time coming). These were the "lemons" that I was expecting 2016 to give me on my very first post of the year.
Well, obviously, I finally saw The Stone Roses live this year. And not just anywhere, but in Manchester. And they played the full first album, including, most importantly for me "This Is The One". But what other key moments were there for me in 2016? Bruce? Well, it was only the 12th (and 13th) time that I saw him live. But... I didn't know if I could make it, if I would be able to see him this year. However, I was really looking forward to hear the full River album live, having already heard the full Born To Run in Padova and the full Born In The U.S.A. twice in Milano and in Paris. So, when Bruce announced that after the end of the US tour he would stop playing the full River I was somewhat disappointed. Now what would I get? Another one (or two) of the "Greatest Hits" shows? Was that worth waiting for? My question was answered when Bruce came up on the San Siro stage on the evening of the 3rd of July starting once again with "Land Of Hope And Dreams" exactly as he had done 3 years before in the same stadium. Because once he comes up on stage, no matter what he's playing (even "Pony Boy" I guess), you forget all your doubts, enjoy the show, and wonder why on earth did you ever doubt that you were going to have a good time (again). And he did play most of The River (at least on the first night). Now one of the reasons I was looking forward to a complete performance of The River was that I would be guaranteed to hear one of my favourite songs, "Sherry Darling", which up until then I had experienced only once, in Udine in 2009 (my last concert with Clarence). Bruce did not disappoint me and he played it both nights and I got to hear it for the 2nd and 3rd time. The 2nd time I got to sing along with it at the top of my lungs with no people pushing me. The 3rd time though, i got to dance to it with my girlfriend. So, thanks Bruce!
Another key moment was when I realized I was going to hear "Drive All Night" for only the second time, after my first time in Torino in 2009. And whereas back then, it was just a sign request (albeit a very clever one) we weren't sure if he was going to play it. This year in Milano, there was no warning. The lights were already off and suddenly the piano intro was heard, courtesy of Professor Roy Bittan as a chill went through all over my body. Which left only one thing... "Point Blank"... for the first time ever. I knew when it was supposed to come in the setlist. And the lights went off. And then there was silence for several seconds. And then there was Roy Bittan's piano and I knew that was it.
Yes, there were a lot of important moments for me in 2016, which I realize that was not a very good year for music. But these few ones from Manchester and Milano were the most important for me. I guess that paraphrasing The Stone Roses you could say that "these were the ones I was waiting for"...

Friday, 30 December 2016

One Night @ Remedy

I have been to Remedy Live Club twice in the past for gigs, but this time as I was passing by outside, I thought I'd go in and have a beer and listen to some music.
As my luck would have it though, there was also an (unpublicized) gig scheduled for that night by The Mighty N (you can find them on Bandcamp where you can also buy their album)

And this would prove to be my last gig of 2016, but also the discovery of a great local band!