Monday, July 31, 2006

Countdown to Lollapalooza: Festival Sked, Map, Gallery, More!

Ah, my Midwestern brethren, I tip my hat in envy at the prospect of seeing Lollapalooza in just a matter of days. Yes, you lucky bastards, this weekend Chicago plays host to the 3-day, 8-stage, 130-band strong festival that sprang from the wild, warped brain of Perry Ferrell like Athena from Zeus' skull. (*sigh*) If only I could be there.

So to live vicariously through all of you who will be there in body, not just spirit, I've provided some utterly fab resources to help you plan & prep for your festival experience.

Step 1: Get a preview of the hottest bands playing this year with a fantastic Lollapalooza 2006 Photo Gallery.

Step 2: Get more info on all the bands, especially the most intriguing ones you've never heard of, to help you choose who you want to see.

Step 3: Print out the full 3-Day Lineup Schedule and plan out exactly how you'll be fitting in all those amazing acts you've been aching to see.

Step 4: Print out the Festival Map, so you can find the fastest route from each band to the next at each of Grant Park's 8 impressive stages.

Step 5: Get the insider info on the Official Aftershows, so you can plan out your late-night festivities, too.

But wait! You don't have tickets, you say??? I suppose you should really start there, so get out your wallet and start here:  Lolla Tickets

BREAKING NEWS: Sleater-Kinney Split & Final Tour

Were you aware that Sleater-Kinney have announced that they're calling it quits after this tour? So this round of dates could well be your last opportunity to see the legendary ladies live.

If you didn't secure your tickets to their sold-out, last-ever show in NYC, hope is not lost! Try your luck at, where you might win a pair of tix to their  8/2 Webster Hall show. All you have to do is send an email by 8/1. What could be easier than that? Get all the details here:

Don't want to leave it up to chance? Don't live in NY? You can get tickets to any of their US tour dates via both of these (totally legal, legit, safe & secure) reseller sites:

--From other fans at StubHub

--From brokers at TicketsNow

TixGirl's August Show Calendar: See You There

My August rocks. How 'bout yours? Check it:

Fri, 8/4:
Los Amigos Invisibles & more
Sun, 8/6:
Dave Matthews Band
Sun, 8/13:
McCarren Park Pool Party with:
DJ ?uestlove
Beirut & more
McCarren Park Pool, Brooklyn - FREE!
Weds, 8/16:
Jurassic 5
Thurs, 8/17:                                     --Also Recommended--
Iron & Wine                                     Gnarls Barkley
McCarren Park Pool, Brooklyn            SummerStage, Central Park
Sat, 8/19:              --AND--
Tricky                     Phil Aiken Army
Irving Plaza              The Living Room
Wed, 8/23:
The Shins w/ J. Mascis
Thurs, 8/24:
Martha Wainwright, Joanna Newsom & Neko Case
Looking forward to Fall:
--Zero 7
--Nouvelle Vague
--Massive Attack
& more, so stay tuned...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

BREAKING NEWS: Sir Elton Leaves Vegas for Tour

Sir Elton is leaving his Red Piano behind in Vegas for a series of arena tour dates this Fall. The itinerary hasn't been set in stone, yet, so stay tuned for more announcements. In the meantime, here's a juicy list of what's been announced. A slow trickle of 'em start going on sale Monday, July 31st at 10am. Set your alarm!

September 2006
7 - New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall (Fashion Rocks)
16 - San Jose, CA - HP Pavilion
19 - West Valley City, CA - E Center
20 - Boise, ID - Taco Bell Arena
22, 23 - Seattle, WA - Key Arena
24 - Portland, OR - Rose Garden
27 - Vancouver, British Columbia - General Motors Place
29 - Calgary, Alberta - Pengrowth Saddledome
30 - Edmonton, Alberta - Rexall Place

October 2006
7 - Atlantic City, NJ - Boardwalk Hall

Here's a quick link for tickets:

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

BREAKING NEWS: New Rolling Stones Dates!

Whodathunkit? The Stones are coming back to the States for an all-new Fall tour! Of the projected 17 tour dates, so far they're only releasing tickets for Boston, NY & Chicago dates (plus Nova Scotia & Saskatchewan) -- all of which go on sale Monday at 10am.

Where:                            Show Date:          Date on Sale:
Foxborough MA 9/20 7/31
East Rutherford NJ 9/27 7/31
Chicago IL 10/1 7/31

Here's a quick link for tickets:

Stay tuned for more on-sale dates as they are announced Better yet, sign up for an alert! In the meantime, sink your teeth into the full itinerary:

September 2006
20 - Boston, MA - Gillette Stadium (on sale 7/31)
23 - Halifax, Nova Scotia - Halifax Commons (on sale 7/31)
27 - E. Rutherford, NJ - Giants Stadium (on sale 7/31)

October 2006
2 - Wichita, KS - Cessna Stadium Wichita University
6 - Missoula, MT - Grizzly Stadium
8 - Regina, Saskatchewan - Mosaic Stadium at Taylor Field (on sale 7/31)
11 - Chicago, IL - Soldier Field (on sale 7/31)
17 - Seattle, WA - Qwest Field
20 - El Paso, TX - Sun Bowl
22 - Austin, TX - Zilker Park
27 - Atlantic City, NJ - Boardwalk Hall

November 2006
3 - Vancouver, British Columbia - BC Place Stadium
5 - Oakland, CA - McAfee Coliseum
8 - Phoenix, AZ - Cardinals Stadium
11 - Las Vegas, NV - MGM Grand
14 - Nampa, ID - Idaho Center
18 - Los Angeles, CA - Dodger Stadium

Worried about Keith? Here's what Mick had to say: "Keith's fine, his head'sbetter, he's playing well and enjoying himself so we're all looking forward to this leg of the tour."

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

BREAKING NEWS: Keane Add New Dates

Hallelujah! Keane have added new shows in NY, Seattle, Berkeley, CA and several across Canada. As if seeing Keane at my favorite rock venue, Hammerstein, wasn't reward enough. Now I also get to see them at one of the most acoustically magnificent venues in the world -- Carnegie Hall! 

The new shows go on sale Friday, 7/28.

Here's a quick link for tickets to the tour:


8/05/06   Bleeding Kansas Festival, Burcham Park - Lawrence, KS



9/07/06   Auditorium Theatre - Chicago, IL

9/08/06   State Theatre - Detroit, MI

9/13/06   Carnegie Hall - New York, NY

9/14/06   Hammerstein Ballroom - New York, NY       ON SALE 7/28

9/16/06   Bank of America Pavilion - Boston, MA

9/17/06   Tower Theatre - Upper Darby, PA

9/19/06   St. Denis Theatre - Montreal, QC                  ON SALE 7/28

9/20/06   Hummingbird, Toronto, ON                           ON SALE 7/28

9/25/06   Tabernacle, Atlanta, GA                                ON SALE 7/28



10/02/06   McCaw Hall - Seattle, WA                         ON SALE 7/28

10/04/06   Portland Center for the Performing Arts - Portland, OR

10/07/06   Greek Theatre - Los Angeles, CA

10/08/06   Greek Theatre - U.C. Berkeley, CA            ON SALE 7/28


Monday, July 24, 2006

The View From My Seat: Madonna

Madison Square Garden, NY, 7/19 & 6/29


Madonna is Madonna for a reason. Long after she has ceased to be a motor of cultural change or an instigator of social critique and commentary, she will be remembered as one of the most dynamic and thrilling live entertainers of the modern era. At first glance, the bawdy, brazen chameleon may have little in common with a Jim Morrison, a Judy Garland, a Billie Holiday, or a Beatle. But in the grand scheme of culture, there are few mortals who can give a live performance that so electrifies their audience as to render it a life-changing or perception-altering experience, and thus, raise themselves to immortal status. Madonna is one of these extraordinary creatures.


Yes, she takes a beautiful picture. She has an uncanny ability to leave images burnt on the back of our retinas that are stunning, arresting and provocative. Yes, she knows how to push the buttons of our collective unconscious and our cultural repressions. Yes, she understands how to massage any medium into her message, bending everything from the entertainment news engine to the music video, and recording industry to her will. Yes, she has impeccable taste in collaborators. Yes, she has an incredible ear for trends, and an innate ability to stay in touch with what will resonate with this fickle, youth-centric culture. She evolves with the times and always manages to learn something about herself in the process. She works through her sissues while she forces us to address ours. Yes, she is, has, and does all of these things. But despite all of this, she has always been, first and foremost, a live entertainer.

That is the key to Madonna's power: she delivers the goods. You may not like her voice. You may not like her music. You may abhor her message. You may deride her attempts to act on film. Even if you count all of these strikes against her, once you see her perform live, you will be compelled to concede that she is in a class of her own.

Madonna is at her best on a stage. She is a perfrectionist, a detail-oriented, holistic visionary, and a type-A personality. Take all of these things and apply them to a live entertainer, and you get a level of commitment that reliably yields spectacle of such a high calibre that it is instantly unforgettable. When you spend over $300 face value for floor seats, you know she will wring every penny's worth out of that ticket in sweat and pure, electric energy. She is committed to her own standards of perfection, and, most importantly, delivering for her fans -- rewarding them for believing in her. "See, it really was worth it. You don't regret staying with me for all these years. I've still got it, and I'm giving it, unadulterated and with no screen as barrier, to you."

This is all well and good, you say, but what about this tour -- the Confessions on a Dancefloor Tour? It is the multimedia-meets-Broadway-musical-number that we've grown to expect from Madge. And as always before, she adds something new to the mix, so that we don't ever walk away feeling like it's just the last tour Part II. In the case of the Confessions Tour, she introduces of-the-moment and oh-so-current phenomena of krumping and the musical mash-up. But instead of just making use of them as toss-off cultural references to keep on-trend, she applies them to her own lexicon of dance floor disco, confessional self-awareness, and politically outspoken rabble-rousing.


It's a shame that the industry standard of allowing photographers to shoot only the first 3 songs of a concert means that the bulk of the images to represent the tour will imply that the whole thing is an equestrian bondage fantasy. However, it does save all the subsequent themes, sets and costumes as surprises for the ticketholder alone. Which means only the initiated get to experience her gravity-defying flights of fancy, ferocious fights, and fantasy disco dancefloor fabulousness.


My favorite memories and lasting mental images? Lady Madonna's entrance, emerging from a mammoth disco ball that had just descended from the heavens (read: ceiling). Her dancers' incredible feats of derring-do, leaping from deranged heights during "Jump." Madge as Bianca Jagger-meets-John Travolta in white disco tuxedo, hitting us with some unforgettable Saturday Night Fever moves during "Music Inferno," itself a mash-up of "Music and "Disco Inferno." Perhaps Madge on the cross might have had more oomph if it hadn't been one of the most widely publicized "controversial" elements of the tour. On the other hand, Isaac Sinwani, the Cantor who sings the Yemenite chants in the song that bares his name ("Isaac"), opened the song by blowing the shofar -- a long, curled ram's horn blown during traditional religious services. It sent chills down my spine to hear the sound echoing around the rafters of Madison Square Garden. Unforgettable. And the image of George Bush batting his eyelashes at us during her political rant mantage, "Don't Speak," brought down the house.


 That said, I do think Madonna is slowing down. Alumni of her Blonde Ambition, Girlie Show or Drowned World tours will recall that every last song brought an explosion of Madonna's dance energy that didn't quit. In this tour, the dancing queen allowed her dancers to carry much of the burden of boogie during the middle third of the show. Dare I say it? I must! She trotted out the guitar for no less then 4ish songs, which made me wonder if she was merely loving the rocker chick image, or hiding behind the guitar, catching a sorely needed breather? Overall, the choreography lacked the luster of the Girlie Show -- with the notable exceptions of the equestrian bondage number at the start of the show, the aforementioned acrobatics of "Jump," the krumpers that led into "Live to Tell," and the roller derby and disco trifecta of "Music Inferno," "La Isla Bonita," and "Erotica." 

The underlying message is this: Catch Madonna now. You're in for a show that is, without exaggeration, unforgettable. And though future tours will undoubtedly be incredible, you'll be glad you saw her while she still has this level of energy to give. It is sure to wane, however slowly, as time goes on.

Here's a quick link for her full tour:

Read CityGuide's review of the Confessions Tour:

See more in the Confessions Tour photo gallery:

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Summer Concerts Poll: Wildest Tailgating Party Ever?

All right, party animals. We can all admit that summer concerts aren't always just about the music. Sometimes the party in the parking lot is half the reason we go to see a certain artist or two. Whether your fave scene is a smokey city of tapestry-trussed VW busses stretching as far as the eye can see, or a bevy of leather miniskirted, Tommy Lee-worshipping metal mistresses, the draw is undeniable. It's all about enjoying a sense of community, a sense of naked jubilation, a sense of... Hey wait! Snag me one of those margaritas, will you?

Share your all-time best tailgating stories:
Tell your tales: You know you want to!
You voted on these choices:
--The Grateful Dead
--Jimmy Buffett
--Motley Crue
--The Beach Boys
--Vans Warped Tour
--Van Halen
School us on our glaring omissions:
State the obvious: Tell us which ones we missed!
You're never just a number to us:
Vote in this week's poll: Your opinion counts!

Saturday, July 1, 2006

Best Show Ever? Your Top Concert Memories

Tell Us What You Think:
Many say The Beatles were best, others argue Elvis was King, and some say Eric Clapton slides past 'em all to rank at #1. While we agree U2 are the bomb, Bruce is boss, and Phish were phab, Jay-Z hovas at the top and Madonna may just dance into 1st place. Whatever your vote, there's no denying people are opinionated about music, and downright passionate when declaring the best concert experience they've ever had. So spout off and add your voice to the multitudes shouting the praises of the very best of the best.

What was top of your pops?
Let us know: Tell your top tour tales.

Not sure what to say?
Read others' comments: Get inspired & get started.

You're not just a number to us:
Vote in this week's poll: Your opinion counts!