Summer Concert Wrap-Up

Another busy season of concerts this summer and despite a bit of travel and the massive heatwave I managed to make it to a few shows.

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Seal
Seal Henry Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel made an appearance at the B1 Maximum nightclub in July. One of the best male voices in popular music, he nevertheless hasn't put out any music of note in quite a while. Luckily, Seal has had enough singles over the years to fill a show with greatest hits and please his adoring public, accompanied by a very capable band, as you'd expect from a rumored diva such as he.

Seal started more than an hour after doors opened and apologized to all in attendance, explaining that he was told by the promoters he didn't need to be on stage for another hour. Kudos to him for taking the stage quickly once the crowd started chanting for the show to start.

Last time I saw Seal play was in Boston more than a decade and a half ago, so it was a pleasure to catch up with him again.
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Gogol Bordello
This was my fourth time seeing the kings of “gypsy punk”and, just like the first time, this show was outdoors as the group graced the stage at the Green Theater in Gorky Park in late July. By now their shtick is familiar — a rabblerousing show with lots of movement, stage presence and solid musicianship.

There appeared to have been a couple of changes in this very international group of performers, adding a couple of new dimensions to the show (I'm thinking specifically of the small Latino guy who would come forward and do vocals on occasion). As always, a good time had by all.

Iggy Pop
Iggy & the Stooges are now almost regular visitors to Moscow, with this appearance making it three concerts over the past five years or so. I went to the first but missed the second so I made a point of getting over to Milk nightclub in early August to catch their performance. Unfortunately, the air conditioning system in Milk was not powerful enough to handle the massive heatwave Moscow was experiencing and the concert hall must have been near the 40 C mark inside. In short, it was a bit of torture to get through the show. Iggy was Iggy — bouncing, twisting and turning around on stage. Overall, it was OK, just tough to get through.

U2's 360 stage with opening act Snow Patrol

U2's 360 stage with opening act Snow Patrol

U2
Moscow’s biggest concert event of the year was U2 on August 25. My friends and I bought tickets back in December, fearing this first ever appearance by the group might sell out. It didn't but came relatively close in a stadium that holds 80000+ people.

Bono & Co. arrived in Moscow a few days earlier and took in the sights. Among the known stops on their itinerary were museums, a visit with President Medvedev, and an evening at a local karaoke bar. I heard Bono sang something by the Beatles.

The concert itself was top notch. The band ripped through all its hits and played for at least two hours if not closer to two and a half or more. Songs were, as you'd expect from these guys, interspersed with political messages on various issues. Aside from the music, the stage, lights, and visuals were on another level from most shows you'll see. The “360”stage was amazing, although it would have been cooler in the middle of the stadium, as it was envisioned, instead of closer to one end (the end furthest from my seat!).

It's still hard to top Billy Idol's show earlier in the summer but this one is my runner-up for Moscow concert of the year at the moment.

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