Thursday, October 11, 2012

An Iconoclast Concert Experience - The Wallflowers - Album Release Concert at the Fonda Theatre 10/9/12

The Wallflowers : L to R : Jack Irons, Jakob Dylan, Greg Richling

     The Wallflowers have been apart of the Iconoclast musical canon for me since the day my father brought "Bringing Down the Horse" album into the house some sixteen years ago.
    I first saw them in 2009 at The House of Blues in Anaheim with my Dad. Fast forward to October 9th 2012, I would be going again, this time thanks to The Wallflowers via their twitter (My twitter: @BionicJen77). I won a pair of tickets to their album release concert at the Fonda Theatre for their brand new album in seven years "Glad All Over."  I was put on the "Guest List," in which I then preceded to get the lyrics "Everyone here's on the guest list" from their song "Witness" off the much beloved album "Breach" stuck in my head. 
     My father decided he couldn't go with, so my brother came along. It's good for my brother to hear what genius rock music should and does sound like. Time for him to jump on the iconoclast musical sound wave. I am not sure he quite road that wave, but at least he got to cut his teeth on it a little... Plant the memory in the seed that will grow through out his lifetime. Its all you can ask for really.  
The Wallflowers - L to R : Greg Richling, and Stuart Mathis
     Arrival at the Fonda Theatre:

     My brother and I got to the venue thirty to forty minutes before seven pm. We paid the jaw dropping twenty dollars for parking, and got in the "Guest List" line. 
     While I was in line I got to meet a very nice fellow Wally from Facebook, Ms. Nina. Later I would catch up with another very nice fellow Wally Ms. Katherine, and we would have so much fun singing every line, and keeping rude people trying to push forward to the front in front of us at bay. Not completely successful at that, but we managed to whip a few tall folks back to some proper concert behavior...Possibly restore their much missed dignity or respect.
     Anyhow I had that guest list line from "Witness" stuck in my head waiting to get in. And in a rare coincidental occurrence they actually played it for us all that night. 
     A little after seven and we were all unleashed into the domain of the ring masters otherwise known as The Wallflowers, but not before experiencing the opening act. They weren't bad. Brave group of guys to take on paying their dues opening for an audience that didn't know who they were... Nonetheless we receptively welcomed them. 

The Wallflowers : Rami Jaffee on the keys!
The Iconoclast of the day , The Wallflowers started to play! (Read on)

The Wallflowers opened with "Devils Waltz" from their new album "Glad All Over." They then would launch into eight more tracks from their new album, of which I was ready for. Another fellow Wally gave me a copy, because they got the Vinyl with disc edition two weeks before release. And when I found out I was going, I studied the words to try to cram as much in, so I could express it out at the show. It pretty much worked. Thank god for sweet Wally friends!

And incase you're wondering I pre-ordered their cd on Itunes for the bonus track and bought a hardcopy on release eve and day. 

     The new songs are great. My top 3: 1. First one in the car  2. One Set of Wings 3. Misfits and Lovers. Unfortunately they didn't play "One Set of Wings."
Which brings me to the set list . Here it is in order.

From Guest List to Set List :

 1. Devil's Waltz  
 2. Have Mercy on Him Now
 3. Hospital for Sinners  
 4. Sleepwalker
 5. Reboot The Mission 
 6. 6th Avenue Heartache  
 7. It's a Dream  
 8. Misfits and Lovers  
 9. Closer to You  
10. I've Been Delivered  
11. First One in the Car  
12. Three Marlenas 
13. Love is a Country  
14. Witness  
15. How Far You've Come  
16. Standing Eight Count (Jakob Solo song from Women and Country )  
17. One Headlight  
18. It Won't be Long (Till We're Not Wrong) 
19. Shy of the Moon  
20. The Difference. 

Did I mention it was Ms. Katherine's 26th Birthday as well? Jakob acknowledged her and wished her a Happy Birthday, before launching into a killer version of "6th Avenue Heartache." Rami played an amazing accordion solo during this song. I'd rather show you than explain it. Trust me, it is much richer and telling this way. I recorded this magic moment(s). 

 I have to say "What was Jakob's slight obsession with mentioning Jay Leno at least two or three times during the show? Does he secretly want to become a silver fox himself ? Is he a secret name dropping rapper? So much to go with, so little chance to go there right now. I for one saw their Jay Leno performance of my favorite new song "First one in the car" off "Glad All Over" and I fucking loved it. There. Mission, rebooted and accomplished.

     We continued to shout out song request, that would never happen.... "Halo," "Somebody Else's Money," "Empire in my Mind," "Eat you Sleeping"... All fell on deaf ears, except "Empire in my Mind" sparked a reaction out of Jakob. He said it was a good one, and he would be ready to play it, but didn't think the others would be. 

  The band seemed to magically materialize a need to express to Jakob their favorite Wallflower track. Rami's was "Witness," Stuart's was "I've Been Delivered"... And I'm not sure Greg had a request, and I forgot Jack's favorite. I think I remembered Rami's and Stuart's because those are two of quite a few favorites off their third cd "Breach." Not to mention I had "Witness" stuck in my head before the show. 

And yes I captured both... The full performance for "I've been delivered." Probably my favorite song on Breach. 

And a bit of Witness:(Youtube wouldn't load this one. Vimeo it is. )

Let's talk Rami,  move over Ian Mclagan (Small Faces/Faces) :

     Rami tickled and commanded those keys like a real adorable, passionate beast! You've already seen him destroy the accordion so beautifully in 6th Avenue, but the whole night was no different. Mac of Faces fame, was someone I admired on the keys...Still do. However you can't say you are the same after seeing Rami play them with an empty Corona glass bottle. I truly believe him and Jack conveyed the most outward joy while playing than anyone else on stage. Stuart and Greg had a quiet mastering on guitar, and Jakob well "Who the fuck is Jakob Dylan?" (See Keith Richards). Kidding, Jakob had that rock n roll sardonic swagger and long guitar stroke going and of course his voice. That voice. It held a lot of long explosive notes (See "I've been delivered" around the "Anymore than I can build a rose" line). Amazing. However  I've never seen Rami so happy, perhaps a few spirits flew in, but if I ever contemplated playing the piano for another creative past time, Rami very much could push me to slap my Mom's piano when she isn't home to hear the damage.

Rami's Solo bit from Standing Eight Count:

     Jakob didn't have much in between banter this time. Perhaps there weren't any drunks yelling "Three way" or the urgency to perform "Something new, but something familiar" of an album release to entertain that energy within him this time. When he did speak to bounce off someone in the audience you could see the wheels turning to expel the wit, us fans have come to know and be amused by. Hmm... I'm going to put it down to him thinking about becoming a silver fox like Jay Leno. 
P.S. I knew the words to Glad All Over too Jakob.. Just saying with a nod and a wink. 

   Hold up... Jakob did have a story to tell as he looked for Ivy, a longtime friend of the band and whose garage that very well could have produced for them "Shy of the Moon" from their debut album... No, not "Bringing Down the Horse." Ivy was taking excellently skilled photos of the band as they played. Yes, Ivy was to the right of me at times during the night, and when Jakob couldn't find her, he said she probably got tired. He found her though. 

  Speaking of Bringing Down the Horse, my brother only knows and likes "One Headlight." My Dad still can't but gush over it, even if he loves Breach and other songs. I should know he played Breach non stop in 2000. Anyhow Jakob joked that he remembered he might have played the song before when they were last there..."Am I crazy?" he asked... As they launched into "One Headlight" as if they rarely get away without playing that song. I love it, but there are so many others I play often out of their catalog. Unfortunately guys you will see even when you're 67 like Rod Stewart, whom temporarily retired "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" he had to put it back quickly on the set list in past recent tours. However I do think "One Headlight" is nothing to be embarrassed by. No actually, except when the media on TV or Print introduce the band to their audience it is though. It is, because there is so much more to The Wallflowers than that one song.

 Last Thoughts? 
     First, welcome Jack Irons. You are a great and respected addition to The Wallflowers family. Secondly, Thanks again from the bottom of my heart to @TheWallflowers team on Twitter for giving me another fond memory of a band I consider still as one of the best, creative visionaries... Iconoclast. Thirdly, Thanks to everyone who experienced this show with me, it was actually the first show in a long while that I've experienced with actual true blue fans.... My brother on the other hand is still humming "One Headlight".. Oh, well I tried. :) 

For my brother and Dad : One Headlight -

For Me and the rest : Sleepwalker :
Two new, yet familiar treats:

Misfits and Lovers:
Hospital for Sinners:

Photos Treats:

I bought this great signed poster at the show. 

More video clips from the show: My Youtube:
More Photos on my Tumblr:


No comments:

Post a Comment