Live Reviews

Worldwide concert reviews

Ryman Auditorium Hosts Wilco for Two Emotional Shows

The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee is one of the two greatest theatres in North America (Massey Hall in Toronto the other). The acoustics, the vibe, the location make any artist that performs there seem otherworldly. Wilco -- seminal band and grandfathers of what some call “alt-country” -- played two nights at the Ryman in late October and gave what could only be called a heartfelt, humbling sonic masterpiece. As the house lights dimmed, Jeff Tweedy and crew entered the scene to a standing ovation from the sold-out crowd. You could see the smile on the band's face as they...

Joanne Shaw Taylor at Sage Gateshead (Gateshead, UK - Oct 20, 2014)

With no support act, Joanne Shaw Taylor and band took to the stage at 8 p.m. on the dot, taking many fans by surprise -- some whom were still in the bar and others who hadn’t even arrived. Dressed casually in a black vest, blue jeans, and bright red flat shoes, the Brummie guitar queen didn’t take long to blast out her trademark electric blues to the sparse audience. Thankfully, by the time Taylor was slowly and funkily re-interpreting Frankie Miller’s "Jealousy",  the hall was about half full (which was still disappointing for someone as popular as her). After giving her...

Blues Hall Of Fame Tour at Carolina Theatre (Durham, NC - Oct 18, 2014)

Since its inception in 1980, the Blues Hall of Fame hasn't been much more than a list of venerable buesmen. But, by 2015, Memphis will provide a home in which to present their living treasures and revere the ones who have left us. Until then, fans in selected parts of the country have been lucky enough to get a taste of some of the Hall's living legends up close with 2011 inductee John Hammond, '06's James Cotton and 2010's Charlie Musselwhite on the Blues Hall of Fame tour. Any one of these guys still has enough juice and power to light up a stage by themselves, but grouped together...

Joan Osborne at City Winery (Nashville, Tenn. - October 18, 2014)

Way back in August of 1995 (August 24, to be exact), I saw Joan Osborne perform for the first time. By the end of the opening song (“Pensacola,” to be specific), I was smitten. In the 19 years since that night in Boulder's Fox Theatre, I've had the pleasure of seeing Osborne perform more than a dozen times. Each time, she has reminded me why she's one of my favorite all-time voices and performers. Last night, at Nashville's new City Winery, she did it again. And she did it without a band. My über-talented musical sidekick and I were both thrilled to be there. With no introduction and no...