Guns N’ Roses at Wells Fargo Center: Eight Quick Takeaways

Guns N’ Roses at Wells Fargo Center

On Sunday night, Guns N’ Roses came to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, kicking off the eighth leg of their Not In This Lifetime Tour, the name of the tour a reference to the unlikeliness of the formerly (?) feuding bandmates ever playing music together again. We headed down to South Philly to check it out. Here, eight quick takeaways. Read more »

I Went to See Long Island Medium Theresa Caputo On Friday Night

Does she know I’m standing behind her, I wonder?

“Can I talk about the baby that died at birth?”

Of all of the shows that have taken place inside the Borgata’s Event Center over the last decade-plus, I’m pretty sure no performer has ever uttered those words. But last Friday’s performance was not your average show, by any measure. No, this was Theresa Caputo Live: The Experience. Read more »

Real People Review: Metallica in Philadelphia

Keith Taylor and Gina Randazzo before Friday night’s Metallica concert at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

On Friday night, Metallica played Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, their first appearance in the city since 2009. Instead of sending a music critic to review the show, we sent mega Metallica fan Keith Taylor, the affable chef-owner of Zachary’s BBQ in Norristown. And we checked in with some other locals, too, to see what they thought. Read more »

Barbra Streisand Review: What Her Philly Show Was Like from the $500 Seats

My view of Babs from the 10th row at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

My view of Babs from the 10th row at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

I grew up listening to Barbra Streisand with my parents. I watched her movies and sang her songs, always trying — and failing — to hit the high notes. She was very much a part of my childhood. So when my editor sent out a request for someone to review Saturday night’s concert in Philadelphia, I was all over it. Plus, whereas my editor wound up sitting in a $200 nosebleed seat during her last tour (you can read his review here), I was front and center in the $500 seats.

Here, some observations from the show.

Fortunately, It Was Better Than the New Album

Before I went to the show, I listened to the new album, Encore, the ostensible reason for this tour. I wish I never heard it. Encore is a mess and contains some bizarre duet choices. Alec Baldwin? Really? Streisand doesn’t need gimmicks like Alec Baldwin. She’s a classic all by herself.

The Faithful Fans

Most people I spoke with at the concert were at their first Barbra Streisand concert. It was a special occasion that included hotels and elegant dinners in the city before the show.

Jessica Guglietta, 32, accompanied her 70-year-old mother-in-law Claudia, who had not seen Streisand perform live since 1964, when she saw her on Broadway in Funny Girl. Claudia’s age group was well represented. I overheard someone quip, “We should pass out shots of Geritol.”

Then there were the group of older ladies in boas, men in bright silver jackets, and people who drove from Delaware and Pittsburgh to see her. Then there were the fans — men and women — who would not stop yelling variations on “We love you Barbra!” throughout the concert. One fan insisted that she loved Barbra more than the previous yelling fan. Streisand laughed.

Of Course She Opened With “Memory”

As Streisand walked onstage, wearing a black lace top with long flared sleeves and black bellbottoms, she launched into Memory. “Memories,” she told the capacity crowd. “That is what tonight is all about.” When her voice slipped on a note in the song, she casually pointed it out.

Streisand remarked how great it was go be back in Philly and mentioned her 1966 TV special, which she filmed at the Art Museum.

Streisand also introduced her 98-year-old aunt from Philly, who was seated in the front row.

The Obligatory Donald Trump Moment

Like her past concerts, Streisand discussed her political views, but she somehow managed to wait 30 minutes before getting in her first dig at Donald Trump. She was telling a story about her longtime manager Marty Erlichman, who has represented her since 1961. She noted that it’s very unusual to have the same manager for so long and cracked that Trump has had three managers in just three months.

Streisand said she was “thrilled” to be in the same arena where her friend Hillary Clinton had just accepted the presidential nomination, to which one man in the crowd shouted, “Go Trump!” People turned and stared.

She even ventured into a talk about climate change, showing photographic evidence of global warming, and then launched into “Pure Imagination.” When the song ended, she reminded her audience not to vote for someone who believes that climate change is a hoax.

What’s With the Mindreader?

At one point, Streisand took a break (naturally, she told the crowd that it was so she could take “some bites from a Philly cheesesteak”) and sent out a mindreader — yes a mindreader! — named Lior Suchard to entertain the crowd. It was like 1976 in the Poconos all over again. I’m sure my parents would have loved his shtick — the audience certainly did.

Buy the $500 Seats

If you get a chance to see Streisand on this tour, spend the extra money and get close. Seeing a living legend like her from a seat where you can actually look at her all night instead of some video monitor is worth it. As for me, having finally experienced Streisand in concert, I feel fulfilled. Now if I could just get that Alec Baldwin duet out of my head.

Guns N’ Roses Sucked or Was Awesome, Depending On Who You Ask

Axl Rose and Slash performing "It's So Easy" at the Guns N' Roses concert at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on July 14, 2016. (Photo via YouTube)

Axl Rose and Slash performing “It’s So Easy” at the Guns N’ Roses concert at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on July 14, 2016. (Photo via YouTube)

I told my editor that I would go down to Lincoln Financial Field and write a Guns N’ Roses review. So last night, I sweated my face off with the tens of thousands of other fans, voyeurs, and children of the 80s (and their children) as Axl Rose, Slash, Duff and some hired guns brought the Guns N’ Roses Not in this Lifetime Tour to Philadelphia. Read more »

CONCERT REVIEW: Old 97’s and Heartless Bastards at Union Transfer

Old 97's Photographed by Chris Sikich

Old 97’s
Photographed by Chris Sikich

A Saturday night with the Old 97’s is one well spent. The dynamic grouping of lead singer and guitar slinger Rhett Miller, bountiful bass and vibrant vocals of Murry Hammond, guitar guru Ken Bethea and drumming professor Philip Peeples were on fire. And as part of double headlining show with the rocking Heartless Bastards it was a Saturday one would not soon forget. Read more »

CONCERT REVIEW: M. Ward at Union Transfer

Photography by Chris Sikich

Photography by Chris Sikich

M. Ward brought his special brand of folk and mid-20th-century rock to Union Transfer on May 2nd. Playing behind his 2016 LP More Rain, a large Philly contingent drank in his guitar and unique vocals. Read more »

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