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Joe Jackson Tour Opening Night Appreciation


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Ended up in Raleigh for a couple of days of training for my work and found out today that Joe Jackson was in town tonight in Durham.  On top of that, it was the first show of his new US tour, so I had no idea what he was doing or playing this time around.

 

I'm a huge Joe Jackson fan -- as a piano player, songwriter, singer, and I think a lot of others in this forum probably take some inspiration from his incredible musical depth, the complexity of his songs, and bringing a different style as a performer who does his whole show from the keyboard.

 

His band is top notch, especially Graham Maby on bass and backing vocals.

 

He's doing a really great show this tour.  Plenty of stuff from Look Sharp, I'm The Man, Blaze of Glory, Body & Soul but also some really high quality deeper cuts and new music.

 

I have always thought he is vastly underrated and to catch him at his age in top form is very much worth the price of admission.  He played a small theater that seats 1,000 people and audience energy was through the roof.

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I have seen him and his many different bands beaucoup times going back to 1979 when he first toured the USA.

 

I had front row center seats for one performance of the "Night and Day" tour, 1982. (No guitars at all during the entire tour :keys2:)

 

Graham Maby (Badger) has been with JJ since the mid 1970's. He is a friggin beast. 

 

BTW, the show in DC is in less than 2 weeks. It sold out months ago the first day tickets went on sale. 

:nopity:
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Thanks for posting!

Long ago and far away, we wore out Look Sharp and Beat Crazy, great records. 

I loved Stepping Out when it was a hit on the radio too. JJ is one of the greats.

 

I'll look into the Seattle show, I really hate traveling there but I might have to do it. 

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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I remember buying Joe Jackson's "Big World" record on cassette tape. Hard to believe that was 36 years ago.  Glad he's still performing. 😎

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Thanks for posting. Yes i enjoy his work very much although its not often heard in Oz.

 

Interestingly decades ago a gigging friend of mine said i had a similarity in vocals to Joe so my like of his work may be subconscious too as i didnt recognise that at the time myself. Id love to have seen him perform

 

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You can't start a Joe Jackson thread and not tell us a little bit about the gear spotting! 🤣

 

The last time I saw JJ live was maybe 3 years ago and I think I remember him using a Roland RD800 or RD2000 as his main piano. I also recollect another time when he had a piano shell with a digital piano inside.

 

I've seen JJ several times dating back to '80s or '90s and have been a fan since I first heard Look Sharp! What a great album. Many of my bands over the years have covered JJ songs. Such great music and many diverse genres across his albums.

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20 minutes ago, tonybanksfan said:

Not being familiar with Joe’s music, does he have any cool songs that would be good for solo piano?

Many songs! Among those:

Is She Really Going Out With Him?

Stepping Out

Breaking Us In Two

It’s Different For Girls

Be My Number Two

Those are just the first 5 that came to mind. 
 

 

 

 

 

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He was playing the RD800, but I don't know if that was the sound source or if it was just a controller.

 

The second tier of the seated setup was a plastic synth of some sort, and there was no logo on the back to identify what it was.  This was a really small 1,000 seat theater and I walked up before the show started to see what it was, but I didn't recognize it with either a logo or the form factor.  There was a laptop offstage and a wi fi router but I have no idea what the sound sources were.

Yamaha U1 Upright, Roland Fantom 8, Yamaha YC88, Nord Stage 3C, Nord Wave 2, Viscount Legend Live, Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 Mk2, Arturia V Collection 8, Komplete 13 Ultimate

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1 minute ago, jeffinpghpa said:

He was playing the RD800, but I don't know if that was the sound source or if it was just a controller.

 

The second tier of the seated setup was a plastic synth of some sort, and there was no logo on the back to identify what it was.  This was a really small 1,000 seat theater and I walked up before the show started to see what it was, but I didn't recognize it with either a logo or the form factor.  There was a laptop offstage and a wi fi router but I have no idea what the sound sources were.

 

I'm finding it harder to do decent gear spotting as it's more frequent you see a bank of midi keyboard controllers going off to laptops and modules unseen.

Life is too short to be playing bad music.

 

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1 hour ago, Mark Zeger said:

Many songs! Among those:

Is She Really Going Out With Him?

Stepping Out

Breaking Us In Two

It’s Different For Girls

Be My Number Two

Those are just the first 5 that came to mind

Hey some good stuff there, thank-you.

Kurzweil PC3K8/ GSI Gemini Desktop/ CPS SSV3/ QSC K8.2/ Radial Key Largo

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Those were all great examples of JJ songs, particularly ones with piano and keyboards. Another really good one is the song Look Sharp that has a really fun syncopated piano break.

 

 

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15 hours ago, jeffinpghpa said:

Ended up in Raleigh for a couple of days of training for my work and found out today that Joe Jackson was in town tonight in Durham.  On top of that, it was the first show of his new US tour, so I had no idea what he was doing or playing this time around.

 

I'm a huge Joe Jackson fan -- as a piano player, songwriter, singer, and I think a lot of others in this forum probably take some inspiration from his incredible musical depth, the complexity of his songs, and bringing a different style as a performer who does his whole show from the keyboard.

 

His band is top notch, especially Graham Maby on bass and backing vocals.

 

He's doing a really great show this tour.  Plenty of stuff from Look Sharp, I'm The Man, Blaze of Glory, Body & Soul but also some really high quality deeper cuts and new music.

 

I have always thought he is vastly underrated and to catch him at his age in top form is very much worth the price of admission.  He played a small theater that seats 1,000 people and audience energy was through the roof.

Cool! I was at at the gig at the Durham Carolina Theatre as well! I live 4 blocks from that venue so parking is never a problem... :)

 

The gig was great. The energy as mentioned was amazing and Joe seemed touched the crowd was so supportive and loving. 

 

The music, as expected, was excellent --the interpretation sublime. EXCEPT: the final song of the encore. The buildup to the finale was impeccable, the chords becoming more and more telling as to which song is was, but once the song was fully formed and identifiable to me it then went flat - No energy.  I wanted them to kick it into High Gear to leave the stage and audiences energized; however, they missed. IMO of course. 

 

Still, a GREAT SHOW--don't miss it! 👍

 

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Steve Force,

Durham, North Carolina

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Wish I had known about this earlier. He is playing in Allentown, PA tomorrow night which is close to me. There are a few tickets left but I can't go. The last date of his American tour is in Charleston, SC on June 25 and I just happen to be planning a trip to South Carolina during that time so that may work out.

 

I had a close encounter with Joe several years ago. I was in the Delta Sky Club at Heathrow and just as I was leaving I caught a glimpse of Joe and waved to him. When I got on the flight to New York he was four rows in front of me. I was too scared to approach him. I found out later he was coming from Berlin where he was living due to less restrictive cigarette smoking laws.

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Joe Jackson's been one of my favorites for years.  I remember playing 'Stepping Out' and 'Breaking Us in Two' with possibly my favorite group that fell together in the 1980s.  

Just put Breaking Us in Two on the short list for a new 'un-plugged' project that's been coming together since the first of the year.  

 

The 'Sing, You Sinners!' tour is at the Park West, in Chicago - May 25/26.  Wish I could have gone, but the night I'm available sold out quickly.  

I read Joe's book, 'A Cure for Gravity' about 10 years ago. Cleared out a lot of books when we moved last year, but kept that one. Awesome read!

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While we're on the topic of Joe Jackson covers, I wanted to share this one that I've always enjoyed. A clever multi-keyboard (and xylophone) remake of Steppin' Out by Tom Brislin - I cannot recall if Tom is on this forum, though I've met and talked with him at NAMM some years ago. This is a great one with some acoustic piano, Moog, Jupiter-6 and some great special things he does.

 

 

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3 hours ago, jeffinpghpa said:

The second tier of the seated setup was a plastic synth of some sort, and there was no logo on the back to identify what it was.  This was a really small 1,000 seat theater and I walked up before the show started to see what it was, but I didn't recognize it with either a logo or the form factor.  There was a laptop offstage and a wi fi router but I have no idea what the sound sources were.

Top board looks to me like a Yamaha MX61, but I'm not 100% sure.

Instruments: Walters Grand Console Upright Piano circa 1950 something

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9 hours ago, allan_evett said:

Joe Jackson's been one of my favorites for years.  I remember playing 'Stepping Out' and 'Breaking Us in Two' with possibly my favorite group that fell together in the 1980s.  

Just put Breaking Us in Two on the short list for a new 'un-plugged' project that's been coming together since the first of the year.  

 

The 'Sing, You Sinners!' tour is at the Park West, in Chicago - May 25/26.  Wish I could have gone, but the night I'm available sold out quickly.  

I read Joe's book, 'A Cure for Gravity' about 10 years ago. Cleared out a lot of books when we moved last year, but kept that one. Awesome read!


I read Joes book 3 three times now, with several years in between, and will be rereading it again— it is, IMO, that good. 👍

Steve Force,

Durham, North Carolina

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46 minutes ago, Steve Force said:


I read Joes book 3 three times now, with several years in between, and will be rereading it again— it is, IMO, that good. 👍

I have an autographed copy. :cool:

 

The thing that suprised me most in the book  is how friggin funny he is. Never would have guessed this as he is soooo serious on stage.

 

I remember a show in the mid 1980's where he chided the audience for whistling or hooting or something during one of the ballads

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12 hours ago, jeffinpghpa said:

He was playing the RD800, but I don't know if that was the sound source or if it was just a controller.

 

The second tier of the seated setup was a plastic synth of some sort, and there was no logo on the back to identify what it was. 

He has been using the Roland RD 800 and Yamaha MX 61 for several years now as his touring rig. Works for him. :cool:

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Back in the day I played Steppin' Out and Is She Really Going Out With Him? but I still play Sunday Papers a few times a year. I think I've been playing that song for nearly 40 years now.  😳

The fact there's a Highway To Hell and only a Stairway To Heaven says a lot about anticipated traffic numbers

 

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On 5/14/2022 at 4:04 PM, conundrum said:

Not sure what he was going for with the down tempo version of Steppin’ Out, but ok?

I really liked this treatment until.. I didn’t. Too mellow IMO for the finale. Had they built up to a their rock version for a minute or so, then mellowed out for the finish I would have LOVED IT. IMO of course. 

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Durham, North Carolina

--------

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