Add to Google

Subscribe in NewsGator Online

Mostly Entertainment

entertainment ave!
Read our stuff.


  Home    -    Our Blog   -    Our Podcast   -   The Concert Hall    -   The Movie Theater    -   In Your House    -   Stu & The Dude    -   The Alley    -   Mail Us!    -   The Office

Related links at Entertainment Ave!
Concert Reviews:
The Guitar Trio:
- November 19, 1996

Other Links:
Official Site:

Al Di Meola
A Concert Review

January 22, 1995

The Cubby Bear

Chicago, IL

A Review by
The Dude on the Left &
The Dude on the Right
Photos by DOTR
Archive Photo
The Dude on the Right
Another day, another dollar. Well, I wish anyway! The week was kinda strange, some snow, then no snow only cold, then warmer, then light, then dark. Yep, it was a week. But I got to see some cool shows, specifically Al Di Meola at the Cubby Bear, and J.P. and the Cats and the usual Bog location! We'll start with a guitarist named Al Di Meola.

I have never even heard of Al Di Meola before, but my counterpart said "Dude on the Right, we should go see Al Di Meola. He's a really good guitar player." And I said, "Okay, Dude on the Left, I'll take a chance." And so, we were off. On a snowy Sunday night, we made our way to the north side to the Cubby Bear. We saw the second of two shows that evening, what was supposedly the 9:30 show but didn't start until about 10:30. Oh well, it just kept the visits to the bartender a little more regular. And then the show started.

On a cramped Cubby Bear stage were six very talented musicians. Al Di Meola and his World Project found there respective locations behind their congas, and string basses, keyboards, and guitars. Somehow they all fit. Then the awe set in.

On tour promoting his new CD, "Orange and Blue,"
Archive Photo
Di Meola broke into some of the best guitar work I have seen in a while. His fingers flew up and down and around his guitars, and did more guitar changes in one song than I've ever seen. But it worked. From acoustic to electric and back again, you could here his South American influences, especially in his newer material. Between trading duels with the conga-man, to playing some drums himself, to having the crowd just amaze at his fingers flying on his guitars, Al Di Meola found a new fan, and that is me. I enjoyed the show, and the only little drawback was some of the older fans wanted a few older songs. Even though, they still seemed to have a great time. And so, Al Di Meola gets TWO THUMBS UP from me!! I like it!

And then came J.P. and the Cats. They came back to the Bog and brought a whole slew of new material that was better left at home.

J.P. and the Cats used to be one of those bands that from the opening songs could get a crowd going. But they just couldn't do it this time. From the Offspring number they played twice (a total no-no as far as I'm concerned), to the Candlebox hit "Far Behind" that as I heard one person say, "it sounds like the country version," J.P. just couldn't get things going till far in the evening. That's when they went back to the staples that made them Bog favorites before. "Brown Eyed Girl" from Van Morrison started getting people on the dance floor, but as scary as it sounds, the crowd finally started to have fun to YMCA by the Village People.

As I bored myself through the first set, I said to myself, "Self, what happened to the J.P. and the Cats I knew and loved." They just couldn't handle the Offspring, or STP, and I don't think anyone in the world can cover Eddy Vedder, but they finally came back towards the end which is the only thing that saved them.

And so, J.P. and the Cats gets a SHRUG. I just couldn't get it up to give them a thumb. Which is too bad, because I know the kind of show they can put on. My humble suggestion is get rid of the new stuff they can't sing, and stick with the older stuff that the crowd still knows and loves.

That ends it for me this week. Coming in the Bog this week is some blues guy, that's all I know at this time, but it's supposed to be good. Party Smart, and as always, Rellim Reeb, Rellim Reeb!!!

The Dude on the Left
Hi again! Due to circumstances beyond my control, I only got to see one show this week, and missed the Bog. Go ahead, sue me! However, in our continuing quest for musical well roundedness we recently saw jazz guitar legend Al Di Meola at Cubby Bear.

I first heard Al Di
Archive Photo
Meola several years ago, and I have been a big fan of his guitar work ever since. His older work, of which I don't think he played quite enough of, is acoustic jazz with a Spanish flamenco flavor. His newer works has more of a generic WNUA feel to them with a lot more effects and keyboards. The show sounded great, and he seemed genuinely surprised by the crowd's enthusiastic response. The biggest cheers came for Mediterranean Sundance, a song made famous (among the people there anyway) by a live album "Friday Night in San Francisco" on which he, John McLaughlin, and Paco De Lucia play acoustic. A very cool album, just three guitars, Di Meola in the left channel, McLaughlin center and DeLucia in the right channel, but I digress. Another cool number was an acoustic guitar/bongo jam that really showcased his guitar work. Over all the show rocked. Al has some of the fastest hands I have ever seen, and his music has a very wide range of sounds and rhythms. I especially like the way he mixes various electric guitar effects with acoustic stuff in the same song. I give Al Di Meola TWO THUMBS UP, and I encourage anyone who hasn't heard him to check him out when there looking for a change of pace. That gives Al Di Meola FOUR THUMBS UP! Any of you with any liking of guitar work should check him out, pick up his CD, and take a listen.

Now a few words about Cubby Bear. Back in the days when they played a game called baseball I would frequent this fine establishment for a few post game beers here (to drown my sorrow mostly) but I digress again. Cubby Bear is a really nice place to see a show. The acoustics are good and except for the post in my way the sight lines are alright. The best thing about it is the closed circuit TV, so even if you can't see the stage too well you can watch it on one of the multitude of TV scattered throughout. The camera man seemed a bit jittery, and the lighting left a little to be desired at times, but he got some nice close ups of Al's guitar work to make up for it.

That's it till next week, so until next time, Peace Out, Hang .com/images/redline.gif" width="90" height="10">


Q & A's