Tuesday, May 31, 2011

With or Without JBJ, Jukes Rock The Hamptons

You can find the article/review I wrote for Jukesnet HERE ... Enjoy!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Elvis, Elton and More ...

*currently singing Loverboy's "Everybody's Working for the Weekend"*

Greetings folks! Hope this finds you well. Here in the States we are all anxiously awaiting the weekend ... Memorial Day Weekend, the generally accepted start of summer. For me, this weekend means two things:

1. Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes tomorrow night in Amagansett. Remember what happened last time I went out there? Luckily, we are not under a hurricane watch this time. As for an appearance by Jon Bon Jovi -- as fun as it would be, I'm actually more excited about possibly hearing "Some Things Just Don't Change" ...c'mon SSJ, you did it at least TWICE in Scandinavia, it's our turn!!

2. The Early Elton Trio out on Long Island on Saturday. I absolutely love these guys. It will be interesting to see them in a large-scale setting (outdoor park, picnics, fireworks, etc.) versus the smaller venues I've experienced. Jeff Kazee's version of "Madman Across the Water" at the January show still remains the single most amazing performance of 2011. Honestly, it's going to be hard for something to top that.

So, bring on the weekend! Good music. Fun times.

Oh! Speaking of good music, fun times ... many of you know I went to see Elvis Costello this week. A bunch of you asked if I took pictures. Is water wet? Is ice best served with vodka? Do you always get ketchup on yourself when wearing white? In other words ... yes! I took pictures. Here are a few.

The fabulous Spinning Wheel used to help the audience determine the setlist. Wouldn't it be a hoot if Bon Jovi used one? Apparently, the Jukes had one several years ago.

...as you can see, it's a pretty big wheel! I'm not a fan of audience participation (as in "you come up here on stage and mangle the song") ... but THIS kind of involvement I fully support! LOL

Elvis is in the building!

...this was a shot I got when he walked up the aisle right next to me. Very cool.

Keyboardist extraordinaire, Steve Nieve.

...and you thought David Bryan's outfits were...ummm...interesting? Haha.

It was a truly fantastic show. Great interaction with the crowd. Wonderful playing. A TON of songs - I Want You (my personal favorite), Alison, Hand in Hand, Hoover Factory, Accidents Will Happen, Veronica ... of course (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love and Understanding (still trying to process the video on that one) ... and kick-a$$ covers of the Stones' Out of Time and Prince's Purple Rain. If you have never seen Elvis before, I highly recommend that you do! There is a reason why great songwriters cite Elvis Costello as one of their favorites. Brilliant.

Okay...that's all for now. Will be back with thoughts on the Jukes show in Morristown last Friday, as well as Lorenza Ponce's "Apocolypse (Not Quite) Now" show at Stanhope House on Saturday.

Til then. Keep rocking!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

So You Wanna (Help) a Rock-and-Roll Star?

Ok...I've written about Outside the Box before. Really, truly NICE guys. Talented. Smart. SO YOUNG (but that's not their fault. LOL) I was that young once ... I think. Yeah, I know -- "not old, just older."

Anyhoo, they are in the process of completing their debut album (yay!) but need some help. Here's where all of you, my lovely friends, come in.

How would you like to support this amazing band? You could get everything from a signed CD to concert tickets to dinner with the guys! And ... in the process, you'd be assisting in the development of one of the next great rock-and-roll bands! Every band has to start somewhere, right?

Those who read this blog on a regular basis know my passion for music. I wouldn't write about something I don't feel 100% about ... and that's why I was the first person to jump on board to support them (as a diehard Yankees fan, I even overlooked their producer sporting a Cincinnati Reds hat in the promo video. Haha. j/k JK.)

So, whaddya think? Will you join me?

Step 1: Go to THIS SITE to watch a great video on the project and pledge your support.

Step 2: Pat yourself on the back for doing a good deed. :)

Step 3: Visit Outside the Box's website for more music, tour dates and pictures.

Thanks in advance from me, the blogger formerly known as Big Apple Jovi Girl.

p.s. and if you're in/near Asbury Park on Wednesday nights in June, you can check out OTB live at the Stone Pony! Be sure to let me know you're coming.

*re: Blog title ... gotta love The Byrds*

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bon Jovi in the Buckeye State

Greetings readers! Hope this finds you well ... sorry it's been so long. I'm ridiculously far behind on posting pictures and reviews from the last couple of weeks. Oops.

Well, while I get my act together, I thought I'd post some images from the Columbus show last night.

This show was all about seeing Bon Jovi with my mom. We hadn't seen a show together since the Blossom one (the Jukes *ahhhh*) So, given it was a couple of days after Mother's Day and this was the only other Ohio show, I knew I had to treat her ... I even (only slightly reluctantly) agreed to forgo pit tickets so my mom could see Tico close up on the circle (ooops - who knew.) But, we ended up with FANTASTIC circleside (non-package!) seats. THANK YOU to the Backstage with Jon Bon Jovi fan club. :-)

I must say that Jon seemed much more playful than last Saturday night at Mohegan Sun. (I promise. Those pictures will be posted soon.)

I tend to use the continuous auto-shutter mode during concerts. The only issue -- sometimes my subject goes missing while the camera is snapping away. LOL

With Richie's absence, only Jon has been coming out onto the circle these days. (I've been affectionately calling this the "Music Minus One" tour. By the way, if you haven't checked out videos with Phil X playing, you should. He sounds great.)

As we all know, we love to have those special moments with the guys ... and we are blessed with loving a band that is happy to indulge us with those moments. I was grateful to have two wonderful moments this show. The first being during Bed of Roses when Jon sang a couple of lines to me and then sat down on the circle right in front of me. Here is the last shot I got until my camera decided to spaz out. UGH!

I must say ... Jon on the circle + 26x zoom = *Sigh*

But why is it that no matter how many times I see the band, I still get a little shaky when Jon comes around?

I have always loved the lighting for When We Were Beautiful ...

Many of you have heard about "the dolls" already ... some fans in the pit had Jon and Richie dolls that Jon asked they throw up to the stage. The whole exchange was funny, but to me what stood out was the poignancy of the moment. Jon's love for Richie came thru at several points during the show including during the added lines of IBTFY and a reference during Blood on Blood.

I can't even imagine how much he misses his friend right now.

...and how wonderful that he made sure "Richie" was sitting on his guitar, leaning against Jon's heart ...

Jon came out onto the circle once again during Living on a Prayer. At one point, one of the robotic cameras got a bit frisky with him, focusing in on ... well ... let's just say, Jon exclaimed something like "watch it there, buddy!" Haha.

He continued to make his way around the circle ...

He then arrived in front of me and my mom. He looked at me and smirked and then offered his hand to my mom. *smile* A bit shy, my mom tentatively reached her hand out to him and he grabbed her fingers and held on ... tight. I give my mom credit for not saying "umm...this is nice, but can you go get Tico?" ROFLMAO. But, seriously ... it was a moment neither of us will ever forget. So, I may have bought the tickets, but it was Jon Bon Jovi who really gave my mom such a great Mother's Day present.

Okay, folks...that's it for now. I'll be back soon with Mohegan Sun pictures and a write up of an amazing night in Asbury Park to benefit former Jukes keyboard player Kevin Kavanaugh. And then, get ready! The schedule so far for the rest of May/June? BonJovi 7x ... SSJ/Jukes 6x ... Outside the Box 4x and a show each by Lorenza Ponce, the Early Elton Trio and Elvis Costello.

So much music, so little time!

p.s. Yes, I changed my Twitter handle to @bigapplejen ... why? Because as much as I love Jovi (and I DO!), I also love a lot of other bands and musicians as well. (Also, a couple of the Jukes kept threatening to come up with a new Twitter ID on my behalf. Now THAT could have been scary. LOL)