This summer has been a slow season for blogging since I was busy building a new library for my albums (post to come later), as well as doing something I haven’t done in a very long time… catch some live shows.
I gave up on concerts about 7 years ago. There were just to many times the fans have disappointed me by either yelling and interrupting performances, or spending too much time blocking everybody’s view by making a shitty video with their phone rather than enjoying the actual performance right in front of them.
I’ve learned to accept that these things and decided to splurge on a few concerts.
Earlier in the summer I went to Fred Rock. This two day event is held annually here in Fredericton and is a bit pricey, but the money is well spent as they manage to bring some great bands to a nice small venue.
I didn’t see every band on the roster but I saw the main performers. Joel Plaskett played Friday and was as good as always. I’m a big fan and he has yet to disappoint. It was especially nice to see him play a bunch from his latest LP Park Avenue Sobriety Test as well as a few older tunes that I never heard him play before like Ashtray Rock and A Million Dollars.
Next up was a new to me band, Monster Truck. I’ve had a few friends recommend them to me as a great live band, and they were right. Kind of a Southern Rock feel but heavier. I didn’t know any of their songs going in but was quick to buy their latest album on the way out the door.
Day two had a few earlier bands that I missed, but I made it in time to catch Hey Rosetta’s set. This is another band that has been recommended by a few, but I was quite disappointed. The performance was lifeless and boring, and the music seemed quite dull. Sounded like one long drawn out mediocre song. Many friends disagree with me on this, but of course it’s just my personal opinion.
Headlining FredRock was Blue Rodeo. I was really excited to finally catch Blue Rodeo live. They are one of those bands that often plays locally, but I always seem to dismiss. They had a nice long set full of all their hits and sounded awesome. Their playing was near flawless and their voices stronger than ever.
So FredRock was a great start to my summer, but the main even for me was AC/DC at Magnetic Hill in Moncton. I made it to the venue just prior to Big Sugar hitting the stage. I used to be a huge Big Sugar fan in the late 90’s, but they seemed to have stalled. It was the same performance as always and I expected much more.
AC/DC was better than I ever could have imagined. I didn’t have high expectations since the two leaders have been getting up there in age: Brian Johnson is 67 and Angus is 60. You would swear they were both in their 20’s. Brian hit every insane high note and was full of energy. Angus brings energy to an entire different level. He would duckwalk walk across the large stage almost nonstop for two hours. His solos were flawless and he works the crowd better than any lead guitarist I’ve seen.
There were a lot of people at this show (last number I heard was 40,000), but it wasn’t crammed as much as I thought it would be. The only time it really got uncomfortable was when the show finished and everybody fled to the one exit at the same time. It was shoulder to shoulder for over an hour, but most people seem patient and it went well.
I’m glad I made it to these concerts and hope to do the same next summer. I have one more lined up for fall: Alice Cooper at the Moncton Casino. I think I’m anticipating this one more than any other since I have been such a fan of Cooper for so long. I never tire of watching his performances on DVD and Youtube and can’t wait to see it in person.