Live Concert Review – Grand Arena, Cape Town 7.11.2017

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Our evening started off with a long walk to the venue, due to the long queues that stretched for meters past the entrance to the casino.

We eventually arrive with quite a good view from the Golden Circle. I was eager to see what the opening band would be like, especially since I know that they have a female lead singer. The name of the band is The Sweet Resistance and they are a South African alternative pop rock band, but the lead singer Tash hails from Canada. They released their debut album in September 2016, titled “Where There Is Hope”.

The band opened up their set and the crowd was silent, trying to gauge the band’s performance. It didn’t take me long to realize that this band was a solid unit and not intimidated by their position as the supporting band for Live’s Reunion Tour.

The Sweet Resistance performed an impressive cover of Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive”. View their performance here:

The band ended their set and I was so glad that I got introduced to them as I would definitely go and watch a performance of theirs if I get the chance.

The crowd naturally couldn’t wait for Live to take to the stage. You could see the happiness on each of the band members’ faces as they came on, grateful to be doing what they are doing, together again.

Live currently consists of Ed Kowalczyk on (lead vocal, rhythm guitar), Chad Taylor (lead guitar, backing vocals), Patrick Dahlheimer (bass) and Chad Gracey (drums).

The band  brought along two touring band members Zak Loy (rhythm guitar) and Adam Diaz (drums). The two drum sets on stage were a real treat and I can honestly say that I haven’t been to a live performance with a similar set-up.

The excitement in the air was tangible as the band opened their set with “All Over You”. The sound was incredible and honestly the best sound quality I have experienced at the Grand Arena.

“Pain Lies On The Riverside” is such a melodious song, due to the skillful layering of each instrument that the band plays and it translates so well during a live performance.

The band performed the ever-popular “Dolphin’s Cry” early on in the set, to my surprise and utter delight. Personally I think hearing this song live alone is an honour and worth every penny of the ticket price. It is such an iconic song of my youth and one of the songs that my generation use to relate to the band.

“Selling the Drama” did exactly that, the breakdown when the chorus hits is magical and it is a great song for the band’s guitarists to indulge in.

Live even treated us to their cover of Johnny Cash’s “Walk The Line”, which was a refreshing addition to their set and certainly one I didn’t expect.

Live performed “Sh*t Towne” which is about the town where the guys grew up and hated it at the time. The excitement on their faces was evident when they played that song and you could see the bond they share over that song. They like visiting their town in the current day, because there is more life there now in comparison to when they were growing up.

“I Alone” has become one of my all-time favourite songs and I can’t get the song to play loud enough. It is a raw and powerful song on all fronts, lyrically and musically. The song emits an energy, which you can only convey when you mean every word of what you are singing. I find that this song is more aggressive in nature in comparison to many of their other songs and it is one that will defy age. I was privileged to witness this song performed live and I couldn’t absorb that moment long enough.

“Lakini’s Juice” is a delightful, gritty piece of music, with that signature rift threaded between the lyrics and drums. A song that hits you right between the eyes and doesn’t let go until the last note.

After another song, the band left the stage and the audience had instant separation anxiety and started chanting for the band to return.

Ed lead the encore on his own for the first part of “Heaven” where he forgot the words to the song, it was an endearing moment and the audience actually seemed to enjoy it. I felt for Ed, but he handled it extremely well and I’m selfishly glad that I caught the moment  on video.

“Run To The Water”, is an invigorating song and one of the highlights of the band’s discography. I always find the song refreshing, because it is about seeking solace.

The band performed a tribute to Chris Cornell with a cover version of Audioslave’s “I Am The Highway” which was touching.

After the encore, the crowd could not wait for the band to play “Lightning Crashes”, because I heard quite a few audience members becoming impatient. Once the band played the first few notes of that song the crowd went hysterical.

Live Setlist Grand Arena, GrandWest Casino, Cape Town, South Africa 2017

me

My friend and I at the Live Reunion Tour Concert at Grand Arena, Grand West Casino, Cape Town, South Africa

Photo from Lauren Kruger 🎼
It was a fabulous night of quality performances!
Rock Regards,
Lauren K
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Thirty Seconds To Mars Cape Town Concert Review – 23/11/2014

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I purchased tickets for the concert on the 13th of December 2013. I was super excited about it, because I missed their last concert in Cape Town in 2010 and I was REALLY looking forward to it.

Fast forward to May 2014, when the band announced that they would have to postpone their tour due to medical reasons concerning one of the band members. I was devastated as I had put in leave especially for the concert and I had looked forward to it for so long. I had to wait until the 23rd of November 2014 to see them perform.

On the 21st of November 2014, 30 Seconds to Mars had a scheduled concert in Johannesburg. I found out over social media that Shannon Leto was not present, due to him taking ill. I was really disappointed, because I wanted to witness the chemistry between the band members on stage. The band consists of three members and it made the set-up lopsided if one band member was absent.

On Sunday the 23rd of November 2014 I started preparing for the concert, in a despondent mood. I was sad that Shannon wasn’t going to be there and I was feeling a little ill myself.

My sister and I arrived at the venue and we got a relatively good spot in the golden circle. I sat down waiting for Beatenberg to start their set. Beatenberg consists of Matthew Field (vocalist, guitar), Ross Dorkin (bass guitar) and Robin Brink (drums). The band started at 7:30 sharp, which was pleasant. They opened the set with their hit “Chelsea Blakemore” and continued to play some more songs from their debut album which included “Beauty Like A Tightened Bow”, “Rafael”, “Southern Suburbs” and “Cavendish Square”, closing their set with “Pluto”.

Beatenberg ended their set at 08:00 and then the wait began for the band we have all been waiting for. The lights went down, and the pulse-inducing opening sequence started. It took a few minutes before Tomo appeared and another minute or so before the enigmatic Jared Leto appeared with a crown adorning his captivating locks. My ears started buzzing from all the loud screams that filled the arena. I could barely breathe when Jared Leto appeared. For four years he only existed on my laptop screen, on a television screen or on the silver screen. If there is one thing that Jared Leto knows how to do is market himself. He had the audience in the palm of his hand for the entire show.

Anyone who has been to a concert and bought Golden Circle tickets knows that you have to take ownership of your spot on the floor or the other concert-goers might just take the chance to nab your spot which is located closer to the stage. During Jared Leto’s acoustic set he asked the audience to move closer to where he was standing at the walkway in front of the stage. At first everyone was indecisive, but when he insisted the audience obeyed. We moved closer to him and found ourselves in a better place than before.

It was fascinating the amount of interaction that Jared maintained with the audience throughout the show. The band released colourful balloons which reflects the artwork on their latest album cover and they floated around during the majority of the show, additionally streamers were blown into the air to the crowd’s delight.

The band’s opening song was “Up In The Air” and at first Jared’s voice sounded a bit sharp, but it warmed and softened more with the songs which followed. The crowd chanted along with “This Is War” and I loved their performance of “Conquistador” one of my favourite songs. Jared came up close and personal to the crowd during “Kings and Queens”, by the looks of where I was standing he seemed a bit nervous when the audience started tugging and pulling at him. The crowd bounced and danced through “Do or Die”. Jared gave a beautiful and touching performance of “City of Angels”. Things started heating up when he started to sing “End of all Days”. He pulled and tugged at his clothing suggestively to the delight of the female audience. Besides that distraction he delivered the vocals for the song perfectly.

The frontman then started his acoustic set singing a song which his grandfather used to sing to him called “Save Me”. The audience performed the intro for “Alibi” and Jared sang his heart out. The crowd were delighted when he went into a performance of “The Kill (Bury Me)”. During his acoustic set, the hormones of some ladies’ was at its peak. An indication of this, is the amount of suggestive and daring signs members of the crowd were holding up.

The mood turned romantic when the intro to “Bright Lights” started and everyone got their cellphones and lighters up.

After the song ended Jared started calling audience members up onto the stage, which obviously resulted in a lot of excitement. It was a great end to an amazing night and it went by so quickly.

After the show Jared and Tomo were signing Mars’ shirts and if you paid a fee, they would sign it for you. The queue for their signatures was insane! There were about 600 people if not more who got their merchandise signed. The wait wasn’t long though (no photos allowed) and concert-goers passed the time by chatting about the concert and thinking about what they were going to say to Jared when they got to the front. Most people fantasies’ were never realised as everyone went quiet when they saw him. 😀 I was one of those people, I was wracking my brain trying to think about what I was going to say. When I finally got to the front all I could manage was “Thank you, Tomo” and “Thank you, Jared”. Jared was busy signing when I spoke and he made a point to look up at me with those icy blue eyes and said “Thank you very, very much”. He hardly spoke to me, but the look on his face was one of endless gratitude for his fans and his lifestyle/career. My sister was waiting outside for me and was in a place where she could see Jared, she noticed that he made an effort to look up at each and every person when the alternative was to sign as fast as he could without looking up and finish up earlier.

I stand corrected, but from what I could tell and a few audience members would agree with me, but Thirty Seconds To Mars is the only international band to visit Cape Town thus far to take time out of their schedule to do a signing session.

I was sad that Shannon wasn’t there, but at the end of the night Jared and Tomo as well as the rest of the crew made up for it. It was one of the happiest moments of my life and I enjoyed every second of their concert. When they return I will fight tooth and nail to get a ticket if it comes to that.

Thank you to Thirty Seconds To Mars for making such an effort to come and perform for us as often as you can.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

 

 

Thirty Seconds to Mars Setlist GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World, Cape Town, South Africa 2014, Love Lust Faith + Dreams

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Beatenberg This image is the property of The Rock Riff.

Beatenberg
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Me being stupidly happy. This image is the property of The Rock Riff.

Me being stupidly happy.
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Frontman of the week – Chris Daughtry

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Today I feature a charming and talented singer and guitarist, Christopher Adam Daughtry born on the 26th of December 1979. Chris was born in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina and raised in Lasker up until the age of 14. At age 16 Daughtry started to take singing seriously. He took guitar lessons from blues rock guitarist Matt Jagger and sought advice from Andy Waldeck (frontman for From Earth to Andy) who is credited on Daughtry’s debut album. He performed with rock bands during high school at local venues even once opening for his future bandmate Brian Craddock’s band, My Dog Lucy.

Chris’s high school band went by the name of Cadence where he sang lead and played rhythm guitar, they produced one album All Eyes On You in 1999. Later on Chris joined Absent Element again singing lead vocal and playing rhythm guitar. Absent Element released an album called Uprooted in 2005. In 2005 Chris auditioned for the CBS singing contest Rock Star:INXS, he did not make the cut for the filming of the show. Former Daughtry drummer Joey Barnes auditioned as well and made the cut, but later dropped out due to disagreements regarding the contract.

The majority of people first heard of Chris Daughtry when he auditioned for American Idol Season 5. He auditioned in Denver, Colorado and sang The Box Tops’ ” The Letter” which was covered by Joe Cocker. Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson gave him the go-ahead, but Simon Cowell felt Chris seemed too robotic. Judge for yourself here:

Daughtry made it into the Top 24 and on the 1st March 2006 Chris impressed the audience and the judges with his raw performance of Fuel’s “Hemorrhage (In My Hands)“, which is a great song and I was introduced to the song by listening to Chris’s performance on American Idol. I didn’t have the privilege to watch Chris’s journey on American Idol, but looked it up on Youtube years later. Chris was offered the opportunity to become Fuel’s lead singer, since the band was without a lead singer at that time, but although flattered Chris denied the offer. Chris performed a rendition of “I Walk The Line” by Johnny Cash on American Idol, it caused a little bit of controversy because the audience claimed that it sounded quite similar to Live’s version of the same song and that the band was never credited on the show. In the pre-performance interview a lot of content gets cut and Chris defended himself by saying that he did mention in the pre-performance interview that he was doing a different version from a band that he respects.

On the 2nd of August 2008 at the  Tom’s River Fest in Tom’s River NJ, Daughtry, Ed Kowalczyk, and Live performed Live’s rendition of “I Walk the Line” together, which just proved that there was no need for any concern from Live’s fans.

Chris Daughtry was in the final four and on May 10th 2006 he unfortunately found himself in the bottom 2 with Katharine McPhee. Daughtry was eliminated and seemed quite stunned at the result.

After leaving American Idol Chris Daughtry appeared on numerous television shows which has become quite common for eliminated contestants from American Idol as the show progressed.

On the 10th of July 2006 it was announced that Chris had signed a record deal with RCA Records and 19 Entertainment. Daughtry’s self-titled debut album was released on November 21st 2006. The album reached number one on the Billboard Charts. The album features a guitar solo by Slash on the track “What I Want”, which isn’t too shabby considering its Daughtry’s debut album. How many musicians can boast about that?

“On November 18, 2007, the band was the winner of multiple awards at the “2007 American Music Awards” (ABC Television). The winning categories were: 1) Pop or Rock: Favorite Album – Daughtry; 2) Adult Contemporary Music: Favorite Artist; 3) Favorite Breakthrough Artist. On December 6, 2007, the band was nominated for four 50th Annual Grammy Awards: Best Rock Album for Daughtry, Best Rock Song for “It’s Not Over“, Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal for “Home”, and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for “It’s Not Over”. ” -Quote obtained from Wikipedia

On May 6th 2009 Daughtry performed “No Surprise” their first single of their second album ‘Leave This Town’ on American Idol. Chris Daughtry wrote the song with Nickelback’s vocalist Chad Kroeger. Leave this Town was released on the 14th of July 2009, Chris Daughtry made history with its release, because he became the first American Idol alumnus to have two consecutive number one albums. This is quite an achievement since he didn’t even win the competition. Leave This Town was the first album that Daughtry wrote and recorded as a band, since their debut album was written and recorded before the band was officially formed.

On the 2nd of July 2009 Daughtry performed an acoustic cover of Lady Gaga’s Poker Face and the video has received over 25 million views on Youtube. I’ll be honest at first I didn’t really like the cover (I didn’t take it too seriously at first), but the more I listened to it the more it grew on me.

You can view it here:

Chris Daughtry is a huge comic book fan and he was delighted when Daughtry got the opportunity to write and record a song for the video game Batman: Arkham City. “On September 5, 2011, Daughtry tweeted that the song “Drown In You” is exclusive to the soundtrack and will not be featured on his upcoming album.” – Wikipedia, 18th September 2012

On September 15th 2011 Daughtry posted Renegade on their official website, a song from their upcoming album Break the Spell. On the 19th of September 2011 Daughtry posted Crawling Back To You another song off of their upcoming album.

Chris Daughtry provided vocals on a Sevendust track called ‘The Past’ on their album Chapter VII: Hope & Sorrow. Alter Bridge members Mark Tremonti and Myles Kennedy appear on the same album which should give you an idea of the calibre of talent featured on the album. In the same year Chris provided backing vocals on Theory of a Deadman’s track ‘By The Way’ which was featured on their third album ‘Scars and Souvenirs’. Chris also appeared on the song ‘Slow Down’ on the album Revelation by Third Day. In 2009 Daughtry collaborated with Timbaland on the track ‘Long Way Down’ on Timbaland’s album Shock Value II featuring various artists including Chad Kroeger, Justin Timberlake, One Republic and The Fray to name a few. During this time Chris also co-wrote a few songs with band Day of Fire.

In 2010 Chris and Jason Wade performed a duet on Lifehouse’s fifth album Smoke & Mirrors on the song ‘Had Enough’. Chris also co-wrote a song with Kris Allen for his debut album. Chris Daughtry performed lead vocals on a cover of Def Leppard’s song Photograph with Carlos Santana on his album titled Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time which featured many talented rock stars such as Linkin Park, Scott Stapp, Chris Cornell and Jacoby Shaddix to name a few.

I think what sets Chris Daughtry apart from other rock stars is his charisma, his trademark vocal belting technique, his honesty and that he is a great father and a family man. Average people can relate to him and many people got to know him in the course of his American Idol journey. In my opinion his elimination from American Idol may have been the best thing that could have happened to his career, because he didn’t have to conform to the contractual obligations I imagine that a winner from American Idol will have. He became well-known and he was free to pursue his career in the way he wanted.

“Belting (or vocal belting) is a specific technique of singing by which a singer produces a loud sound in the upper middle of the pitch range. It is often described as a vocal register, although some dispute this since technically the larynx is not oscillating in a unique way.Singers can use belting to convey heightened emotional states.” – Wkipedia, 18th September 2012

The lyrics from his song ‘Life After You’ has been quoted countless of times, specifically “All that I’m after is a life full of laughter”, because it resonates with so many people. I really admire his relationship with his wife Deanna, because they were married before he auditioned for American Idol and stayed together ever since. I can’t even imagine the strain a marriage would have to bear when one partner becomes famous overnight. I really admire both of them for enduring that challenge and still being able to raise 4 children well. It requires daily work to keep a relationship going without all those others factors thrown in. So I salute both of them and wish them all the happiness they deserve.

My first rock concert was when I went to see Daughtry live in Cape Town at the Grand West Arena on the 27th October 2010. The band put on a fantastic performance and I was enchanted the whole way through. After the show Chris tweeted that Cape Town was one of the best shows that they have ever played. My boyfriend even managed to get me Josh Steely’s pick!

Chris Daughtry previously mentioned on Twitter  that he was listening to Thirty Seconds To Mars’s This Is War album and forgot how good it was. More recently a fan asked if Chris would ever consider collaborating with Thirty Seconds To Mars and he replied that he would love to since he is a fan of their music. I hope that maybe it will happen someday, wouldn’t that be an interesting combination!

Daughtry is currently touring with Nickelback on the European leg of their Here & Now tour.

Tour dates can be found here: http://www.daughtryofficial.com/us/events

Daughtry will be releasing their music video for ‘Start of Something Good’ off of their album Break The Spell soon.

Here is a sneak peak:

Start of Something Good

Behind the Scenes of Daughtry’s new video for ‘Start of Something Good”
Source:http://www.daughtryofficial.com/us/official-photos/595029

Off of Daughtry’s debut album I love the fast-paced ‘There and Back Again’ and the aggressive ‘What I Want’.

My favourites from ‘Break The Spell’ is the feisty, adrenaline fuelled ‘Renegade’, the lovable rock tune ‘Break The Spell’ and the touching, addictive ‘Rescue Me’.

Thank you for reading!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Chris Daughtry

Chris Daughtry has worked hard to achieve these results.
Source: https://twitter.com/CHRIS_Daughtry/status/243087241860231169

You can follow Chris Daughtry on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/CHRIS_Daughtry

You can follow Chris’s beautiful wife on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/Mrsdaughtry

Follow Daughtry’s official Twitter profile here: https://twitter.com/Daughtry_News