Scene and Heard

Best Live Performances in 2011

Posted in Entertainment by sceneandheardblog on December 11, 2011

The Wanee Music Festival

2011 brought a second consecutive year of an outstanding quantity of music talent that filled stages arenas and festivals throughout the year. It is very apparent that for many artists live performances have become necessary to boost sagging album/cd sales and income.  

Though the economy has been tough on everyone’s pocketbook, it seems that fans have opened their wallets to music shows and festivals, maybe to escape reality for a few hours or even days to mingle with fellow music lovers and enjoy the fellowship that music brings.

 This year many bands reunited to tour the country and revive memories of the youthful days of our past. The Foo Fighters headlined many festivals and released a new album. Former members of the Grateful Dead toured as Further, and The original Funky Meters rejoined with Dr. John and taught the younger generation a lesson in what a groove is all about. 

 Buffalo Springfield even reappeared at Bonnaroo and a few other shows. 

 Early heros such as Bob Seger and Steely Dan proved they can still entertain with the best by filling and selling out many venues. Even a Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney traveled the U.S. Having little trouble selling tickets from $65 nosebleeds to over $100 and up for prime locations.

 This year I have photographed over 40 shows and four major festivals. I have been very fortunate to have witnessed over 100 different individual bands. Many bands numerous times such as My Morning Jacket (3), Joe Bonamassa (two solo and one Black Country Communion), The Allman Brothers (3), The Black Keys(3), and Robert Plant (2).  It’s my job to cover many genres of music and am continually amazed at the talent of these artists even the ones, I do not normally listen to.

 I do not claim to be an expert on all things music and I do not expect to be agreed with on my every selection. But thats the fun, music is a great network to socialize with people of all ages and ways of life.

 So here are my favorite memories of 2011. I look forward to hearing about yours.

Best Performances of 2011                                                              

Haggard and Krissofferson

(I attended)

  1. Jeff Beck– The Louisville Palace  (a complete guitar player and a amazing band)
  2. My Morning Jacket (Circuital cd release concert broadcast worldwide by American Express) – The Louisville Palace , also  Bonnaroo and the Hangout Music Festival
  3. The Bonnaroo Super Jam (Dr. John, Dan Auerbach, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band and more)- Bonnaroo Music Festival (rare mix of great talent)
  4. The Allman Brothers Band- The Wanee Festival Swanee River State Park, FL ( a music machine)
  5. The Foo Fighters- The Hangout Music Festival Gulf Shores, AL
  6. Paul McCartney -Great American Ballpark Cincinnati ,OH
  7. Steely Dan -The Louisville Palace 
  8. The Tedeschi- Trucks Band, ( Best new band of the year) Popa John’s Stadium Louisville, KY
  9. Eric Clapton- MGM, Las Vegas, NV (Clapton in Vegas, enough said!)
  10. Joe Bonamassa- Taft Theater Cinn, OH and The Louisville Palace
  11. Robert Plant – ( more Zeppelin with a twist and a solid band) Bonnaroo Music Festival and Wanee Music Festival                                                                                            
  12. Paul Simon- The Hangout Festival                                                                   
  13. The Warren Haynes Band -The Wanee Music Festival, Bonnaroo                   

    The Super Jam Bonnaroo 2011

  14. The Black Keys – Bonnaroo and The Hangout Festival
  15. Black Country Communion – Murat Theater Indianapolis, IN
  16. Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson Horseshoe Casino , Elizabeth, IN
  17. Florence and The Machine – Bonnaroo
  18. Dr. John and The Original Funky Meters- Bonnaroo
  19. John Mellencamp The Louisville Palace
  20. Of Montreal- Headliners Louisville, KY
  21. Rush – KFC Yum Center, Louisville , Ky (watching Neil Peart is enough)
  22. Taylor Swift- KFC Yum Center- ( The best in crowd watching)
  23. Gregg Allman and Friends Bonnaroo
  24. Motorhead  ( Lemmy need I say more) -The Hangout Festival
  25. The Pixies – The Louisville Palace
  26. Buffalo Springfield Bonnaroo – (Mr.Soul and Rockin in the Free World saved an average show)
  27. Lady Gaga – KFC Yum Center(another crowd watching classic)
  28. Arcade Fire – Bonnaroo
  29. Primus ( I am still vibrating from Les Claypool’s bass) The Hangout Festival
  30. Bob Seger KFC Yum Center ( still a solid performer)
Impressive Bands I saw for the first time
  1. Here come The Mummies
  2. Deer Tick (one of Bonnaroo’s top shows)
  3. Jonathan Tyler and Northern Lights ( a killer surprise) The Hangout Festival
  4. J. Roddy Walston   ( This band has it all) WFPK Waterfront Wednesday 

    Tedeschi Trucks Band at Wanee

  5. Fleet Foxes- (one of rocks sweetest voices)
  6. Grace Potter and The Nocturnals

Best Festival of 2011                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

  1. The Wanee Festival (beautiful setting and two nights of the Allmans)
  2. The Hangout Music Festival ,Gulf Shores, AL ( Loaded with Talent and beautiful sunsets on the beach)
  3. Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival  (  This is always the most diverse music and crowd in one setting. A music overload!)

           Shows I would have liked to attended.                                                                              

Jim James of My Morning Jacket

  1. Lollapalooza Chicago, IL
  2. Chicago Blues Festival , Chicago, IL
  3. Austin City Limits, Austin TX
  4. Mountain Jam Hunter, New York
  5. New Orleans Jazz Festival
  6. Warren Haynes Winter Jam Asheville , N.C.

2011 was a great year for music and I left many good shows off my list. I hope to make one of the festivals on my list above in 2012.

 Jeff Beck at Louisville Palace April 26

Jeff Beck at Louisville Palace April 26

© C Michael Stewart

Florence and The Machine

Joe Bonamassa

Chicago returns to The Louisville Palace

Posted in Entertainment by sceneandheardblog on December 11, 2011


In 1970, I suffered the most tragic event in my young life when I went to view the list posted for our school basketball team and found my name was not on it. I had spent up to that time, my ever waking minute playing sports and dreaming of even playing pro sports when I grew up. In my mind there was some question about would I make the starting line up, but had no thoughts about not making the team period!

I had a few other hobbies such as catching critters and riding mini bikes and I always followed music ever since my parents let me purchase the Beatles first album a few years earlier.

I was permitted to join the Columbia Music Record Club, which allowed me to get twelve free albums for only a penny and a commitment to buy several more in the next year.

I can’t remember all my choices but my favorites were “The Jimi Hendrix Experience”, “Grand Funk Railroad” and Chicago.


Since my sports career ended abruptly, I turned to music  and began attending concerts before I could drive. The third concert I ever attended was Chicago at Freedom Hall in July of 1970. It cost me $6.00 and totally entrenched me in live music for the rest of my life.

Chicago was one of the first bands to fuse rock with brass instruments (Blood Sweat and Tears was the other) and aside from a few mellow songs, like my later prom theme ,”Color My World” they were mostly rock and jazz.

The original band featured Terry Kath an excellent guitar player who also sang many early  songs for the group. In 1978, Kath died of an accidental, self inflicted gun shot wound playing russian roulette with a gun he thought was not loaded.


Bassist Peter Cetera began writing and singing lead on many of the bands albums and the music direction of the band shifted to more of a pop sound. Cetera left in 1985 to pursue a solo career.


Despite the personnel changes over the years, the group is still active four decades after its founding. They are one of the few major rock groups that have never broken up or even taken an extended hiatus. As of June 2010, four of the six surviving founding members (major songwriters Lamm and Pankow, plus Loughnane and Parazaider) remain providing continuity, while Jason Scheff has been with the band 25 years, Tris Imboden 20 years, and Keith Howland 15 years.


Many years have past since I first saw Chicago but when they visited The Louisville Palace on Wednesday evening the band proved that they are still a musical machine filled with experience and excitement. The entertained the nearly full venue with songs from every album adding four Christmas songs to the set for the holidays.

Although I lean to the earlier hits from the band, it was hard not to enjoy the pop numbers as the audience joined the band sing and dancing on most song choruses.


All songs sounded fresh with the encore, “25 to 6 to 4”  highlighting a great show.

It was a special night filled with memories for the crowd, a majority of baby boomers.

My son and his fiancee attended surrounded by their parents, both of which grew up fans of Chicago. As we were leaving I was asked me, ”Dad do you remember when you gave me my first guitar? The only thing you could play was the first few chords of “Smoke on the Water” and “25 to 6 to 4”! “I can’t hear this song without thing that”.

It was the only guitar I ever learned but at least I taught him to love music and know a great song even if it’s for the wrong reason!

Robert Lamm of Chicago

For more photos :

Set List