Thursday, July 9, 2015

John Fogerty @ The Fox Theatre, St. Louis, MO

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1:30 PM
Words by Duane Clawson, photo provided by artist
Let me take you back to 1969.  Not that I remember much from 1969, as I was a mere four years old.  But from what I gather from my elders it was a wild time!  John Fogerty is a man that lived and rewrote the history books in 1969.  As most know, Fogerty is most famous as the founder of Credence Clearwater Revival (CCR).  But what many don’t know are some of the behind the scenes stories that Fogerty tells oh so well during his two hours and ten minutes onstage. Fogerty is currently on a somewhat of a promotional tour of his impending autobiography, Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music, but more importantly, he is promoting one of his biggest years as a musician and one of Credence’s biggest years as a group:  1969.
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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Photos: 97.1 The Eagle BFD 2015 @ Gexa Energy Pavilion, Dallas, TX

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1:00 PM
Is rock really dead?  Not necessarily but it has had its share of death gurgles.  Long gone are the days of the larger than life stadium tours.  You're lucky to hear a legit pure rock song in a TV commercial or on the radio.  Unless, you're the 97.1 the Eagle in Dallas.  Fighting for your right to head bang, KEGL has been cranking the amp to 11 and has no signs of stopping.  Providing their loyal fans with a day's worth of rock is the ultimate gift of a dying breed.  There were no singer-songwriters, no DJ's, no mega-produced pop star or trendy electronic artists, just a days worth of guitars, beer, sun, and fun.  From the grandiose stage setup of In This Moment, to the simple, hard rock of Breaking Benjamin, all the way to the horror-inspired brand of rock of headliner Rob Zombie, the packed crowd at Gexa proved that rock is still alive and has a strong lifeline.  As long as those continue to rock, there will be ears listening and fists pumping.
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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

105.7 The Point Pointfest 33 @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheater St. Louis, MO

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12:30 PM
Words and pictures by Duane Clawson
In the blink of an eye, another Pointfest has come and gone.  Pointfest is always a great time for all involved.  Journalists, photographers, and PR folks are reunited at one of the first festivals of the season.  Pointfest floundered a bit last year as they attempted to change their lineup with a mellower, more alternative sound.  Last year’s abrupt change produced low attendance numbers and an overall less than enthusiastic response on social media.  Luckily for all involved, the good PR folks at Pointfest noticed the error and took steps to rectify it this year!  This, the 33rd installment of Pointfest, brought some heavy hitters to the main and side stages.  As with any festival there are assorted hits and misses but rest assured, I’m here to report that Pointfest had way more hits than misses. A mix of good weather and a better lineup ensured this year show would be largely successful.

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Friday, May 29, 2015

Halestorm / The Pretty Reckless @ the Pageant, St. Louis, MO

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12:30 PM
Words and pictures by Duane Clawson
Rock and metal were alive and well, and in abundance as Halestorm and The Pretty Reckless brought the Carnival of Madness tour to St. Louis.  Taylor Momsen, front woman of the Pretty Reckless wasted no time letting her birth city know she was back in town as her and the band launched into “Follow Me Down”, the lead track from 2014’s Going to Hell.  The Pretty Reckless would not loosen their metal grip on the Pageant audience until mid-set, as the tempos of “House On A Hill” slowed the evening down for a brief minute.  As the evening progressed, the elusive Momsen, came out of the shadows of a dimly lit stage as bright strobes blasted through air during the last two songs of a nine-song set.  The off and on model, sometimes actress, did an excellent job of warming the stage for the nights headliner, Halestorm.
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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds @ Majestic Theatre, Dallas, TX

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12:00 PM
Within the last several of days, the rumor mill has been in full effect.  Will an Oasis reunion happen?  Will it be without Noel Gallagher?  In all honesty, none of that mattered to those at the Majestic Theater in Dallas on this Thursday night.  Though many in attendance were sporting Oasis shirts and spoke of the band's catalog, Gallagher made it clear this was his show.  "I'm gonna play some songs from my new album, because frankly, that's why I'm here", a direct quote from the Manchester-born musician.  It wasn't particular obvious that he was excited to be playing in Dallas, as he even mentioned that he was "just passing through" but I don't think it mattered as the music, and Gallagher, spoke for themselves.
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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Untapped Fort Worth @ Panther Island Pavilion, Fort Worth, TX

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1:00 PM
Since its inception in 2012, the Untapped festivals presented by the good people at Spune have been nothing but a home run.  Pairing the best of two worlds, music and beer, the combination has won over crowds in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, Houston, and even in Denton, TX with its smaller Canned Festival in 2013.  With an abundance of music festivals in North Texas during the spring and summer months, you typically need a great lineup to get the crowds to come out.  It is no different with Untapped, but where they different from other festivals, the organizers not only booked a pretty solid artist lineup, but they also brought in some stellar brews to Fort Worth.
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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

JJ Grey & Mofro @ the Pagaent, St. Louis, MO

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2:00 PM
Words and pictures by Duane Clawson

I sometimes wish that every single reader of MTC could be with me at a show, because words and pictures can’t always convey the emotions felt at a show.  But as always, I’ll do my best to put you in the moment.  So here it goes!

Being more than just a casual fan of the Florida-based JJ Grey and Mofro but having never seen them live, this stop in St. Louis gave me the opportunity to satisfy all of my senses.  JJ and company immediately made one feel at home with their stage setting, casually decorated with assorted table lamps and a backdrop of two deer silhouettes under a tree.  Wasting no time in showing the large Pageant audience where he was coming from, JJ opened his nearly two and a half hour set with the swampy, “Mississippi”.  JJ Grey & Mofro have cut their teeth and earned their stripes as performers by playing any place that would have them.  These attributes shine through as every band member was smiling cordially throughout the night and acting like there was no other place they wanted to be!
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Boom 94.5 Music Festival @ Fair Park, Dallas, TX

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1:00 PM
Words by Scott Rowe.  Photos by Scott Rowe and Antonio Chantaca

Boom 94.5 has been turning heads since it's inception last year with its blend of classic hip-hop and rap of yesteryear.  So it would be no surprise that the radio station would book artists of these genres to perform at their music festival located at Fair Park in Dallas.  What was surprising was the Louisiana link of the festival and the influence it had on the overall lineup.  With that said, half of the lineup were zydeco bands.  Not necessarily a bad thing but kind of random for a festival put on by a radio station that does not have zydeco bands on rotation.  It did blend well with the Cajun and soul food vendors who setup shop nearby.  Overall, I don't think many minded the genre mix but it was pretty clear, the rappers were the ones everybody came to see.
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Walk the Moon / the Griswolds @ South Side Ballroom, Dallas, TX

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1:00 PM
The last time, and my first time, seeing Walk the Moon perform was at last year's 102.1 KDGE How the Edge Stole Christmas at the Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie.  At that time, they really weren't receiving much radio play, so I had no real knowledge of the band.  To make my first impression a little more skewed, they decided to play an acoustic set with two acoustic guitars and and a pizza box.  You read that right, drummer Sean Waugaman played all percussion on an empty pizza box.  To be totally honest, I left the photo pit of that performance unamused and payed little attention to the rest of their set.  Fast forward six months and my visit to the South Side Ballroom painted a different picture of the band and left me with a very different impression than my first experience.
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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Pokey LaFarge @ Off Broadway, St. Louis, MO

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12:30 PM
Words and pictures by Duane Clawson
“A newspaperman said it couldn’t be done, but I lived it, I wrote it in a song I sung.”
Pokey LaFarge – "Knockin’ The Dust Off The Rustbelt Tonight"

To say I was happy to land this show would be an understatement.  Ecstatic would be closer to the truth!  After three years of mismatched schedules, I would finally be able to photograph the man, the myth, the on his way to being a legend, Pokey LaFarge!  And it just so happens, I would covering Pokey and his band on the weekend of their album release party!  Off Broadway was the venue that provided the stage for three nights of all things Pokey.  Something in the Water is the title of this fine album, it's best paired with a glass of whiskey on ice and an old turntable!  A quick glance at Mr. Lafarge’s biography reveals he is a fan of American literature, a street performer, and a fan of all things Americana.  If you’re not in the know, Pokey and his band mix blues, Appalachian mountain music, swing, jazz, and just a touch of vaudeville into something that is truly unique to this day and age.
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