My live music wrap-up 2015

Well hello all. I know I’ve gone silent in the second half of 2015. I got busy, what can I say? But I’m back with the second annual Bishara live music wrap-up.

Last year I attended a good 20 gigs, and 2015 was no different (boosted by a music-themed Nashville to LA road trip in October). So without further ado, here they are in chronological order:

Ryan Adams (Hammersmith Apollo, paid £25, face value was  £36), Feb 27.

Mr. Adams is probably my favorite rocker on the planet at the moment. He’s a gifted songwriter with a sweet voice and a style that ranges from hard riffs, to country crooning to cover songs (see his brilliant end-to-end cover of Taylor Swift’s 1989 album).

This performance was marred by a lot of chatter at the back of the theater (which Adams derisively commented on a number of times), but no matter. We just moved up to the front and heard terrific ballads like this one below. I’d see Adams anytime anywhere.


Passenger (Union Chapel – paid 49 pounds, face ? but it was a lot less), April 20.

A poor man’s Ed Sheeran, which is no small feat. In fact Passenger (aka Mike Rosenberg) opened up for Sheeran at Wembley last summer (the show that got away from me).

Passenger is a gifted finger picker and accomplished songwriter, chiefly for ‘Let Her Go’, a clip from which you can watch below. Union Chapel is also a personal favorite venue. Short gig but a winner.

#lethergo #passenger #solo #acoustic #unionchappel

A video posted by MB (@motez56) on


Eric Clapton (Royal Albert Hall – paid £50 vs £100 face value), May 18.

Clapton at Albert Hall. Need I say any more? BB King had died that week and so Slowhand played some stellar tributes, like the one below, taken from my seat in the lower level. I purchased the ticket via touts outside (RAH is always a tout hangout) and sat next to an American who had originally purchased the ticket for $250 for his girlfriend who didn’t make the trip. They had a fight the day before and he hopped on the plane without her. Her loss; my gain.

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My live music wrapup, 2014 Part 1

Hey all, starting 2015 I thought I’d get more active with blogging about music, as well as all the sports stuff I follow.

Since I attend, on average, about a gig every single week here in London, I thought I’d compile a list of all the gigs I can remember going to this year.  And then…I’m going to follow that post up with a series of posts listing the best concerts I’ve been to in my entire life (yeah, I’m going to go way back on some of those shows).

So.. trolling through my stub collection, here’s what I’ve got for 2014…so far (being the frugal fan, I must also mention whether I got a deal on the tix too):

Boyz II Men (Indigo at the O2 – face £41 / Paid avg £22.50) Dec 5

I was expecting more. It was a great venue and a good crowd who were really up for it, but the three remaining members of Boyz (maybe the greatest R&B band in the past 30 years?) played for just 1.15 mins and had backing vocal tracks accompanying them. A little too effortless for my liking, but it was fun.

Sun Kil Moon (St John at Hackney Church – paid face £28) Dec 3

One of the strangest gigs I’ve ever been to. Singer Mark Kozelek has a haunting voice and is the most ‘literal’ lyricist I know of (song titles include ‘Richard Ramirez Died of Natural Causes’). But he was sitting for most of the gig, and we got there late, stuck way in the back of a huge chapel (1400 capacity). He mumbled often in between songs, and started a strange beef with the band ‘The War on Drugs’ who were playing a gig across town the same night. After launching into a cover of ‘I got you babe’ with a female member of the crowd, and a few Christmas carols, he rounded off the night with an impromptu encore entitled ‘The War on Drugs: Suck My Cock’. There you have it.

Rich Robinson (of The Black Crowes) – (O2 Islington Academy – paid face, £70 for VIP ticket including pre-gig meet and greet and private acoustic 3 song session). Nov 12

Rich is one of my all-time favorite guitarists and the show was a treat. He’s a great dude too, and getting a signed photo pre-gig made it even better. Catch him either solo or with The Crowes any chance you get.

Ryan Adams (O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire – Face £35 / Paid avg £22.50) Sept 18

Probably my favorite singer-songwriter out there at the moment. Just a tremendous talent and his new self-titled album worth playing on loop. Johnny Depp came out and played three songs with the band for encores. How bout that for a good night out?

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