Category Archives: Concert Review

Concert Review: James McCartney at World Cafè Live in Wilmington, DE

JamesMcCartney June 10 2016 World Cafe Live WilimingtonLast Friday, June 10th, my husband (CigarCraig) and I made our way down to Wilmington, DE to see James McCartney perform at the World Cafè Live at the Queen.  This was our second time seeing James live at this venue and we were really looking forward to this show after being so impressed the first time!  He’s touring in support of his new album, The Blackberry Train.

Let me preface this review by saying that my initial plan was to review this show for my usual Sunday review post earlier this week, but I had to go with a book review instead because I couldn’t decide whether or not I really wanted to voice my opinion on this show or not.  James McCartney fans…you’ve been warned!

This venue is a cafè/restaurant that accommodates 100 seated or 200 standing patrons.  From the looks of it, I don’t believe it was even half full with seated patrons.  And, wanting to know if he was just having an off night, the next day, I  looked into seeing James perform again  at The Saint  in Asbury Park and there were still tickets available for that show at a venue that holds 175 patrons. I decided not to go…IMG_3252

James was running late, so the opening act was delayed 30 minutes.  Not a problem, as most people were still enjoying their dinners and it’s most annoying to have to deal with wait staff while trying to watch a show.  When James finally appeared, he seemed rushed, as one might assume, as he hurried about the stage setting up his own amp, pedals and 3 guitars.  Kudos to him for doing this.  One would think that the son of one of the most recognizable and riches men on earth would insist on a road crew.

About 2-3 songs into the show, I took a piece of paper and a pen out of my purse and wrote, “He’s phoning this in!” on a note to my husband.  In his usual stoic manner, James seemed to rush through each song as he read his playlist off the back of his CD!  Honestly, the guitars were too loud and overpowering for his vocals (yet he asked the guy as the sound board several times to turn up the monitors, mic and reverb).  I just couldn’t understand why he was giving such a disappointing performance.  My answer came by way of a friend after the show when she said, “I think this is therapy for him.”  With this, I decided to hold off on my judgment of this show until after listening to the new CD.

James and Me June 10 2016 WCL WilmingtonThe CD turned out to be so much better than the live performance.  As was stated by my friend, it seems to be James’ way of dealing with his demons, as there are at least 3 or more drug references that I heard in the songs.  Still, the songs are good and I did let it spin three times on the CD player in my car before finally putting it away.

But this brings up the question: Does an artist dealing with his own personal issues need to be given a pass on a bad performance?  After finishing his last song, there was no encore…he just threw on his backpack and left the stage, only to return a couple minutes later and say he had CDs and t-shirts for sale.  I asked if he would be staying in town for the night or going on to Asbury Park.  He said he was staying and I said, “Wilmington’s not very exciting, you’d have a better time in Asbury Park.”  His response was a very serious, “Do I not look excited?”  Uh…then my husband took the picture.  Does he look excited to you?

And for that reason…

I give this concert: 1 out of 4 Beetles!

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Concert Review: The Mersey Beatles w/ Julia Baird at Sellersville Theater

Mersey Beatles

How lucky are we?  An old friend of my husband’s invited us to join him and his wife to see The Mersey Beatles at the Sellersville Theater.  AND Julia Baird (John Lennon’s half sister) was there to introduce the band, sell her book “Imagine This” and do a meet & greet!  I reviewed Julia’s book last year and gave it four Beetles.  You can read that review here.  Also, I did talk with Julia about the book I’m reading for next weeks review…but you’ll have to wait until next week to find out her opinion.

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The Mersey Beatles are just another Beatles tribute band.  These guys all are childhood friend who were born in Liverpool.  Sound familiar?  After realizing that they were never going to make it big as band and that they always got a great response when they covered songs by the Fab Four, they decided to create their own tribute band in 1999.  In 2002, they became the resident Beatles Tribute band at the Cavern Club in Liverpool and remained so for 10 years!

WP_20160512_019[1]So what makes this band stand out?  They do go through 3 costume changes with the early suits, then Sgt. Pepper’s and ending with Abbey Road dress.  They bring just enough on stage banter in their natural Scouse accents without over doing it and losing the audience in some silly over rehearsed skit.  At the same time, they will talk with the audience (they thanked the people who yelled out that they were killing it!) and they take requests.  And some of their harmonies are really going to wow you!

All in all, this was a great experience.  And I’m glad I got to see this band for the debut American tour.  Though they’re are probably boarding a plane right now to return to Liverpool, they will be returning WITH JULIA to the U.S. this July for a tour of the midwest!  And for that reason…

I rate this concert, 4 out of 4 Beetles!

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