Author Archives: Laura Kilgus Jenkins

TVD Live Shots: WILLOW at The Royale, 10/13

BOSTON, MA | WILLOW charmed fans at in Boston Wednesday night with a sold-out electric showcase of vocals, guitar and drums. Connecting with fans as friends, she sang to them as if they were just catching up. Stunning and sweet, each moment between songs was an opportunity for gratitude and WILLOW missed no opportunity to give thanks.

After delighting her audience with songs off of her latest album “Lately I Feel Everything,” WILLOW welcomed to the stage Tyler Cole, who together have performed under the band name The Anxiety. The duo performed their single “Meet Me At Our Spot,” a melodically addicting track that has skyrocketed in success, with credit to both their talents and TikTok for continued viral shares. Cole also shares credits as producer and co-writer for many of the tracks on “Lately I Feel Everything.”

The late July release highlights a pop/punk side of WILLOW that fans have had no trouble embracing. She is in good company on the album with Travis Barker on “Transparent Soul,” “Gaslight” and “Grow” which also features Avril Lavigne.

WILLOW’s Life tour continues through October 19.

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TVD Live Shots: Chris Stapleton’s All-American Road Show at the Xfinity Center, 10/2

MANSFIELD, MA | Chris Stapleton’s All-American Road Show made its way to the Xfinity Center on Saturday, October 2, bringing his adored outlaw country sound to a sold out amphitheater.

A golden glow illuminated Stapleton and his band, creating a wild west, dusted haze on stage, as they kicked off the night with “Nobody to Blame” followed by “Parachute”—both of his debut Traveler album. Morgane Stapleton joined her husband on stage, sweetly harmonizing to each song, with a particularly stunning showcase of their vocals, together, on “Millionaire.”

Chris Stapleton was recently named a 2021 CMT Artist of the Year, and in August, released his cover of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” from The Black Album as part of The Metallica Blacklist, a project celebrating the album’s 30th anniversary.

The crowd had been eagerly waiting to hear the Grammy Award winner since Covid-19 pandemic postponed the performance a year before. Even in the show’s first few moments, hearing Stapleton’s charmed vocals made it obvious that it was worth the wait. “This is our fifth time seeing him,” said Tracy Dickson of Deep River, CT. “We’re super excited to be here. He sounds amazing and always does. We’re so excited.”

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TVD Live Shots: Santana and The Doobie Brothers at Xfinity Center, 8/20

PHOTOS: LAURA KILGUS JENKINS AND CHRIS JENKINS IN MANSFIELD, NH | The air was filled with the scent of incense burning on stage as images of Woodstock illuminated the space, setting the tone for a tour that commemorates the milestone anniversary of Santana’s infamous performance some five decades ago.

Only a few days following the 50th Anniversary of their performance at the Woodstock festival in August 1969, the band named after Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist Carlos Santana and the iconic musician himself brought the house down at the Xfinity Center outside of Boston.

Santana’s show is a true bounty of musical stylings. The set featured Latin and African beats, Latin rock, sounds of Jamaica, bluesy vocals, and guitar solos that no-doubt is a check off the Bucket List for long-time fans. Much like a maestro, Santana gestures to bandmates for smooth and subtle arrangement changes all while showcasing the skill of the artists and enriching the overall performance.

Fans were on their feet as the evening began with a hit-filled set from special guests, The Doobie Brothers. “I’d like to hear some funky Dixieland, pretty momma come and take me by the hand…” The Doobie Brothers sang in an engaging sing-a-long with the audience.

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TVD Live Shots:
Alabama at Dunkin’ Donuts Center, 4/26

PROVIDENCE, RI | In the midst of a milestone tour celebrating 50 iconic years, country supergroup Alabama brought their “50th Anniversary Tour” to Providence, Rhode Island treating generations of fans to a night of pure Mountain Music.

Over the past 50 years, the band has fostered a long line of accomplishments. They have amassed a staggering 43 #1 hits at country radio and have sold over 73 million albums, earning 21 gold, platinum and multi-platinum certifications. They have released 50 albums and won 178 awards including three Grammy Awards and numerous CMA Awards. The band was also named ACM Entertainer of The Year an unprecedented 5 times in a row. They have sold over 28 million concert tickets and are proud members of The Country Music Hall of Fame.

Winning more than 200 industry awards, Alabama is the most celebrated group in country music history. In addition, they are world-class philanthropists who have raised millions of dollars for various charities.

That Alabama is the best-selling country band of all time means they may have some of the most dedicated fans of all time. Kevin Gilliam traveled from Lancaster, Mass., with his wife and friends to see the once in a lifetime show. Gilliam beamed, holding a bow given to him moments earlier by show opener Charlie Daniels, who he has seen five times, but the wait to see Alabama has been long.

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TVD Live Shots:
James Taylor & His
All-Star Band with Bonnie Raitt at Dunkin’ Donuts Center, 3/2

PROVIDENCE, RI | The last date of their winter tour came to a close Saturday night for James Taylor and his All Star Band, along with very special guest Bonnie Raitt, not far from that well-known turnpike from Stockbridge to Boston—in Providence, Rhode Island.

James Taylor walked onto the stage, waving his skully cap to a full house of fans, to introduce his dear friend Bonnie Raitt. He expressed his joy and gratitude for time spent on such a special tour.

“Although this day was a possibility somewhere beyond the horizon, the fact that it has arrived and we are playing our last gig together has really made me verklempt,” he said.

Taylor told fans that he and Raitt both emerged from Boston around the same time in the early 1970s and had very similar, parallel paths throughout the music business and popular culture.

“To me Bonnie has always been the real thing,” he said. “I look to her as an inspiration—always. She’s my very favorite musician on the stage today, on this planet. She is as soulful as she is talented.”

Raitt’s set included many hits including, “Something to Talk About;” a funky INXS cover “Need You Tonight,” and a special delivery of “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” which made a 30 year-old song of heartbreak feel as compelling as ever.

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TVD Live Shots: Dispatch at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, Boston, 9/20

PHOTOS: LAURA KILGUS JENKINS AND CHRIS JENKINS | Dispatch rocked a packed Blue Hills Bank Pavilion situated on Massachusetts Bay on September 20, as part of the first evening of a two-night stand to wrap up their American summer tour. Beginning in Vail, CO in June, Dispatch’s Summer Tour 2018 spanned the US where they played the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Central Park’s SummerStage in NYC, and two nights in Boston.

One of America’s most successful independent groups played to a packed hometown crowd which consisted of family, friends, and fans from a decades-long career. This heartfelt performance consisted of songs that have not been performed in many years, such as “Cover This” with newer tracks like “Wild Ones” which became an instant classic to their catalog of songs. Location 13, a collection of songs written during their previous album Location 12, will be released on November 16, 2018. The Boston crowd was treated to a cut off this unreleased album called “Don Juan Tango.”

Known and dedicated advocates of gun control, Stokes addressed his concerns and hopes that the country continues to seek effective efforts to reduce gun violence in America. In February, Dispatch released a new song titled “Dear Congress, (17)” following the fatal Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida. “We just don’t want to see it keep happening,” said Stokes. “ We want to call for universal background checks and just gun safety laws that make sense.”

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TVD Live Shots: Foo Fighters, Dinosaur Jr., Speedy Ortiz at Fenway Park, 7/22

BOSTON, MA | The Foo Fighters truly stepped up to the plate during their two night showcase at the iconic Fenway Park on July 21–22. Full of energy and heart, the Foos made the most of their New England visit, which was full of surprises and special guests—particularly on night two when the band welcomed Eagles front man Joe Walsh to the stage to play “Rocky Mountain Way.” “Nothing like ending a song and have Joe Walsh say, ‘Thank you! That was fun!’” Dave Grohl said.

The band opened with favorites including “All My Life” and “Learn to Fly” as well as “The Sky Is a Neighborhood” and Boston anthem “Dirty Water” both with a backup vocal quartet headed by Grohl’s daughter Violet. A special switch up brought Grohl back to the drums and Taylor Hawkins to vocals singing Queen’s “Under Pressure,” ending with a brief drum fill of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”—a hat tip to all those fans that came to the show in Nirvana shirts.

“You get what you get, you don’t get upset,” said Grohl as it began to downpour during the middle of a song, coincidently titled “Sunday Rain,” off of their current album. Fans wearing jerseys, reading “Foo Fighters” in RedSox script, didn’t seem to mind.

Heather and her daughter Grace Steinert (above) traveled from Milwaukee to Yawkee Way, more than 1,000 miles to stand a mere few feet away from a band that they have cherished together for years. “She’s been playing their songs since I was in the womb,” said Grace. “I’ve loved them for the longest time. There are some songs she plays it’s like why do I know this song? It’s because I’ve been listening to them since I was two. It’s unbelievable to be here—you can reach out and they are right there. It’s so cool.”

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TVD Live Shots: Weezer and the Pixies at Xfinity Center, 7/17

MANSFIELD, MA | Rivers Cuomo was literally ready to “bless the rains,” (their new single’s homage to Toto’s hit) down at Xfinity Center on Tuesday night. But even torrential rains didn’t stop long time Weezer fans from showing up to rock with their favorite band. Devotees wearing shirts that read “Weezer ‘til I Die,” kind of said it all.

In a recent press release, the band shared that there is nothing like a summer trek across the country and welcomed the Pixies and Sleigh Bells on their current tour across the U.S. “…we’ve been on plenty of [tours] dating all the way back to 1994, when we opened for the legendary UK band Lush, driving around in an old conversion van named Betsy. So much has changed since those days but the main thing that’s changed about a Weezer concert is that they’ve sounded better and better, and have been more and more full of fans. This coming summer will be no exception.”

A large curtain dropped to reveal the band on what looked like the set of Arnold’s on Happy Days, paying tribute to the video of the beloved Weezer hit, “Buddy Holly.” Cuomo also played homage by sweating it out in his own Buddy Holly sweater and signature frames.

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TVD Live Shots:
Hall & Oates and Train
at the Xfinity Center, Mansfield, MA, 6/7

PHOTOS: LAURA KILGUS JENKINS AND CHRIS JENKINS | Moments before coming out on stage, energy built as familiar images of hit vinyl record labels showcasing their most famous singles were displayed vibrantly on the large illuminated backdrop. “Rich Girl,” “Kiss on my List,” “I Can’t go for that”—an exciting sample of what was to come. Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Daryl Hall & John Oates entered the open air amphitheater, kicking off their New England show with “Maneater,” “Out of Touch,” and “Say it Isn’t So.” The duo pulled at both guitar strings and heart-strings showcasing songs that have truly been the soundtrack of the lives of the thousands present.

In the midst of their North American summer tour, co-headlining with fellow award-winning hit makers Train, Hall & Oates had fans singing along to a song showcase from dozens of albums at their show Thursday, June 7, at Xfinity Center outside of Boston.

Along with so many favorites from a nearly 50 yearlong musical career, they took the stage with something fresh as well. Ahead of this momentous summer tour, Hall & Oates and Train together released the single “Philly Forget Me Not.” The new track marks the first time Hall & Oates have released a new song in over 15 years, since “Do It For Love” in 2002.

The show featured full sets from the three artists, but mid set Hall & Oates welcomed Train frontman Pat Monahan back on stage to treat the audience to a performance of the new song, which had fans of every generation on their feet—some playfully paying homage to their musical idols with wigs and ’80s throwback mustaches. The new song is a salute to Hall’s hometown. “This song pretty much describes my feeling about Philly, my music home,” said Hall.

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TVD Live Shots: Lucius
at the Columbus Theater, Providence, 3/17

Lucius played a sold out show at the Columbus Theatre in Providence, RI Saturday night. Originally a space for vaudeville and silent films, the recently renovated theatre is now host to today’s inspired musicmakers, such as Lucius. Led by voices of the wigged wonders, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, the show featured fan favorites such as “Go Home,” “Tempest,” and even a few special covers including “Right Down the Line,” a Gerry Rafferty hit.

Laessig shared that it is through the power of collaboration and coming together with not only the band, but with the audience, that has made something so positive and greater than themselves. “That’s what we do everyday when we sing together, we create a third voice that’s it’s own thing and we write songs that are two hearts and two minds giving plenty of perspective to each other,” she said.

Wolfe added that in their 13 year-long journey of working together as a band, their consistent hope is that whether listeners need hope, humor, or something bittersweet, that they bring that home with them and turn it into something positive.

“Our greatest hope and dream is that you will take something from this moment that we are all sharing, whatever it is that you need to take from this, to go out into your everyday lives and pay it forward to something positive to your neighbor or someone you are passing on the street. That’s what we need. It’s a crazy time right now and as trite and repetitive as it might sound, we need love and we need joy,” said Wolfe.

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TVD Live: Sara Evans
at the Palace Theatre, Albany, 2/15

In a partnership with Country Music Television, ACM, and CMA Award winning country music artist Sara Evans took the stage at Albany’s Palace Theatre Thursday, February 15 as part of the Next Women of Country: All The Love Tour. The Palace is one of 15 shows in her coast to coast travels featuring artists RaeLynn and Kalie Shorr.

“We’re doing this tour because there ain’t enough country women on the radio,” said Evans smiling. “I grew up singing country music from the age of four years old and I’ve built my entire life around it so I’m so incredibly grateful that you’re here tonight.”

The tour recently kicked off in New York City, where Shorr (“Fight Like A Girl,” “Two Hands”), who opened the show, got to see her name in Time Square for the first time. “It was amazing,” she said. “I’m so excited to be here with these amazing, inspirational girls and to do something I care a lot about and that’s women supporting other women.”

RaeLynn whose current singles include “Lonely Call,” and “Love Triangle” shared that her first album WildHorse, recently debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Albums chart. “Only a few females have done that, one of those is Shania Twain—I can die a happy girl,” she said. “I’m so honored to be a woman in country music right now.”

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