Spring Concerts

The Moscow concert scene picked up in spring, as it often does in recent years, and a load of good shows have been coming through town… especially if you like hard rock! Metallica, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Queensryche, Megadeth, Slash and various aging metal acts have been or are coming this spring and summer. Not really my cup of tea, although there has been plenty to keep me busy as the weather gets warm.

Cranberries
I saw Delores O’Riordan in a solo concert a couple of years ago and was disappointed, not so much because of her performance but because the sound at B1 Maximum was horrible that night. Delores returned to Moscow in May with her reunited band, the Cranberries, this time trading the big club venue for the Luzhniki indoor arena. Unfortunately, the sound wasn’t much better and the concert only slightly better than that. Sure, they played almost all of their good tunes, but the show never quite caught on fire. Solid, enjoyable, but not spectacular.

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Chris Isaak
By comparison, this concert the following week knocked it out of the park. Isaak and his band looked like there were really enjoying themselves and the sound at B1 Maximum was on the better end of its wildly variable scale. Chris & co. went through all of his hits, some new tunes, and even an Elvis song, with the only glaring omission from my point of view being my old fave “Can’t Do a Thing (To Stop Me)”. Isaak’s voice (and hair) haven’t lost anything despite his advancing age. Really a fun show.

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Fun Lovin’ Criminals
I’ve seen Huey & co. several times now so there are no surprises in a FLC concert, but they’ve got some good new songs out and those, together with the oldies, made for an enjoyable concert. This one in early June was held at the Green Theater just outside Gorky Park and the outdoor amphitheater setting left me with mixed emotions – it’s a great place to see a show, but I think FLC are better suited to a dimly-lit club. Still, a solid performance and a nice evening (thanks, in part, to our crashing my friend Ariel’s nearby office party and getting a few drinks prior to the concert!)

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Billy Idol
Many of my concert experiences have proven that, if you live long enough, the bands and performers that you never got around to seeing live in your youth eventually come around on a comeback tour. Thank goodness for that, or else I wouldn’t have had a chance to see this old high school favorite in what was one of Moscow’s concerts of the year. This show went on for hours, with every single tune you wanted to hear (nothing left out) and even some older stuff from Billy’s Gen X days. Most importantly, longtime collaborator Steve Stevens was on hand to lead the band and show of his virtuoso guitar playing. My friends and I had “fan zone” tickets for this must-see event, on the dancefloor of the Luzhniki arena up near the stage. It was the perfect place to dance around to old favorites and witness an example of what rock concerts are supposed to be. Top notch stuff from Idol & co.

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