A Potent Dose of Live Gizzard


by Jonathan Cohen

It was a long time coming (to be precise, 29 months since the originally scheduled dates, which were postponed three times due to COVID), but King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard finally made their Red Rocks debut two weeks ago as part of a three-show run featuring “marathon three-hour sets” each night, with no repeated songs. The final performance will take place Nov. 2, and will air with professionally post-mixed audio beginning Nov. 6.

Whether you’re a devoted fan of the prolific Australian sextet or a curious newcomer, the Red Rocks run offers an incredibly potent dose of live Gizzard. Indeed, the band seems to be performing at the peak of its on-stage power, even as it releases three distinct new albums in the month of October (its 21st, 22nd and 23rd since forming in 2010). Below are some highlights from the first two Red Rocks shows, as well as what fans might expect at the finale. In the meantime, be sure to check out nugs.net’s King Gizzard catalog, which includes more than a dozen audio and video releases taped all over the world.


Night one: 10/10/2022

As cloaked in mystique as Gizzard often is, the group defused any artifice between band and audience on opening night by nonchalantly walking onstage to tune and adjust its instruments 10 minutes before showtime. Frontman Stu Mackenzie was wearing a green alligator visor in a nod to the lovable Gizzard mascot, and once the concert began, there was no doubt of its significance for the musicians on stage. “I can’t feel my legs,” keyboardist Ambrose Kenny-Smith shouted. “Holy shit,” guitarist Joey Walker said. “Let’s get fucked up! Have a good time and love each other.”

After two blistering songs from 2019’s thrash-metal extravaganza “Infest the Rat’s Net,” the first set was highlighted by “Magenta Mountain” and its long, tense closing jam with Walker on analog synth, the wobbly “O.N.E.” (with a tease of the dark, heavy boogie “Straws in the Wind,” which appeared later in its complete form) and the penultimate “The River,” its snappy, retro vibe upended by teases of the more sinister “Crumbling Castle” and “Wah Wah.” The set wrapped with the nine-minute-plus “Magma” from Gizzard’s recent album “Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms and Lava,” the product of intensive jam sessions that were then edited together by Mackenzie after the fact.

As a bonus treat for the sold-out crowd of nearly 10,0000, Gizzard premiered the first of two songs on another new album, “Laminated Denim,” over the PA during intermission two days before its proper release. “Laminated Denim” was also available for early sale at the merch stand at both shows, if you were willing to brave the 45-minute line.

Set two roared to life with “Rattlesnake,” one of the best examples of Gizzard’s innate ability to work riffs and grooves into lengthy instrumental explorations (this time with teases of no less than five other songs, including the next three on the set list: “Automation,” “Honey” and “Sleep Drifter”). “Ataraxia” was much faster and precise than its studio version on 2021’s “L.W.,” its chorus hook sticking in the brain like musical toffee.

For a group that most certainly jams but has not made many overt references to scene forefathers like The Grateful Dead, Gizzard submitted to the legends of jam band past on “Evil Death Roll,” its major-key, Dead-style workout tuning directly into the spirit of this legendary venue. The head-bopping continued on the new song “Ice V,” its fizzy, New Orleans swamp funk providing an intriguing transition into three songs from the concept album “Murder of the Universe,” narrated by opening act Leah Senior, who provided the same service on the studio versions.

Walker’s girlfriend later brought out shots for the whole band in honor of Walker’s impending birthday, while Kenny-Smith prowled the stage to sing “The Grim Reaper,” what he described as “some weird ass satanic rap for ya.” The 27-song evening concluded with a final dose of thrash-y rock’n’roll in “Planet B,” which Gizzard finished exactly one minute curfew.


Night two: 10/12/2022

What better way to start the second Red Rocks show than with a 15-minute “The Dripping Tap,” one of Gizzard’s best new extended jams? During a quiet breakdown in the song, Walker was presented with a birthday cake by his girlfriend and manager, remarking, “I was expecting that later in the set!” “Gaia” featured a taut, spacey section reminiscent of Tool, with drummer Michael Cavanagh nodding to that band’s Danny Carey with his creative roto-tom work. Walker positively ripped on “Predator X,” even finger-tapping a la Eddie Van Halen and throwing in one bar of “Perihelion” (which would later open set two).

“Doom City” was futuristic surf rock crossed with Black Sabbath doom, while “K.G.L.W.” was absolutely wicked, a sea of bobbing heads offering their full compliance in the audience. The set wound down was the rarity “Sea of Trees” (played for just the 15th time since 2012), its sleazy groove segueing into the satisfying southern rock of “The Bitter Boogie.”

The party was instantly restarted during set two’s “I’m in Your Mind” / “I’m Not in Your Mind” suite, the guitar riffs of which imagined being chased through a Middle East bazaar. Leah Senior returned to narrate six songs from “Murder of the Universe,” a jaw-dropping display of Gizzard’s instrumental virtuosity and dynamic command.

From there, it was one delight after another — the baby-making soul of “Ambergris,” the slow-cooking “Iron Lung” and its emphatic, Kenny-Smith-belted outtro, “Robot Stop” and “Mr. Beat,” which teased back to “Iron Lung.” The members of Leah Senior’s band snuck onstage to spray Gizzard with silly string and bring the 32-song performance to a close, as the crowd high-fived, hugged and gazed behind it at Red Rocks’ impossibly beautiful natural surroundings.


What’s left?

Knowing that the Red Rocks shows will feature no repeat songs, we can identify some likely suspects for the third gig on Nov. 2. They include favorites such as “Venusian 2,” “Plastic Boogie,” “Self Immolate,” Am I in Heaven,” “Float Along — Fill Your Lungs,” the complete “Crumbling Castle” and “Intrasport,” plus several songs from “Murder of the Universe” that weren’t played this week, “Shanghai” (the lone song in live rotation from the 2021 album “Butterfly 3030”), newer material such as “Sadie Sorceress” and anything from the upcoming album “Changes,” which will be released a few days before Red Rocks night three. One thing’s for sure: King Gizzard always seizes big moments like this, making Nov. 2 a show certainly not to be missed.


About the author: Jonathan Cohen is a veteran music journalist, editor and author of the New York Times-bestselling authorized biography of Pearl Jam, “Pearl Jam 20.” He previously served as the music booker for the first six years of Jimmy Fallon’s NBC late night show.


Get your pass to watch all three nights at Red Rocks, the first two are still available on-demand.

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Recap: The Black Keys at Red Rocks

by Jonathan Cohen

For most bands, the third show of a major tour is a time when they’re still finding their footing on stage, especially when its their first extended run of concerts in three years. Throw in a venue as formidable as Red Rocks Amphitheatre outside Denver, and you have the makings of an up-and-down night of live performance. But on July 13, these challenges were quickly overcome by The Black Keys during a 21-song set that hit all the high points of the Akron, Ohio-reared rock duo’s two-decade career.

The group’s 2022 tour ostensibly comes in support of its new album, “Dropout Boogie,” but on this night, only two songs were played from it. Instead, vocalist/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney gave a major tip of the hat to their Mississippi hill country blues influences by covering songs by R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, John Lee Hooker, John Fahey and Richard Berry, many of which were included on their surprise 2021 release “Delta Kream.”

Those tunes were made all the more thrilling by the presence of guest guitarist Kenny Brown, who played with Burnside for years and is an acknowledged master of the slide guitar. “Definitely without a doubt there would be no Black Keys without this man here on guitar,” Auerbach said of Brown before the musicians launched into Hooker’s “Crawlin’ Kingsnake.” Indeed, an 18-year-old Auerbach once drove from Ohio to Mississippi to see his blues idols in person, and what he learned from them remains readily apparent in both his playing and singing to this day.

At Red Rocks, it could be heard during Keys tracks like the new album’s “It Ain’t Over,” which featured an excellent solo, and “Wild Child,” which delighted with its thick, screaming riffs. Show opener “I Got Mine” and the stomping “Your Touch” were also nice nods to the Keys’ early days emerging from an Akron basement and into a professional studio for the first time. They were also the oldest original songs on the set list, which omitted any non-covers from the Keys’ first three albums.

That left classics such as “Tighten Up,” “Howlin’ for You,” “Gold on the Ceiling” and “Lonely Boy” to carry the lion’s share of the show, which they did with aplomb thanks to backing by the Keys’ trusty touring band of keyboardist Ray Jacildo and guitarists/bassists Andy and Zach Gabbard. Encore opener “Little Black Submarine” offered a momentary change of pace from the down-and-dirty rock’n’roll, with Auerbach starting the song alone on acoustic guitar before the band kicked back in. The mournful “Ten Cent Pistol” also demonstrated the band’s well-honed dynamics, with Auerbach emoting under a lone spotlight prior to the tune’s final chorus.

Although the Keys traditionally play a similar set list from night to night, the group had something very special in its back pocket after “Little Black Submarine” when it paid tribute to close friend and collaborator Richard Swift, who died in 2018. With surprise guest Nathaniel Rateliff handling most of the vocals, the Keys covered Swift’s “Broken Finger Blues” for the first time ever (longtime Denver resident Rateliff also worked closely with Swift on his first two albums with The Night Sweats). The performance upped the emotional quotient of a show that had already rocked quite hard, proving that The Black Keys can hit you in the head just as well as the heart.

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Bruce Springsteen in East Rutherford, New Jersey, 8/19/1984

ARCHIVE RELEASE: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Brendan Byrne Arena, E. Rutherford, New Jersey, August 19, 1984

A Beacon Calling Me In The Night

by Erik Flannigan

As measured by cultural impact and mass popularity, Bruce Springsteen’s 1984-85 World Tour was the apex. Considering its stunning scale, playing multi-night stadium stands, it’s easy to forget that 1984 was a rebirth of sorts, the start of a new era as much as a continuation of what came before it. On the biggest tour of his career, Springsteen was rebuilding the engine while the plane was flying.

Synthesizers like the Yamaha CS-80 had been part of Springsteen’s sonic signature since The River tour, albeit in a subtle manner that was more about background tones and mood. With Born in the U.S.A., synths moved front of the mix (playing lead, so to speak) on the title track and the smash single “Dancing in the Dark.” Fun fact: Did you know a CS-80 tips the scales at over 200 pounds?

When the tour kicked off at the St. Paul Civic Center in June 1984, Springsteen hadn’t performed a proper concert in nearly three years, but he had released two new albums, including Nebraska, his first-ever solo and acoustic effort. How would those songs work on stage with the E Street Band?

There were moves on that Street too, with longtime foil Steven Van Zandt exiting stage left to pursue his own solo career. Nils Lofgren stepped in stage right to take his place, bringing fresh energy and new textures to the band’s already evolving sound, bolstered further by the addition of backing singer Patti Scialfa, restoring E Street’s gender diversity first established by violinist Suki Lahav in late 1974.

The Live Archive series already features the first two shows and the final night of Bruce and the band’s ten-show stand at Brendan Byrne Arena in New Jersey. With the addition of 8/19/84, the penultimate show of the run, we get perhaps our clearest picture yet of Springsteen flying live without a net when the stakes were highest.

While he doesn’t come in for praise as often as other band members given his position in the sonic landscape, Garry W. Tallent is the anchor of the E Street sound, and he stands out especially loud and proud in Jon Altschiller’s new multitrack mix of August 19. His playing is thicker than ever in “Born in the U.S.A,” especially the bridge before the final breakdown, and Garry and Max carry a powerful “Atlantic City” that’s as good as any captured on tape.

ARCHIVE RELEASE: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Brendan Byrne Arena, E. Rutherford, New Jersey, August 19, 1984

Bruce’s own guitar strumming in the opening verse of “Atlantic City” is crystalline crisp. His vocals here and throughout the night are in peak form, a model of power and total control. Tallent’s bass part in the song’s final verse and chorus is sinewy, moody, and, as always, flawless. There’s also fine work from Danny Federici on organ as Bruce sings, “Put on your stockings, babe, ’cause the night’s getting cold.” Lastly, Lofgren’s background vocals in the final chorus ring true just before Bruce yells, “Draw blood!” They crushed it.

The 8/19/84 Nebraska mini-set offers two other striking turns. “Reason to Believe” is the one track from this show featured on Live/1975-85, but it gains additional meaning heard here in context immediately after “Atlantic City” in a different mix that again spotlights Garry Tallent’s superb bass arrangement.

Then there’s “My Father’s House,” in only its second performance ever and one of but five on the entire tour. Bruce introduces the song with a short anecdote about sneaking through the woods at dusk, “and then I had to get home and get by my old man…Sometimes that was scarier.”

In what might be the vocal highlight of the entire show, Bruce sings “My Father’s House” with vivid frankness, backed by the sympathetic support of Tallent on bass, Lofgren on mandolin, Weinberg on brushes, and Bittan on synth. When Springsteen’s rich voice rises with the line, “It stands like a beacon, calling me in the night” you’ll feel the chills. The solo acoustic “My Father’s House” from the Christic benefit show performed in 1990 and released in the Live Archive series is excellent, but this rare band arrangement is stunning.

The rest of the first set remains true to form for the period, with a nice stretch of BIUSA songs coming out of the Nebraska trio and classics like “Badlands” and “Thunder Road”  leading into the break. It’s worth noting that 8/19/84 offers notable readings of “Darkness On the Edge of Town” in the first set and “Prove It All Night” in the second. Both benefit from Springsteen’s stirring vocals and guitar work, and, in Van Zandt’s absence, Lofgren steps up. You can feel him meshing with Bruce, resulting in refreshed performances of two Darkness stalwarts.

The second set is as good as the first, and momentum is building. After the playful trio of “Hungry Heart,” “Dancing in the Dark” and “Cadillac Ranch” coming out of intermission, Bruce taps the Miami Horns for the first time since 1977 on “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” in a preview of their appearance on closing night 24 hours hence. The horns add much joy and vigor to the song, and while he was already having a good night, Clarence Clemons seems to take it up a notch, too.

A tender, solo “No Surrender” is next, then the aforementioned “Prove It All Night” and a stellar, crowd-pleasing version of “Fire.” The crowd certainly knows this one, singing along in full voice, and as good as the Big Man’s saxophone playing is, boy does his baritone voice sound sweet. He and Bruce milk “Fire” for all its worth. “Growin’ Up” keeps the sweetness and local landmarks flowing, complete with Jim the Dancing Bear (who wasn’t done for the night) and massive cheers for “Route 9” and “Toms River” in a tall tale about the early days of Bruce and Clarence on the shore.

Riding in on the emotional nostalgia of “Growin’ Up,”, “Bobby Jean” has heart to burn — and it resonates in a way it hasn’t consistently in recent times, as a standalone song in the encore. Bruce sings it as if Little Stevie were listening (maybe he was in the crowd that night, ahead of his appearance the next evening) and the Big Man lands the solo masterfully.

The set turns back to Darkness again for a pacey “Racing in the Street,” the coda for which is always a showcase for Bittan and Federici, with Bruce adding subtle guitar texture to their interplay. A long, loose “Rosalita” closes the set with extended and particularly funny band intros (e.g. “You may have read [Bittan’s] study of the lost tribes of Hoboken”), and this new model E Street Band is soaring — and most importantly, having fun doing it.

The encore moves from “Jungleland” (with Lofgren stepping up to fill one of Van Zandt’s best-known solos) to “Born to Run” (Federici’s glockenspiel rings out thrillingly) before the Miami Horns return to punctuate “Detroit Medley” and “Twist and Shout – Do You Love Me?” to cap the evening.

Nine nights into a homecoming stand for the ages, 8/19/84 captures Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band sounding different than ever before but every bit as good, their confidence rightly rising on the strength of outstanding performances by the individual players coalescing at the start of a new era.

Recap: Pearl Jam in California, May 2022

NOW STREAMING: Pearl Jam at Pinkpop Festival on June 18, 2022.

by Jonathan Cohen

Pearl Jam fans have spent the past 30+ years expecting the unexpected from the Seattle group, but there’s one thing that’s nearly never been in doubt: which members of the band would take the stage that night.

Indeed, Pearl Jam has only played a single show without one of its core five members — September 23, 2002 at the House of Blues in Chicago, when guitarist Stone Gossard was absent due to a prior commitment with Conservation International. It’s a remarkable streak that came to an end on May 12 in Oakland, CA, when drummer Matt Cameron tested positive for COVID-19 and was forced to miss the gig.

Enter touring member Josh Klinghoffer, whose Pearl Jam fandom runs so deep that he owns the kit former drummer Jack Irons used in the band in the mid-1990s, and Richard Stuverud, a longtime collaborator of Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament who was once in consideration to fill the PJ drum seat. On 24 hours’ notice, they divided and conquered a set list and were ready for a Pearl Jam first: a show without Matt Cameron.

“Matt Cameron is a true artist and he’s a force of nature. However, even his superhero status could not prevent him from testing positive,” Eddie Vedder joked two songs into the set, which opened strong with a cover of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World.” From there, we get to hear Klinghoffer and Stuverud put their own unique stamp on the Pearl Jam catalog, with some fascinating results.

Stuverud played “Even Flow” much more slowly than Cameron, its tempo in line with the 1992-era live versions with then-new drummer Dave Abbruzzese. On the other hand, “Jeremy” is almost too slow, sounding like a different song entirely. Klinghoffer gives “Why Go” a loose feel that sounds like really old Pearl Jam — a deviation from Cameron’s ultra-precise, ultra-powerful attack. With Klinghoffer on drums, “Corduroy” has steady propulsion with just the right bit of swing.

Things only got more interesting the next night at the same venue, with Klinghoffer pulling off “Once” very nicely and infusing the punky rarity “Brain of J” with the reckless abandon so crucial to its studio version from 1998’s “Yield.” Stuverud was excellent on drums on “W.M.A.,” which was played for the first time in six years as a full song and not just as a tag at the end of another. “Dissident” sounded great, too, in its new lower key, despite a couple flubbed transitions, while Klinghoffer deftly navigated the measured tension and release of the classic “Immortality” and didn’t hurry “Rearviewmirror.”

In what surely must have been a dream come true, Mill Valley high school student Kai Neukermans played drums on “Mind Your Manners,” after having been brought to Vedder’s attention by his similarly aged daughter Olivia. The song’s furious pace was no trouble at all for the young musician, who plays in a band called The Alive.

When you’re down a drummer, why not dust off a rarity that doesn’t have drums on it? Enter “Bee Girl,” only the ninth performance of the non-album cut since 2014.

These first two Oakland shows already would have gone down in Pearl Jam lore for their lack of Cameron and for the band’s innovative solution to the problem, but the May 16 performance in Fresno, CA, offered an even bigger surprise. For just the second time since he left the band in 1991, original drummer Dave Krusen joined Pearl Jam on stage — the only other being when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the group in 2017 and played a solitary song with them.

“That first record seems to be a record that affected so many people,” Vedder says of Ten. “It’s such a nice thing. Our friend that was playing drums at that time, the amount of shows he got to play with us was fairly limited. This week, we’ll get to make up for that.”

Hearing an astonishing nine songs from Ten, all played by the man whose parts are immortalized on the album, is a revelation. Krusen either practiced a lot in a short period of time or possesses incredible muscle memory — maybe both. His command of the material is truly impressive after such a long time away from it, both on uncommon gems like a slow-burning take on “Garden” or familiar early ‘90s favorites like “State of Love and Trust,” which has a delightful garage-y flair here.

As easy as it could have been for Krusen to steal the show in Fresno, Klinghoffer isn’t to be upstaged on a lead vocal duet with Vedder on Prince’s “Purple Rain,” performed here for the first time ever by Pearl Jam (Vedder and Klinghoffer previously tried the song with The Earthlings a few months back). Momentarily taking the spotlight off his drumstick-wielding mates, guitarist Mike McCready goes to town on a solo cover of Eddie Van Halen’s “Eruption,” while guitarist Stone Gossard takes a rare mic turn on the outtake “Don’t Gimme No Lip,” only its 14th time ever played live.

In addition, Stuverud’s presence is felt on “Quick Escape,” one of the heaviest new songs from Pearl Jam’s latest release, 2020’s Gigaton, and he has the bash-and-pop flavor of Keith Moon on the penultimate song of the evening, The Who’s “Baba O’Riley.”

“Thanks for this tonight. Thank you. I won’t forget this one,” Vedder said after the show-closing “Yellow Ledbetter.”

Sadly, Pearl Jam had another bout of bad luck post-Fresno, when Ament himself tested positive for COVID. The final two shows were canceled, leaving the three without Cameron as true outliers in the Pearl Jam live catalog. As Vedder said at Oakland night one, drummers are like engines, and for these unusual shows, it was a treat to experience how these different engines powered Pearl Jam’s music.

LISTEN NOW: Stream soundboard audio from Pearl Jam’s full tour.


Jonathan Cohen is a veteran journalist and talent booker known for his work at Billboard, “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” Variety and Spin. He is also the author of the 2011 New York Times-bestselling authorized biography of Pearl Jam, “Pearl Jam 20.”

Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band in Paris, July 4 and 5, 2012

ARCHIVE RELEASE: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band live in Paris, July 4 and 5, 2012

The Hype Is Real

by Erik Flannigan

The Wrecking Ball tour was big on multiple levels, from the length of the shows (eventually reaching four hours, breaking Bruce’s all-time record), to the number of band members on stage (hitting 17 on occasion), to the scale of the venues—especially in Europe, where the 2012 tour hit stadiums across the continent… save for one special stand in Paris.

For reasons that have never been explained, when Springsteen brought the Wrecking Ball caravan to France to open the second half of the Euro leg, he downsized from stadiums back to arena-scale for just one pair of shows that fell on the fourth and fifth of July. Those back-to-back performances, which featured an impressive 44 different songs between them, have long been lauded as some of the best of the tour. In that spirit of bigness and in celebration of the ten-year anniversary of the gigs, it seemed only fitting to add both Paris 2012 shows to the Live Archive series.

The Paris concerts combined offer over seven hours of music and a bounty of special moments and performances. Here are several worth noting.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band at Palais Omnisports De Paris-Bercy, July 4, 2012

The charms of the expanded 2012 band bear fruit in a delightful, unhurried version of “The E Street Shuffle” performed as a sign request. The song was played more in 2012 than any other year since 1975, when it thrived in a completely different arrangement. The Wrecking Ball tour edition takes advantage of the horn section, Everett Bradley’s percussion, and the E Street Choir on background vocals for a fully realized rendition that follows the original album structure of prelude, main song, and a storming, extended coda. In Paris, the crowd keeps singing the melody after the whole thing ends, indicative of just how into the show they are, and it compels Bruce to start the “E Street Shuffle” back up again for a second coda.

Springsteen keeps the Asbury Park setting, linking “Shuffle” to “Sandy” in his transition: “And then, down from town, about five blocks in on the boardwalk… if you listen hard, you could hear…” He sings the accordion-led, Fourth of July special in a low voice at times, adding a bit of age and wisdom to the tale, which on this night includes the sometimes-omitted third verse about the “waitress who lost her desire for me.” The background singers bring lushness to the final chorus as the sun sets on the boardwalk via Paris.

When Bruce opened his Fourth of July playlist for this show, he clicked them all—which means “Darlington County.” Stevie Van Zandt veers the song towards the edge of the Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonk Women” before Bruce sings his first line about that memorable drive he and Wayne took from New York City all those years ago. The Paris take is long, with an extended horn and sax section at the end. 

With Patti back on stage for the first time on the Euro tour, “Easy Money” returns to the set in one of only 18 performances ever. Bruce’s untamed falsetto vocals start things out, and one has to credit the Paris crowd for their consistently high level of participation as they sing along strongly here. Patti’s vocal contributions are a key element to “Easy Money,” which is why the song wasn’t performed without her.

In the most special nod to the occasion, Bruce moves to the piano for a rare solo-piano performance of “Independence Day.” Bruce released a video of this version in 2012 on his official YouTube channel, and it is great to have the audio available through the Live Archive series. Having played the instrument every night of the Devils & Dust tour, Springsteen’s piano playing is more confident than ever. Listen to the fine solo he takes in lieu of Clarence’s memorable sax before the third verse. Like so many older songs performed in this era, the bit of age in Springsteen’s voice only adds gravitas.

No Fourth of July performance would be complete without “Born in the U.S.A.” in its still-awe-inspiring, full-band arrangement. Bruce has no trouble finding his 1984 vocal range “forty years down the road” in a crackling rendition that puts the electric guitars on a level playing field with the synthesizers. Max Weinberg is also up to the task: while the horns add heft to the outro, Max smashes his legendary fills as hard as ever.

ARCHIVE RELEASE: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band live in Paris, July 4 and 5, 2012

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band at Palais Omnisports De Paris-Bercy, July 5, 2012

If anyone needed a sign that the second show in Paris would be materially different from the first, look no further than the top of the set when Bruce and the band reel off six songs in a row not featured the previous night. Deviating from his own written setlist, the band starts what sounds for all the world like “We Take Care of Our Own” only to shift gears into a bright “The Ties That Bind,” led by Roy Bittan’s piano and rich with the voices of the background singers in the chorus and bridge. Jake Clemons takes a sharp solo, too. The stellar reading of “Ties” is followed in bang-bang succession by breathtaking runs of “No Surrender,” “Two Hearts,” “Downbound Train,” “Candy’s Room,” and lastly a scintillating “Something in the Night.” Fans in attendance said the July 5 show was truly something special, and you can hear that imprinted in Jon Altschiler’s full-bodied mix. The six-song start of the second Paris set is as good as it gets in the post-Reunion era.

“Something In The Night,” Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band Live in Paris, 7/5/2012

In all, Paris night two boasts 15 changes from the previous show, including three certified epics starting with “Incident on 57th Street.” As vocal as they have been all night, the Paris audience treats the Wild & Innocent masterpiece with fitting reverence. Bruce tells Nils to take the initial guitar lead, which rises above Charlie Giordano’s swirling organ.

“Working on the Highway” and “I’m Goin’ Down” add a dose of levity and self-deprecation to the evening. The horn section and background singers give “Working on the Highway” a big jolt of energy, while the audience does the same for “I’m Goin’ Down,” yielding reinvigorated versions of both songs.

After a solo “Independence Day” on July 4, Bruce sits at the piano bench night two and delivers “For You.” This one is triumphant, reaching the heady heights of the song’s solo outings in 1975 (such as the extraordinary take on the Live Archive release of Greenvale, NY 12/12/75). Like “Indy” the night before, Springsteen plays the piano brilliantly, and he commits to every line of the lyrics to staggering effect. He also hits the last note resoundingly when he sings “When it was my turn to be the God.” As the kids say, “Chills.”

From “For You” straight into evening’s epic denouement, “Racing in the Street”—another time-defying performance. It can be difficult to describe in the written word what it feels like when a performer is in the moment, not simply performing their music, but embodying it, living the words and melodies anew. But you can hear it. That goes for every member of the band, too—special credit to Bittan and Bradley, first among equals in this performance of “Racing.”

The sequence of “For You” to “Racing in the Street,” and the top of the July 5 show as well, all capture Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performing in the moment. For years, they did so more consistently than any other band in concert. On this fantastic recording of Paris 2012, so many years down the road, they undeniably do so again.

ARCHIVE RELEASE: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band live in Paris, July 4 and 5, 2012


Erik Flannigan is a music archivist, producer, author and manager. He has been writing about Bruce Springsteen’s live performances and recordings for more than 30 years.

Recap: Metallica 2022 South American Tour

NOW STREAMING: Concert audio and video from Metallica’s full South American tour.

By B. Getz 

Among the biggest bands of all time, Metallica are no strangers to South American headbangers. The global godfathers of thrash metal have a storied history touring the continent, starting with  1989’s And Justice For All-era jaunt, then returning half-a-dozen more times over their celebrated forty-year career.

After the pandemic forced the April 2020 South American tour to be postponed — not once but twice over the course of two years — Metallica barnstormed back in Spring 2022 for shows in Chile, Argentina, and Brazil. The band uncorked a total of six scorching performances to typically teeming crowds, delivering their trademark brand of punishing metal across scalding sets, brimming with Metallica classics. 

As 2021 came to a close, guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield, drummer Lars Ulrich, lead guitarist Kirk Hammet, and bassist Robert Trujillo were riding mighty high off a pair of historic 40th Anniversary shows, a monumental throwdown in their hometown of San Francisco. A one-off Las Vegas engagement in February was the group’s only public performance of 2022 before they headed south of the equator at the end of April. 

South American fans are among the most rabid, loyal, and die-hard as they come, traveling long distances at great expense to see their favorite heavy metal and hard rock bands pack their many stadiums, race tracks, and large-scale venues. The reverberations of the two tour postponements were felt far and wide within the region.

Each time the band was forced to cancel their plans, hundreds of thousands were holding onto hope that one day circumstances would allow for Metallica to finally honor these long-promised dates. The last time they’d made it to the continent was for Lollapalooza 2017. Some fans expressed concern that, with the state of the world being what it has been, these concerts may ever even happen.

“For those of you who have hung in there with us over the last 18 months since the original shows were supposed to happen, thank you for your tremendous patience!” the band said in a statement when they announced the rescheduled dates to Spring 2022.

After all of the pandemic uncertainty and delays, as Metallica prepared to take over Club Hípico in Santiago, Chile on April 27th, a torrential rainstorm threatened the show in the hours leading up, only further adding to the suspense that had built for the better part of two years. The concert had already been relocated from a local stadium to a horse-racing track.

To kick off the tour, Metallica launched into one of their earliest compositions in “Whiplash,” a breakneck thrasher culled from 1983’s debut LP Kill ‘Em All, setting the tone with a cut that would serve as show opener for each of the six concerts. Other Santiago highlights included the run’s only rendition of The Black Album deep cut “Through the Never.” 

The South America working setlist would run the gamut of their canon; it was primarily weighted towards their famed first five records, with a curveball or two from night to night. Fans could expect to rage to thorough renditions of “Master of Puppets,” “One,” “Seek & Destroy,” “Ride the Lightning,” “The Unforgiven,” among others, plus a double encore sendoff of “Nothing Else Matters” and “Enter Sandman,” their two most recognizable tracks around the world.

On April 30th, Metallica moved onto Campo Argentino de Polo Buenos Aires in Argentina, for their lone 2022 appearance in the country. Another equestrian venue but, unlike Hípico, located in an urban city, Campo Argentino allowed for local residents to hear parts of the performance from their homes nearby. This night saw the quartet reaching back to 1984 for a ferocious take on one of their most beloved anthems, the seminal thrash masterpiece “Creeping Death.” Metallica saw fit to dust off “Fuel” from 1997’s Reload and “Holier Than Thou” from The Black Album, too.

Asked in 2017 about playing for Brazilian audiences, Hetfield said, “When other people take your art to their heart and you connect with them, there’s always an extra feeling of belonging, of home, of connection, of family. So Brazil is certainly one of Metallica’s most fanatical countries of them all.”

After a few days to relax and regroup, on May 5 Metallica arrived in Porto Alegre, Brazil, to perform the first of four shows in the longtime South American Metallica stronghold at Estacionamento da Fiergs, a venue near the Atlantic coast, at the northern end of the Patos Lagoon. In addition to beloved standards performed every night of the run, the group busted out three tour debuts: the sledgehammer of “Harvester of Sorrow” from …And Justice For All, the furious “No Remorse” from their first LP Kill ‘Em All, and the chilling “Welcome Home Sanitarium” from 1986’s masterpiece Master of Puppets.

Just a couple nights later, on May 7 the group pulled into Estádio Couto Pereira Curitiba, home to the Coritiba Foot Ball Club. Metallica mowed down song after song with a youthful reckless abandon and broke out the Irish traditional “Whiskey in the Jar,” from their Garage Inc. covers album. What made this concert legendary had more to do with the enormous crowd than anything onstage.

Brazilian fan Joice M. Figueiró was 39 weeks pregnant when she attended the Metallica concert. Of course she didn’t mosh or crowd surf, but Figueiro watched from an accessible area, and reportedly had a fantastic time until she started having contractions shortly after the band took the stage. The baby wanted out, and according to the new mom, he arrived as Metallica concluded their set with their biggest hit, “Enter Sandman.” The family even received a congratulatory phone call from James Hetfield after the band got the news.

As Metallica pulled into Estádio do Morumbi in São Paulo, they knew it would be a special night. In what was likely the finest performance of the short tour, the band reached for “Dirty Window,” a deep cut from 2004’s much-maligned St. Anger. The group also performed “No Leaf Clover,” amid the usual tornado of 80s thrash classics.

For the final night of this long-awaited South American tour, Metallica arrived at Mineirão in Belo Horizonte, finishing strong with a torrid set that delivered the goods: the galloping title track to their most recent album Hardwired to Self Destruct, as well as “Cyanide” from Death Magnetic and the treasured “Fight Fire With Fire” from 1984’s Ride the Lightning. 

What this last tour stop is likely most remembered for is a tender moment that James Hetfield shared with the crowd, and his bandmates, just before “Sad But True.” “Papa Het,” as the hardcores affectionately call him, spoke vulnerably about aging and performance insecurities. The emotional scene was heartwarming, ending with a group hug that affirmed the brotherhood these gentlemen continue to enjoy and exemplified the undying bond Metallica maintains with their fans around the world.


NOW STREAMING: Concert audio and video from Metallica’s full South American tour.


B.Getz is a music-culture reporter & podcaster hailing from the Philly area who’s called northern California home for nearly a decade. Senior Correspondent at Live For Live Music, longtime contributor to JamBase, formerly with Everfest/Fest300, & host of The Upful LIFE Podcast. Check out all things B.Getz at www.UpfulLife.com 

Bruce Springsteen Live at Madison Square Garden, May 16, 1988

LISTEN NOW: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY – May 16, 1988

In Dreams You’re Mine All Of The Time

by Erik Flannigan

The Tunnel of Love tour again? That’s surely a sentiment some are expressing with this month’s release of New York 5/16/88, the outstanding opening night performance from the final, five-show stand on the US leg of the 1988 tour.

On the surface the POV is understandable, as most shows on the Tunnel of Love Express Tour shared the same narrative arc and core songs. However beautifully realized it was, the argument goes, how distinctive is one Tunnel show from another?

It’s curious that 1988 comes in for such carping when one of Bruce’s most-beloved tours, in support of Darkness on the Edge of Town ten years earlier, followed a similar formula, largely sticking to a consistent group of songs for the core set, augmented by select cover versions and rarities that made a particular show extra special.

Both tours showcased a trove of material not found on Springsteen’s studio albums. In 1988, that included originals “Be True,” “Seeds,” “Part Man, Part Monkey,” “Light of Day,” and “I’m a Coward,” the latter a (nearly) complete rewrite of Geno Washington’s “Geno Is a Coward.” Bruce played those five songs across the US tour. But as the Express rolled on, cover songs—most entirely new to Springsteen setlists—began to appear, seemingly out of nowhere. But behind the scenes, their origin was part of the 1988 journey all along.

While the ’88 main set stayed consistent over the tour’s first two months, Bruce and the band operated as a virtual jukebox during their afternoon soundchecks,, test-driving dozens of cover songs. Eventually, some graduated from these private rehearsals to the main set.

These pre-show performances were explorations of the music Bruce and the band—and importantly, the horn section—grew up on or newly admired. Long soundchecks, like those that took place in Atlanta, Tacoma, and New York, were practically mini-concerts played for their own enjoyment.

On opening night at Madison Square Garden, cover songs born in soundchecks ultimately tip the show from good to great. Now released in brilliant, multi-track audio with one very special bonus track, in the immortal words of Nigel Tufnel, MSG Night One “goes to 11.”

John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom” is the first cover of the night, newly added to the set two shows prior in Minneapolis. Gritty guitar and horns combine to give “Boom Boom” swagger, and its inclusion feels topical given the subject matter (“take you in my arms, I’m in love with you”). Bruce tosses in a long, bonus “make loooove” to eliminate any ambiguity.

Between “Boom Boom” and the first set’s other cover, Edwin Starr’s depressingly still-appropriate “War ” we are treated to a number of terrific performances. “Adam Raised a Cain,” reborn in 1988, offers a weighty lead vocal, including a fresh exchange with Nils towards the end. Bruce’s guitar work at the top of “Adam” and later in the solo are fiery, and the horns raise the drama to arena level. “Two Faces” is thoughtfully rendered and thematically resonant, as is “Cover Me”: Bruce dips into lyrics from the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter,” declaring “I need a little shelter now,” “It’s just a kiss away,” and his own revealing improvisation, “I can’t see no sunshine.” Not surprisingly given the circumstances we get an especially earnest “Brilliant Disguise,” too.

The cracking first set ends with another epic “Born in the U.S.A.,” played at a seemingly pacier tempo and loaded with emotive guitar soloing, synthesizer pitch-wheel bending, and a nifty bit of Max Weinberg cymbal pinging between channels as Bruce’s voice rises to sing, “I’ve got a picture of him in her arms.”

The second set keeps pace with the first, and while there are no surprises per se (those are still to come), the band is playing at their 1988 peak. For highlights, first among equals is “Walk Like a Man,” making its second full-band appearance in the Archive series and sounding more vivid and widescreen than the version captured in Detroit in March. The arrangement features what might be the best work by the Horns of Love of the entire tour. While everyone in the band is playing brilliantly, Garry Tallent’s bass gives the song a lush bed on which the other instrumentation flourishes. It’s a stunner.

The encores on the 1988 tour were consistently strong, and the addition of “Have Love, Will Travel” by The Sonics delightfully balances the Memphis soul of “Raise Your Hand” and “Sweet Soul Music” with Northwest garage rock. “Have Love” is another song that graduated from the encore to the main set, and for the night’s most special moment, Bruce played that hand again. 

“I’m gonna do a song now that’s a favorite song of mine,” he says. “I don’t sing it as good as the guy that originally sang it, but I like it a lot, and this is my night in the big room. I just love this song.”

What follows is a majestic, reverent, and perfectly arranged rendition of Roy Oribson’s “Crying.” Optimized for his vocal range, the performance features Springsteen singing with stunning control. What Orbison brings the song in soaring, operatic notes, Bruce makes up for with power and conviction. What a treat to add it to the master song list of the Live Archive series.

It’s no surprise that Bruce was feeling triumphant at the end of the night, and his band commemorates the moment in the most Big Apple way possible, playing an instrumental “New York, New York” for his walk-off music.

“New York, New York” was the last song of the 5/16/88 show, but it isn’t the final track on this release. We’re gifted a glimpse into those legendary soundtracks with the inclusion of “In Dreams,” recorded pre-show.

Bruce’s Orbison bonafides were well established even before participating in the television tribute special A Black and White Night, shot in September 1987. He had explored The Big O’s music in soundchecks for weeks leading up to New York City. The only E Street Band performances of “Crying” appeared during this MSG run, but “In Dreams” never even made it to the show. 

The Archive has been fortunate to feature two other songs from 1988 soundchecks, “For You Love” from 5/23 and “Reason to Believe” from 3/28. But “In Dreams,” perhaps the most mystical song in the Orbison canon, feels most like we’ve snuck into the venue early and heard something only intended for the musicians on stage. What a treat. When “In Dreams” finishes, Bruce offers a self-review of their performance that I won’t spoil, but you’re sure to smile as I did. 

The first night at Madison Square Garden in 1988 is an outstanding Tunnel of Love performance and, better still, a previously unheard and worthy homage to one of the biggest musical influences in Springsteen’s career.

LISTEN NOW: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY – May 16, 1988

Golden Smog Reunion Concert at First Avenue, April 2022

Golden Smog Reunion- First Avenue, Minneapolis

By Tyler Asay

The supergroup Golden Smog was first formed in Minneapolis in 1989. The band was always seen as a rotating cast of musical characters from the Midwest dedicated to alternative country and superior songwriting and has included members of all your favorite bands: Big Star, The Replacements, Soul Asylum, The Jayhawks, Wilco, and more. They have put out four records as Golden Smog since 1995 and hadn’t performed live since 2019. 

These Golden Smog reunion shows were originally scheduled for April of 2020 but were obviously postponed due to the pandemic. Over the weekend, Golden Smog got back together for two nights to perform at Minneapolis’s legendary First Avenue with Jeff Tweedy from Wilco, Gary Louris & Marc Perlman from The Jayhawks, Dan Murphy from Soul Asylum, Kraig Johnson, and Jody Stephens from Big Star.

Night one, Saturday, April 2nd, had the band take the stage in great spirits to open with “Looking Forward To Seeing You” from 1998’s Weird Tales. The band sounded great together; a bunch of old pals getting back together like they were high schoolers in a garage (except with probably combined 50+ years of touring experience under their belts). 

The charm of Golden Smog comes down to everyone taking turns at the mic. Like a Gen X Traveling Wilburys, it’s exciting to hear Louris sing a cover of David Bowie’s “Starman” before  Tweedy goes right into “Walk Where He Walked.” The encore on night one started with Tweedy & Louris as a duo singing “Radio King” from Down By The Old Mainstream

Night two featured similar setlists with some important differences: Different covers were performed each night (night one had the Brian Wilson classic “Love And Mercy” and night two includes a take on The Kinks’ “Strangers”). Both nights featured Jeff Tweedy’s son, Sammy, joining for a cover of Neil Young’s “Helpless”. To have these old friends back together, playing this music that is absolutely timeless, has got to be one of life’s most special gifts. To quote “Radio King”:

“Your music fills my car
And your voice breaks every time
I’m still wonderin’
If I know who you are
I hang on every line”

Setlist (Night 1):
Looking Forward to Seeing You
Lost Love
To Call My Own
V
Yesterday Cried
Glad & Sorry (Faces cover)
Red Headed Stepchild
Starman (David Bowie cover)
Walk Where He Walked
He’s a Dick
Pecan Pie
Ill Fated
Long Time Ago
Signed D.C. (Love cover)
I Can’t Keep From Talking
Won’t Be Coming Home
You Make It Easy
Love and Mercy (Brian Wilson cover)
If I Only Had a Car
Corvette

Encore:
Radio King
Listen Joe
Helpless (Neil Young cover) (Sammy Tweedy on lead vocals)
Until You Came Along

Setlist (Night 2):
Looking Forward to Seeing You
Lost Love
To Call My Own
V
Making Waves
Glad & Sorry (Faces cover)
Red Headed Stepchild
All the Same to Me
Easy to Be Hard (Galt MacDermot cover)
Frying Pan Eyes
Listen Joe
Long Time Ago
Pecan Pie
You Make It Easy
Ill Fated
Strangers (The Kinks cover)
Scotch on Ice
She Don’t Have to See You
Won’t Be Coming Home
I Can’t Keep From Talking
If I Only Had a Car

Encore:
Please Tell My Brother
Radio King
Helpless (Neil Young cover) (with Sammy Tweedy)
Until You Came Along (with Sammy Tweedy)

Encore 2:
Revolution Blues (Neil Young cover)

Ziggy Marley Performs A Special Tribute To His Father

In 1979 Bob Marley and the Wailers embarked on the Babylon By Bus tour that took the band through Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. The Japanese leg of the tour included 8 stops throughout Osaka and Tokyo. Those eight shows, the only concerts Bob Marley ever performed in Japan, are frequently credited with igniting a reggae scene in Japan that is still present to this day. More than 30 years later, those eight shows are still meaningful to fans in Japan and around the world. They are also especially meaningful to Marley’s son, Ziggy. 

In May 2021, Ziggy played a pair of shows at San Diego’s Petco Park. It was the first weekend that Petco Park had re-opened for concerts after a Pandemic closure. For these special shows, Ziggy decided to do a different kind of tribute to his father’s music. Speaking about the show, Ziggy said, “The whole concert is going to be my father’s music. It’s a live tribute to him. We’ve taken an actual setlist that my dad created in the late ’70s and we’re doing that whole setlist which for me is a whole different experience than just ‘the greatest hits of Bob Marley.’ Playing the actual setlist is an actual connection with reality about what they played at a certain moment in time.” 

Of all of the concerts and setlists Bob Marley played in the 1970s, which did Ziggy select for this show? None other than April 5th, 1979 at the Shinjuku Kosei Nenkin Hall in Tokyo. It’s a truly special experience to hear Ziggy playing this setlist, just as his father had written. Now, for the first time since the concert was played live, fans can watch the entire concert on nugs.net. The livestream will air on Febrary 11th at 8PM ET. 

You can view the setlist from the performance below: 

Rastaman Vibration  

Concrete Jungle  

Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)  

Burnin’ and Lootin’  

The Heathen  

Crazy Baldhead  

I Shot the Sheriff  

No Woman, No Cry  

Lively Up Yourself  

Is This Love  

War / No More Trouble  

Get Up, Stand Up  

Exodus  

Jamming  

Taking All I Can Get, No Regrets

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Post Dome, C.W. Post College, Greenvale, NY – December 12, 1975

By Erik Flannigan

At its core, the Live Archive series functions as an aural time machine, transporting us back to performances preserved in our memories or, better still, to shows only a few fortunate souls witnessed in person.

Based on that criteria, C.W. Post College, December 12, 1975 announces itself as an exemplar of the Archive series, placing us in the best seat in the house on Long Island to experience a stupefying performance by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at the height of their circa 1975 powers. 

After wrapping a four-date, European tour in November, the final month of 1975 saw Bruce play his first proper Canadian shows, return to major markets Boston and Philadelphia, and perform at small colleges and universities across the northeast. The C.W. Post concert (along with a show at Seton Hall in South Orange, NJ) was the closest gig to New York City. Judging by the rapturous audience response preserved by this recording, the Gotham fanbase made the trek to Long Island. With audio cabling laid through the auditorium leading to a truck parked outside, it was also clear to those in-the-know that the show was being recorded—one more catalyst for a heightened reaction.

The Archive series holds an embarrassment of riches from late 1975, including New Year’s Eve in Philly; the covers-laden, second London show in late November; and the conversion of Los Angeles at The Roxy in October, each noteworthy in its own way. Yet the C.W. Post performance stands out, somehow marvelously loose and inch-perfect tight at the same time. Tempos are zooming, the mood is celebratory, and if London and Los Angeles were about winning over new fans, C.W. Post aims to blow away the hardcores.

The same can be said today, as this is the Born to Run tour show you didn’t know you needed but unequivocally do. The 24-track, Plangent-Processed analog recording, newly mixed by Jon Altschiller, is 4K vivid, rich in both on-stage detail and event atmosphere. It couldn’t sound any fresher or clearer, and The Beatles Get Back parallels don’t end there.

We start in traditional 1975 tour fashion with the stark, piano-version of “Thunder Road,” a rollicking, pacey “Tenth Avenue Freeze-out,” and “Spirit in the Night.” Immediately, Stevie Van Zandt’s guitar work jumps to the fore, as he improvises atop familiar licks, adding appealing shading and variation throughout an evening where his playing is the first among equals.

“Lost in the Flood” benefits from the aforementioned looseness, as Bruce unwinds the tale a little differently, while the E Streeters enhance the drama, bursting forth after Bruce sings “Jimmy the Saint,” led by Van Zandt’s bending guitar note.

“She’s the One” opens on a long harmonica intro riding Stevie’s guitar-pedal prowess and Roy Bittan’s peerless piano. The band joins full force after the first verse and chorus, another moment of irresistible dynamics as the rhythm section makes their presence known through Garry Tallent’s deep bass and Max Weinberg’s big beat and splashing cymbal work. An outstanding version.

Following “Born to Run” comes the first-ever performance of The Animals’ “It’s My Life,” a cover that would become a cornerstone of Springsteen shows for the next 14 months.. As Brucebase writes, “In the 1987 BBC documentary Glory Days, Max Weinberg spoke about the premiere of ‘It’s My Life’ when he was asked if Bruce had ever launched into a song without telling the band what he was going to play. Max said that the band had never rehearsed the song before playing it in concert, but fortunately they all knew it.”

The recent Beatles documentary is filled with jaw-dropping moments where songs like “Get Back” and “Let It Be” spring to life in real time. Fan accounts confirm “It’s My Life” was not soundchecked at C.W. Post, yet out of thin air it begins, minus the familiar story intro. For the first minute or so, the band feels its way through, the arrangement deferential to the original but being E Streetized right before our ears. Confidence grows, and somewhere close to the middle of the song they realize, “We’ve got this.”

“It’s My Life” would go on to become a setlist staple for the next year and into early 1977. Its sentiment and the story-intro that developed around it set the stage for Bruce’s own “Independence Day.” In the 2000s, the band regularly assayed cover songs suggested by signs in the audience, but this isn’t a one-off—it’s the origin moment for one of the most significant cover versions Springsteen ever performed. Sure, any card-carrying member of the E Street Band knew The Animals’ original, but to drop “It’s My Life” in mid-set, seemingly unhearsed as Weinberg claimed and the C.W. Post arrangement supports, is audacious, joyful, and thrilling to hear.

Be that as it may, Bruce wastes little time segueing into a sprinting “Saint in the City,” and again the E Street Band flexes their musical muscles all the way through to the breakneck conclusion. A passionate “Backstreets” ensues, and one can only marvel at the level of performance by each member of the band. The spotlight justly turns to them for a long “Kitty’s Back” showcase, which finds the E Streeters in fine form not only instrumentally but vocally, too.

“Jungleland,” “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)” (including Roy leading a “Hernando’s Hideaway” vamp), and “Sandy” continue an exceptional evening, each rendered as good or better than its 1975 peak. Bruce’s famous cover of “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” follows. The C.W. Post performance was quickly mixed after the show and released to supportive radio stations on tape. In the early 1980s, it was officially released, first on Columbia’s In Harmony 2 children’s compilation and later as the b-side to “My Hometown.”

The new version proves to be virtually identical to the original, save for a charming mix change that lets us more clearly hear the band members’ distinct responses to Bruce’s intro, including Steve’s emphatic, “IT’S CHRISTMAS TIME!”

The encore extends with a cracking “Detroit Medley” that starts with a bang and rides some awesome chugga-chugga guitar riffing from Van Zandt. The stage then clears, and Bruce moves to the piano for a scintillating solo performance of “For You,” dedicated to his then-girlfriend Karen Darvin. The solo “For You” is a high point in the London 11/24/75 Archive release as well, but each reading is unique, and the C.W. Post version is distinctly captivating.

The band returns, and as they get set, Roy does another “name that tune” vamp, this time on “Don’t Be Cruel.” Bruce tells the boisterous crowd, “You guys are nuts!” before counting in “Sha La La.” Once more, Van Zandt lays down a blazing guitar lead and Springsteen’s high-energy vocals reflect his mood, which carries through to the closing number, “Quarter to Three.” The audience response during the song is bananas, perhaps causing the first cracks in the Post Dome that would collapse under the weight of snow in January 1978. It’s possible.

“Quarter to Three” concludes—as it must—with Bruce declaring, “I’m just a prisoner… of rock and roll!” Of that there can be no doubt, vouched for by those fortunate enough to be at C.W. Post on that December night, or the rest of us reliving the experience through this sublime addition to the Archive series.

Get Phish To the Greek

Phish
The Greek Theatre, Berkeley, CA, August 10, 2010
By Kevin Shapiro

On Saturday, August 7, 2010, Phish played the final show of a sold-out three-night stand at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, CA. The bar was set high with the previous two shows and expectations soared.  The 2010 Greek run found the band reaching higher each night, basking in the glow of this historic venue and attentive crowd.  The show opened with an old school pairing of AC/DC Bag > Foam followed by Gotta Jibboo – all played with the same patient, open approach displayed over the previous shows. Next came a soaring Reba as Trey’s new guitar emitted a flow of pretty leads and staccato runs amidst Page’s intricate Rhodes runs.  2010’s last Sleep Again and Army Of One provided a moment of reflection before a sizzling 46 Days > Tube. Mike held Tube’s last bass note, providing the bridge to a sing-a-long Character Zero to end set I.

After another sunset over the San Francisco Bay, the band kicked off set II with Wilson > Light. The Greek Light climbed to pinnacle heights, bending and floating to a sublime place before resolving into The Golden State’s first Twenty Years Later. Harry Hood followed, with ghost notes on a second snare drum, press rolls, and percussion wizardry from Fish while the music hung in the night air and reverberated across the Greek’s open bowl. Theme From The Bottom came next and then they shook the trees with 2001 > Suzy Greenberg and a spacious Slave To The Traffic Light. The first The Lizards encore in nearly fifteen years came next and First Tube put the finishing touch on an incredible three days of music at one of the most stunning spots there is.

Pigeons Playing San Francisco

By Photographer and Writer Joshua Huver (Must Have Media)

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Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA 2/14/20

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Regency Ballroom, San Francisco, CA 2/15/20

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The Baltimore, MD based funky foursome of Pigeons Playing Ping Pong marked their fifth overall SF Bay Area appearance over Valentine’s Day weekend on February 14 and 15. 

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The two-night extravaganza was a little different from the typical two-night stand. Instead of setting up shop in one venue overnight, guitarists Greg Ormont and Jeremy Schon, bassist Ben Carrey, and drummer Alex “Gator” Petropulos performed at different venues each night. 

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In doing so, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong follows a recently growing trend for jam bands visiting the SF Bay where bands will play a smaller, more intimate venue before moving into a larger spot to accommodate more fans. In recent years STS9, The String Cheese Incident, and Umphrey’s McGee have all followed a similar model. For P4, this meant they got cozy on Valentine’s Day at the Great American Music Hall and finished SF at The Regency Ballroom which holds about 1,000 more people only a few blocks away.

These two San Francisco dates fall right in the middle of the band’s 13-date trip West and they have brought Connecticut-based bird band Goose along for support on each bill. Goose deliver hard breaking grooves and patiently spaced, hard-rocking jams underneath a vocal harmony that you just don’t normally hear in the jam band community. The love and camaraderie between bands was full tilt, evidenced by Pigeons Playing Ping Pong giving Goose 60-75 minutes as an opening band each night and opting to only take a single 2 hour set themselves on the 15th.

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But on Valentine’s Day P4 delivered a rowdy two-set show with on-theme covers and unrelentingly high energy all night long for their debut at the historic San Francisco venue. They opened with “Walk Outside”, from 2016’s Pleasure, a song that had been cut from the encore of the previous night in Santa Cruz. That was followed by two tracks that appear on their most recently released record, Presto: “Avalanche”, which delivered a mountain of funk for the audience to dance their way out of and “Fortress”.

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From 2017’s Pizazz the band delivered a major “Porcupine” sandwich featured a transition into “Penguins” and a cover of the Deee-Lite track “Groove is in the Heart” mashed into it before wrapping it back up with the end of “Porcupine”. Playing into the maritime relationship of the Bay Area, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong took a “Water” break before finishing the set with an ode to the Greek water god, “Poseidon”. Ormont and the band had one more Ace up their sleeves, dealing out a totally unexpected cover of “Daddy Wasn’t There” from the third Austin Powers film, Goldmember

“Henrietta” gave the second set a solid standalone start before Gator took the spotlight ahead of “Bad For You”. Carrey’s thunderous slap-pluck bass technique rolls in slowly, and before long the song is off. Definitely don’t skip ahead and wait out the segue into “Live It Up” – it’s worth it.

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They followed immediately with a second pair of back-to-back tracks. “Kiwi”, another carryover that was nixed from the night before in Santa Cruz came third in the set and spilled into the psychedelic party vibes of “Yo Soy Fiesta”.

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At the midway point of the second set, the lights dropped onto Carrey for a bass solo that signaled the beginning of what may be the Pigeons Playing Ping Pong brand-equivalent of Help! > Slip > Franklin’s, or, “Spacejam” > “The Hop” > “F.U.”. If you like getting lost in the signature screaming leads of Schon and some intense disco beats, strap yourself in.

One of their earliest tracks and only from their 2010 debut album Funk E P, “Landing” turned the funk up to 11 and into a monster jam that melted into the Doobie Brothers’ classic “Long Train Running” to close the set. For the encore, they went for a single standalone take on “Ocean Flows”.

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For the Pigeons Playing Ping Pong’s return to The Regency, it was obvious that they felt comfortable and at home. What was supposed to be another two-set show as fans of the band and other jam bands are accustomed to and expect turned into a single mega long set with no break. The energy that reciprocates between P4 and their fans gets palpable, and they certainly know how to read the room.

Saturday’s show opened with a pair of standalone songs beginning with High As Five”, the third and most recent single from the 2020 release Presto. That was followed by the Pleasure track “Bad For You”.

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Pizazz’s “Something For Ya” kicked off a massive head-bobbing dance party that accelerated through “Skipjack”, the final song off of Presto

The first cover of the final night saw the band revisit their ‘Dead Hot Sgt. Peppers’ themed Halloween weekend from 2018 for one of George Harrison’s most memorable contributions to The Beatles’ catalog, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, which elevated into a wild and raucous segue of “Burning Up My Time” > “King Kong”, another single from the new albums.

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After a brief rendezvous onstage, the four band members called an audible and opted to continue riding the energy out and skip the set break. They continued with a standalone take on “Too Long” before entering “Whoopie” sandwiched around the Prince classic “1999”.

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A pair of tunes from the bands’ sophomore release Psychology followed. Beginning with “Lightning”, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong invited fellow bird band members Rich Mitarotonda and Peter Anspach of Goose to sit in on guitar and keyboards, respectively.

One of the overall highlights of the weekend, it was the first time the bands had crossed paths musically onstage since beginning the tour almost a full week prior. “Lightning” was tailed by the band’s live music meta-opus “Horizon” before finishing the marathon set with “The Liquid” – an appropriate reference to the full melt the audience was in the throes of. 

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Even after all that, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong mustered up the energy for a one-two encore punch. They started with a new (less than one year and 15 plays since its debut) song called “Distant Times”, followed by the lead single from Presto, “Dawn a New Day.” In full-circle fashion, long time San Francisco flockers will remember that the band debuted “Dawn a New Day” during their second SF stop in October of 2017.

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Listen to audio from the show now!

A Very Twiddle Valentine’s Day Weekend

By Photographer and Writer William O’Donoghue

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State Theatre, Portland, Maine 2/15/20

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The work of a jam band requires a fierce and loyal following to thrive; by that measure, Twiddle has made it and is here to stay.

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Comprising of front-man Mihali Savoulidis (lead guitar, vox), Zdenek Gubb (bass, vox), Ryan Dempsey (keys, vox), and Brook Jordan (percussion, vox), Twiddle enraptured the State Theatre this Saturday, February 15th.

The night kicked off with Wild Adriatic, followed by Strange Machines, creating a recipe sure to thrill during this Valentine’s weekend.

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Wild Adriatic got the crowd going with their hard rock sensibilities, showing off their versatility with a unique take on Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff”. These guys are absolutely realizing their soul sensibilities, revealing the many facets of their pop-rock roots.

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Vermont-based Strange Machines followed. These guys are no strangers to the members of Twiddle, who have shown consistent love for playing with fellow local musicians in a wide variety of shows. Strange Machines features Mike MacDonald (guitar, vox), Craig Holland ( bass, vox), Josh Dobbs (keyboard), & Ryan ‘Claw’ Clausen (drums): an expert choice to prime the crowd with their unique, immersive blend of psychedelic rock. Keep your eyes on them, folks.

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Both Dobbs and Clausen have been consistent staples of Burlington’s notorious Dead Set at Nectar’s (Burlington, VT) since its inception seven years ago, filling crowds with their own takes on Dead covers every Tuesday. At the right time, you might even find Mihali and/or Gubb throwing their stylings into the mix. Though perhaps these days, you may be more likely to find the guys throwing down at Ryan Dempsey’s own new club/venue, Orlando’s Bar.

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Following an epic finale in which Mihali joined Strange Machines for their electro-jam fan-favorite “Klepto”, the stage went dark to prepare for Twiddle, as the crowd continued to grow and buzz in anticipation.

The lights came up, the band emerged, and the crowd instantly threw all of their considerable energy in as “Nicodemus Portulay” began to take shape.

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Electricity was in the air, the crowd was primed, and Dempsey took the lead as Twiddle dove into “Gatsby the Great”. The crowd was fully immersed as the group seamlessly slid into “Zazu’s Flight” before finishing off this take of “Gatsby”.

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A true highlight for this Frend was the first set finale, featuring Josh Dobbs stepping in on the keys to fill out the melodious and heartfelt “Out In The Cold”.

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The stage was silent once again, as we buzzed with anticipation of what was to come.

They may be a new(er) generation of ‘jam’ band to the fiercely loyal and competitive scene of Burlington, but hot damn, these guys know what they are doing.

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“Blunderbuss”, as the title evokes, exploded through the crowd like a starburst, as Dempsey, Gubb, and Jordan rode out a rhythmic sound-storm.

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“Jamflowman”, a well-loved Twiddle staple, found Mihali back at the forefront, with beautiful solo riffs, as the crowd enthusiastically joined in to sing along. This crowd favorite transitioned into “Frankenfoote”, as Mihali continued to dominate the stage, before moving “Into the Kitchen”.

Not enough yet? Certainly not. Dempsey threw the crowd straight into the band’s tried and true cover of Mason William’s timeless hit, “Classical Gas”. Set two came to a close to resounding applause and ecstatic cheers.

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But being from Vermont, Twiddle was not done yet. Finishing off (so we thought), with a “Syncopated Healing” that is equal parts wildly improvisational and harmonious, the Frends are satisfied.

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But then, before we knew it, we were hit with a “Juggernaut”.
Minds blown, loves found and reinforced, Twiddle exited the stage.

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Listen to live audio from Twiddle right now on nugs.net!

Umphrey’s McGee Drops Anchor in Detroit

Written and photographed by Joshua Huver

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Umphrey’s McGee wrapped a weekend in the Midwest with a doubleheader featuring their 10th and 11th performances (excluding two VIP sets) at The Fillmore in Detroit, MI on Friday, January 31 and Saturday, February 1. Featuring a wealth of old-school rarities, new songs and fan-requested favorites, this most recent Detroit run is required listening. Major highlights across the two nights were the 400th performance of “Phil’s Farm”,  a bust of the Radiohead song “Meeting in the Aisle”, “Words” and an impromptu 10-minute take on the SRV classic “Lenny”, as well as a wide variety of jams and impressive segues, made more impressive by a new breath of creativity from lighting director Ben Factor.

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Having performed at The Fillmore over the last ten years, it is their first time bringing a two-night run more than two consecutive years. Umphrey’s McGee, or guitarists Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger, keyboardist Joel Cummins, drummer Kris Myers, percussionist Andy Farag and bassist Ryan Stasik skipped the venue in 2016 and 2018 before playing two nights in 2017, 2019 and now 2020.

On Friday night they began with a solid 20 minutes dedicated to two originals, “Maybe Someday” and “Whistle Kids” from their recent release it’s not us and the counterpart, it’s you. “Whistle Kids” was stretched out longer than the two and featured a light stepping blues-funk outro riff before the jam slowed into something more ambient. That low-intensity vibe segued neatly into a Radiohead cover of “Meeting in the Aisle” for the first time in 322 shows and 18th overall.

The second biggest surprise of the set was fan favorite “Words”,  appearing on 2006’s Safety in Numbers. After the song, Bayliss admitted that the song was requested for the Detroit show the previous year and made good on his promise to play it, on his terms of course.

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The old-school song selection continued with a standalone “Mail Package” to split the set. The 2011 Death By Stereo cut “Miami Virtue” featured some of the sets’ most fun improvisation and shouldn’t be skipped. The final 15 minutes of the first set was a fiery “1348” > “The Fuzz” > “1348” segment. “The Fuzz” is another first set bust-out. An old-school favorite, “The Fuzz” was criminally underplayed for several years but has seen a resurgence since late 2018.

The second set was heavy in the middle of the band’s catalog, opening with “North Route”. A soft and ethereal piano intro from Joel Cummins leads the instrumental, but it finishes as an off-kilter and loaded rock ‘n roll anthem. On Friday, they segued that heavy rock into the dance party that is “Bad Friday”. Both songs are relatively recent and share that they were debuted as the first song after midnight on New Year’s Eve 2016 and 2013, respectively.

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After a lengthy jam and a quick reprise, the band rested briefly before introducing another heavy rock and under-played favorite, “Go To Hell”. A 25 minute “Mantis” > “Hajimemashite” > “Mantis” segment was off to an incredible start in the first 10 minutes, but somewhere in the transition between the jam and “Haji”, Stasik’s pedalboard was bombed by an airborne tallboy of Budweiser. The music never stopped, which is a credit to the band’s ability to handle the biggest surprises on the fly, inspiring an ad-libbed first verse of “Haji” by Bayliss.

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The intense expression of gratitude that is “Little Gift” from 2014’s Similar Skin followed with an explosive improv section led by Cinninger. The band transitioned into a 13-minute standalone “Hurt Bird Bath” to finish the set.

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When Umphrey’s McGee returned to the stage, Stasik took the mic and addressed the win of a shiny new tuner and the fact that instead of playing what they had planned (which was an unnamed cover) they were going to play “some Michigan shit”. Mid-sentence, Cinninger jumped on the mic to stop a second beer from being hurled at the stage. The band moved into a quick and standard take on the Bob Seger classic “Hollywood Nights” and called it a night.

On Saturday, spirits were high and positive among the crowd and the band despite some sticky pedals and melted faces. Umphrey’s McGee’s sense of humor was on display immediately, beginning the show with “You Got the Wrong Guy” and taking it into the uptempo rock and roll anthem “Mulche’s Odyssey”. Appearing on 2004’s Anchor Drops, the band moved into the much slower and relaxing vibe of the titular track.

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From “breathe easy” to “Make It Right”, they moved on from the thrown beer and into a 14-minute “Kabump” party. An off-beat and jazzy improv section kept the crowd moving and bumping around their neighbors. The second jam in the track will put this track on many favorites lists this year as well as the next track, “Sociable Jimmy”. Cummins and Stasik took turns keeping the improv weird and funky, drawing it out into a psychedelic peak with frenetic fretwork from Cinninger before falling back into the song’s ending.

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A stark contrast to the dance frenzy of the last 25 minutes, the band carved out a soft landing for a bust out of “The Pequod” at the request of long-time fan Erik Johnson for his 100th show. After a brief and beautiful respite, the band used the last nine minutes of the set for an upbeat “Day Nurse”. There’s a hot Michael Jackson tease of “Workin’ Day or Night” which could have tricked some fans into thinking a “Night Nurse” was also on her way.

The second set of the night got off to a great start with a 15-minute standalone “Phil’s Farm”. One of the band’s oldest tracks and appearing on their debut album Greatest Hits Vol III, the Detroit “Phil’s” marked the 400th time the band played the song since they debuted it at their very first show 22 years earlier. It is the 10th song in the Umphrey’s McGee catalog to break the 400 mark with “Jajunk”, “Push the Pig” and “Ringo” all less than ten performances away as well.

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They followed one of their oldest songs with their newest release, “Suxity”. A reworking of a track called “Fresh Start” from 2007’s The Bottom Half, the song bounces between angsty 90s grunge and uptempo funk. A major uplifting jam bridged the song and a ten-minute take on “Lenny” – which was a total audible and not on the working setlist.

For the next 45 minutes and for the second half of the set, the band only played three songs. Leading with the extended and psychedelic discombobulation into of a standalone “Believe the Lie” and into “Jajunk”, the band was firing on all cylinders. For the final song of the set, “August”, Bayliss shone throughout, taking multiple leads and letting the melody soar.

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For the encore, Umphrey’s McGee returned to the stage for the second performance of “Bullshit Anthem” since debuting at the most recent New Year’s Eve run in Denver. A funk-laden cover by Oakland, CA native Xavier Dphrepaulezz, aka Fantastic Negrito, the song featured Myers on lead vocals. They ended the show with the conclusion of “Jajunk”.

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Ready to experience it for yourself? Listen to the full show now

The Infamous Stringdusters Wake The Dead in San Francisco

By nugs.net Staff Member and fan, Arya Jha
Photos by Kory Thibeault. Check out more of his work at @korythibeaultphot

On Friday, January 24th, The Infamous Stringdusters returned to the legendary Fillmore, bringing a high energy performance to a nearly sold-out crowd in San Francisco. The Grammy Award-winning bluegrass quintet started off the show with a “Shakedown Street” tease, igniting the audience into a roar. Moving quickly into fan-favorite “Carry Me Away” they continued on into “Wake The Dead” which ended in heavy jamming and a battle between the dobro player, Andy Hall, and fiddliest Jeremy Garrett. Set one continued on with ISD classics like “Let Me Know” and “Steam Powered Aeroplane” alongside Shakedown teases which continued on throughout the entire show. “Gravity” brought the audience to a standstill with a soul moving performance and an epic dobro solo. The set ended with the psychedelic, playful yet dark, “Echoes of Goodbye” leaving the audience wanting more.

Set two brought the heat with a “Midnight Moonlight” opener, yet another nod to the legendary Fillmore, which came to little surprise after they mentioned the venue as one of their favorite places to play in the country. Set Two highlights included “Rise Sun”, the title track off the Dusters latest album, and a 13-minute jam of “No More To Leave You Behind”. They kept the audience engaged with covers of the Band’s “Cripple Creek”, Phish’s “2001″, and finally a full rendition of the Grateful Dead’s “Shakedown Street”. Listening closely to the end of set one you’ll even find a “Dark Star” tease! The show continued on with a two-song encore, resting their instrument down after “Sunny Side Of The Mountain” which played well past the venue’s curfew.

Check out this show, and the rest of The Infamous Stringdusters’ live catalog on nugs.net.

Railroad Earth ‘Lights Up’ The Fillmore

Railroad Earth: Saturday 1/18/20 Live at The Fillmore in San Francisco

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Photos provided by concert photographer Kory Thibeault. Check out more of his work at @korythibeaultphoto

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Recap provided by nugs.net staff member and Railroad Earth fan Arya Jha

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Railroad Earth’s Saturday night performance at The Fillmore in San Francisco was a non-stop dance party. Perhaps it was due to a well-received performance the night before, but by the time the band hit the stage they were well past warmed up and ready to rock. Railroad’s first song of the night “Lordy, Lordy” quickly transitioned from high tempo drumming and long bass riffs into a multi-layered psychedelic jam, setting the tone for a night full of solos and melodies held together by a seemingly infinite rhythm.

Set one continued on, taking a journey through ebbs and flows of uplifting harmonies. The crowd started to settle in and just as the effects of a beautiful light show against the band’s custom made backdrop quieted and entranced the audience, the band busted into spacey but tight banjo-led twang, bringing the room into a knee-slapping roar. ‘Old Man and the Land’ segued nicely into ‘Black Bear’ and bassist Andrew Altman segued nicely into upright bass, maintaining the foundation and tempo of the set regardless. Fiddler Tim Carbone led the band into an upbeat ‘Cuckoo’s Medley’ to end the set as Bill Graham’s chandeliers lit up the ceiling of the venue in a wave of colors.

Railroad Earth’s more recent shows have defied the classical bluegrass and even jam-grass genres through their use of the funk forward B3 Organ, an instrument rarely used by projects whose core is also determined by fiddle and mandolin. It was a true pleasure to see Matt Slocum on keys, and even better to hear how well his Leslie Whirl paired with Mike Robinson’s steel pedal shredding. While set one provided a great deal of harmonic energy, set two opened up room for alternative leads, from Todd Sheaffer’s acoustic guitar to Carey Harmon’s drums, and everything between. Always a crowd-pleaser “Elko” jammed on as fans tossed cards high into the sky in tribute to the lyrics, a true testament to the fanatic Northern California community the band has bred through their annual headlining sets at NorCal’s Hangtown Music Festival. “Captain Nowhere” segued into “1759” segued into “Fisherman’s Blues” played more like ballads but kept the crowd moving. Finally, in an emotional tribute to the historic venue and Jerry Garcia’s San Francisco roots came the short but sweet encore “Old and In The Way”. This show will easily be a fan favorite to regular Railroad Earth listeners, but also a wonderful start to their catalog if you are not yet versed. Railroad Earth’s live show recordings live on nugs.net and you can listen to the two night Fillmore run today.

Start Listening

Bruce Springsteen 2019 Year in Review

2019 was a busy year in the Bruce Springsteen archival series. This year’s releases spanned from 1978 to 2012. These performances highlight Springsteen’s vast and varied career. You can listen to shows with the full E Street Band or check out The Boss solo. Venues range from stadiums to theatres everywhere from New York to California. This year’s archives included fan favorites like the famous Bridge School Benefit show in ’86 with Danny Federici and Nils Lofgren and the legendary Piece De Resistance, Passaic ’78. There are tons of shows to explore for Bruce fans new and old.

January: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, 5/23/88

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

The final U.S. stop on the Tunnel of Love tour is a powerful showcase for the album along with rare Springsteen originals and covers. Bolstering core Tunnel tracks are non-album gems “Be True,” “Seeds,” “Part Man, Part Monkey” and “Light of Day,” while Bruce taps his R&B, rock, blues and folk roots for covers of John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom,” The Sonics’ “Have Love, Will Travel,” Jackie Wilson’s “Lonely Teardrops” and even a couple verses of Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild.” Plus, a soundcheck bonus track cover of Ed Townsend’s “For Your Love.”

February: St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, FL, 4/22/08

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Equal parts concert and Irish wake, Tampa 2008 celebrates the life of founding E Street Band member Dan Federici, who passed away five days earlier. With heavy hearts, Bruce and the band perform a charged, emotional set that blends key tracks from Magic and songs selected with Phantom Dan in mind, including the tour premiere of “Growin’ Up,” a rare, show-opening “Backstreets,” “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” and a cathartic, one-off performance of the gospel standard, “I’ll Fly Away.”

March: Sovereign Bank Arena, Trenton, NJ, 11/22/05

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce brings the Devils & Dust solo tour to an unforgettable conclusion with a setlist that pulls out all the stops for the final show in Trenton. From an instrumental cover of the late Link Wray’s “Rumble” to start, through rare solo outings of “Empty Sky,” “Fire,” “Drive All Night,” “All That Heaven Will Allow,” “Thundercrack” and “Santa Claus is Coming’ to Town,” Trenton 2005 teems with surprises, none more so than “Zero and Blind Terry” on piano (not performed since 1974) and the pre-Greetings original “Song for Orphans,” released here for the first time.

April: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, 9/27/85

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the site of two Olympic Games, provides a fitting backdrop to the last lap of the Born In The U.S.A. tour. On opening night of the final four shows, in front 83,000 fans, Bruce & The E Street Band hit their stadium-tour zenith with a powerhouse performance that mixes road-tested versions of “Seeds,” “Atlantic City,” “I’m Goin’ Down,” and “Glory Days” with risk-taking world premieres of Edwin Starr’s “War” and the beloved b-side, “Janey, Don’t You Lose Heart.”

May: Meadowlands Arena, E. Rutherford, NJ, 7/25/92

Bruce Springsteen

Performing with his new band in front of eager hometown fans, Springsteen goes the extra mile in this spirited set showcasing Human Touch and Lucky Town along with a few special treats. New Jersey 1992 delivers 13 songs from the two albums, from “Living Proof” and “Souls Of The Departed” to “Real Man” and “All Or Nothin’ At All.” It also features the tour’s only performance of the gospel gem “Ninety-Nine And A Half (Won’t Do)” showcasing the background singers, plus a unique solo-to-band arrangement of “Open All Night” that hilariously updates the turnpike tale.

June: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ, 9/22/12

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

On a long, special night that rolled into his 63rd birthday the following day, Bruce dials up a spirited, 34-song set brimming with Wrecking Ball material; tour premieres for “Cynthia” and a moving “Into The Fire”; the first “In The Midnight Hour” since New Year’s Eve 1980; a rare coupling of “Meeting Across The River” into “Jungleland”; “Janey, Don’t You Lose Heart,” “Downbound Train” and “It’s Hard To Be A Saint In The City”; plus special guest Gary U.S. Bonds on “Jolé Blon” and “This Little Girl.”

July: Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY, 12/29/80

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Night two of the legendary three-show stand at Nassau Coliseum 1980 is a barnstormer. It features the tour premiere of “Night” as the opener and, in its lone River tour performance, an extraordinary “Incident On 57th Street” into “Rosalita” to close the set. Spanning 35 songs, Nassau 12/29 beautifully blends deep River cuts (“Stolen Car,” “Wreck on the Highway,” “Point Blank”), seasonal nuggets (“Merry Christmas Baby” and “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” and fan favorites (“Fire,” “Because the Night”), making it one of the finest shows of the tour.

August: Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA, 10/13/86

Bruce Springsteen feat. Danny Federici and Nils Lofgren

Bruce’s performance at the inaugural Bridge School Benefit Concert marked his first major appearance since the end of the BIUSA tour and his first acoustic set in over a decade. An astonishing a cappella take of “You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)” opens, followed by the debut of the stripped down “Born In The U.S.A.” Danny Federici and Nils Lofgren then join in for a sublime set that includes “Seeds,” “Darlington County,” “Mansion On The Hill,” “Fire,” “Follow That Dream” and “Hungry Heart” with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. $2 from each sale goes to The Bridge School. Dedicated to Elliot Roberts (1943-2019).

September: Capitol Theatre, Passaic, NJ, 9/19/78

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

The most famous Springsteen bootleg of all time, Piece De Resistance, comes to the live archive series as Passaic 9/19/78, newly mixed from Plangent Processed multi-track master tapes. As originally broadcast up and down the Eastern seaboard, the first night of three at the Capitol Theatre may be the definitive Darkness tour document and features “Streets Of Fire,” “Independence Day,” “Prove It All Night,” “Meeting Across The River,” “Kitty’s Back,” “Fire,” “Because The Night” “Point Blank” and “Raise Your Hand.” This beloved live performance has never sounded better.

October: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA, 10/23/99

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

A consensus pick as one of the best nights on the Reunion tour, Los Angeles 10/23/99 brings it wire to wire, from the show-opening invocation “Meeting In The Town Tonight” into “Take ‘Em As They Come” through the rare, delightful closer “Blinded By The Light.” Other highlights of this peak Reunion set include “The Ties That Bind,” “Darkness On The Edge Of Town,” “The Promised Land,” “Incident On 57th Street,” “For You,” “Backstreets” “Light Of Day” (detouring briefly for a romp through “California Sun”) and the first solo piano version of “The Promise” in a formal concert since 1978.

November: Paramount Theatre, Asbury Park, NJ, 11/24/96

Bruce Springsteen

Making his first full concert appearance in Asbury Park since the ’70s, Springsteen brings the Joad tour to where it all began. Accordingly, Bruce unfurls a Shore-centric set that opens with a three-song blast from Greetings: “Blinded By The Light,” “Does This Bus Stop At 82nd Street” and “Growin’ Up.” With sympathetic support from Danny Federici, Patti Scialfa and Soozie Tyrell, Bruce moves through apropos surprises (“Wild Billy’s Circus Story,” “Rosalita” and “Sandy”), moving rarities (“When You’re Alone” and “Shut Out The Light”) and wonderful takes of “Racing In The Street” and “Independence Day” among many highlights.

Dead & Company Fall Fun Run Highlights

Dead & Company’s Fall Fun Run mini-tour was a roaring success. The band performed a trio of two-night runs in New York City, Uniondale, and Hampton. When a tour kicks off on Halloween night, you know you’re in for a treat. We’ve recapped some of our favorite highlights from the six shows below. Every show from the Fall Fun Run is available now to download or stream on nugs.net!

Robert Hunter Tribute Setlist

Halloween was the first show the band had played since Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter passed away. To honor Hunter, the band packed the setlist with songs written by the legendary wordsmith. The tribute performance included “Ripple” as a rare show-opening song for the band. The entire show is filled with Hunter’s work including “Tennessee Jed,” “They Love Each Other,” and “Terrapin Station.”

Werewolves in Madison Square Garden

It wouldn’t be a proper Halloween show without at least one ghostly cover. Dead & Company closed out the show with an amazing cover of “Werewolves of London.” It was the perfect cap on a spectacularly spooky night. Amongst the Halloween thrills, The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon was in the crowd for his first-ever Dead show with Bravo’s Andy Cohen.

Maggie Rogers Joins During Night Two at MSG

The band brought out Maggie Rogers to join on vocals for a pair of tunes during their second night at The Garden. Rogers first emerged near the end of the first set for “Friend of the Devil.” It was one of our favorite versions of the Dead classic in recent memory and Rogers brings something really special to the mix. Rogers returned after the second set to join on the band’s encore-favorite “The Weight,” again shining on vocals.

Record-Setting at Nassau

Grateful Dead and Dead & Company were honored by Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum for their combined 44 shows at the stadium, the most anyone has ever played the historic venue in Uniondale, NY. A tie-dye adorned banner was hoisted in the Coliseum to celebrate the record.

“Space” on The Mothership

The tour came to a close in Hampton, Virginia with a pair of shows at the Hampton Coliseum, colloquially known as The Mothership. Counter to the Dead’s deep history with Nassau, this was actually the band’s first-ever performance at The Mothership. The band celebrated with a pair of spacey posters.

“Ripple” Bookends the Tour

Just as the tour began, the final show of the Fall Fun Run closed with “Ripple.” It was a nice bookend on an exciting tour. There was a theme of juxtaposition on this tour as we honored old friends and made new ones, returned to a venue full of history and played one for the first time. Still, through the flux of life and time, the songs endure. Ripple, like all of the Grateful Dead’s music, remains constant. The music never stopped.

Dead & Company Summer Recap

Dead & Company is hitting the road against later this month. Their Fall Fun Run kicks off on Halloween night and will feature six shows in three cities. If you don’t live in New York, Uniondale, or Hampton, you’re not out of luck. All six shows will be webcast on nugs.tv. Every webcast is available to pre-order right now, so make your plans and get ready for six spectacular nights with Bobby, John, Oteil, Jeff, Bill, and Mickey.

Once you’ve marked the dates on your calendar and pre-ordered the webcast, we’ve got you covered with everything you need to get ready for the band to take the stage. We’ve assembled a free YouTube playlist featuring 32 tour openers from the Dead & Company summer tour. Watch them all together and you’ll be primed and ready for October 31st.

There’s plenty of highlights in these shows from breathtaking venues to mind-blowing jams. This playlist recaps the full summer tour experience. You’ll travel with the band from Mountain View California to Dallas, Texas. You’ll make stops in legendary locations like The Patriots’ Gilette Stadium and The Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field. Then there’s The Gorge which is one of the most awe-inspiring stages in the world. This playlist is full of variety including “Shakedown Street,” “Bertha,” “Feel Like a Stranger,” “Here Comes Sunshine,” and tons more. Give it a watch and you’ll be primed and ready for Halloween.

The Peach 2019 Recap

Peach Fest 2019 was easily one of our favorite weekends of the summer. The festival was filled with fantastic performances. Don’t worry if you couldn’t tune in for every minute of the show, we’ve got you covered with a full list of on-demand shows from this weekend. Subscribe to nugs.net to take performances from Peach Fest 2019 and over 15,000 live shows with you wherever you go.

Thursday


Aqueous

Billy Strings

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong (Set 1)

The String Cheese Incident

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong (Set 2)

Friday


Larkin Poe

The Infamous Stringdusters

Blues Traveler

moe.

The String Cheese Incident (Set 1)

The String Cheese Incident (Set 2)

Saturday


Star Kitchen

Lettuce

Greensky Bluegrass

Trey Anastasio Band

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead

Sunday

Yonder Mountain String Band

Inaugural Peach Guitar Pull

The Marcus King Band

Warren Haynes & Grace Potter


More Audio From The Peach

Dopapod

BIG Something

The String Cheese Incident at Red Rocks 2019 Recap

Night One


The String Cheese Incident kicked off their 2019 Red Rocks run in style with the help of Cory Wong. After his opening performance, Wong and several members of his band joined SCI for “Freedom Jazz Dance” during the first set. Following set break, Cheese returned to the stage with Cory Wong and co. Together they performed a rousing take on “I Wish,” which you can watch below.

Cory Wong: Full Performance

Set I Opener: Little Hands

Set II Opener: I Wish

Night Two:


The second night at Red Rocks was filled with tributes, anniversaries, and Keller Williams. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of their collaborative album “Breath,” Keller and Cheese played the album front to back. The special set was an absolute delight. During the third set, a horns section known as Horns Bruceby joined during “Jellyfish” and stayed for the remainder of the set. Later, the band paid tribute to the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 by playing space-themed jams including tracks from Close Encounters, Star Wars, Star Trek, and more.

Set I Opener: Stupid Questions

Set II Opener: Love Is All Around

Set III Opener: All We Got

Night Three


Sunday opened with a special set featuring bluegrass legend Del McCoury, celebrating his 80th birthday. After Cheese took the stage, the band took time to bring Del up and sang “Happy Birthday” with the packed crowd. After the celebration, Del and members of his band stayed on stage for several tunes. The second set opener featured a specially choreographed dance from Denver’s own Celtic Steps, River Dancers that accompanied “Rivertrance.”

Set I Opener: Chatter

Set II Opener: Rivertrance (with Denver’s own Celtic Steps, River Dancing)


Purchase Audio From All Three Nights

Festival Highlights

We’re celebrating festival season by looking back at some of our favorite festival performances including Dead & Company at LOCKN’, Red Hot Chili Peppers at Lollapalooza Paris, Pearl Jam at Voodoo Fest, Widespread Panic at Bonnaroo, and more from your favorite artists.


Dead & Company: LOCKN’ 2018

It’s always a treat to catch Dead & Company on the road, but this festival appearance was extra special. The Show opens with an incredible “Playin’ in the Band” that is later reprised with a tease during “Loser.” The band returned from set-break with a new addition, Branford Marsalis on Saxophone. Marsalis stuck around for the entire second set adding some wonderfully smooth flair to the set.


The Allman Brothers: Peach Festival ’14

One of The Allman Brothers Band’s final shows, this one is filled with stellar covers and guests. The show opens with a great cover of The Spencer Davis Group’s “Don’t Want You No More.” After “Midnight Rider” the band covered “Done Somebody Wrong” by Elmore James. Later, Taj Mahal joined for a cover of “Statesboro Blues” by Blind Willie McTell immediately followed by Ron Holloway joining for “Soulshine.” After that number, the band played Willie Cobbs “You don’t Love Me.” The final cover of the night was “Good Morning, School Girl” with guests Gábor Presser & Chris Karlic. After the Sonny Boy Williamson’s cover, Peter Levin joined the band for “Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’” and “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed.” 


Widespread Panic: Jazz Fest ’08

The opening “Walk on the Flood” form this Jazz Fest 2008 show is a great gem for Panic fans. Phish fans will love this Panic show featuring Page McConnell on “Love Tractor” and “Fixin’ to Die.” Wild Magnolias also join for a rousing take on “Drums” > ”Big Chief.”


Billy Strings: Blue Ox Music Festival ’19

This Billy Strings show is filled with some mesmerizing covers. The first cover of the show is a great take on “Southern Flavor,” by Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys which was immediately followed by the Jerry Garcia & David Grisman song “Dreadful Wind and Rain.” Cory Walker joined for a lengthy cover of The String Cheese Incident’s “Black Clouds.” Next, the band covered “10 Degrees & Getting Colder” by Gordon Lightfoot before closing out the show with “Turmoil & Tinfoil.”


Greensky Bluegrass: Camp Greensky ’19

Greensky Bluegrass’ Camp Greensky returned to Wellston, Michigan last month for its second year. The band was in peak performance all weekend as the headlined each night of the three-day festival. To commemorate the festival’s second year, Greensky debuted a duo of “two” themed covers. The first was Marvin Gaye & Kim Weston’s “It Takes Two” and was followed by Eddie Money’s iconic “Two Tickets To Paradise.” 





Dead and Company Recap June 24 – July 2

Photo: Katie Friesema

Dead & Company has been all over the country this week. The band’s been truckin’ along to Bristow, Charlotte, Atlanta, and Dallas since June 26th. The highlight of the Bristow show came at the halfway point when the band closed out the first set with a killer version of “Throwing Stones.” John Mayer’s solo on the song is incredible. Two night’s later Charlotte got one of our favorite setlist arrangements of the tour featuring “Truckin’,” “Cassidy,” and a fantastic “Estimated Prophet” that led into “Eyes of the World” The next night saw the band heading down to Georgia for a night in Atlanta. The show featured a breathtakingly beautiful version of “Standing on the Moon.” Last night Dead & Company headed deep into the heart of Dallas, Texas. A couple of Texas-themed songs made their way into the setlist with “El Paso” and “Deep Elem Blues,” a reference to the famous Dallas neighborhood. The highlight of the night came near the end of the first set with a show-stealing version of “Sugaree” that is already becoming a fan-favorite.

Listen to every show from Dead & Company’s summer tour on nugs.net


Check out video from our recent webcasts

Bristow 6/26: Shakedown Street

Bristow 6/26: Here Comes Sunshine

Charlotte 6/28: Truckin’

Charlotte 6/28: Deal

Atlanta 6/29: Scarlet Begonias

Atlanta 6/29: The Other One

Dallas 7/2: Bertha

Dallas 7/2: Shakedown Street

Watch more Dead & Company videos on our YouTube channel

Dead and Company Recap June 7 – 23

We’re deep into Dead & Company’s summer tour and so far it’s been a treat to experience. Since The Hollywood Bowl we’ve seen some incredible setlist variations, a handful of new debuts, and the return of “Spanish Jam”! After playing in the heart of Los Angeles, the band ventured off the grid for two nights at one of America’s most scenic venues: The Gorge Amphitheatre. The first night featured a touching tribute to Jerry Garcia and the recently passed Dr. John. Night one at The Gorge also included the Dead & Company debut of “It Must Have Been Roses.”

Following a weekend stop in Noblesville, Indiana, Dead & Co. headed to Chicago for two nights at the legendary Wrigley Field. It was a rainy weekend in the windy city, but a little precipitation couldn’t keep the band down. The energy at Wrigley was incredible and it bled into the performance. Wrigley night one featured the fantastic debut of “To Lay Me Down.” The next night featured the welcomed return of “Spanish Jam,” entering the setlist for the first time since 2017. Three days later, Dead & Co. once again dipped into their archives, this time playing “In The Midnight Hour” at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. This was the first time the band had played the Wilson Pickett cover in three years.

Since playing Saratoga, Dead & Company has been all over the Northeast. Last week, the band played Camden, New Jersey; Foxborough, Massachusetts; and New York, New York. Last night’s show at Citi Field in New York featured the return of another Grateful Dead classic, but it wasn’t a song. The special guest on this show was Wolf, the famous Guitar owned and used by Jerry Garcia dating back to 1973. John Mayer played last night’s show with Wolf and the performance was breathtaking. Dead & Company will be back on stage Wednesday, June 25th in Bristow, Virginia.

Listen to every show from Dead & Company’s summer tour on nugs.net


Check out video from our recent webcasts

The Gorge 6/7: Feel Like A Stranger

The Gorge 6/7: Here Comes Sunshine

Wrigley Field 6/14: The Other One > Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo

Wrigley Field 6/14: China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider

Wrigley Field 6/15: Terrapin Station

Wrigley Field 6/15: Spanish Jam > Scarlet Begonias

Citi Field 6/24: St. Stephen

Citi Field 6/24: Lady With A Fan > Terrapin Station

Watch more Dead & Company videos on our YouTube channel

Dead & Company Tour Recap: Shoreline & Hollywood Bowl

Dead & Company Summer Tour 2019 is here and what a week it’s been! We’ve gotten powerful performances of our favorite songs, a debut of the Grateful Dead’s “High Time”, and so many more special moments from week one. As always we captured every moment in our live webcasts. Before you tune in tomorrow for Dead & Company live at The Gorge, watch some of our favorite moments from the last week’s California shows below:

Order Upcoming Dead & Company Webcasts

Catch every moment from this summer’s tour including the first four shows when your purchase the Unlimited Devotion Pass on nugs.tv! Select the 19 Show package when ordering the webcast and you’ll get access to every Dead & Co. show of the summer.


Shoreline Amphitheatre:

Playin’ In The Band

Scarlett Begonia’s > Fire On The Mountain

Bertha > Good Lovin’

China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider


Hollywood Bowl

Cold Rain And Snow

Iko, Iko

Estimated Prophet

Countdown to Dead & Company Summer Tour 2019: 7 Days

We’re just 7 days away from the Dead & Company Summer Tour kickoff. The tour starts next Friday at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California. To celebrate the start of tour we’re looking back at Dead & Company’s last outing. This January, the band journeyed to Mexico for their Playing in the Sand three day musical experience. These shows took place at the beachfront paradise of Riviera Maya and the experience can only be described as magical. Take a look at our videos from Playing in the Sand 2019 below:

Day 1


Shakedown Street

China Cat Sunflower

Day 2


Deal

Day 3


Sugar Magnolia

Scarlett Begonias

Check out last week’s Dead & Company blog feature for more highlights and videos!

Countdown to Dead & Company Summer Tour 2019: 14 Days

We’re just 14 days away from the Dead & Company Summer Tour kickoff. To prepare for the tour, we’re looking back at the best moments from last year’s run. This show comes from the Dead & Co. two night stop at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin. During the first set, the band welcomed their first guest of the tour, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. The Wisconsin native sat in for the back half of the second set which included “Black Muddy River,” “Friend of the Devil,” and “Bird Song.” Vernon previously recorded a studio version of “Black Muddy River” with his old band DeYarmond Edison and Bruce Hornsby for The National’s 2016 “Day of the Dead” charity compilation.

The first set kicked off with “The Music Never Stopped” which was followed by “Easy Answers” and “Alabama Getaway.” Listen to the full set I opener below:

The band returned for their second set with their version of The Band classic “The Weight.” The entire second set was filled with highlight performances from an extended “Shakedown Street” to a superb version of Bob Dylan’s “Along Along the Watchtower.” Watch the set II opener below:

Check out last week’s Dead & Company blog feature for more highlights and videos!

Countdown to Dead & Company Summer Tour 2019: 21 Days

We’re just 21 days away from the Dead & Company Summer Tour kickoff. To prepare for the tour, we’re looking back at the best moments from last year’s run. Today we’re revisiting the Dead & Co. stop at The Gorge on June 29th, 2018. With sweeping views of the Columbia river, this show had a breathtaking backdrop to accompany an evening full of beautiful jams.

The first set got off to a great start with “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo,” which led into powerful versions of “Bertha” and “Tennessee Jed.” The next song was the Dead & Co. debut of “Mr. Charlie.” The early ’70s tune highlighted Jeff Chimenti on keyboard and John Mayer’s vocals and guitar. You can watch the entire “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo” below:

The second set opened with a joyously extended version of “Playin in the Band,” that was later reprised to close out the set. This version was another great example of Dead & Co. wading the classic song into the exploratory. Check out our full video of the “Playin in the Band” set opener below:

Check out last week’s Dead & Company blog feature for more highlights and videos!

Countdown to Dead & Company Summer Tour 2019: 28 Days

We’re just 28 days away from the Dead & Company Summer Tour kickoff. To prepare for the tour, we’re looking back at the best moments from last year’s run. June 15th’s performance at New York’s Citi Field, home of the Mets, was one of the most popular stops of the 2018 tour. The entire show was filled with unique jams.

The show opens with a nearly 14 minute version of “Shakedown Street.” The extended jam showcases some of John Mayer’s stellar guitar work. You can watch to the entire opening performance of “Shakedown Street” right now on our YouTube channel:

This show really heats up in the second half. The second set got off to a jazzy start that led into John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” as the opening tune. Following the opener, Mayer got another chance to flex his guitar expertise on an extended guitar solo on “The Other One.” The set continued it’s journey into the exploratory with an extended performance of “Estimated Prophet.” You can watch all three jams below:

Check out last week’s Dead & Company blog feature for more highlights and videos!

Countdown to Dead & Company Summer Tour 2019: 35 Days

We’re just 35 days away from the Dead & Company Summer Tour kickoff! To prepare for the tour, we’re looking back at the best moments from last year’s run! Last July Dead & Co. played two spectacular nights at Folsom Field in Boulder, CO to close out the tour. These shows were a perfect cap on a great summer of music, especially the final night. The performance was magical, the crowd was fantastic, and the setlist was packed full of awesome jams.

The band opened the show with a hypnotizing version of “China Cat Sunflower.” The performance is a must watch. The crowd was having the time of their life while Dead & Co. was in peak jam mode. Watch the full set one opener:

Dead & Company returned for their final set of the 2018 Summer Tour with an absolutely mesmerizing “Scarlet Begonias” set opener that led into “Franklin’s Tower” and a breathtaking “Fire On The Mountain”. At the end of the night the band came back for two encores performing “Uncle John’s Band” and “Ripple” to the close out the tour. Watch the full set two opener:

Be sure to check out last week’s Dead and Co. blog feature for even more highlights and videos!

Throwback Thursday: Red Hot Chili Peppers in Egypt

It’s hard to believe it’s been a month since we hosted the first ever concert webcast from the Egyptian Pyramids with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. This show was a massive undertaking start to finish and the end result was spectacular. Over 3.6 million people tuned in to watch the Chili Peppers make history in front of last wonder of the ancient world. Beyond the massive production and historic setting, the best part of the show was simply how much fun it was. Start to finish, the energy was incredible. You could immediately tell this was a special show, one that would live on forever. The beauty of a webcast is that fans all over the world got to enjoy this legendary show in all its glory from the comfort of their couch. It didn’t matter where you were sitting, we were all at the Pyramids. One thing is for sure, we’ll be asking people “Where were you when the Chili Peppers played the Pyramids?” for a long time.

To take a look back, here are a couple of our favorite photos from the trip:

Creating a stage design worthy of standing with the Pyramids is a tall order, but they delivered that and more

It takes some big-time satellite power to beam a show to 3.6 million screens

It all comes together for the big show

Bonus picture of the show’s setlist

Check out over 270 live Red Hot Chili Peppers shows on nugs.net!

SweetWater 420 Fest Recap

This weekend the musical world came together for the 15th annual SweetWater 420 Fest in Atlanta, Georgia and it was one to remember. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were jam-packed with amazing performances from some of our favorite artists like Widespread Panic, Billy Strings, The Avett Brothers, Turkuaz, and more! April 20th may have come and gone, but these shows will live on for a long time.

Friday

Billy Strings Mesmerizes the Crowd

The festival kicked off Friday with a full day of incredible performances, including this show from Billy Strings. The psychedelic infused bluegrass that defines Billy Strings was the perfect match for the 420 Fest atmosphere. Featured in the set is a dreamy cover of The Grateful Dead’s “China Doll” and a nice “Playin’ in the Band” tease after “And Your Bird Can Sing.”

You can listen to the full show on nugs.net or watch our webcast below:

Saturday

BIG Something Brings BIG Thrills

BIG Something was a crowd favorite this weekend. They hit the stage Saturday afternoon and took the audience on a musical journey. To cap off the show, they brought down the house with a fantastic cover Black Sabbath’s “Sweet Leaf.” Start to finish, this is a 420 Fest must-listen.

You can listen to the full show on nugs.net or watch our webcast below:

Sunday

(Photo: Dave Vann)

Jason Isbell joins Widespread Panic to Cover ZZ Top

Panic fans were in for a special treat Sunday evening when Jason Isbell sat in for a mesmerizing Easter Sunday cover of “Jesus Just Left Chicago.” Sunday’s performance hits its climax with an incredible “Bowlegged Woman,” followed by “Night” and a three song encore.

You can listen to the full show on nugs.net or watch our webcast below:


Check Out More 420 Fest Webcasts on Our YouTube Channel!

Countdown to Dead & Company Summer Tour 2019: 42 Days

We’re just 42 days away from the Dead & Company Summer Tour kickoff! 42 is of course famous for being baseball legend Jackie Robinson’s jersey number. It’s only fitting then that we revisit Dead & Company’s 2018 stop at LA’s Dodger Stadium, the team Robinson called home.

The band opened the show with “Playin’ in the Band”, a first-time opener for the summer tour. The unique take on the Grateful Dead classic slowly unfolded over 11 captivating minutes. Check out this cut from our webcast of “Playin’ in the Band” in its entirety below:

Dead & Company returned for their second set at a packed Dodger Stadium with a fantastic “Sugar Magnolia.” Check out our video of the jam below:

Countdown to Dead & Company Summer Tour 2019: 50 Days

We’re just 50 days away from the Dead & Company Summer Tour kickoff! To celebrate we’ll be sharing some of our favorite moments from last year’s tour. The band opened their 2018 summer tour on the east coast, including a two-night stop in Camden, New Jersey. They opened the show with “Jack Straw”, “Cold Rain and Snow”, and “Deep Elem Blues”. Later in the set the band played a 10-minute “Cassidy” followed by a reprise of “Jack Straw” to close out the first set. You can watch the entire “Jack Straw” set opening performance below:

The band launched into their second set with a cover of The Crickets’ “Not Fade Away” followed by an impressive extended jam on “Dark Star” totaling over 20 minutes. The jam-filled night in Camden continued with “Black Muddy River,” “Drums,” and “Space” all appearing in the second set. You can watch the set opening “Not Fade Away” performance below:

Bob Weir and Wolf Bros Tour Recap

Last weekend Bob Weir and Wolf Bros wrapped their second tour together. The legendary Grateful Dead guitarist has been touring with Don Was and Jay Lane since this past fall. For those that have never seen or listened to a Bob Weir and Wolf Bros show, they play a mixture of Grateful Dead classics, Bob Weir solo material, and some awesome covers. These shows are a fantastic listen for Grateful Dead fans new and old. Every show from the tour is now available for download or streaming with a nugs.net subscription. Below we’ve got a recap of some of the best tour highlights:

February 28th: Ithaca, NY – The State Theatre

The trio kicked off their tour in Ithaca, New York by dusting off a pair of rarities. This was the first night Bobby had played “Bombs Away” and “The Winners” in nearly 5 years. The rest of the show was filled with Grateful Dead hits like “Peggy-O”, “Let It Grow”, and “Scarlet Begonias”. There were also a pair of great Bob Dylan covers toward the end of the show with “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” and “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue”.

March 5th: Detroit, MI – The Fillmore

The next week the band played a special show in Don Was’ hometown of Detroit, Michigan. Playing at The Fillmore on March 5th, the trio were joined by another Detroit native- saxophonist David McMurray. He sat in on five songs throughout the night including “Bird Song”, “Eyes of the World”, and a cover of The Temptations’ “Shakey Ground”.

March 8th: Philadelphia, PA – The Metropolitan Opera House

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead guitarist and vocalist, Tom Hamilton, joined the band in Philly for a rousing Friday night. Hamilton joined the band for 4 songs including a reprise of “Man Smart, Woman Smarter”. The King Radio song made its way into the setlist twice on International Women’s Day. The band opened their second set with the tune and then later brought it back for the reprise with Tom Hamilton toward the end of the show. Our webcast of the set-opening cover is available to watch on YouTube.

March 11th: New York, NY – Blue Note Jazz Club

Arguably the most special night of the tour was the surprise one-night show at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York. The trio announced the show only a day in advance with tickets being distributed via a lottery system. The intimate venue only holds 200 people, notably smaller than the large theaters the band typically plays. To ensure the maximum amount of people got to watch the show, the band rotated audiences between sets. To help out eager fans who weren’t lucky enough to score one of the 400 lotteried tickets, we offered free webcasts of both sets on nugs.tv, YouTube, and Facebook. The setting wasn’t the only unique part of the show- longtime RatDog Saxophonist Kenny Brooks joined the trio for four songs throughout the night. It was a fitting jazz flare for a show at a historic jazz club. You can watch our webcast of the full show right now:

March 13: Red Bank, NJ – Count Basie Theatre

Following the last-minute show in New York, Bob Weir and Wolf Bros made it to New Jersey- and they weren’t done bringing out surprise guests. Sasha Dobson, of Puss N Boots fame, joined the band for the final two songs of the night. Together they performed “Easy Answers” and covered Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”. “Knockin” was the second Dylan cover of the show, earlier in the second set the trio performed their version of “All Along the Watchtower”.

March 26th: Miami Beach, FL –  The Fillmore

Phish fans are in for a pleasant surprise when listening to the second set of the band’s stop at the Fillmore in Miami. Page McConnell sat in with the band at the opening of their second set. The quartet performed two Grateful Dead tunes: “Hell in a Bucket” and “Scarlet Begonias”. To close out the show, Bob Weir and Wolf Bros played a “U.S. Blues” encore.

March 30th: North Charleston, SC – North Charleston Performing Arts Center

This band closed out the tour this past weekend in South Carolina with a pair of new debuts. First, the trio played their take on Bob Dylan’s 1965 track “Desolation Row”. At the end of the night, the band played the Grateful Dead hit “Black Muddy River” for the first time as the show’s sole encore. The only Bob Weir solo piece in Saturday night’s show was “Lay My Lily Down”. To close out the first set, the band played the Jerry Garcia classic “Deal”. This was the perfect setlist to close out the run.

nugs.net archives: The String Cheese Incident – 10/30/99

The String Cheese Incident – 10/30/99

It is our pleasure to bring to you, handpicked from the archives, one of the classic shows from Colorado’s own: The String Cheese Incident. With a catalog of 535 shows here at nugs.net, you can enjoy countless hours of the cheesiest jams possible. This show proved to stand out from the rest and is a great example of String Cheese showing off their skills and original style. This “Incident” features sit-in performances and some of the best covers this band can muster. After reviewing numerous shows from this run in 1999, we were immediately impressed with this show and its entire set list and had to include it as a featured “from the archive” for y’all.
Opening with a great rendition of “Miss Brown’s Teahouse,” the show keeps going with classic String Cheese songs from their early catalog. 1999 proved to hold some real gems from this band and you can find plenty of them performed in this very show. This show includes some rarities and even Keller Williams sitting in on bass guitar for Keith Mosley on “Suntan.” Any SCI fan can find something to like within this first set of incredible live music. “Suntan” gives way to the classic Steve Miller cover, “The Joker,” but String Cheese makes it their own, adding reggae/island influences to this version.
Set two does not disappoint, opening with an 18 minute performance of “The Chicken” with great solos and flowing jam structures. This version of “I’ve Just Seen A Face” is one the best covers from SCI and is a must-check-out for any diehard SCI fan—it is full of improvisation and danceable riffs that we keep coming back to listen to. “Vacate” includes another sit-in from Keller Williams; he feels like another member of the band during the time period when this show was performed, and even today. This song is a perfect example of Keller Williams and String Cheese meshing together as a cohesive unit. After countless sit-ins with one another, this show still stands out as a topnotch performance. Obviously, whenever Stevie Wonder’s “Boogie On Reggae Woman” is covered, everyone feels like dancing—and this cover is no exception. The encore “Footprints” is a jazz-fusion jam, which is highlighted in this high-quality version. String Cheese continues to go full force with Aerosmith’s ‘70s rock anthem “Walk This Way”; but again they change it up and add their own country-western-bluegrass style.
18 years later, The String Cheese Incident continues to mesmerize audiences with their spectacular live shows. They have even influenced the next generation of jam artists out there today and have pioneered this industry. You can truly hear the change and growth throughout all of SCI’s extensive collection of live shows on nugs.netThe String Cheese Incident has remained in the top echelon of live music because they deliver these amazing performances every time. Sift through the shows yourself—as there’s plenty more worth experiencing—but do check this show out.

nugs.net archive: Panic Halloween ’10

Widespread Panic –New Orleans, 10/30/10

We are kicking off our new blog by diving into the archives to surface some of our favorite high-quality downloads available on nug.net.  With 895 downloads in the archives, it’s hard to choose just one show that encapsulates what Widespread Panic does. Widespread Panic has been a heavy hitter in the Jam community for 30 years and are the heart of southern improvisational music. After narrowing down the many choices of killer shows, we found one that has all the right goods to bring to you. Holiday shows are always a special time with Widespread Panic but nothing comes close to their Halloween runs , which seem to be filled with a never ending supply of sit-ins, covers and rockin’ setlists.

New Orleans, 10/30/10 and the days surrounding it, exemplify what Widespread Panic does best. With great song selections from their own catalog and even a sit-in from Dr. John, the Night Tripper himself; only in New Orleans. This show has it all, with covers of Talking Heads “Papa Legba,” JJ Cale’s, “Ride Me High” and a blazing “Spanish Moon” originally by Little Feat, that is jammed out to extensive proportions.

The show also features Jimmy Herring on lead guitar. While Jimmy was still fairly new to the band after the passing of original guitarist, Michael Houser, Herring took to Panic like a fish in water and he shows his masterful guitar work throughout this entire performance and so does each member of the band, making this show a classic on nugs.net.

Stand out original songs include: a first set, “Dirty Side Down,” a newer song from that performance that has since become a classic. It’s very interesting to hear the development of these songs throughout the years and we can hear these changes within the hundreds of shows in the archives. “Henry Parsons Died” shows jazz flavored solos and incredible bass playing from Dave Schools. The second set opens with an always welcome, “Climb To Safety” as the band says, “climb aboard!” Into “Chilly Water.”

Dr. John enters the stage and plays a great rendition of “Right Place, Wrong Time” that has raw energy and those voodoo vibes that only he can bring. They continue with, “Dream Warrior.” Here Widespread shows what they do best while playing with the jazz/blues legend. The 12 minute “Arlene” is relentless and anytime Panic plays this song watch out, you’re going somewhere! The spectacular show closes with a Grateful Dead staple, “Creampuff War.”

It really doesn’t get much better than this and I am positive there will be many more shows from Widespread Panic in the upcoming posts.

Be sure to check out this recording of Halloween 2010 and so many more on nugs.net.  This soundboard recorded professionally mixed show is available for purchase as downloadable mp3, lossless, and CD shipped to your door.  It’s also available on demand.    Rock ON!

-Jam Band Purist