Posts Tagged Grammy Museum
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?
My Chemical Romance recently visited the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. Live before heading to Japan to kick off their World Contamination Tour in support of their latest hit album, Danger Days: the True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. Vocalist Gerard Way, bassist Mikey Way along with guitarists Ray Toro and Frank Iero sat down for the Museum’s An Evening With series in the 200 seat Clive Davis Theater. The intimate question-and-answer session was led by Bob Santelli, executive director of the GRAMMY Museum.
The MCRmy began lining up outside of the museum the night before, with some people traveling from as far as Argentina to attend the event. The audience was a great representation of the mix of people MCR draw to their concerts as people of all ages took advantage of the opportunity to see a great band discuss their career in an intimate setting.
The band were candid and open discussing how the events of Sept. 11, 2001, profoundly influenced MCR and helped shape the formation of the band. The Way brothers were especially moved by the incident and were inspired to change the course of their lives.
“I was doing something really irrelevant at the time that I didn’t feel was important, and I remember thinking to myself that I can’t waste this,” Gerard Way said. “What I ended up processing in my head is that life isn’t a game. It isn’t something you waste.”
Just after the events of 9/11 the band had their first rehearsal with the Way brothers, Toro and then-drummer Matt Pelissier. At the time, Iero was the guitarist for punk band Pencey Prep and supported MCR from afar as their first true fan.
“I remember being a fly on the wall when they finished the first song they ever really recorded, and they were so excited about it,” Iero said. “They would play it over and over again and high five each other.” Iero ribbed vocalist Way for high fiving the band members after completing a song but they chuckled as they admitted to still doing it now.
The band openly discussed their early years, their various musical roots with Santelli and appeared to be genuinely moved by fans traveling from as far as Argentina, and sharing stories of being inspired by MCR’s music to help them get through the rough times.
Iero became visibly emotional when a young cancer survivor named Melissa asked the group what their inspiration was for the song Cancer. The band spoke about spending time with children from the Make-A-Wish Foundation and how they were humbled by their experiences and amazed by the strength these families showed.
“We all come from such different backgrounds musically. We played what was in us and that’s really how the sound was formed,” Toro said. “I think we have a unique sound and a unique take on music, and that take is anything goes.”
Toro’s roots are founded in heavy metal, with Iero coming from punk inspiration and the Way brothers grew up on the glam sounds of David Bowie.
The intimate audience of 200 were treated to a signed CD from the band along with the opportunity for a group photo on their way out.
My Chemical Romance is currently on tour and about to take over Europe with a series of dates in February and March before returning to the USA in April for more shows.