The Iridium

The Mac Wire’s Top Concert Pick–Robby Krieger & The Les Paul Trio at NYC’s Iridium, 10-3-11, 8PM

By Anne M. Raso, The Mac Wire Contributing Editor

If you are a classic rock fan, we don’t have to tell you that Robby Krieger is a founding member of The Doors and is featured in Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” list. RK was a driving force behind the band’s success, writing songs like “Light My Fire,” “Love Me Two Times,” “Touch Me,” and “Love Her Madly” and his work for subsequent bands, including the Robby Krieger Fusion Band has shown his grow even further as a musical artist.

The Mac Wire will be out in full force for Robby’s show with who The Les Paul Trio on Monday, October 3rd at 8 PM. We checked out this exact same show last year at this time and it was supercool to check out Robby playing on Les Paul classics like “How High The Moon.”

You have a lot of chanced to catch Robby at the Iridium right now since tonight (9-30) he starts his five-day stint there (the first three nights are just with the Robby Krieger Fusion Band but you can bet that a couple of unannounced musical guests will be sitting in). Of course, you get to hear a lot of the ace axeman’s work from The Doors in extended versions, and the sound of his Gibson SG is a rock and roll legend in itself.

Tickets can be purchased at the Iridium door, but we suggest buying them ahead of time at www.theiridium.com and arriving early (6:30 or 7) for a good table. The club, located at 1650 Broadway (at 51st Street in NYC) is intimate, so all tables are good, but we admit that we like to be right up against the stage so we can shout out song requests after we’ve kicked back a few cocktails! Also be sure to “like” the Iridium’s official FB page: http://www.facebook.com/iridiumjazzclub

To see Robby’s performance of “Light My Fire” last year with the wonderful Evan Marshall on vocals (he channels Jim Morrison but is unique at the same time), go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjsqBaMlAqg

(Photos Of Robby Krieger Courtesy Of Gibson Guitars and Photo Of Iridium Sign Courtesy Of The Iridium Jazz Club.)

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Show Pick Of The Week–Pat Dinizio Guests With The Les Paul Trio…Plus Acoustic Smithereens And His Fabulous Beatles Cover Band The Scotch Plainsmen!

Rock Out At NYC’S Iridium Next Monday Night, May 9th, With Pat DiNizio In Three Styles: Jamming With The Les Paul Trio, Playing Acoustic Smithereens And Performing With His Highly Acclaimed Beatles Cover Band, The Scotch Plainsmen!

Photos And Text By Anne M. Raso

Where will we be next Monday, May 9th at 8 PM? At the Iridium in NYC (1650 Broadway between 50th and 51st Streets), checking out the traditional Monday night set by the Les Paul Trio with extra special guest Pat DiNizio of the Smithereens.
     DiNizio wears many hats both figuratively and literally–and besides jamming with the LPT featuring the fabulous Lou Pallo on the two-toned Gibson guitar named in his honor–the Smithereens’ head songwriter/singer/rhythm guitarist will be performing an acoustic Smithereens set and an vast assortment of singalong tunes with members of his Beatles cover band The Scotch Plainsmen.
     To be more specific, DiNizio will be having his talented bass player Bruce Pike, aka “The Rev” (since he is also the pastor of a NJ church) in tow, not to mention sizzlin’ Sam Fairley on guitar. These Jersey boys know how to rock and put an interesting spin on Beatles’ classics. We caught their show at the City Winery back on January 5th–the Plainsmen played the Let It Be album in its entirety to a full house and then later went back into the older Beatles catalog for songs the audience could not help but sing along to).
    As for the acoustic Smithereens set, DiNizio makes them special by sharing the “stories behind the songs” (he does not have the time to do this in a regular Smithereens set) and re-tells tales from his recently released autobiography Confessions Of A Rock Star. The Scotch Plains, NJ, native also throws in a song or two from his highly-acclaimed solo albums, and often takes requests.

The band at Pat DiNizio’s Fourth Annual Memorial Day Picnic event in Scotch Plains, NJ.
DiNizio sings “Dear Prudence” at the City Winery show.
 DiNizio and bassist Pike sing “Hey Jude” at The City Winery on January 5th, 2011

    Doors at the Iridium open at 7 for the 8PM show and keep in mind that there is a second set at 10PM well worth staying for.  The phone number for the Iridium Jazz Club is 212-582-2121 and the official website address is http://www.theiridium.com. If you go to the club’s official Facebook fan page Iridium Jazz Club and click on “Like,” you can then click on their Weekly Discounts link and get half price on the later set of this and many other fine shows (regular ticket price is $30). This themacwire.com staff member has to add that this is our favorite club in Manhattan both for its acoustics and intimate setting (and did we forget to mention the food, LOL)?
     For more info on Pat DiNizio, go to www.patdinizio.com and www.officialsmithereens.com. Just for the record, the Scotch Plainsmen will also be appearing at DiNizio’s Fifth Annual Memorial Day Picnic, Fan Jam And Concert on May 29th (tickets can be purchased at Dinizio’s site mentioned above) alongside The Smithereens—whose new CD, 2011, charted at #17 on the iTunes charts its first week out of the box last month. We got a tip that the theme of the Scotch Plainsmens’ set at the Memorial Day “picnic” will be Beatles movie tunes!
    Also of note is the fact Bruce Pike—a very talented bassist influenced by Jack Bruce and Chris Squire–is in a second band worth checking out called Home At Last which is also performing at DiNizio’s highly acclaimed Memorial Day weekend event. (Be sure to check The Home At Last Fan Page on Facebook.) Home At Last has six CDs in their catalog and the current one, Somewhere In The Vicinity, was recorded live with DiNizio as a guest vocalist.

Pat Dinizio & Buddy Holly

Mini-Review: Jeff Beck Rock ‘N’ Roll Party Honoring Les Paul

JEFF BECK ROCK ‘N’ ROLL PARTY HONORING LES PAUL DVD ROCKS OUT!

(Photos Courtesy Of Eagle Rock Entertainment.

By Anne M. Raso

We here at themacwire.com cannot resist when a legendary axeman organizes and performs at a tribute to one of his major musical influences–and as we discovered from watching this new DVD, “Les is more”! (We are sure Jeff Beck will agree with that statement.)

Beck put together an all-star cast including Gary U.S. Bonds and Brian Setzer last year for a show at NYC’s nightspot Iridium on what would have been Les Paul’s 95th birthday. The show covers the pre-rockabilly sounds from Les Paul’s heydey (the legend played at Fat Tuesday’s and then later the Irdium on Monday nights right up until his death)–and then rockabilly in its heydey. Pompadours abound on the performers, including on Darrel Higham, who puts his marko “Baby, Let’s Play House,” “Double Talkin’ Baby,” “Cruisin’,” “Train Kept A Rollin'” (the only song from Beck’s Yardbirds days), “Rocking Is Our Business,” “The Girl Can’t Help It,” “Rock Around The Clock,” and “Shake, Rattle & Roll.”

Jeff Beck’s regular “Gal Friday” Imelda May channels Mary Ford and actually outdoes her on vocals on “How High The Moon” and other Les Paul/Mary Ford hits, and that’s not an easy task. The reverb on her vocals–not to mention her Mary Ford-style dress and hairstyle–gives all the tunes from back then a “genuine” feel.

Beck does not forget to include his favorite rock instrumentals of all time in his all-star set, either–you’d be hard-pressed to find more rockin’ versions of the “Peter Gunn Theme” or “Apache.”

Highlights of this uplifting and super-rockin’ set–that could probably make the Grinch NOT want to steal Christmas–also includes some mellow moments such as “Walking In The Sand” and “I’m A fool To Care” (both with May on vocals).

The aforementioned “Shake, Rattle & Roll” is actually the grand finale from the Master Of The White Telecaster and friends. The Small Iridium club stage looks might crowded with Darrel Higham, Brian Setzer, Jason Rebello and Trombone Shorty helping out Mr. Beck–but the sound is monstrous. Don’t think this is the end of this vast array of retro-rock hits though–there are five bonus clips that are well-worth watching! That list of clips includes an interview with Jeff Beck, a behind-the-scenes footage reel on the making of this Les Paul tribute show, “At Home With Jeff Beck And His Guitars,” “Les Paul And His Little Black House” and even a performance of Les Paul and Jeff Beck doing “Rock ‘N Roll Tonite.”

Jeff Beck did this video out of his love and admiration for the late Les Paul, and we now hope he will actually return to the Iridium and do another tribute show to the inventor of the electric guitar (not to mention other types of music technology that is still used today). His shows at the Beacon Theater and other NYC area shows are sold out, but we’re hoping to catch him on his Summer 2011 tour!

THEMACWIRE.COM RATING FOR JEFF BECK ROCK ‘N’ ROLL PARTY HONORING LES PAUL: 4 1/2 OUT OF FIVE GUITARS! (We normally rate reviews in stars but how could we resist using guitars when dealing with a master of the Telecaster? LOL!)