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Concert Review: Joan Jett And The Blackhearts, Hard Rock, Tulsa, OK

Monday, October 20, 2014 5:27pm

Story by Scott A. Smith Photo By Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa/Tom Gilbert Decked out in a tight, red-colored outfit and boasting her trademark black, slightly spikey hairstyle, one Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominee planted one high-heeled boot in the three-chord beauty of punk rock and her other boot in infectious mainstream music Oct. 18 in Tulsa. Joan Jett led her eternally edgy band The Blackhearts through an aggressive – and continuously inspiring – set for a capacity crowd inside the Tulsa Hard Rock’s Joint. Refusing to allow the tempo to ever slide into low gear, Jett kept the festivities in a speedy pace with plenty of crunchy guitar work. With their guitars slung almost to their knees, Jett, lead guitarist Dougie Needles and bassist Acey Slade hammered out each track’s arrangement with joyous adrenaline. Bouncing, standing and lurching at stage left, Needles often would hold his Continue reading...

Concert Review: Santana at Walmart AMP, Rogers, Arkansas

Monday, October 6, 2014 10:07am

Photo & Story by Scott A. Smith The genre-bending Carlos Santana forever will be one of the most innovative, unique-sounding guitarists in all corners of music. Proof that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee still can deliver the high-decibel goods was on full-tilt display when Santana hopped through an energized set Oct. 5 at the Walmart AMP in Rogers, Arkansas. The packed outdoor amphitheater was awash by Santana’s salsa-style rock for two fast-moving hours, with the all-ages audience cheering throughout early evening takes of “Black Magic Woman” and “Oye Como Va.” Santana even slipped the melody of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” into the upbeat proceedings moments, and the party favorite “Tequila” and Rare Earth gem “Get Ready” also found room on Santana’s set list. The amphitheater’s sound was loud and full, with bassist Benny Rietveld’s low notes coming through with amazing clarity. His bass often Continue reading...

Concert Review: Ring Starr at Tulsa Hard Rock’s Joint, October 2, 2014

Saturday, October 4, 2014 4:59am

Photos & Story by Scott A. Smith How on earth can anyone not go see Beatles drummer Ringo Starr in concert? Over the years, some people, quite bizarrely, take unfair verbal pot shots at Starr, that perpetually smiling, left-handed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member who always plays the drums as if he were a right-handed craftsman. Curiously, virtually every one of those armchair guitarists who utter the elitist “He’s no Lennon/McCartney/Harrison” gobbledygook has never watched Starr — and most likely, no other Beatle — perform in person. Starr’s full-house concert with his All Starr Band on Oct. 2 inside the Tulsa Hard Rock’s Joint was living, singing proof that Starr is more than worthy of ticket- buyers’ love and money. Note for note, Starr’s current All Star lineup — guitarists Steve Lukather (Toto) and Todd Rundgren, keyboardist Gregg Rolie (Santana, Journey), bassist Richard Page (Mr. Mister), drummer Greg Continue reading...

Concert Review: Kansas at Choctaw Casino And Hotel, Pocola, OK

Monday, September 15, 2014 7:19am

Photos & Story by Scott A. Smith On paper, the still-fresh departure of original singer-keyboardist Steve Walsh could have signaled the death bell for Kansas. For many of the rock group’s faithful “Wheatheads,” Walsh’s distinct tenor voice, prog-rock songwriting and adventurous keyboard skills played major roles in Kansas’ sound and character. Walsh’s recent – and quite surprising – retirement from Kansas led the group to hire new singer-keyboardist Ronnie Platt (Shooting Star). Platt and new keyboardist (and former Kansas lighting crew member) David Manion performed their second show with Kansas Sept. 13 at the CenterStage Event Center inside the Choctaw Casino & Hotel in Pocola, Okla. Were there any second-night jitters? Um, no. Were there a few stray bum vocal notes or keyboard parts because of the band’s new blood? Absolutely not. The concert was a magnificent display of passion and near-peerless playing abilities. When Platt and Manion first emerged Continue reading...

Concert Review: Boston at Walmart AMP/Arkansas Music Pavilion, Rogers, AR

Sunday, August 17, 2014 8:34am

Photos & Story by Scott A. Smith Whoa, Boston just took me back – really far back – in time. Led by founding guitarist/keyboardist/songwriter/producer Tom Scholz, the six-piece rock band allowed myself and several thousand other music addicts to hitch a ride to our youth via a sell-out concert Aug. 15 at the Walmart Amp in Rogers, Ark. An array of Boston’s still-favored FM radio hits and newer material seamlessly merged with the evening’s slight breeze to cover the multi-generational crowd. Sounding inspired and including lead singer Tommy DeCarlo, guitarist Gary Pihl, drummer Curly Smith, guitarist Kimberley Dahme and bassist Tracy Ferrie, Boston first hopped to the stage at 8:20 p.m. following an impressive, half-hour opening set by Arkansas blues-rockers Oreo Blue. Boston’s air-tight sound was appropriately loud and remarkably clear – the guitar solos and in-the-pocket harmony patterns of Scholz and Pihl cut through the mix with ease without Continue reading...

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