Tag Archives: renaissance

PiercingMetal’s “Best Of” 2012: The Concerts

Looking back on 2012 as a concert going year I had to say that there were a lot of cool highlights for me. Sure I was compiling my “Year End Best Of” to cover all the different things that I’ve examined over the year but with the blog growing faster and faster and more contests happening on it for the crushing shows that hit our town, I decided to keep showcasing a number of the concerts that I saw during the course of the year. Bear in mind that these are my very favorite ones out of the whole bunch. I really had a great time seeing a number of shows but these stood out. Here we go.

1. KISS @ Live On Letterman: I don’t think that I need to go into how cool it is to see a band like KISS in the Ed Sullivan Theatre. The place holds 500 or so people and KISS sells out places that hold thousands more. See why I felt this was special. So yeah.

2. Nightwish and Kamelot @ Beacon Theatre: Nightwish and Kamelot both hold very special places to me as a music scribe and having them paired up for a tour was extraordinary.

3. Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ Prudential Center: This show was the debut of the new “Lost Christmas Eve” themed tour.

4. Roger Waters @ Yankee Stadium: My second time at Yankee Stadium for a massive concert and with Roger playing “The Wall” from front to back I stood awestruck.

5. KISS & Motley Crue @ PNC Bank Arts Center: This was a kickass pairing and the guys in The Treatment were pretty damned good as well.

6. Lamb Of God @ Roseland Ballroom: Metal laid waste to NYC this night.

7. Paganfest @ Gramercy Theatre: Turisas headlined this one and brought along Alestorm, Arkona and Huntress.

8. Sabaton @ Gramercy Theatre: This band is climbing the pole of popularity. Local support

9. Rhapsody Of Fire @ Gramercy Theatre: There was so much drama with the RoF division leading up to this show but you would never notice with the levels of kick ass Power Metal that was happening on the stage.

10. Marillion @ Irving Plaza: Leaders of the Neo-Progressive Rock movement. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen them and they even did “Kayleigh”.
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A Sad Turn Of The Cards; Michael Dunford of Renaissance Has Died (11/20/2012)

It’s with great sadness that I must report on the passing of Renaissance’s own Michael Dunford who died Tuesday after suffering a massive Instantaneous Cerebral Hemorrage at his home. According to reports, the legendary guitarist/composer had just returned home from touring with Renaissance when this happened. He was rushed to the hospital but never regained consciousness and the doctors said there was nothing that could be done. He passed on surrounded by his loved ones.

Dunford joined Renaissance in the early 70’s and was a part of the group’s second, but most influential lineup. He joined as guitarist and composer and thanks to his creativity the band climbed to Progressive Rock heights. Together with Annie Haslam (the bands siren of a singer), the world enjoyed classics such as “Prologue”, “Turn Of The Cards”, “Scheherazade and Other Stories” and many more. I don’t have to tell lifelong fans of this kind of music about how amazing it was but for you younger generation of Progressive Rock followers these are must haves for the collection.

While I realize that it broadcasts my vintage, I first heard Renaissance as some of the music that my parents listened to and I loved it. It was very different to my musical ear and while I would eventually start to follow the Metal path with bands like Sabbath, Priest and KISS; the Progressive meets Classical style that Renaissance delivered was forever imprinted within my musical psyche. I never saw the classic lineup when it was touring but I would be fortunate enough to catch them on the 2009 40th Anniversary Tour. It blew me away and it was at that show that I decided that whenever possible to do so, I would be sure to attend a regional performance. This past October, my friend and I caught the band doing “Novella” and other songs at the Ethical Culture center and excitement was high about recordings that were in progress. At this point I do not know what will happen, but I only hope that they do choose to continue in his memory after some healing has happened.

On behalf of the PiercingMetal site and blog, I send the deepest condolences and sincerest of sympathies to Michael’s family, friends, band mates and worldwide collection of fans. Thank you for the music and the performances that you gave us good sir. Your memory will live on forever in your melodies. May you Rest in Peace.

Learn more about Michael’s work with Renaissance HERE

Renaissance in Concert (10/20/2012)

If you have never read one of my concert reports about the great Renaissance, then you don’t yet know how this music holds a very special place in my heart based on having grown up with it and it being stuff that my parents listened to again and again. That being said, I was very excited to get to see the band performing in concert once again and after a nice dinner my friend and I headed over to the Concert Hall at the NY Society for Ethical Culture where we had seen them twice before. To enjoy the full on concert report, please click the bands logo below to be taken to the article on the main PiercingMetal site and then come back here to enjoy some of the side images that were captured during the night.


Continue reading Renaissance in Concert (10/20/2012)

PiercingMetal’s “Best Of” 2011: The Concerts

Logo - The Best Of

Even though I generally hammer out the concerts I liked the most in my year end overview, I figured that it was high time to start using the blog to feature this kind of angle. So what I did was start with the view of sharing my top 10 concerts that I attended in 2011. Then I wrote down fifteen, then twenty and then begged my brain to stop letting the coffee push me towards thirty concerts and end with twenty three. Of course since I saw about “80” shows this past year there were a lot more that I liked but these were probably my very favorite.

1. Kamelot @ Gramercy Theatre: The band returned to the headline stage with Fabio of Rhapsody Of Fire, would he be the new voice of the band? I hope so since he ruled.

2. Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ Prudential Center: This year’s tour was apparently to be the last of the presentations of “Christmas Eve and Other Stories” for awhile and wow how could that not be a thing to see. As always this group pulls out the stops and leaves me impressed and exhausted.

3. Volbeat @ Irving Plaza: These guys are just climbing the ladder of success.

4. Stryper @ B.B. King Blues Club: There is nothing like a little bit of a yellow and black attack in this Times Square venue.

5. Thin Lizzy @ Best Buy Theater: Phil Lynott might be gone but his influence and melody remains.
Continue reading PiercingMetal’s “Best Of” 2011: The Concerts

Renaissance @ The Concert Hall at NYSEC (9/17/2011)

Logo - Renaissance

Artist: Renaissance
Venue: The Concert Hall at NYSEC (New York, NY)
Opener: n/a
Date: 9/17/2011
Label: Friday Music

It’s always a wonderful musical experience when one is able to catch the legendary Renaissance in concert and while I had grown up with many of their classic tunes it was not until a couple of years ago that I was finally able to enjoy them in the live sense. To catch people up on things, Renaissance is a band that was founded way back in 1969 but they would come to larger public popularity with a complete lineup change that took place in 1971. This became the quintessential Renaissance lineup and for years they impressed the senses with adventurous musical creativity that tastefully and successfully blended Progressive Rock with Classical Music like no other had ever heard. In today’s music realm the group has singer Annie Haslam and guitarist Michael Dunford from the classic lineup along with several other incredible musicians. Together they have become the newest incarnation of Renaissance and bring their material to new generations of fans. Tonight’s show was one of two select regional appearances and would find the group performing two of the most celebrated works in the Renaissance discography – the 1974 “Turn Of The Cards” and 1975’s “Scheherazade and Other Stories”. Needless to say my friend and I were very excited about this performance.
Continue reading Renaissance @ The Concert Hall at NYSEC (9/17/2011)