Barenaked Ladies SET LIST – 8/06/2010 at Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT

Click HERE to read the review!

1)  “Who Needs Sleep?”
2)  “Old Apartment”
3)  “Falling for the First Time”
4)  Improv 1 – “At Mohegan Sun” rap / “Something Tells Me I’m Into Something Good”
5)  “Every Subway Car” (with Angel Taylor)
6)  “Told You So”
7)  “Easy”
8)  “Eraser”
9)  “Another Heartbreak”
10) “On the Lookout”
11) “Sound of Your Voice” (acoustic)
12) “It’s All Been Done”
13) “Too Little Too Late”
14) “Golden Boy”
15) “You Run Away”
16) “Four Seconds”
17) “Big Bang Theory Theme”
18) “One Week”
19) “Pinch Me”
20) “If I Had $1000000”
21) Improv 2 – “Oh, It’s Magic, You Know” / rap / dance number

22) “Alcohol”
23) “Watching the Northern Lights”
24) “Brian Wilson”

Bruce Hornsby: LIVE IN CONCERT – MGM Grand, Mashantucket, CT (March 27, 2009) – REVIEW

By Chris Moore:

Right off the bat, I have to address how proud I am of myself that I was able to suppress the strong urge to title this concert review “That’s Just the Way It Was.”  As tempting as it was, I’m sure it’s already been used somewhere by someone…

At 8:02 on Friday night at the MGM Grand, only two minutes after the official start time of the concert, Bruce Hornsby appeared unceremoniously by walking out of the shadows, approaching his piano from stage right.  No announcements, no opening band.  (For a moment, I thought this might be a technician coming out for one last equipment inspection – and, if you’ve ever seen America perform, you know how many times it’s possible for a techie to inspect and tune  the guitars!)

As he neared the piano, he surveyed the assortment of papers strewn about the top of his piano.  Notes to himself?  A set list?  Lyrics for the less familiar tunes?

Negative, on all accounts.

Apparently, Hornsby does not work from a setlist.  Instead, he takes in requests from the audience before shows in the form 0f handwritten song titles slipped onto the stage.  His offical website reports, “Yes, it’s true. Bruce does not have a set list for his concerts. He comes up with the set list through requests from the audience. So, if you attend a concert, be sure to carry paper to write your requests on and place them on the stage.”  This is a novel approach, to be certain.  I wanted to participate in the process, but I have only been a “greatest hits” fan.  Aside from that, I would have had to design a paper airplane that was a marvel of physics in order to have my request reach the stage from my seat in the “Parterre” section of the MGM Grand theater, which is French for orchestra seats (and, apparently, English for “far away from the stage, but still technically on the ground level”).

After a brief, positive commentary from Hornsby about the array of requests, he started into the first song.  From the moment his hands touched the keys, it was apparent that he is truly a masterful musician, one of the few that is able to blend intricate classical arrangements into catchy pop/rock, country, and bluesgrass songs.

His first couple selections were played alone, but he was soon joined onstage by the Noise Makers (J.T. Thomas on keyboards, Bobby Read on saxophones (etc.), J.V. Collier on bass, Doug Derryberry on lead guitar, and Sonny Emory on drums).  Soon after, they launched into the first song with which I was familiar.  “Every Little Kiss” was all piano riffs and rock’n roll catchiness.  Well, maybe more adult contemporary than rock, but…

This was the first of several “greatest radio hits” tracks that Hornsby and the Noise Makers performed, much to the delight of my father and I.  Overall, the set list was a diverse collection of the hits, the deep tracks, and covers.  Some were note-for-note replicas of studio versions, such as “The Good Life,” while others were stripped apart and turned inside out, like “The Way It Is.”  There was a definite, if controlled sense of a jam band mentality.  During the final jam of the main set, Hornsby slipped from one song to the next, folding in a couple of high-energy verses from Bob Dylan’s “It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry.”  I had begun to tire of the jamming by the end of the show, and this fine touch really brought it all back home for me. (Please send your criticisms of that shameless pun to Chris, care of a comment below…)

At one point, Hornsby left the piano to strap on his accordion and take center stage for two songs.  As he approached the microphone with the new instrument, he commented that he had recently been with Levon Helm.  He introduced the following song by saying that this would please those in the crowd who enjoyed nostalgia, as this was a track from the band — namely, “Evangelne.”  The version did not disappoint and proved further that Hornsby is nothing if not an excellent multi-instrumentalist.

Hornsby was a personable, likable figure onstage.  In between songs, he kept a running commentary going, reflecting on the state of the economy and thanking everyone for coming out to see him perform all the same.  Early on, he revealed that Foxwoods management had told him to play for only 65 minutes.  Just over an hour for some who had paid $50 plus a “convenience” charge — that’s outrageous!  In his very laid-back manner, he said about as much and said they would stretch it to 90 minutes or so.  It sounded as if they told him that 65 minutes was the suggestion and 90 minutes was the outside limit.  He was true to his word, as the main set took the show’s running time to just over an hour and a half plus an encore.

Later on in the show, he expressed how happy he was that he remembered all the words to a track from his first album, a song that he played by request.

On the whole, this was a truly enjoyable concert.  I have an increased respect for Hornsby’s abilities as a pianist and performer, the Noise Makers were a flexible and vastly talented group, and the MGM Grand is a comfortable environment with excellent acoustics.  For my taste, there was too much of a jam band mentality on many of the selections — even Hornsby commented at one point that, due to the time limitations, the songs would be shorter than usual.  Maybe that’s not a bad thing, he said.  He continued, “There’s a fine line between self-expression and self-indulgence,” glancing with a grin to his bandmates.  I couldn’t agree more.

This concert was a bonding experience of sorts for me, as my father is a longtime fan of Hornsby and an even longer-time fan of the song “The Way It Is.”  While we both enjoyed the show, the low point of the show was indisputably their performance of the aforementioned hit single.  Aside from the initial keyboard blast of the familiar riff, the song was given a new, more jumpy tempo and the tune was stripped apart into an understated sequence of lines.  There was none of the charm of the studio version, and all biases being admitted, this version was nothing to brag about on its own.  For those five minutes, I appreciated what it must be like to attend a Dylan concert expecting to hear faithful versions of his hits, only to be met with deep tracks and rearranged versions.  Still, I maintain that the Dylan live experience offers up new and interesting, entertaining takes on his songs, whereas this was disappointing from all angles.

Regardless, the show as a whole was well worth the $35, and is an experience that I will remember fondly for years to come.  Part of that comes out of a bias, but this time a positive one!

The Moody Blues Concert, Video Blog Updates, & a BIG Announcement!!

By Jim Fusco:

Ladies and gentlemen… I have a HUGE announcement for you!!

But, you’ll have to listen to the Fusco-Moore Productions Podcast to find out what it is!! But, I can say this- there’s definitely something in it for YOU if you listen in!

How, you ask? Well, click HERE to visit the Fusco-Moore Podcast’s feed, and click HERE to open it up in iTunes (if you have iTunes installed on a Mac or a PC- it’s free!!).

Let’s get those numbers growing!!

Okay, now for some other news:

Obviously, I’m as thrilled as Jeff about our growing popularity on YouTube (my version of The Laptop Sessions is got 1,000 views in only 11 days…the FIRST 11 days!!), and Jeff’s and Chris’ numbers are also growing fast. I can’t wait to see where this all goes… Please, please, please tell your friends and relatives to subscribe to all of our podcasts and YouTube feeds. Why? Because these things are “viral”, and believe it or not, that’s not a bad thing. In this case, “viral” means that if places like YouTube, Google, and Yahoo! see that we’re gaining popularity, they’ll consider it more important. And when they consider it more important, it goes in front of the eyes of MANY more people. And, it just snowballs from there!

That’s why you see some videos go from a few hundred views to over a MILLION views in just a few days! So, it’s flu season…and let’s all get viral.

Another great way you (yes, YOU!) can help to promote us is by going on message boards (not the Brian Wilson one, though- we’ve already made some great connections there) for the bands we do covers of. For instance, Jeff did a Wallflowers song. So, find a Wallflowers fansite, join their message board or forum, and tell them about us! Put links! Get in conversations! You may go on to promote, but in the end, you’ll find some great new friends. I never had the intention of advertising on the Brian Wilson site- they’re just great people that saw my love of his music and loved it, too.

Speaking of music I love, Chris and I went to see the Moody Blues in concert at Foxwoods a couple weeks ago. What a show!! Of course, I’ve seen them plenty of times, but Chris has only just become a HUGE Moodies fan, so this was a special treat. We had a great night. Chris won a bit on the slots (of course) and I played for an hour and 20 minutes, only losing ten bucks!! And, everyone knows that on a Friday night, that’s a BIG win.

The Moody Blues are not in the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame. These guys had 3 number one albums (the Beach Boys with…one) and had PLENTY of hit songs including “Go Now”, “Nights in White Satin”, and “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere”. It pains me, especially because they’ve been around for 40 years now, are still touring, and each one of them is one of the BEST at their instrument. And, as you’ll see with many of the bands I like, each member of the band writes his own songs. Some albums actually have an equal number of songs from ALL FIVE MEMBERS! Plus, they’re all great.

Moody Blues Concert 1

Here are some illegal photos I snuck while at the concert. It was a blast, as usual, and the dinner at Hard Rock Cafe was a great cap to the week. It’s been really crazy at work and with things in life now. I’m so happy I have things like the concert and the great response I’ve gotten to the Laptop Sessions to come home to. I’m happy to be sleep-deprived and overworked to make these things possible.

Moody Blues Concert 2

Well, this is one hefty post- I hope you’ll go on and subscribe to the podcast to hear my big announcement!! Talk to you soon,