ECLECTIC ARTS

ECLECTIC ARTS

Monday, June 18, 2018

An Evening With QUEENSRYCHE! Clearwater Casino - Suquamish, WA 6/14/18



Queensryche





Clearwater Casino
Suquamish, WA
6/14/18










Greetings,




On a beautiful pre-Summer day in the Pacific Northwest, the Clearwater Casino hosted a sold out Queensryche show last Thursday evening. The long time local die hards came out to see the band as they play a string of shows before their next record is released.




Todd La Torre, sporting a cast and arm sling (due to a broken bone in his right hand), took to the stage like he has the past six years and just wailed away vocally all night. Starting off with, "Surgical Strike", Whip, Eddie, Parker, and Casey did what they always do - deliver a show that reminds you why Queensryche are one of the premier metal bands.




"Damaged" and "Walk In The Shadows" were next as the fans watched the stage (and/or video screens as there were four inside the venue for those further back in the audience).




Todd, as evidenced at the last show I covered (in December 2017), is vocally bridging the gap between singing the songs as they were recorded and adding a dash of his own style into the proceedings. Todd has some grit and growl to his vocals when he wants to and in the right places, it works perfectly.




Other songs aired included, "Guardian", "Breaking The Silence", "I Don't Believe In Love", and two songs from the EP, "Queen of The Ryche" and "The Lady Wore Black", where Todd's vocals really stood out in December as well as at this show, too.




Of course a few tunes from "Empire" were aired including, "Silent Lucidity", "Jet City Woman", and the title track.




Whip and Parker played all of the songs effortlessly. I've said it in every review but I'll say it again here - I would love to hear Parker play a few more leads to even out the guitar load so to speak. He is more than capable - please let the man play more leads like the old days where Chris and Whip split the guitar duties. Thank you.




Casey did a fine job playing the drum parts to near perfection. He is visually fun to watch bash away as well and he has fit into the band almost seamlessly at these shows.




The band encored with, "Best I Can", "Screaming In Digital", and "Eyes Of A Stranger". They said their goodbyes, the crowd wanted more, and the night was over - for now.




I would love to see the band add say one or two acoustic numbers in the middle of the set to change things up a bit. Perhaps songs like "The Lady Wore Black" and "Silent Lucidity" or even something like, "Bridge".




I would also respectfully suggest that whenever the show is sold out, throw in another new Todd era tune. When shows sell out that's a good indication that a lot of die hard fans are going to be there (especially locally here in WA). Change up the set list by adding in something from "Queensryche" or another song from "Condition Human". There are some great tracks on both albums that are beginning to feel like they're being dismissed which is a shame.




The band is coming back to Rochester, WA on July 14th (a Saturday for those needing to know). If you missed them last Thursday, here's your chance to see them 'Ryche and Roll again!




Cheers!
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

EA on FB
EA on Instagram



Special Thanks: Theresa and Stephanie for the credentials - thank you for the opportunity! Jay, Bender, and the crew for making things hassle free! See you all next time!








Video Interview with Todd La Torre:






(click on any photo for a larger image)












Wednesday, June 13, 2018

BETTER THAN EZRA Put On A "Good" Show - Gig Review from Redmond, WA on 6/9/18!



Better Than Ezra





Marymoor Park

Redmond, WA

6/9/18





(click on any photo for a larger image)




Greetings,




Better Than Ezra - the Louisiana based alternative rock band - has been around since the late 80's. Their music filled with tongue in cheek humor and a melodic sensibility has been pleasing their fans for decades now.









On Saturday night, as the Washington weather took a dip south, the band hit the stage and performed a highly energetic set of tunes at Marymoor Park.










They opened with a medley of tunes before going through songs like, "Insane" and arguably their most well known song, "Good". 





 




The four piece sounded as good as ever. The audience was having a great time - even as it began to shower during their set (with an eventual rain delay before the headliners set).









Eight albums into their career and they show no signs of slowing down. Better Than Ezra was mighty good on Saturday night!




Cheers!
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

EA onFB




Special Thanks: Ashley and Jari for the credentials - thank you for the opportunity!








Monday, June 11, 2018

Suddenly I See KT TUNSTALL in Redmond, WA - Marymoor Concerts on 6/9/18!



KT Tunstall





Marymoor Park

Redmond, WA

6/9/18








Greetings,




I was fortunate enough to cover KT's headlining gig back in 2016 here in Seattle. She was so amazing then that I knew whenever she came back to town, I would want to be there. Well, some dreams cannot be denied as KT was coming back to play with Better Than Ezra and the Barenaked Ladies at Marymoor Park.




If you haven't see KT Tunstall before, she is incredibly funny and engaging with the audience when she performs live. Last time she had a three-piece band backing her, this time it was her and her "band" (aka drum machine, percussion, etc - recorded live and played with the help of her ever present looping station).




Starting off her set with, "It Took Me So Long To Get Here But Here I Am" from her last studio album, "Kin", KT sang and played her Gibson acoustic to the appreciative audience. Next up was a great rendition of, "Other Side Of The World" from 2004's "Eye to the Telescope". I found myself mouthing the words as I worked from the photo pit area. True!




KT kept the banter up with the audience inbetween songs - something I remember vividly from the 2016 show at the Crocodile. After recording the parts for arguably her most well known song, "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree", she quipped to the audience, "I bet some of you are like, "oh now I know who she is"". A few bars of the White Stripes, "Seven Nation Army" complete with kazoo melody was incorporated in toward the end as well (this was also done at the 2016 show).




"Hold On" was up next with a few bars of The Bangles, "Walk Like An Egyptian" thrown in for good measure. We got another song from, "Kin", in the form of, "Maybe It's A Good Thing". Kin is a fantastic album, by the way.




The 30-minute set closed out with the hit, "Suddenly I See" - with a very vocal audience clapping and standing in their approval.




And like that - her set was over. The best news of the night was when KT announced she would be coming back to Seattle in October. Trust me - she is an artist worth seeing. It doesn't matter what venue or what night of the week it is, go - see - her. You will be thoroughly entertained!




Cheers!
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts
EA on FB
EA on Instagram



Special Thanks: Alex, Tristan, and the team for the credentials - thank you for the opportunity!








(click on any image for a larger version)










Friday, June 8, 2018

SEATTLE SYMPHONY - JAWS In Concert! 6/7/18!



Jaws In Concert





Benaroya Hall

Seattle, WA

6/7/18








Greetings,




One of my all time favorite films is, "Jaws", the 1975 film from Steven Spielberg. For many they of course think of the great white shark that is the protagonist in the film. For me, though, it's about the performances of Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, and Robert Shaw. The character development and performances are just outstanding. So, when I heard that the Seattle Symphony would be performing the award winning John Williams score live while the film was shown, I knew I wanted to be there!




The lobby of Benaroya Hall was packed as I walked in to the hall. I was seated dead center on the main floor, which allowed me to watch and listen to every nuance of the performance.




As the lights dimmed a bit and the Seattle Symphony began to play the opening music, applause with a few hoots and hollers echoed throughout the hall - a great combination of respect and fun was going to be had during the showing.




Many in attendance had either forgotten about many parts of the film or had never seen it at all (especially those younger attendees). The gal in front of me jumped several times and was noticeably getting smaller in her seat as the dread set in, wondering when the next scare was going to come.




The opportunity to hear the soundtrack live was just amazing. Every film should be shown this way - with a live symphony playing the soundtrack!




The audience applauded at the right times such as when each major character made their on screen entrance, when the famous line, "you're going to need a bigger boat" was uttered (ad libbed by Roy Scheider according to Jaws lore), etc. Everyone was having a good, scared time!




If you love the film or the score or, in my case, both, the next opportunity you have I highly recommend attending a showing of the Seattle Symphony performing a live soundtrack to a classic film.




Lo and behold your next opportunity is here when in July, "Star Wars: A New Hope" from 1977 gets the exact same treatment. This is going to be a spectacular event - don't miss it!




Cheers!
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

EA on FB
EA on Instagram



Special Thanks: Shiva for the credentials - thank you for the opportunity!





(phone pics - not official)


Thursday, June 7, 2018

LES MISERABLES - New U.S. Tour Invades Seattle, WA! June 6, 2018!







Paramount Theatre
Seattle, WA
6/6/18


(show runs through 6/17)


All Photos:  Matthew Murphy




Greetings,


One of the most well known musicals of all time returned to Seattle last night as part of a new United States tour. "Les Miserables" - based on the Victor Hugo novel - brought a stunning spectacle to Seattle for opening night.


Nick Cartell as ‘Jean Valjean’ in the new national tour of LES MISÉRABLES.

The audience was filled with young and old, some new fans, some die-hard fans, there was a bit of every thing in the crowd waiting to be taken away to the France of yesteryear.


The company of LES MISÉRABLES performs “One Day More."

When a musical of "Les Miserables" stature rolls into town, there are invariably going to be different tiers of expectations. Some in attendance purely love the musical and want to hear and see their favorite characters come to life before their eyes. Others are going to compare and contrast the various incarnations they've seen over the years to the latest one. And, still, others are going to go in relatively fresh and are going to take the performance for what it is.


“I Dreamed A Dream” - Mary Kate Moore as ‘Fantine’ in the new national tour of LES MISÉRABLES.

The layers of complexity within the source of material of "Les Miserables" provides a rich canvas for the cast members to stretch their acting and vocal chops, making the performances their own yet still keeping within the history of the characters.


Emily Bautista as ‘Éponine’ in the new national tour of LES MISÉRABLES.

One aspect that absolutely stood out was the vocal performances from, not just the leads but everyone in the cast. I can't remember the last time I saw a musical where there wasn't some variance in what one heard from the stage. Each and every member was just spectacular when they sang all of the classic tunes from the show.


Allison Guinn as ‘Madame Thénardier’ in the new national tour of LES MISÉRABLES.

The sets moved constantly and created the illusion that one was back in France during the revolution, the barricade, the factory, the caverns, etc.


“Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” - Joshua Grosso as ‘Marius’ in the new national tour of LES MISÉRABLES.

Three hours - with a brief intermission included - seemed to fly by as this version of "Les Miserables" is astoundingly good. 


  J Anthony Crane as ‘Thénardier’ in the new national tour of LES MISÉRABLES.

For new fans or old fans - you will not be disappointed when you go see the show at the Paramount. It runs through June 17th with good seats still available. See you at the theatre!


Until next time,

Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

EA on FB



Special Thanks: Julie for the credentials - thank you so much for the opportunity!



PSA: For all patrons of the theater - please do everyone a service and refrain from making noises and comments throughout any performance that you see. It is highly rude to your fellow theater patrons as well as disrespectful to the performers on the stage. I thought this was a given for any theater performance but last night I was proven wrong. Thank you in advance for your cooperation for future shows.







BLACKTOP MOJO Near SODO - Seattle, WA 6/4/18



Blacktop Mojo




Locust Grove





El Corazon

Seattle, WA

6/4/18









Greetings,




The internet has provided great press for bands and artists that thirty years ago they wouldn't have received. YouTube in particular, where videos can go viral, has really helped introduce many great artists to the world at large.




Blacktop Mojo had their cover of Aerosmith's, "Dream On", go viral (passed 4 million views and climbing) awhile back. The five piece have been taking advantage of the opportunity by going out and touring their asses off.




On a Monday night in Seattle, Locust Grove and Blacktop Mojo steamrolled into town, ready to show the Northwest how they do it in Oklahoma and Texas, respectively.




Locust Grove played a set of rocking material - songs that would fit nicely in the hard rock or metal genre. The guys were tight and professional. No half measures whatsoever as they gave it everything they had and then some. Great stuff!




Blacktop Mojo came out and played such an inspired set of music. High energy, massive head banging (even though their tunes or more rock/hard rock than metal), and a go for the throat mentality, the band was on fire.




I was very impressed with the musicianship in the band as well. There were no weak links whatsoever.




Mid -set they brought things down by playing a two person acoustic version of, "In The Air Tonight" by Phil Collins. Sitting on the edge of the stage, with no amplification, the fans gathered around as Matt sang that song like his life depended on it. I could of heard a whole set of acoustic tunes to be honest after hearing that amazing rendition.




The boys got back up on stage and rocked our more original tunes before closing with, "Dream On".




Everyone I talked to was impressed with Blacktop Mojo. These guys need that proverbial break, opening for a large arena band, to get them the exposure they so deserve.




Thanks guys for making the drive to Seattle and I wish you nothing but success in the future!





Cheers!

Mark Sugiyama

Eclectic Arts

EA on FB




Special Thanks: Tom for the credentials - thank you for the opportunity!


















GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR Gig Review from Seattle, WA. 6/3/18!



Godspeed You! Black Emperor





Neptune Theatre

Seattle, WA

6/3/18









Greetings,




Every now and then I'll cover a show that is hard to describe, Sunday night was one such show. I've known about Godspeed You! Black Emperor for a few years now (even though they've been around since the 90's). The experimental music ensemble from Canada are known for their atmospheric scores and visuals when they perform their music live.




The show was sold out at the Neptune (on a Sunday night) so clearly they have a legion of hardcore fans.




Marisa Anderson opened the show with a set of guitar instrumentals that went over with the very respectful audience.




After a very brief changeover, the lights dimmed and a low drone sound echoed throughout the venue. The band members, barely lit, each walked out on stage as their parts came up in the first piece of music. The majority of the time there were eight musicians on stage, for a few numbers nine.




The films began playing behind them - scratchy like films of yesteryear. The music was layered and sonically structured to build upon basic notations that became more complex as the piece grew. At any given point a piece of music performed may be anywhere from 10 minutes to 25 it seemed.




The images mixed with the music emanating from the stage created this mind-altering type of experience. Powerful, poignant, and subversive all within the same piece, Godspeed You! Black Emperor performed two hours of music that left you speechless.




It must be noted that it was wonderful to not see a sea of phones up in the air for the show (the fans knowing to respect the performance (for the most part) by not filming - instead taking in and processing the show).




I left the Neptune in awe of the performance by Godspeed You! Black Emperor.





Cheers!

Mark Sugiyama

Eclectic Arts

EA on FB

EAM on Instagram



Special Thanks: Joni for the credentials - thank you for the opportunity!