Concert Reviews

» 24.01.02 - Burbank, CA - Tonight Show With Jay Leno
» 26.01.02 - Universal City, CA - Universal Amphitheatre
» 22.03.02 - Tokyo, Japan - Forum C Hall
» 09.06.02 - London, England - Shepherd's Bush Empire
» 15.06.02 - New York, NY - B.B. King's Blues Club
29.06.02 - Bellinzona, Switzerland - Piazza Blues Festival
» 02.08.02 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Casino
» 04.08.02 - Westbury, NY - Westbury Music Fair
» 27.09.02 - Northampton, MA - Calvin Theater
» 02.07.03 - Divonne, France - Casino De Divonne
» 03.07.03 - Paris, France - Palais De Congress
» 04.07.03 - Amneville, France - Galaxie
» 05.07.03 - Las Vegas, NV - Orleans Arena
» 05.08.03 - Tokyo, Japan - Akasaka Blitz
» 20.08.03 - Atlanta, GA - Chastain Park Amphitheatre
» 25.10.03 - Honolulu, HI - Blaisdell Arena
18.01.04 - Des Moines, IA - Renaissance Savery Hotel
» 03.03.04 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant
» 19.06.04 - Peekskill, NY - Paramount Center
» 27.06.04 - Edinburgh, Scotland - Edinburgh Playhouse
» 28.06.04 - Wolverhampton, England - Civic Hall
» 30.06.04 - Vienne, France - Jazz A Vienne
» 23.10.04 - Reno, NV - Silver Legacy Casino
» 15.01.05 - Viborg, Denmark - Tinghallen
» 12.04.05 - Blackpool, England - Opera House
» 08.11.05 - Bonn, Germany - Beethovenhalle Bonn
» 23.01.07 - Hamburg, Germany - Color Line Arena
» 20.07.08 - London, England - Hackney Empire
» 14.11.08 - Paris, France - Le Zenith
» 22.11.08 - Mannheim, Germany - SAP-Arena
» 27.08.09 - Highland, CA - San Manuel Bingo And Casino


» Chuck Berry, Little Richard
24.01.02 - Burbank, CA - Tonight Show With Jay Leno
Review by Jeff Staudinger

Jan 24th 2002. Tonight Show with Jay Leno:
A five minute performance on a late night talk show might not seem enough to 
warrant a review, but when its a first-time pairing of two of rocks founding fathers, 
then thats a different story.
Chuck Berry and Little Richard, promoting their upcoming performance at the Universal 
Amphitheatre two days later appeared on the show together. Jay Leno introduced them 
by mentioning that appearance, and an upcoming one at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, 
and saying this was their.."first time ever performing together on TV........". Their gig at 
the Universal , Jan 26th, is being billed at their first time ever performing together, so 
thats why Leno probably made the TV reference, as to not interfere with the Universal plug.
So with Lenos intro of ..."heres Chuck Berry and Little Richard".........we see Little Richard to 
the left, in a shirt like the American flag, and in the center was Chuck with a cool red shirt, 
and his now ever present sailors hat. They were backed by Richards regular band, and also 
Jim Marsala, Chucks long time bassist.
The band kicked into "Keep a Knockin". The press release had stated they were going to do 
Chucks "Back In The USA". Richard cranked on the keyboards, and Chuck strummed along on guitar. 
Richard did his usual yelps and yips, and howls. It seemed Richard was trying to take over the spotlight. 
He kept looking up into the monitors to make sure he was in prime camera location. His horn player got 
a lot of tv time too, as he took an extended solo, briefly going up into the audience.
Richard kept yowling and yelping. Dont think he was doing it on purpose. He just cant help it. Richard is 
a parody of himself. He seems to be more interested in "being Little Richard", than getting onstage and 
showing his musical chops. Im sure he can still do it, but hed rather spend alot of time of saying shut up 
to the audience. Heck he wont even do his two biggest hits anymore. On one he has his horn player sing it, 
and on the other, he only does the chorus. Guessing having to do with his religous side. He needs to make 
the money, so he needs to the hits, but then again he doesnt want to comprimise his beliefs. But thats 
my small editorial on that.....back to the jam.......
Knockin' ended, and then Chuck kicked into Back In The USA. He sang lead, with Richards horn players 
singing backup. Richard was up in front kinda just dancing around and warbling something in the mic. 
Clearly trying to hog the action. Chuck remained cool and calm, trying to sing louder, to have his 
Only those two know for sure, but it seemed they wre trying stay ahead of each other, if you know what 
I mean. Richard, gyrating, and more yelping, Chuck, trying to sing ouder, with emphasis. Chuck even 
encouraging Richard at one point to "play your piano"......either to keep it rockin, or I think to get him 
to shut up, and give Chuck a chance. Chuck was even doing a little back and forth with his guitar and 
Richards piano, for an oh-so brief moment. That was cool. As the song was winding down, and Richard 
was doing his thing, Chuck threw in a little Johnny B Goode at the end, just singing ...."Go Johnny Go Go"........a few times, 
I think to try and say "Hey this was supposed to be a duo kinda thing". 
He even threw in a quick duckwalk.
Chuck then lifted his leg up in the air, to end the song, and it kinda staggered to a stop. I dont think they 
rehearsed too much, as it wasnt a clean finish. Again, not to demean Richard, I just think he spends too much 
time trying to put on the "act". That might be ok for Vegas, but it looks like he is hiding behind that 80 member 
band (ok it SEEMS like that many, does he really NEED two drummers?).
He needs to tone down the makeup, Strip down the band, and go back to the basics. Hmmmm, Just like 
Chuck does! Chuck is no angel, we all know hes in it JUST for the cash. But at least hes honest about it, 
and when the planets all aligned, he still rocks the dump.
So that was the show. Im also going to the gig on Sat, so Im curious how it will go if they do perform toether. 
If so, I think it will be completely different, with no TV cameras.
I had my VCR rolling, so if anyone wants a copy, email me, and Ill see what we can do.
Jeff Staudinger Anaheim Calif


» Chuck Berry, Little Richard
26.01.02 - Universal City, CA - Universal Amphitheatre
Reviews by Randy Lewis & Jeff Staudinger

Berry Taps Into an Ageless Joy

At 75, the veteran rocker thoroughly enjoys himself onstage--and says he's still learning. 
'Anybody would understand it's fun,' he says.


Nobody batted an eye four decades ago when Mick Jagger suggested how silly it would be for him to 
still be singing odes to teen lust once he'd turned 50. His comment conjured what seemed, back then, 
a preposterous image of middle-aged men practicing what was created as a young man's art.

So how on earth did Chuck Berry, who turned 75 last October , manage to look and sound so gloriously 
ageless Saturday at the Universal Amphitheatre as he sang about "Sweet Little Sixteen" and ordered 
Beethoven to roll over once more?

His co-headliner, Little Richard, couldn't do it even though he's six years Berry's junior. Rock's original 
wild man appeared game but huffed and puffed his way through a set that only intermittently transcended 
rote nostalgia, then left the building immediately, scotching the scheduled musical meeting of two of rock's 
founding fathers. Berry, on the other hand, was so full of vitality you wanted to X-ray that old Gibson guitar 
of his to find the flask he must have filled at the fountain of youth.

The spirit, spontaneity and energy rock's first poet put into his hourlong set was all the more remarkable in 
light of decades of half-hearted performances in which he typically battled rather than meshed with unrehearsed 
musicians hired for him in each town.

At Universal he was backed by a lively trio consisting of fellow St. Louis musician Jim Marsala on bass, who has 
accompanied Berry off and on for four decades, plus pianist Michael Clark and drummer Kirk Arthur, both of whom 
have played with him regularly for some 13 years.

Evidently the monthly club gigs he's been doing back in St. Louis for the last five years have reminded him that 
it takes a real band to really rock. It also seems to have rekindled his passion for honest expression in concert as 
well as his respect for his audience and his own legacy.

"It must still be fun, because I don't have to hit a lick anymore," Berry acknowledged during an interview Thursday 
in his dressing room at "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" before a joint appearance that night with Richard. 
The implication was that fans will cheer this first-round Rock and Roll Hall of Famer no matter what he does, 
or doesn't do, on stage at this point in his career.

"What keeps me going is the fact that I appreciate that response," Berry added. "Plus I'm still learning, and 
that's a big part of my life--to learn. These guitar strokes I'm learning, still learning--yes, it's fun. Anybody 
would understand it's fun." So much fun, in fact, that Berry swears 2002 will be the year he puts out an 
album of new material he's been talking about for the better part of Britney Spears' lifetime.

He also clearly still has fun with playing with words, something that sets his richly detailed songs apart from 
often generic declarations of love and longing common during rock's embryonic stage. That unyielding desire 
for the specific came out in the interview, when he was briefly stumped upon being asked whether it's harder 
to keep performing long after most of his contemporaries have retired or died.

"Break down 'harder' for me," he said, with one of many laughs that also contradicted his reputation as a man 
who endures interviews as if at gunpoint.

Restated to ask if he found performing more taxing, more tiring or as much fun as when he was helping define 
the archetype of the electric guitar-wielding songwriter-performer in the mid-'50s, Berry relaxed and answered.

"Yes, it's more tiring, but since I don't do it as much as I used to, it's not really that much more taxing. See why 
I couldn't answer the question before?"

He sighs, then adds, "Ahh, I should have been a son of Einstein," slyly rolling his eyes at his canny syntactic 

Einstein's name surfaces again later when Berry outlined the philosophy that, despite his three prison terms 
and various personal and professional quagmires, may have saved him from reaching the point of no return 
on the road to self-destruction like so many other rockers.

"One of my realizations is that if you revel over joy," he says, "you're going to ache over pain and get killed 
over hurt. Your span of feelings are going to go just as far one way as the other. So when something real 
good comes to you, take it and chew on it.... Then when something bitter gets in there, you won't feel too 
bad chewing it and smiling, because the other one wasn't that good, so this won't be that bad.... That's mathematical, 
and I think Einstein would have agreed with that."

Few could argue that while much of the repertoire created during rock's infancy can sound dated or corny, 
Berry's canon holds up magnificently. That's due in large part to the fact that he wrote from the perspective 
of an observer rather than a participant, and a gifted storyteller never gets old or goes out of fashion.

Still, Berry says he's long past discussing hotrods and teenage romance. "Now I'm writing about the life I'm living, 
and the life my generation is living--and the generation right behind me is close to [that life], so they can look 
forward to it." He quickly reels off a couplet from one new song, "A builder built a temple/He wrought it with 
grace and skill," noting, "Now that has nothing to do with 'Come back, baby.'"

It's anybody's guess how Elvis would come off issuing warnings about his blue suede shoes as he reached 
Social Security age, but on Saturday Berry went beyond merely credible. He tapped in-the-moment joy singing 
of the "rolling arthritis sitting down by the rhythm revue" in "Roll Over Beethoven" all these years later.

"Years?" he said during the interview. "I got news for you--so far it's life. Elvis' songs will always be there, 
and I hope mine will be after I'm gone.

"But," he interjected with a twinkle in those 75-year-old eyes, "you can't compare that, because he's gone, and I'm not!"


Universal Amphitheatre Jan 26th 2002.

Chuck Berry and Little Richard have shared the stage hundreds of times before, but never have played together 
at the same time, supposedly. This concert was being billed as such........"Performing together for the first time 
in concert!!". They had performed together two days previous on the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno", which I reviewed, 
and can be found also on this site. Alas it wasnt to be, but for whatever reason it didnt come off. My sources say Richard 
didnt want to , and left before Chuck could come out. But from what I saw on the Tonight show, and how Richard blew it, 
as if he was audtioning for Star Search, and not sharing the stage fairly with Chuck, my guess is Chuck didnt want any 
part of it.
But as for the concert itself.............
Richard opened, and had, it seemed like 50 guys in his band. They played probably 20 mintues before Richard came out. 
Richard needs to trim his band down some also. Two drummers is not needed. Nor is two bass players. Nor is three horn 
players. And why is there a second pianist? To cover up for Richard, who plays sporadically.
Its not that they didnt sound good, they did. But it seems its just too much, as most of Richards show is, "too much". He needs 
to trim it down to just him, a drummer, bass player, guitarist, and maybe 1 or 2 horn players.
When he finally came out, He plowed right into "Good Golly Miss Molly", but only sang the chorus. He then did "Blueberry Hill", 
asking the crowd to sing most of the song. And then did "Boney Maroney". Richard then did some song that sounded similar to 
Chucks "Living in the USA". Not sure of the title. "Jenny Jenny" was next. And then "Bamma Lamma Loo"
"Tutti Frutti" was next, but he had his horn player sing this one, as he's done for years. That was awful strange. Would you 
want to hear James Burton sing "Great Balls of Fire" instead of Jerry Lee Lewis?  Would you want to hear Jim Marsala (Chucks 
long time bass player) sing "Reeling and Rocking?" Would you want Steve Van Zandt to sing "Born in the USA instead of 
Bruce Springsteen? The answer is no, of course. So why does Richard have his bass player sing this one, and Richard 
only sing the chorus on Good Golly Miss Molly? My hunch is because of Richards religous beliefs. Richard realizes 
the big money will only come from him singing his hits. But due to the content of some of his songs, and his strong beliefs, 
he compromises. Therefore, only the chorus on Molly and have someone else sing, Tutti. And then round out his show with 
a bunch of safe cover tunes.
Richard next introduced the crowd to his nephew, who came out. Said he was going to be a singer. This was very awkward 
as Richard wasnt prepared, not knowing what to have him sing. His nephew wasnt prepared, kinda just walking around the 
stage. The crowd started getting very antsy, with several people heading to the concession stands. After several nervous minutes, 
his nephew finally grabbed the mic and sang a couple mintues of some R and B sounding number. His voice was ok, but nothing 
to see any star potential.
Little then sang "Old Time Rock and Roll", and "Lucille". On "Lucille" was when Richard FINALLY got the house going, 
and was really rocking. If Richard would stick to stuff like that, just straight ahead rocking, and cut out all the sideshow 
circus stuff, it would be much better. A couple more songs, an instumental jam, which seemed Richards way of showing that 
he can really smoke when he wants. Too bad it was all to brief.
The problem with Little Richard is, he just seems to into "being" Little Richard. Ya know, the way-out outfits, the poofed up hair, 
and the CONSTANT yakking from the stage. I unofficially counted 22 "shuts ups" , which is about 7 more than the number of songs 
he did. And over and over and over and over he kept asking...."Are you having a good time?......Are you REALLY having a good 
time?" As a crowd we want the artist to be concerned about us and if were enjoying the show, but it got 
to be ridiculous.
He doesnt need all that. Hes still got the great voice, and he can still jam on the piano. But hes so into thinking he has to ham it up, 
that the extra antics overshadow his talents. At this time in his life and career anyway.
For example, Julia Roberts would look great in blue jeans a t-shirt, and no makeup. She doesnt need to be all made up, 
all the time. It hides the true beauty. And Little Richards antics, and over-the-top flamboyancy, 
hides his true rocking nature.
Charles Connor, an original member of Little Richards band from the 50's The Upsetters, and who lives in LA, 
joined Richard for the last three songs. It was great to see these two back on the same stage.

Good Golly Miss Molly
Blueberry Hill
Bony Maronie
All Around The World
Jenny Jenny
Bama Lama Bama Loo
Tutti Frutti
Old Time Rock'n'Roll
I Saw Her Standing There
Keep A Knockin'
My Babe
Rip It Up
Long Tall Sally

Chuck was up next. And for Chuck, it was his usual gig. Which, if everything is ok, the band, sound, crowd, etc, 
means class, is in for R and R history 101. Chuck keeps it simple, for various reasons. Long time bassist Jim Marsala, 
and drummer and piano player, who have played with Chuck before, making it an enjoyable show.
For those who have seen Chuck before, we pretty much know the songs. But thats a good thing. Yeah it would be nice 
for him to change it up now and then, and throw in "You Never Can Tell", or something else from his vast career. 
But Chuck is not going to change, and he'll keep on doing what has worked for him. Which is play the same basic hits, 
with once in a while mixing in a different tune here and there. But seeing Chuck do these rock standards many times, is ok. 
He has so many A-list songs, that he will always leave out one someone might want to hear. Some may want to hear "Carol" 
while others will be dissapointed he didnt do "No Particular Place To Go" (which I heard someone mutter as the crowd 
left after the show). He has to do the standards, and that leaves little room for the rest of the set. And Little Richard does 
the same type of show as well. The difference is Chuck does his songs, sings them himself, and sticks to playing music. 
Richard, does several numbers (safe lyrically songs) by other artists, and does too much sideshow. I understand that is his personality, 
but too much is too much.
After Chuck did "My Ding A Ling" he said, Thanks to California, as...... "this was the first place the song went 
to Number 1". 
Chuck did lots of solos, gave us one duckwalk, and of course gave his piano player lots of time. One dissapointment was 
not hearing "Maybelline" which I havent heard him do the last several times Ive seen him.
Chuck gave his usual show, solid, tight, and for turning 75 the past year, looked great.
Roll Over Beethoven
School Days
Sweet Little Sixteen
Around And Around
Little Queenie
It Hurts Me Too
Love In Three Quarter Time
My Ding A Ling
Let It Rock
Johnny B. Goode
Reelin' And Rockin'
House Lights

Fourteen songs. Fourteen lessons in Rock and Roll History, taught by the King himself. If only Little Richard had attended those classes.  
Jeff Staudinger email:


» Chuck Berry, James Brown
22.03.02 - Tokyo, Japan - Forum C Hall
Review by Ohashi Haruhiko

Music Review:
Chuck Berry & James Brown

Only in Japan. What else to make of this historic double billing? According 
to reports in the Japanese media, the Godfather of Soul contacted the 
King of Rock 'n' Roll suggesting they get together for a joint concert.

Chuck Berry, by the way, turned 75 October 18, while James Brown is 68. 
Berry celebrated his birthday in fine style in a concert in Peachtree City, Georgia. 
According to an extensive article in Rolling Stone, 2,500 souls rose as one, 
held flaming candles aloft and commenced singing "Happy Birthday" to the 
inventor of rock 'n' roll.

But apparently, Berry had left the building. The notoriously fickle author (Keith Richards 
called him "more headaches than Jagger") of hits like "Johnny B. Goode," Rock and Roll Music," 
and "Sweet Little Sixteen" apparently hadn't been informed of the tribute in advance, 
and wished to take no part in it.

Despite his advancing years, however, reports suggest that Berry is in good health, 
and still capable of his legendary duckwalk. He'll still gig anywhere, and reportedly 
gets a cool $35,000 for a decent-size concert. He only requires two things: a Lincoln Town Car 
at the airport and a Fender Bassman amp. And if the promoter shows up with a Mercedes, 
saying it is a better car, Berry told Rolling Stone, he responds: "I didn't say better, 
I said a Lincoln. If they do not provide there is a $2,000 fine."

He also asks, "to be provided with able musicians, that is, musicians able to play 
Chuck Berry songs." He never travels with his own band, relying on local backing bands. 
For the upcoming concerts, however, he and Brown will be backed by a band imported 
from the US. Sorry Japanese hopefuls.

Meanwhile, Berry is reportedly at work on his first album of original material in decades. 
He told Rolling Stone why he hasn't been into the recording studio. "For many years," 
he said, "I've been reluctant to make new songs. Lots of days I could write songs, 
but I could also take my $400 and play the slot machines at the riverfront casino. 
In a way, I feel it might be ill mannered to try and top myself. You see, I am not 
an oldies act. The music I play, it is a ritual. Something that matters to people 
in a special way. I wouldn't want to interfere with that. So, yes, it is a little risky. 
Because I have been so educated in the past, and now it is so far in the future."

Brown, on the other hand, has not been afraid to come to grips with the future, 
if his 1998 "comeback" album, I'm Back, was any indication.

While the album didn't make any concessions to the electrobeat of the day, it did 
update Brown's funk in a decidedly brassy, '90s fashion. Songs like "Funk On Ah Roll" 
gave Brown classics such as "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag" a pretty good run for 
their money.

Also unlike Berry, Brown has been a frequent visitor to Japan in recent years, headlining, 
for example, the debut Summer Sonic rock festival in 2000.

Brown seems to be "feelin' good" right now, with a new bride, a new baby boy, 
James Joseph Brown II, and a brand new album due out this spring. Entitled The Next Step, 
the album focuses on social and political issues in timeless Brown fashion. "Let the 
Sun Shine in Your Heart," for example, deals with the tragedy of September 11th. 
"'Extra! Extra! Have you heard the news?/Innocent people died/Sad, but it's true/Someone 
tell me what this world is comin' to,'" Brown quoted the song's lyrics to Rolling Stone. 
"That sounds more like a gospel song," he said. "But it's really inspirational. Funky, 
but it tells the truth."

According to promoter JEC's website, a portion of the proceeds from the gigs will 
be forwarded to the U.S. Embassy to assist the victims of September 11.

Chuck Berry & James Brown play Tokyo International Forum Mar 22-23. See listings for details.


Last night's show was excellent. Show time was about 1 hour, but I could 
fully enjoy the show. Also I could see the very rare (?!) his action. 
He said "It is my second time to go to Bath room during the show. I 'll be 
back in half munite!"  then he disappeared from the stage and was really 
back to the stage in half minute! 
And also during the show, he shouted "Six Young ladies !! Come on the 
stage !!" (Nobody knows why "6 young ladies" )but unfortunately, agaist his 
will, many young men & women went up to the stage and he could not play 
due to this crowd ! 

The set list was almost the same as you have informed me before as below. 

I felt little bit sorry that hall was not full. I think 3/4 was covered, but the 
rest 1/4 was empty...... 

Anyway, I have enjoyed the show and it became unforgetabble Rock'n'Roll 
show ! 

Thank you Chuck !


» Chuck Berry, Wild Angels
09.06.02 - London, England - Shepherd's Bush Empire
Reviews by Wolfgang Guhl & Nick Garrett

What a rainy and stormy day in London, England! When I arrived
at the venue, already a hand full of people waited in front of the entrance.
Chuck Berry was scheduled to perform a show in the old theatre named
Shepherd's Bush Empire. 

Tickets were still available before the show but when the support act Wild Angels 
started their show, approximately 90 % of the 2000 tickets seemed to be sold. They did 
a nice warm up, mainly performing old classics for about an hour. 

After a 20 minute break, their lead singer entered the stage again and announced 
Mr. Berry: "A big, big welcome to Chuck Berry!!" The audience was great, Chuck's 
guitar in tune and he played a powerful opener: "Roll Over Beethoven". He was in a 
great mood, his singing and guitar playing was very strong. During the show, he did 
two pretty short duck walks. The most surprising tunes in his set list were "Brown Eyed 
Handsome Man" and "No Money Down". After exactly 60 minutes of playing he left the stage 
with "Reelin' And Rockin'". 

Here's the complete set list:

Roll Over Beethoven
School Days
Sweet Little Sixteen
It Hurts Me Too
Little Queenie
Love In Three Quarter Time
Let It Rock
Mean Old World
Brown Eyed Handsome Man
No Money Down
Rock'n'Roll Music
Honest I Do
Around And Around
Reelin' And Rockin'
House Lights


Chuck Berry 9/6/02 Shepherd's Bush Empire 

We were standing outside the Shepherd's Bush Empire, ignoring the ticket touts and about to go in and see a legend 
when down the street in heels and spot-on couture came Marilyn Monroe, accompanied by a poisoned 
looking man on grey-plastic and aluminium crutches. The difference between the two was a fitting 
augury to the evening's proceedings. Marilyn was well impersonated, at least visually- we never 
heard her speak, though later we saw her dancing with abandon.    

Chuck! 'Chuck Berry' in red capital letters outside the place. Chuck Berry! The queues had brought 
together a motley congregation- the expected: aged, oiled rockers with paunches, drunk Australians 
(no music regarded as 'rock' is ever played anywhere on the planet without an inebriated Antipodean 
present, it is a mystic law of the medium) smelling, as usual, strongly of garlic and marijauna; teddy 
boys both wrinkled and unwrinkled and the unexpected: scabbed-up skinheads, beautiful girls and 
a small amount of black people under the age of forty.   

The support band thundered out some real good covers of Gene Vincent and Elvis; the singer was a 
beer-gutted howler with a tramp's head of hair who puffed between songs and gave you the impression
that in between gigs he probably lived in a caravan on Canvey Island. He looked for all the world like 
Charles Laughton auditioning for *The Wild One*. Yes, it was scary.      

But even the superb, squealing, ripping tenor sax and dynamite rockabilly guitar couldn't distract 
the audience waiting for Chuck, as one waits for Groucho in a Marx Bros movie. When he finally 
came on, accompanied by a bemused bass player and drummer who Chuck may have fished out of the Rio Grande the night 
before and stuck on his payroll, we were richly rewarded.     

Here was, if not the inventor of Rock and Roll, then definitely its great *enabler*. Here, at age 74, 
still wiry, slinging, with those huge hands, a Gibson 335 making it look like it was a ¾ size student 
strat copy, was the ex-hairdresser, jailbird, nightclub owner and putative theme park entrepeneur 
(yes, 'Berry Park', which never quite came off, was inspired by Hyde Park and Disneyland) . 
Eyes a-twinkle, and with whiskers from Ahab, the man that John Lennon thought 'the greatest rock and roll poet' 
was live onstage.    

O Chuck! Here was vaudeville- forget anything else! Sporting a naval captain's hat- in this country, the 
wearing of such headwear away from water generally signals jocular or ribald behaviour so it was of 
course totally appropriate for Chuck to be wearing one- and purple glitter shirt he began as he meant to 
go on, with a solid bass and drum background, a tinkling honky-tonk piano player (in place of the magisterial 
Johnny Johnson whose band and licks Chuck commandeered back in Missouri fifty years ago) his artful guitar 
stylings played devil-may-care in and out of key, and the shot voice delivering the lyrics. The lyrics! 
Everyone knew 'em and soon he was letting us sing them and telling us he loved us for it. Average song 
length seemed to settle down to about fifty seconds interspersed with slow blues designed to give 
the old trouper a wheeze and allow people to get to the bar and the Australians a chance to talk 
about Thailand and what pubs they're working in. When Chuck got his breath back, he would simply 
start singing something else: in the middle of 'It Hurts Me Too' he said 'how's this for a change of tone' 
and went straight into the middle of 'Carol' leaving his bass player laughing out loud. Chuck didn't care 
none though and to show it he gave us a three second burst of duck walk whilst he played those famous 
sliding ninths and chokes that made him a more influential artist than Picasso, James Joyce and Stravinsky 
all rolled into one. Impossible you say? Hard to believe? Yes, this embittered old guitar picker with the 
brain of a poet and the heart of a carny, is the prime influence on the biggest movers of the second half of 
the Twentieth Century. Forget Elvis! Elvis was just a fat schmuck, a plastic two-headed baby in a demijohn 
of formaldihyde and tap water. An exhibit! Chuck was more than this- he put the tent up, he was the barker, 
the exhibit and the guy who led you into the annexe for a promise of seeing a nude Parisian dancing girl! 

O Chuck! Prison fucked him twice- once in the early sixties and then later in the seventies for a tax caper. 
This, in the opinion of Keith Richards, 'put a little worm in him.' These days Chuck's disdainfully regarded 
as a bit of perv and one of rock's great misanthropists but of course this is exactly what is so refreshingly 
great about the man- no feigned emotion, just an act. No poet is totally without romance and Chuck's songs, 
the songs he's coasted on for forty years, with their incredible meter and great wit reveal that Chuck was a romantic 
who got cast down.    

His only rival in hard hearted theatrics is Jagger and Chuck leaves him a long way behind- a damn fool 
white chile pandering to his audience and given them respect! Chuck is a legend, he knows it and we know 
it and that is why he can do as he likes in front of this crowd down at Shepherd's Bush. And it is a good job 
he's in front of the adoring: anywhere else and he would have been booed off.    

Every once in a while, when the rumble of the drums, the perfunctory bass playing and shit-kicking 
piano lock in and Chuck gets to grips with his axe and starts chopping out *those* licks and fills, 
the music starts to cook and the Australians shut up and everyone starts to bop a little. After a 
while you realise that this *is* rock and roll, a primitive, relentless beat that makes you want to 
shake and came from Africa, went to America, got bought, busted and sold- and wound up down 
here in West London on a stormy Sunday night playing for hard cash. Another reason to love Chuck: 
he can't, or won't or is just plain unaware of the whole marketing/corporate thing. No marketing, no 
merchandising, a web site of such banality that it may well have been made by Chuck himself squinting 
through his bifocals and Marlboro smoke. Not even a T Shirt on sale! You just walk in off the street 
and that' s it. I don't know about anyone else but I think that's rather splendid. Obviously Chuck ain't 
behaving like this because he's an anarchist or believes in value for money, he just don't trust nobody 
and wants to run his business like a greengrocer down the market and why not?   

 'Sweet Little Sixteen', 'Memphis Tennessee' 'Hail Hail Rock and Roll' 'Nadine' 'Rock and Roll Music' 
'Roll over Beethoven' 'Little Queenie'; he motored through all these and larked about- hey another 
three seconds of duck walk! That made a combined six seconds and all six of 'em sent the audience, 
and this reviewer, wild with joy. I don't know why really; it just did.   

When he got to 'Reelin' and Rockin' he decided to branch out from the average song length 
of 50-60 seconds and began a routine that he obviously relished, replacing the all the 
words in the stops with slightly more salacious couplets- very tame here tonight but it would 
have probably got him castrated in St Louis in 1955. Yes, if Sinatra was the Rembrandt of popular 
music then here was its Van Gogh, the great, prolific burst of energy and progress that made way for 
every serious artist that followed. The Beatles, The Stones, Dylan, The Beach Boys, all of them 
existing because of Chuck; Lear, Fool, Hamlet, Romeo and Crookback all in one package. 
One man in his time plays many parts..yes, even down to these peckerheads now like Marilyn Manson 
and Eminem who are in that fleeting arcadia of thinking they're doing something *new*, the influence, 
the enabling hand of Chuck moves across the face of the water.   

And now, after more or less an hour of playing, Chuck's making overtures to leave. 
I was hoping he'd play 'Bye Bye Johnny' but no he was getting women from the front up 
on stage to dance and there was Marilyn again, shaking her tail feather with a beaming, 
mugging Chuck. Making low salaams and choking the neck of his Gibson he backed out 
of the limelight leaving the drummer and the bassist to make their own escape.   

The foot-stamping and howling for an encore began in earnest. Why he hadn' t done 'No Particular 
Place to Go', *he hadn't done Johnny B. Goode*!! The stamping and shouting became elemental 
but he never came back. No encore. Chuck don't do 'em. The lights came up. Someone walked 
on stage and began to dismantle the drum kit. The Australians were moving and talking about 
Kentucky Fried Chicken. No Johnny B. Goode! I like to think he does it as a way of teaching us 
all that life's hard and you have to take that on the chin. No Johnny B. Goode!

Outside there was some fighting in front of the pub next door and a young black guy dressed from 
head to foot in white denim encrusted with souvenirs of white Southern Rock ('Lynyrd Skynyrd '91' 
and several confederate flags) was blind drunk, jerking his body like a Thunderbirds puppet and 
shouting at the top of his voice. Later we saw him at the tube station and he called us fucking mules 
for not walking down to Hammersmith.   

People milled around outside the stage door; at the front an old Muddy Waters lookalike and his son. 
I hoped Chuck put in an appearance for their sake. He didn't come out while we were there though 
a large wheelie bin was bought out and I wondered, as the janitor pulling it carelessly banged it 
against some bollards at the end of the alley, whether Chuck was hiding inside.   

The legend had taken us for a grand old ride and, as with all the best con artists, it was a 
pleasure to be relieved of your cash.


» Chuck Berry
15.06.02 - New York, NY - B.B. King's Blues Club
Review by Michael Kylis

Chuck Berry
B.B. Kings - NYC
Saturday 06.15.02

Chuck Berry may be 75 years old but he can still play that guitar just 
like he's ringing a bell. Mr. Berry has not lost a step in his long illustrious 
career. Playing the riffs that made him a pioneer in the field of rock 'n' roll, 
he ripped through his classics in just under 90 minutes and left all in attendance 
roaring for more.

I think the late John Lennon said it best -- "If you tried to give rock and 
roll another name, you might call it 'Chuck Berry'."


» Chuck Berry, Tyrone Davis, John Hammond, Shemekia Copeland
29.06.02 - Bellinzona, Switzerland - Piazza Blues Festival
Review by Wolfgang Guhl

My second Chuck Berry show within three weeks and certainly different
to London. 

While Chuck concentrated on his music and guitar playing
in London, he did the same in Bellinzona with his famous moves ("duck walk").
Music was fine, too, but e.g. he forgot the lyrics during the surprisingly played "Bio".

But the audience was great, pushed Chuck forward. His show lasted for about
60 minutes and he played the following songs:

Roll Over Beethoven
School Days
Sweet Little Sixteen
Let It Rock
It Hurts Me Too
Little Queenie
Rock'n'Roll Music
Everyday I Have The Blues
Honest I Do
Around And Around
Johnny B. Goode
Reelin' And Rockin'
House Lights


» Chuck Berry, Gary U.S. Bonds, The Dixie Cups,  Fred Paris
02.08.02 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Casino
Reviews by Chris Ditullio & Todd Baptista

As the featured performer in Bowzer's Rock N' Roll Party, Chuck Berry again 
showed why he is the king of rock n' roll!!  During the several opening acts performances, 
the brand spanking new 10,000 seat Mohegan Sun Arena was somewhat sedate.  Then Bowzer 
himself introduced Chuck as the man who started it all!  The acoustics were awesome and 
very loud.  Thank god.  Chuck took off with a clean Roll Over Beethoven and never looked 
back.  He did Carol, Little Queenie, Let it Rock, Around and Around, Maybellene, Johnny B. Goode, 
Rock and Roll Music, School Day, Sweet Little Sixteen, My Ding-a-ling, Reelin' and Rockin', 
plus much more.  My wife went onstage during the finally Reelin' and Rockin', so if anybody 
out there has any pictures from the show please let me know.  His bell-ringin' sound is 
what always amazes me.  He duckwalked several times and told several of his little ditties 
and stage patter.  I didn't see Jim Marsala and I think the band was part of the show.  
They were very good also.  Hail, Hail.   Chris Ditullio


Chuck Berry

August 2, 2002  Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT

(As part of Bowzer's Rock and Roll Party)

On Friday night, August 2, 2002, Chuck took the stage of the new arena at the 
Mohegan Sun Casino as the closing act of Bowzer's Rock and Roll Party.  Missing 
was the trademark Captain's cap which he has donned for concert performances in 
recent years.  Chuck took to the stage at 10:05 PM and remained in the spotlight 
for exactly 61 minutes.  The early portion of the show was typical Berry fare in 
content and style.  Chuck got things moving with a spirited "Around and Around" in 
the middle of the set, sandwiched around some well-performed blues tunes which 
didn't seem to find favor with the largely white over 50 audience.  Consequently, 
Chuck stopped "It Hurts Me Too" at an awkward moment, declaring "that's enough blues", 
and launching into the "Little Queenie"/"Carol" medley.  After a lengthy guitar solo, 
Chuck asked the bassist to remind him what song he had been singing.

"Rock and Roll Music" included the new, updated lyrics and was especially well received.  
"Did I do 'Johnny B. Goode'?" he asked the crowd before launching into the classic.  
When the post-song ovation died down, Chuck proclaimed, "You say 'em, we play 'em".  
Taking a request, Berry ran through two verses of "Maybellene", scooting across the 
stage for his first duckwalk of the night.  "My Ding-A-Ling" was also played by request 
before the band launched into the finale, "Reelin' and Rockin'".  With ladies from 
the audience joining Chuck on stage to dance around him, Berry played a dynamic version 
of the song, displaying his finest guitar work of the night.  While some of the earlier 
tunes, "Memphis, Tennessee" in particular, featured some noticeably bad notes, the 
familiar "Reelin and Rockin'" riffs were played flawlessly, sending the crowd home 
happy and appreciative of the old master's efforts.

Todd Baptista, Massachusetts, USA

The set:

Roll Over Beethoven
School Days
Sweet Little Sixteen
Love In Three Quarter Time
Mean Old World
Around and Around
Honest I Do
Let It Rock
It Hurts Me Too
Little Queenie
Beer Drinkin' Woman
Rock'n'Roll Music
Johnny B. Goode
My Ding A Ling
Reelin' and Rockin'
House Lights


» Chuck Berry, Little Richard
04.08.02 - Westbury, NY - Westbury Music Fair



August 6, 2002 -- THERE are some majestic things ya just gotta see for yourself 
- like the Grand Canyon, the pyramids . . . and Chuck Berry. 

At Westbury Music Fair Sunday night, Berry didn't play an oldies show. 
Instead, the 75-year-old legend -- who shared the bill with Little Richard -- 
showed how he single-handedly invented rock 'n' roll guitar. 

Granted, Berry's memory isn't what it used to be. Lyrics evaporated and songs 
were repeated, but it didn't matter. 

From his red Gibson hollow-bodied electric guitar percolated the primordial 
bubbles of rock -- the notes that have been imitated, borrowed or stolen by 
Jerry Garcia, Brian Wilson, Keith Richards and a million others. 

And while he moved like his bones needed oiling, it was clear time hasn't taken 
away his ability to play his guitar like he's ringing a bell. 

Appropriately, Berry opened with the anti-establishment anthem "Roll Over 
Beethoven," which served nicely as the evening's musical point of departure. 

From there he touched all the bases -- "Rock 'n' Roll Music," "Sweet Little 
Sixteen," "Carol," "Maybellene" and more, especially "Johnny B. Goode." 

Just as Berry is the architect of rock guitar, Little Richard can lay claim to 
the same for rock vocals. 

While he's an extraordinary boogie-woogie pianist, it was when he whooped and 
hollered through songs like "Jenny, Jenny" and "Long Tall Sally" that his 
talents were really on display Sunday night. 

If there was any doubt that Paul McCartney learned to hit the high notes from 
Georgia's most famous peach, all you had to do was sit back and listen to 
Little Richard's glass-breaking rendition of "Good Golly Miss Molly." 

For this show, he put his band together as if he were Noah -- two bass players, 
two drummers, two guitarists, two horns and another keyboard player. 

Though it sounds excessive, it took every bit of that 10-piece outfit to create 
the kind of bombastic rock that could stand up to Richard's over-the-top vocals 
-- not to mention his peacock personality. 

Yes, Little Richard, you are beautiful -- just please don't ask us again to 
confirm it. 




» Chuck Berry
27.09.02 - Northampton, MA - Calvin Theater
Reviews by Errol Bull & Peter Blandino

My wife & I attended the Northampton show on 9/27.  It was an excellent 
evening.  Although I can't recall every song sung, I can say that the 
following songs were played: 

Sweet Little Sixteen 
Johnny B. Goode 
My Ding A Ling 
Roll Over Bethoven 
It Hurts Me Too 
Honest I Do 

(the songs above not necessarliy in order) 

Te rest I can't recall. At one point, he broke a string, during string 
replacement, he began reciting something, perhaps Bio.  When the string was 
replaced faster than anticipated, he stopped mid-sentence and started 
playing again.  On the last song, he asked three women, from each side, to 
come onstage to dance during the last song.  He played the song (I don't 
know the title, but the song where he asks the audience if they want them to 
stay and continue playing) and the women danced, vying for his attention. 
End of show.


Calvin Theatre
Sept. 27

by Peter Blandino, Collegian Correspondent
October 04, 2002

NORTHAMPTON - The one and only Chuck Berry, the father of rock and the cousin 
of Marvin Berry, headlined the Calvin Theater last week. The aging legend did 
not disappoint his fans as he wailed away on his guitar and danced with more 
energy than Marty McFly. Berry played longer and harder than I expected and 
had me begging for an encore along with the rest of the capacity crowd for a 
full 15 minutes even after the house lights came on.

Both young and old filled the theater to witness a piece of history, and the 
opening acts to the show were as diverse as the crowd. A little before 8 p.m. 
the Holden Truelove Band took to the stage to warm up the crowd. At first 
sight I was shocked. Holden, who plays lead guitar and shares vocal duties 
with bass player Kyle Berardinelli, is no more than 13 years old! I am doubtful 
that the sum of the ages of all four band members equals the age of Berry, 72. 
The band warmed up with a loud instrumental number marked by tandem guitar 
melodies between Holden and Bob Nuzello.

Next, the band played a bluesy tune with young Truelove, introducing us to his 
singing capabilities. His voice, of course, sounded young and perhaps too clear 
for the blues, but it was strong as he belted out the verses with true passion. 
In a long interlude that at times seemed out of sync, Holden displayed his already 
refined skill on the guitar by delivering exciting riffs in an innovative solo. 
In perhaps the climax of the short set, Holden stepped off the stage and began 
playing in the aisle Albert Collins style.

Other noteworthy performances by the young band were two Hendrix covers, "There's 
a Red House Over Yonder" and "Voodoo Child." In the former, the headband-bearing 
Berardinelli took lead vocals in a tribute to the legend. The latter saw Truelove 
botch the intro somewhat in an otherwise solid performance. "No. 1 Fan," an original 
of the band, was an impressive and catchy tune with a sound that compared early 
to mid-90s rock bands such as Green Day. The short set was taken very positively 
by those in attendance who marveled at the surprising combination of youth and 
talent during the intermission. But as the "father of rock 'n' roll" was introduced 
the anticipation in the air intensified reaching a fever pitch.

Dawning a sailor's cap that hid his eyes, Berry seized control of the stage to a 
roaring ovation. After a few quick tunes to help the house band warm up, he played a 
dazzling version of "Memphis, Tennessee." When the music stopped, he had successfully 
eliminated all doubt in some of the minds of the fans that may have thought this 
legend is too old to rock.

The next song, which was recently composed, was very soft and sweet, and served as a 
pleasant contrast. As Berry strummed his guitar and delivered his lyrics ever so 
eloquently, the band played softly. He sang sweetly about his wild life as a superstar 
performer: the long nights, the women, the wine. He sang, "it ain't good for me but 
I'm feeling fine." Although he is approaching his exit from life's stage, he refuses 
to let down a bit, but instead continues to combine charisma and showmanship with his 
incredible skill to entertain crowds across the country.

"Let's Play the Blues," and Berry and the band stirred up that old blues standard, 
"It Hurts Me Too." A long interlude featured Berry soloing softly. He reminded the 
crowd, "It don't have to be loud to be good." The father of rock then picked up 
the pace and played a series of renowned hits beginning with "Hail, Hail Rock n' Roll," 
followed by "Sweet Little Sixteen" and finished the trio with none other than 
"Johnny B. Goode." When he stomped his foot to signal the end of the song to the 
house band, the crowd was on their feet in tribute.

For his final number Berry played "Roll Over Beethoven." The legend jammed away at 
his guitar, and called out for all of the ladies in attendance to come join him on 
stage. The resulting scene was one I won't soon forget; a 72-year-old rock legend 
dancing and playing with about 15 women, young and old, who were literally hanging 
on his arms as he played his music.

Berry offered a whole lot of excitement for one night. The man started it all, and 
now decades after he first hit the big time, he still plays with more charm, charisma, 
and energy than many of the top acts out there. The band behind him sounded like 
they could use a bit more rehearsing, and Berry is by no means the man he once was. 
But even with a few obvious flaws, the concert was still impeccable.


» Chuck Berry
02.07.03 - Divonne, France - Casino De Divonne
03.07.03 - Paris, France - Palais De Congress
04.07.03 - Amneville, France - Galaxie

Reviews by
Wolfgang Guhl

Show Statistics

02.07.03 - Divonne, France - Casino De Divonne

Rockin' At The Philharmonic
Roll Over Beethoven
School Days
Sweet Little Sixteen
Everyday I Have The Blues
Love In Three Quarter Time
Let It Rock
It Hurts Me Too
Mean Old World
Let It Rock
Around And Around
Rock'n'Roll Music
Key To The Highway
Johnny B. Goode
Reelin' And Rockin'
House Lights

Audience: 2000/2000 SOLD OUT
Show length: 75 mins
Encore: yes
Support acts: 1

03.07.03 - Paris, France - Palais De Congress

Roll Over Beethoven
School Days
Sweet Little Sixteen
Little Queenie
Let It Rock
It Hurts Me Too
Mean Old World
You Never Can Tell
Rock'n'Roll Music
Johnny B. Goode
Reelin' And Rockin'
House Lights

Audience: 3500/3700
Show length: 65 mins
Encore: yes
Support acts: 1

04.07.03 - Amneville, France - Galaxie

Rockin' At The Philharmonic
Roll Over Beethoven
School Days
Sweet Little Sixteen
Around And Around
It Hurts Me Too
Rock'n'Roll Music
Roll Over Beethoven
Little Queenie
Mean Old World
You Never Can Tell
Let It Rock
Johnny B. Goode
Reelin' And Rockin'
House Lights

Audience: 3500/6500 
Show length: 60 mins
Encore: no
Support acts: 2

Concert Reviews

I just got back from Chuck Berry's France Tour 2003. After having seen all three shows, 
I have to say that every show was completely different to the other.

Opening night was Divonne, probably the strangest Chuck Berry concert I have ever seen. 
He played "Let It Rock" twice, "forgot" to play "Little Queenie" after "Carol" and played an 
encore after the audience went nuts. This encore was just another endless version of "House Lights". 
Although Chuck mixed up the lyrics several time, it was quite a good show, because it was an obscure 
experience to see an encore at a Chuck Berry show.

Next night in Paris was totally different. Chuck was in a great mood, did several duck walks 
and his playing and singing was much stronger than in Divonne. The sound, the concert hall, 
the audience, everything was great this evening. The encore was similiar to the one in Divonne. 
After the first encore, the audience was screaming for more for about 10 minutes
but without any success.

Galaxie Mega Hall in Amneville which is said to be the biggest indoor venue after 
Paris Bercy in France, was only half-filled. It was the shortest of all three shows, 
the audience was rather lame but Chuck was in a great mood. He concentrated more on his singing 
and playing than on gimmicks like the duck walk. Unfortunately, we got two terrible support acts 
this time, one of them already played in Paris the night before.

All in all, we got many (live)-rarities on this short tour: "Rockin' At The Philharmonic" 
(Divonne & Amneville), "Everyday I Have The Blues" (Divonne), "Keys To The Highway" (Divonne), 
"You Never Can Tell" (Paris & Amneville), "Bio" (Paris & Amneville), "Jambalaya" (Amneville) and 
"Maybellene" (Amneville). 

Chuck is not 20 anymore, everything has slowed down a bit and some shows are quite chaotic but 
when you're lucky, you can still catch him on a good night like in Paris and he will deliver a fine show.


» Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard
05.07.03 - Las Vegas, NV - Orleans Arena
Review by Linda Lane

Jetsetters Magazine / 2003:

Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis in Las Vegas

Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis

The Orleans Arena / Las Vegas / Nevada

July 5 / 2003

By Linda Lane - Las Vegas Entertainment Writer

On July 5, 2003 Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis added
a footnote to the history of rock and roll by performing live at the
Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. "The Big Kahuna", a disc jockey
from sponsoring Oldies station, Kool 93.1, told the
audience, "Tonight you're part of history! These three giants of Rock
and Roll have never played on the same bill before".

The audience, primarily made up of Boomers hoping to ignite memories
of youthful exuberance, and young music aficionados fresh from Music
History class, waited with baited breath to see if the septuagenarian
headliners could still shake, rattle and roll.

Frankie Marino and his band opened the show with wild, '50s high-
energy Rock. Frankie, a good-looking, electrifying singer, plays a
mean keyboard. Other band members included Tony Moreno on bass, Joe
Moreno on saxophone, Carlos Ong playing trumpet and acoustic guitar,
Dino Marino on drums, and Randy Nations on guitar. The set began
with 'Blue Paper, Blue Ink', a song written for Ray Charles. They
primed the audience for the first legend, Jerry Lee Lewis and his All-
Star Band.

Kenny Lovelace, a Lewis band member for 36 years, introduced, "The
Killer"! Jerry Lee Lewis made his entrance wearing a well-cut,
conservative sport jacket and slacks. He moved slowly, wounded from
too many years of Rock 'n' Roll. The All-Star Band had rhythm and
lead guitars, an organist, a drummer, and "the 'Great Balls of Fire'"
pianist himself.

"You got me doin' what you want me to do: Goin' up, Goin' down" -
Lewis let the spirit of the music pump excitement into performance.
His fingers move through the emotionally riveting, heart-thumping
numbers on auto-pilot, at one with the keys.

When the legendary "Killer" speaks, his words are difficult to
understand. When he sings his words are clear. The band
plays 'Matchbox', then 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow'. During 'Baby
What's You Gonna Do?' Jerry Lee forgets some of the lyrics and covers
with charm. The audience yells requests. Lewis sings the Big Bopper's
hit, 'Chantilly Lace'. As a tribute to old friend Gene Autry he
sings, 'Back in the Saddle Again'. 'Dixie Kiss Your Love Goodbye',
and 'Rock 'n' Roll Ruby' follow. At one point Lewis turns to the lead
guitarist and asks, "How's it go?" Kenny Lovelace leans down and
whispers something in his ear. Lewis picks it up where he left off
and the crowd loves him for it.

The finale is a series of hit song bytes. 'I love to Boogie Woogie
Baby' suddenly stops, "The Killer" kicks the piano bench away, leans
back and plays 'Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On'. The audience leaps to
its feet. Lewis and his All Stars close with 'Great Balls of Fire'.
The audience gives him another standing tribute.

After a short intermission the Big Kahuna announces, "The originator,
the innovator, the architect of Rock 'n' Roll - Little Richard!" A
flash of white sequins streams across the stage. The audience is up
and applauding. Backed by a great nine piece band, Little Richard
climbs on top of the piano and squeals, 'Good Golly, Miss Molly'. He
makes himself comfortable at the piano, singing 'Blueberry Hill'
and 'Boney Maroni'.

"You're gonna make me scream like a white lady!" he teases the
audience, screaming his trademark high-pitched vocal. "Do we have any
black people here? I want you to come quickly. Mexicans, Jewish,
white - on stage!"

Female members of the audience climb on stage and dance to 'Old Time
Rock 'n' Roll'. Where is Dick Clark? you ask yourself.

"Give me a blue light," Richard tells the lighting technician."Make
me look beautiful. I'll be 71 this year." He plays the piano and
sings 'Lucille', punctuating verses with more high-pitched screams.
The saxophone is loud and prominent enough to mask mistakes. He
plays, 'Jenny, Jenny, Jenny', 'Keep A Knockin'", and 'Born in the
USA'. After 50 minutes he closes by calling more people on stage to
dance. There is another standing ovation.

Finally, the man credited with combining Country, and Rhythm and
Blues guitar licks with lyrics that teens can identify with - Chuck
Berry. He comes on at 9:25 p.m. with a standing ovation. Tall, skinny
and wearing a red sequined shirt and black jeans, he joins his six
piece back-up band on stage.

The Berry repertoire of hits reminds one of the famous Brian Wilson
quote, "He (Chuck Berry) wrote all the great songs and came up with
all the rock 'n' roll beats". Chuck Berry delivers his greatest hits -
- 'Rollover Beethoven', 'Up in the Morning and Out to School',
and 'Sweet Little Sixteen'. This is the entertainer credited with
bringing black and white teens together with his music. The Beatles,
Rolling Stones, and the Beach Boys are a few of the groups that have
thanked him for making them what they are today.

Approaching his 77th birthday, Berry sings, and plays with the
accuracy and professionalism of a living legend. He introduces his
son, Charles "Chuck" Berry, Jr. on guitar; clearly proud of him and
trying to push him into the limelight. Berry is extremely articulate
and when he speaks about his family, his life or the blues, there is
a poetry of sound that reveals the roots of Rap.

The hits continue with 'Carol', 'Everyday I have the Blues', and a
Blues song called 'The Flu'. Berry explains, "It don't have to be
loud, blues is a feeling.' He plays the piano. Then it's back to the
guitar and 'Rock and Roll Music'. 'My Dingaling' is always a crowd
pleaser, and 'Johnny B. Goode' has people dancing in the isles. He
invites girls on stage. He does his famous duck walk while fans
gyrate to the song that launched him, 'Maybellene'. There's one more
standing ovation, and just enough time to let the Father of Rock and
Roll know how much he is appreciated. Chuck Berry and his band were
the highlight of a memorable concert. Long live Rock'n'Roll!


» Chuck Berry, O.P. King
05.08.03 - Tokyo, Japan - Akasaka Blitz
Report by
Dan Grunebaum

Chuck Berry

Approximately a year and a half since the once-in-a-lifetime double-billing 
of Chuck Berry and James Brown at the Tokyo International Forum, the King of Rock 'n' Roll 
returns for what may prove to be an exhausting three successive nights of gigs 
at the midsized Akasaka Blitz.

Berry was 75 the last time he was in Japan, and will be pushing 77 this go 'round (his birthday 
is October 18). Compared to Brown, 68 at the time, Berry seemed markedly slowed at the TIF. 
The legendary "duck walk" was a shadow of its former self, and at one point he had to take 
a break in the middle of his set for a trip to the toilet (Berry claimed this was a first).

But notwithstanding the humiliations of old age, Berry's humor and repertory of sly, 
salacious rhythm-and-blues numbers were intact. So if you want to hear seminal songs 
like "Johnny B. Goode" and "Roll Over Beethoven" sung by the man who penned them, 
this is your chance (let's not say last).

The ultimate journeyman rock 'n' roller, Berry will gig anywhere, and reportedly 
gets a cool $35,000 per appearance. He only requires two things: a Lincoln Town Car 
and a Fender Bassman amp. If a promoter shows up with a Mercedes, Berry told Rolling Stone, 
he responds: "I didn't say better, I said a Lincoln. If they do not provide, 
there is a $2,000 fine."

The article also reported that Berry was at work on his first album of original material 
in decades, but at this writing nothing seems to have materialized. Berry, according to 
Rolling Stone, explained his reluctance to release a new album, showing a surprisingly 
intellectual understanding of his own legacy (Berry is the son of a schoolteacher).

"For many years," he said, "I've been reluctant to make new songs. Lots of days I could write songs, 
but I could also take my $400 and play the slot machines at the riverfront casino. In a way I feel 
it might be ill mannered to try and top myself. You see, I am not an oldies act. The music I play, 
it is a ritual. Something that matters to people in a special way. I wouldn't want to interfere 
with that. So, yes, it is a little risky. Because I have been so educated in the past, 
and now it is so far in the future."

Warming up for Berry will be Japanese rock 'n' roll all-star act O.P. King. The quartet 
brings together bluesman Yo-King with the omnipresent Tamio Okuda for a nostalgia-filled 
tribute to the early days of rock, and they have just released the self-titled mini-album 
on Sony/Ki/oon/King Records to coincide with the Berry shows and a month-long tour.

Chuck Berry plays Akasaka Blitz on August 5-7. See concert listings for details.

credit: H.I.P.


» Chuck Berry, Little Richard
20.08.03 - Atlanta, GA - Chastain Park Amphitheatre
Reviews by Chris McKay


August 20, 2003
Chastain Park Amphitheatre - Atlanta


Little Richard:

Opening the show tonight was Georgia native Little Richard. Richard took the stage in a suit so sparkly that it looked like all of the fallen stars from the recent meteor showers landed on him. The first thing he did was climb on top of his piano to survey the scene. His band was incredible and as he leaned hard into “Good Golly Miss Molly,” you just knew you were seeing something special. Before the second song a gentleman in his late 50s or so shocked Richard by handing him a rose and requesting a kiss. Perhaps for the first time ever, Little Richard was speechless. He accepted the rose and then answered the request by saying, “I love you, too, but you’re too old for me!” Richard is 70 this year. The rest of the show was all energy. “Bony Maroni” led to “Lucille” and there was no stopping all night. He did slow down to acknowledge the mayor of Macon and lots of family members that came out to the show, but it was always just an instant before he was back pounding out another classic. I could’ve done without his versions of “Old Time Rock And Roll” and “It’s Only Rock And Roll,” but his Mick Jagger imitation was worth seeing. During “Keep A-Knockin’, a male dancer (who I feel safe to say will never be married) danced around in leather pants emblazoned with an American flag. It was pretty distracting and ridiculous, but the music thankfully stayed the focus. After reclaiming his “woooo!” during a cover of The Beatles “I Saw Her Standing There,” Little Richard ended with a super fast take of “Long Tall Sally” that made my head spin. Before the song even ended, he had left the stage.

Chuck Berry:

The next bit may be the hardest thing I've ever had to write. As much as it pains me to say it, Chuck Berry – the man who made guitar synonymous with rock and roll – needs to quit, go home and retire. I’ve always admired Berry and never had the chance to see him so I was excited for this show. You’d think that an opening triple shot of “Roll Over Beethoven,” “School Days,” and “Sweet Little 16” would be enough to make my night, but “Beethoven” was so sloppy that it had to actually be restarted after a few measures. On top of this, the pick-up band that was chosen to work with him was not good. With the exception of a superb pianist, the rhythm section was never better than mediocre. This can’t happen in “rhythm & blues.” Or maybe it can, but I will say that if you take the rhythm out of it, all you’re left with is the blues. Trust me. Chuck’s guitar tone was perfect, but it was never close to in tune. He ambled across the stage, forgot lyrics and ended songs right in the middle of them. At one point, he ditched trying to rock and pulled out a blues chestnut called “It Hurts Me Too.” During this, it felt like everything might come together after all, but the problems re-emerged during an abbreviated (re: fallen apart) version of “Nadine.” Soon after, he pulled out “My Ding A Ling” but that was another incomplete pass so he decided to just take requests from there on in. The first request was “Rock And Roll Music.” This is where a few sparks started flying as he began ad-libbing entirely new verses. John Lennon once called Berry “the poet laureate of rock and roll.” It was clear why as Chuck tossed out once hilarious line after the other…each custom made for Chastain Park in Atlanta. “Johnny B. Goode” was next and it was clear that the band knew this one. Thank God. For a few moments, I got a glimpse of the Chuck Berry. The strangest thing was that during the solo and duck walk, a huge green Luna moth flew dramatically into the stage area and seemed to be dog fighting the musicians and speakers. It was very odd. For “C’est La Vie,” the moth perched on the best seat in the house (Chuck’s monitor) before taking wing back over the crowd. Berry closed out the night with “Reelin’ & Rockin’.” For this one, he invited dozens of audience members up on the stage. It felt like a party. It felt like rock and roll. After the rest of the show, it felt bittersweet.


The chance to see these two truly seminal artists on the same night was a treat even with the specter of limited time in the air. Little Richard still looks and acts the same. He seems fit and ready to go. He could be 30 years younger than he is and yet says he’s retiring from performing at the end of ’03. Chuck Berry is history and at this point, it’s probably best he stay there. I still love all of his music and the pleasure it has brought me, but there comes a time when even the best things should end. Richard seems to know that. The record is definitely fading out, but at least the song is still sweet.

Chris McKay /


» Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard
25.10.03 - Honolulu, HI - Blaisdell Arena
Reviews by John Berger & Derek Paiva

Monday, October 27, 2003

Jerry Lee Lewis entertained nonstop for 45 minutes Saturday night at the Blaisdell Arena.

Legendary artists
bring landmark show
to Hawaii

Review by John Berger

Exaggeration is an inescapable part of concert promotion. Every upcoming show is 
"the biggest show (or party) of the year," but when Tom Moffatt touted Saturday 
night's Chuck Berry/Little Richard/Jerry Lee Lewis triple bill as the "Rock & Roll 
Supershow," hype wasn't even a part of the equation.

With Elvis dead, a show with Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis is as big 
as it gets. The three are not only legends as performers and recording artists, but 
also the surviving founding fathers of rock. In their music is heard rhythm and blues, 
country, gospel and the blues -- the cross-cultural blending that ended the long reign 
of white pop in mainstream American music.

Bo Diddley, Fats Domino and the Everly Brothers also belong at the founders' table, 
but even so, the Blaisdell Arena show was the biggest and most historically significant 
since Moffatt brought Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Liza Minelli here almost 
15 years ago.

It was a great evening of true "classic rock" as well.

Opening the show, Jerry Lee Lewis delivered the best all-around performance of 
the night. Lewis' voice had a bit of slur to it when he talked, but there was 
nothing lacking in his performance. The voice, the smile, the charisma and his 
hard-driving "pumping piano" approach were all in full effect. At 68, "The Killer" still rocks.

In fact, he ripped it up for 45 minutes with solid support from his tight 
four-piece band. The set included strong, full-length renditions of "Whole Lotta Shakin' 
Going On" and "Great Balls of Fire," and displayed his command of R&B and gospel as well. 
Stick McGhee would certainly have approved of Lewis' version of "Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee," 
and the Big Bopper would have appreciated Lewis' light-hearted treatment of "Chantilly Lace." 
Lewis' reworking of "C.C. Rider" as slow blues was another highlight in a great set.

Fans seated down front in Section CC were particularly fortunate, being able to see 
Lewis' hands -- that was a show in itself! He also applied a booted foot to the keys 
on one song and played with his back to the keyboard as well.

Helping make history at the Blaisdell Arena Saturday night were Little Richard, left, and Chuck Berry.

Despite the controversies of his youth, Lewis is a deeply religious man. He introduced 
a beautiful country gospel tune with a bit of testament and told the crowd that he 
thanks God for each new day of life.

Little Richard, who will be 71 in December, was, alas, another story. One of the 
greatest entertainers in rock and the originator of some of the greatest music of the era, 
he spent far too much time playing other artists' hits and not enough time on his own.

Richard could have devoted his entire 70-minute set to full-length versions of his own songs 
and still maybe missed a couple -- there was no need for him to cover hits by Larry Williams 
and Bob Seger. As it was, he got off to a slow and disappointing start and didn't really take 
off until he got into his own "Lucille" about 20 minutes into the show. It was hit and miss thereafter.

A big problem was Richard's band, which included two drummers and two electric bass players. 
It was an interesting concept, but there was such an overload on the bottom end that it was 
difficult to hear Richard's piano work, even on those numbers when he stopped pacing the stage 
and actually played a bit. Given the power and presence of his piano playing back in the day, 
it was disappointing how little time he spent at the keyboard. It also seemed odd to hear 
his horn player singing lead on several of his hits.

On the other hand, Richard was personable and charming. Although he announced sternly 
after three or four songs that he wanted all the amateur photographers to put their 
cameras away, he also stopped the show several times to hand out posters, sent his "brother" 
out into the crowd to distribute free souvenir books and spent more than an hour signing 
autographs after the show.

He ended with an interesting arrangement of "The Girl Can't Help It," followed by 
abbreviated one-verse renditions of several of his other hits. All in all, Little Richard 
may have been telling the truth when he said recently that this is the last time 
he'll do a concert here.

Chuck Berry closed the show in his own inimitable style with a set that was one step 
removed from a backyard jam. (His band -- three local musicians -- said afterward that 
they'd gone on without a rehearsal or a sound check, and were schooled by the master 
as the show progressed.) It could have been a disaster, but Berry pulled it off and 
proved again that he is the single most important guitarist of the rock era.

Berry, cool and charismatic at 77, rocked the crowd for just about 60 minutes as he 
jumped at random through his discography -- "Roll Over Beethoven," "School Days," 
"Little Queenie" and "Reelin' and Rockin'" -- often adding lyrics a bit more risque than 
those he recorded back in the days of sanitized white pop radio.

"Johnny B. Goode" was one of the concert highlights -- Berry even "duckwalked" across the 
stage on that one. Anyone who knows him only as a rocker, or for "My Ding-A-Ling," 
might have been surprised by the depth and feeling of his work as a blues guitarist. 
Add his wry humor, and Berry probably could have improvised for an hour and still 
sent the crowd home happy.

It was after 11:30 when Berry finally bid goodnight and brought the landmark 
concert to a close.

It's hard imagine a bigger and more significant show -- unless "Uncle Tom" can 
find a way to bring them back with Bo Diddley, Fats Domino and the reunited 
Everly Brothers as well.


Posted on: Sunday, October 26, 2003

Rock 'N' Roll Supershow almost perfect

By Derek Paiva
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

Everybody who paid to see Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard converge 
at the Blaisdell Arena for last night's Rock 'N' Roll Supershow knew that they were 
getting the rock 'n' roll equivalent of a superpower summit.

Berry is the guy, after all, credited by many with practically inventing the genre. 
Little Richard will tell you flat out that he was rock 'n' roll's architect. And 
Jerry Lee Lewis remains the original rock 'n' roll enfant terrible from which all 
others have since sprung.

Still, the question most often heard while eavesdropping on pre-show conversations 
was could this rock 'n' roll Mount Rushmore still rock?

Most fans likely would've argued that it was worth the price of admission just to 
bask in the presence of rock 'n' roll's founding fathers. The rarity, these days, 
of the trio's performances on the same bill also bought ticketholders to last night's 
Supershow an opportunity to be a part of rock 'n' roll history.

But did Lewis, Little Richard and Berry — ages 68, 70 and 77, respectively — still 
have the goods to tear up a concert stage?

Well, as the prophet Meat Loaf once wrote, two out of three ain't bad.

Jerry Lee Lewis strolled confidently out on stage to screams of, "You go Jerry Lee!" 
looking fit and darn handsome as ever in a sharp-looking suit that was all black right 
down to choice of tie. With his hair slicked back, a mean snarl on his face and sitting 
as regal as a lion, he looked the part of an old man you did not want to tangle 
with in a street fight.

Letting down his guard with a sly grin, he immediately tore into the rollicking 
opening piano of "Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee." And for the next 50 minutes, the 
Blaisdell Arena was in The Killer's all-powerful control.

Lewis was mostly happy just sitting at his piano showing off his still amazing capibilities 
at the keys. He didn't set his piano on fire or leap on top of it, but he did play the 
devil out of it. In fact, the one thing you could say about Lewis without doubt is that 
he still looked about as genuinely happy as ever to be performing for an appreciative audience.

"I'm 68 years old and I'm never getting married again," he informed the crowd early on, 
joking about his recent sixth divorce. When someone in the crowd offered him a lei, he chided, 
"What do you wanna put that thing around?" before accepting several more and tinkling 
"Aloha Oe" on his piano.

His sly-humored banter between hits often came out in an indecipherable mumble, but his 
vocal chops, at least, were right on the money.

Lewis's performance featured a few too many of his country-western hits mid-show for 
comfort. But The Killer redeemed himself later in the set with strong-voiced takes of 
"Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" and "Great Balls Of Fire, complete with piano pounding 
and sweeps of fabulous piano tinkling. A bluesy, honky-tonk version of "Over The Rainbow" 
was a highlight that managed to bring even more sparkle to Lewis's crinkly eyes.

At the finale of "Fire," his hair mussed and his brow soaked with hard-earned sweat, 
Lewis stood up hard, kicked his piano stool behind him, and assaulted the piano keys 
with his posterior. After that, he was gone leaving his competent four-piece band 
to clean up the stage.

Little Richard arrived minutes later with an amazing hour-long performance that was 
part spiritual revival, part well-oiled Las Vegas lounge show, and, hands down, the 
best individual performance of the three rock icons.

Entering to a standing ovation and loud cheers — which he made sure to drink in on all 
ends of the stage — Little Richard climbed on top of his piano for a even more, his arms 
outstretched and his smile wide. Little Richard's wickedly energetic eight-piece show 
band had already worked the crowd into a frenzy so all the man really needed to do was 
finally sit down at the keys and scream out the opening line, "Good golly, Miss Molly!" 
to get his props.

Decked out in a white sequined jacket with matching shoes, and a black turtleneck with 
matching slacks, Little Richard went on to prove he still had the stuff to move an entire 
arena. When he wasn't at his piano, he was prowling the stage throwing down fiery-voxed 
versions of just about his entire repertoire, and then some.

God bless Little Richard, he simply did not have it in him to give the audience anything 
it couldn't get up and move to. And so out came amazingly-voiced versions of "Lucille," 
"Bama Lama Bama Loo," "Keep A Knockin'" and "Tutti Frutti" complete with throaty yells 
and howls of "Whoo!" Each song ended the same way — with Little Richard center stage, 
arms outstretched, soaking in the well-deserved applause.

Little Richard's trademark wit was also wonderfully intact.

"I was washin' dishes at the Macon bus station," he said at the beginning of a story 
detailing the genesis of "Tutti Frutti." "I was the only Jew in there." The audience 
began laughing hard.

"Shut up!" said Richard, his signature retort cracking the audience up even more, before 
finishing with, "Well, I was the prettiest Jew in there."

After about 75 minutes of unbridled and unpredictable showmanship, Little Richard just 
about had to be pulled from the stage by his bodyguards rather than leave voluntarily. 
The end of his performance still had him furiously shimmying across the stage to 
"Jenny Jenny" and "It's Only Rock And Roll (But I Like It)," all the while throwing 
out posters of himself to the crowd.

With Little Richard offering such a towering a performance, it was hardly surprising 
when a 20 minute intermission was called before Chuck Berry's set. Sadly, the break 
could have hardly prepared the crowd for the disappointment to come.

In recent years, Berry has sadly earned a reputation for sometimes phoning-in his 
live performances rather than actually trying to turn in something inspiring. Too 
cheap to travel with a regular band of his own, Berry totes only his cherry red 
Gibson from town to town, hiring pick-up bands to play with and often taking the 
stage with zero rehearsal time.

Last night arrived with all of the above and a poor sound mix to boot.

Berry's hourlong performance was an unmitigated rock 'n' roll disaster from the moment 
he took the stage, taking five full minutes to work out sound problems and explain his 
modus operandi to the befuddled band. After that, the band struggled to keep up with what 
the enigmatic Berry would do with each song.

It was a testament to Berry's enduring legacy that he managed to keep the crowd with 
him through sloppy versions of "Roll Over Beethoven," "Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Oh Carol." 
Dressed in a red sequined shirt and black slacks with a sea captain's cap perched on 
his head, Berry was energetic, cocky and in fine voice even when his guitar playing was 
more lazy than sparkling.

Late in the show, "Rock And Roll Music" and "Johnny B. Goode" displayed some of the 
old Berry guitar chops and vocals as well as his trademark duckwalk. But it was hardly 
enough to keep many in the crowd from rushing to the exits long before Berry was through 

When Berry began scolding his bassist and piano player before showing them how to play 
his songs his way while the audience waited and the drummer kept a backbeat, you knew 
there would be no redemption. When Berry walked off stage soon after with his Gibson 
slung on his back to a smattering of applause, it was more a relief than anything else.

It could be argued that Berry's pickup band was never all that versed on the Berry 
repertoire, and the feedback loaded sound mix was just plain awful throughout his 
performance. But the fact was Berry was just plain lazy and thoroughly unprofessional, 
and the crowd knew it.

"I'm gonna make up for it next time," said Berry before leaving.

I'd be happy if Berry just rehearsed and dropped by with a band of his own 
next time.

Reach Derek Paiva at or 525-8005.


» Chuck Berry
18.01.04 - Des Moines, IA - Renaissance Savery Hotel 
Review by Lois Romano

Richard A. Gephardt
Rallying the Faithful At the Union Hall

Monday, January 19, 2004; Page A11

DES MOINES, Jan. 18 -- Teamsters President James P. Hoffa Jr. was greeted 
at the Steelworkers local union hall here Sunday morning like a rock star, 
surrounded by beefy guys as he pushed his way through tenacious reporters 
clamoring to know why his man is slipping in the polls.

"The people with the best organization are going to get people to the more 
than 2,000 caucus sites," the labor leader said as moved through the crush. 
"I think that's critical, and that's what Mr. Gephardt has."

Right on cue, the crowds parted and several hundred fired-up union members 
began chanting "Hoffa! Hoffa! Hoffa!" as he made his way up front for the 
rally for Rep. Richard A. Gephardt (Mo.).

Within seconds, Hoffa shifted the crowd to his old friend, "Gephardt! Gephardt! 
Gephardt!" And within the hour, about 2,000 volunteers and members from 21 unions 
would be going door to door for Gephardt for the second day in a row -- what Hoffa 
and Gephardt see as the trump card to victory.

A few hours later, a similar crowd in Newton -- with Hoffa again leading the charge -- 
again passionately welcomed Gephardt. It was an encouraging start of the last day 
before the caucuses, for a man who woke up in fourth place in a Des Moines 
Register survey, and whose entire 37-year political career could be riding on 
Monday's Iowa vote.

The usually reserved candidate seemed to have a newfound exuberance these past 
few days as he made his last pitch at more than a dozen events around the state, 
ending with a raucous rally of 500 back in Des Moines on Sunday night featuring 
Chuck Berry singing his greatest hits.

He rode on the press bus for the first time all month, insisting that he remains optimistic. 
Asked what he did to stay healthy, he said: "I eat three mushy, soggy sandwiches a day, 
I drink a lot of water -- I get no exercise other than running up on stage."

Gephardt told the workers and the seniors who showed up for him what they wanted to 
hear and what he has been saying all along -- that George W. Bush has to go, that he offers 
them no hope for jobs, health care and good trade policies to protect their futures.

"I don't care about being president," Gephardt shouted at the union hall. "I don't need 
the job! I don't need the title! But America needs a leader that comes from a life 
experience of the people."

After the event, Gephardt was greeted by a bigger media presence than he has seen in weeks -- 
a mob of 20 camera crews and more than 50 journalists. Gephardt said he was confident 
of winning. "We . . . have the best organization. We have the most steadfast voters," 
he declared. "People are going to come out."

-- Lois Romano


» Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan
03.03.04 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant
Review by Deb Peterson

Chuck Berry met Bob Dylan

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

March 4 / 2004

By Deb Peterson

On Bob Dylan's last night in St. Louis, Wednesday, Joe Edwards brought 
Chuck Berry on Dylan's tour bus so the legendary poet laureates 
of rock'n'roll could meet again. The bus, a sleek silver-shelled deal, 
was parked behind the Pageant on Delmar Boulevard. Nothing on the shell 
identified the icon inside. Edwards says that of all the big names 
he's had at his clubs, Dylan is probably the most low-key. Edwards had 
high-tailed it back from Jeff City, where he received the McReynolds Award 
from the Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation earlier that day. 
The group commended him for development work in University City, the Loop 
and St. Louis. Edwards said he "got the desserts to go".


» Chuck Berry
19.06.04 - Peekskill, NY - Paramount Center

Ok, I got to the show last night. A small historic movie thater maybe 1,000
capacity. The mix was poor, Chuck's vocals were set way too low and the
guitar was not clear. He played a lot of lesser known songs which was fine -
I imagine he's played some songs thousands of times. Facially he looks
great, but he has slowed down, naturally. No duck walk except at the very
end before he left the stage when he did about 3 half hearted steps which
got a big cheer. He mentioned Ray Charles as a  "hero" of his throughout his
career which struck me as kind of funny being that they are (were?) the same

The one time I was truly moved was during Johnny B. Goode. How many times
has that song been performed by other bands through the years? Millions? I
recall the album "The Last Days of the Fillmore West" where the Dead
precluded the song as "This is what it's all about" and really kicked ass on
it. And that was over 30 years ago. Seeing Chuck do this song - easily one
of the top 5 recognizable songs on the planet - was great.

Unfortuantely he played only an hour. The last song, Reeling and Rocking was
great. Audience members were allowed onstage to dance along. I'm no dancer
at all, but if I could have dragged my wife up there to dance to Chuck with
him 5 feet away would have been magical!

Overall I'm very happy to have finally seen this legend though the show was
a bit low key. If you keep it in perspective, him being over 70, it was a
good show.


» Chuck Berry, The Sugar Creek Trio
27.06.04 - Edinburgh, Scotland - Edinburgh Playhouse
Review by Fiona Shepherd

Mischievous spirit still alive and kicking after all these years



ACCORDING to the record industry, rock’n’roll is 50 years old next week. But 
Chuck Berry is 77 and so irrepressible that he probably learned to rock’n’roll 
before he could duck walk. The man who inspired the Beatles and the Stones 
commands the respect but, as the Playhouse audience discovered, he just wanted 
to repay us with a party.

A dapper MC asserted: "The closer you get to the source, the stronger it becomes." 
Well said, and even more eloquently expressed by Berry himself when he struck 
the opening riff of Roll Over Beethoven. His enduring statement of intent is 
still the ideal introduction.

Berry informed us he doesn’t trade in "no long dragged-out symphonies". What he 
has to say can be expressed succinctly both on guitar - roll over Jack White, 
Berry is still No 1 with a low-slung R & B riff - and in his freewheeling lyrics.

Unlike many veteran performers, Berry still has a mischievous spirit, playing fast, 
loose and irreverently with his legacy. He helped to forge the lascivious language 
of rock’n’roll but he was not averse to updating the idiom for the digital age 
with his request for "a woman whose software matches this hard drive of mine".

He looked the rakish part too, in his shimmering blue shirt and his captain’s hat, 
and sounded silky and expressive. Always seen as a guitarist, Berry has been 
somewhat overlooked as a singer, but his voice has barely aged.

His performance was a delight. At some points, he was virtually gambolling around 
the stage, and his patented duck walk was rolled out as surely as Jerry Lee Lewis’s 
foot was applied to his keyboard. His overall charm offensive made it easy 
to forgive the occasional fluffed line, technical improficiency and geographical confusion.

His band were not the most dynamic but few would dare impinge on Berry’s spotlight, 
except by invitation. One hapless audience member was coaxed on stage to play 
guitar badly and sing tunelessly along to Johnny B Goode. From here, things 
unravelled rapidly as the stage filled up with awkwardly gyrating gig-goers and 
one reckless stage diver. Berry was hustled off and time was called before patrons 
had drunk their fill of Berry's set.

27.06.2004 - Edinburgh, Scotland - Edinburgh Playhouse

Roll Over Beethoven
Around And Around
School Days
Love In Three Quarter Time
Let It Rock
It Hurts Me Too
Around And Around
My Ding A Ling
Everyday I Have The Blues
Mean Old World
Rock Me Baby
Rock'n'Roll Music
Honest I Do
Beer Drinkin' Woman
Johnny B. Goode
Reelin' And Rockin'
House Lights

Audience: 1600/3056
Show length: 67 mins
Encore: no
Support acts: 1


» Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Sugar Creek Trio
28.06.04 - Wolverhampton, England - Civic Hall
Review by Martin Lander 

June 2004
Chuck Berry & Jerry Lee Lewis

Reviewed by Martin Lander, site user

"Put on your dancin' shoes and get ready to boogie all night long, 
as rock 'n' roll's greatest heroes come duck-walkin, rattle-n-rolling 
to Wolverhampton Civic Hall."

Martin Lander reviews the show.

Chuck Berry & Jerry Lee Lewis
Monday 28 June 2004
Wolverhampton Civic Hall

Upon entry, people are clearly excited very excited. Chuck Berry, a man 
who changed the face of rock n roll and bought black music onto the world stage, 
supported by another genre-defining artist Jerry Lee Lewis are to take the stage 
to rapturous applause as both them and their fans prove you're never 
too old to rock 'n' roll!

Super Crank Trio

Firstly a support band of the Super Crank Trio. I missed out on the birth 
of rock 'n' roll (being 22 I didn't really have much choice) but I now know 
what my grandfolks meant when they referred to the good old days. This band - 
sporting a double bass, guitar and drummer - set in motion the timewarp to 
transport the audience back to 1950s America when quiffs were in style and 
your dad was cool! They played some early inspired rock 'n' roll, 
getting toes tapping and stirring memories of end of year proms and ball room jiving!

Jerry Lee Lewis

Jerry Lee Lewis treated the crowd to a fantastic display of ivory-tickling, 
jumpin'-&-jivin' music, playing his signature tunes like 'Chantilly lace' and 
'Whole lotta shakin' goin' on' and finally as if it hadn't been anticipated 
that one song that was guaranteed to the raise the roof and let it hover 
there for a while: 'Great Balls of Fire'! Awesome, just fantastic!

It's clear to see how these people influenced the world. Although they are 
obviously not getting any younger, Jerry Lee and the band still manage to put 
in a performance that would put any modern band to shame. Not once did they 
let one person lose that big goofy grin that had found its way on to hundreds of faces.

It's true to say that this kind of performance is a special event, especially 
in this day and age where it seems that these old inspiring tunes seem to 
have been almost forgotten along the way. So much so that it draws a celebrity 
crowd in the form of local legend in his own right Mr Robert Plant, 
who had come to pay homage to two people who no doubt influenced him. 
A very special night indeed!

Chuck Berry

A standing ovation welcomed the deceptively tired-looking Chuck Berry onto stage. 
He soon proved me wrong as he effortlessly eased into 'Roll over Beethoven'.

This man on stage was not just here to play a few songs. He was here to entertain, 
making light banter with the crowd and stage technicians, (a constant but 
heart-warming battle over the level of his microphone!). Not only a great artist 
but a charming man who has never got too big for his duck-walking boots!

Mid-set, the bemused band look on as Chuck starts singing 'My Ding a Ling', 
using the audience to sing back his lyrics and performing his trademark 
duck-walk across stage.

When other people his age are having trouble standing up, let alone putting 
in an hour's performance, he keeps on jiving and looks like he could carry on all night.


When you see performances like this, you have to wonder why the world can 
be a lyrically unhappy place. With writing like this, you can't help but 
forget the world around you and think that life ain't so bad.

So we approach the end of the act and there's one thing missing so far... 
That's right Mr Johhny B Goode! It flashes from Chuck's signature red guitar 
leaving many fans hysterical and longing for more and unfortunately the night 
has to come to an end.

Let's just hope that these songs live on to tell the world how it all began. 
A truly wonderful evening.

28.06.2004 - Wolverhampton, England - Civic Hall

Rockin' At The Philharmonic
Roll Over Beethoven
School Days
Around And Around
It Hurts Me Too
Little Queenie
Around And Around
Love In Three Quarter Time
My Ding A Ling
Rock'n'Roll Music
Mean Old World
Johnny B. Goode
Reelin' And Rockin'
House Lights

Audience: 2215/2215 SOLD OUT
Show length: 64 mins
Encore: no
Support acts: 2


» Chuck Berry, Ike Turner
30.06.04 - Vienne, France - Jazz A Vienne
Review by Jean Million

Well, yesterday, me , 18 years old was about to get a giant 
dose of Rock'n'Roll with My one & only idole -> Chuck Berry.

And, it was really a great show.

Yes he can't keep Rhythm, always false with the chords, 
can't remember words... but he still Rocks and Kicks Ass.

And that was the fact yesterday.

Around 80 minutes of Joy with THE BEST ROCK'N'ROLL GUITARIST.

Can't remeber exactly the set list but he walk on stage with Roll Over Beethoven, followed by Let It Rock.

And all those songs can't remember the order & one i didn't recognize :

Maybellene, Roll Over Beethoven, School Days (Hail ! Hail! Rock'n'Roll), 
Rock And Roll Music, Sweet Little Sixteen, Johnny B. Goode, Around And 
Around (Still kickin' and rockin'), Carol (66' Mercury' Style), 
Memphis Tennessee, Little Queenie, Let It Rock, You Never Can Tell 
(Announced as a surprise for France), My Ding-a-ling (I asked it for !!!), 
Bio, Everyday I Have The Blues, It Hurts Me Too & closed the show on 
an awesome kickin' ass Reelin'n'Rockin' version of 10 minutes with 
Guitar Boogie's Solo, that's when girls were allowe to walk on stage, 
then, when Chuck want to leave the stage, he had to Run behind the Piano, 
cause Girls were really furious and wanted to steale many kiss to him.

Big moments & big memories :

Chuck was really in good mood.

Chuck is the best and the show i saw was really the best show a man could see !

Thanks Chuck.

Long Live Rock'n'Roll !!!

30.06.2004 - Vienne, France - Jazz A Vienne

Roll Over Beethoven
Let It Rock
School Days
Sweet Little Sixteen
Mean Old World
You Never Can Tell
It Hurts Me Too
Little Queenie
My Ding A Ling
Around And Around
Johnny B. Goode
Rock'n'Roll Music
Honest I Do
Reelin' And Rockin'
House Lights

Audience: 8000/8000 SOLD OUT
Show length: 80 mins
Encore: no
Support acts: 1


» Chuck Berry, Bill Haley's Original Comets
23.10.04 - Reno, NV - Silver Legacy Casino
Review by Ryan Randazzo

Review: Short set but classic rock from Chuck Berry

Ryan Randazzo

Renoites got a lesson in rock ’n’ roll history Saturday from Chuck Berry and 
Bill Haley’s Original Comets, some of the artists who built the music’s foundations.

The show at the Silver Legacy reminded the crowd why the performers are legends, 
and with the youngest of the musicians being 70 (Berry’s backup musicians excluded), 
showed they maintain some of the verve that made them stars some 50 years ago.

Highlights of Berry’s 12-song set included opening with a rumbling version of 
“Roll Over Beethoven.” When his set was interrupted by a problem with an amp, 
he slowed things down with a tribute to Ray Charles.

“I'm blowing from both sides now,” he said after getting the problem fixed.

Berry’s perfectionist side showed up often, as he couldn’t get through a song 
without instructing the bassist, pianist or drummer how to play it right. He also 
couldn’t seem to get his guitar tuned properly.

He finished with crowd pleasers such as “Memphis,” “Sweet Little 16,” and cornball 
favorite “My Ding A Ling.”

During his final song, he invited women onstage to dance. One picked up two Coronas 
and began to spill them all over herself. Berry didn’t seem to mind as he put 
an arm around her and kept playing.

Berry then unplugged his guitar and walked offstage with a wave as his band 
finished the song.

While he didn’t play his breakthrough “Maybellene,” or a few other classics, it was 
worth the ticket price to see a legend play, dance his trademark duck walk, and 
bring the house to its feet after almost every song. Anyone complaining about 
the short set or technical problems need only consider what 78-year-olds they 
know who can do better.

“Who says you gotta be young to rock,” Comets frontman Marshall Lytle said 
during their set before Berry.

The band’s original frontman died in 1981. His bandmates tour with many of the 
same songs that launched their careers with Lytle, 71, singing most and playing 
upright bass.

Their set included “Shake, Rattle and Roll,” “See You Later Alligator,” and other 
rockabilly originals, including their signature “Rock Around the Clock.”

The band is proud of their ages, and why not? Guitarist Franny Beecher is 83, drummer 
Dick Richards 80, keyboardist Johnny Grande 74, and saxophone player Joey Ambrose 70.

Their aggressive beats have changed little. During an instrumental, Lytle played his 
bass over his shoulder, guitar-style on his knee, on its side with him atop, 
between his legs and on his back holding it with his feet.

Lytle filled in with stories about playing Reno’s former Golden Hotel and how Cleveland 
disc jockey Alan Freed popularized the phrase rock ’n’ roll while playing their 
song “Rock the Joint,” on the air and shouting “rock ’n’ roll!” with the microphone 
left on accidentally.

Their songs no longer top the charts, but watching them play at their ages 
makes it clear why they once did.


» Chuck Berry, Joe Richardson Express
15.01.05 - Viborg, Denmark - Tinghallen
Review by Thomas Einarsson

About Denmark. In the middle of Jylland lies a town called Viborg wich the 15th of January 
had the opportunity of having a living legend, the one and only Chuck Berry. 

Joe Richardson Express from Dallas Texas, played a nice mix of boogie and blues for a warm up.

Then it was time for what propably become a chock for the one´s who though they was about 
to witness a calm and easy going show. With the tones of Roll Over Beethoven Chuck comes storming 
in on stage, with a powerful presence and loud guitar volume,  he starts to sing with a real strong 
voice that makes the audience roar for more. From then on it is a lesson in rock and roll all the way. 
School Days followed by Memphis (and a real nice guitar solo) and a even better in Let It Rock where 
Chuck and the bassplayer Jim Marsala really rocks off, Chuck is cooling down in Three Fourth Time 
where Berry is clowning and  makes us laughting all the time. He let´s us sing along in My Ding a Ling, 
and then suprice me with a nice wersion of High Heel Sneakers. In You Never Can Tell, Chuck plays the piano solo on guitar.  
On the question if anyone wants to hear Johnny B Goode, the people of Denmark responds and is ready to 
some serious rock n´roll. Mr.Crazy Legs obliges them with a long jawdropping "duckwalk"in the guitar solo. 
In the first blues number Key to the Highway, Chuck plays the piano and transfer the song into 
Mean Old Word where he laps the guitar on his shoulder and takes a solo.  The concert ends with a 
rushing version of Rock and Roll Music is followed by a powerful version of Reelin´and Rocking with some 
Danish ladies dancing on stage . 

To the man with no age I just wants to say - Thank's Chuck, you still rules.


» Chuck Berry, The Cat Pack
12.04.05 - Blackpool, England - Opera House
Review by David Hamer

Just a quick review of Chuck's show last night in Blackpool;
I had never seen Chuck Berry before, and whilst I have read certain comments about previous shows, 
I was going with an open mind.  The show was scheduled to start at 7:30pm, but it was a tad before 
9:30pm by the time Chuck came on stage, due to two support acts, The Cat Pack (a big band) and the 
present day incarnation of The Animals, which features one original band member but was well capable 
of a georgeous version of House Of The Rising Sun, to a standing ovation.
When Chuck finally came on, everyone was already tired of waiting for him.  The curtain came up with 
his very distiguished guitar sound ringing out behind it. Chuck was on the stage. There was a 30 second 
intro, then he said hello to the crowd, and launched into Roll Over Beathoven.  I can't believe this guy 
is 78, he strides....and I mean strides around the stage like a fit 50 year old, and has every bit of 
style he had back in the 50s.  This guy has not lost it.
After a couple of numbers I was thinking "wow, I thought he was supposed to play in the wrong key and 
forget the words"!  He continues to talk and joke with the crowd between numbers, and you couldnt help 
but like the guy.  Then for fis 3rd, possibly 4th song he said he would give us a special treat, "You 
never can tell", I love this song!  All went well until he got to the guitar solo, which is usually the 
piano solo segment of the song.  He played his solo like an 8 year old who was learning guitar and trying 
to play something way too advanced, in fact for the first couple of bars of his solo people were laughing 
as they thought he was kidding....but it went on, and on...and on.  He didnt seem to react to the mess 
comming out of his instrument at all, as he did the solo twice!  He wasnt just in the wrong key, he was 
playing the wrong the wrong order.
For the next couple of songs the guitar seemed out of tune, but he got it back together and put on a great 
show.  But after such a bad solo, your left constantly willing him to stay with the plot (musically).  
At one point he turned poet... I dont know if this is the norm for a Chuck Berry show, but he did a good 
6 minute stint of poetry, joking inbetween about how you could hear a pin drop.  He commented that he was 
only going to play rock and roll from now on.
Johnny Be Good was great, but it was a shame he didnt play the intro to it.  The highlight was the 
final song, Rellin & Rocking, which of course he had the ladies on stage for.  Lulu (of Rocky & Lulu) 
was on stage dancing behind Chuck, and give the old guy a kiss before he left the stage.
I dont think Chuck forgot any words during the whole show, including the poetry which was a feat in itself.
38 notes per tickets is a lot to pay, but having Chucks famous Gibson's chrome face reflect into my eyes on 
at least one occasion, was well worth the entry fee.
Who would have guessed that I'd be sitting next to Jerry Lee!?  Saddly it wasnt THE Jerry Lee, but a guy of 
around 30 who was named after our hero by his mum. He told me what a big fan he is, but he cant fill his 
collection any further as none of the shops stock Jerry.  I told him about the group, and passed on my 
email address.  Hopefully he will be in touch. He had a tatoo on his arm of a piano, with "KILLER ROCKS ON".


» Chuck Berry, Foggy Mountain Rockers
08.11.05 - Bonn, Germany - Beethovenhalle Bonn
Review by Ralf

08.11.2005, 22.00 Uhr, mitteleuropäischer Zeit. Fast 2000, völlig konsternierte Besucher verlassen 
entweder kopfschüttelnd, zum Teil mit versteinerter Miene oder einfach nur verärgert die Bonner 
Beethovenhalle. Soeben wurde eine der verwegensten Veranstaltungen dargeboten, die in unseren Breitengraden 
seit langem stattfanden. Dabei war die Vorfreude im dem doch recht gesetzten Publikum riesengross. 
Immerhin hatte sich Chuck Berry, 79 jähriges Rock´n´Roll Urgestein in der ehemaligen Hauptstadt für eines 
seiner raren Gastspiele angesagt. Nachdem die Vorgruppe „Foggy Mountain Rockers“ im Original 50er Jahre Sound 
ihr Programm absolviert hatte, betrat unter Standing Ovation die lebende Legende, Mr. „Shakespeare Of Rock´n`Roll“ 
himself, wie Stones Gitarrist Keith Richards ihn einst respektvoll nannte, die bescheiden ausgestattete Bühne. 
Das Gesicht zerknautscht, die Haare inzwischen licht geworden aber dennoch mit unfassbarer Energie ausgestattet, 
versuchte sich Berry mit seiner Combo direkt an dem unsterblichen „Roll Over Beethoven“, gleichzeitig Motto der Tour. 
Allerdings wurde der Klassiker sogleich amtlich in alle Einzelteile zerlegt. Gesang und Melodie passten 
überhaupt nicht zusammen, der Sound konnte nur als vollkommen unterirdisch bezeichnet werden. Die alte Gibson 
Gitarre des Meisters, zwar laut und dröhnend im Sound, wirkte mehr verstimmt als funktionstüchtig. Chuck, 
berühmt berüchtigt für wüste Tonlagen und Experimente seiner Arrangements , sorgte bereits ab Beginn des 
zweiten Stückes musikalisch für komplettes Chaos. Die Songs wurden in der Mitte abgebrochen, neu begonnen, 
vollkommen umarrangiert, wieder abgebrochen, zudem befand sich Berry in ständigen Zwist mit seinen 
Begleitmusikern und Technikern, die ihre Sache überhaupt nicht im Griff zu haben schienen. Chuck diskutierte 
zuerst emsig mit seinem Sohn, der an der zweiten Gitarre mehr um Schadensbegrenzung bemüht schien und später 
mit den Herren der Technik, die sein Mikrofon eindeutig zu laut eingestellt hatten.

„Ich habe ein starkes Organ , stell das Mikro leiser“ , brüllte ein erboster Berry in Richtung Mischpult 
und demonstrierte dieses mehrfach. Auch mit dem Klang seiner Gitarre schien der Veteran alles andere als zufrieden. 
Songs wie „Little Queenie“ oder das aus dem Pulp Fiction Film zu später Ehre erlangte „You Never Can Tell“ 
waren kaum wiederzuerkennen. Der streitbare Mr. Berry, auch in gesetzten Jahren alles andere als altersmilde, 
hatte schon frühzeitig die Faxen dicke. Als nächster musste der Schlagzeuger dran glauben, der nach 
mehreren Schimpfkanonen des Frontmannes seinen Arbeitsplatz tatsächlich verliess und durch den Drummer 
der Vorgruppe ersetzt wurde. Dieses ganze Schauspiel glich mehr einer schlechten Komödie, da der Musiker 
eigentlich kaum unangenehm auffiel, wie auch, es war ein einziger Klangbrei der dargeboten wurde. 
Man vermutete eher einen skurrilen Scherz von Herrn Berry, aber nein, Schlagzeuger Nummer 2 absolvierte 
im drittklassigen Kirmesstil den Rest des verrückten Abends. Berry, körperlich ungemein vital aber dennoch 
irgendwie von allen guten Geistern verlassen, schepperte sich mehr als amateurhaft durch sein Programm. 
Tochter Ingrid sorgte dabei für diverse musikalische Appetithäppchen an der Mundharmonika. Auch wenn 
einige Bluesnummern schliesslich noch halbwegs passabel absolviert wurden, die Stimmung im Publikum 
kippte komplett. Aus den hinteren Reihen wurden lautstark „lern doch endlich Gitarre spielen , du Blödmann“ , 
Buhrufe und ähnliche Verunglimpfungen in Richtung Bühne geäussert. Der Ausfall des kompletten Saallichts 
war die unfreiwillige, aber irgendwie auch passende Konsequenz eines völlig missratenen Auftritts. Nach Einschalten 
der Notbeleuchtung bat Berry diverse Damen auf die Bühne , die zu seiner Musik tanzen sollten. Dies war eine 
komplette Einladung vieler Personen, an die Phil Collins bei der Komposition seines Hits „I Can´t Dance“ gedacht 
haben mag. Die Bühne füllte sich mit mehr als 50 tanzwütigen Herrschaften, die für Peinlichkeiten ohne Grenzen sorgten. 
Stefan Raab hätte gewiss Material für eine Woche „TV Total“ an diesem Abend sammeln können. Der alte Mann schien 
aber keine Lust mehr zu haben. Minutenlang,wurde immer wieder das gleiche musikalische Riff runtergeschrammelt, 
bis sich Chuck unter Jubel der Personen auf der Bühne und grosser Enttäuschung der sich im Innenraum 
versammelten Zuschauer nach 60 Minuten in die Katakomben der Beethovenhalle zurückzog. Kein „Maybellene“, 
kein „Sweet Little Sixteen“, kein „Back In The USA“, kein „Around And Around“ um nur einige Favoriten zu nennen, 
auf die sich das Publikum gewiss gefreut hatte, wurden vorgetragen. Stattdessen ein vollkommen uninspirierter 
Auftritt eines Mannes, den sicher nur noch die Wenigsten im Publikum in guter Erinnerung behalten werden.


» Chuck Berry, Tony Sheridan, The Lords, The Firebirds, The Beat Club Band, King Size Taylor, Uschi Nerke
23.01.07 - Hamburg, Germany - Color Line Arena
Review by Tom Kaldyka / Rocktimes

Wenn meiner Einer eine Reise tut, dann muss da schon etwas Großes dahinter stecken. In den meisten Fällen verzichte ich auf Konzerte aufgrund der großen Distanz und den damit verbundenen, recht ansehnlichen Kosten, die mir RockTimes ja leider nicht erstatten kann (das ändert sich spätestens dann, wenn wir die Millionenspenden von Herrn Hartz absahnen werden, versprochen - die Redaktion).

Aber seit Jahren habe ich darauf gewartet, den wahren 'King Of Rock'n'Roll' live zu erleben und Anfang 2007 hatte das Warten endlich ein Ende: Chuck Berry, live In Hamburg! Für mich vielleicht das erste, aber hoffentlich nicht das letzte Mal ihn zu hören!? Immerhin, diese Legende ist genauso wie B.B. King, den ich 2006 sah, schon über 80 Jahre alt. Zum Glück sterben Legenden nie!

Und Chuck Berry unternimmt anlässlich seines 80. Geburtstages eine Welttournee!

Anfangs, als nicht einmal die Termine für diese Tour fix waren, war 'Chuck Berry und Special Guest' angekündigt. Nachdem ich Erkundigungen im Internet eingeholt hatte, habe ich die Info bekommen, dass der Special Guest Alvin Lee (Ex-Ten Years After) sein wird. So stand es jedenfalls auf den allerersten Konzerttickets (die ich wirklich gesehen habe). Tage später stellte sich aber heraus, dass Alvin Lee doch nicht dabei sein wird. Ich persönlich hätte ihn wirklich gerne im Vorprogramm gesehen. Nun gut, so lange Chuck Berry nicht absagt - soll in der Vergangenheit ja öfters als einmal vorgekommen sein - ist es mir 'irgendwie' egal. Der Veranstalter musste sich aber etwas anderes einfallen lassen und griff auf deutsche Klassiker als Support zurück.

Chuck Berry - 'The Master Of Rock'n'Roll' & Friends: Tony Sheridan And Band, The Lords, The Firebirds, The Beat Club Band feat. King Size Taylor; Moderation: Uschi Nerke

Uschi Nerke, einigen sicherlich aus dem 'Beat-Club' bekannt, startete pünktlich um 20 Uhr die Rock'n'Roll-Gala. Zu meiner Freude eröffnete Tony Sheridan, Beatle der ersten Stunde, mit seiner Band das Event, und das gleich mit "Skinny Minny". Dieser Song war eine zeitlang mein Lieblingslied; das ist aber schon über 15 Jahre her. Damals war ich noch in der Grundschule, aber auch da schon immer fleißig auf Konzerten und Festivals unterwegs. Lange Geschichte, kurzer Sinn: Ich habe mich gefreut, nach so langer Zeit Tony Sheridan mal wieder live zu sehen und 'meinen Song' zu hören. Die Performance war gut, auch wenn das Publikum noch nicht ganz wach war. Was sich aber vielleicht durch die lange Anreise zur Color-Line-Arena in Hamburg erklären lässt. Ich habe noch nie eine Halle gesehen, die soweit abseits liegt. Von der U-Bahn Station 'Arenen' ist man mit dem Arena-Shuttle-Bus noch über 10 Minuten zur Halle unterwegs.

Dann machten Firebird mit ihrem Show-Programm weiter. Diese vergleichsweise junge, klassische Rock'n'Roll-Band bot dem Publikum Unterhaltung pur. Humoristische Einlagen gehören zu ihrem Programm so selbstverständlich wie A Capella-Stücke, immer mit etwas Eigenironie und kombiniert mit einfacher, aber guter Musik. Sehr amüsant! Die Band begleitete Chuck Berry tags darauf nach Leipzig - also in ihre Heimatstadt, wo sie bereits Kultstatus haben.

Es folgte King Size Taylor, der bereits 1964 im Vorprogramm von Chuck Berrys erster Europa-Tournee auf der Bühne stand. Damals jedoch mit seiner Band The Dominoes. An diesem Abend war es aber die Beat Club Band. Auch diese Combo konnte das Publikum, welches übrigens aus allen Alterschichten bestand, begeistern.

Mit The Lords, der dienstältesten deutschen Beat-Band, kam die letzte von vier Supportern auf die Bühne. Da ich kein großer Fan von Ihnen bin (ich habe sie als Kind wohl einfach zu oft sehen und hören müssen), nutze ich die Chance um eben noch mal Getränkenachschub zu holen und mit einer netten Frau an der Bar erfolgreich ein Tauschgeschäft zu machen: »Mein Bier gegen dein 'Star Club"-T-Shirt!«

Und dann endlich: Chuck Berry betrat die Bühne.

Zum Glück stand ich gerade zufällig vor der ersten Sitzreihe, als das Licht ausging und Chuck Berrys Band auf die Bühne kam. Entgegen allen meinen Erwartungen strömten auf einmal die sitzenden Leute nach vorne zur Bühne. Es gab in der Halle kein Personal, die dies verhinderten und da ich schon vorne war, blieb ich auch gleich dort und konnte mir sogar, ganz ohne Gewalt, einen sehr guten Platz in der ersten Reihe, direkt vor Chuck Berry sichern.

Als Opener spielte Chuck Berry "Roll Over Beethoven" und das Publikum rastete vollkommen aus. Und auch ich war hin und weg - purer Rock'n'Roll wie ich ihn nie gehört hatte. Auf den alten Berry-Platten kommen die Songs nur halb so kraftvoll wie eben live daher. Es gab zwar noch ein paar Tonabmischungsprobleme bei den ersten beiden Nummern, gerade der Gesang war leise, aber das bekam man schnell in den Griff.

Es ist unbeschreiblich, wie viel Kraft Chuck Berry beim Performen seiner Klassiker noch auf die Bühne bringt und das mit einer unglaublichen Leidenschaft und Ausstrahlung, die ihresgleichen sucht. "Memphis Tennessee", "Sweet Little Sixteen", "Carol", "Johnny B. Goode", "Maybellene" und weitere Highlights, ja auch in Form von Blues, die über den original Sixties Röhren-Amps ihren Charme versprühten. Als ihm in mitten eines Songs eine Saite seiner Gitarre reißt, tauscht er kurzerhand sein Arbeitswerkzeug gegen einen Bass aus und beigeistert damit sein Publikum.

Auf seiner Tournee und damit auch auf der Bühne begleiteten ihn übrigens seine beiden Kinder: An der zweiten Gitarre sein Sohn Charles Berry und an der Mundharmonika seine Tochter Ingrid Berry. Das Charles Berry seinem Vater gitarrentechnisch in Nichts nachsteht, außer ein paar Jahre Erfahrung, ist ja selbstredend. Er hatte wohl einen sehr guten Lehrer und den richtigen Musikeinfluss gehabt. Verblüffend aber auch, wie sauber und emotional seine Tochter Ingrid Berry die Mundharmonika beherrscht. Im Vorfeld hatte ich gar nicht damit gerechnet oder mitbekommen, dass in Berrys Band auch eine Mundharmonika zum Einsatz kommen wird. Aber es hat sich gelohnt. Es war grandios!

Schon fast traditionell holt Chuck Berry beim letzten Song Frauen auf die Bühne. Erstens, weil er sich gerne mit jungen, hübschen Frauen umgibt und zweitens, um damit abzulenken, dass er heimlich still und leise von der Bühne verschwindet. Nachdem die tanzende, junge Dame im roten Kleid kurz meine Aufmerksamkeit in Anspruch nahm, ich mich dann aber wieder auf Berry fokussieren wollte, war er schon verschwunden…

Chuck Berry spielte etwa eine Stunde, aber die hatte es in sich. Mit Sicherheit mein Konzerthighlight 2007 - auch wenn der legendäre 'Duckwalk' nur kurz zu sehen war. Es war einfach unglaublich und unvergesslich und jede Strapaze wert. Die 800 km Reise und die damit verbundenen, nicht unerheblichen Kosten…. und ein bisschen Verständnis dafür, dass ein 80-Jähriger 'nur' eine Stunde rocken kann, haben wahrscheinlich alle.

Während des Konzertes habe ich ein paar Fotos mit meinem Handy geschossen. Aufgrund der schlechten Lichtverhältnisse ist die Qualität natürlich etwas bescheiden, aber im Internet wird man garantiert fündig.

Nach dem Konzert ging es zurück ins Hotel - normalerweise wäre ich, wenn ich schon mal in Hamburg bin, noch irgendwo feiern gegangen, aber ich hatte erfahren, dass die Band am nächsten morgen den frühen ICE nach Leipzig nehmen wollte. Um 8 Uhr stand ich also am Bahnsteig, bewaffnet mit Stift und der Autobiografie von Chuck Berry in der Hoffnung, ein Autogramm von ihm zu erhaschen. Auch wenn ich mir hunderte Male anhören musste, dass Chuck Berry keine Autogramme gibt, versuchen wollte ich es dennoch. Chuck Berry war in der 1. Klasse-Lounge der Deutschen Bahn untergebracht. Also keine Chance dorthin zu kommen. Seine Band, und damit auch Charles und Ingrid Berry, standen jedoch schon - mit 14 Koffern beladen - am Bahnsteig und warteten auf den ICE. So ergab sich ein wenig Smalltalk und etwas Verwunderung machte sich bei mir breit: Die Band fährt immer mit dem Zug. Die Band trägt immer ihre Koffer selber und hat immer einen langen, anstrengenden Tag.

Der Zug war derweil schon eingetroffen, das Gepäck also bereits verstaut und bis auf den Hauptakteur auch alle schon im gemieteten 1. Klasse-Wagen.

»Einsteigen, Türen schließen!«
. Das muss das Stichwort für Chuck Berry gewesen sein. Mit seiner Kapitänsmütze, die er immer trägt, kam er die Treppe herunter gespurtet und sprang in den Zug, der direkt darauf losfuhr. Keinerlei Chance für mich. Schade. Sehr Schade! Aber na ja, da kann man nichts machen - er gibt halt keine Autogramme. Etwas verständlich - er hätte ja auch sonst seinen Zug verpasst.

Ein weinendes und ein lachendes Auge bleibt mir somit, denn ich sah ihn vor Jahren mal zufällig am Flughafen, in der Lounge der Business-Klasse (damals flog ich beruflich noch viel), und seitdem weiß ich, dass er nie Autogramme gibt … aber man sagt ja niemals 'nie' ;-)


» Chuck Berry, Chris Jagger, Ben Waters
20.07.08 - London, England - Hackney Empire
Review by Richard Harvey

I'm going to post a quick review whilst it's all fresh in my head. 
I'm sure the set list is right, but might not be in the right order, because I didn't take notes, see.

Anyway, I had a BALL!! I can't remember enjoying a Chuckles show so much. I'd rate tonight as one of the 
best I've seen him do, along with Nottingham '92 and London 2002. And. . . (and this might shock some of you), 
I found it one of the most musically rewarding Chuck shows I've seen. Yea, imagine that!
Most thanks for that I reckon, must go to Chuck Junior, because the band rocks, now that there is a solid 
rhythmn guitar, and Chuck dosen't have to provide the main guitar. Sure, Chuck still plays out of key, 
but the band motors along nicely regardless.
Another plus was the sound, it was the best I've heard at a Chuck concert since 1995 at the Symphony 
Hall Birmingham. It was load, yet clear. In fact, I thought it was all a rather superb Rock & Roll show.

Details then. . Chuck didn't walk on stage, instead the curtain came up and the band & Chuck were there! 
(I'd seen the band & Chuck arrive outside, and I reckon from the time Chuck arrived, to when he was onstage 
was less than five minutes).

He opened with one of his 'ditty' songs. Something about a girl getting the right kind of 'juice'. It rings 
a vauge bell. . I'll look into it.
Then Roll Over Beethoven.
Then Wee Wee Hours, which I loved! Haven't heard him play this in years.
Ingrid came on and did Key To The Highway. I like the fact that Chuck gives himself breathing space by 
staying on stage whilst taking a back seat to another 'soloist'. James Brown filled the odd ten minutes 
doing this when I saw him on his last tours. Perhaps Jerry Lee should think about this sort of approach? Myself, 
I don't care if Jerry does a short time on stage, but the audience like to think they've had at least an hour 
of gawping at someone they've paid fifty quid to see.
Chuckles did his blues thang with Mean Old World next, then, before it finished, straight into Oh, Carol.
The excitement level was up a notch, as a few hits were bought out. Rock & Roll Music (with the 'they said 
Rock & Roll can't last' line that's not on the record). Great stuff, then Sweet Little Sixteen (started 
with an odd verse, not the "They're realy rockin' in Boston' line, but it worked). Crowd shouting along, 
great stuff! (again).

Around And Around, a rocking version. The sides were cracked!

Another 'ditty' now. Something about a guy going in a bar with 100 dollars and leaving with ten cents. 
I thought it might be Beer Drinking Woman, but perhaps not.
Chuck had fun saying 'pennies, not cents'.
He stopped this song short after only one sung verse, and a lengthy instrumental, saying "I thought that 
would be a good song, but I started it in the wrong key, and after a while I just thought 'dump this loser' 
which got laughs from the audience.
Let It Rock featured a loooong mouth organ solo from Ingrid (who bouces back on stage as if she dosen't know 
what song he's gonna sing next!) But it was fun, with Chuck trading licks with the pianist (who I couldn't 
see from my left of stage second row seat), and even trying to get a Shadows type syncronised guitar dance 
going with Jimmy Marcella (on bass). "Have we done Johnny B Goode yet?" said Chuckles. So they did, complete 
with full three verses and duckwalk in the instrumental. Glorious!

He got a standing ovation for Johnny B, (it's an all seated venue) and he looked touched by this.

Reelin And Rockin, long version, girls on stage, and it looks like the whole 'you want us to go, want us to 
stay, stay here and boogie' bit is out the show. Which I think is a shame, because although it's cheesy, 
the bit where Chuck used to say "raise your hand up higher" was great, because you'd be in the audience w
ith a sea of hands around you waving, and there's a load of well fed white girls up on stage dancing round 
a grinning Chuck wearing flares and a sailor's cap.
You couldn't make it up!

Summing up then. Chuck seems to grow younger. Tonight he strutted and swiveled and did a bit of hip 
thrusting during the "back to class again" line in Sweet Little Sixteen. The duckwalk is more of a 'scoot' 
these days, but I can't even do that, and I'm half Chuck's age!

Big applause for the band too. They don't have the easiest job. I was chatting to Jimmy Marsella after, 
and I honestly think they enjoy what they do. Yea, even Chuck.

And Chuck signed autographs after, sat in his car and 'held court'. The security and staff at the Hackney 
Empire were amazing, so cool about the fans meeting Chuck, . They let a guy with a wheelchair though (this 
was outside, after the gig), to meet Chuck, and Chuck shook his hand and made a fuss of him it was smashing 
to see.

I've had Chuck sign stuff before, so I didn't line up. I've got two autographs, I don't need two hundred. 
Let the newbies have the fun of meeting a legend I say!

'm tired. But I wanted to get my thoughts and photies down before I hit the hay. Hope ya'll enjoyed them.

Great gig. Bloody great fun, bum notes and all!

(and since when did he drop Memphis from the set list?)


» Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Linda Gail Lewis
14.11.08 - Paris, France - Le Zenith
Review by Wolfgang Guhl


Linda Gail Lewis (41 minutes)
1. I’m Ready
2. Big Black Cadillac
3. Boppin’ The Blues
4. 88 Friends
5. Blue Suede Shoes
6. Lonely Heart
7. Good Golly Miss Molly
8. Let’s Talk About Us
9. Jambalaya
10. Lovin’ Up A Storm
11. Shake Rattle And Roll
12. Let’s Have A Party

The Killer Band (14 minutes)
1. Kansas City (Kenneth Lovelace)
2. Love To Ride (Robert Hall)
3. Wooly Bully (B.B. Cunningham)
4. Bright Lights Big City (Buck Hutcheson)

Jerry Lee Lewis (40 minutes)
1. Down The Line
2. No Headstone On My Grave
3. Before The Night Is Over
4. Drinkin’ Wine Spo Dee O Dee
5. I Don’t Want To Be Lonely Tonight
6. C.C. Rider
7. Why You Been Gone So Long
8. Trouble In Mind
9. Rockin’ My Life Away
10. Great Balls Of Fire
11. Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On

Chuck Berry (65 minutes)
1. Roll Over Beethoven
2. Sweet Little Sixteen
3. School Days
4. Memphis
5. Around And Around
6. Rock Me Baby
7. You Never Can Tell
8. Rock’n’Roll Music
9. Maybellene
10. Let It Rock
11. Honest I Do
12. My Ding A Ling
13. Johnny B. Goode
14. Reelin’ And Rockin’

After a 6-hour long train journey I arrived in Paris, France. City of Love, City of Rock'n'Roll. I spent the afternoon relaxing. Attempts to reach Daniel White or Tony Papard failed. For some weird reason I am not able to reach them on their mobile phones. I knew where Chuckles and Jerry stayed, but had no interest to go there. I would have had travel throughout Paris and Paris is BIG! Around 7pm I made my venue to the venue. On my way I met other French fans and we all tried to find the venue which was not easy. It was on the outskirts of town, hidden between trees. The entrance was very slow with MASSES of humans trying to get through two security checks. I made it to my seat in time unlike many others who missed parts of the show due to the terrible organization at the entrance. I saw Tony Papard and Peter Hayman chatting in front of the stage, but NO way I could get there, I was too far in the back and security would not let me through.

Unlike in Zurich there was no announcement at all that Little Richard could not make it, no ticket refunds were offered. When Linda Gail kicked off the show, it was apparent the sound was not up to Zurich standards either. It wasn't bad, but did not reach the Swiss quality. Switerland is in my opinion the equivalent of quality. Their shows are always perfectly organized. As Pierre, who lived in both countries, pointed out, the Swiss are more serious. Yes, they are, so in promotional quality terms we got a Zurich light version tonight. The French might not be as serious as the Swiss, but they are a more energetic audience. Not one complaint about Linda Gail. Instead a happy audience celebrating The Killer's little sister. There were slight variations in the set list compared to Zurich. I especially enjoyed "Lonely Heart", a song also recorded by late great (always underrated) Carl Perkins. Once again she returned for an encore of "Let's Have A Party". Overall she was probably THE quality act of the night.

The Killer Band was next and it was the same horrible perfomance as in Zurich. Poor Kenny, still suffering from nose trouble, even mixed up left and right when introducing the band and in general appeared confused. One thing I noticed is that Ken does not mention the operation anymore. Maybe he got to know we were disussing it here and did not like it? Whatever let's hope he gets better. I think that is all our main concern. "Love To Ride" worked well. "Wooly Bully" unfortunately replaced "Haunted House". Both songs are well performed, but "Wooly Bully" has been played to death recently, unlike "Haunted House". Buck said he never knew that Jerry actually recorded "Bright Lights Big City" and the way that Buck sounds it seems he never ever gave that song a listen. Thankfully that painful experience came to an abrupt ending when The Killer entered the stage. He looked fine. It is such a pleasure to see him walking without pain. "Down The Line" kicked off the show. Both Linda Gail and Jerry Lee were shown on video screens in the huge arena. We will see whether Jerry's part actually turns up in a documentary. Unfortunately the video screens were proof that Jerry was neither in the same good shape nor in the same good mood as in Zurich. The show was fine, the audience celebrated him like no other performer on this evening, but (probably only visibly to hardcore fans) something was missing. He did not pound the keys as in Zurich, he softly touched them. Voice was good, but not as powerful as in Zurich either. The show seemed to consist entirely of the songs he had written as a set list in front of him. Like Peter pointed out, many artists do use set lists on stage. It is certainly more professional than asking Kenny before every song, but he should still accept resquests, play songs that come his mind while he is on stage etc. and not only rely on the list in front of him which seems to consist of standard songs only. That's what Jerry Lee Lewis is all about. Unpredictability and not a fixed set list. However there were some Killer moments throughout the show. During "I Don't Want To Be Lonely Tonight" he seemed to have enough of the sound problems and marched over to the soundman. As he went over he made signs to the audience to calm down, making sure he would return. We know many times in the past he did not return. He returned and continued the show. "Great Balls Of Fire" (movie-version) had the audience, dancing in the aisles, rushing the stage in Star Club style. "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going" was a solid version with Jerry showing the middle finger into the camera, shouting "You got the whole show!". I do not know whether that was aimed at the film crew or the promoter/soundman. However he showed he is still The Killer and let's be honest, we are waiting for moments like this. He got up, kicked the piano stool back, looked at the piano, but decided not to play standing this time. To standing ovations he left the stage. A good show, but I suspect it is going downhill from now on. When Jerry is on tour, make sure you visit the first shows. He tends to get tired, angry and bored as the tour continues. First small signs of that we could witness in Paris.

After a 30-minute it was time for the Chuck Berry show. Whatever caused this long intermission... could have been an argument about the video screens which remained off during his portion of the show. Audience, especially in the back, was not too happy about that, but everyone was still able to see what was going on stage. Unlike in Bobital 2006 when Little Richard demanded the screens to be turned off in front of 50,000 people. That night, Chuck was clever enough to leave them on. However I am sure he was aware that there were "only" 6,300 people around this time and not 50,000 people which is quite a difference. I have no doubts (also judging from the otherwise rather amateurish set-up of the show) that Chuck was never contacted about the video screens beforehand. So I can fully accept his decision even though it was not popular with everyone. His show started with "Roll Over Beethoven", a song I am sure Jerry would have loved to play. During the first numbers it was clear that Chuck had cleaned up his act compared to Zurich. He remembered most of the lyrics and played some fine licks. He was in amazing shape for an 82-year old as he danced across the stage. Weirdly enough he did not win the audience over as Jerry did. First time ever I think that Jerry appeared more popular with an audience. Chuck played hit after hit. Very good, but not one of the very special shows he usually puts on when in Paris. He mentioned though that Paris was very special to him. He also introduced Jean-Pierre Ravelli, who once was the president of his French Fan Club, but has long since retired from that job. Still I often get the beautiful pictures he shoots when being with Chuck. "You Never Can Tell" is almost an anthem in France and quite easily Chuck's most popular song there. "Let It Rock" rocked and if there was an highlight of the night it must have been Chuck's performance of "Johnny B. Goode" which brought the house down when he duckwalked across the entire stage. Pure magic! All of a sudden the whole place stood up, danced and once again crowded around the stage. Chuck then asked "four ladies over here and four ladies over there" to come on stage to dance his last number with him. Since the promoter obviously did not only save on the sound, but also on security, it was more like "40 ladies and gentleman over here and 40 ladies and gentleman over there" who joined on stage. Some of the gentlemen however did not act gentle at all when they tried to touch the Legend. Chuck said he would only continue to play if they would leave. But it was hopeless. Everyone remained on stage and Chuck improvised a little of "Reelin' And Rockin'" and with the whole place jumping left the stage. At the end of the show Charles once again acknowledged my and the work of the agents which brought Chuck over this time.

A great way of paying tribute to my work which now lasts for one and a half decades. In that time I have seen promoters, band members and fans come and go. I first saw Chuck at Grugahalle in Essen. Back then I was a kid and I was excited as only kids can be. I was so nervous the see the Legend I could not even have a drink as my hands trembled so much. I had the privilege to see Chuck many times after that, in Munich (multiple times), Zurich (multiple times), Mannheim, London (multiple times), Bellinzona, Divonne, Paris (multiple times), Amneville, Edinburgh, Wolverhampton, Bradford, Portsmouth, Brighton, Cambridge, Orleans, Rouen, Villeurbanne, Tours, Toulouse, Prague, Sanary, Cournon, Beauvais, Lille, Nancy, Hamburg (multiple times), Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Berlin (multiple times), Munster, Bonn, Bremerhaven, Besancon, Bobital, Bordeaux, Leipzig, Goteborg (multiple times), Copenhagen, Oslo, Karlstad, Jarvso, Stockholm, Hassleholm, Basel, Odense, Tilburg, Luxembourg, Dijon, Lyon, Geneva, Nuremberg, Amsterdam, Hohenems, Vienna and Lausanne. On Thursday, November 20th 2008 I will return to Grugahalle in Essen. It is one big emotional moment for me. So much has happened in these years. Close friends and relatives have died, I have changed & gotten older. But Chuck Berry still performs and I am still his major fan. And this will be until the day forever ends.


» Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Boppin' B
22.11.08 - Mannheim, Germany - SAP-Arena
Review by Andreas J. Keller

The mannheim concert was just fantastic
i never heard him such clear and precise, piano and singing were in
the foreground. he sounded like on cd, crystal clear and precise.
after bocholt i never expected such a quality. the sound was amazing,
and it is just beautiful how his voice harmonizes with his piano
playing. it would be a great experience just to hear him sing and
play piano.
he strolled on stage like a lounge lizard, slow, and went right into
down the line. the audience was very positive and altough he played
more mid tempo songs everybody was quiet and listened very careful, no
talking just applause. i thought that he liked the whole setting
because sometime he smiled. the rocking songs where great but i
had the impression that these slow songs were much appreciated by the
public. He sang with such intensity and emotion, he nearly brought
the people near to tears and everybody understood what he was singing
about: faded love, loneliness and sadness. these meanings and
athmospheres were transported in an brillant way to the audiences
ears. he was sharp like a razor blade running through butter.
as usual he slowed down the tempo and created a certain tension,
getting into more rocking numbers which made the audience more
shaking and yelling.
There were two huge screens , you could easily see the effort he put
into the act, nearly no movement of the body, which makes the whole
appearance a little stiff, just these fast hands and his controlled
singing. Nothing is too much, he left out any unneccessary action,
movement or behaviour. he looks like an elderly statesman on o trip
to ´foreign countries, just speaking to a bunch of people who listen
what this guy has to say. he is master of reduction and minimalism.
the piano playing was outstanding, although chucks pianist is nearly
killer like.
at the beginning i thought it will be a long and intense show, but
after GBOF which made the audience wild, he left us all alone after
30 sec of WLSGO. the tension was on its top, he suddenly stood up,
and went off.
The public went wild but when he would have finished the whole thing
probably he could press more out of the audience.
chuck berry was just GREAT, cool and easy going. He played some
improvisation togethter with his pianist who was just amazing, chuck
leaning to the grand piano playing some riffs, fantastic. The best
CB Concert i was watching.
his music is positive, it tells you stories about love, fun, and the
message is : go out, live your live and have fun.
Jerry brings you down to earth, sadness, lonliness, but he also
lifts you up with these 2 anthems GBOF / WLSGO ( and others too)
I talked to many people and as a summary this was the story;
jerry an extraordinary musician with an amazing voice and piano
playing, they loved him and no one was disappointed. everyone was
undertstanding that they have wittnessed acoustic sum ups of a
living legends life and the respect was unbelievable. he is really a
monument. Chuck berry is easy to understand, there are no wounds or
blessings as Jerry is singing about. He ( cb) just makes music ,
people dance and have fun. After 3 hours ( incl warm up band)
everybody left smiling and happy.
i think this part was the best, these 2 guys have made tons of new
fans and the next tiime they show up there will be more than 6000


» Chuck Berry, Little Richard
27.08.09 - Highland, CA - San Manuel Indian Bing And Casino
Review by Fielding Buck / The Press-Enterprise

Little Richard, Chuck Berry get the floor shaking at San Manuel
The Press-Enterprise

Little Richard and Chuck Berry gave Inland Southern California a 90-minute dance party Thursday at San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino.

Inland residents and visitors from Los Angeles and Orange counties filled the 3,700-seat showroom to near capacity, but there was still room in back and in the aisles for people who wanted to get up and move to the classic rhythm 'n' blues of the two rock greats.

And there was room on stage.

Both men invited a dozen women to come up and boogie to their music.

The show, set to start at 7:30 p.m., began about 20 minutes late. But after that the audience didn't have to wait for the hits to start flowing.

Little Richard went on first, perform such hits with "Good Golly, Miss Molly" and "Blueberry Hill."

He performed his entire, nearly hour-long set seated at the piano, wrapping up with "Keep On Knockin' "

Berry's set was only about 35 minutes but had even more audience members up and moving to "Sweet Little Sixteen," "No Particular Place to Go," "C'est la Vie" and "Johnny B. Goode."

When he left the stage at 9:35 p.m., the audience chanted for an encore for about 5 minutes before the house lights went up.