Joe Lynn Turner
Rock Hall Benefit concert, Cary NC September 20, 2008
JOE LYNN TURNER with the JOHN ENTWISTLE BAND, Koka Booth Amphitheatre, Cary, North Carolina for the (VisitRaleigh.com) Rock Hall Benefit concert - September 20, 2008 and members of the WHITE SOX ALL-STAR BAND And THE JOHN ENTWISTLE BAND at the Lincoln Theatre After show party, Raleigh, North Carolina - September 21, 2008.
Just a little over a week after Joe Lynn Turner and his BIG NOIZE band mates performed for our troops in Kuwait and Iraq (including the band's emotional 9/11 performance and the debut of the song "Battlefields"); Turner was back in the states performing to thousands more in the small town of Cary, North Carolina (just minutes from Raleigh) in support of one of his charities, the John Entwistle Foundation, who along with the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame (located in Cleveland, Ohio), were the focal point of this inaugural two day event, known simply as the (VisitRaleigh.com) Rock Hall Benefit concert.
Joe, who is also on the panel of the advisory board members for the foundation, was a part of the JOHN ENTWISTLE BAND which, for this particular concert, featured him along with founding members, Steve Luongo and Mark Hitt, as well as "special" performances from Buck Dharma (BLUE OYSTER CULT), Mark Farner (GRAND FUNK RAILROAD), 16 year-old, up and comer, Michelle Blanchard, and CREAM's legendary bass player and vocalist, Jack Bruce.
Last year in fact, this same JOHN ENTWISTLE BAND, under the name "Classic Rock Cares", showcased Turner, Luongo, Hitt, and Farner (who appeared in a couple of shows), as they performed in a mini-tour across a selected number of cities in the US (Midwest, east coast, and Florida) and were interviewed on Rocklineradio.com (July 11th) to not only promote their tour, but to heighten the awareness of the foundation's primary mission which is to help provide music education and instruments for underprivileged children. (For more information about this organization and the other work they do, go to www.johnentwistle.org)
The rest of the musical lineup for this two-day festival was like a Who's Who in "classic" rock music. From Rick Derringer (THE MC COYS, EDGAR WINTER, JOHNNY WINTER) to Dave Mason (TRAFFIC), to the WHITE SOX ALL-STAR BAND (with members from YES, TOWER OF POWER, and THE HOOTERS, which also included Seattle violinist Geoffrey Castle and HENDRIX tribute guitarist and vocalist, Randy Hansen) to Paul Kantner's JEFFERSON STARSHIP, and finally STYX's Dennis
DeYoung; this festival promised and delivered, perhaps one of the most memorable experiences this hard-core music fan could ever imagine as it brought me back to the "good" times I had growing up in San Joaquin Valley (in Central California), and listening to all of these artists' music, even if I didn't always know, at the time, which artist or group did what song, I know I just liked the music.
With that said, I would be amiss not to mention that I am still curious as to why my two favorite bands of my youth, namely DEEP PURPLE and to a lesser extent, RAINBOW, are still not yet a part of the "Rock Hall" as they should be. However, with the appearance of JLT at this concert, as well as, singer Tom Bowes' (TOWER OF POWER) rendition of RAINBOW's "Since you Been Gone"; the representation of these bands were definitely apparent at this benefit concert and certainly got the attention of the concert goers and were a welcome addition at this particular festival.
JLT hit the stage at approximately 9:45 (EST). He began his portion of his set singing DEEP PURPLE's "Smoke on the Water". Within minutes of the opening chords, Turner made his way from on top of the stage platform, down to the audience below to join him in the singing of "Smoke", as well as, his next track, "Hush".
JLT, in fact, was the only artist (from all the artists who performed at the festival) who made this direct connection with the crowd and in turn, they responded to him in kind, enthusiastically joining him during his "call and response" portion of the show. He closed out his set with another DEEP PURPLE classic, "Highway Star". As the next artist was about to appear on stage; Turner just stepped back, and moved stage left to become the background vocalist for some of the numbers performed by the other featured artists who appeared with the band that night.
During a slight break in the action (due to some minor technical difficulties in the nearly 2 hour set), Turner became (what he termed) the "unofficial" spokesman for the foundation and in general, thanked the audience for their time, love, and support for the charities involved through their attendance at this festival.
Then as soon as Jack Bruce's set had ended, Turner returned back to the main stage where he performed THE WHO's "My Generation". Joining him, were the rest of the JOHN ENTWISTLE BAND, as well as the other featured artists, in paying a final tribute to the man for whom the foundation is named for, as well as, the band which he co-founded with Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey back in 1964. Near the end of track, JLT could be seen on stage, imitating the "infamous" Pete Townshend wind-up, as he faced the drum riser.
Within an hour of the festival closing, Turner was performing once again at the after party concert held at the Lincoln Theatre in downtown Raleigh. Accompanied by many members from both the WHITE SOX ALL-STAR BAND and the JOHN ENTWISTLE BAND, Turner gave the audience another taste of why he is still one of the most versatile vocalists' of our generation.
It was during this "special" jam session that JLT treated the crowd with some tracks, other than those he is known for, including a Texas Style blues number similar to ZZ TOP's "La Grange", (JIMI) HENDRIX's "Voodoo Chile", ZZ TOP's "Tush", THE TROGGS' "Wild Thing", LED ZEPPELIN's "Whole Lotta Love" (with, I swear, a hint of BAD COMPANY's "Ready For Love" lyric mixed right in), and finally LED ZEPPELIN's "Rock n' Roll".
Of note: On this night, "Whole Lotta Love" featured an amazing drum solo battle between Alan White (of Yes) and Steve Luongo (John Entwistle Band), which reminded me of the duel drum battles of those who played in the GRATEFUL DEAD, except shorter. Being a fan of the drums, that certainly made this writer's night.
In fact, if I had to sum up the entire weekend in a nutshell... Priceless.
Set List for the JOHN ENTWISTLE BAND and guests.
Joe Lynn Turner
1) "Smoke on the Water"
3) "Highway Star"
1) "Burning For You"
3) "Don't Fear The Reaper"
Michelle Blanchard: who is long time volunteer with the John Entwistle Foundation
1) "Street Walker"
2) "Some Kind Of Wonderful"
3) "I'm Your Captain (Closer To Home)" which Mark sang in honor of the Vietnam Vets and JLT at the end of the song was seen doing a salute, in honor of the Troops.
1) "Rope Ladder To The Moon" (Acoustic)
2) "Sunshine of Your Love"
3) "Sittin' On Top Of the World"
4) "Born Under A Bad Sign"
5) "White Room"
JLT and The JOHN ENTWISTLE BAND in tribute to THE WHO
1) "My Generation"