BY JULIA CIRIGNANO
If you’ve attended a show by JKB Entertainment Group/Limelight Magazine, there is a good chance that Brad Stevens was in the audience. In fact, Stevens has attended over 3,000 concerts in his lifetime and continues to be an avid concert goer.
Stevens said that his favorite thing about going to concerts is seeing the bands perform live. He loves the energy and being part of the excitement.
“I just like live music,” Stevens said. “I like the crowd and seeing the bands perform the songs live.”
The first concert Stevens ever attended was Van Halen and Black Sabbath at the Cape Cod Coliseum in 1978. Black Sabbath has continued to be Stevens favorite band to see in concert, seeing them 33 times and he has never been disappointed
While Black Sabbath will always be Stevens first love and favorite band to see in concert, he mentioned some of his other favorites.
“The Who, Deep Purple, UFO and Saxon,” Stevens said.
Stevens has many crazy concert stories and chose to share one with us.
“I went to see Black Label Society in Hartford, Connecticut,” he began. “I stayed with my brother-in-law who lives in a housing development in Hartford. To park on one side of the parking lot you needed a permit and the other side was for guests. So, we got back from the concert and all the guest spots were taken and the permits were open so he said ‘park in the permit’. Then, I’m laying in bed at like four in the morning and I wake up and I can see a bright light shining through his window and I look out and the guy’s towing my car. I throw my clothes on real quick and ran out there. It had just rained and I fell in a big mud puddle. I was covered from head to toe. He didn’t tow my car. I ran over and told him my story.”
Although Stevens has attended many concerts, he wishes he’d seen Led Zeppelin.
“I haven’t seen Led Zeppelin,” he said. “I wanna cry.”
Stevens also wished he’d seen several deceased musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, John Bonham, and Jim Morrison.
Stevens said that his favorite venue is the Narrows Center for the Arts, located in Fall River, Mass.
“The Narrows is great,” he said. “It’s small and intimate with friendly people and staff. You’re close to the stage and the sound is excellent.”
Stevens has seen many concerts at the Narrows Center. One of his favorites was Y&T which was booked by JKB Entertainment Group. He also enjoyed The Yardbirds, which was also booked by JKB, and Ian Hunter.
Stevens talked about the worst venue he’s ever been to located in Worcester, Mass.
“The worst venue is The Palladium,” he said. “The sound is horrible. The security is like Nazi’s. It’s horrible. It’s cold, like a dungeon, and dirty.”
Stevens does admit though that he sometimes goes to The Palladium as a last resort because they book a very specific type of music that that he enjoys called European Power Metal.
Stevens also talked about the tickets he already has for shows this year.
“UFO and Saxon (at Brighton Music Hall), Blue Oyster Cult (at Stadium Theatre), just got them today,” he said. “Also, Mack Sabbath, they sound good, they sound like Black Sabbath.”
He’s also purchased tickets to several events booked at the Narrows Center booked by JKB Entertainment Group, including Candlebox Acoustic (on March 25th), Vanilla Fudge with Paul Bielatowicz (on April 5th), Y&T (on May 2) and Stryper’s Michael Sweet (on June 2). He planned to purchased tickets to Black ‘N Blue on July 20th but had already bought tickets to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers that night in Boston.
Stevens said that there haven’t been many musicians that he saw that he was greatly disappointed with although he doesn’t like when bands get political.
“Bands like Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Roger Waters, they get political and I don’t like that,” he said. “Back in the 80’s, U2 had a political cause for what was going on in Ireland. Now it’s either the Trump of Hilary thing. I don’t care about your political cause or what your politics are. You like who you like, we all like who we like. Everybody’s different. I don’t know, I don’t like your influence. Just play your music.”
Stevens also has another concert pet peeve: when musicians don’t play for very long.
“I went to see ZZ Top. I paid $115 for the ticket and they played 65 minutes,” he said. “You know, you expect someone to play at least 100 minutes. That was disappointing. I would never go see them again.”
Stevens enjoys seeing bands like Rush who play for nearly three hours.
“Rush is fantastic,” he said. “I paid $170 for them and that’s worth the money.”
While Stevens believes that some bands are worth the money, he is outraged at how much concerts cost nowadays.
“That’s another disappointment: the price of these concerts now,” he said. “How can an average fan really afford that? The first time I saw Rush in 1980 I paid $8. Same thing with Black Sabbath, $7.50. Now it’s $200.”
Stevens said his favorite new album is Preludes & Etudes by Paul Bielatowicz. He has also seen him perform solo (with Simon Fitzpatrick) three years in a row at the Narrows Center.
“I like that instrumental type of music,” Stevens said.