This week, for your reading enjoyment, we have compiled critical reviews of live performances from Paul McCartney in San Jose, Calif.; Blink-182/Lil Wayne in Holmdel, N.J.; Monsta X in London; Bryan Adams in Winnipeg, Manitoba; and Peter Frampton in Boston.
Paul McCartney @ SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., July 10 – “Throughout the night, McCartney pivoted among bass, guitar and piano, working up a sweat that required him to remove his jacket after half a dozen songs. Always willing to reaffirm McCartney’s status as first-ballot rock star, the crowd gamely cheered as he partially disrobed.” – Zack Ruskin / Datebook
Blink-182 / Lil Wayne @ PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J., July 9 – “[Travis] Barker, 43 and easily one of the deftest drummers of his rock generation, unleashed his usual artillery rounds throughout the night, elevating the simple melodies of most Blink songs to heights far more intricate and explosive. The band can play on with DeLonge, but if Barker ever walked, it’d be game over.”
“The swaggy emcee, who fancies himself ‘the greatest rapper alive,’ was also gracious Tuesday night, repeating to the crowd ‘I ain’t s*** without you, you dig?’ Wayne powered through the popular choruses from crossover hits ‘Lollipop,’ ‘Every Girl,’ and Drake’s ‘HYFR,’ plus a bunch of deeper tunes from old mixtapes. He was engaging and focused — two descriptors not often associated with Weezy — delivering particularly intense lines during ‘Let It Fly,’ both hands clasped to the mic stand, a joint between his fingers curling smoke.” – Bobby Olivier / NJ.com
Monsta X @ The SSE Arena, Wembley in London, England, July 9 – “Compared to the polished performance from another huge group just two days before in the same arena, Monsta X – with their leather-look trousers and EDM sound – are rougher around the edges in the best way. Their stage presence is freer and they have a slight edge to them, largely thanks their rapline, who on the night declared Monsta X the best team in K-Pop to an extremely supportive crowd.” – Sarah Deen / Metro
Sean Kilpatrick / The Canadian Press via AP – Bryan Adams
Bryan Adams performs during the Juno Awards at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, April 2.
Bryan Adams @ Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, July 8 – “However, he sounded unbelievably smooth to go along with a wonderful display of vocal range for 59-years old.
“He worked through a star studded 30-song set list featuring all of his classics, right up until his 2015 album Get Up and the tour’s title album Shine A Light, which was released in March of this year.” – Marek Tkach / Global News
Peter Frampton @ Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion in Boston, Mass., July 9 – “This was no solemn occasion, however. A near-capacity crowd came ready to party and travel back in time to the carefree days of Pontiac Firebirds, Atari Pong and Farrah Fawcett’s feathered hair.” – Bill Brotherton / ItemLive.com