2011 in Photos – A Look Back at Bruno Mars, Duran Duran, INXS and U2

by Cindy Robinson

Here we are at the end of the first week of 2012 and I wanted to do a post on my favorite photos of 2011 from the various rock & roll events I attended last year. While the list was small in comparison to years past, I still had the opportunity to see some great live bands.

I feel like I’ve conquered the technology mountain to get to this little post I want to share with the world. Laptop software issues continue to plague me as do the internet connectivity issues (do we hear a New Year’s resolution here?? Solve the tech issues in 2012!) and when I finally made it over these hurdles, I learned that WordPress blogs typically don’t support embedding slide shows from Picnik. Say what? I battled computer issues, stayed up until wee hours working on my slide show and my blog won’t host it?

Thankfully the information superhighway quickly led me to information that allowed me to solve this issue. I discovered Vodpod which allows you to embed your Picnik slide show into your WordPress blog. Shazam! It isn’t perfect, it’s much smaller in scale than the original so I feel some detail is lacking but I’m happy I was able to embed it and share with readers.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Let’s get down to the subject at hand – 2011 in photos. Wow, narrowing down a plethora of images shot over the past year turned out to be a daunting task. I intended to pull just one image from each event but soon found that impossible as image after image drew me in. So I grabbed my favorites and went from there.

For me, 2011  included live shows from the likes of  My Chemical Romance, Bruno Mars, Brian Setzer, Duran Duran, Honor Society (a band my daughter really enjoys who rose to fame as the opening band on the Jonas Brothers tour in 2009),   INXS , a book signing by Guns n’ Roses Duff McKagan and the long postponed U2 at Angels Stadium show finally came to fruition!

My Chemical Romance were incredible as their live show is always an intense throbbing mass of music loving people. This was our first time seeing Bruno Mars and it definitely won’t be our last. His live show was amazing, just non-stop energy from start to finish. The audience was also amazing – a complete mash-up of every type, size and age of concert goer imaginable. Brian Setzer always puts on a great live show too!

Duran Duran are my favorite band so my opinion of them will always be biased and I always enjoy seeing them live! Their Unstaged performance directed by David Lynch at the Mayan Theatre in Los Angeles in early 2011 really kicked it up a notch though when they added a list of special guests for their show that included Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance, Beth Ditto of the Gossip and super producer Mark Ronson.

INXS breezed through the USA for a short summer tour before singer J.D. Fortune departed the band for a second time. INXS look to be back on track for 2012 though with their new Irish singer, Ciaran Gribbin. Youtube footage shows his performances to be of a more mellow variety with awkward dance moves but I’ll wait to fully assess the new line up until I see it for myself. He’s got big shoes to fill and it takes time to grow into a role of that magnitude.

Then there was U2! I think there are few people who would dispute the awesome spectacle that is a live U2 show. This show seemed especially sweet to me as I had originally purchased my tickets in November 2009 and the show ended up being postponed due to Bono’s emergency back surgery and subsequent recovery. Finally, in June of 2011, they rolled back into town and blew us all away. U2 with Lenny Kravitz were worth the wait!

It’s always hard to narrow down the list of favorite shows, to choose just one for the top spot. Even though my list was much shorter than normal for 2011 (darn bad economy!) it didn’t make things any easier. I know I can cross My Chemical Romance off the contenders list because their record release show at the House of Blues in Hollywood in November of 2010 was their best to date that I have seen.

After thinking long and hard about it, I narrowed down my top choices to U2 and Bruno Mars. U2 live is so much more than just a rock & roll concert but ultimately I’d have to award the top slot to singer Bruno Mars. It was refreshing to see an artist I hadn’t seen before and to be thoroughly excited and energized by the set.

What were some of your favorite shows you saw in 2011? Who are you looking forward to seeing live in 2012? Are we all jazzed for the return of Van Halen in 2012? 80’s icon Adam Ant is due to tour the USA for the first time in 15 years! Preliminary tour buzz shows his fans are coming out of the woodwork like crazy. INXS are set to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their iconic Kick album. 2011 breakout band, Foster the People are scheduled to hit the road hard during 2012 moving up to larger venues as they trek across America. And it’s almost time for the big Coachella announcement! Who will they get for 2012?

2011 in Photos, posted with vodpod
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