Results tagged ‘ Village People ’

Looking Back at the Rays 2010 Concert Series…Part 2



So after a few days getting over a slight bit of misfortune of food poisoning eating some I relish…a hot dog, Ironically, it was my last hot dog of the year at a local High School football game against a bitter inner-city rival that took me down…Figures, thanks Northeast H S.

No more stalling, time to get this final edition of the Rays 2010 Concert Photos underway. One of the greatest thing I like about music is that the first few song of the musician’s sets are sometimes pre-programmed to get the crowd into a rising energy so that the concert can take a particular flow throughout the night.

The first seven concerts of the 2010 Rays Friday Fest and Rays/Hess Express Saturday Night Concert Series definitely set of tone for the final second half. From John Fogerty to Barenaked Ladies, the Rays concert events began and uphill turn that never ended to the last event of the year, Bret Michaels. Each of the 14 concerts this year left a special mark with me. I was lucky to take photos during 12 of the 14 Rays concerts and get in tune with practicing my concert photography.


I am not a professional photographer, and my little Fuji S5100 has seen better days (Thanks drunken Yankee fan), but I think I do the best with what I got. Sure would love a $ 4,000+ Canon or Nikon camera body and a lens as long as my arm, but that is not in the slim, money-less budget right now. Now back to the awesome years in Rays music.



Vanilla Ice did not attract as many to the Trop’s infield as I might have thought for his concert, but it was the most high energy event of the year. Vanilla Ice has changed his modes operandi to push more towards the hard guitar and drumbeats that pumped through the crowd like a large heartbeat. Combine that with the (I thought) whimsical idea of Vanilla Ice trying to get the photographers’ wet, and you get a audience/photog participation event. This was the first of three straight Friday Fest concerts that would hit all spectrums of the music World, and it hit on all levels.

Sure most in the front photo pit with me that day did not totally see eye-to-eye with the whole water and expensive cameras’ bit, but I was laughing and having a good time dodging the 20 ounces of unexpected water, and a few time Vanilla Ice looked down and smiled at me that I seemed to have understood it was part of his method…or his madness. It was tied for my favorite Rays concert offering of the season, and a great way to push off the second half of the concert schedule.


Of course there was one concert missing from this list this season, and I want to send out good vibes hoping that GoGo’s guitarist Jane Wiedlin recovers perfectly from her ACL injury sustained when she fell while hiking near her home in California. With up to a year recovery time for such an injury, hopefully we can again see the GoGo’s possibly perform in the future. It is a great concert event that I have not missed (even in Jannus Landing) since the band first started coming to the Tampa Bay area.



Los Lobos is one of those bands that I do not think would have ever hit y musical tastes if not for their great rendition of the classic Ritchie Valens “La Bamba“. I also would not have known that recent Oscar winner T-Bone Burnett produced their first album “How Will the Wolf Survive” and one of the songs from that album is playing over the opening credits to the Sean Penn/Robert DeNiro classic “Colors“.

My first tastes in live music were preserved in a small beachside bar in Maderia Beach, Florida that a certain well known Florida ocean troubadour used to frequent named Jimmy Buffett when he came up to see his band pal Mike Utley.

I got used to hearing tunes that flowed with the waves and just seemed to roll in the ears and settle for a while to sit and ponder things. I got the same vibe from this Friday Fest concert by Los Lobos. It might have been more refined to a South Texas border town that a beach resort on the Gulf of Mexico, but the whole time I was wishing for a boat drink…or a shot of Avion (thanks Entourage).



The next Rays Friday Fest event featured a band that to this point had to be the most audience involved and totally choreographed dancers of the Rays concert series. Felt kind of eerie at first covering the Village People concert more for the fact of having to remember what I wore back then, and seeing myself again with long curly hair, but I took one for the team here.

Seriously, it was a great event in that we got to see most of the original members of the band still out there supporting their music and dancing their well known routines. But it did seem a bit unusual to me to see rhinestones and glitter on a construction worker…just saying.

It was another high energy night and a great moment if you are fond of the 1970’s or even want to remember back that far. I even found a bit of glitter all over me camera when I took it out of my backpack when I got home. As a nice sidebar to this concert, after I posted my concert review, the Indian from the Village People actually Direct Messaged me on Twitter with a cordial thank you for covering the event. It was a great time in my life, so maybe I should thank him again for helping remember some great moments in my life sans the platform shoes.



Train really did roll in to the Trop for the next concert event. This is one of those bands right now that are right on the cusp and thoughts of so many in the music World because of their song “Hey Soul Sister” plus the million of samplings of the song in countless commercials and advertisements Worldwide right now.

Train front man Pat Monahan also did one of the coolest things I have ever seen done ( so far) during a concert when he posted two pictures of the crowd during their song “If It’s Love” that I still have as my desktop background on my aging laptop. Monahan also became the second performer to do an infield sprint around the Trop when he started an impromptu walkabout from the stage to the area near the Visitor’s dugout.

Reminded me a lot of the same run M C Hammer had done two years earlier, but Monahan seemed more at ease strolling amongst the 4,000+ fans on the Rays Field Turf.



Allison Iraherta was not originally suppose to open for Adam Lambert, but Orianthi had to pull out of the opening act gig after some family situations. Iraherta still looks a bit nervous and wooden on stage, but her music more than makes up for any sense of clumsiness or irrational movements on stage. But the raspy voice of this young woman definitely makes you remember her voice and her music.

She has one of those resounding voices that brings back memories of past singers like Janis Joplin or even Joan Baez. Iraherta will definitely be on that “one to watch” list, and opening for Lambert will get you some extra exposure she desperately needs to get noticed beyond her huge American Idol triumphs. In time the stage set will mellow out and become more fined, and with that the star in the center of the stage belting out those tunes will shine brighter.



What can you say about Adam Lambert’s concert. Well, I guess my concert review was good enough to still be placed on his International website and with that came over 78 comments within 24 hours. Got to tell you I always know bands have their followers, but this guy definitely has an army ready, willing and able to carry out his wishes. But the concert was even more amazing to me than the response by his followers. It really was stage musical to me. Set with great costumes, gyrating dancers and spectacular musicians playing some incredible music.

For effect, this concert was tied for the best concert event (with Vanilla Ice) of the year for me. It has a little bit of everything to it. And the wildest part is that one of my photos was also popped on the Lambert website and I took it from over 100 yards away since this is one of the two concerts I did not get approved for ahead of time…how ironic is that.

But it was a fantastic journey of music performed by Lambert, and his dancers brought a great melding of it all together into something worthy of the Broadway stage. Some might say it is more of a stage show than a concert, but I remind you that David Bowie and countless other have done just the same thing for a long, long time.



Last, but definitely not least is the Rays Saturday Night Concert I was waiting for all year. The climax at the end where I got to see another artists that every time he comes into the Tampa Bay area as a solo artist, I am in the crowd. The last time was in a more fan-friendly environment of Ruth Eckerd Hall, but no matter where you put him, Bret Michaels is all about the music and a good time.

When the announcement was originally made near the end of May, it might have seemed to ambitious or even ill advised for Michaels to throw himself back into his musical tour so early after his health situations, but that is one of things that endears you to him…his strength, fan commitment and his desire to do what he loves to do….sing to the masses.

Some might say the night was not as energetic or the usual ” Bret Michaels” show. But to me it was a celebrate of his music and a way for all of us to send some healing vibes and also sing a few classic tunes that always stick in our minds. Michaels even did the Country version of “Every Rose Has Its Thorns“, and it was taken in by the crowd like it was the original. For myself, it was the perfect ending to the Rays 2010 concert series. I was taken photos of a rock icon who had taken a dirty and dangerous road of medical problems and whisked them away like road dust to sing.


Some say these Rays concerts were devised for the pure sake of escalating Rays attendance figures and bolstering their overall yearly numbers while most of the Major League Baseball teams were experiencing up to 6-10 percent decreases in their yearly attendance numbers.

Sure that reasoning is true, but I kind of look at it another way. It is also a way for the Rays entire staff and the Rays Republic to collectively celebrate this great team we have here, and also enjoy some great music.

Thank You Rays for this year’s Concert Series. Looking forward to another killer schedule in 2011.

Disco lived for One More Night at the Trop



The first time I heard the Village People, I was a roller skate guard at a place called Gay Blades in St. Petersburg, Florida. I was one of those moment that you liked and feared as a skate guard. You loved it because the crowd got into their rhythmic lyrics and bass notes, but their fans also had a tendency to simultaneously crash to the varnished wooden floors in large piles to form a huge human obstacles course.

Of course the circa World War II large half moon aluminum skating rink is gone now, replaced by something distinctly ironic in its place. A 10-story hospital (Edward White) now looks over the speeding Interstate. It is amazing sometimes how the music still stays fresh in your mind and how 30+ years later, I can still recite the songs lyrics and remember some of their choreographed moves. But I still shudder every time the Tampa Bay Rays have a 70’s Night.



More for the fact that it embodies my teen angst days. My moves from Junior High to High School, those days when you sometimes felt awkward and uncoordinated, but still thought you had the “cool” factor going for you. So it was with a sense of apprehension, but utter curiosity that I wanted to see this late 1970’s “Boy Band” again up on the stage performing and doing their hits. And the group definitely did not disappoint us at all on Friday night.



Even though as a Rays credentialed photographer for the event, I only got to stand near the stage for the first two songs, then became a member of the huge crowd lingering and dancing on the Field Turf of Tropicana Field. All our favorite were still assembled in the group, the cowboy, construction worker, Indian, biker and the military soldier. But the biggest cheer went up when the police officer finally made his way to the front of the male chorus line singing just as sharp as those 8-track recording I have hidden in one of my many boxes in storage.



And it was great to see so many within the Rays Republic dress the part of the musicians (especially the teens) and hanging on their every lyric like we did back in the 70’s. Was a bit surreal to hear their songs again and parents teaching their young kids the body moves of such songs as “YMCA“. Was a great walk back into the past to see the crowd chant and sing hits like “Macho Man” and “In the Navy” that were first recorded when 50% of the crowd was either in diapers or not even a gleam in their parents eyes yet.



It was just pure adulterated fun for everyone and it is simply amazing how a novelty act from the forgettable era of disco can be so refreshing and entertaining when most of us are trying to forget those leisure suit and platform shoes days. And yes, back then I did have a male ‘fro. But back to the music. The group had their usual flair about them last night using props and mannerisms to evoke audience participation at different times in the concert. And maybe that is why they have endured for so long.



When the Village People perform, it is an all-out party scene complete with glittery caps, construction hats and even a few sequins. It caught my eye early that the construction worker might be a bit overdressed for normal work as his sequins on his plaid shirt, plus his one specially designed mirror sequined construction hat might not make it on the job site today. But it was the advent of fun, frolic and general sense of “getting down” that pegs this concert into it place in history.



And the pure fact that most of the group who sang back in 1981 were still present on stage last night just speaks to their special place in music lore. And even if most of their songs do not resonate anymore with us as ballads or socially conscious tunes, the group’s main focus still to have everyone moving, grooving and having a great time just letting go for a little while. But we all know that 50 percent of the crowd stayed for one tune. They all seemed to be waiting, anticipating and relishing in one lone vocal and dance song that will transcend generations long after we are gone from this Earth.



Everyone was waiting for the “YMCA” moment. And of course it was saved for the last song of the night. Because that was only right. You wanted to wrap up the party scene right on Friday night, and only the best will do. So the anthem of every wedding recital and corporate gathering had to be the last notes flowing through the air of the Trop. From the field to the Upper Deck, you could see the outlines of people forming the letters, signing the lyrics and maybe even a tear or two fell to remember a time when innocence was cherished by some of us.



The Village People were the perfect send-off to end the Rays “Turn Back the Clock” night. Not only did some of us get lost in the rhythm, but some of us remembered a time when things were simpler, more relaxed and just plain fun. Weird, I have a Dixie High School reunion party on Saturday night after the Rays game just down the street from Tropicana Field at MidTown Sundries. I am debating if I am going to show my mug to my old classmate today, but enthusiastic to the fact that tonight I was reminded why I enjoyed those times so much. Guess I might have an ulterior moment to go tonight…Maybe they will play “YMCA” for old times sake