FOH Photo’s “Shit that made 2016 tolerable” Post – part I

One of my resolutions for 2017 is to increase my wordiness. I don’t enjoy writing, especially about live music. There is no way I can properly convey the sheer energy, enjoyment or spectacle with my verbage. First of all, I have no business critiquing any live performance. However I do want to share my enthusiasm in some way.That’s why I take photos. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, that’s what this whole FOH deal is about!

I didn’t do a count of all the shows I covered this year, but there was alot. My travels took me to the deep south in Tennessee to our beautifully bland nation’s capital, brought to life by the likes of The Red Hot Chili Peppers and remaining two Monkees! Between the clubs, arenas, theatres, main stages, tents and radio stations, I’ve been everywhere, man.

As i stated above, I do not like the written description of live music. I will probably cut and paste this whole preamble across the 4-post recap. The photos chosen represent some of my favourite acts, experiences, visual performances and just the general vibe that i took away from 2016. This isn’t a ranked list, and all acts get equal billing. That’s not to say there aren’t a few personal highlights.

Sometimes I have to pinch myself in the middle of a set because the experience is so surreal. Not only bearing witness to, but being privileged to capture some of my musical heroes and world icons, well it’s beyond words. Robert Plant, The Who, Noel Gallagher, Pearl Jam, Flea, Stevie Nicks…musicians I have admired and enjoyed for decades in various forms, I can add them to my ever-growing collection of digital memories.

The standout of the year has to be, no shocker, The Tragically Hip’s Man Machine Poem Tour. Much as been said about Gord Downie’s work over the year and I do not intend to dilute those words with my own. The experience and privilege was to say the least, humbling.

I’ve already said too much! Just look at the photos. If you like what you see, please feel free to share, tag, reblog or fax them around. Another year goes by and another year I am thankful for all of the readers, followers, friends, supporters and outlets that have allowed me to keep on rollin’. Special thanks to A Music Blog, Yea?, Q107/Edge 102.1, Spill Magazine, Canadian Musician, and Polaris Music Prize for the opportunities and trust.

-Bobby

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Erykah Badu at Kool Haus, Toronto

I never quite cared for the sub-genre “Neo Soul” but it’s damn near impossible not to mention it when describing The Queen herself, Erykah Badu. She has always set herself apart from the crooning over-emotive soul diva type. Her songs are empowering and uplifting, but she never lets her ego get the best of them. She’s not faking tears, or over dramatically singing about ridding her life of all drama. Humble, honest and flawed, Erykah Badu is real.

Her debut record “Baduizm” was a revelation to me. Here was this incredible female vocalist, who knew the meaning of restraint. She sang much like I imagine she conversed. I didn’t immediately feel apologetic and guilty for representing every man who had crossed her path and wronged her.

I first saw Erykah on stage at Paisley Park, singing with Prince and Common. Now, seeing anyone at Paisley, hell being INSIDE Paisley Park was enough to give me chills. Erykah’s solo set the following night completely blew me away. Her on-stage presence was huge and I was shocked to see how tiny she really was standing in front of me. Absolutely sweet and all smiles, she signed my copy of “Mama’s Gun” and gave me a warm hug and was rushed away backstage. Ok, I never said this was a review per se, I’m just being a fanboy now. Sorry.

Seeing her last night at Kool Haus, I felt she hadn’t missed a beat in over 10 years. Having just celebrated her 42nd birthday her strong voice and fragile beauty are as present as ever. Under one lone spotlight she held the crowd with a slowed down a capella chorus on “Bag Lady” and a stirring version of “Kiss Me On My Neck”

among many others. Absolutely captivating. If you get the chance to see her live, do not hesitate. Go! Discover Erykah’s full catalogue on Rdio
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