Archive for the ‘The Flynn Theater’ Tag

Banana Schlitz at the Amy E. Tarrant Gallery part of the Flynn Theater July 14, 2017   Leave a comment

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I had a great time seeing music Friday evening at the Amy E. Tarrant Gallery. The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts is doing a series of shows there on Fridays and call it the Exhibitionist series. The shows are free and there is a cash bar, and they’ve got lots of cool bands lined up.

The whole week had been crazy. I worked my regular shift on Friday, Saturday, Sunday then switched to a 7:30 to 4 (or later) M-F shift to cover a coworkers vacation. I was able to go in a little late on Thursday so I could put my WBKM radio show together in the morning but circumstances changed and I had to do it on Wednesday. I went out and saw Music on Wednesday and Thursday and was able to finish all the work I needed to cover by 9:30 am on Friday. I slept for much of the afternoon and woke up in a haze. I put on the black and headed downtown for the 5pm show.

I walked in, got a beer, said hi to Charlie Messing and Eric Olsen and soon it was time for Banana Schlitz to play. I wasn’t sure the configuration of the band and it turned out to just be Jason Cooley singing and playing guitar over backing tracks. Each song had a video to accompany it. Some seemed to add meaning and some to add mystery. He began with a vocal exercize where he played a video and audio of the theme song for Game of Thrones and sang the words game of thrones to the tune. I was smiling ear to ear from the beginning. The next song was an instrumental while the video showed a series of classic rock albums with smile logos plastered over them. The next song was a little sticky sweet while live metal concert videos played on the screen. I think the next song was Jesus Chemist from the Sports & Milk album. All Bad News followed and had a video of some local Fox channel intercut with videos of James Bellizia playing guitar. I’m sure you can guess what video he used when he played the Breakfast Club theme. Nerve was a typical Cooley punk song. Again Over Again was a poignant song about getting older and losing friends. The next song was about a basketball hoop and had an appropriate video. Silver Dollars had a blue sky video with a jet stream running through it. …and Symphonies had a streetlight video and a catchy chorus. He closed with a video of him beating out the beat on his belly that faded into scenes of grocery stores and military marches. The incessant beat was great as he sang Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk.

I did not stay long then took the long dazed happy walk home.

 

 

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GEORGE THOROGOOD & THE DESTROYERS with Girls Guns and Glory at the Flynn Theater May 14, 2016   Leave a comment

Me with Dave and Lexi Hall at George Thorogood at the Flynn Theater May 14 2016 picture by Laura Hall

Me with Dave and Lexi Hall at George Thorogood at the Flynn Theater May 14 2016 picture by Laura Hall

 

I had a great time seeing music a couple of weeks ago at Flynn Center for the Performing Arts. My birthday was May 12th and my friends Laura Jean Hall and David Hall gave me a ticket to see George Thorogood & The Destroyers on Saturday the 14th. I was able to get out of work early enough and thought it might be fun. I had seen George a couple of times back in the ’80’s and he put on a pretty rocking show. I wasn’t sure what to expect in 2016 but was game to give it a try.

The evening began with Dave and Laura and their daughter Alexis taking me out to dinner at the Istanbul Kebob House. The food was very tasty and the dining area on the roof of the building had a great atmosphere. There was a bit of a rainy windstorm at the end, but it’s Vermont. These things happen.

After dinner we walked around the corner and entered the Flynn. Usually, I’m very precise with time, so I don’t miss a band, but for the whole night I had little sense of it and just went with the flow. It was odd to sit in the theater and look around and feel like I was one of the younger people there. Most of the nearly full room had been fans for a very long time.

After sitting and chatting for a bit the lights went down and Boston band Girls Guns and Glory took the stage. They had a mellow country sound that was nice, but didn’t grab me. There was one song about an old house that had a bit of an REM vibe which was cool and the song after rocked a bit, so I enjoyed some of the show. From there they went back to the well played and sung country songs until their set was done.

The break between the bands flowed timelessly and at one point the lights went down and George and the Destroyers hit the stage. George walked up to the mic and let loose a hearty “How sweet it is” and the band lit into Rock Party. The Destroyers are a five-piece with George singing and playing guitar joined by another guitar player, bass player, sax player and drummer. The band were super tight and rocked hard. They jammed out all of the songs for a long time and worked every note for all it was worth. In the many years since I had seem him, he had lost nothing and if anything he and the band were better than ever. The first part of the show was filled with classic covers such as Who Do You Love? and Night Time with a fun rocker called The Fixer in between. After Night Time there was a flurry of lights and guitars and the classic George songs came out. I Drink Alone rocked hard. The classic story was relayed in House Rent Blues / One Bourbon One Scotch One Beer. The story of how George is ten times richer than his big brother Bob, who got a haircut and got a real job, was inspiring. Gear Jammer was a musical tour de force with some killer George slide guitar. Up next was the classic Move It On Over then he played one I did not know. I think it was the Howlin’ Wolf song Tail Dragger. It was a fun rocker and the band played it hard. They capped the show with audience favorite Bad To The Bone then came back for a well demanded encore. Madison Blues had some of us dancing and everyone loving it. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I walked in but felt thoroughly rocked out by the time I left.

After the show Alexis wanted to get the bands autographs so we went to the side of the theater where the buses were parked and waited. Everyone except George wandered by at some point and she got all of their autographs. One of the road crew walked up to her and asked if he could have something for George to sign, then walked onto the bus and returned shortly thereafter with George’s signature too. He never did come out of the bus but he did pull back the curtain and wave which was pretty cool. It was a great way to end a great day and was fun to watch Alexis excitedly skip back to the car for the short drive home.

 

George Thorogood at the Flynn Theater May 14, 2016

George Thorogood at the Flynn Theater May 14, 2016

Sistas In The Pit, Rough Francis and Death at The Flynn Theater, Burlington VT February 13 2015   Leave a comment

The Flynn Theater

The Flynn Theater

I had a great time seeing music last night at the Flynn Theatre. I got out of work a little early, took a bus to Shelburne and hung out with Mom, Dad and my brother Ken for a bit. Soon enough it was time to head out, so I drove Ken and I to Burlington, and found a parking space just around the corner from the Flynn. We walked in around 20 of 7, and I was surprised how few people were milling around the lobby. We got a beer and chatted with Gordon Glover and Adam Rabin and soon it was time to head in.

The theater was maybe a third full as the lights wend down and Sistas in the Pit hit the stage with a solid rocking Black Girl. The followed with Scream and everyone was having a good time. They played as a four piece with two electric guitars, bass and drums, with everyone except the drummer taking turns singing lead. The first two songs rocked hard and were fun, but something happened in the third song and the whole show stepped up a notch. Shelly’s lead guitar playing stepped out a bit and added an extra dimension to the songs and they just went over the top from there. After that stellar solo, they eased back into the groove with Revolutionary Rock and Roll (song titles approximate) and then rocked out with Revolution. Shelly got the growing audience to shout when she asked if we had any Bad Habits and the band kept the high energy rock going. The bass player had a couple of fun chats with the audience. They are from the Oakland area in California and were not used to the sub zero Vermont temperatures. She said something like, we’re driving around and see all these people walking in the cold and we’re like come into our car and get warm. It was quite endearing. The next song, Come On Baby (??) was long and had a nice build and rocked hard. Diane Sullivan ran to the front of the stage and started dancing. Several people from the front rows joined her then more of us headed up. We did not have a critical mass, and the ushers shut us down quick and sent us back to our seats. The band took it in stride and rocked the heck out of the end of the song. It seemed like that was going to be it, but after a moment or two, they put the guitars back on and kicked out Such A Little Liar. It was a great show and everyone who showed up early was rewarded with super-fun music.

Instead of doing a break, a screen dropped down and Jeff Howlett and Mark Covino came out and showed three scenes that never made it to the movie A Band Called Death and didn’t make it to the extra scenes on the DVD. The first was a chat with Gus Ziesing from Low Tech studios talking about his first encounter with the band. The second was a couple of the guys from Lambsbread and the third was Bobby and Dannis going back to the home that once was Philo studio where they recorded. All three were a mix of touching and fun.

After that the screen rose and ROUGH FRANCIS hit the stage. With the no dancing rule firmly established by the ushers, the show had a bit more of a showcase vibe than the usual throw yourself at the music as hard as you can vibe, but the band were brilliant as ever. They opened with the one they’ve been opening most shows with lately. I think it’s called Every Day. It has a solid rock vibe and set a nice tone for the songs to come. I was not familiar with the next couple (I Wanna Run and something about Shoot Em Down-Circle Of Love) but they both sounded great. Not A Nice Guy followed and I rocked as hard as I could while trapped in a seat. The bottom of my chair and the back of the seat in front of me took the energy the floor and my feet should have. They eased back a tiny amount with Staring Out The Window then brought the energy back to full throttle with Black And Red. Musically the whole night was great. Steve kept the low end locked in. Julian played some sweet and nicely articulated leads, Bobby Hackney Jr. mixed excellent singing with hair raising extended screams, Paul ripped out some killer leads and did lots of leg bending jumps that reminded me of a young Pete Townshend, and Urian, well he is so fast and precise on the drums, it’s almost too much to handle. Almost. From there they played another new currently untitled one they are calling Grease. It’s a great fast rocker and tons of fun. They followed with another new one, then something I did not recognize either, maybe I Was Young? The crowd was loving it and they kicked into full gear with I-90 East. They followed with a nicely drawn out Comm To Space, complete with epic ending and that was it.

During the set break, after ROUGH FRANCIS wrapped up their killer set, I headed straight for Sistas in the Pit‘s merch table. They mentioned something about $5 download cards and I had to get one. What a great set they played. I also snagged a copy of A Band Called Death on DVD.

We went back to our seats as a red curtain covered the stage. Soon enough, Jeff and Mark came back out and talked about Death’s new video. The curtain parted and the screen was back and they showed a video for the new song Playtime, from the forthcoming album N.E.W.. It was pretty cool and had a nice shot of someone skateboarding at Champlain college, among other images.

When finished the screen rose, and I did not catch the name of the man and kid who introduced the band, but the kid had a great scream of “Death”. Death World Wide hit the stage. There was a picture of the band on the left side of the wall behind the drum kit and a picture of David on the right. They were hung on the stark brick wall. Aside from the kit and a stack of amps, the stage was completely open. They lit into the rhythmic surging set with Views. The half to 2/3 full theater had a great time and many of us were bopping in our seats for the whole show. Keep On Knocking followed and the party was in full swing. Dannis wasn’t flashy on the drums, but kept every rhythm. Bobby’s voice sounded great and his bass drove all of the songs. Bobbie Duncan played some intense leads in an oh so cool sort of way. They followed with Rock N Roll Victim, then slowed things down for an epic Let The World Turn. I love the tone of the slow part and love the build better. The drum solo in the middle was extended a little and they rocked out a killer ending. Bobby talked about David and he talked about their love for the Lord and I think the next song was a Marvin Gaye song I did not know. They kicked up the pace with Freakin’ Out, then one I did not catch a name for. Where Do We Go From Here??? followed then they started playing new songs. They did Relief and The Times, then told the story of a 45 from a long time ago suddenly creating buzz and ended the set with a killer Politicians In My Eyes.
They left the stage but were quickly back for a real version of Playtime. They played another cool new one then wrapped the night with Can You Give Me A Thrill? As they were jamming out the Judas Priest style ending people stood up and began clapping. The band slid from the ending jam back into the song, and for the first time the entire night people were standing up and dancing. They let it run for a bit then jammed out the end a bit more.

After the set Ken and I hung out in the lobby and chatted with Matt Hastings and Caroline Marie, and Peg Tassey. Ken went into the crowd around the merch table and got autographs from the band and got a hat and a shirt.

After a bit we headed out. I drove him back to Shelburne then drove home to Burlington. It was a wonderful night for nostalgia and a wonderful night for family, but most of all, it was a wonderful night of music from bands who are giving it their all here in 2015.