Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Mika Live In Montreal At The Club Soda

I got tickets for Mika's Club Soda performance last night and what a fluke. I called around noon but was told there would probably be none available. I tried the internet around 1:30 and was shocked when it worked I was able to get 2 tickets. When I went to pick them up I found out that the guy working the booth made a mistake. He was supposed to give the left over tickets back to the promoter but accidentally put them back in the system. If I hadn't logged on at that specific time I would have never gotten them I thanked the guy very much, I hope he didn't get into much trouble. For once a fan got tickets and not friends of the promoters which is the usual case.

My Review

Many years from now I'm going to be able to say that I saw Mika on his first concert tour in a small venue. What an amazing concert. He blasted on stage with his dance hit "Relax (Take It Easy)", I don't think he ever relaxed till the end of the show. The crowd was going crazy you would have thought that he was doing his greatest hits and not just his first album. He does some of the show singing and dancing around the stage like Mick Jagger with songs like "Big Girls (You Are Beautiful)", on others he is playing the piano for "My Interpretation" and "Stuck in the Middle" but he is just as energetic. Classically trained Mika is the real deal. The crowd went wild when he did "Love Today", it's supposed to be his next single but you would have though that it was already his biggest hit. There was only 2 songs the crowd didn't seem to know, he did the hidden track on his album (which isn't my favourite) and a song I didn't know. I wish he would have done "Happy Endings" or the amazing track "Any Other World" instead. The only complaint was that it was too short he played about an hour coming on at 9:30 and finishing at 10:30. He did eleven songs the encore was "Lollipop", they threw big balloons in the audience and of course lollipops, it looked like New Years Eve. I don't think he expected this tour to be so big he probably just wanted to do a small promotion tour for the album.

During the show he mentioned that he arrived in Montreal on Saturday and enjoyed the St-Patrick's Day parade on Sunday. He told the story of his trip to the HMV record store. He went up to the cash to buy his album and the clerk said $12.99 thank you, NEXT! (meaning no one recognised him) He then said that they needed to do some more work here. LOL


Setlist

1. Relax (Take It Easy)
2. Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)
3. My Interpretation
4. Billy Brown
5. Over My Shoulder (hidden track on CD)
6. Unknown song (not on album)
7 Stuck In The Middle
8. Ring Ring
9. Love Today
10. Grace Kelly
11. Lollipop

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Scissor Sisters Live At The Metropolis

When I got to the Metropolis last night I noticed that scalpers were not selling tickets but asking to buy. The show was obviously sold out. I was shocked when I got in to see how many people were there. When I saw the "sisters" in 2005 there were about 10 people waiting early outside to get in. I was able to watch that show right up at the stage only a few inches from their guitarist Del. This time I couldn't even get to the stage. I must be getting old, after waiting over ½ hour squished and becoming claustrophobic in the middle of the crowd I moved to the back of the dance floor just before they came on. I was too far to get any pictures.

Unfortunately the sound was not good. It was very bassy and the music seemed to drown out Jakes vocals. This is probably the venue's fault. It's not the first time that sound at the Metropolis has been off. When I saw their show at the Spectrum in 2005 they sounded great. Unfortunately that venue is being closed down and the group is not big enough to play the Bell Center. I though maybe it was just me, but I could hear the guy in front of me telling his friend that the Spectrum show sounded so much better. It's a real shame because they put on an amazing show, the "sisters" don't just stand around and sing a song, they entertain like no one else. The sound didn't seem to bother the rest of the crowd because they went crazy and seemed to love the show. The crowd went absolutely wild when they did "Filthy/Gorgeous", interesting because I don't think that song was a hit or got much airplay here. The only really lull in the show was the song "Transistor" not sure why they included it in their set since it's a bonus disc song and not on the album. Even slow songs like "Land Of A Thousand Words" was well received but it didn't match the excitement of "Comfortably Numb" my favourite track "Lights", or the finally "I Don't Fell Like Dancing". Jake said "I love Canada and Montreal we sold more fucken' records here the in the entire USA our own homeland."

Like I though Jake and Ana complained of Montreal's cold weather. Ana wanted to know how we cope with it. I wanted so much to tell them that that it was a fluke, that every time they come to Montreal it's been the coldest day of that year. Jake said he was going to show us his dick but it was so cold that it went back up inside his body LOL On that subject Ana talked about a complaint they got from an Australian mother who took her kids to see their show. Ana replied" What does she expect from a group called the Scissor Sisters whose name and logo is a term for a lesbian sexual position." The group is not shy on any subject. My favourite quote of the night was when Ana asked what does FAG stand for. Answer: Filthy and Gorgeous to which they segued into the song. LOL

I hope the cold doesn't stop them from coming back maybe next time they will be big enough to play the Bell Center.

Don't get me started on how long the wait for the coat check was... more then 45 minutes. I almost missed my bus.

The setlist

They came on at 9:30 and played till 11:00

1. ??
2. Laura
3. I Can't Decide
4. She's My Man
5. Tits On The Radio
6. Lights
7. Skins
8. Kiss You Off
9. Filthy/Gorgeous
10. Everybody Wants the Same Thing
11. Land of a Thousand Words
13. Transistor
13. Comfortably Numb
14. Take Your Mama
15. I Don't Feel Like Dancin'

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Top Albums Of 2006

The music of 2006 was up & down. Many of the albums I was waiting for from artist like Robbie Williams and Scissor Sisters were OK but did not blow me away. A few veteran artists like Elton John & Lionel Ritchie surprised me with stellar albums. I did manage to find a few new dance acts, the Brit born German act Cascada and the Danish group Infernal who burned up the dance floor with their hit "From Paris To Berlin". While Elton's "The Captain & The Kid" was my favourite disc it was hard to place an order to the other albums.

Some of the big Pop artists of the year included Nelly Furtado, Justin Timberlake bringing Sexy Back, Sean Paul, Gnarls Barkley & the Pussycat Dolls burning up the charts. My discovery of 2005 Brit singer Natasha Bedingfield broke into the US charts with her top 5 hit "Unwritten", the song ended up being # 6 on Billboards top songs of 2006. Canadian Daniel Powter scored the # 1 song of the year in the US with "Bad Day", thanks to American Idol who played the song every week after a contestant got booted off. Speaking of Idol winner Carrie Underwood had the biggest album in the US with "Some Hearts". In The UK the Scissor Sisters scored big with a # 1 album and single.

The Worst: don't "Wind It Up", someone please tell Gwen Stefani that "The Lonely Goatherd" from the "Sound Of Music DOES NOT make for a good pop song.

Top Albums of 2006


01The Captain & The Kid--Elton John
In my opinion, one of his best albums. Part 2 to his 1975 classic "Captain Fantastic and The Dirt Brown Cowboy", it continues the story of Elton's & Bernie Taupin's rise to success. The music however sounds more like a homage to the "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road " album with shades of "Candle In The Wind". The album blast off with "Postcards From Richard Nixon" (the best cut) that give me chills every time I hear it. It puts you right in '75 when Elton & Bernie visit America for the first time. Another favourite "Tinderbox" recalls the split between the 2. Every track is great which culminates in the autobiographical title cut.


02 Taller In More Ways--Sugababes
UK Pop/R&B girl group follows in the steps of Banarama. Like the "Nana's" they were school friends who started a singing group and they co-write most of their music. This is their 4th studio album and their best with great pop tracks like the #1 "Push The Button" and "Ugly" written with Dallas Austin. The girls team up with dance producers Xenomania for the fab "Red Dress" & Ace Reject. Originally released in 2005 the album was re-released in 2006 with a new member Amelle. Unfortunately only one original member is left and this could spell the end of the group.

03 Everytime We Touch--Cascada
Brit born/German singer Natalie Horler joins forcers with DJ/producers Yanou and DJ Manian to produce a great club/dance album. The single "Everytime We Touch" goes mainstream and break into the US top 10. My only complaint is that the album sounds all the same, there is one exception the great ballad "Another You' which showcase Nathalie's vocals. Favourite tracks include the Roxette cover "How Do You Do" and Kim Wilde's "Kids In America".

04 Coming Home--Lionel Richie
Lionel Richie puts the young guys to shame as he shows them how it should be done. Still sexy & cool with funky tracks like "Up All Night" & "All Around The World" that will keep you dancing on the ceiling and beyond. He slows it down with the hit "I Call It Love", the haunting "What You Are" and my favourite "Coming Home". Don't forget a bit of reggae with "Stand Down". A great album that will keep you up all night.

05 Rubebox--Robbie Williams
After a disappointing melancholy album last year Robbie is back with "Rudebox". This definitely a more upbeat dance album but I'm not a fan of all the rapping he does. The best tracks are the 2 "Pet Shop Boys collaborations, "She's Madonna" and "We Are The Pet Shop Boys". I wish he would have done a full album with them. The rest is kind of hit and miss. The song "The 80's" is cute but the follow up "The 90's isn't as much fun. "Never Touch That Switch & the cover "Lovelight" are dance floor fun.

06 Ta-Dah--Scissor Sisters
I love the lead single "I Don't Feel like Dancing" which collaborates with Elton John, maybe that's why I find the rest of the album a bit disappointing, it's very different. The album has a "vaudeville circus" sound. The tunes aren't as catchy or disco-y as their debut effort.


07 Fundamental--Pet Shop Boys
The Boys are back with 80's producer Tevor Horn. While it's not my favourite album of theirs (I find it a bit too subdued) they are still masters at dance music and synthesizers. Best tracks are "The Sodom & Gomorrah Show", "Integral", and the Dianne Warren penned epic ballad "Numb".


08 Never Say Never--Kim Wilde Remember British singer Kim Wilde? She hit #1 with "You Keep Me Hanging On" in the 80's, in the UK she had a long career of hits. I'm not usually big on artists covering their own songs but I love this album. The new rock version of "You Came" is so cool. Only 6 out of the 14 songs are remodelled covers the rest are all new songs and they are as good if not better then her old hits. The new single "Perfect Girl" rocks on. "Together We Belong" and "Forgive Me" will burn up the dance floor while & "Baby Obey Me" & "Fly" is perfect "pop". Too bad the album has only a limited release in Germany and some parts of Europe .

09 Loose--Nelly Furtado
The biggest Canadian success story of 2006 with # 1 mega singles in the UK ("Maneater") and the US ("Promiscuous"). Nelly is turning into a truly worldwide artist, but is it at the price of selling out as she teams up with Justin Timberlake's producer Timbaland? Other stand out tracks are "Glow", and the hit "Say It Right".


10 Back To Bedlam--James Blunt
The Brits are back with breakthrough artist James Blunt and his mega #1 hit "You're Beautiful". Love him or hate him the album has great tracks like "High" and "Wiseman". It will be interesting to see where he goes from here.


11 From Paris To Berlin--Infernal
Danish dance act consisting of Lina Rafn & Paw Lagermann. This is actually their 3rd album which was propelled into international status when their hit "From Paris To Berlin" started burning up the dance floors. The song was even re-recorded as "From London To Berlin" for the 2006 World Cup. The album is one big clubland and a touch of Europa with tracks like "Fairytale", "From The A To The B" and "Keen On Disco". Look out for the Australian Tour Edition which come with a bonus CD of live tracks and remixes.


12 Somewhere Else--Eva Avila
She could be the first Canadian Idol success story. Her first CD delivers with an R&B pop feast of songs. Stand out tracks include "Some Kind Of Beautiful" which is screaming to be released, "Old Love Song" and the Alicia Keys like "Weak In The Knees". Looking forward to see what she does next.
Honorable Mentions

Singles of the year
01 Unwritten--Natasha Bedingfield
02 I Don't Feel Like Dancing--Scissor Sisters
03 Red Dress--Sugababes
04 Jump--Madonna
05 Everytime We Touch--Cascada
06 From Paris To Berlin--Infernal
07 You're Beautiful--James Blunt
08 The Bride--Elton John
09 I Call It Love--Lionel Ritchie
10 What's Left Of Me--Nick Lachey
11 Lovelight--Robbie Williams
12 Promiscuous--Nelly Furtado