Amazing Journey @ B.B. King Blues Club (5/31/2006)

Logo - Amazing Journey

Artist: Amazing Journey
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: none
Date: 5/31/2006
Label: various

When one looks into the back catalog of The Who and takes good stock of their contributions to Rock music, the result is very simply a body of work that will stagger the imagination. Roger Daltry, John Entwistle, Pete Townsend and Keith Moon changed the way Rock music was being delivered and their impact is felt to this very day. In its infancy, Classic Rock radio would be built on The Who and many of us grew up with these songs as part of our lives, even if we didn’t get to experience them in their heyday. For years, their influence in lyric and music have crossed genre barriers giving many of today’s greatest performers their pivotal influence. Bearing no slight to Townsend and Daltry, I can think of no Rock rhythm section that was not floored by the talents of Entwistle and Moon. There were no players like them in any other band and it would remain that way across the course of music history. The Who seemed to influence everybody when it came down to it and that was what would make this performance at the legendary venue B.B. King Blues Club all the more memorable. Tonight some of the greatest players in their own groups would combine talents and form “The Amazing Journey”, the ultimate tribute to The Who. Gary Cherone, lead singer for 80’s Rock sensation Extreme would handle the vocal duties as the main front person while guitar wizard Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big) would become Pete Townsend for the night. He even appeared in a signature Townsend white jumpsuit for maximum effect. On bass would be one of the best choices of all as Billy Sheehan (Niacin, Talas, Steve Vai, David Lee Roth and so many more) would impressively bring the memory of John Entwistle to life for the room. Given the fact that no one can just play Keith Moon’s wild styles the job fell to Michael Portnoy of Dream Theater and to be honest I would have selected no other person to do it if it had been up to me to form this band. The level of individual accomplishments these players had behind them is extraordinary and now for the sold-out, standing room only crowd we would be treated to some of the best Rock ever written. An interesting observation was in the wide and varied differences the audience had to them, it was young and older, rocker and more casual and an equal mix of genders. I felt it was great to see the whole night
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“Steal This DVD” by Korn

Artist: Korn
Title: “Steal This DVD”
Label: Locomotive Music
Release Date: 7/18/2006
Genre: Documentary
Rating: 6/10

Continuing their series of unauthorized biographies about some of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal’s icons, Locomotive Music brings us “Steal This DVD”, the unauthorized story of Korn. Due to licensing restrictions the film does not include any Korn music but does have a similar sounding music playing across the background. Musically Korn is not everyone’s cup of tea but you cannot take their unique contributions lightly. Born in Bakersfield California, hardly the limelight of Los Angeles this DVD takes you deep into their origins and what sort of trials and tribulations the group went through in their formative years. I found this a little more interesting than some of the other documentaries that the label released as the area where Korn is from was never the hotbed of musical attention. Learning what a band faced coming out of this area might prove an education to other up and comers should they be from small towns or other remote areas. Several pieces of Korn footage are presented but it is older footage and detailed histories on how each member became part of this phenomenon. This DVD is a pretty good watch and should sit well with the Korn alliance for despite a lot of more current footage and music I was able to take some good knowledge of the group from it. Many contend that “Nu-Metal” began with bands like Korn, so this will be fun for those fans to watch most specifically.

Track Listing:
1. n/a

Official Website: www.korn.com

“Wild Life And Wild Times” by Eric Adams & Chester Moore

Artist: Eric Adams & Chester Moore
Title: “Wild Life And Wild Times”
Label: Magic Circle Music
Release Date: 7/18/2006
Style: Documentary
Rating: 5/10

I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I popped this DVD into the player but when it began I felt myself transported to a world more like something found on the Discovery Channel than anything at all musical. The release itself is a documentary format of several hunting expeditions that Eric Adams (lead singer of Manowar) had gone on with hunting expert Chester Moore. Together the pair takes you on a journey across America as you are “treated” to the means of finding and eventually taking down several kinds of big game as well as some different kinds of fish. Some of the visual aspects of this are not for the faint of heart as they are hunting and killing the animals; I don’t recommend this if you are any kind of animal rights activist or a member of PETA. Fans of the one and only Ted Nugent might enjoy this more since the singer/guitarist is also an avid hunter like Adams. Perhaps Uncle Ted’s a bit better since I saw Eric miss a few times and hardly think that this happens when the Nuge has you in his sights. Several instrumental compositions that Eric wrote to go along as the soundtrack to the video are included but they are nothing special and serve better as the score for the film than they do on their own. I would have rather heard Manowar, and I was surprised that he did not use any of their music to go along with it. The sound is epic and film-score like and works but clearly it is more for background than anything else. Outside of the beginning sequence of the film there is not much that reminds you of Eric’s Metal standing which is a shame as footage like this might have added something to this piece for the viewers. Some of the scenery is stunning and the commentary interesting but the whole release is for a specific demographic and nothing more. While I myself am clearly carnivorous, I am not a hunting enthusiast or an outdoorsman so I did not take a lot away from this release.
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“10,000 Days” by Tool

Artist: Tool
Title: “10,000 Days”
Label: Volcano Records
Release Date: 5/2/2006
Genre: Heavy Metal/Progressive
Rating: 7.5/10

The first thing about the long awaited Tool CD that grabbed my attention was the packaging. Yes, that’s right I said the packaging. Ok, I know it is about the music, but true to form Tool once again has some top notch package design going on courtesy of Adam Jones. Just like the vinyl albums of the past with intricate record jackets – the 10,000 Days CD gives you the complete experience of opening up the disk and going…? WTF, Oh Cool! It’s much more than the music with Tool as it’s a nice introduction to the band and something to set the mood. You don’t get this vibe from downloading MP3s. The case has two lenses in a folded flap which magnify the eyes of a Tribal tri-face illustration. Then when you open it up there are pages of double images that can be viewed through these lenses. Basically the CD case folds out to become a Stereoscope, on which 3D images can be viewed. Flip the pages and the fun begins as you browse through a series of 3D illustrations, band member photos, and some strange stuff typical of Tool which can be stared at after or while the music plays. Where’s the bong?
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“Replay x3” by Rush

Artist: Rush
Title: “Replay x3”
Label: Universal Music
Release Date: 6/13/2006
Genre: Progressive Rock
Rating: 10/10

After I watched the deluxe edition of Rush’s “R30” DVD release I was pretty confident that the band had released pretty much the best video of their career. Yes, I had enjoyed “Rush In Rio” but “R30” was a lot better and not only a cool concert film but also a cornucopia of neat little extras. Those who ordered this edition got guitar picks, a whopping booklet and a backstage pass as well as CD’s of the same concert. I stood firm on this until I received “Replay x3”; a 3 DVD boxed set that takes all of the long out of print VHS releases and brings them together for the hard core Rush fanatic. Given the scope of this release I will outline the contents and thoughts separately for everyone’s benefit.
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