Results tagged ‘ Rays Concerts ’

Train Took Us on a Perfect Musical Trip

From the moment the Train whistle first made its echo throughout Tropicana Field, until Train lead singer Pat Monohan’s last gracious words of gratitude towards the loud assembly of Tropicana Field back-up singers who collectively started swinging and swaying right in tune with Train’s first offering, “50 Ways to Say Goodbye” and didn’t stop even as the band made their exit stage right.

I hope the Rays and their fans take it as an ultimate compliment that the band “wanted” to come back and play after a game, possibly setting the stage last night for possibly the Rays concert conductor to post them again in the future. I love it when I hear gushing compliments from the musical acts, and last night I heard the same kind of vibes I have overheard from LL Cool J and ZZ Top who also made return engagements within the Trop. this season.

And Train not only delivered with gusto last night, they might be the one band I have seen during the entire Rays Concert Series who had such a great time up on the stage performing post-game as there were miles and miles of smiles from ear-to-ear from every member of the band from the first note, to the last. That kind of excitement and good vibrations does rub off on the assembled masses, and they were noisy, singing every verse and looking like a sea of humanity from my perch in the front of the stage for the first 3 songs.

A lot of that has to be the great music that blasted out from the stage, but you can not discount for a moment the charismatic and appealing vocals of Monahan who once played in a Led Zeppelin cover band before becoming a firm grounding point and vocal reference for this band from the San Francisco bay area. From their long time classics “Drops of Jupiter”, “Meet Virgina”, “Calling All Angels” to their new found classic tunes “Marry Me”, Save Me San Francisco”, “Hey Soul Sister” and their last offering “Drive By”.

As you can tell, I am a Train fan, but I was not an adamant Train listener until their first trip through Tropicana Field back in 2010 when Monahan did an impromptu race around the Trop turf with Rays Security in pursuit to protect Pat from his overly-zealous fans. But that is another of things I found appealing from this band, spontaneous decisions based on the vibe and music, possibly ending with a stroll around the outfield.

I can bet I’m not the only one hoping to see Train again in 2 years or so because this band definitely delivers a true and hearty meal of beats and tunes with a perfect mixture of past and present from their first self-titled album “Train” back in 1998 to their latest “California 37”. Some band tend to phone in their older classics, but Monahan and crew puts on a stellar show on that small Rays stage that ultimately make you want to hear them again, possibly on the drive home just to revisit the whole fantastic experience. How many days until Train returns again to embrace us all with their music?

Here is my public access Flickr Photostream with all of the Train concerts photos

Rays Concert Guest Miranda Cosgrove in Tour Bus Accident

In a bit of news today that will send a dark cloud throughout the younger regiment of the Rays Republic, Nickelodeon “iCarly” star Miranda Cosgrove was in an 2-vehicle accident last night.

As of this moment, Cosgrove who suffered a broken right ankle from the accident has postponed her current “Dancing Crazy” Tour, which included a Rays/Hess Express Saturday Night Concert on September 3, 2011. As of this moment, Cosgrove and her mother will return to their home to “heal up”.

The incident happened during the night hour’s while Cosgrove’s tour bus was winding it ways towards Kansas after a concert in Ohio on Wednesday evening. The accident occurred on I-70 just outside of Vandalia, Illinois.

On a mostly pitch black road, Cosgrove’s tour bus driver suddenly came upon a overturned semi tractor trailer unit and instead of trying to swerve and possibly overturn themselves, the driver made an assertive move to brake and hit the overturned truck head-on.

Of the 5 people on board the bus, Cosgrove sustained a fractured right ankle that will require a cast, and a broken right big toe. The driver sustained the blunt of the force of the accident and had to be airlifted from the crash scene to a local hospital where he received 45 stitches for his injuries. Cosgrove’s mother also received some bruises in the collision.

Cosgrove has been more than adamant that the course of action by her tour bus driver was courageous and kept the injuries and possibilities of further harm to a minimum. Cosgrove has told people close to her “if it wasn’t for her bus driver’s quick thinking this morning, she might be dead now.”

This is not the first time the Tampa Bay Rays front office has had to deal with a accident concerning one of their planned concert guests. Most Rays fans might remember the Go-Go;s had to cancel their 2010 Rays/Hess Express appearance after band member Jane Weidlin suffered a major ACL tear during a 20-foot fall during a hike in the California mountains.

A possible scenario could be that Cosgrove could still perform for her Tropicana Field date after the Rays take on the Baltimore Orioles, but in stark reality, the concert by Cosgrove could possibly be canceled in the next few days

With the concert still over 3 weeks away, there is still a small window of time for Cosgrove to possibly resume her tour and the Tropicana Field date, but rest and the healing process might be the best medicine for Cosgrove right now than performing.

In reality, within the next few days it is possible the Rays will announce a cancellation of the concert, with a possible substitute band possibly announced in Cosgrove’s place.

It is a shame this budding star had the misfortune of coming upon the overturned tractor trailer in the dead of night, but the quick thinking of her tour bus driver adverted an impending disaster and a more uncertain result. Maybe Cosgrove can also follow the  2011 path of the Go-Go’s coming back to the Trop and performing for the fans. Could we possibly see Cosgrove do the same in 2012 and come back and perform for her Tampa Bay fans?

Drivers with Chauffeur’s licenses sometimes get a bad rap by people traveling on the highways and byways of this country. This time the safety training and impulse judgment of a experienced driver might have saved more than a life, it saved a budding icon.  Godspeed to the driver and to Miss Cosgrove  during their recovery.

 

Accident Photos by KDKS.com

Just Like a Musical Avalanche, Goo Goo Dolls Picked Up Speed and Swept Us Away

Taking photos during a concert sometimes comes with their own hidden dangers. Now I am not talking about the time Vanilla Ice wanted to get every photographer wet in the pit, or even when Pat Monahan of Train decided to do an impromptu journey around the Trop turf. Sometimes artists just do not like the camera.

That same scenario came to head Saturday night during the Goo Goo Dolls show during the Rays/Hess Express Saturday Night Concert Series. It has been common knowledge to those who follow music that Goo Goo Dolls lead singer John Rzeznik’s propensity to be camera shy. Most people might not know that in the beginning Rzeznik would not sing due to his shyness.

So the night was an adventure in creative poising and posturing, hoping for the right shot, or maybe even a facial glance towards a lens. Not going to say the night was a total success, but Rzeznik did give me a few well aimed photos, and a night to remember.

Ironically, it was after their third song “Here Is Gone” that Rzeznik began to unfold his personality and. the real concert went from 0-60 in a flash.

Here is a bit of Goo Goo Dolls trivia for the Rays Republic, Rzeznik did not officially become the voice of the band until their third album “Hold Me Up: in 1990. Previously it was Robby Takac the band wild bass guitarist that took the mic before Rzeznik became comfortable and they started cranking out their many hits.

The band’s 17-song set was a huge flashback for some fans that displayed just how much the band had matured and grown as artists since their first hit. From their first song of the night “Last Hot Night” to their final song “Broadway”, the band really did take us down an interesting path with Rzeznik becoming more and more personable as the night went along.

Even with the bump in the road in the beginning, this was a great concert filled with songs we all knew by sound, if not by heart. From “Slide” introduced second on Saturday night to “Iris” being performed in a different way, but still have the same heart string pulls of emotion. This is a band that embodies the 1990’s in so many ways, even though their biggest hit “Iris” did not hit the charts until 1998.

After the third song with our cameras in our bags and non of us milling about the photo pit, truly the night began to shine for Rzeznik and the rest of the Goo Goo Dolls. It truly was a great way to bring to a close the Go-Go Goo Goo weekend of concerts. By the way, the Rays did ask about the possible inclusion of possibly Lady GaGa performing, but the team balked at a $ 1 million asking price.

Still a Go-Go Goo Goo Gaga weekend would have been beyond historic. Still, the Goo Goo Dolls were the perfect cheery on top of the 2 concert events, complete with smoke machines, a light explosion and the vocals of Rzeznik that you could recognize even in a vacuum. It was seriously that good.

Even as the assembled masses were trying to get the band to come out for an additional song, their 17-song set and night was over just before the clock neared the midnight hour. I especially like their rendition of the classic 1977 Supertramp hit “Give A Little Bit”. No disrespect to the 1970’s iconic band, but I enjoyed Rzeznik’s personal changes and riffs a bit more than the original.

In the end as band that began their journey with the name The Sex Maggots and were banned by some promoters in Buffalo, New York from clubs found their groove. Even Rzeznik found his rhythm, found his voice and provided another moment in Rays concert history we will all never forget, especially the photographers’.

Goo Goo Dolls Rays Renegade Flickr Photostream

Looking Back at the Rays 2010 Concert Series…Part 2

 


 

So after a few days getting over a slight bit of misfortune of food poisoning eating some I relish…a hot dog, Ironically, it was my last hot dog of the year at a local High School football game against a bitter inner-city rival that took me down…Figures, thanks Northeast H S.


No more stalling, time to get this final edition of the Rays 2010 Concert Photos underway. One of the greatest thing I like about music is that the first few song of the musician’s sets are sometimes pre-programmed to get the crowd into a rising energy so that the concert can take a particular flow throughout the night.

The first seven concerts of the 2010 Rays Friday Fest and Rays/Hess Express Saturday Night Concert Series definitely set of tone for the final second half. From John Fogerty to Barenaked Ladies, the Rays concert events began and uphill turn that never ended to the last event of the year, Bret Michaels. Each of the 14 concerts this year left a special mark with me. I was lucky to take photos during 12 of the 14 Rays concerts and get in tune with practicing my concert photography.

 

I am not a professional photographer, and my little Fuji S5100 has seen better days (Thanks drunken Yankee fan), but I think I do the best with what I got. Sure would love a $ 4,000+ Canon or Nikon camera body and a lens as long as my arm, but that is not in the slim, money-less budget right now. Now back to the awesome years in Rays music.


 

 

Vanilla Ice did not attract as many to the Trop’s infield as I might have thought for his concert, but it was the most high energy event of the year. Vanilla Ice has changed his modes operandi to push more towards the hard guitar and drumbeats that pumped through the crowd like a large heartbeat. Combine that with the (I thought) whimsical idea of Vanilla Ice trying to get the photographers’ wet, and you get a audience/photog participation event. This was the first of three straight Friday Fest concerts that would hit all spectrums of the music World, and it hit on all levels.


Sure most in the front photo pit with me that day did not totally see eye-to-eye with the whole water and expensive cameras’ bit, but I was laughing and having a good time dodging the 20 ounces of unexpected water, and a few time Vanilla Ice looked down and smiled at me that I seemed to have understood it was part of his method…or his madness. It was tied for my favorite Rays concert offering of the season, and a great way to push off the second half of the concert schedule.

 

Of course there was one concert missing from this list this season, and I want to send out good vibes hoping that GoGo’s guitarist Jane Wiedlin recovers perfectly from her ACL injury sustained when she fell while hiking near her home in California. With up to a year recovery time for such an injury, hopefully we can again see the GoGo’s possibly perform in the future. It is a great concert event that I have not missed (even in Jannus Landing) since the band first started coming to the Tampa Bay area.


 

 

Los Lobos is one of those bands that I do not think would have ever hit y musical tastes if not for their great rendition of the classic Ritchie Valens “La Bamba“. I also would not have known that recent Oscar winner T-Bone Burnett produced their first album “How Will the Wolf Survive” and one of the songs from that album is playing over the opening credits to the Sean Penn/Robert DeNiro classic “Colors“.


My first tastes in live music were preserved in a small beachside bar in Maderia Beach, Florida that a certain well known Florida ocean troubadour used to frequent named Jimmy Buffett when he came up to see his band pal Mike Utley.

I got used to hearing tunes that flowed with the waves and just seemed to roll in the ears and settle for a while to sit and ponder things. I got the same vibe from this Friday Fest concert by Los Lobos. It might have been more refined to a South Texas border town that a beach resort on the Gulf of Mexico, but the whole time I was wishing for a boat drink…or a shot of Avion (thanks Entourage).


 

 

The next Rays Friday Fest event featured a band that to this point had to be the most audience involved and totally choreographed dancers of the Rays concert series. Felt kind of eerie at first covering the Village People concert more for the fact of having to remember what I wore back then, and seeing myself again with long curly hair, but I took one for the team here.

Seriously, it was a great event in that we got to see most of the original members of the band still out there supporting their music and dancing their well known routines. But it did seem a bit unusual to me to see rhinestones and glitter on a construction worker…just saying.


It was another high energy night and a great moment if you are fond of the 1970’s or even want to remember back that far. I even found a bit of glitter all over me camera when I took it out of my backpack when I got home. As a nice sidebar to this concert, after I posted my concert review, the Indian from the Village People actually Direct Messaged me on Twitter with a cordial thank you for covering the event. It was a great time in my life, so maybe I should thank him again for helping remember some great moments in my life sans the platform shoes.

 

 

Train really did roll in to the Trop for the next concert event. This is one of those bands right now that are right on the cusp and thoughts of so many in the music World because of their song “Hey Soul Sister” plus the million of samplings of the song in countless commercials and advertisements Worldwide right now.


Train front man Pat Monahan also did one of the coolest things I have ever seen done ( so far) during a concert when he posted two pictures of the crowd during their song “If It’s Love” that I still have as my desktop background on my aging laptop. Monahan also became the second performer to do an infield sprint around the Trop when he started an impromptu walkabout from the stage to the area near the Visitor’s dugout.

Reminded me a lot of the same run M C Hammer had done two years earlier, but Monahan seemed more at ease strolling amongst the 4,000+ fans on the Rays Field Turf.


 

 

Allison Iraherta was not originally suppose to open for Adam Lambert, but Orianthi had to pull out of the opening act gig after some family situations. Iraherta still looks a bit nervous and wooden on stage, but her music more than makes up for any sense of clumsiness or irrational movements on stage. But the raspy voice of this young woman definitely makes you remember her voice and her music.


She has one of those resounding voices that brings back memories of past singers like Janis Joplin or even Joan Baez. Iraherta will definitely be on that “one to watch” list, and opening for Lambert will get you some extra exposure she desperately needs to get noticed beyond her huge American Idol triumphs. In time the stage set will mellow out and become more fined, and with that the star in the center of the stage belting out those tunes will shine brighter.

 

 

What can you say about Adam Lambert’s concert. Well, I guess my concert review was good enough to still be placed on his International website and with that came over 78 comments within 24 hours. Got to tell you I always know bands have their followers, but this guy definitely has an army ready, willing and able to carry out his wishes. But the concert was even more amazing to me than the response by his followers. It really was stage musical to me. Set with great costumes, gyrating dancers and spectacular musicians playing some incredible music.


For effect, this concert was tied for the best concert event (with Vanilla Ice) of the year for me. It has a little bit of everything to it. And the wildest part is that one of my photos was also popped on the Lambert website and I took it from over 100 yards away since this is one of the two concerts I did not get approved for ahead of time…how ironic is that.

But it was a fantastic journey of music performed by Lambert, and his dancers brought a great melding of it all together into something worthy of the Broadway stage. Some might say it is more of a stage show than a concert, but I remind you that David Bowie and countless other have done just the same thing for a long, long time.


 

 

Last, but definitely not least is the Rays Saturday Night Concert I was waiting for all year. The climax at the end where I got to see another artists that every time he comes into the Tampa Bay area as a solo artist, I am in the crowd. The last time was in a more fan-friendly environment of Ruth Eckerd Hall, but no matter where you put him, Bret Michaels is all about the music and a good time.


When the announcement was originally made near the end of May, it might have seemed to ambitious or even ill advised for Michaels to throw himself back into his musical tour so early after his health situations, but that is one of things that endears you to him…his strength, fan commitment and his desire to do what he loves to do….sing to the masses.

Some might say the night was not as energetic or the usual ” Bret Michaels” show. But to me it was a celebrate of his music and a way for all of us to send some healing vibes and also sing a few classic tunes that always stick in our minds. Michaels even did the Country version of “Every Rose Has Its Thorns“, and it was taken in by the crowd like it was the original. For myself, it was the perfect ending to the Rays 2010 concert series. I was taken photos of a rock icon who had taken a dirty and dangerous road of medical problems and whisked them away like road dust to sing.


 

Some say these Rays concerts were devised for the pure sake of escalating Rays attendance figures and bolstering their overall yearly numbers while most of the Major League Baseball teams were experiencing up to 6-10 percent decreases in their yearly attendance numbers.

Sure that reasoning is true, but I kind of look at it another way. It is also a way for the Rays entire staff and the Rays Republic to collectively celebrate this great team we have here, and also enjoy some great music.


Thank You Rays for this year’s Concert Series. Looking forward to another killer schedule in 2011.

Looking back at the Rays 2010 Concert Series..Part 1

 


 

During the Tampa Bay Rays 2010 season, the Rays front office brought together 14 great artists during the course of the season to play in either during their Friday Fest celebration or their popular Rays/Hess Express Saturday Night Concert Series. This season the Rays surpassed their previous collection of artists by bringing some of the most musically loved and admired artists of this era and the past. This post will be a small collection of some of my favorite moments during the 2010 Rays Concert series.


It decided to cut the concerts completely in half and bring you 7 today and possibly 7 in a day or two to show again the music and the great fun Rays fans had both in the stands and on the field in 2010. I will try and pick what I consider my two most memorable photos out of the more than 581 photo that made it onto my online photo collection on Flicker.com. I do not in any way consider myself a professional photographer, but I can assure you I am taking a few classes this off season and the 2011 photos will be (hopefully) miles above my present collections.

So kick back, relax and maybe pop on a I-Tunes or Internet Radio station as I begin a short journey again through the musical journey furnished to all members of the Rays Republic in 2010. It was great journey from times from my young youth (John Fogerty/ ZZ Top) all the way to a duo of the most talked about artists in the last two years (Adam Lambert/ Bret Michaels). I can guarantee you, I will be checking these photos out for years just trying to relive the great moments and still singing their songs.

 

 

It was great to see John Fogerty this year out singing during the 25th Anniversary of his baseball-themed classic “Centerfield“. I had always thought Fogerty had a Southern twang and feel to his music, but this was the first time I have even gotten to see him live and really take in both the accent and the great musical talents this artist brought to us in the first of 14 Rays concerts. Fogerty did a great array of his own classics, plus a nice mixture of C C R classics to make the entire Trop seem to be swaying to his music that night.


 

 

ZZ Top was one of those bands in my youth where I had cassettes like “Afterburner” playing on my car stereo during road trips or if I was in a hurry to get somewhere. It was also the first concert that I got my green Rays photographer credentials to get up close and personal shots of the band during their first four songs.

It was a new opportunity for me, being an amateur photographer and blogger to push another nice item onto my online resume` plus get instantly into the energy and vibe of the concert. The definitely wasn’t nothing “cheap” about ZZ Top that night.


 

 

Nellie was held on the day after my birthday, so it had a special fee because of the significance of this date to me. But it was the great pumping of the bass and the music that got me to enjoy this concert. Instead of standing in front of stage tonight, I snuck into the front mosh pit area to take my photos tonight.

I think I took over 400 photos, but with the rocking and swaying movement of the crowded pit area, I got more than I expected to out of focus shots or even muted photos. It was a great example of why photographers are in the photo wells and not among the fans during a concert. It was a well lesson learned that night.


 

 

Hall & Oates was an interesting concert for me. Not that the band ever held a great significance in my musical tastes, but if you dated in the late 70’s-80’s this band held your dating prowess firmly in their hands. If you wanted to have a romantic rendezvous or even a chance to dance with your date, you usually had to have a Hall & Oates tune playing. But it was also a time to reconnect with some of the past for me as a few friends from Philly came into town and were more excited about being on the field than me for this concert moment.


 

 

Dierks Bentley is one of those country music stars you know by his music, but ladies just loved to mosey up and just watch him sing as if he was singing to them. His band just seemed to sweat high energy that night and it was one of those concert moments you do not soon forget based on the music and the high level of involvement and dancing even in the crowds.

 

Added a third photo to this selection because it was such a great moment to sit there and watch Bentley bend down and hold the hand of a young fan in the front of the stage during his performance..simply magical.

It was the first time I had ever seen a huge line dance of his hit “Sideways” in my life, and a moment that will stay close tome. Wish I knew that dance, but I have been sideways a few times in my life…maybe.


 

 

Most of Tantric’s music was a bit of an unknown to most Rays fans before this Friday Fest concert but we all collectively knew their tune “Down & Out ” because of its connection to Rays All Star Third Baseman Evan Longoria’s who uses the tune as his walk-up music. Just the first few bars from the violin of Mark Ratzenboeck and the entire Tropicana Field crowd went nuts yelling, screaming and singing the words to the tune.

Tantric was one of the concerts this year, like Dierks Bentley where I got to hear some new music that I was not accustomed to, but became a fan of the group after the concert.


 

 

The group Barenaked Ladies have a sad reminder for me. My daughter’s mother was ill and in an area hospital when I decided to take my then 10-year old daughter to Universal Studios for the day and the band was playing that night as a musical guest.

The music of this group is very up-tempo and their beats and rhythms can get you instantly into moving and grooving to their music. It was a special night then, and this night was extremely special also because of the group doing an extended set and really connecting with the Rays crowd on so many levels.

So we are at the halfway point in the photo review of the Rays 2010 Concert series and I am going to sign off now and get to checking out a few more photos and concert footage to post some more great moments and events online in the next few days. 2010 was for me one of the best concert years, and with the Rays also involved in that process, it became an instant “win-win” opportunity for me.


I was lucky enough to have photo credential for all but one (Fogerty) of these first 7 Rays concerts. But one of the unseen great items of getting this opportunity is being in front of the stage and meeting so many of the great fans who also wanted to get as close as possible to these artists.

 

It was great to talk with some of them before every concert, and even discuss both the band and the experience with them before the event started. It was fantastic hearing some of the opinions and songs they were hoping to hear during the band’s sets. But in the end, it was not about the conversations or even the photos, it was all about the notes and lyrics of this great music.

 

Dierks Bentley Photo Blog

 
 

 

I was asked by someone last night at the Tampa Bay Rays game after the Dierks Bentley concert if I coiuld provide a few more additional photos that the usual 20-30 that I submit during my concert posting,and I decided to add a few here,plus give you a link to my other site where I store my photos from all the Rays concerts, plus some additional photos hidden in the numerous photo files. So I hope you enjoy this fast journey through Saturdays night’s Rays/ Hess Express Saturday Night Concert event again and also take a moment to mosey over to the link and see some additional photos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Hope you enjoyed this fast romp back into the past last night at the Rays concert. I have got to go get ready to head out to the Trop for the series deciding game between the Rays and Marlins, butI will throw up ,y review of the Dierks Bentley concert soonand hope that you mosey on back and check it out. But, before I head off into the Rays sunset,let me throw out a link to my photo storage area where you can stroll through last night’s concert file, and maybe check out some of the other photo files hidden on this website.  Catch ya’ll at the Trop.

Rays Renegade Photo Files 

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