Reviews

Guitar-master dexterity was on dazzling display at the sold-out Crest Theatre in Sacramento on December 13, headlined by one of the finest and most heralded guitarists in the land, Tommy Emmanuel. His set was preceded by a duet featuring dobro whiz and 32-time Grammy nominee Jerry Douglas along with Daniel Kimbro on double bass.

Please don’t murder me if you think this review of the acclaimed jam-fusion band Jazz Is Dead runs hard to the gushy side. But even after all these years – more than 50 years of concert-going – I’m still a pretty impressionable guy (It’s true. . .) and it was only my first time seeing them.  So there was a lot to take in.

Billy Strings performed in Wilkes Barre, PA, on Friday night in the penultimate show of his 2023 Fall Tour. The tour, which began in Buena Vista, CO, at the end of September, covered the West Coast and Midwest, barnstormed through Europe in November, and concluded with several East Coast dates in December.

Nestled in the heart of Santa Barbara, California, the historic Lobero Theatre stands as a testament to over 150 years of captivating audiences. Renowned for its rich history and commitment to showcasing exceptional talent, the Lobero Theatre has become a cultural landmark in the region.

Goose returned for another night of thematic covers during their tenth annual Goosemas event on December 9, 2023, at Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Va. The prior night's show set the bar high, but the band was ready to double down and deliver an epic show. Tonight's space journey took the fans to a bubble planet named Puffaria, followed by a jungle planet named Vivadora in the second set.

Last Thursday night, the Paramount Theatre in Denver, Colorado became the setting for the world to bid farewell to the electric configuration of the legendary group Hot Tuna. Forming in 1969 and powered by the renowned chemistry of Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, Hot Tuna originally came together as a side project to the duo’s full-time gig in Jefferson Airplane.

The rising and perhaps unstoppable indie jam rock artist Goose delivered a pair of incredible shows for their tenth annual Goosemas run at the famed Hampton Coliseum, aka the Mothership, in Hampton, Va. The festivities began on December 8, 2023, as the band descended into planets of fire and mirrors. This included pyrotechnics, mirrors, an elevated lighting experience, and plenty of well-placed, first-time-played covers.

Midnight North singer Elliott Peck brought some of her friends to Mill Valley’s Sweetwater Music Hall on Friday, Dec. 8, for a delightful and powerful headlining gig that showcased her brilliant voice and distinctive songwriting chops. The Sweetwater was packed with veterans of Phil Lesh’s Terrapin Crossroads scene as well as other music lovers who have grown to appreciate Peck as one of the Bay Area’s finest performers.

After 54 years of service, at “An Intimate Evening Benefiting the Rex Foundation,” Hot Tuna on December 2 put a culminating exclamation point on the compelling electric rock ‘n’ blues performances that the band has been known for. It was Hot Tuna’s final electric concert in California; the final, final electric show was to take place in Denver on Dec. 7. Mesmerizing as an electric or acoustic outfit, acoustic Hot Tuna will continue on in 2024.  

On December 1, 2023, the Ventura Theater played host to a musical extravaganza. Brit Floyd, hailed as the world's premier Pink Floyd tribute band, unveiled their '50 Years of Dark Side Tour' to a rapturous, sold-out crowd. This tour, a sweeping journey across North America encompassing 100 shows, had its grand finale in Ventura, graced by a prestigious audience that included Alan Parsons, the iconic sound engineer of 'Dark Side of the Moon.'