Steve Hackett, Orpheum Theatre

October 18, 2019 We all have albums that transported us. Back in the day, find the sweet spot between speakers or put on some headphones, maybe have a puff, close your eyes and just listen. Dark Side was at the top for many, but mine was Selling England By The Pound by Genesis. I went places. Fantastical places. 46 years later, the album still holds true and Steve Hackett brought it to life again from start to finish (plus an unreleased track that didn’t make the cut) during the second set of his current tour. Hackett tours most years and the 1920’s Orpheum Theatre in DTLA has become his Los Angeles living room (capacity about 2K). The first of his two sets covered much of Hackett’s post-Genesis career, which I am less familiar with. The six-piece band (including Hackett) was muscular and dynamic throughout with shout outs to all, Rob Townsend on sax, flute and keys; Roger King on keys; Jonas Reingold on bass and 12-string; Craig Blundell on drums, and, Nad Sylvan on vocals. Blundell, seated behind a monster double-kick Paiste kit owned the stage at the end of the first set with an extended solo, and the flurry from […]

Robert Plant & the Sensational Space Shifters, Orpheum Theatre

    March 2, 2018 The last date of the Carry Fire Winter tour landed Robert Plant at the beautiful Orpheum Theatre in DTLA. The tour has stuck to smaller venues (the Orpheum holds about 2,000) while drawing on a consistent set list of multiple tunes from both “Carry Fire” and “Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar”, as well as a few quieter Zeppelin touchstones and other blues and traditional material.  The chance to see Plant in such intimate confines throughout the tour was special, considering the next time he’ll be in SoCal will be as headliner at the second day of Arroyo Seco Weekend. But it was also special, because the room so fit the music coming from the stage. Adventurous, personal, rooted in history, but not confined by it.  Ten years ago when the Raising Sand collaboration brought Plant together with Alison Krauss, the incredibly talented singer, songwriter and fiddle player, she of the bluegrass origins and more Grammys on her shelf than any other singer or female artist ever, it struck me as a WTF leap that could have been a disaster. Instead the critically acclaimed (and Grammy winning) project knocked me out that he could even pull […]

Tedeschi Trucks Band, Orpheum Theatre

November 11, 2017 Spoiler alert – pretty sure this won’t be an objective take on what transpired at the second of two nights with the Tedeschi Trucks Band at the historic Orpheum Theater in DTLA. I flat out think the TTB is one of the best touring bands on the road anywhere. It’s not just the nimbleness of a 12-piece unit that can fly like a jazz trio, or the cauldron that launches Derek Trucks’ journeys, or the purr to a growl joy of Susan Tedeschi matching those Strat/Tele/Les Paul driven sparks. TTB jams with intention and purpose built on a foundation of soul and blues, in their own voices and fused by those recently and long departed. To cut through it, the world hurts right now. In a big way. Music, the good stuff, whatever that it is for you, matters more than anytime since I’ve been around. The TTB is my good stuff, and damn, if I don’t want that to wash over me any chance I get. That chance was Saturday night. The 15-tune, two-plus hour set went deep, but really took off for me with “Midnight in Harlem”, a deceivingly languid stroll beautifully sung by Susan […]