Posted: October 10, 2013
Simply put, Brit synth-pop-turned-electronic rock gods Depeche Mode were quite brilliant Tuesday night at Phoenix’s Ak-Chin Pavilion, the latest and second-to-last show of the U.S. leg of their Delta Machine World Tour.
Anticipation was high, as singer Dave Gahan dramatically twirled his way onto the dark-lit stage, greeting the audience in song with Delta Machine’s opening track, “Welcome to My World.”
“Welcome to my world, step right through the door … And if you stay a while I’ll penetrate your soul,” he sang.
During a nearly two-hour set, Gahan, guitarist-keyboardist Martin Gore, keyboardist Andy Fletcher and touring members Peter Gordeno (keyboards) and Christian Eigner (drums) did just that, riveting the crowd with their brooding songs and yet playful rockstar charisma.
After delivering another Delta Machine number in “Angel,” the band served up a handful of gems from their vast back catalog with “Walking in My Shoes” off 1993’s Songs of Faith and Devotion, “Precious” (2005’s Playing the Angel) and the title track of 1986’s Black Celebration. Red laser beams flashed across the stage during the dark and mesmerizing take on “Black Celebration,” highlighted by Gahan’s distinctive baritone.
Dressed in tight black jeans and an unfastened glittery vest, Gahan sashayed, strutted, twirled and delivered endless provocative hip thrusts to rival John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. When he wasn’t grinding with his mic stand, he was whirling it in the air and spinning dizzying pirouettes, earning even more adulation during dance hit “Policy of Truth” off 1990’s Violator.
Meanwhile, Fletcher was cool incarnate behind the keys, sporting dark sunglasses and accenting the lyrics with demonstrative hand gestures.
Even the subdued Gore showcased his playful side, as he tap shuffled across the stage to the drum beat during “Enjoy the Silence” and often rocked out with an envious collection of guitars.
Posted: October 7, 2013
By Jimmy Smith
It’s no surprise to hear that Billy Duffy loves his White Falcon. Seeing the Cult guitarist with the majestic Gretsch six-string is a common sight for Duffy fanatics. Recently, Total Guitar magazine sat down with Duffy to see how it all started.
“I always thought it was like a mythical kind of thing: this big, white semi-acoustic guitar,” said Duffy. “It was looks first.
“I really liked that Neil Young approach of getting a really aggressive sound out of a Gretsch,” he continued. “My high-school band was just slightly pre-punk. We got into stuff like Neil Young – sorta folky, rocky – and Neil Young and Crosby, Stills & Nash had them; that was the first time I saw the guitar. [Then] I joined Theater of Hate, took all my life’s savings and bought a guitar.”
For more on the interview with Billy Duffy pick up June’s issue of Total Guitar here.
Posted: October 1, 2013
Gretsch guitars were all over the tube in the 1960s. Big hollow-body guitars remained in widespread use in rock and pop throughout the entire decade, and it seemed at times as though you couldn’t throw a rock without hitting a TV set that was showing some variety or music show featuring some band that had at least one Gretsch instrument in the lineup. Pretty cool.
From the Beatles and the Stones and the Animals on The Ed Sullivan Show to the Kinks on Shivaree to the Zombies on Shindig! and more, Gretsch guitars were a staple on U.S. programming. Even across the pond, the Who’s John Entwistle wielded a Gretsch 6070 bass on Ready Steady Go! in 1965.
And yet there was a whole other category of U.S. television programming in the ’60s that also showed Gretsch instruments: prime-time series television on the three major networks at the time—ABC, CBS and NBC. Not only did you see and hear Gretsch guitars on variety shows and music shows; you also saw them on top-rated sitcoms, action-packed cop shows, cool spy shows and more.
Here are five notable examples of That Great Gretsch Sound on U.S. network series television in the 1960s. Some of these shows and the musical acts on them are well known and some are pretty obscure, but there’s simply no mistaking a Gretsch when you see one.
Gretsch instruments appeared in nearly every Monkees episode from first (Sept. 12, 1966) to last (March 25, 1968). In this clip, from fall 1965 pilot episode “Here Come the Monkees” (which, oddly, aired Nov. 14, 1966, as episode ten), NBC’s simian heroes swing their way through “Let’s Dance On.” Sort of.
And that’s three Gretsch guitars out front, wielded not only by Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork, as usual, but here even by Davy Jones. Nesmith’s guitar undergoes an interesting change toward the end, but it’s nothing compared to the utterly magical transformation of Tork’s bass. And pay close attention to the logo on that kick drum head, by the way …
Tags: Boyce and Hart, Buffalo Springfield, Gretsch basses, Gretsch Guitars, I Dream of Jeannie, It Takes a Thief, Mannix, Sundowners, The Flying Nun, The Monkees, The Name of the Game, Yellow Payges
Posted In: Artists Blogs, Home Page, Top Five | Leave a comment
Posted: October 1, 2013
Recently, Reverend Horton Heat stopped by Chicago Music Exchange to sign autographs for fans and perform a few tracks before a concert at another Windy City venue.
The band’s latest album, which is simply titled Rev, will be released on Jan. 21, 2014, but in the meantime, fans can get a taste of their psychobilly in the compilation below.
Visit Reverend Horton Heat’s official website for a full list of tour dates.
Posted: September 23, 2013
Lisa Marie Presley might be a diminutive figure, but she sure knows how to work a stage.
During her performance Friday night at 3rd and Lindsley as a part of Nashville’s Americana Music Festival, Presley didn’t need bombastic theatrics. Her sultry presence and mesmerizing voice demand attention, which she received from the passionate audience filling the intimate space.
Walking out amid heavy distortion from guitarist and musical director Michael Lockwood, Presley donned tight black leather pants and a dark fitted double-breasted jacket. Immediately, her unmistakable voice curled out on to the crowd like wisps of smoke as she launched into “So Long” from her 2012 album Storm and Grace.
Noting how honored she was to appear at the Americana Festival, Presley then drew cheers with her latest single “Over Me,” a rambling dose of parlor piano and Lockwood’s twangy accents from a striking Gretsch Red Penguin.
Presley slowed down the proceedings by pulling out “Weary,” another Storm and Grace number that had several fans clutching their chests and swaying back and forth.
The singer/songwriter threw a curveball by changing the single “Idiot” off the 2005 album Now What into a swampy, growling takedown of a previous relationship. Sitting on a stool next to a resonator-toting Lockwood, Presley noted that it was probably the meanest song she’s ever written, and she is probably right.
“You’re an idiot, and I hate your guts,” was one of the nicer lines, let’s just say. Members of the audience could clearly relate because it earned big applause.
As the evening wound down, Presley kicked up the energy with “Un-Break,” turning to unleash a tribal beat on a pair of glittering drums while Lockwood tore at his custom-painted Chet Atkins guitar. “That was pure silliness,” Presley laughed when the percussive thump came to a stop.
“Sticks and Stones” was Presley’s finale, and she began it in style with an a capella intro before the band joined in.
With Presley again slamming the drums and Luis Maldonado’s bass reaching new fuzzy heights, the 45-minute show was a perfect storm – gentle at times, but always darkly looming before surging over the crowd.
Keep in touch with the latest Gretsch news, pictures and videos.
New From The Gretsch Blog.
What are you interested in?
View Past Blogs.