Manilow Magic in Philly

I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to interview and spend time with countless music legends. Two of my favorites are Barry Manilow and Melissa Manchester, both of whom always treat me like family. Over the past week, I got to bring my Dads to see and meet Melissa and Barry. Both experiences were perfect. Below is a recap of our night of Manilow magic.

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Alive ’75 Brings KISS Show To MONTCO

IMG_7320As you may recall, I saw Alive ’75 back in September. Having enjoyed their terrific show in Newton, I was eager to see their Montgomery County Community College (MONTCO) concert, which took place last weekend. Unlike the Newton show, the one at MONTCO was an all-day celebration of KISS and it happened to take place on the 40th anniversary of the formation of the KISS Army.  Continue reading

Review: Ace Frehley’s Space Invader Tour

Meeting "Space Ace" in Glenside, PA before his show at The Keswick.

Meeting “Space Ace” in Glenside, PA before his show at The Keswick.

I never had a chance to see Ace Frehley, the original lead guitarist of KISS, perform with the band. By the time I started attending KISS shows, Tommy Thayer was the new “Space Man.” So, when Ace announced the tour for his new solo album – Space Invader – I was ready to finally see him live.

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Barry Manilow Live At QVC

Manilow 4Last Friday I saw Barry Manilow perform live at QVC. Check out my video and photos below recounting the event, as well as the QVC video of the entire TV special. Enjoy!

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Vintage Trouble Live In Philly

Backstage before the show with Ty Taylor, Vintage Trouble's lead singer

Backstage before the show with Ty Taylor, Vintage Trouble’s lead singer

A couple weeks ago I saw Vintage Trouble, my favorite young rock band, live in Philly. As always, they were terrific. Below are some photos and videos from the show. And as a reminder, I recently interviewed the band and will be sharing that with you within the next month or so. In the meantime, enjoy the photos and video below, and go see Vintage Trouble when they come to your area.

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A Journey Like No Other

303Last Friday I attended my fourth Journey concert. This time I saw them in Atlantic City, New Jersey – and as always, they put on a phenomenal show. The set list was comprised of many of the band’s greatest hits, as well as some newer cuts, including “Faith In The Heartland” from Revelation and “Ritual” from Eclipse.

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John Waite Brings The Best Of What He’s Got To PA

038This past Friday night, John Waite, an iconic rocker known for his work with The Babys, Bad English and as a solo artist, brought 40 years worth of brilliant music to Wilkes-Barre, PA. From start to finish, he had the crowd in the palm of his hand with charismatic stage presence and jaw-dropping vocals. But what he did onstage was made more meaningful by what he did backstage before the show.

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Journey Rocks New Jersey

Arnel Pineda

This past Wednesday, June 11, my cousin and I went to go see one of our favorite bands: Journey. The concert took place at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ, and the jam-packed crowd loved every minute of it. After the Tower of Power and the Steve Miller Band warmed up the audience, Journey stormed the stage and kicked off its 16-song set with “Be Good To Yourself,” a fun, upbeat song from their 1986 album Raised on Radio.

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When I Met Melissa Manchester

Photo with Melissa ManchesterYesterday was a great day. I went to New York City with my girlfriend for Valentine’s Day weekend and we saw an excellent movie – American Hustle, went to a great restaurant – The Writing Room – and capped off the day with a Melissa Manchester concert.

In December 2013 I interviewed Melissa for my blog and she was as nice as could be and full of great stories. For those that haven’t read it yet, you can check it out here. One of the topics covered in the interview was yesterday’s concert in NYC. Melissa said, “you never know what I might sing” and boy was she right. The set list included a variety of her biggest hits, including “Midnight Blue,” “Come in From the Rain” and my favorite, “Don’t Cry Out Loud.” She also sang “Something Wonderful” from The King and I and new material from her upcoming album, You Gotta Love the Life. There were countless other songs during the hour-and-a-half concert, including a blistering performance of “I Know Who I Am,” a song that was featured in a trailer for the Tyler Perry movie For Colored Girls. And after the concert came to a close with Cole Porter’s “I Happen to Like New York,” Melissa and her talented musicians were met with a well-deserved standing ovation.

As you can see from the photo above, I had the chance to meet Melissa in person after the show and she was as lovely in person as she was on the phone. She took the time to meet and take photos with fans, as well as autograph items. The line to meet her went to the back of the room but she stuck around until every fan was satisfied. I was very impressed.

If you ever have the opportunity to see Melissa Manchester, go for it. In addition to having a spectacular voice, she’s got great stage presence and an appreciative personality. It was a terrific evening of music and I wouldn’t hesitate to see her again.

Below is a live performance of the aforementioned song, “I Know Who I Am,” from a 2010 concert. Enjoy!

Janis Ian – This Train Still Runs

Janis IanMy musical tastes are eclectic – I like everything from Patti LaBelle to Chromeo. Regardless of musical genre, I’m a sucker for a good melody and a great lyric. “This Train Still Runs” by Janis Ian has both. My favorite part of the song is:

“Sure as a baby loves the teat
Sure as a high heel on concrete
Sure as the songs I’ve left unsung
This train still runs”

And my favorite line is “sure as a high heel on concrete” because it’s incredibly visual without being overly descriptive.

Below are the rest of the lyrics and a live recording of the song. Enjoy!

This Train Still Runs

Janis Ian/Jess Leary

“I felt a rumble in my heart, over the mountains
as the engine ate the spark, spitting out the miles
Times when I tried to jump the track
Weight of the world upon my back
Still after all is said and done

This train still runs
It doesn’t matter where it’s gone
This train still runs
and though the baggage weighs a ton,
we carry on
Nothing is forever young
I’m not done – this train still runs

I had a friend I left behind, back at the station
We used to burn the power lines, racing with the wind
But time has the manners of a thief
Young love turns bittersweet
Still we keep that lantern hung – this train still runs

This train still runs
It doesn’t matter where it’s gone
This train still runs
and though the baggage weighs a ton,
we carry on
No one is forever young
I’m not done – this train still runs

Got a ticket in my pocket & I’m ready to ride
Got a motor rolling over to an easy glide
I’m gonna travel on the gravel to the other side
Sure as a baby loves the teat
Sure as a high heel on concrete
Sure as the songs I’ve left unsung
This train still runs

This train still runs
It doesn’t matter where it’s gone
This train still runs
and though the baggage weighs a ton,
we carry on
Nothing is forever young
I’m not done – this train still runs
This train still runs
This train still runs”