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

2011 Hangout Festival

Posted in Entertainment by sceneandheardblog on June 6, 2011

The Hangout Festival

When the Hangout Festival  announced the 2011 lineup , there was little question that the festival organizers were serious about making it a major music event. With headliners such as Widespread PanicThe Foo Fighters, and Paul Simon, along with many of the music’s hottest artists brought immediate attention to the festival.

The 2010 Festival was attended by approximately 15,000 people. This year The Hangout Festival sold all 35,000 tickets including, 300 Big Kahuna ($900), and 1000 VIP ($500) which included a swimming pool along with special access to all stages.

Beautiful weather and five stages full of top acts on the white sand beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama made for an amazing event. This event differs from many of the other festivals in the fact that there is no sanctioned camping, the festival grounds are long and not as wide open, both main stages offer large viewing screens and the grounds host a ferris wheel and tower ride.

Friday was highlighted by stellar performances by Umphrey’s McGee, the energy of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, a soulful set from The Warren Haynes Band, a monster set by My Morning Jacket. Widespread Panic finished the day with a blistering performance followed by a fifteen minute fireworks display.

Saturday was a day full of amazing performances, including Primus, Avett Brothers, Pretty Lights, and the Flaming Lips. A surprise early set from Foo Fighters that included rock classics, “Schools Out, Queen’s “Tie Your Mother Down” and a collaboration with Cee Lo Green. The Foo Fighters evening set was a powerful display of heavy metal that left all involved exhausted.

Sunday brought another sun filled day and hot music. Matisyahu, Amos Lee, Ween, and Michael Franti revved the crowd up for a stellar  show by The Black Keys. Paul Simon was the perfect act for the final performance of the festival, his beautiful voice and legendary music was just the what was needed for the worn out sun soaked fans.

The Hangout Festival has arrived as one of the South’s top festival’s in a matter of two short years. This event should be on your bucket list. But don’t wait long to get your tickets.

Black Keys


Paul Simon

Michael Franti

The Hangout Festival


My Morning Jacket