Ray's Gigs

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Sunday 23 July 2023.

Sunday 23 July 2023. JON ANDERSON live at Shepherds Bush Empire. Jon Anderson plays the second of two shows at this venue. I went back to see it again. Level 3 is pretty empty so 100 plus tickets less sold for tonight's show. Everything was exactly the same as the first night. The band times on stage were exactly the same. Both the band setlists were exactly the same. Another very enjoyable show, that was pretty unique. ------------------------------ ------------------------------ Saturday 22 July 2023. JON ANDERSON live at Shepherds Bush Empire. Jon Anderson (now aged 78) plays the first of two shows at this venue. These are the only English shows on his European Tour. Jon Anderson is the prog rock singing legend who founded Yes back in 1968. I have seen Yes a few times including at QPRs Loftus Road Stadium in May 1975. The tour is called 'The Classic Albums Tour'. The show will feature the 1972 Yes album 'Close To The Edge' ,and other classic Yes songs. Setlists from his mainland Europe shows include several cover versions. An older crowd so the stalls will be seated for this show. THE PAUL GREEN ROCK ACADEMY will be the support band tonight and Jons backing band. Paul Green is an American record producer, film producer, director, screenwriter, singer-songwriter, music teacher, entrepreneur, and philanthropist who founded School of Rock (formerly known as The Paul Green School of Rock Music), a performance-based music program for kids. ---------- It is pretty full tonight, so as its stalls seated , there is around 1000 mainly older folks here tonight. Lots of grey hair and bald heads in the audience. PAUL GREEN ROCK ACADEMY arrive on stage at 7pm for their 45 mins set. Paul Green himself introduces them and says to the crowd "all of the members are under the ago of 20, so expect some mistakes tonight". Not sure how a hardcore Yes fan would react to that , as they like top notch musicianship. There must be at least 20 of them , rotating every song, with several plus on stage for each song. Several different singers as well, as they performed all cover versions including 'Stay With Me', 'Stop Dragging My Heart Around', 'You Can Call Me Al' and 'Somebody To Love'. JON ANDERSON was on stage for 2 hours 20 mins over two sets of 75 mins and 65 mins. Not sure what Yes fans make of Jon when he says " we are going to play several mash-ups tonight , where we are mixing Yes classics with cover versions". He is backed by tonights support band, and again there are several members plus rotating on each song. Maybe some Yes fans are expecting Jon to be performing with a bunch of old musos, so respect is due to Jon for fully supporting these younger musicians playing these tricky to play Yes songs. They certainly gave those muso Yes songs a more fun and relaxed vibe. A nice big sound as some tracks had three or four guitarists and others playing together. The cover versions intros played were basically sung by the Paul Green Rock Academy singers, as Jon stayed back playing guitar or did backing vocals and actually left the stage for a couple of songs. The second half of the mash-up would be Jon singing the Yes part of the song. Jons high singing and talking voice still sounds good, and he looks great for his age. There are film cameras filming it all. Some songs were a bit too proggy for this old punk rocker. Yes anthem 'Roundabout ' was the final song where all the 20 plus musicians and vocalists were on stage , as the stalls seats all got up and sang along. A very enjoyable show. Full JON ANDERSON setlist played tonight... FIRST SET Yours Is No Disgrace (Yes song) (with Heart Of The Sunrise intro) I've Seen All Good People (Yes song) Don't Kill the Whale (Yes song) (with Kashmir (Led Zeppelin) intro) State of Independence (Jon and Vangelis cover) (with Lose Yourself (Eminem) intro) South Side of the Sky (Yes song) (with Fly Away (Lenny Kravitz) intro) Long Distance Runaround (Yes song) The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus) (Yes song) Owner of a Lonely Heart (Yes song) Perpetual Change (Yes song) Mood for a Day (Yes song) Leave It (Yes song) (Without Jon) SECOND SET Close to the Edge Close to the Edge (Yes song) And You and I (Yes song) Siberian Khatru (Yes song) Starship Trooper (Yes song) (with Let's Dance (David Bowie ) intro) Roundabout (Yes song) -------------------------- -------------------------- Friday 21 July 2023. RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS live at Tottenham Football Ground, North London. RHCP back for a massive London show as part of their huge 2022/2023 world tour. RHCP have sold over 120 records worldwide (albums and singles combined) since 1982. The Roots and King Princess will join them. I have seen RHCP around a dozen times since 1999, including one of their THREE massive Hyde Park shows in 2004...and when they played a free gig outside BBC Studios , Wood Lane, White City, London W12. I saw both RHCP shows at The London Stadium, East London in June 2022 ----------- Always great to be at Tottenhams stunning stadium. I read that 30,000 out of 43,000 tickets were sold for tonight, but it looks like more than that to me. KING PRINCESS arrived on stage at 6.15pm for their 30 mins set. King Princess and her band played a good set of songs, from their two albums. King Princess dresses like a boy on stage tonight. Both the support bands get to use the big side screens tonight. THE ROOTS arrived on stage at 7.15pm for their 45 mins set. The Roots have released several albums over the past 30 years. On stage they mix hip-hop and jazz with lots of brass instruments to create a great big funky sound. Band members are continually dancing and moving around the stage. RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS arrived on stage at 8.40pm for their 1 hour 40 mins set. They have a stunning wraparound screen from top to bottom in the middle of their production. No stage extension for them. A great start as they get stuck into a jam , before the mega intro riffs to 'Can't Stop'. Bassist Flea is doing his usual crazy dancing and stage antics. He gave a good rant on when they first came to play in London, when they had to stay in a youth hostel, as they begged radio stations to play their music. The drummer has a lovely gold kit, and throws out drumsticks often, The big screens used psychedelic digital images of the band members, that looked great in the darkness. All their best songs are over a decade old now, and the crowd still love hearing them. The band are super tight after lots of gigs , and their funky rock is still as fab as ever. Full RHCP setlist played tonight... Intro Jam Can't Stop Scar Tissue (Dedicated to Tony Bennett) Snow ((Hey Oh)) Aquatic Mouth Dance Suck My Kiss Reach Out Soul to Squeeze Right on Time (with "London Calling" by The Clash intro) Dreamboy (Cynthia & Johnny O cover) (John Solo) Don't Forget Me Tippa My Tongue Tell Me Baby The Heavy Wing Californication Black Summer By the Way Encore: Under the Bridge Give It Away --------------------------------- --------------------------------- Friday 21 July 2023. Sad news that legendary singer TONY BENNETT has died aged 96. I saw him a few times live including a great 2015 show at The Royal Albert Hall , where LADY GAGA toured with him to sing their duets album.