Archive for January 9, 2014

Rob Thomas – DPAC

Posted: January 9, 2014 by MichaelSmithNC in All, Concert, Music
Tags: , ,
A Special, Intimate, Career-Spanning Performance

Rob Thomas

Durham Performing Arts Center
May 1, 2014

Multiple Grammy®-winning Emblem/Atlantic recording artist Rob Thomas has announced plans for a month-long North American special headline run, the rare and unique opportunity to catch the superstar performing in a more up close and personal setting featuring a career-spanning set. In his only east coast stop between Georgia and New Jersey, Rob Thomas brings this tour to DPAC, Durham Performing Arts Center, on May 1, 2014.


Online at

DPAC Ticket Center: 919.680.2787, 123 Vivian Street, Durham, NC / Ticketmaster Charge by phone at 800.745.3000

Rob Thomas is one of the most distinctive vocalists and accomplished songwriters in contemporary music, garnering a string of accolades – both for his work as lead singer and primary composer with Matchbox Twenty as well as for his solo work and collaborations with other artists. In 2004, the Songwriters Hall of Fame presented Thomas with its first ever “Starlight Award” – created to recognize a songwriter in the early years of his or her career that has already made a lasting impact. He has won numerous BMI and ASCAP Awards, and has earned the Songwriter of the Year crown from both Billboard and BMI, two years in a row.

Thomas is best known for his chart-topping hits such as “Lonely No More” and “This is How a Heart Breaks” and Matchbox Twenty hits like “Push,” “3AM,” “If You’re Gone,” and “Bent.” Thomas also earned three Grammy Awards for “Smooth,” his smash collaboration with Santana. Thomas wrote and sang the song, which currently ranks first on Billboard’s “Top Hot 100 Rock Songs” chart and second on the magazine’s “Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs.” Thomas last solo album, Cradlesong, generated even more number one hits, including “Someday” and “Her Diamonds.” Overall, Thomas has contributed to sales of more than 80 million records.

Rob Thomas and his Matchbox Twenty band mates recently finished up their hugely successful sold-out world tour in support of their #1 selling album North. Fueled by critical acclaim – as well as the hit singles, “She’s So Mean,”  “Overjoyed” and “Our Song”– the album’s unprecedented success marked the band’s first-ever chart-topper and #1 debut. Rob is currently at work on his third solo album.



Lone Survivor

Rated R

for strong bloody war violence and pervasive language

In the summer of 2005 the United States military embarked on a campaign to disrupt the actions of anti-coalition militias that were running rampant in the Pech area of the Kumar Province in Afghanistan. The operation was code-named Operation Red Wing. Operation Red Wing was conducted using Marines, aviators from the Army and Operators of the elite Navy SeALs.

Lone Survivor is the story of one group of SeALS that were inserted into the region to perform reconnaissance and observation of a Taliban affiliated militia leader. The movie is based on the first –hand account of the events as told by former SeAL team operator, Marcus Lutrell. Lutrell wrote a book called Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 that was used by director Peter Berg as the inspiration of the film.

In my thoughts about this film after I left the theater I struggled to form an opinion that I felt was appropriate for the movie. Do I say that a movie about the ambush and killing of American servicemen was “Good”? Or, do I say that the overwhelming negativity of the story made it hard to enjoy it as a movie? What I settled on was a bit of a hybrid of the two.

The movie Lone Survivor is exceptionally well made; you really think you can feel what the team is going through. The physical punishment the men had to endure, aside from their actual wounds, is portrayed very honestly and graphically. At several points in the movie I caught myself saying something like, “Geez, how much more can these guys possibly take?”

From the relationships perspective, there was great emphasis put onto the interactions of those four men who worked as a team, more like brotherhood. As they attempted to overcome the odds that they faced, you saw how their true dedication to each other and to what they were asked to do would motivate them when weaker men would just give in.

Each main actor; Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster and Eric Bana, made the roles they were playing and the lives they were re-living very believable and honest. The various scenes of the deaths of the three SeALS that were on the mission with Lutrell are heart wrenching moments that you know are coming but still seem to surprise you. The deaths are all portrayed as heroic and yet humanizing. They were not “movie-deaths” at all, very real and very graphic.

As a whole, I felt that movie was of a high quality in the acting and in the way it was made, but I have a hard time giving a recommendation to see it. I felt like an emotional train-wreck as I was walking out of the screening. I was not alone in that feeling as evidenced by the rest of the audience in the screening. As the audience filed out, no one spoke, there were no comments made, positive or negative, just silence. Somber, sullen, stricken silence.

If you are looking to see a movie to just entertain you, then Lone Survivor is NOT it. It is an emotional train-wreck in waiting. If you want to see a movie that is an honest, well-made and truly genuine portrayal of the sacrifices that our servicemen and women are called on to make, then Lone Survivor is a perfect choice.

Similar Viewing:

Black Hawk Down, Zero Dark Thirty


Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts – Memorial Auditorium

Raleigh, NC

March 17, 2014

2120 South Michigan Avenue, home of Chicago’s Chess Records, may be the most important address in the bloodline of the blues and rock ‘n’ roll.

That address – immortalized in the Rolling Stones’ like-named instrumental, recorded at an epochal session at Chess in June 1964 and included on the band’s album 12 X 5 – serves as the title to George Thorogood’s electrifying Capitol/EMI salute to the Chess label and its immortal artists.

Thorogood has been essaying the Chess repertoire since his 1977 debut album, which included songs by Elmore James and Bo Diddley that originated on the label. He has cut 18 Chess covers over the years; three appeared on his last studio release, 2009’s The Dirty Dozen. On 2120 South Michigan Avenue, he offers a full-length homage to the label that bred his style with interpretations of 10 Chess classics.

The album also includes original tributes to the Windy City and Chess’ crucial songwriter-producer-bassist Willie Dixon, penned by Thorogood, producer Tom Hambridge, and Richard Fleming, plus a cranked-up version of the Stones’ titular instrumental.

Chess Records had been making musical history for a decade before it moved into its offices on Michigan Avenue, in the heart of the Windy City’s record business district, in 1957. Leonard and Phil Chess, sons of a Polish immigrant family and South Side nightclub operators, bought into a new independent label called Aristocrat Records in 1947. The brothers bought out their partners in 1950 and gave the label the family name; by that time, they had racked up blues hits by Muddy Waters, Sunnyland Slim, Robert Nighthawk, and St. Louis Jimmy.

Chess’ studio spawned timeless ‘50s and ‘60s recordings by Waters, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, and Howlin’ Wolf, which served as inspiration for the Stones and their blues-rocking brethren, and then lit a fire under their successors George Thorogood and the Destroyers.

Tickets: HERE