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2010 Went Up In Blackberry Smoke



Blackberry Smoke had announced their show at Peachtree Tavern months ago and I knew where I would be for NYE as soon as I heard them.  Blackberry Smoke has the sound of sitting in my Grandpa’s old green farm truck.   The windows rolled all the way down with a Mason jar of ice-cold lemonade and 96 Rock playing on the radio. Blackberry Smoke’s music reminds me of getting a group of family together and heading to the lake to sit, drink and laugh.  Their sound is that of sweet Southern living and has the twang that puts the South in all of our souls.  I grew up listening to classic rock and I feel that this group has accomplished bringing that genre back to the forefront and the crowds love every minute of it as evidenced by Blackberry Smoke’s steady climb on the music charts.

I walk into to a packed house at Peachtree Tavern and I am instantly hit by the multitude of happy faces.  I see New Year’s hats and horns galore.  In front of me is Blackberry Smoke playing and I grab my date’s hand and head to the stage.  All around me people are singing and smiling and have their arms around each other.  As corny as it sounds, it feels good to be in a crowd that is emanating love instead of hate.  I pull my camera from its case and begin to shoot pictures.  I am welcomed by the every single person and when I need a helping hand I hear yes instead of no.  The lead singer, Charlie stops in the middle and says, “I don’t want to be the …hole that plays through New Years can someone tell me what time it is?”     Since I have not been keeping track of time I am shocked to find it is 11:58 PM.  The band plays for a few seconds and then the countdown begins. TEN: the butterflies hit the stomach; NINE: Excitement seeps through my bones; EIGHT: I can feel the adrenaline begin to surge in my stomach; SEVEN: My eyes start to peruse the crowd; SIX: I squeeze the hand of my friend; FIVE: My mind races through the entire last year; FOUR: I can feel relief and happiness that I am here; THREE: Oh my face is lit up like a candle and I see only smiles looking back at me; TWO: My feet are bouncing as we get closer; ONE: Wow we are at HAPPY NEW YEAR!  To all my family, friends, heck every single person out there I wish you prosperity in all aspects of life and a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Then as if out of nowhere I hear the music of a great band and their songs once again begin to fill the air.  Partying with good friends, loved ones, and making new memories was a common theme for most on December 31, 2010. Along with a packed house at Peachtree Tavern, the special guests and I rang in the New Year with Blackberry Smoke and I can feel a good one coming on for 2011.

Special Thanks to Bradley Jordan for his continued support of The Backstage Beat!

Photo Gallery by:  April Bumpus

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Artists to Watch

Cry With Us! Puddles Pity Party in Orlando



Ange Alex

I owe him a poem:

Here’s a story of a sad clown who one night in February was traveling through O-town. 

He brought a suitcase and a lot of gum, he brought music and videos and tons of fun.

He sang high but mostly he sang low, and he put of one hell of a good show.

He gave a bearded guy a cupcake and danced with a lady, a wolf he would make

There is no doubt he is a boss sir, he even got love from Kevin Costner.

Fans filled the plaza for a night of delight as the 7 foot clown gave us some real insight.

He sang Bowie and Queen and even some Who, also Cash, Lorde and “Let it go” too

Videos played of pets and babies crying, also beautiful artwork and people smiling.

Last night Orlando was anything but mad as we showed much love for a clown that is sad.

Ok, I’d cry too after that poem. Here’s some more info:

If you haven’t been to see a Puddles Pity Party show, you are missing out. 

The show had me smiling and laughing so hard my stomach hurt, but I was also moved so many times by the range of Puddles voice. True entertainment never gets old and I have a feeling he is going to last forever.

I loved the interaction he had with the crowd. He pulled numerous people up to help him on stage and all of them were good sports, one man even singing the entire song, “All by myself” karaoke style! The show was so well thought out and planned but with room for some hilarious improv. Especially at the end when he pulled the 3 fans from the audience dressed like clowns. At the end of them performing together, Puddles suddenly remembers that he is scared of clowns! Genius! 

Hands down one of the best performances I’ve seen in years.


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Holiday Fun

Kingsized Holiday Fun! Big Mike is Back at the Variety Playhouse!



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Big Mike Geier and his Kingsized Rock ‘n Roll Orchestra, along with the Dames Aflame Dancers, Lil’ Santa and other special guests, bring tidings of comfort and joy with their signature glitz and glamour in what has become a tinsel-time tradition at the Variety Playhouse. The all-ages 90-minute show features your Holiday favorites by the likes of Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Andy Williams, Heat Miser, The Grinch and more!

Photo: Emily Butler

We caught up with Big Mike to ask a few questions.

TBB: Big Mike! It’s been a couple years since we had the pleasure of seeing you perform live. We are so excited to be back in Atlanta and we are ready for this show. What can you tell us about this years event?

Big Mike: Welcome back to Atlanta, Ange! We’re also excited to be in town for another wild and wonderful Holiday Jubilee. We like to honor the tradition that the Jubilee has become and don’t mess too much with the format. You can expect the always magnificent sounds of the 12-piece Kingsized Rock ‘n Roll orchestra performing your favorite holiday classics and the dazzling Dames Aflame dancers providing the glamour. The show is all about holiday nostalgia, whatever that means to you: Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Donnie Hathaway, The Grinch, Rankin Bass, Peanuts, the Dreidel Song? It’s all in there.

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Music Gallery

Turkuaz at Aisle 5



Brooklyn based funk band Turkuaz played at Aisle Five in Atlanta last week and here are some shots from the show!

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