Adrian Belew to perform in Fall River with career spanning set list

Innovative progressive rocker Adrian Belew (formerly of King Crimson, Frank Zappa, David Bowie, Talking Heads and Nine Inch Nails) is ready to re-invent his live show with a new quartet which includes Jordan Perlson on drums, Saul Zonana on keyboards, guitar, and vocals, and bassist extraordinaire Julie Slick. He is touring the U.S. this spring in support of his new studio release POP-SIDED (out in March), with a date at the Narrows Center in Fall River, MA, on Friday, April 19, 2019. Purchase tickets HERE.

Adrian Belew is a legendary guitarist well-known for his diverse travels around the musical map. He is a multi-instrumentalist whose solo records are critically acclaimed. His moving singing voice and prolific songwriting has endeared a loyal fan base of music lovers. His music is being discovered everyday by more and more listeners thirsty for great music with a creative standard not often pushed by the commercial music industry.

Adrian describes the show as, “a more complete picture of most things I’ve done. More songs, new songs from the award-winning FLUX app, King Crimson material I haven’t played for years, and a dose of classic Power Trio. It’s my intention to make this the best Adrian Belew show ever!”

Adrian first appeared on the guitar-world radar when he toured with Frank Zappa who later said, “Adrian reinvented electric guitar.” Adrian’s signature tones, unique use of effects and whammy bar remains completely different, and his techniques continue to be a huge influence on today’s guitarists. He was guitarist, songwriter and frontman progressive rock powerhouse King Crimson for over 30 years. “Discipline”, Adrian’s first record with King Crimson, is listed among the most important rock records ever made.

Adrian has had a career that commands both awe and respect from fellow musicians and loyal fans, from his first solo record “The Lone Rhino” to the Atlantic Records hit album “Mr. Music Head” or any of his other 20 plus solo records that push sonic boundaries while maintaining artistic integrity. Adrian shreds on guitar but also writes beautiful songs that will make you cry. Yes, Adrian has taken his fans on a wild ride through countless world tours and albums with David Bowie, Talking Heads, Laurie Anderson, and Paul Simon. He truly is the Twang Bar King!

The Narrows Center is located at 16 Anawan Street. Tickets can be purchase online at narrowscenter.org or by calling the box office at 508-324-1926. For those wanting to purchase tickets in person, box office hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 12 noon to 5 p.m.

Adrian Belew (Photo by Jerry LoFaro)

 

The Cassette Chronicles – Firehouse’s ‘Hold Your Fire’

By JAY ROBERTS

The Cassette Chronicles is a continuing series of mini reviews and reflections on albums from the 1980’s and 1990’s. The aim of this series is to highlight both known and underappreciated albums from rock, pop and metal genres from this time period through the cassette editions of their releases. Some of the albums I have known about and loved for years, while others are new to me and were music I’ve always wanted to hear. There will be some review analysis and my own personal stories about my connection with various albums. These opinions are strictly my own and do not reflect the views of anyone else at Limelight Magazine.

FIREHOUSE – HOLD YOUR FIRE (1992)

In another example of it being true confession time I have to admit that I’ve never really cared for Firehouse. However, I will say that it is pretty much down to the fact that on their self-titled debut album the band had that overly syrupy sweet diabetic coma inducing ballad “Love Of A Lifetime”. I know that the song is probably their biggest hit but for me, who lacks an overabundance of romantic sensibilities, the song made me want to just hurl. It was such a musical turnoff for me that I never bothered to listen to anything else the band ever did. Truth be told, it took me a few weeks after pulling Hold Your Fire out of the “Big Box of Cassettes” to work up the desire to finally pop the cassette in my player. I just was fearful of having to suffer through an overabundance of lovey-dovey songs.

Thankfully however, I have to say that aside from the two ballads (“When I Look Into Your Eyes” and “Hold The Dream”), songs that had me rolling my eyes, the band’s second album is actually rather entertaining. Seriously, I really enjoyed most of the album’s twelve tracks. With the majority of the songs written by singer C.J. Snare and guitarist Bill Leverty, there was a quite pleasing rocking vibe with a lot of musically aggressive melodic hooks to really catch your ear. 

I know this won’t be any kind of a surprise to people who have been fans of the band for the last three decades but bear with me for this new-to-me musical discovery.

The gold certified album opens with the single “Reach For The Sky”, a musically upbeat rocker that really set the tone for my overall enjoyment of the release. “Sleeping With You” had a nice swinging hook to it and “Get In Touch” was rather strong too. My favorite song on the first side of the album however would have to have been “You’re Too Bad”. The song is a knockout rocker and I think it has a slightly gritter sound to it which made it just that much more appealing to me.

When you flip the cassette over to side two, the rock just about never stops. The album’s title track and songs like “Talk Of The Town” and “Mama Didn’t Raise No Fool” get the energy turned up high. 

I think the track “Life In The Real World” serves as the most musically intense track for the entire album. The song had such a killer bent to it musically that I just found myself humming along and rocking out a bit to it.

As for the song “The Meaning Of Love”, if you hadn’t heard it before you’d think the song title itself would mean “here comes another ballad”. You’d be wrong, at least in part. While listening to the lyrics, they are clearly written with a more ballad driven tone to it. But since the song was another of the album’s over the top fast tracks, I found that the song worked far better than it would’ve as a straight up pedestrian power ballad. And maybe that’s part of why I seem to hate a lot of ballads from when metal ruled the world. The slow pacing of the songs just never seem to work all that well. Or maybe they just don’t hold up that well with the passage of time.

Whatever the reasoning on that account, I have to take it back to my generalized opinion on this album. After FINALLY listening to a Firehouse album, I am surprised to find myself writing the following words. I really liked this album. Hold Your Fire, with my aforementioned reservations about the ballads, holds up quite well some 26 years after its initial release.

It does its job so well that I’m actually a bit miffed at myself for not listening to this one sooner (or way back then) because the band played in my area a few months back and I didn’t go. After hearing this album, I think I would’ve had myself a great time at the show. So yes, this is a vastly entertaining album and perhaps I need to re-evaluate my overall opinion of the band as a whole.

NOTE OF INTEREST: Hold Your Fire was the last Firehouse album to have any kind of sales success in the US, but the band remained popular in Asia, Europe and South America for a far longer period of time.

Bassist Perry Richardson was out of the band as of 2000. He went on to play bass for country singers Trace Adkins and Craig Morgan. He joined Stryper, replacing Tim Gaines, in 2017.

Y&T to perform at Greasy Luck in New Bedford, MA

Best known for hits that include “Meanstreak,” “Don’t Stop Runnin’,” and “Summertime Girls,” hard rockers Y&T will make their debut appearance in The Vault at Greasy Luck in New Bedford, Mass., on March 12, 2019, with a meet and greet following the show. Click HERE to purchase tickets.

Formed in the early 1970s, Y&T is one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s own innovators of the hard rock sound, influence bands such as Ratt, Motley Crue and Metallica. With over a dozen studio albums that have sold in excess of four million copies, Y&T always deliver. In fact, whether performing to a festival crowd of 50,000 or in an intimate venue like the Narrows Center, Y&T’s high-energy set and passionate performances still captivate legions of fans around the globe, proving Y&T’s music timeless.

For the band’s performance in The Vault, Y&T will play songs that span the band’s over 40-year career, including all the hits and fan favorites for a show that will last two hours. This band rocks. It’s one show not to miss!

The Vault at Greasy Luck is located at located at 791 Purchase Street in New Bedford. The venue is set within a former bank building featuring original vault doors and a truly historic feel. Patrons have raved about the superior acoustics and intimate setting. Parking is free.

The Cassette Chronicles – Heaven’s Edge self-titled debut

By JAY ROBERTS

The Cassette Chronicles is a continuing series of mini reviews and reflections on albums from the 1980’s and 1990’s. The aim of this series is to highlight both known and underappreciated albums from rock, pop and metal genres from this time period through the cassette editions of their releases. Some of the albums I have known about and loved for years, while others are new to me and were music I’ve always wanted to hear. There will be some review analysis and my own personal stories about my connection with various albums. These opinions are strictly my own and do not reflect the views of anyone else at Limelight Magazine.

HEAVEN’S EDGE – HEAVEN’S EDGE (1990)

I’ve come to realize that despite being a proud child of the 80’s metal years, there are a number of bands that I completely missed out on. While that sometimes meant I might’ve heard of the band and never listened to them, there are other instances where I can’t rightly recall ever so much as hearing the band’s name before. Obviously that also means I’ve never listened to their music either.

Such is the case with the band Heaven’s Edge. The Philadelphia based rockers are a band that was a total mystery to me before I got around to listening to their self-titled debut album for this article.

After finishing the album, I can only say that I’m more than a little saddened to have missed out on them back in the day. While the album isn’t perfect, there is a surprising amount of vim and vigor to the material on the album.

Admittedly, the album started off a bit slow with the “Intro” track which was a total waste of time. However, once the REAL songs started I was rather hooked into the band’s sound. The combination of aggressively fast, yet quite real sense of melodic immediacy from the band (particularly the blazing guitar work) and the vocals from singer Mark Evans made it seem that Heaven’s Edge had everything going for it, musically speaking.

The first side of the album was lively and energetically paced. The song “Play Dirty” was quite memorable from the first note to the last. It moved quite fast and the guitar work helped elevate the song. There’s a great rhythmic vibe to the vocal performance from Evans on “Skin To Skin”, which is probably the best known song for the band. It was their big video song when this album was released. 

While the band’s lyrics might not make it into the songwriting hall of fame, I have to say that for the time, they were pretty well crafted. You could find the typical girls, guitars, sex and fun type of lyrics but they also had a couple of songs that felt as if the lyrics went deeper.

As I wrote that, however, I was also thinking of the song “Up Against The Wall” which was a bit more problematic for me. While the chorus of the song is rather weak, the main lyrical verses are both strong and a bit of a freakout for me. The music is great, but those lyrical verses are troubling as they seem to hint at some sort of a sexual situation with someone below statutory limits. It might not have been so troubling back in 1990 given the popularity of songs like Winger’s “Seventeen” and others of that ilk, but these days such blatant lyrics do tend to give one pause. Of course, I could be reading more into it than was ever intended by the songwriters (Evans and guitarist Reggie Wu wrote the majority of the songs for this album), but I read the lyrics in the liner notes as the songs played, so again I say that the lyrical content was somewhat troubling.

The power ballad “Hold On To Tonight” was fine for what it was, but the only thing that really held my interest was the guitar solo in the middle of the song. Side One closes out with a completely balls out rocker called “Can’t Catch Me” that leaves the listener breathless in anticipation for flipping over the cassette and starting on Side Two.

Unfortunately, the tempo changes in the opening song on the second half of the album, “Bad Reputation” made the track come off as a little too overly dramatic and over the top for my tastes.

There’s a slightly more gritty feel to the rocker “Daddy’s Little Girl”. The lyrics also serve as a cautionary tale, which is part of that deeper feel to the lyrics I mentioned previously.

Strangely enough for a debut album, one of the songs was actually a live recording from a club show the band did in Philadelphia. The track is called “Is That All You Want?” and it opens with a far more bluesy sound in the intro before the song explodes into more of a full on rocker. I’m not sure how popular the band was on a local level back in 1989 when the live track was recorded, but they must’ve had some kind of loyal following because during the live recording you can hear the audience singing along quite loudly to the chorus of the song.

The multiple tempo changes within a single song format comes back on “Come Play The Game”. It starts out with an anthemic vocal delivery before the more balladry driven singing during the opening portion of the lyrics. The gas pedal is then pushed to the floor later in the song.

By the time the eminently rocking “Don’t Stop, Don’t Go” brought the Heaven’s Edge album to a rousing finish, I was convinced that, despite missing out on the majority of metal’s golden years, Heaven’s Edge had a real solid grasp on how to craft decent songs (my qualms about “Up Against The Wall” notwithstanding) and could also turn in top notch performances in the studio with the material.  

As always when I find out I missed the boat on an act or an album, I’m a bit upset with myself. But Heaven’s Edge sure was the real deal on their debut album and while they might not have gotten the golden ticket for multiplatinum success, this is a band and album that should not be forgotten.

NOTES OF INTEREST: The band only released one other album, 1999’s Some Other Place, Some Other Time. Both albums were produced by Neil Kernon who has worked with everyone from Neil Diamond to Queensryche to Cannibal Corpse and any number of rock, pop, metal and jazz acts in between. Rock Candy Records reissued Heaven’s Edge in 2010 with 3 bonus tracks.

While they did break up, the original lineup of Heaven’s Edge has gotten back together for occasional shows since 2013.

Tom Rush to perform at Spire in Plymouth, Mass.

Legendary folk singer/songwriter Tom Rush is coming to the Spire Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, April 6, 2019, at 8 p.m. for an intimate performance at Plymouth’s new performance hall. He’ll be accompanied by Matt Nakoa. Purchase tickets HERE.

Mr. Rush’s impact on the American music scene has been profound. He helped shape the folk revival in the ’60s and the renaissance of the ’80s and ’90s, his music having left its stamp on generations of artists. James Taylor told Rolling Stone, “Tom was not only one of my early heroes, but also one of my main influences.” Country music star Garth Brooks has credited Rush with being one of his top five musical influences. Mr. Rush has long championed emerging artists. His early recordings introduced the world to the work of Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne and James Taylor, and in more recent years his Club 47 concerts have brought artists such as Nanci Griffith and Shawn Colvin to wider audiences when they were just beginning to build their own reputations.

Mr. Rush began his musical career in the early ’60s playing the Boston-area clubs while a Harvard student. The Club 47 was the flagship of the coffee house fleet, and he was soon holding down a weekly spot there, learning from the legendary artists who came to play, honing his skills and growing into his talent. He had released two albums by the time he graduated.

Today, Mr. Rush voice has grown even richer and more melodic with training, and his music, like a fine wine, has matured and ripened in the blending of traditional and modern influences. He’s doing what he loves, and what audiences love him for: writing and playing…passionately, tenderly…knitting together the musical traditions and talents of our times.

The Spire is located at 25 ½ Court Street in Plymouth. The venue features superior acoustics, custom state of the art lighting and sound systems and original period architectural details, offering patrons an exceptional performing arts experience.

Advance tickets for the Tom Rush show are available by clicking HERE. Tickets will also be available on the day of the show at the venue. A limited number of VIP tickets that includes a private meet and greet and signing with Mr. Rush are also available.

The Cassette Chronicles – .38 Special’s ‘Tour De Force’

BY JAY ROBERTS

The Cassette Chronicles is a continuing series of mini reviews and reflections on albums from the 1980’s and 1990’s. The aim of this series is to highlight both known and underappreciated albums from rock, pop and metal genres from this time period through the cassette editions of their releases. Some of the albums I have known about and loved for years, while others are new to me and were music I’ve always wanted to hear. There will be some review analysis and my own personal stories about my connection with various albums. These opinions are strictly my own and do not reflect the views of anyone else at Limelight Magazine.

.38 SPECIAL – TOUR DE FORCE (1983)

The sixth studio album from .38 Special continued the band’s commercial peak from the previous release Special Forces (which I wrote about in a previous article in this series).

Tour De Force was highlighted by two big hits in the songs “If I’d Been The One” and “Back Where You Belong”. While strictly speaking the former was the more successful song in terms of chart ranking, it is “Back Where You Belong” that is the most memorable song of the duo for me. However, both songs are quite the earworms when you listen to them. Each is a faster paced track full of melodic hooks and great vocal performances. This isn’t much of a surprise to anyone that has ever been a fan of the band I know, but still at the point in time this was released, it is always good to have musical beliefs reconfirmed over and over again.

Surprisingly though, one of the best songs on the album is the first song on Side Two of the album. “Twentieth Century Fox” has a nice edgy yet still commercially viable musical vibe and the song has a great sly lyrical slant as well as a powerfully assured vocal delivery. I’d never heard the song myself until I bought a greatest hits collection from the band but this song has quickly become one of my favorites.

Sadly, I cannot say the same for the Side One song “One Time For The Old Times”. Despite a slighty uptempo pace to the song, the vocal performance left me wanting something more. It struck me that there was an attempt at being a lot more subtle in the delivery of the lyrics but instead of coming off as a distinct change in the performance, it crashed and burned as a song that was far too mellow and relatively unworthy to have been a .38 Special song.

The song “Undercover Lover” features a set of lyrics about a male gigolo and it made me think of that David Lee Roth “Just A Gigolo” track. The styles of the two songs are different of course, but the blunt for the times lyrics kind of made me chuckle. It’s a decent song though and I really liked the guitar work throughout the track. Taking a different lyrical bent on “One Of The Lonely Ones”, the band sings about a broken hearted woman unsure if she’ll seek out romantic companionship again.

“I Oughta Let Go” was pretty much a 180 degree turn from the band’s brand of southern rock/melodic pop rock. There was a real swinging country pop sound to the song. Everything felt different with the performance. It was kind of out of place on this album given the rest of the material but I can’t lie, I dug the song. 

Perhaps the single most surprising song on Tour De Force for me was “Long Distance Affair”. Everything about this song screams “High energy quality rock and roll”! Musically, it is a fast paced guitar oriented number. And when you combine that with the vocals, you get a song that I think should’ve been one of the band’s bigger hits. Also, when looking at the liner notes, it is one of the longer set of lyrics on the album. So there’s a bit extra in the song’s storytelling as well.

Speaking of the liner notes, it probably doesn’t matter to anyone now but I noticed as I read along with the lyrics that what ended up on the album didn’t always match what was written down in print. Also, for some reason the sequencing of the song lyrics in the liner notes is all over the place in comparison to the running order of the songs. For me, that seems a little slipshod. No it doesn’t actually affect the enjoyment of the album at all, it was just something that probably annoys only me.

What I found when listening to Tour De Force is that for me, there are times when I hear .38 Special as more of a straight forward rock/pop band than one that is more universally recognized as a purveyor of the southern rock style. I know that some might consider this a bit of an insult to the band, but I assure you it is far from that.

Because I grew up listening to the band via their hit singles on American Top 40, they were pop hitmakers to me back then. Of course, now that I’m far more understanding in terms of musical competency than I was back then, I grasp the full scope of the band. But in 1983, much like Survivor, .38 Special was a pop rock band to me and Tour De Force is a prime example of why I loved them for it.

John 5 (of Rob Zombie) & The Creatures to rock The Vault in New Bedford, MA

In celebration of John 5 and The Creatures upcoming new album, Invasion, the band will be going on tour with a stop in the Vault at Greasy Luck in New Bedford, MA, on March 18, 2019!  The tour will feature support from blues-rock guitarist Jared James Nichols. Tickets can be purchased HERE.

John William Lowery, who is best known by his stage name John 5, is one of the hottest shredders on the planet. His impressive resume includes working as Rob Zombie’s right hand man as well as the likes of Marilyn Manson, Rob Halford, David Lee Roth and Lita Ford. A versatile session guitarist known for his speed, John 5 gained recognition from a guitarworld.com reader’s poll awarding him with “Best Shred Album Of The Year.” He has recorded eight solo albums to date and one live album. His live shows are truly extraordinary and one not to miss!

John 5 and The Creatures are following up on this year’s live album release, It’s Alive!, with a brand new full-length studio album coming in 2019! The new album, entitled Invasion, will be teased on New Year’s Day 2019 by way of a brand new music video for the new track “Zoinks!”, inspired by Scooby-Doo! Directed by Matt Zane with animation from Disney animator Brett Broggs (Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph), the video will also feature the acting talents of Nikki Sixx, Susan Olsen (known for her role as Cindy Brady on The Brady Bunch), and Fred Coury. Coury also is credited for scoring the video alongside John 5.

Fans should stay tuned for the video coming on New Year’s Day! The official release date for Invasion will be announced in 2019. Invasion was produced and mixed by Barry Pointer, and will be released via a series of music videos, just as John 5 released his 2017 studio release, Season of the Witch.

As to the tour with Jared James Nichols, John 5 says, “Get ready for the Invasion tour! I will be playing some new songs from my new record, Invasion, a brand new medley, and much more. I’m really excited to have Jared James Nichols out with us. This tour is something you’re not going to want to miss.”

Nichols adds, “As a young budding guitarist, I grew up with a Guitar World cut out picture of John 5 on my bedroom wall. He was always one of my ‘Guitar heroes’. He is the total package… insane technique, amazing musicality, with a style and look all of his own. Needless to say, when I got the call for this tour, my jaw dropped. I’m absolutely honored to warm up the stage for him every night across America and Canada. I’m getting my chops ready to tear it up!”

The Vault at Greasy Luck is located at located at 791 Purchase Street in New Bedford. The venue is set within a former bank building featuring original vault doors and a truly historic feel. Patrons have raved about the superior acoustics and intimate setting.

 

 

Music and entertainment coverage since October 2006!