1) Livewire is a quite the venue. It's surrounded by nightclubs in the middle of the most happening part of Scottsdale, but it's not just a club. It will attempt to double as a concert venue and a club, which is somewhat irregular in Old Town. As we wrote when the club opened just before New Year's Eve, "While live music isn't a foreign concept to the city, as venues ranging from bars like The Rogue and Pub Rock to the esteemed Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts regularly host concerts -- it's something of an anathema in the club-heavy entertainment district." It seems like the organizers aren't going to limit themselves to the EDM producers and DJs that would fit so naturally in its location. Jeff Bridges, the Dude himself, and his country band were the first act to grace the stage Friday night, and the next night the two-tone legends English Beat played the venue.
2) I didn't see this coming, but apparently Jeff Bridges and his straightforward and very well done country sound attracts an elderly audience. It was kind of hilarious to see hundreds of the Tony Bennett crowd meshing with the Bottled Blonde crowd on a Friday night.
3) Livewire has a magnificent eagle above the stage with guitars and speakers for wings. God bless America and God bless rock 'n' roll.
4) First shows at venues are always sketchy. There's just no way to properly anticipate everything that could potentially go wrong. It's just part of the learning experience when you open a new stage. From rows chairs packed tighter than airline seats to sound issues during opener Heartlyn Rae, it was clear on Friday night that Livewire has some kinks still left unresolved.
5) The worst was the poor guy doing lights, who got called out by both Jeff Bridges and his drummer at different times for flubs during the show.
6) Jeff Bridges has a great stage presence. Everything from his voice to his smile are perfectly cool. He seemed like he was having a blast throughout the whole concert.
7) Livewire will never sell as many White Russians as they did Friday night.
8) Bridges is one of the most genuine performers you'll ever see. Maybe he's just a great actor and faking it, but he seemed truly grateful for the immense success life has given him. His gratitude shined through all night, from his pronouncement that "we're the first guys to play this joint, we're honored!" to the fact that he introduced not just his band but his crew members as well. Many frontmen introduce their band, but not many give a shout-out to their tour manager and roadie.
9) Just how much of the Dude is actually just Jeff Bridges' personality? He dropped many Dude-like moments during the concert, including when he forgot all the instruments one of his band members played. When someone helped out his failing memory with the reminder, "12-string guitar," Bridges replied, with a hint of genuine surprise, "12-string guitar! That's a lot of stuff, man!" Then, during a break in the action, when Bridges' fantastic guitarist Chris Pelonis was pitching the band's album, Bridges interrupted and exclaimed, "Let's play a little something for the Dude, man!" The band then launched into, of course, Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Lookin' Out My Back Door."
10) Strip clubs can't market any better than this. "Rebecca" from Sonny's Gentleman's Club in Chandler sent a cake backstage, and during the encore, Bridges brought it on stage. He opened it, bemused, and read the fitting inscription: "Does the female form make you uncomfortable, Mr. Lebowski?"
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