As my inspiration continues its seemingly endless road trip of distractions, I am grateful for the Chatbox.
Kevin M asks, "What band did you really love, but disappointed you when you finally saw them live and what band that you didn't really enjoy, blew you away live? (and please let's not include Van Morrison or Bob Dylan cuz they are too obvious.)"
As I've mentioned a number of times on these pages, I find Queen's run of releases, starting with "Queen II" and ending with "News Of The World," to be some of the greatest records in music history. But trying to recreate this music live was quite a task. The obvious issue? The vocals. But it wasn't just the layers of operatic harmonies that were absent from Queen's live shows. Freddie's lead vocals often didn't cut it either.
The man was a showman and while I always had a blast seeing Queen live, it always killed me to hear Freddie Mercury sing at a much lower register, often changing the melodies to these songs I loved so much, to something more accessible. I've had countless live recordings of this band from every tour and there isn't one I could listen to with the same joy as the studio recordings.
I'm not sure if this next entry is exactly what Kevin is asking for, but I'm running with it anyway.
The first time I saw the Black Crowes live, they made me laugh. They had opened for Aerosmith right after the release of their first record and what I witnessed was a Spinal Tap version of the Faces. Chris Robinson was on his knees, banging the floor with his hand, pleading to someone as he wailed through "She Talks To Angels." He twirled his mic stand in the air like Rod Stewart and at one point smacked himself on the side of his head. This was a shambles. I hated this band, even though I didn't mind their debut, "Shake Your Money Maker."
Then suddenly, it was magic. Their second release, "The Southern Harmony & Musical Companion" threw me for a loop. This was no sophomore slump. I went to see them headline the Beacon Theatre and ended up going every night of the run. Since those shows in 1992, I've seen the Black Crowes multiple nights on every tour and they have rarely failed to knock me out. I became a huge fan thanks to that Beacon Theatre run.