Results tagged ‘ Vanilla Ice ’

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.

Vanilla Ice Worked the Trop.

 

 

“So pump up the crowd and give ‘em something’ to step to

My D J’s at his max to enhance what I bring you
The concepts hittin’ so follow along like a cookbook
Acknowledge the pros from all the titles I took, yeah
The crowd’s at ease when I breath though the mic end
As I whip up a dance better move all the mic stands
I go to work on the floor like a wet mop
If you’ve ever been moved, check it out when I rock”

(6th verse from “Ice is Workin’ It”)

As the above lyrics definitely state, Vanilla Ice definitely still knows how to “work a crowd”. The Rays Friday Fest Concert might not have been as long as ZZ Top, or as laid back as Dierks Bentley, but the man who rocked the mic like a vandal can still get the crowd going, and the head bopping. Especially entertaining was the fact that Vanilla Ice was doing a game on the photographers in the front well, and some of us caught onto it, while others got mad and frustrated. Me, I relished in the fact Vanilla Ice thought enough of me as a green-tagged photographer to get me square between the lens cover …once.

 

 

But I had a blast. Not just dodging the Aquafina onrushing sprays from all angles, but the sense from the crowd of the enveloping energy spikes and rush of raw emotion and power that emulated from the stage to the crowd and back, several times during the concert. Vanilla Ice might not have a huge anthology of hits through his musical era, but he definitely made his influence know on Friday night, and he is one of my favorite acts so far in 2010. I have to say without a doubt, from the moment he hit the stage, until he exited stage right, Vanilla Ice definitely had this joint rocking.


 

 

Sure the bass was pumping like a heart, and the drummer was amazing back on the skins, but the intensity and the energy coming from the stage on Friday night was something you truly had to see with your own eyes and soul to fully appreciate. It might not be some people version of music, or even lyrical symmetry, but the guy can work a stage and bring the crowd with him at will. That is the mark of a good entertainer. They can take the ebb and flow of the crowd mood and work it either into a frenzy, or into a solid performance you will be talking about for a long time.


 

 

Both seemed to materialized on that small Rays Friday Fest stage. Vanilla Ice was working it with everything he had that night. From his sheepishly wild stage set-up with a inflatable Grim Reaper and assorted camo netting and insane clown figurines, to his ” water show” that kept going throughout the entire show, and had the assembled crowd yelling for me to kick the water bottles to them after they had been doused with pure liquid refreshment. The visual show on stage by itself warranted a video camera catching each morsel as it unfolded on stage that night.

 

 

From Vanilla Ice trying to get me personally four times with water blasts ( he got me squarely once), to some of the assembled crowd (mostly women) brought on stage during the last portion of the show to dance, prance and simply be in the “Vanilla Ice moment”.

From the always constantly moving water bombing clown in the Santa suit, to the drums beats of Clint Eastwood ( seriously, that was his name), the night always seemed to be flowing out of the turntables and beats to push the blood pressure higher, and peak out the adrenaline.

 

 

In the long run, Vanilla Ice did what he wanted on stage, and made no apologies for the sake of his music. At some points it was like watching a performance art piece going on behind musical lyrics. Sure so many came to hear “Ninja Rap“, which also had a remembers of the Rays game day staff onstage dressed to the nines in Teenage Ninja Turtle outfits rocking with Vanilla Ice to the end.

 

 

As the concert ended, Vanilla Ice’s turntable maestro, DJ Dirty Chopsticks began to play other hip hop classics to keep the party going as the crowd slowly began to exit Tropicana Field. But in the end, just as his lyrics had predicted, Vanilla Ice definitely “working it” and for that, he all left with tunes and beats still ringing in our ears…..Word to your Mother!

 

 

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