Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the category “Music”

Manilow Magic In Vegas

Barry Manilow is a class act. He and his team care about the fans on a level unlike any other celebrity I’ve met, and they go above and beyond across the board. A perfect example of this is my recent trip with my wife to Las Vegas to see Barry Manilow’s new residency, which is entitled Manilow Las Vegas: The Hits Come Home! Back in June I was invited, along with 19 other lucky fans, to attend a special interview Barry did in the Rainbow Room in New York. At the end of the interview he turned to the fans and said that he wanted all of us to come see his new show in Vegas on opening night, which was the following week, and that he was going to give us free tickets to the show and pay for our airfare and hotel expenses. In addition to paying my expenses, Barry included a +1 with my package so my wife could join me. Naturally, my mind was blown by this astounding act of generosity.

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Nashville Music City

Behind the keyboard featured in Journey’s “Separate Ways” music video. Below it is the piano that Jonathan Cain and Steve Perry wrote “Faithfully” on.

In September, my wife and I went to Nashville to celebrate our one-year wedding anniversary. We chose Nashville because we wanted to go someplace that felt new but didn’t require a ridiculous amount of travel time or money. Also, everyone I’ve spoken with that’s been to Nashville has enjoyed their time there. In addition to eating an insane amount of fried food and meat, our trip was punctuated by several music-related excursions, which I detail below.

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Dennis DeYoung’s Grand Illusion

fullsizeoutput_35bdDennis DeYoung is one of the greatest vocalists in the history of music, and he’s currently on tour performing one of the best rock albums of all time – The Grand Illusion by STYX – in its entirety, along with a handful of classics fans know and love. I attended his recent concert in Philadelphia and it was excellent. From start to finish, it was a tour de force of musicianship and showmanship.

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A Conversation With Night Ranger’s Eric Levy

Photo: Ash Newell

As far as I’m concerned, Night Ranger is the most underrated classic rock band on the planet. Not only do they have a rich history comprised of countless classic hits and terrific albums, but they also continue to record and release stellar new music and play live for thousands of adoring fans. The band’s keyboardist, Eric Levy, was kind enough to speak with me about what it’s like being in Night Ranger. I hope you enjoy our discussion.

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Review: Steve Perry’s Traces

Steve Perry is the greatest male vocalist I’ve ever heard. I remember buying Journey’s Greatest Hits album many years ago and listening to the songs and discovering that I already knew most of them but didn’t realize the band behind these timeless tracks was Journey. While the guitar, piano, drumming, and bass were all exceptional, what captivated me most was that voice. How it soared to heights unimaginable for most humans and how it lovingly and soulfully intoned every word that was sung. With my headphones on, a Discman in my hands, and my eyes turned skyward, I gazed at the stars as the balmy beach breeze and Steve Perry’s vocals washed over me. It was a defining musical moment for me and one I fondly look back on when I think of this special band and this epic voice.

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Review: Love Never Dies

Love Never Dies

Photo: Danny Knaub

Love Never Dies, the sequel to the legendary Phantom of the Opera, is playing at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia from October 2 through October 7 and tickets can be bought here.

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A Conversation With Ace Frehley

Ace Frehley is more than just the former lead guitarist of KISS, he’s also an immensely successful solo artist whose sound – both vocals and guitar – is immediately identifiable. For decades Ace has blazed a path all his own and inspired millions of fans and musicians along the way. His new solo album, appropriately titled Spaceman, is out October 19. I’ve listened to Spaceman numerous times and it’s fantastic – easily one of his best. Ace was kind enough to speak with me about his new record and a variety of other topics. I hope you enjoy the interview.

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Dionne Warwick: Then Came You PBS Special

Dionne Warwick has had a long, diverse, and remarkable career. That one-of-a-kind career is celebrated in the new PBS special entitled Dionne Warwick: Then Came You, created by My Music Presents and produced by TJ Lubinsky. It begins airing on PBS on August 18 and you can check your local listings here.

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Christian Matthew Cullen Discusses Night Ranger

Composer, producer, and sound designer Christian Matthew Cullen has had an interesting and prolific career. He’s created audio for TV, radio, advertising, video games, and more. Along the way, he was chosen to be Night Ranger’s keyboard player, a position he held from 2007 to 2011. Christian was kind enough to speak with me about his time in the band. As you’ll see in the interview below, it was a remarkable time in his life and career.

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A Conversation With Ted Nugent

Ted Nugent. Those two words can elicit wildly different responses, depending on who you are. That’s not surprising since he’s known as the “Wild Man” of rock and roll. Nugent – or Nuge, to some – has a career that spans more than five decades, with more than 40 million albums sold and 6,400+ concerts along the way. When he’s not shredding his guitar for thousands of passionate fans, Nuge is writing books, hosting TV shows, or offering his vociferous thoughts on myriad political and cultural issues. He’s on the verge of releasing a new studio album entitled The Music Made Me Do It and Uncle Ted is on the road this summer, further solidifying his position as one of rock and roll’s preeminent guitar-slinging superstars. Amidst his busy schedule, Nuge was kind enough to do an interview with me where we discuss his impressive career, collaborations with other artists and more.

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