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The W - Music - Cool concert moment
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Peter The Hegemon
Lap cheong








Since: 11.2.03
From: Hackettstown, NJ

Since last post: 23 days
Last activity: 22 hours
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.95
Just a little thing I thought was worth sharing. This weekend is the annual Union County Music Fest in Clark, NJ; every year the county puts on a two-day concert event with a wide range of (mostly rock) acts from the 60s through today. And it's entirely free. What's really worth sharing with everyone, though, was a rare example of different acts performing together. I had actually just arrived yesterday (after tutoring a student) when I was treated to a performance of "Blue Suede Shoes" with this lineup:

Dave Pirner (Soul Asylum) - Lead vocals
Mike Peters (The Alarm) - Harmony vocals
Willie Nile - Guitar
Slim Jim Phantom (Stray Cats) - Drums

A couple other musicians onstage, too, but none who were well-known in their own right, as far as I know. But, man, what a lineup. Nile had already played his own set, and he and Phantom were part of Peters' band for the gig; Peters plays there every year (I hope I posted about the year he did his show with a 30-piece orchestra AND did an acoustic set for a few of us later in the day) and this year rather than do the Alarm stuff he decided to do a bunch of rockabilly-flavored things and covers--he also did "London Calling" and "Rockin' In The Free World". Oh, and Slim Jim sang "Rock This Town".

Soul Asylum was next up, and did all the stuff you'd expect plus a cover of Wyclef's "Gone Til November" which was amazing. Also enjoyed Jesse Malin and OK Go. I left before the headliner, Train, who bore me (at least on record).

Going back today for the always-wonderful 60s legends, the Zombies, plus Suzanne Vega, who I'm looking forward to as I've never seen her, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, who I know have a very good reputation, and Spoon, about whom I know pretty much nothing but people tell me I'd like them.

As always I have to give Union County serious props just for putting this on.

Another thing to give props for: Peters is a leukemia survivor, and one of the reasons he comes is to promote his cancer charity. Every year they ask people to get swabbed so that they can be registered as possible bone marrow donors; in case you don't know, it is very difficult to find a match. Organizers said that there were 35 matches found in the country (I'm not sure if they said last year or so far this year or what) and eight of them came from Music Fest. Pretty darn cool.
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DrewDewce
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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Derby City

Since last post: 23 days
Last activity: 15 hours
Y!:
#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.14
That sounds like a *really* cool festival. Love Soul Asylum and a *HUGE* fan of Mike Peters and the Alarm. Thanks for sharing.



"You are going to get a certain amount of snarkiness on the Internet no matter what, and my rule is that you don't post anything that you wouldn't say to someone's face."
Marc Andreyko (Writer of DC Comic's "Manhunter")
Peter The Hegemon
Lap cheong








Since: 11.2.03
From: Hackettstown, NJ

Since last post: 23 days
Last activity: 22 hours
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.95
My pleasure. Yeah, it's a heck of an event. I suspect that Mike Peters probably has input into the lineup--I don't know that, I just figure since he's there every year and it's just so well put together.

Quick recap of the second day: highlight for me were The Zombies, one of my favorite 60s bands. The set was somewhat similar to what I've seen them play before, but with some key additions such as "This Will Be Our Year", "Care Of Cell 44" and "Whenever You're Ready". They also did a really good new song called "Any Other Way". Of course they did their big hits (and the hits from spin-off band Argent), and the live version they do of "A Rose For Emily" from the classic Odessey & Oracle is just unbelievably lovely. Suzanne Vega was very good; I had never seen her before. I was surprised how comfortable she was putting down her guitar and moving like a pop star on "Tom's Diner" (yes, with backing a la the hit DNA mix). Spoon was OK; only a couple of songs really clicked with me. And Robert Randolph and the Family Band were just too jam-band for my tastes; I can see the talent is definitely there and there were moments I really enjoyed, but I just don't dig the long solos and instrumental passages. Still, I'm glad I got a chance to check them out, and they did lead to a great line from my friend: During on of the songs they veered into the chorus of "Black Water", and my friend said "So there WERE black people besides Rerun who liked the Doobie Brothers!" B^)
DrewDewce
Bratwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: The Derby City

Since last post: 23 days
Last activity: 15 hours
Y!:
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.14
On a somewhat related note, a buddy e-mailed me today and said that the band Big Country would be re-forming and touring, which came as a suprise to me since I was sure their lead singer, Stuart Adamson, had passed.

The e-mail continued on that Mike Peters would be assuming lead sining duties. Could be interesting . . .

http://www.antimusic.com/news/10/sep/12The_Alarms_Mike_Peters_to_Front_Big_Country_Reunion.shtml



"You are going to get a certain amount of snarkiness on the Internet no matter what, and my rule is that you don't post anything that you wouldn't say to someone's face."
Marc Andreyko (Writer of DC Comic's "Manhunter")
Peter The Hegemon
Lap cheong








Since: 11.2.03
From: Hackettstown, NJ

Since last post: 23 days
Last activity: 22 hours
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.98
Huh. That's interesting. I wouldn't have thought there would have been much demand for a Big Country reunion tour, given that they were pretty much one-hit-wonders, although maybe they have more fans in other parts of the world. Mike's voice certainly fits with their sound, and of course they could do some Alarm songs, too--kind of like when Todd Rundgren toured with the "New Cars".

I can't find the thread about the event two years ago, so I might as well just tell you about it. Two years ago at the Fest Mike played with a 30-piece string section from the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. I think they did one or two other shows together afterward, but it wasn't something he did as an ongoing thing. Just amazing to hear those Alarm songs done that way. The weather forecast for that day was awful--there was literally a hurricane coming, and while we weren't really in the path of it, it was close enough that it was expected to rain heavily. But it held out for Mike's set, only sprinkling us with a bit of rain in the middle of "Rain In The Summertime", and you can't complain about that.

Not long after that set, though, it really started to come down. I went to hang out in the tent for Mike's Love-Hope-Strength charity, mostly to stay dry although I did of course get swabbed for the bone marrow donation thing. Anyway, Mike sent word over that he was going to do an acoustic set and we should come over to a different tent. It was really amazing--no amplification or anything, just a bunch of people standing in a circle with Mike in the middle singing and playing acoustic guitar. He asked for requests so asked if there was any chance he remembered "My Land Your Land"--I figured that was one I'd never hear any other way! He said "give me a minute" (meaning to try to remember it). He couldn't remember that much of it but he did the chorus as a tag to another song. As he was playing word came that the rest of the event was being officially canceled due to the weather which wasn't a big surprise. I really couldn't complain, though--for an Alarm fan the day could hardly have been much better.

I actually kept track of the setlist for the show with the strings on my cell phone so PM me if you're interested. I couldn't tell you what he played in the acoustic set, though--I was way too busy enjoying it to take notes or anything!
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