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Index > General Discussion > Alvin Lee Message & Discussion Board > Budapest, September 25th, 2010 - Finally my first Alvin Lee show!
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Budapest, September 25th, 2010 - Finally my first Alvin Lee show!

(Sorry for my lousy English, and even lousier concert photos - except for the last one...)

What can I say - I finally saw Alvin Lee live, and it was without a doubt the best concert I have ever been to!

Over the last few years, I've seen most of my favorite musicians, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Chris Rea, Gary Moore, to name a few, but as soon as I found out Alvin is playing in relatively near city of Budapest, and managed to get a ticket through a local distributor, I knew this was going to be a very special day for me.

Budapest is indeed a beautiful city, but I didn't have much time to look around, so I won't bother you with details. Let me just say that Petőfi Csarnok is located in a very quiet part of the city, surrounded by a large park, it's well known as a concert hall and has a capacity of about 5000 persons. In a word - a perfect place for blues-rock show.

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It was a very cloudy afternoon, so the event was moved indoors, which proved to be a good decision, not only because it started raining like hell later in the evening, but also because it made the whole show look more like a true club gig than a festival.

I arrived at about 6:45 to take my place in the front rows, and twenty minutes later noticed a group of fans all wearing "Alvin Lee" t-shirts (black ones with a yellow Alvin logo). I immediately recognized Pieter (thanks to the photos he posted on forum and YouTube clips), so I went to say hi and introduce to everyone. As I exspected, it turned out to be a group of great people, and I just felt like I've known them for years.

First performer, a band called Bőrgyári Capriccio, started at around 7:10 and played for about 50 minutes. They mostly played blues standards and blues based rock, it sounded ok, but nothing spectacular.

Then, at about 8:20 it was time for Karen Carroll and Mississippi Grave Diggers. The band was great, there were alot of serious musicians onstage, the music was a mixture of traditional blues and soul-funk-jazzy stuff, they even have an electric violin, which fits in surprisingly well, and Karen's singing was outstanding. They played for an hour and a half, and made a very good overall impression on audience, but you could feel that everyone was getting a bit impatient to see the "headliner".

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Finally at around 10pm, technicians started to prepare the stage for Alvin's band. Since neither Alvin or Pete uses any pedals or efects, it didn't take long, and few minuters later Pete Pritchard and Richard Newman came on stage for a little soundcheck. There was some problem with Alvin's guitar transmitter, so after a few minutes, the tech gave up, plugged in a regular guitar cord, and took it behind the stage. Few seconds latter, some very familiar overdriven guitar licks filled the hall, the crowd went crazy, and Alvin finally walked on stage, in a great shape, and with a big smile on his face.

"Well, alright! Ready to rock and roll?!" Few more problems with the guitar cable, and we're finally in heaven, dancing to "Rock & Roll Music To The World". I was so excited, I thought I was going to have a heart attack - I can only compare it to the feeling I got when Keith Richards hit the first riff of "Start Me Up" at the start of The Stones show, and that's not even close.

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Here's the complete set-list:

ROCK & ROLL MUSIC TO THE WORLD (Simply a perfect opening tune.)

HEAR ME CALLING (TYA classic that sounded very fresh and powerful.)

SCAT THING

into I CAN'T KEEP FROM CRYING SOMETIMES (At this point Alvin's hands were flying all over the freatboard, the octaves, super fast solos, the tapping - much longer than usual - some jazz runs, famous riff from "Sunshine Of Your Love", and finally those psychedelic tones and mic-stand slide.)

HOW DO YOU DO IT (Great interplay between Alvin and Pete, and a few new tricks from Alvin. He was sliding his hand all over the neck holding a root chord notes while doing some hammer ons and pull offs on high strings, it's hard to explain, but it sounded great.)

MY BABY LEFT ME (An old Elvis' number with some outstanding double bass playing by Pete.)

SILLY THING (It still sounds like two or three guitars playing at the same time.)

I DON'T GIVE A D@MN (Excellent singing by Alvin.)

I'M WRITING YOU A LETTER (A little slower tempo than the original "In Flight" version, and a powerful drum solo from Richard Newman.)

SLOW BLUES IN C (During the Richard's solo, the tech tried to fix Alvin's guitar transmitter, but it was still messed up, so Alvin ironically announced the song with: "Sounds like a good time for blues..." But, it was one of the best versions of "Slow Blues In C" I've ever heard, with some "light and shade" soloing, very tasty blues licks and chord-riffs, and perfect dynamics.)

I'M GONNA MAKE IT (Man, I really love "In Tennessee" stuff, and this was an up-tempo version, full of those cool rock'n'roll riffs and Chuck Berry style solos.)

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I WOKE UP THIS MORNING (Another TYA oldie, which still is one of my favorite blues songs. Alvin was singing the verses and playing some guitar fills at the same time - incredibile!)

CLASSICAL THING

into LOVE LIKE A MAN (Now, what can I say - it was a musical heaven! From classical guitar, through the famous opening riff - everyone was screaming and singing the well known melody - into tappings, lightning speed solos, flageolettes, tremolo tricks, harp solo, and finally his trademark harp-slide and drumstick solo, Alvin was doing literally everything that can be done with an electric guitar.)

I'M GOING HOME (Announced as usual with: "OK, now it's time to take you back to Woodstock...", followed by the greatest intro in the history of rock music. I really don't have the words to explain how I felt, all I can say is it was a highlight of the show for me, and one of the best versions of "I'm Going Home" I've heard. All of the famous solos were there, with the addition of some fantastic improvisations, parts from "Woodchoppers' Ball", "Dizzy Miss Lizzy", some old-school rockabilly and "Travis-style" picking, and such a great energy and dynamics from the whole band, and, of course, great response from the audience.)

RIP IT UP (Is there a better encore song to finish a Saturday night show?)

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So, that was it. Once again, I find it very difficult to describe my feelings and impressions. I was out of words. I was going to ask someone to help me pick up my jaw. There he was, a man who inspired me to start playing guitar, only 4-5 meters away, still blasting those fantastic solos, singing better than ever (I almost forgot to mention this), with such an easiness, spontaneity, energy and overall control over the instrument, giving 110% to the audience, and still enjoying himself after more than 40 years of playing! Another thing I want to mention is that Pete Pritchard and Richard Newman are probably the best rhythm section Alvin could find. What else can you exspect from a former Rory Gallagher's drummer, and a man who has toured with Scotty Moore and D. J. Fontana... I knew that this show was going to be something special, but it surpassed my exspectations.

Thank you Alvin, you're still the best!!!

Finally, I'd like to send regards to all of you Alvin fans I met at the show, it was a great pleasure to meet you, and I hope we'll see each other some other time, you know where.

And best regards to all members of this forum! Forgive me if I was to subjective or even boring, this really was a time of my life, and believe me, this is the shorter version of review.

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(From left to right: Les, Pieter, myself, Lynn, Graeme and Ann. Sorry if I got someone's name wrong, I'm terrible at remembering names. The set-list I'm holding on a photo is Lynn's, and please dont tell Bruce Willis that I don't have my own "Alvin Lee" shirt yet, or I'll be in big trouble... )

Re: Budapest, September 25th, 2010 - Finally my first Alvin Lee show!

Absolutely wonderful review Milos, thank you! How fantastic that you got to see this show, and how nice for us to have you back on the board. You've been missed!

Re: Budapest, September 25th, 2010 - Finally my first Alvin Lee show!

Thanks Milos for the fantastic review! It was the next best thing to being there.

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Re: Budapest, September 25th, 2010 - Finally my first Alvin Lee show!

Amazing report Milos. That described the show I saw with 100% accuracy. Good to meet you too. It gives the thing an extra buzz to be there with a group of confirmed Alvin Lee afficionados.

Hard to pick out a favourite in that superb set but I loved I Woke Up This Morning since it took me back to the early TYA days, except that now it hits you like a truck - in the nicest possible way.

And, yes, it was clear that those guys on stage were having fun together, which is a real big plus to the performance.

BTW your English is excellent as is your technical knowledge. I might regale the board later with some words about the fine city of Budapest. For now, I'll mention that, before leaving the hotel for the concert, My brother Roger and I were enjoying a beer in the quiet hotel bar and I noticed that the bar lady had her laptop running so she could check Facebook. I took over the laptop and got some Alvin numbers running via YouTube. We left with Jenny Jenny booming round the hotel!

Re: Budapest, September 25th, 2010 - Finally my first Alvin Lee show!

Great review, Milos! Sounds like a great time was had by all - that tends to happen when Alvin plays!

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Re: Budapest, September 25th, 2010 - Finally my first Alvin Lee show!

Milos, fantastic review! I'm glad you had a great time seeing "they" greatest guitar slinger west of the Nile! Love seeing "In Tennessee" material being played - now, Alvin, throw in a couple of tunes from Saguitar. . . Thanks again, Milos - I can feel the vibe out here in California!!!!

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Re: Budapest, September 25th, 2010 - Finally my first Alvin Lee show!

Thanks SO much for this review.
I could almost feel the wonderful time you all had.



P.S. Wake up Lynn.

Re: Budapest, September 25th, 2010 - Finally my first Alvin Lee show!

as we said on saturday milos the only thing missing was choo choo mama as the 2nd encore although i think they maybe ran out of time (late start) or maybe alvin was just a bit tired after the effort he put in on a fantastic night.

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Re: Budapest, September 25th, 2010 - Finally my first Alvin Lee show!

Milos,
That was GREAT reporting!! Thanks for the pics too thats terrific.

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Re: Budapest, September 25th, 2010 - Finally my first Alvin Lee show!

Thanks you Milos for writing the review as i urged you to do so . You see wonderfull straight from the haert. I agree so much Alvin,Pete and Rich concert was great with many surprises. The is no such thing as one live concert .All are different.

I am still in Amsterdam and be home tomorrow. an after rehearsing with my band at home i will write some too.
THE WEKEND WAS PERFECT. I even had a chat with Alvin coiincidently at the airport ,( we were boarding almost at the same time...) wich gave the Budapest concert even a bigger buzz for me.
Monday the day after ,,i did a concert with with Blondie Chaplin ( from the Stones) in Amsterdam and met Chris Jagger after our show . live is good....as soon as i come home to Norway i write some again..
any way thanks Milos... And great to have Lynn as our new member of the family.
To be continoued.
Pieter

Re: Budapest, September 25th, 2010 - Finally my first Alvin Lee show!

Thank you so much for the time and effort you put into your review Milos, and for sharing the experience of seeing Alvin 'live' for the first time with us.

Re: Budapest, September 25th, 2010 - Finally my first Alvin Lee show!

Thanks Milos for the review, it's just like being there!
Pieter, next time make sure you board Alvin's flight...

Re: Budapest, September 25th, 2010 - Finally my first Alvin Lee show!

Very Nice Milos...And that's quite a list of shows you've seen recently...I'm most envious of you getting to see Alvin and Chris Rea...

Re: Budapest, September 25th, 2010 - Finally my first Alvin Lee show!

Wow! Great review! Thank you!

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Re: Budapest, September 25th, 2010 - Finally my first Alvin Lee show!

What an excellent review Milos-- wow, you really captured this magical night! It was so great to meet you and the Alvin Lee family. Your English is great and photos super especially with the challenging lighting. You have great technical knowledge of the guitar and it was really fun reading your impressions of each song.

This was my first Alvin show too and the excitement was electric. Even though I enjoyed the other two bands, I just wanted to see Alvin up on that stage! When they were setting up the stage for him I almost couldn't believe I was there and the anticipation was brimming. I think it was around then that Graeme came around with a beer-- which helped to calm down a bit!

Richard Newman and Pete Pritchard took the stage and Pieter said Alvin would be in the wings and we would hear him. When he started to play a little off to the side I could barely see him through the curtains. I thought, wow, he's really here, I'm really going to get to see him play.

I think it was Les that said awhile back that with the first chord it's magic and you won't even realize your jet lag and was that ever true. The moment Alvin started playing I was in heaven. Along with the music, Alvin seems incredibly fit and his sense of humor kept coming through-- so fun!

Ali I rocked for both of us! I know you were there in spirit and I imagined you were right up front there rocking out too!

Pieter was an amazing host, helping keep us organized. His sense of humor came through right on meeting him and he had all of us laughing and having fun through the entire perfect weekend. Pieter you rock!

Graeme picked the perfect hotel, great rooms, nice little bar, excellent location for sight seeing-- couldn't have been better.

I had the best time meeting everyone-- Pieter, Graeme and Pam, Les and your brother, Milos-- I couldn't have made the dream of seeing Alvin play a reality if it wasn't for all of you!!! Thank you so much.

Budapest also is an amazingly beautiful city. What a lovely setting to be in. I think I could go on and on but will pause there!

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Re: Budapest, September 25th, 2010 - Finally my first Alvin Lee show!

So happy to hear from you your impressions of THE night.

It truly does sound magical. I am disappointed that none of you got to say hello to Alvin in person, other than the brief meeting Pieter had with him at the airport. (Although, I would be in heaven over that.)

I wonder what Alvin's protocol is for meeting his fans? Does he ever do that, Toni? And, if so, how do you go about it?

I am sure he does meet some, but just who and why is a curiousity for me.
(I guess I'm just trying to improve my chances, if and when I ever get to see him play.)

I am sure Alvin can relate to how much the experience of seeing your hero in person heightens the event, beyond measure.
I have read how he was disappointed when Jerry Lee didn't play his favorite song at a concert he went to many years ago. I wonder if he got to meet him that night?

The few that do get to meet their special star, go to their grave with it being one of the highlights of their lives. It would be wonderful to be someones
'life highlight'.

Alvin has the power to be that for as many as he chooses.
What an amazing gift it would be.

Re: Budapest, September 25th, 2010 - Finally my first Alvin Lee show!

I understand where your coming from Ali, and meeting Alvin would have been lovely, but I can say personally I'm not disappointed at all! He gives so much and connects so directly with the audience while he plays that you feel as if you have met him. I think Alvin cares about his fans, and I imagine after pouring out energy like that, you'd just want to go back to your hotel and collapse.

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Re: Budapest, September 25th, 2010 - Finally my first Alvin Lee show!

I'm sure that's true, Lynn.

I know at a concert, everyone in attendance wants a piece of you. After-all, you can only give so much before it starts costing you.

After the descriptions of the show, I can see how Alvin pours himself out for his fans BECAUSE he cares for them and wants them to have a great time enjoying his music.

It would be more than brutal to empty yourself out into your music, and then, have to go backstage, all spent and beat-down to have to start glad-handing a ton of people as though you are running for mayor. Ugh!

I guess I will have to find Alvin on a leisure day, perhaps along a unnamed Spanish coastline, sunning himself on a beach chair, sipping margueritas.

Is it getting hot in here?
Look out Alvin, you have been warned.

Re: Budapest, September 25th, 2010 - Finally my first Alvin Lee show!

ALVIN El Mejor

ALVIN for Mayor


Re: Budapest, September 25th, 2010 - More Pictures

Finely home and time to write some. But...
I think i dont have to add more to Milos`review.
Great heartfelt written .
But maby some pics.
This time in our international Alvin lee Family we we also represented of the USA by beautiful Lynn. we had a pretty international "family" at Alvins weekend .Lynn from the USA. Pam and Graemme from Scotland. George and Les from the UK, Milos from Serbia, en me from Holland/Norway. and if Eric was not sick
Eric from switserland and Jane fro South Africa.
I hope next time more of the USA !!
here are some pics of us on our way to dinner at the eavening before the concert.
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and on day time..
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Lynn visiting the cathedral.
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Pam Finishing the Budapest Maraton.
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Me and Graemme infront of the gigg.
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Alvin ,Pete,Rich sett up.
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George,Les,Pieter,Milos Lynn,Greamme and Pam.
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the gigg after the show.
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Some local shops ( nice spelling).

All in all we had a great time.
and Alvin . i have not been in San francisco yet and Rio or Tokio could you please concider to play there........

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Re: Budapest, September 25th, 2010 - More Pictures

Pieter...As always, very nice...Great pictures!...Thanks again to you and Milos for all of the reviews and photos...Looks like you kids had a wonderful week-end...Wish we there there!

Re: Budapest, September 25th, 2010 - More Pictures

Great pictures thanks a lot Pieter. Just missing Alvin in the middle of all of you guys. Next time, why don't you all jump on stage...

Re: Budapest, September 25th, 2010 - More Pictures

& I thought I was a fan,
You guys are the lucky ones.
nice review, cherish the memory.
Peace,
DLM

Re: Budapest, September 25th, 2010 - More Pictures

No so sure about the shops Pieter, mmmmm...... Budapest does look really nice though. Thanks to you, Milos and Lynn for the pics and reports.

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Re: Budapest, September 25th, 2010 - More Pictures

Thanks for the comments everyone!

Great photos Pieter! (I didn't get to look around the city, next time I'm in Budapest I'll definitely check the "Szex shop".)

Great to be back on the board!

Re: Budapest, September 25th, 2010 - Finally my first Alvin Lee show!

I'm enjoying the eyewitness and "earwitness" reports -- sounds like a lot of fun!

Re: Budapest, September 25th, 2010 - Finally my first Alvin Lee show!

There's always the first time and the last time for everything

Re: Budapest, September 25th, 2010 - Finally my first Alvin Lee show!

. . . and the infinite is in the finite of every instant. . .

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Re: Budapest, September 25th, 2010 - Finally my first Alvin Lee show!

Quote: Nick
There's always the first time and the last time for everything


I don't know why your comment made me think of that zen saying, it just did. What I was trying to say is that this was my first Alvin Lee concert (hopefully not the last!) and the memory will be lasting!

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