Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Uli Jon Roth week in review.

Well, last week was a busy, whirl-wind experience. San Diego's Brick By Brick had a great responsive audience, but seemed to serve as the band's rehearsal/warmup show. After the 2-hour show, Uli and the band met with the audience, who were very glad to see us. Some driving up from Mexico, and some brought old Scorpions albums to autograph as well as a couple guitars floating around for Uli's signature as well. This was my first time in San Diego - I've never been! The band stayed at a hotel near the Old Town "Gas-lamp District". Ate dinner at Casa Guadalajara with the band - great food and margaritas.

Thursday night was in Ventura at the Majestic Ventura Theatre. This is a large venue, an old theatre, similar to LA's Wiltern in size. This night featured a triple bill of my solo band, then Alcatrazz, and then Uli Jon Roth. Huge dressing rooms, back stage food and drinks - a taste of the rock star life.... all too brief. By tonight, I had finally gotten my act together, as I was having trouble learning the unison harmony solo part in "We'll Burn The Sky". While the stage sound was strange, the show went well - though the band would still love to have a set list. Big stage, big lights... always fun.

Uli likes to "free flow" every night. Calling out tunes as he goes, so sometimes it feels like a game of follow the leader. Keeps us on our toes!

The best thing about his gig is getting to play along side my favorite guitarist, favorite singer, favorite drummer, and new comrade, Bjorn Englen.

Alcatrazz put on a top-notch performance, and I have never heard Graham Bonnet sound better. Howie Simon, Tim Luce, and Glen Sobel were great, very tight.

Friday night, brought us to the Blue Cafe in Huntington Beach, CA. At first entry, the club seemed small compared to the previous night, no dressing room, towels, etc... BUT, this night proved to be our best. My band opened for Uli hitting the stage at 10pm. We played great. Having Kevin Chown back on bass felt good. He and the rest of the band, Maureen Baker on keys, and Glen Sobel on drums, really delivered. The audience grew throughout the night and was REALLY excited to be there. By the time Uli and the rest of us got on stage after 11pm, the audience was pressed up to the stage. Tonight, the band was really in sync. The intimate stage and size of the club had such a great energy, and the band could really hear each other well up there. Hands-down the best performance of the week, the 2.15 hour set was loud, hot, and sweaty, and the audience couldn't get enough. We finished up at 1:30am , met with the audience, sold some merch then headed home... My wife and I got back to the house around 3am - just in time to get 5 hours of sleep before having to teach guitar the next morning.

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