Results tagged ‘ Friday Fest ’

Dance Party- Trop Style

I have always been a huge fans of Industrial/Techo/ Electronic or whatever name they are using for this unique and special brand of rhythm and beats. I was a fan of the late night DJ induced music sets on the FM dial in my younger days, pumping the volume as loud as the speakers allowed me sometimes feeling the windows rattle in the car. The intense thumping of the amplified bass seemed to coordinate with my heartbeat. Both pumping, pushing and coursing music and life into my tired body as I listened to it religiously like the Siren’s song.

                                            

That same vibe came back to me and about 5,000 other Rays fans who packed the AstroTurf of Tropicana Field for the Friday Fest Concert featuring International DJ Astrojack. This definitely was one of the loudest concerts held in Tropicana Field since possibly Janet Jackson’s “Black Cat Tour”, but during this performance, it was the crowd that seemed to have the choreographed dances moves. With the first note of bass, the assembled crowd began their rhythmic bouncing and hand raising saluting and following the grooves and pulsations streaming from the huge loud speakers.

Combining the mind-numbing bass from his selected play list with the electronic visual movements and designs flashing upon the stage and DJ platform, DJ Astrojack came to Tampa Bay to impress, and he delivered and then some on Friday night. Sure the Trop’s seating bowl did not have its usual filled lower bowl seats staying to listen and watch the performance, but this style of music is not for everyone. Even today dancing to this type of music has to be a crowd inspired coordinated dance movement complete with hands raised high, extended arms to the heavens and letting your body absorb the pulsations.

I actually enjoyed the night from watching the glow-girl with her lighted hula hoop, to seeing both young and old doing their own versions of the “Night at the Roxbury” head bops and accelerated dance moves. It was definitely a musical event either you understood, or shook your head as you exited the Trop. I ventured outside the Trop to see just how loud it was inside the enclosed stadium, and wandered over to Ferg’s and could still hear clear as a bell the music as it vibrated off the Teflon roof of the Trop.

 The orange glow of the Tropicana Field roof made this inspired impromptu dance party seem more at home, and I swear I saw the roof flex and move to the music at least once. I eventually strolled back into the Trop. and listened to the last beat as it made its way through the Trop., echoing off the roof and finally coming back to my ears still leaving it’s loud impression.

The concert was a success if you consider the people who stayed swayed and moved with the pulsations of the beats like blades of grass. I was exhausted when I finally stepped into the cool air outside the stadium, but the intense pulsations of the sounds tonight still had control of my heart. It was one of those nights you will remember because it was a first within the walls of the Trop., and hopefully it will not be the last.

                                                                                                                                                        Blogger’s Note: Is it just me, or does DJ Astrojack look like a young Carlos Pena?

DJ Astrojack  Flikr photo gallery

Go-Go’s Took Me to the ’80’s and Back

It was great seeing my old friends, the Go-Go’s perform last night after the Tampa Bay Rays victory. Reason I say “friends” is that this group was at the essence of my 1980’s. They were the group who’s song dominated my cassette players as I cruised down Clearwater Beach as a teen in my convertible 1969 Camaro with my hair swirling and Go-Go’s music dancing in my ears.

Tonight that same wave of emotions, hopes and remembrances danced along with the thousands upon the Trop AstroTurf. From the moment lead singer Belinda Carlise lead the group on stage, dancing, we knew it was going to be an 80’s party to remember…always.

Even with their lead-off song “Vacation”, the girls again took me back to a simpler time in my life as I swayed and grooved to song I knew by heart, and had a special niche in that same pumping vessel. These were the first female musicians to steal my heart. It wasn’t the En Vogue girls, Vixen or even the Supremes, it was this California band that spoke of life in the same parameter path of my own.

But make no mistake, even though Jane Wiedlin probably can’t bounce around like she did before her 2010 ACL accident, the vibe was still the same. It was a festival of fun, frolic and calculated mayhem. Jane still did her swirls, even sporting a silver and black half wig to show her child side is still alive and well.

Karen Valentine is still one of the best bass guitarists in the world and it was fitting the native of Austin, Texas was there to jam out on a day when Jeff Niemann, the Rays Tall Texan dominated. This is a band that has seen its own members go off and do solo and duo projects and still have enough love and admiration for their own collaborated tunes to reunite and again rock it out Cali style.

I was entranced from the first note to their last strum after their encore where Gina Schock, the one East Coast (Baltimore,Md) born Go-Go helped introduce the band while cooling down a bit before the encore. Gina is one of the best drummer you probably have never heard about, but she is the accentual heartbeat and energy stalwart of this band.

Charlotte Caffey is a songwriting muse. Her own life experiences, along with her band mates dominates the Go-Go’s tunes. Her keyboard artistry is above the board. She might not be the most vocal and outgoing of the Go-Go’s girls on stage, but she more than makes up for it in her songwriting and multiple musical talents.

That leaves us with the firecracker herself. Belinda Carlise who has always been the focal point, and have delivered time after time after time. From her dances moves on stage in the middle of songs, to her bellowing vocals and range, the girl has been the glowing icon of the Go-Go girl revolution for a long time. The Cali girl hair might be gone, but she still rocks the follicles as well as our heart strings.

I can seriously not see this band flowing and grooving like it does without this perfected orchestrated 5-some on stage. Pity this might be the last performance ever of the band in Florida, because the Tampa Bay crowd that missed it or left early missed a great example of the California influence and vibe that rock the 80’s from stem to stern.

I have a special place in my heart for the Go-Go’s. They helped me understand women through their songs. Made me joyful when I was in the dumps, and always had the beat to get me again doing “ my thing”. This band started their motion to fame at the same time I was getting out of High School. Their music influenced me, had me dancing in the streets, halls and sometimes the Mall.

If you needed one band to put on a platter to demonstrate the ’80’s, it was these ladies. The Go-Go’s might be 30 years older than the first time I saw them at Bayfront Center. They may even not sit out at the beaches behind the Don CeSar anymore, but they can still take me back, in a heartbeat to days I will never forget. If this is the last time I see these fabulous ladies I can truly hang my head high because they did their thing, they moved the crowd. For that I applaud my old friends, for they made me proud I lived in the era of the Go-Go’s.

Flickr photostream of Go-Go’s photos

Fans get to Decide the Final Rays T-Shirt Design

 


               

It is not often anymore that the Tampa Bay Rays ask the fans for any suggestions or even help when planning their promotions. So it was a delightful surprise and a great addition to my Labor Day holiday weekend when I got an email from someone within the confines of the Rays brain trust asking if I would write about the upcoming Fan Favorite T-shirt design to be given out to Rays fans before the Friday, September 24th game against the Seattle Mariners.


Even more important, it will be the last available T-shirt promotion from the Rays in their Friday Fest promotional series, and what better way to close out the seasonal series than offer a Rafael Soriano designed T-shirt. By the time the T-shirt will be given out to fans, Soriano will undoubtedly be the Rays single season saves leader needing just 3 more saves at this moment to pass long time holder Roberto Hernandez for the crown. Interesting enough, with last night’s save against Baltimore, Soriano has firmly tied for second place with 41 saves with former Rays closer Danys Baez.

It is simply just amazing the way Soriano has come onto the Rays this year and solidified the closer’s role and boosted the confidence of everyone, even the fans when the ninth inning pops up. So it is more than fitting that we have a Fan ballot that will decide which of the three designs Rays fans truly think optimizes the player who has shut the door on opponents with authority this season. As usual, the first 10,000 Rays fans will be presented with the collectible T-shirts when they enter the stadium.

All three designs center around the common thread of the message “Dominate Late”, which is simply the way Soriano has taken to task his role against the American League this season. And being one of the top contenders for the American League Cy Young Award with his performance shows just how effective he has been in his role this season. All three designs also have another common element in that Soriano in all three will be striking his post-game pose of saluting to the heavens after the last out of the game.

But from there, all three have their own distinctive differences. So let’s take a moment to look at all three designs, then I will conclude with a link for the Fan Ballot and we can all cast our votes for our favorite designs.

               
  
The first example of T-shirt to be voted on has a distinctive blue and white image of Soriano as he give thanks to the heavens, then is punctuated by the word “Dominate” in what looks like a classic Old Style Serif, with the word “Late” set maybe in a Latin-inspired Norte Dame Roman Blackletter font. Striking also in this design is the way they included Soriano’s name within the black border under the word “Late” to accent the word.

What is also striking about this design is the way the artist made sure that all the prevalent material of Soriano’s signature and his jersey number were added below the border to pull your eyes towards that section of the T-shirt. Also interesting is the “TB” logo nestled right below his right knee. Another fine touch is the positioning of the Lion symbol upon the left side of Soriano’s jersey number. This is the second time this season a symbolic animal has been positioned upon a Rays giveaway T-shirt. Most might remember the regal Griffin design earlier this year on the James Shields inspired T-shirt.
           
              
  
The second design is basically just a normal back and white silhouette set upon a white T-shirt with the lettering being set in a simple but commanding Cleartype font, maybe in the a Cambria or Candara styling. What is simply unique about this rendition is the way the lettering of the phrase “Dominate Late” is just a bit off tilt in both words and give that forceful punch to the T-shirt. Another nice addition to the T-shirt is Soriano’s name running up the right side of his image on the T-shirt with his first name in a normal font, with his last name set in bold lettering.

This time the rambling “TB” logo makes it appearance up above the “T” in the word “Dominate” up near the clavicle region of the T-shirt. It is punctuated here with the same signature Soriano puts on baseballs underneath the “E” in “Late” complete with his jersey number in his own handwriting this time. It has a more “homemade” feel to it than the first design, and in some ways seems a bit less powerful. But the black and white design is a different approach than the Rays have done on most of their T-shirts this season where they have used color and graphic to make the words explode off the white T-shirts.

                

The third design seems to be more in the line of what the Rays have offered this season to their fans during their Friday Fest promotions. It is again accented by three dominant colors in the design, with a Carolina Blue accent basically whitewashing the image of Soriano and making it pop out a bit from the white fabric. Again we have the same pose by Soriano on the one side of the T-shirt with the “Dominate Late” this time all set in the same font style and consistent on the middle of the T-shirt.


In this design, the “TB” logo makes its appearance upon the center spot on the T-shirt just under the written phrase. What is so remarkable on this design option of the two corresponding lion figures facing outward flanking Soriano’s jersey number “29” that is topped by a regal crown all also set in a Carolina Blue color that pronounces boldly off the T-shirt. The last feature is another baseball style signature of Soriano’s set right below the Carolina Blue regal insignia based in a darker blue color to accent it on the white T-shirt.

So there is a small accented preview of the three Fan Ballot selections that will be online right here for everyone to vote on before they are distributed to fans on September 24, 2010 before the Rays take on the Seattle Mariners. An added dimension to the Rays final T-shirt voting process is that you can vote up to 25 times for your favorite design, so vote often for your favorite and who knows….We all could be wearing your choice on September 24th!
 
 
 
All photos used in this posting today are provided by Raysbaseball.com

Tantric was Soothing to my Rocker Soul

 
 

 

The first time I heard the band Tantric’s music was in a Sylvester Stallion produced film called “Driven” back in 2001. The film followed the scent of a young racing driver as he took his horrific plots twists and turns to getting his fingers on the Champ Car World Series trophy. The film was considered a flop by many in the film industry, but the soundtrack included a new band (Tantric) and their rising hit “Breakdown that hit the # 1 slot on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks List that year. And with their song being the first track on the movie’s soundtrack, people playing snippets of the soundtrack instantly got to know the band’s sound.


 

But Tantric has matured and shown great growth since their first sound hit the charts with a solid bang, and the band from Louisville, Kentucky has made sure to keep their rock roots close to their hearts. Sure the band has gone through a small transitional phase of tweaking its membership, but the quintet now have shown above and beyond that they are ready nightly to get the heads rocking and the music popping on stage. Most people might not even realize that Tantric used the social network Myspace back on May 8 2003, to release three of their upcoming album tracks to the public for a upcoming release called “Tantric III“.


 

When the band took the stage after the Rays versus Arizona Diamondbacks game on Friday night, lead singer Hugo Ferreira was more than ready to see if they could use their bass and make the canvas cloth high above the band’s stage sway with the pumping music out of their speakers. Coming into that night performance, most people had only heard maybe a few bars of their song “Down and Out” that was the walk-up music for Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.


 

But tonight, the crowd would get to hear and feel the pulsing bass thump throughout the Trop and see that the song has long meaning, and tremendous appeal, even enough to post up as high as # 8 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock list. Tantric has been pushed into that label of being a post-grunge band with a solid sound and tremendous vocals, but the addition of electric violinist Mark Ratzenboeck, who is also a Sarasota native to the band, brought out another element of mixing a classical sound into the heard pulse of rock music.


 

Some say the opening bars of “Down and Out” with Ratzenboeck might be one of the most frequently identified sound bytes of the band’s career, which spans 4 albums since 2001. Ratzenboeck also showed his many talents before the game doing the National Anthem on his electronic violin, but not doing a live segment of Longoria’s batting walk-up music as Longoria did not fair well the last time Ratzenboeck did it live from just beyond the playing field.

 

It was a great night if you are a hard rock fan as the playing surface soon filled with fans who did not have to purchase or wear wristbands as all in attendance were welcome to come down on the field and enjoy the Rays free Friday Fest Concert from ground zero. That is one of the measures that makes these Friday night concerts pop. The fact that fans can come down and dance, sing along or even just sit on the Trop’s field turf and take in some great music all by simply buying a ticket to that night’s Rays game.


 

Here is a band that used to tour with the likes of Creed, past Rays Concert performers 3 Doors Down, Kid Rock and Shinedown. Tantric is a group that covered the old Fleetwood Mac classic “The Chain” and has seen their level of success grow since they changed their original name from C-14 ( short for radiocarbon). Ratzenboeck is the only Rays fan in the band, but there is a distinctive American League East flair to the band as drummer Richie Monica (New York Yankees) and guitarist Joe Pessia (Boston Red Sox) all keep close tabs on the standings throughout the Major League Baseball season.


 

The band tonight threw out a number of songs from their recent release “Mind Control“, and made sure to leave all of us wanting more before they ended the night playing the song most people had been waiting for….”Down and Out“. The crowd had thinned a bit by the time the first few chords were strummed by Ratzenboeck, but immediately a huge cheer went up and the assembled mass quickly got into the music and some even sang along with Ferreira. The song was pulsating with the riffs of lead guitarist Erik Leonhardt along with the increasingly intense drumbeats coming from Monica’s drum set.

I swear the white cloth fabric was swaying with the music at that moment along with a constant wave motion of the crowd.
 
 

It might only have been the second in a series of four announced Friday Fest Concerts, but if this is the style of music and performances we will ascend to, then Vanilla Ice (7/9) and Los Lobos (7/30) will just send us into a harmonious upward journey.

 

 

Tantric put on a fantastic show, and certainly got a few more fans from their performance. There is an old saying that you have to “live and breath Rock and Roll for it to be real to you”. Well, if that is the case, then Ferreira is living the dream, considering he has the band’s name tattooed on him.

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