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Written By: frenchy on May 17, 2008 8 Comments

General Info
Artist/Group: Ween last fm logo
Location: Paradiso, Amsterdam
When: 15 May 2008

Ween Concert Ticket

They’re one of my all-time favorite bands and I never get tired of saying that! An uncompromising band of true musicians, mixing up the Classic 2-minute Punk track with Bluegrass, Rock and a bit of Electronica on the side. Their lyrics are politically incorrect, offending people from all genders and races, but somehow they get away with it. Somehow I just keep smiling when I hear their songs. Ween has really stretched my tolerance levels to the max.
I missed out on an earlier chance to see these guys perform, but now after quite some years, I was there to enjoy the wacky adventures of Gene and Dean Ween

Video clips at Youtube Logo || last fm logo
Full set list of that evening, courtesy of’s Hugo19709

The Show
The band started quite nicely on time, with Dean Ween hopping on the stage with crutches due to some alligator wrestling accident or something. It didn’t stop him from rocking his guitar sitting on a chair during the show.

Dean Ween Cast Performance

The band played quite some songs I knew from the four excellent albums I have of them: Chocolate And Cheese, The Mollusk, Shinola and La Cucaracha.

Some of the more memorable ones:
Spinal Menangitis (Got Me Down)
Oooooh.. The live version also gives me the chills..

Voodoo Lady
Excellent fun!

Learnin’ to Love
The redneck anthem, gotta love it!

So incredibly wacky..

Gene and Dean Ween

My Own Bare Hands
Kinda active-aggressive anthem, the crowd really enjoyed themselves.

The weirdest thing I’ve heard in quite some frigging time!! The song is like it’s title: a medicated form of hallucination; the repeated slow breakdowns were like being in a fishbowl looking at the outside view of purple bunnies tap-dancing on green ice. Loved it!!

Close to two and a half hours of pure noise, emotion and sentiment. Their music is so varied in styles and approaches, it’s mind-boggling. The Dean’s guitar solos and Gene’s vocal acrobatics are the best way to live in sin.

Gene Ween’s uber-queen of soul, blkbetty, once wrote this great article called Can A Sister Rock? The Primal Urge for Rockin and Rollin. Well, this brother’s always had this urge for some strong guitar rock combined with a bit of the bizarre and this band, Ween, does that just perfectly.
A great concert with a great crowd and absolutely incredible music.

Rating: ★★★★½

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Written By: frenchy on March 7, 2008 One Comment

General Info
Artist: Rad. last fm logo || Discogs Icon
Location: De Melkweg, Amsterdam
When: 01 March 2008

Concert Rad. 2008

I know Rad. or Rose Ann Dimalanta from her 1992 album Radified. It’s a nostalgia thing, love the album. Read she’d be performing live with a great band including saxophone majesty Eric Leeds, I was curious.
Check out some of his performances at Youtube Logo.

The Show
Ouch.. The place was at half its capacity and it showed. Rad. did their best to give a prodfessional show, and they succeeded, more or less.

Songs that Stood Out
Homegirls Cha Cha Network
Great nostalgic feeling.

10 (Madhouse track)
Listen, boys and girls: Madhouse is one of my favorite bands, read my review of one their albums.
So to get the chance to hear a track from them co-performed by original band member Eric Leeds, was an absolute treat!!

That’s when we left..

Hard to rate this concert: on the one hand, the material wasn’t that captivating. While on the other, the band commanded respect for their hard work.
It just didn’t work. Thrilled about Eric Leeds, and I wasn’t the only one: former Paisley Park co-worker and Dutch sax-diva Candy Dulfer was in the crowd along with her dad, Hans Dulfer, another sax-master from the Lowlands.
Meh, nostalgia doesn’t always work, I guess..

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (Mostly because of the band, not the gig itself)

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Written By: frenchy on February 24, 2008 3 Comments

General Info
Artist: Koop last fm logo || The  Koop  Profile At MySpace || Discogs Icon
Location: De Melkweg, Amsterdam
When: 21 February 2008

Concert Koop 2008

Liked their recent release Koop Islands, saw them at The Hague Jazz last year, thought it’d be fun to go see them again.
Check out some of his performances at Youtube Logo.

The Show
The Melkweg is an excellent location for this kind of concert: practical, nice acoustics and not too steaming hot.
The guys started on time, and the moment the band was on stage, you knew you were getting a show from performers that love their music and love to share it with the audience. Although, somehow there still is this disconnect between crowd and band, can’t put my finger on it.
I really am getting old coz I was ready to choke some people in the audience for talking all the frigging time through almost all of the songs. You know what? If you wanna chat with your friends, move the frak out of this building and go find a bar, pretty please, with sugar on top?
Stand-in vocalist for this evening, dunno her name, but she almost made me forget the cute and lovely Miss Yukimi Nagano. This did a great job performing the songs in her own way and boy, does she now how to perform..

Songs that Stood Out
Come To Me
Closing song, always a crowd pleaser.

Koop Islands Song
Probably the opening track, strong presence from leading vocal lady

Unknown Song Relaxin’ at club F****n
Possibly on earlier albums, a great dance track straight from the laptop where the band joins in almost instrument by instrument. Better up-tempo work, something the show really needed.

The band has a limited playlist and seeing them again within twelve months doesn’t help either. It’s friggin’ weird: on the one hand, the show felt a bit boring and tame; on the other, you really get pulled into the excitement of the band’s excellent craftsmanship.
But that’s just not enough for me this evening.
Go see them if you get the chance, just don’t go for a second time within a year.

Rating: ★★½☆☆

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Written By: frenchy on January 12, 2008 10 Comments

General Info
Artist: José James last fm logo || The  José James  Profile At MySpace || Discogs Icon
Location: Paradiso, Amsterdam
When: 11 January 2008

Concert José James 2008

Didn’t know anything about this artist; it’s yet another one of Hieronymus Fox’s discoveries. Thanks for the tip bro’!!
Check out some of his performances at Youtube Logo.

The Show
Such a relaxed location, the smaller of the two locations at the Paradiso. Nice large number of people attending, show starts reasonably on time. A great setup: piano/keyboards, drums, bass and James’ vocal talents. Sound quality was quite good, lights weren’t annoying, everything fine..
Now, if you’re not of an adult age and you’re reading this post, get the hell out of here because I’m gonna use some faux exclamations. Parents, have you taken the children out of the room? Fine.

H O L Y S H I T ! ! !
M O M M A , T H I S A R T I S T I S F U C K I N G U N B E L I E V A B L E ! ! !

There, you can bring the kids back to this post..

Songs that Stood Out
Park Bench People
Heheh, HF and me recognized the bass from an old A Tribe Called Quest sample, used in the Sucka Nigga track.
The scat-rap-flow is beautiful and so unbelievably mature.

Sweetness, this guy’s vocals make the lyrics ooze the sweetest honey.

Googling my black ass off; my mind keeps telling me I know this song from some other artist, but I haven’t found it yet.
Back to the track: the band is always an important factor for an artist, in this case the band adds extra support and lays the foundation for a perfect performance of a great song.

Overall, mister James doing his improvisations

It’ll take me a coupla months to really define this guy’s voice. It’s not that he hasn’t his own voice, don’t get me wrong, but there are similarities with people like Bill Withers (Park Bench People). I’ll update every time I get another name that needs to be added.
The strong supporting role of the band needs to get special attention. Pianist Gideon Van Gelder had a particularly tricky roll: on the one hand his improvisations added extra brilliance to the act, but sometimes it got a bit too freaky, too self-indulgent. Guest appearance by Ben Van Gelder on the horn was nice.
I was very impressed with José James’s incredible voice and talent, using his vocals as an instrument in a totally jazzy way. Over the last coupla years we’ve been bombarded with jazzy singers, let’s call ‘em all Jamie, but Jose is more than that: he’s a jazz singers, and the Jamies in this world just have a fraction of James’ depth of talent.
The performance itself, well.. After the initial euphoria during the first five songs you notice a bit of a pattern. That in itself is fine, but it would be more interesting to here the band perform together a bit more. A drum versus bass improv or piano versus bass, whatever. Just not always the vocals and the piano for ten songs straight. A bit more diversity would help.
Next time this guy’s in Holland, I’ll be there and his album’s coming out in two weeks, boys and girls!!

Rating: ★★★★☆ (a great way to start the new year!)

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Written By: frenchy on November 27, 2007 2 Comments

General Info
Artist: Me’shell Ndegeocello last fm logo || The  Me'shell Ndegeocello  Profile At MySpace || Discogs Icon
Location: Paradiso, Amsterdam
When: 26 November 2007

Concert Meshell Ndegeocello 2007

Ah, Meshell.. Just wrote a review of her latest album, The World Has Made Me The Man Of My Dreams, have a read here. Meshell is a very interesting and exciting artist and from experience I’ve learned not to expect her to go back to her earlier stuff, when her music was pure funk and jazziness. From that last album I knew to expect loud guitars and well, she didn’t disappoint me on that point.
Check out some of her performances at Youtube Logo.

The Show
A.. Bloody.. Mess..
Meshell apologized for feeling a bit under the weather and that affected her voice, okay, fine, glad she still decided to get on stage. And most of the vocals were okay anyway.
Where things really were a bit too weird for my taste is where my girl Meshell’s constantly walking up and down the stage, switching guitars every other song, sometimes halfway, like she just decided to things differently. She was almost obsessed with the sound quality of her material and kept checking it through the monitor speakers. Really messy, I was wishing she just took a big chill pill and paid attention to her public.

Songs that Stood Out
Hmmmm.. tough one.. Most of her tracks were from the latest album, but she played Fool Of Me and Faithful from her album Bitter, which was a great and pleasant surprise. Fool Of Me is one of my alltime heartbreak songs. It was great to hear The Sloganeer: Paradise, that track is just incredible! She almost had me fooled with Evolution, they started playing it just straight with only the guitars, but happily she picked up her bass to do the second part, the tasty bass part, and me was a happy puppy!
Closing song was an excellent surprise: a cover of a Prince classic – All The Critics Love U In NY, fantastic!!

It felt like amateur hour, I’ve seen this lady perform before and never was the performance so chaotic and in need of some musical direction. She’s never the chatty type, but this was almost as communicative as a Middle East summit. If it wasn’t for Meshell, I’d probably left halfway the already very short performance.
Do.. not.. get.. me.. wrong..
Meshell and her band are incredible musicians but that didn’t compensate for the fact that the band was mucking about way too much.
Am I gonna go see her the next time she’s in Holland? Nothing, not even the bloody hordes from Hell (or Groningen) will be able to stop me from attending another Meshell gig, she’s too bloody brilliant to ignore. But please let there be some musical direction..
Still love me some Meshell Ndegeocello, that’s not gonna change, ever.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ (1 point because it’s Meshell, half a point for playing All The Critics Love U In NY)

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