Ray's Gigs

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Saturday 23 March 2024.

Saturday 23 March 2024. MR .BIG live at Shepherds Bush Empire. Mr.Big bring their ' The Big Finish' 2023/2024 World Tour to the UK....last year the band played 11 sold out nights at the famous Budokan Arena in Tokyo, as the band are huge over there. Mr. Big is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1988. Still featuring three original members Though primarily a hard rock band, they are also known for softer songs. Their songs are often marked by strong vocals and vocal harmonies. Their hits include "To Be with You" (a number-one single in 15 countries in 1992) and "Just Take My Heart". They will play their second album 'Lean Into It ' in full , which includes their mega selling hit single ' To Be With You'. Another band who are saying this is their last UK tour. I have seen them six times before ,with the last time being at this same venue in 2017. Including two times when they supported Aerosmith at Wembley Arena in 1993, when Aerosmith had a comeback, after the went very quiet in the early 1980s. Aerosmith multi-platinum release, Permanent Vacation (1987), saw them regaining their previous level of popularity In the late 1980s and 1990s, the band won numerous awards for music from the multi-platinum albums Pump (1989) and Get a Grip (1993). Last minute update from Mr. Big.... Earlier today (Friday, March 22),Eric Martin took to his social media to write: "Hey fine folks, Eric here .. So after these last couple shows with my voice going in and out and struggling to keep it together (I'm not gonna get into it ..wear and tear, work overload, voodoo doll curses etc.) I had a crazy idea that could work. I'm bringing out my dear friend and singer Michele Luppi (WHITESNAKE) to join me on stage on these next two shows so I can get my strength back. We'll duet on most of the tunes including the album. ------- Tonight's show is fully sold out. Mr.Big are "Big in Japan" so plenty of Japanese here. JARED JAMES NICHOLS on stage at 7.45pm for 30 mins. Jared James Nichols (age 35 ) is an American blues-rock guitarist and singer from East Troy, Wisconsin, best known for his high-energy "pick-less" electric guitar playing technique. He is rarely seen playing without his signature single-pickup Epiphone Les Paul Custom P90 nick-named Old Glory or his vintage original 1953 Gibson Les Paul nick-named Ole Red. He fronts a power trio under his name, rooted in the early 1970s hard-rock vein of Cream and Mountain. He resides in Nashville, Tennessee. Jared looks and style reminded me of Ted Nugent . He cuts an imposing figure with upper arms the size of tree trunks and a body frame that wouldn't be out of place in the world's strongest man competition. The trio played a good set of tracks. I had seen them before in 2017 at Ramblin' Man Festival. MR.BIG arrived on stage at 8.50pm and played for 1 hour 55 mins. Despite his vocal struggles, Eric Martin is giving it 100% , and his vocal help is standing by the drum kit , hehind him. The band are top notch musicians , with both Paul Gilbert (lead guitar ) and Billy Sheehan ( bass guitar), both having full solos. It is obvious that Billy, Paul and new drummer Nick D'Virgilio are massively empathetic towards their singer's struggles, and they cover for him as much as possible. The choruses of most tracks are provided by their harmonious tones. Their big hits 'Just Take My Heart' and 'To Be With You' were highlights and there were a few nice covers in the set. A great show. Full MR. BIG setlist played tonight.... Intro tape song - Blitzkrieg Bop (Ramones song) Addicted to That Rush Take Cover Price You Gotta Pay LEAN INTO IT album ... Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy (The Electric Drill Song) Alive and Kickin' Green-Tinted Sixties Mind CDFF-Lucky This Time ( Jeff Paris cover) Voodoo Kiss Never Say Never Just Take My Heart My Kinda Woman A Little Too Loose Road to Ruin To Be With You Wild World ( Cat Stevens cover) Guitar Solo (with snippets of 'Theme from Rocky', 'The Whole World´s Gonna Know' and 'Nothing But Love') Colorado Bulldog Bass Solo Shy Boy ( Talas cover) 30 Days in the Hole (Humble Pie cover) Good Lovin' (The Olympics cover) (Band swaps instruments, with Billy Sheehan on vocals) Baba O'Riley ( The Who cover) Note: Michele Luppi provided additional vocals throughout due to Eric Martin's illness ---------------------------------- ---------------------------------- Friday 22 March 2024. LUKAS GRAHAM live at Shepherds Bush Empire . Lukas Graham is a Danish pop band featuring lead vocalist Lukas Forchhammer.The band released Lukas Graham, their first album, with labels Copenhagen Records and Then We Take The World in 2012.The album peaked at number one on the Danish charts. Their second album was released in 2015.and earned international attention with singles like "Mama Said" and "7 Years", the latter of which topped the singles charts in many major music markets, including the UK . Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Lukas Graham recently unveiled his long-awaited full length album 4 (The Pink Album) via Warner. This London show is the last date on their UK tour. ------- The show is totally sold out. Mainly English folks here, but there were some Danish Quite a few families with young children. ROZZI and her guitarist arrived on stage at 8pm for 35 mins. ROZZI is American singer -songwriter with a great voice. She played tracks from her two albums and an Abba cover of ' Dancing Queen'. LUKAS GRAHAM arrived on stage at 8pm for their 80 mins set. The name sounds like an American country music act, but they are a five piece band, including keyboards. All the tracks are in English , catchy pop soul. The band are as surprised as I am, that they have sold out this 2000 capacity venue. The singer takes his shirt off for the last three songs. The last song of the night is their big UK number one hit singles ' 7 Years'. Overall the show ticked along nicely.