Roger Waters

Desert Diamond Arena,
3rd October, 2022

“If you’re one of those ‘I love Pink Floyd, but I can’t stand Roger’s politics’ people you might do well to fuck off to the bar right now.”
— Pre-show introduction

Fair play to the man. We might disagree on certain topics (to put it mildly), but I get the sense he’d be a decent bloke with whom to have a drink. At age 79, and remarkably spry for it, he is clearly deep into the “give no fucks” stage of his career. This is going to be his show, and if you don’t like it, you can lump it. But would I like it?

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Rammstein

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
23rd September 2022

It has been more than ten years since I originally saw Rammstein, an event which still ranks at or near the top of the greatest concerts I have experienced. Mind you, it has been more than two years since this event was originally scheduled to take place: it was supposed to happen in September 2020, before things went a bit pear-shaped. For both reasons, calling this “eagerly anticipated” is likely an understatement, and probably plays into why I didn’t feel like it quite lived up to expectations. Oh, it was still good: certainly worth the 750-mile round trip. But not quite the life-altering experience, redefining the entire concept of a live show, which was the 2012 event.

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Duran Duran + Nile Rodgers & Chic

Footprint Center, Phoenix
7th September, 2022

Another band gets crossed off the bucket list – more likely theirs than mine. Though it has to be said, Simon Le Bon is looking very impressive for someone who will start collecting his old age pension next year, after a long career of unrestrained debauchery. Well, I’m assuming there was debauchery involved. I’d be quite disappointed if he and his colleagues had spent the last forty years leading a monk-like life of aesthetic restraint and celibacy. Especially since, going by the audience at this event, I suspect quite a few women would still be willing to die on that particular hill. Maybe some men too. I don’t judge.

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Howard Jones + Midge Ure

Farnsworth Hall, Mesa
June 26th, 2022

I got to cross off two eighties icons for the price of one here, and also visit a venue we’d not been to before. Looking at their schedule (or even the marquee outside, above), they seem to specialize in tribute groups, e.g. Ronstadt Revival, The Magic Of Manilow or – and I quite liked this one’s name – Shania Twin. These caused one friend to wonder if we were sure these were going to be the real Howard Jones and Midge Ure. I am pleased to confirm we did not have to accept any imitations.

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Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

Paramount Theater, Denver
March 14th, 2022

It took a very long time before I got to see OMD live. I think I became aware of them in the autumn of 1980, when their first hit, Enola Gay, hit Radio 1. I was certainly a fan: Architecture and Morality was on very heavy rotation on my bedroom record-player, though they drifted off my radar after Paul Humphreys left the group in 1989. Their re-formation in the mid-2000’s was well off my radar, but a few years ago, I bumped into a documentary about the group on YouTube, which re-ignited my interest. In January 2019 – a mere thirty-nine years after first hearing them – I finally got to see OMD when they played Tucson, Arizona in support of an art exhibition about, of all things, dazzle camouflage.

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