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LAST HURRAH: Jaycee Carroll high-fives fans as he leaves the Spectrum court after what was likely his last home game. Click Arts&Life for a link to photos. / Photo by Tyler Larson

Today's word on journalism

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Grammatically Speaking:

"We owe much to our mother tongue. It is through speech and writing that we understand each other and can attend to our needs and differences. If we don't respect and honor the rules of English, we lose our ability to communicate clearly and well. In short, we invite mayhem, misery, madness, and inevitably even more bad things that start with letters other than M."

--Martha Brockenbrough, grammarian and founder, National Grammar Day

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Review from Sundance: Velvet Revolver a different type of concert party

TEARIN' IT UP AT HARRY O'S: Slash, in hat (naturally), and Duff McKeggan raise the roof. / Photo by Ben Hansen

By Ben Hansen

January 24, 2008 | Have you ever been to the fabled Harry O's nightclub during the Sundance Film Festival? Stories of musicians, actors, and athletes swarming the "by invite only" events at Harry O's have been told for years.

I received a tip that Velvet Revolver -- the mega band with members from Guns N' Roses and Stone Temple Pilots -- was going to be playing Sunday night. It was time to pull some strings and get into Harry O's for the first time.

More famous faces at Harry O's.

"Paris Hilton Presents Velvet Revolver with special guests The Bravery," was the official name of the event. My ticket stub and the phone calls made to the club confirmed that the doors would open at 9:30 p.m. Wanting to get a good spot for the show, I joined the line at 9 (I was the third person in line) and ended up waiting until 10:15 p.m. to get into the venue. Even with a photo credit, call-ahead and tickets, this was still a tight venue to crack. I had heard stories of previous Harry O's shows during this Sundance party (Maroon 5, 50 cent) where people on the guest list had to wait until after the musicians had completed their sets to even make it in to the club, so I was appreciative to be in.

By the time the show was ready to start, Harry O's floor was swarming like an anthill. It was easy to see why some people with tickets would have to wait outside -- the club was filled to capacity within 15 minutes of the doors opening.

The band "The Bravery" warmed up the evening for Velvet Revolver and brought an energy to the already excited crowd quickly. Although the musicians' set was only four songs long, they played their hit Honest Mistake, much to the delight of the crowd that was singing along word for word with the band.

Velvet Revolver's members shot across the stage to begin their set and went straight to business, pounding out the Guns N' Roses classic It's So Easy, with bassist Duff McKeggan covering lead vocals in raw yet fabulous fashion. It was quickly noticeable, however, that lead vocalist Scott Weiland was not with them. Was he in rehab or jail again? Or just didn't show up?

At first, I was a bit disappointed to not see the full band. As the set continued, however, one could not help but to be mesmerized by how the show unfolded. After the first song, the band quickly told the audience that they had assembled a cast of singers to come help out in Scott's absence. The vocal duties were shared by both various friends of the band and members of the band themselves throughout the night, with drummer Matt Sorum taking over vocal duties for a cover of another Guns N' Roses classic, Patience. Actor and musician Donovan Leitch also provided a large majority of the vocals for the evening, covering Mr. Brownstone, helping Duff carry the load on It's So Easy. Other vocal performances were done by various other musicians and celebrities passing through town, including rapper Lil' Jon, who had come to the show to celebrate his birthday.

Lead guitarist Slash was pure brilliance, ripping off one blistering solo after another, owning each and every song played, whether a cover or his own material. Some of the cover songs in the set list included Feel Like Making Love by Bad Company, Surrender by Cheap Trick, and Honky Tonk Woman by the Rolling Stones.

The show had a fun and incredibly loose feel to it regardless of the absence of Scott Weiland. The band and the audience alike seemed to thrive off of the spontaneity of the set. The events of the night definitely made me ask myself, "Could this be the start of something else for these guys?" Scott Weiland has recently stated to the public that his former band Stone Temple Pilots will be joining forces again -- is it time to see the other guys "bury the hatchet" and offer a handshake to Axl Rose for the reformation of Guns N' Roses? Only time will tell. . . .



Copyright 1997-2008 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-3292
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