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Lindsey Buckingham – Carolina Theatre of Durham – concert review

Rock icon Lindsey Buckingham performed at the Carolina Theatre in Durham, NC this past saturday as part of his 2011 Seeds We Sow tour. I have to admit that I wasn’t all that excited before the show since I learned that the setlist didn’t feature some of my personal favorites from “Gift of Screws” and “Out of the Cradle”. But whatever issues I had with the setlist quickly went out the window once the man took the stage. I didn’t realize what a powerful performer Buckingham is. Yes, the guy is a virtuoso on guitar but his dynamic vocal abilities really brought the house down. It was amazing to see and hear how he fully commits to songs like “Go Insane”, “Never Going Back Again” or “Big Love”. Buckingham put so much passion and emotion into those performances, you ended up wondering if the guy was gonna literally pass out on stage. How the hell he could give 110% like that, over and over again at every show is beyond me. Big props to Buckingham because I consider that a rare talent these days.

After doing the first five songs solo, Buckingham brought out the rest of the band – Brett Tuggle, Neale Heywood and Walfredo Reyes. the guys did a fantastic job recreating the new songs on stage. In fact, some of these versions are even better than their recorded counterpart. “Stars are Crazy” and “Illumination” are two that come to mind. I also noticed that Reyes was playing a Roland electronic drum kit. I’m guessing that it was Buckingham’s decision to use electronic drums but whatever the case may be, I personally missed the hard “thwack” of a real snare on rockers like “I’m So Afraid” and “Go Your Own Way”. oh well, I guess that’s just me.

Buckingham shared a few stories in between numbers which was a nice touch. From all the years of performing live, Buckingham seems to be very at ease on stage. The way he spoke to the crowd was very natural and didn’t seemed forced. He definitely made a connection with the audience which for some other performers is a hard thing to do (i.e. Eric Clapton). As for the newly renovated Carolina Theatre – I love seeing shows in this venue. It’s a very intimate setting with not a bad seat in the house. Oh, and with the parking deck right across the street, getting in and out of the place is never a problem. plus the folks at the theatre are always polite and friendly. a big thumbs up to the Carolina Theatre and I wish the venue much success with the upcoming lineup of shows. as a matter of fact, I’ll be coming back for the Todd Rundgren/Utopia show next month!

I do have to mention a weird thing that happened with the sound toward the end of the concert. I’m not sure if the sound team were simply testing out the limits of the new sound system or what but the overall volume got extremely loud (which resulted in a muddy, almost distorted mix) for the last few songs. It was pretty noticeable since the sound mix was pretty much perfect up until that point. highlights of the evening included: “Stars Are Crazy” (way better than the recorded version), “Big Love” (yes, he’s played this version for years but it always packs a big whallop!), “Illumination”, “Trouble” (love the acoustic rendition), “I’m So Afraid” (love the long drawn out guitar solo).

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Big Country to play The Crossing in the UK February

I’m still not totally sold on Mike Peters singing Big Country songs. Yes, I’m glad to see the remaining Big Country members (Bruce Watson, Tony Butler and Mark Brzezicki) playing together again but Peters’ voice is just so distinctive and so unlike Stuart Adamson’s. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of both Big Country and the Alarm so you’d think that this would be a match made in heaven for me but listening to their live album, Dreams Stay With You: Live April 2011, I’m just still not convinced this works under the name “Big Country”.

But I don’t know… maybe this collaboration works better when seeing them in person. I doubt they’ll ever do any dates here in the U.S. but they’ve announced UK dates for February 2012 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their classic album The Crossing.

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DVD giveaway – Bones: The Complete Sixth Season – rafflecopter

Currently in the middle of its 7th season, Fox TV series Bones continues to bring in solid ratings. Normally a typical TV series is on its last legs by the 7th season but this particular show seems to be chugging along nicely. With solid writing and well developed characters,Bones keeps viewers coming back for more.

And you can win the 6-DVD set of the 6th season of Bones by entering in the latestRetroblog giveaway. You’ll notice that I’ve jumped on the rafflecopter bandwagon. There are a ton of blogs utilizing the rafflecopter app for contests/giveaways so I thought I’d give it a try. It should streamline the whole process which might ultimately allow me to host even more giveaways on this site.

But first things first. Here’s what you need to do to enter.

- Leave me a comment on this page – let me know what you like about the TV series Bones!

- earn bonus points by liking my facebook page and following me on twitter.

- you have the option of liking this post on FB to spread the word about the contest.

- you can also earn points by tweeting about it. (once per day)

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Bret Michaels – Custom Built – to be released

There’s no denying that 2010 is turning out to be the Year of Bret Michaels. The former 80’s glam rock poster boy seems to be everywhere nowadays. The man is simply unstoppable…literally. Not even a brain hemorrhage could keep the man down. Capitalizing on the renewed interest from his win on Celebrity Apprentice, he’ll be on tour for most of the summer. and his latest studio album, Custom Built is set for release on July 6, 2010 via Poor Boy Records. but wait, there’s more! Bret also has a brand new reality show premiering in the fall called “Bret Michaels: Life As I Know It”. whew, now that’s a full schedule. And thank the Lord Bret is too busy to film another installment of his dreadful “Rock of Love” series. it’s a blessing in disguise, my friend.

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Earn Master’s degree online from USC Rossier School of Education

With our economy still struggling to recover, countless hardworking individuals across our country are finding themselves without a job. Many have had to reassess their own lives and consider a significant career change. I personally know a good number of former colleagues that took advantage of their downtime to go back to school to work toward an additional degree. And with the advancement of technology and the internet, most of the coursework can now be done conveniently online. And these aren’t just small, lesser known schools offering these types of services. Major universities are now offering online programs including the University of Southern California.

USC is currently offering folks a way to earn a Masters degree in teaching via online from their world renowned Rossier School of Education. This is a school that’s been ranked #22 in the U.S. and #9 among private universities by U.S. News and World Report. They’ve fully embraced this type of interactive online learning experience and consider this a very important part of the university. As a matter of fact, all those that are participating in the online program are given full student status with all the benefits normally offered to their on-site students. And when it’s time to receive the Masters of Arts in Teaching degree, you get to participate in the commencement ceremonies on campus as well as receive a free lifetime Alumni Association membership. They’re actually expecting the first cohort of MAT@USC to graduate in May.