One Big City, Two Legendary Bands

After a two month hiatus, RizzoMusic is back and today I have something to report back from my summer travels.

This summer I spent some time in the Big Apple, New York City. Over two months, and I only managed to get to one concert. Luckily for me it was a great one. I saw Collective Soul and Live play at the Hammerstein Ballroom on July 30th. This wouldn’t be the first time I’ve seen these bands live in concert but it was surely a concert I would never forget.

Fortunately for me, I was able to go for free. RizzoMusic’s first sponsor,, was able to provide me with enough funds to go to a concert of my choice, free of charge. It was too good of a deal for me to pass up. After much debate I decided on Live and Collective Soul, two bands that I have seen before individually and together. Having a great respect of their newest releases, Songs from Black Mountain, and Afterwords, respectively, I knew that it would be a great show.

First I am going to give a little review of RazorGator’s services before I get into actually reviewing the concert. RazorGator is a ticket marketplace where anyone can post extra tickets they have for other people to buy. Their slogan is “Your Connection for Hard-to-Get® Tickets!” and unfortunately for me, the Collective Soul tickets weren’t exactly hard to get. The tickets were not sold out and retailed for about 50 dollars. The cheapest I was able to come across were 74 dollars. Not too bad but considering that you could still buy them from the box office for cheaper, there wasn’t much incentive to buy from RazorGator. RazorGator does charge for shipping and processing fees, so my total was $189.30. So for this particular concert, I can’t really say that I would recommend using RazorGator but if a concert or sporting event is sold out, they are a very good option. I ordered my tickets 2 days before the concert and they were shipped and delivered in time. One little caveat for people looking to use RazorGator’s services is that you need to be able to sign for the tickets when they come to your house. Luckily where I was living, we had a doorman so it wasn’t a problem but I could see where this could become problematic. They do give you the shipping tracking number so you can figure out about what time the package will come and I can understand RazorGator’s position in requiring a signature. They guarantee the tickets to be there on time for the event and a signature requirement ensures that the tickets were received. The process was very smooth, and overall I was happy with their service. They accept all major credit cards and everything is shipped FedEx. I even called their customer service number, and the man I talked to was very helpful. I would recommend the website for sold out concert tickets or if you’re looking for closer seats then are available. The Hammerstein Ballroom had balcony seats but I was cool with the general admission floor tickets. You can get a lot closer and everyone down there gets really into it.

Alright, now that you know how I got to the concert, I am sure you are all dying to hear how the concert was. In case you were living in a cellar throughout the 90s, Live and Collective Soul were two of the most popular rock bands of the decade. Each have had their fair share of chart topping hits, combining sales of about 20 million records in the U.S. While Live has sold more records, Collective Soul has had more #1 singles on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart.

Hana Pestle

The concert opened with an up and coming female artist, Hana Pestle. A singer/songwriter from Montana, Pestle was a surprisingly good addition to what was sure to be a great concert. Coming on stage with only an acoustic guitar, she impressed the audience with her entrancing voice. She has some serious range, and her songs were very good. I was a little disappointed when I heard that Blues Traveler, famous for “Hook” and “Run Around”, wasn’t going to open up for this concert like they have been in the past but Hana Pestle, more then made up for their void. Like most opening acts, the crowd wasn’t really into it like they were for the main act but you could tell that some were pleasantly surprised by her performance. She was upbeat and talkative, though you could tell that she felt that crowd was unresponsive. She covered the song “Creep” by Radiohead before she left the stage and the audience finally welcomed her with a rousing applause. She has the voice to make it in the business and I wouldn’t be surprised if she breaks though sooner, rather then later.

Collective Soul

Next up was Ed Roland and company. They got the crowd going by opening up with “Heavy” and never looked back. They played the usual classics, like “Shine”, “Run”, “The World I Know”, and “December”. I’ve seen them 3 times in the last three years and they never fail to play the songs that the crowd wants to hear. Since it was a shortened set because they were sharing time with Live, they only played two of their songs from their new album, the two singles, “Hollywood” and “All That I Know”. They also played one of my favorite songs to hear live, “Listen”, one of their more underrated songs. Much to my delight, they pulled one of their best songs out of the archive for this tour, “Needs”. I’ve been hoping and hoping that they would play it live one of these days and I finally got to hear it. The crowd loved it and it sounded great even without the strings. Ed gave his usual energetic performance and had everyone singing along.

Live (Band)

After about a 30 minute intermission to get things set up, Live came out and “the other Ed”, Ed Kowalczyk, got the crowd roaring with the opening song, “Simple Creed”. Like Collective Soul, Live never seems to disappoint on the classics. They turned out “All Over You”, “Heaven”, “Dolphins Cry”, “Selling the Drama”, “I Alone”, and of course “Lightning Crashes”. They ended with their bone-chilling performance of “Lightning Crashes” like they normally do but I think that their performance of “I Alone” is even better. Hearing that song live in concert is something that everyone should see before they die. They played some of the new ones including, “The River”, “Wings” and “Sophia”. Like “Needs” for Collective Soul, I was very surprised to hear “Turn My Head”; easily my favorite lesser known hit from Live. Hearing those two gems that night was well worth the ticket price. They played an awesome four song encore. Not quite the seven song encore I was able to see a few years back when they played without an opening act but very good nonetheless.

Overall, it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. It was about 5 times better then the last time I saw them together in concert, mainly because it was an indoor, intimate concert. The crowd was great, the bands were great and having the equivalent of about a 4th row floor seat was amazing. Rock concerts always tend to be better when there is standing room right in front of the stage. Unfortunately I don’t have any picture as I forgot my camera but if you would like to see some, Pop Culture Madness also reviewed the concert and took a few pictures. I hope you enjoyed the review and hopefully there will be a lot of new articles in the near future. Thanks for listening.

90s Music Playlist - A Variety of Hits

It has been a long time since I made a playlist so I decided what better way to make a playlist then to have one with a little variety. '90s music is a topic that covers all genres and hopefully I got a good sample of the 1990s in this playlist. This playlist doesn't feature any hits that were that big in the '90s but does offer some pretty good songs and a couple of my favorites. No matter what type of music you enjoy, this should take you down memory lane, as there is sure to be at least one song you recognize. I hope you enjoy this selection of '90s music and be sure to tell me what you think of it. Feel free to check out my other playlists at the bottom of the post and I'll see you next time.

90s Music Variety Playlist

1. "Pardon Me" by Incubus
2. "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong" by Spin Doctors
3. "Interglatic" by Beastie Boys
4. "A Sorta Fairytale" by Tori Amos
5. "I'm Going Home" by Hootie And The Blowfish
6. "Pony" by Ginuwine
7. "Linger" by The Cranberries
8. "Down In A Hole" by Alice in Chains
9. "Otherside" by Red Hot Chilli Pepppers
10. "10 Days Late" by Third Eye Blind

Here's the link for the whole playlist: 90s Variety Hits

Looking for more playlists? We've got plenty.

Song #92: "Don't Go Away" by Oasis

After a fairly long hiatus, RizzoMusic is back with the countdown and one of my personal favorites, "Don't Go Away" by Oasis. "Don't Go Away" is just one song in a string of successful singles that Oasis released in the 1990s. It was the fourth single released off of one of the most highly anticipated albums in music history, Be Here Now. Although, Oasis' third studio album, sold over eight million copies worldwide, it is considered by many music enthusiasts as a disappointment and none of the tracks from the album are included on Oasis' best-of album, Stop the Clocks. "Don't Go Away" is just one of my favorites from an album full of some great songs: a song that features some of Liam's best vocals.

Oasis is really a band that needs no introduction: a band that has sold over 50 million albums worldwide. Releasing three albums that each sold over 7 million copies in one decade is truly remarkable and a testament to the great music that they produced. While their album sales of late have been no where near they were in their heyday, they are still very popular. They are doing a small tour in Canada this summer and also have a new album due out in September of this year. The new album is going to be a break away from their acoustic side and have more of a feel like Be Here Now. It will be exciting to see how Oasis will be received by fans this time around as they release their seventh studio album.

I really like the music video for "Don't Go Away". The tone of the video matches perfectly with the song: displaying the feelings of loneliness, helplessness, and frustration that are represented in the lyrics. The image that really stands out is the 2 large trees in the middle of a barren field. Add to that a little bit of rain and an orchestra dressed in black and you have a solid music video that will be remembered for years. Check it out!

Interested in other songs from the countdown? Check out the other Top Songs of the 1990s here

Counting Crows' New Album "Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings"

One of my favorite bands, Counting Crows, is set to release their new album, Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings on March 28, 2008. This is the band's first studio album since Hard Candy was released back in 2002. It has been about six years in between albums, but the Counting Crows still have a strong following since they first released "Mr. Jones" in 1993.

Adam Duritz had this to say about the new album, "Saturday night is when you sin and Sunday is when you regret. Sinning is often done very loudly, angrily, bitterly, violently." The album is split up in to two halves, the Saturday night half and the Sunday morning half.

The Counting Crows are allowing fans to get a little preview of the new album. They recently released two of their new songs, "1492" and "When I Dream About Michelangelo". You can visit their website or you can click here to download these songs for free. This is a great treat to loyal fans. Neither of these songs are set to be their first single but it gives us a little taste of the album as a whole. "You Can"t Count On Me" will be their first single, set to be released on February 4th.

It is time to get excited about the Counting Crows again.

Song #93: "The Impression That I Get" by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

It's back to the countdown of Rizzo Music's Top 100 Songs of the 1990s with "The Impression That I Get" by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones coming in at number 93. Another One Hit Wonder of the 1990s, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones hit it big with their single, "The Impression That I Get". Mixing heavy guitar riffs with the sounds of several different brass instruments is typical of the band, and it fell on welcoming ears in 1997. It hit #1 on the Modern Rock Charts and topped out at #23 on the Hot 100. The band will always be known for their one hit, "The Impression That I Get" but the success of that song enabled their next two singles, "Royal Oil" and "Rascal King" to crack the Top 10 of the Modern Rock Charts and put ska-punk back on the map for at least a little while.

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are a ska-punk band from Boston, Massachusetts. They have released seven albums since forming in 1985, Let's Face It being the only one that reached mainstream success. If you are a fan of Jimmy Kimmel Live, you might have noticed that lead vocalist Dicky Barret is the announcer. The band went on a short hiatus from 2004-2006 but have since reunited and released a new EP about month ago. The future of the band is still uncertain at this point but it seems that something is drawing them back. They haven't released a full length album since 2002 but now that they have reunited, there's a good possibility that we could hear news of a new album in the near future.

The music video is pretty good. It's again fairly formulaic, but it's got a lot of energy just like the song. It features all eight band members performing in front of a standard white background. They use some special effects to make it seem as if they are appearing out of no where, and through most of the video some sort of precipitation, likely snow, is falling from the sky. It's a feel-good video for a feel-good song. Check it out!

Interested in other songs from the countdown? Check out the other Top Songs of the 1990s here

90s Grunge Hits

It is hard to believe that we are 22 weeks in to this ongoing set of posts and I haven't had a themed playlist on grunge music. This is not going to feature the most popular grunge music of the decade but more the foot tapping, head nodding, personal favorites of mine. Just pure flannel shirt Seattle grunge music at it's finest. I think I might be hard pressed to find ten different pure grunge artists for this list so I am going to break the rules a little bit for this one, and allow myself to include multiple songs from the same artist.

'90s Grunge Playlist:
1. Nirvana - About A Girl
2. Pearl Jam - Better Man
3. Alice in Chains - Rooster
4. Nirvana - Come As You Are
5. Stone Temple Pilots - Wicked Garden
6. Pearl Jam - Jeremy
7. Alice in Chains - Man In The Box
8. Soundgarden - Spoonman
9. Nirvana - In Bloom
10. Pearl Jam - Yellow Ledbetter

Here's the link for the whole playlist: 90s Grunge Hits

Looking for more playlists? We've got plenty.

Song #94: "Greedy Fly" by Bush

Next up is Bush with "Greedy Fly", coming in at #94 on the countdown. "Greedy Fly" is not as famous as some of Bush's other songs but did do very well on the charts. The second single off of their sophomore album, Razorblade Suitcase, "Greedy Fly" topped out at #3 on the Modern Rock Charts and #22 on the Hot 100. It was the follow up to their most successful single to date, "Swallowed", in terms of position on the charts. These two singles bolstered the album and Razorblade Suitcase was able to reach #1 on Billboard's Top 200 albums. In terms of sales, it fell short of their debut album, Sixteen Stone, but nevertheless went triple platinum.

Bush is a British alternative rock band that was intensely popular in the '90s. Their first four albums reached platinum status in the US, and they had three #1 singles on the Modern Rock Charts. Their fifth and final album was Golden State which was their least successful album to date. That was released in 2001 and soon after Bush disbanded. Lead singer Gavin Rosedale has moved on to a new band called, Institute.

Bush seems like it was the forgotten band of the '90s. When you look at what people listen to these days, you see Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and even Third Eye Blind, all of which are past their hay days. Bush is no where to be found. For being such a big act in the '90s you would think that they would have a decent following today, but that is not the case.

As for the music video, it is quite a doozey. To say that this is a dark video, would be an understatement. Like the song, it is very intense. To be honest, I am not positive on what exactly is going on but I can tell you that the main character of this video, played by Gavin Rosedale, has lost his "mind". It appears that he murdered someone and the music video attempts to tells the story. Starting out in the interrogation room after he has been arrested and ending in the same room after the story has been told. The imagery is staggering, as I assume they are trying to let you into the eye of a murder. Coming in at over seven minutes, it might leave you scratching your head. It is very interesting to say the least. Check it out and let me what you think!

Interested in other songs from the countdown? Check out the other Top Songs of the 1990s here

Song #95: "Found Out About You" by Gin Blossoms

Rizzo Music continues with the countdown of the Top 100 Songs of the 1990s, with "Found Out About You" by Gin Blossoms. A radio friendly hit with mass appeal, "Found Out About You" was Gin Blossoms fourth single off of New Miserable Experience. Although this was the only single to hit #1 on the Modern Rock Charts, they released 5 singles off of their sophomore album - all of which cracked the Top 40 on the Mainstream Rock Chart. "Found Out About You", which was released in 1994, may not be their most popular or famous song to date but was one of those songs that defined their sound as a band.

Gin Blossoms is a jangle pop alternative rock band that formed in the late 80s, but didn't hit it big until 1993 when they released, "Hey Jealousy". They not only had five successful singles off of New Miserable Experience, but they also went on to release 3 more singles that charted on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, two of which broke into the top 10. The band split up in 1997 but started to regroup after 2002. They released their latest album, Major Lodge Victory in 2006 and have been touring ever since. Nearly ten years after Congratulations I'm Sorry, "Major Lodge Victory" put the band from Tempe, Arizona, made it back onto the Billboard 200 Chart, topping out at 159.

The music video for "Found Out About You" is pretty much just classic '90s. They make good use of their strobe light as they show shots of the band playing the song as well as what appears to be a hotel. The strobe light is a perfect fit for this foot-tapping '90s rock classic but at the same time it probably won't invoke you to go watch it again. Great song, pretty good video. Check it out!

Interested in other songs from the countdown? Check out the other Top Songs of the 1990s here

Song #96: "Down" by 311

Today we continue with the countdown of the Top Songs of the 1990s with number 96, "Down" by 311. "Down" was released in 1996 and was the first single from 311 with widespread mainstream success. With heavy guitar riffs and rap style lyrics, 311's "Down" garnered a lot of attention. Coming off their self-title (blue) album, "Down" stayed at #1 on the modern rock charts for 4 weeks and topped out on the Hot 100 at #37. With the help of "All Mixed Up", the blue album went on to sell over three million copies.

311 is alternative rock back from Omaha, Nebraska. With their rebel attitude and mix of several different styles of music, they were able to maintain continued success over the years. They have released five albums since the blue album and have charted fourteen more singles on the Modern Rock Charts as well as another #1 hit with their cover of The Cure's "Love Song". They seem like they are constantly touring around the US and are known for being a great live band. They are planning a spring tour scheduled for this year, and are currently working on their next album. As long as they maintain their loyal fan base, there is no telling how long they will stick around.

The music video for this one is pretty simple. It features all the members of the band just performing the song. They play around with some special effects, including distorting the picture. It also features the band in some sort of mediating state when the lyrics "Keep my feet on the ground / Keep my head in the clouds" are sung. It is a fairly formulaic video and understandably as their first big single. Check it out and be stay tuned for the next song on the countdown.

Interested in other songs from the countdown? Check out the other Top Songs of the 1990s here

90's Rap Hits

First of it's kind on Rizzo Music, this week I am here to introduce our '90s rap music playlist.

Although I grew up mostly on '90s alternative rock, I do have some rap favorites that I would like to share with you. These hits are about as good as rap singles go. My favorite from this group of songs would have to be "It Was A Good Day" by Ice Cube. I can't find a better rap song to stroll through town with the windows down. It will have you head bobbing up and down from beginning to end.

Enjoy this one and be sure to let me know if I missed any classics.

'90s Rap Hits Playlist:
1. Master P - Burbons and Lacs
2. DMX - What's My Name?
3. The Notorious B.I.G. - Hypnotize
4. Ice Cube - It Was A Good Day
5. Snoop Dogg - Gin and Juice
6. Mobb Deep - Shook Ones Pt. II
7. Luniz - I Got 5 On It
8. Bone Thugs-n-Harmony - Foe tha Love of $
9. Dr. Dre - Nuthin' but a "G" Thang
10. 2pac - Hail Mary

Here's the link for the whole playlist: 90's Rap Hits Playlist

UPDATE: 90's Rap Hits Playlist Part II

Looking for more playlists? We've got plenty.