Archive for the ‘Concerts’ Category

Casualty at the Saint, Asbury Park, NJ – 6/10/2011

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Its been a crazy two weeks, so I’m trying to keep up with the individual blogs before I forget to…   They’ll be shorter than my longer-winded ones :)

Casualty at the Saint, Asbury Park, NJ – Friday, June 10th, 2011

I drove down to Asbury Park to see one of my best friends Jeff Hornlien play his first show with his new band “Casualty”.

If you haven’t heard by now, Jeff’s old band “The RiffSurfers” (that I managed – against my will LOL), are no more.  <insert huge sad face here>   No dramatic fight between the 5 J’s (Jeff Hornlien, Jimmy Diamonde, Jenna D’Onofrio, John Kraemer & James Hannon (umm, that’s me),  but things weren’t happening, and we all eventually went different directions.  I went on to promote my book “Lost Boys of the Bronx: The Oral History of the Ducky Boys Gang“;  John became Johnny Rox and joined the band “Tasting Grace” (see my review of their shows here and here);  Jenna joined the successful cover band Decades Invasion and is probably playing somewhere near you this weekend (and next weekend, and the weekend after that);  Jimmy became James Giunta, Certified Hypno-Therapist and currently has a thriving practice in Red Bank, NJ.   And Jeff started up this new band called “Casualty” with old RiffSurfer drummer Sean O’Connor and bass player Nicky Vitucci.   So now that you’re all caught up with the history of the band, lets move on to their first show.

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Band Review: Black 47 at the Stone Pony, Memorial Day 2011

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Band Review: Black 47 at the Stone Pony, Memorial Day 2011

As biased as my previous review was, this one will be also.  But, unlike the previous review, I became biased towards Black 47, not because of friendships (which came later), but because I was just a super fan going back to their early days (1989-1991) when they were playing in the Norwood/Bainbridge section of the Bronx – which just happened to be my old neighborhood.

I’m kinda embarrassed to admit this, but I never did see the band live when they were playing back in my old neighborhood.  They had played in the local Irish bars, and by this time I had already given up drinking at the ripe old age of 16 (more common in my Irish-American neighborhood than you would expect)

I don’t remember who exactly, but “someone” recommended Black 47, and I picked up their CD – probably at Crazy Eddie’s on Fordham Road. I was really surprised that I liked their music.   I DID NOT like Irish music at all at that time tho – too many parentally-forced listenings of “Wild Colonial Boy” and “The Unicorn” on WFUV’s Sunday radio program will do that to you.

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Band Review: ANOTHER biased review for Tasting Grace

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

ANOTHER biased review for Tasting Grace
This time at the Downtown in Red Bank, NJ – May 25th, 2011

Ok, as the title would suggest, I’ve reviewed the band Tasting Grace before. See here for that review.

And like before, it is still going to be partially biased since drummer Johnny Rox and I are good friends, former bandmates (I was the manager of the now-defunct RiffSurfers) and brothers in the charitable Star Wars costuming group the 501st Legion – But I’ll try to keep it as unbiased as I can..

Last night’s show was at the Downtown bar in Red Bank, NJ – They have an upstairs room for shows – I had done a book signing there at another friend’s hypnosis event there back in January 2011. It’s a pretty big place with a good vibe to it.

As mentioned, I’ve been to a Tasting Grace show before back in November, 2010 at the Asbury Park Convention Hall, and they were great back then, albeit with a few lighting problems that made it difficult to see the band on stage (really, read my previous review). But this time, there were no technical problems (at least to me) and I saw the show as the band wanted me to.

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Review/Blog: Brandon Flowers at the Stone Pony – Dec 1st, 2010

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

This is not really a “review” of the show, but more of a journal of the “James & Jackie Experience” of the Brandon Flowers show last night.

Well, it’s the beginning of the holiday season, and what better way to celebrate than with Brandon Flowers of the band The Killers right? What, you don’t celebrate Christmas season with the Killers in your house? But my beautiful wife Jackie tells me everyone does it! (FYI Jackie is celebrating her birthday today so feel free to wish her well in the comments – Happy Birthday sweetheart!)

I’m joking of course, but it was a way to tell you that every year on World AIDS day, The Killers put out a Christmas song and video where all the profits go to fighting AIDS… So yesterday (December 1st 2010), they released their newest Christmas song “Boots” at fine establishments everywhere. I picked my copy up on ITunes and it’s actually a pretty good song that I recommend you getting (or at least watching the equally good video) – The money goes to a good cause so it’s a win-win situation.

The “Boots” video link is at: http://www.starbucks.com/share/#/the-killers – Supposedly every viewing make STARBUCKS/RED contribute a nickel to the Global Fund to help fight AIDS in Africa.

The other thing is that my wife likes the Killers. I mean she REALLY likes them – almost bordering on obsession. as I mentioned in an old Blog , if Jackie had to choose between me and lead singer Brandon Flowers, I’d be worried.  Please see the August 2008 blog where Brandon Flowers checked out my wife’s boobs.

Mr. Flowers is doing a solo tour now, and he happened to come to the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ last night. You may know the Stone Pony from when the band I managed called The RiffSurfers played there a couple of summers back or probably more likely from a little known New Jersey-ite named Bruce Springsteen

The Stone Pony is a great venue to see big acts. Its relatively small and intimate, and usually when acts play there they hang out and take pictures and sign autographs. I’ve seen some great acts there such as the aforementioned RiffSurfers, my pal Larry Kirwan and Black 47, The Smithereens, and the New York Dolls to name a few.

So when my wife’s obsession Brandon Flowers came to Asbury Park, the day before her birthday, you know I was gonna be there… Plus it was a Wednesday night in the middle of the holiday season down the shore for a “little known” solo act of a band that’s popular in a certain population – so I figured if 20-30 people came out that would be a lot. And Jackie could meet the dude, get a picture and maybe an autograph.

Boy did I underestimate the selling power of Brandon Flowers! Last night we drove down to Asbury Park, and got an early whiff of my mistake in judgment when parking was a little difficult. Asbury Park in winter is a normally a pretty desolate place – but tonight we had to park a few blocks away..

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Download Fest 2008 – The Full Report

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008

Download Fest 2008 – The Full Report
August 2nd, 2008

Originally posted at http://jameshannon.com

Part 1 – Almost Didn’t Go

For those of you who don’t know, my beautiful wife Jackie is a HUGE fan of the band The Killers, and specifically their lead singer Brandon Flowers.  If this Brandon guy and I were in a burning building, and Jackie could save only one of us, I would be quite worried who she would pick… Luckily, the Killers don’t play the New York/New Jersey area very often, and that scenario’s possibility is at a minimum…

Last night (August 2nd, 2008), the stars aligned for Jackie, and the Killers played the Susquehanna Bank Center just outside Philadelphia in Camden, NJ.  (Yeah, I know, I was worried about Camden’s reputation as well – but the police were all over the place).

Personally, I think the band is pretty good, but I wouldn’t have gone to seen them on my own… But since it is Jackie’s favorite band, how could I not go?  If you look thru all my pictures, she has ALWAYS gone to all my goofy things…  So Jackie got the tickets about a month or two ago the day they went on sale (and I didn’t look at them closely until yesterday morning – you’ll see why that’s important to mention later)…

After Jackie ordered the tickets, I went online to see exactly where they were playing…  And I found out they weren’t playing their own show, but were part of this thing called the Download Festival 2008…  I thought, “Oh great – in the middle of a bunch of teeny-boppers watching bands like the Jonas Brothers and Hansen” until the Killers came on some time between 2pm and Midnight…

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