Friday, November 4, 2016

Rock 'n' roll greats come knockin' on southern California's door

Elton groupies?  Cookie and Keller saw the magnificent Elton John and his fabulous band for the third time at Caesar's.
The Colosseum seats over 4,000, and the two were invited on stage with a few others near concert's end.  

Crowds packed the Coachella Festival near Indio, California,
for two weekends of rock 'n' roll with a gangbuster's list of rock legends.

A MONTH OF MUSICAL MAMMOTHS: McCartney, Dylan, Rolling Stones,       Neil Young, Jimmy Buffett, Elton John and Tony Bennett -- glut of riches as legends pack venues in Vegas, southern California  

Paul McCartney gave a generous nearly three-hour show.


DYLAN AND McCARTNEY in the same line-up.  The Rolling Stones with Mick in rare form. Neil Young and The Who joining the list of award-winners in a historic, blow-out concert.  Who of our vintage -- aging and appreciative fans -- could pass up this historic October rock 'n' roll event near Indio, California?
Call Cookie a "Partial Parrot Head," at least a "Parrot Ear".
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival was the show not to miss. McCartney played a generous nearly three-hour set.  Dylan was, well, Click here for Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga concert
Dylan -- mesmerizing even when aloof. The legendary songwriter had just become a Nobel Prize winner for his contributions to literature. He had yet to acknowledge the honor. No one minded.
IT'S BEEN a month of fabulous communion with rock 'n' roll, jazz and country greats -- capped recently in Las Vegas with shows by Jimmy Buffett and Elton John, in separate sold-out venues. Willie Nelson, not exactly a rocker, but certainly a veteran of country music and cross-over, also packed a recent house here in the land of palms, margaritas and birdies.

Jimmy Buffett packed the house at Humphreys on the Bay in San Diego.
WE FOLLOWED the Parrot Heads from Las Vegas back to our San Diego base for a Buffett encore at Humphrey's Concerts By the Bay. It's a much smaller venue than the Colosseum, which packed the house at Caesar's three days earlier for an Elton John concert we were fortunate to have booked months ago. That was smart.  It was a jam-packed house with Sir Elton entering in his signature cape to give a thrilling two and one-half hour concert.
Cookie's in reverie, going back to the late 1960s at
the Beatles "Love," by Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas.

Elton just ended his run, Playing the Colosseum now is Celine Dion, for whom the elegant house was designed.  Elton will be back in the spring to the gorgeous stage and acoustically brilliant house where we've also enjoyed Bette Midler, Seinfeld and Cher.
PARROT-HEADS have endured through the ups and downs of many careers.  They're still here -- like the venerable "oldies" we're relishing, sporting feathers, flowers and island finery to cover grey hair and '60s ponytails.  Together, they celebrated Jimmy Buffett's island themed concert at Humphrey's by the Bay in San Diego.  We were barely home seeing him in Vegas -- just a shower and quick change -- then we headed to Humphrey's on San Diego's waterfront.
Buffett, too, gave a long two-plus hour concert, never leaving the stage, in the popular southern California outdoor arena. He began the show by strumming a few notes of "On the Road Again," joking, "Oh, right, that's tomorrow night," a reference to Willie Nelson, who packed the house the day after Buffett, also giving a long, well received show including the signature song Buffett had teased the audience with.
Willie Nelson still has what it takes to get the crowd
up, dancing and standing -- recently in San Diego.
THE OLD-TIMERS give us our money's worth! The popularity of our icons continues to amaze and thrill.  The Beatles' Cirque du Soleil show, "Love," in Vegas, proves the continuing popularity through the generations.  We sat with 20-somethings and 80-somethings, all enjoying the stunning, ear popping, eye indulging show at the Mirage.  It so mesmerizes us that we've seen it twice.
Buffet commented on the San Diego attire -- Hawaiian shirts and parrot hats.  That's how the nickname came about.  Years ago, he mentioned that his fans were "like Deadheads, only more colorful." Timothy B. Schmit, then a member of the Coral Reefer Band, coined the term "Parrot Head" to describe Buffett's fans. The name stuck.

Tony Bennett receives a standing ovation, with a nod to his brilliant
accompanist and music director Billy Stritch, Friday at Harrah's SoCal.
 NEXT: The amazing Tony Bennett, a star jazz vocalist for nearly 70 years, played to a packed house at Harrah's Southern California last night (Friday, Nov. 4.) He plays another sell-out concert tonight (Nov. 5) in San Jose.  Then he takes a break and is back on tour Nov. 18 in New Jersey, Nov. 19 in New York, then on to Nashville and San Antonio, all music loving cities. The endearing entertainer is still in top form, playing all the beloved favorites from his songbook. We go backstage with him next week.
 Remember to explore, learn and live, and catch us weekends when we post anew our reflections on the lively arts and world travel.


  1. We were there, too. Both Coachella and Tony B. Will see Love and Elton in February. Thanks for fun piece.

  2. We appreciate the variety and energy in these posts. Saw the great Tony Bennett in San Jose a few nights ago. You capture so well the spirit and contributions of these aging but still "with it" entertaining icons.