Everyone's a Critic

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Bryan Ferry's Avonmore

Just for fun, try singing this set’s “Send in the Clowns” along with Paul Simon’s “Late in the Evening,” or versa vice. Pretty much the same song, yeah? Gets me each time around. Ferry, of ...

Rolling Stones set fire to the Gaslamp

Plus four of Daniel Knighton's Pixel Perfect photos from the show

In the hours leading up to Sunday's opening night of the Rolling Stones 2015 Zip Code Tour at Petco Park, the atmosphere in the Gaslamp Quarter was on fire. Every bar, every restaurant was at ...

Is it all about brand recognition?

Observations from last weekend’s fantastic, sparsely attended Spanish Rhapsody concert

The hall was about half full for the Spanish Rhapsody. Previously the hall had been 95% full for Carmina Burana. To my mind and heart, the Spanish concert had the greater merit musically and artistically ...

The Desired Effect, by Brandon Flowers

The Killers frontman's new solo set looks for love in '80s dance pop

The second solo record by the Killers frontman Brandon Flowers is a revival of the sounds and sentiments behind the 1980s dance-pop genre. Inspired by the music of his adolescence, Flowers’s The Desired Effect bounces ...

The Waterboys pour it on at Humphreys

Touring behind this year's Modern Blues, Scottish rockers show they are more than a new-wave nostalgia act

The Waterboys stormed the stage at Humphreys by the Bay and delivered a high-energy set that encompassed their career. Mike Scott and the band delivered a tight set with highlights throughout the evening. The six-piece ...

My name is Inigo Montoya, I play the violin, prepare to die

A Spanish lovefest at Symphony Hall

The San Diego Symphony concert on Saturday, May 9, was as hot as Seville in August — maybe hotter. (I’m not sure, since I’ve never been to Seville, but I can imagine.) Violinist Ray Chen ...

Mark Ronson's Uptown Special

Super-producer can't keep up with that lead single

Rocketed to the top of the charts by the Bruno Mars–piloted hit “Uptown Funk” — with its Princely synths, Towering horns, and sly James Brown-isms (“gotta kiss myself so pretty”) — Mark Ronson’s latest is ...

New Kids on the Block: The Main Event

Pop group joins the crowd at Viejas Arena

It was about halfway through New Kids on the Block’s two-hour set at Viejas Arena that a female fan ran past security guards and onto the stage, only to be corralled and removed seconds later. ...

They Might Be generous Giants

Alt-rock act plays two sets, two encores, and even buys the beer!

Solana Beach got a treat with two full sets and a double-dose of encores from popular alt-rockers They Might Be Giants. The band had no problem filling the extended time by taking a heaping helping ...

A Fool to Care, by Boz Scaggs

I first saw Boz Scaggs in 1966 at the Matrix in San Francisco. He was playing in a jazz-rock combo with some cat named Steve Miller. Fast-forward 50 years and they are both award-winning senior-citizen ...

Show thief!

Conrad Tao runs away with the entire evening at San Diego Symphony

Conrad Tao stole the show twice on Saturday, May 2, at Symphony Hall. He tore the place apart with the Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 1 and then upstaged that monster with the conclusion of Prokofiev’s ...

Death Cab for Cutie's latest turns up the synth

With its upbeat melodies buoying angst-filled verses, Kintsugi provides a familiar view.

“How could something so fair be so cruel?” Ben Gibbard asks on the lead single of Death Cab for Cutie's first studio release in nearly four years. With that question, “Black Sun” sets the tone ...

Helmet's thinking-man metal enlightens Belly Up

Happy birthday, Betty!

Entering the Belly Up while Helmet performed their classic album Betty was like walking into a ’90s time warp. Front man Page Hamilton, the only original member of the band, has changed very little in ...

Blue Largo swings into Tio Leo's

Local dance band recalls golden age of jazz and blues in the Southland

There are a number of swing-dance blues bands performing in Southern California, but none more genuine than San Diego’s own Blue Largo. On dance night at Tio Leo’s, guitarist Eric Lieberman and his versatile lineup ...

Neil Diamond's Melody Road

"Nobody dies. Nobody takes drugs. No sobs in the darkness."

“Would that make it a better song?” Lou Reed asked a caller into an NYC radio show. Caller wanted to know if the dead girl in “Street Hassle” was real. Lester Bangs didn’t print the ...

Evermotion, by Guster

Boston band drops out of college rock

Continuing to chip away at their college rock roots, Guster's Evermotion further obscures the band's acoustic guitar and bongo-backed beginnings. The opener, “Long Night,” provides an overture of sorts, lulling the listener in with dreamy ...

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