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Archive for August, 2009

Staying in, a Restaurant Week lunch and the Virgin FreeFest

Monday, August 31st, 2009

I was 1 for 3 on planned shows this weekend, but I think yesterday made up for it. Friday night I was thinking about going to see the The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers with live music at Wolf Trap, but the weather wasn’t great and I had a headache, so after Jill made pasta for dinner, we settled for a movie night: Breakfast Club and City Of Ember. Despite John Hughes being the “voice of my generation”, I hadn’t seen all of his movies so this was my fist time in the Club. It was pretty good, although I was already aware of most of the good lines (damn you pop culture). City Of Ember was ok, nothing special, then Jill headed to bed and I skimmed the Skins vs. Pats preseason game – it was the first game where the first stringers got to play a half, and they looked good.

Saturday we slept in, then had a small breakfast as we went to Chef Geoff’s Tysons for lunch. It was the end of Restaurant Week, and we usually can find a reason to make in into DC for it, but nothing cam up this time, so I decided we’d try Chef Geoff’s new location in Tysons Corner. We both started with the grilled peach salad – with ham and goat cheese, it was a great taste of summer. I had the lobster roll, very good, and Jill had the Chicken Thyme Sausage Pizza (she got it on their whole wheat crust too). For dessert I had three kinds of ice cream (toasted almond was best) and Jill asked for a fruit bowl and got strawberries and blackberries. We had to stop by Mom’s on the way back as I had been working on her computer, then we had to head back as we had an appointment for an estimate to replace our windows (higher than expected).

We weren’t very hungry, so Jill suggested hot dogs with the works and green beans for dinner. I had planned to check out America at the Loudoun Summer Music Fest, but the rain was pounding down and we delayed. We did venture out after it stopped, but either they finished early or canceled due to the rain – nothing was going on. So we cam back home and watched another movie: Lilo & Stitch. I had no idea Kevin McDonald was in it, but I identified him right away (somewhat appropriate his character crossdresses), pretty good and funny flick.

Sunday morning we headed up to Merriweather Post Pavilion for the Virgin Mobile FreeFest. I hadn’t made the first three Virgin Festivals for various reasons (mostly conflicts with other shows and weather), but this was different for two reasons: 1) Jill wanted to see the headliners and 2) free. We parked at the mall in a garage I knew was used for concert overflow parking, and it turned out the entrance for the fest was right there, easy in and out. Before we went in we got Santa Fe sandwiches at the mall from the salad place and sealed waters, then ate the sandwiches before we went in. I had gotten CDs from some of the artists that I hadn’t heard before, and Mates Of State really stood out (they’re a two piece in the same format as the White Stripes and The Ting Tings). We managed to catch most of their set, including The Re-Arranger and My Only Offer. Next we saw a bit of Wale at the Woods Stage, but he was ok so we went into the woods and enjoyed some shade where we could still listen. We came back out for The Hold Steady – they were pretty good, but my favorite thing was the pirate tiki glass my smoothie was served in (Jill accidentally kicked it over before I was done, so I made her buy me another so now we have a pair for FRFF next year). We also found our friends Hannah and Dave, but they vanished before the end of the set.

pirate tiki glass

We headed back to the pavilion and staked out a spot on the lawn in the middle of Jet, found our friends Norm and Terrie and chatted for a bit, then Jill went to get some food. She came back and then I left, watched a bit of Public Enemy (Flavor Flav!), then got a good gyro and a beer and sat in the woods so I could take my earplugs out while I ate. When I got back to Jill, The Bravery were on and we watched the rest of their set, not bad, but probably wouldn’t see them again. Norm and Terrie came back after they were done and let us know there was some kind of stunt coming up. They used a cherry picker to bring Richard Branson and some of Blink-182 up on top of the pavilion, then we waited as a helicopter climbed higher and higher and we watched a video feed on top of someone’s head in the copter, then two guys jumped out of the copter. It was cool to watch them coming down at the same time as we watched the live feed as them falling. They pulled their chutes and managed to land right on top. Richard Branson then came over to the crowd with them and sprayed some champagne, then welcomed everyone and said something to the effect of “Wouldn’t it be nice if it was free every year?”

Red Bull skydivers

Weezer was up next, definitely the best show of the day. Who else could bookend their set with covers (War Pigs and Should I Stay Or Should I Go) and still squeeze in all the hits under an hour? It was the first Weezer set I’d seen in 15 years, and it was perfect (the last time was also about an hour). I also think Perfect Situation may be my favorite song of theirs. Food was good, shade and water were great, I’d definitely pay to get the same thing next year. We were done with the lawn, pretty crowded, but we stopped by the second stage to get that other smoothies and to check out Girl Talk. I liked him more than I thought I would – mad props for mashing up “Whoomp (There It Is)” with “Big Country”. We got to chat with Hannah and Dave a bit more, but we were both done and didn’t stay for either Blink-182 or Franz Ferdinand.

Gordon’s 50 Venues meme

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Ok, I didn’t participate in the 50 bands meme, but Gordon has come up with one I find interesting: naming 50 different places you’ve seen bands. And for extra credit, I’m going to do it in order of geographical proximity:

  1. Herndon Town Green
  2. Revolution Coffee House (RIP)
  3. Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern
  4. Ned Devine’s
  5. Belmont Country Club
  6. Meadowlark Gardens
  7. The Old Brogue
  8. Wolf Trap (and Barns)
  9. Jammin’ Java
  10. T.T. Reynolds
  11. Planet Nova (RIP)
  12. Fairfax County Government Center
  13. P.J. Skidoo’s
  14. Patriot Center
  15. Iota
  16. Clarendon Grill
  17. Nissan Pavilion
  18. Birchmere (last two locations)
  19. Alexandria Waterfront
  20. Jaxx
  21. Nick’s
  22. Bayou (RIP)
  23. Georgetown Waterfront
  24. Constitution Hall
  25. GWU Smith Center
  26. Lisner Auditorium
  27. Warner Theatre
  28. Hard Rock Cafe
  29. The Mall
  30. Black Cat
  31. 9:30 Club (both locations)
  32. Washington Project For The Arts
  33. Nation (RIP)
  34. MCI/Verizon Center
  35. Smithsonian American Art Museum
  36. RFK Stadium
  37. FedEx Field
  38. Capital Centre/US Air Arena
  39. Hammerjacks (RIP)
  40. Rams Head Live
  41. Merriweather Post Pavilion
  42. PSINet Stadium/M & T Bank Stadium
  43. Pier Six Pavilion
  44. Baltimore Arena/1st Mariner Arena
  45. Meyerhoff Hall
  46. Lyric Opera House
  47. Rams Head Tavern
  48. Gordon Center
  49. Strawberry Hill
  50. Richmond Mosque

      Hmm – made it to 50 without making it beyond VA, DC and MD.

Weird Al new EP plus unreleased polka

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009


If you’re not following Weird Al these days, you may not know he has a new digital-only EP out. You can click the image above to get it at iTunes, or watch the videos:
Whatever You Like
Craigslist
Skipper Dan
CNR
Ringtone

And if that’s not enough, this week on his Twitter feed he made available the Buddy Holly polka. Only 20 seconds long, but would fit right in with the others. Too bad Rivers from Weezer didn’t give permission to use it – maybe we can ask him why when we see him on Sunday.

Great Big Sea and a greater bigger sea

Monday, August 24th, 2009

I picked up food at Fresh City on my home Friday, then we waited for my sister Sharon to arrive. She was planning on heading to Boston the next day, and wasn’t sure if she could come, but I thought she’d like the show, and we’d chosen this night for one of our free pairs of lawn tix. We headed over separately (she was spending the night at Mom’s) and headed in. Jill had a fajita burrito and I had a turkey club, both good, plus I had a fruit smoothie (with a little rum).

There had been some heavy storms earlier in the day, but it seemed like clear sailing, so we were getting ready for the music, but dark clouds started rolling in. We had the luck of bringing a small tarp since we couldn’t find the blanket, so we sat on some of it and pulled the rest over us as drops started to fall. As Carbon Leaf started playing, then it got heavy for a while, tapered off, then got heavy again. Thankfully it stopped shortly before they did, so we could recover and head down to our front row seats. Sharon stayed a while longer before leaving, but she had a long drive ahead of her.

Great Big Sea was fabulous, playing mostly older material and at one point getting off on a Christmas riff, playing nearly complete versions of “Happy Xmas” and “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”. Jill was very happy to hear “Ordinary Day” at the end of the set, and I loved getting “The River Driver” at the start of the second encore. After the show we thought we were leaving, but it started raining again and there was thunder and lightening, so we stayed put under cover until it passed.

Saturday morning we got up early, as Jill had called for a beach trip. I was playing with the dog and managed to hit my head on a glass frame, causing a nice little gusher of blood. Jill cleaned and bandaged me – though I looked like I’d come out of the Appalachian Emergency Room (from Saturday Night Live). We did still leave somewhat early, and made good on our goal to get to the Bay Bridge by 10AM. That was when we saw one of the most shocking things ever. A couple cars in front of us in the right lane were stopped, and when we were close enough to stop ourselves, the driver of the lead car got out. It looked like he was going to run around to the passenger side, but instead went straight over the side of the bridge. It was nothing like the movies, he was gone in an instant. Traffic was already starting to back up and some people were already pulling over to see what they could do, while Jill (who was driving) was not happy about stopping there (she has some anxiety about bridges), so we kept going. I called WTOP to report it, and someone else must have called sooner, as a police car and an ambulance were racing the other way seconds later. When we got back home we looked and found this (third item down) – so sad.

The rest of our drive had no drama, we mostly listened to music. Once we got to Rehoboth Beach, we checked in to our hotel, then went to the beach for a couple hours under mostly cloudy conditions. Jill didn’t get to go in the ocean too far, as the effects of Hurricane Bill had huge waves crashing on shore (and rip currents). We grabbed a quick hot dog before we left, then returned to the hotel where our room was now ready. After we cleaned up, we headed over to the Dogfish Head restaurant, where the first thing we did was raise a toast to lost souls. We split a Caesar salad and A Simply Inquiry pizza, I tried their Dogfish Jin as part of a Fifty-Fifty and a glass of the Palo Santo Marron, while Jill had the 60 Minute IPA and a Cosmo using their Blue Hen Vodka infused with watermelon. We walked around and shopped a bit after that, then relaxed for a while at the hotel.

We had late dinner reservations at the Cultured Pearl, the first time we’d returned to the site of our first formal date. It’s an elegant Sushi/Japanese place right near the hotel, which was good planning as it was raining heavily by that time. We started with a selection from the “edamame bar”, a selection of flavored edamame (the outside is, then you get it on your fingers when you open the pods). We tried the Karai (sauteed in chili oil, garlic, butter and fleur de sel) – it was just the right amount of spice and salt. We also had Zipang, a sparkling sake that hit the right notes between a sparkling wine and sake.

Next we had some sushi, Jill had the Crunchy Roll (eel and avocado with tempura bits, spicy sesame, eel sauce and sancho) while I had the Firecracker (tempura, tuna, salmon, jalapeño, lump crab, Sriracha and spicy mayo). The combination of the Sriracha, jalapeño and wasabi was incredibly hot and delicious, I think it’s my favorite sushi dish ever.

We weren’t done as Jill had ordered the Korean BBQ (marinated flatiron steak, char grilled, topped with shiso shallot butter and sliced atop asian fried rice and spicy kim chee, accented with chopped peanut, green onion and cilantro). I had wisely abstained from getting anything else (our late lunch had been filling), and Jill only ate about a third, I ate another third, but it was very good. That was it for us, it was still drizzling and we were wiped out.

We both slept in, barely made the hotel breakfast. I had ham, pineapple, a hard boiled egg, a slice of quiche and some banana bread, Jill had cereal and an English muffin. We hit the road, stopped at Sonic for some diet limeades and Ma & Pa’s Market for some produce. We hit a little traffic, then switched drivers so I could drive over the bridge (I admit it was a little nerve wracking) then onto DC to pick up some tix, then home.

I had a bunch of papers to read and some surfing to do in the afternoon, and Jill had some errands to run. I marinated some chicken in a store bought marinade, then tried a watermelon salad based on one we’d had at Wolf Trap. Unfortunately the balsamic vinegar glaze caramelized, and it was a bit odd tasting candy with a balsamic vinegar flavor. I really like the combination of watermelon and feta, I’ll have to try another dressing soon.

A little bit of Chickenfoot

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

I do go to a lot of concerts, and sometimes I overextend myself. It was in the middle of Phish last Saturday when I realized this was going to be one of those weeks, with shows last Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and last night, plus this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The first thing I decided to get rid of was my ticket for Chickenfoot last night, since it was a weeknight show in Baltimore and those are always a pain. When that wasn’t selling on Craigslist, Jill let me know she wasn’t really interested in going to the Steve Miller band on Thursday and I sold those, then the four shows I was interested in going to on Saturday imploded.

First Whitesnake was opening for Judas Priest, and I haven’t seen them and would really like to. But vocalist David Coverdale hurt his voice and they dropped off the tour. Next I haven’t seen Mötley Crüe yet either and they’re touring with the original lineup, but Tommy Lee hurt his hand this week, and the house concert we were interested in going to with Beth Patterson sold out. That left The Romantics and Survivor at the restarted Loudoun Summer Music Fest, but then Jill informed me she’d rather go to the beach.

So that left us with only a concert Friday, and no takers for my ticket for the concert last night, so I decided to go after my HOA meeting and I came home and we had a quick pizza. I left around 9, and made ok time to Baltimore. I thought I knew where the Lyric Opera House, got it confused with the Meyerhoff and had to call Jill for clarification.

I still managed to get in, saw the 30 minutes. Why would I go to such lengths? Chickenfoot is supergroup, former Van Halen members Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony with legendary guitarist Joe Satriani and drummer Chad Smith from Red Hot Chili Peppers. And they’re a real band, with a new album and videos (although My Kinda Girl is the best song). They’re pretty great together, reminded me of my first Van Halen show. Was it worth having to drive back in heavy rain? Oh Yeah.

50 Concerts

Monday, August 17th, 2009

OK, here are the rules. Test your memory and your love of live music by listing 50 artists or bands (or as many as you can remember) you’ve seen in concert. List the first 50 acts that come into your head. An act you saw at a festival and opening acts count, but only if you can’t think of 50 other artists. Oh, and list the first concert you ever saw (you can remember that, can’t you)?

I know I’ve been tagged with this a couple times, but it’s kinda silly for me to participate. Mainly because I keep track of every artist I see in lists both chronological and alphabetical, updated at least once a week. But I will share that the number of artists I’ve seen as of today (if I take out duplicates and repeats) is 1,144. If you want more details about my first show, watch this space, I’ve got a special post coming up after Labor Day.

I also won’t be participating in the song shuffle meme, because I’m the luddite who still had his music on CDs.

Phishy Blues

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

Friday I got out of work early to go have a massage, then came home, took Illa for a run and made chicken with Basil for dinner. We watched some TV and read, then went to bed as we were both pretty tired. Saturday I got up and did some Wii exercising, then had some breakfast and read papers. In the afternoon Stuart picked me up and we drove up to Merriweather Post Pavilion to see Phish. We stopped at the nearby mall to get some food, then headed into the parking lot to find our friends Susan and Jehan who had arrived early. Jehan had headed in to get a good seat on the lawn, so we tailgated with Susan and some of her friends for a while, then we went in and found Jehan and talked for a while, then headed to our seats.

It was only my fourth time seeing Phish – I like them, but they haven’t overwhelmed me like other bands. Still, they’re touring again after reuniting, and reviews have been good, so I thought I should go. They played a lot of new songs in the first set – I’m most familiar with “Kill Devil Falls” and “Time Turns Elastic”, enjoyed those with classic tunes like “Axilla”. The second set had some more classics like Tweezer and “Harry Hood”, as well as a great band version of Trey’s “Let Me Lie”, and they finished with a nice “Good Times, Bad Times” in the encore.

Today we slept in, then I took Illa for a walk and made us some French toast. In the afternoon I spent a while fixing my mom’s computer and making dinner, then we headed over to Wolf Trap for Taj Mahal & Bonnie Raitt. We packed a picnic of grilled pork and mangos over a black bean salsa, as well as some chopped fruit and guacamole and chips. The show started out with Taj Mahal playing some blues, then Bonnie came out for some tunes, then she brought out Taj for some more, and we left soon after that. Jill’s gotta get up early, so she’s already in bed.

Hooked and a Woodstock tribute

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Dad had a car event in Virginia, so he stayed with us Tuesday and Wednesday. He had an event dinner Wednesday, but no plans for Tuesday, so we took him to our fave local seafood place, Hooked. It was good timing, they’re closing their current location at the end of the week to prepare for a move to a larger location in Potomac Run Plaza and I had an email coupon for 25% off. We started with some sushi (Dad’s second time having some, he was game) that was good (and Dad and I split a bottle of sake), then on to more seafood. We al split some of the mini crab cakes, Dad had the steamed mussels, Jill had the Miso Sea Bass and I tried the Mahi Mahi served over a citrus black bean salsa, very tasty.

On Thursday we headed up early to Rockville (still hitting a fair amount of traffic). We got to the Strathmore before they started serving food at 6PM, which was a good thing as it got very crowded very quickly, I had a Sam Summer Ale and Jill had some sangria while we grabbed a table. I’d seen on their site they were having “Party on the Patio – With Tiki Bar, Innovative Wines and Tapas”, and all the food they were serving looked good. We had Grilled Pacu Fish Ribs with Fresh Lime & Jicama-Citrus Slaw, Spicy Chicken and Mango Brochettes and Mini Buffalo Burgers on Garlic-Pepper Roll with Jarlsburg with Tomato & Basil Aioli. I also had Thai Red Bean Samosas with Sweet Chili Sauce and Jill had a yogurt, granola and fruit cup. I would not have thought about fish ribs, but they were nicely grilled and there were only a couple extra bones that were easy to pick out. I enjoyed everything, then we sat and enjoyed the weather and scenery, the Strathmore is an elegant place (and it was our first visit).

The show itself was a tribute to Woodstock’s 40th Anniversary. It was put on by BandHouse Gigs, who have done a number of tribute concerts in the area, and very well run, even started a minute early. They kicked off with eddie from ohio and Bill Danoff doing the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song “Wooden Ships”, joined by The Wall of Jo(h)n. The Wall of Jo(h)n is Jon Carroll (keys) and John Jennings (guitars) (making the fifth time in a year I’ve seen him). They toured with eddie from ohio during 2002, superbly documented on the live CD Three Rooms (we were at one of the three shows recorded for it), and this is the first time I’ve seen all of them together since the album release show in 2003. After the first number, they switched between a number of artists (all covering songs performed at Woodstock, of course). My favorites were Joe Uehlein and the U-Liners with Jon Carroll doing the Grateful Dead’s “St. Stephen” and “Mama Tried” (adding fiddle to the tunes was great), Tone Rangers doing an a capella version of Blood, Sweat & Tears’ “Spinning Wheel”, GHz covering Jimi Hendrix’s “Spanish Castle Magic” and Patty Reese with Cravin’ Dogs performing Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart”.

In the second set we finally got the rest of eddie from ohio as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. They started joined by John Jennings for “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”. I’d heard a version before, but John Jennings just nailed the guitar licks, really stellar and the highlight of the night. John left and they performed a nice version of “Helplessly Hoping”, then John returned with Jon Carroll and Jon sang lead on “Long Time Gone”. We had to leave after that (Jill had a 12 hour shift today), but I was pretty happy with the show. We probably wouldn’t have gone if efo hadn’t been there, but I’m glad we did. You can see some footage from the show (and they filmed some of the interviews right next to where we sitting outside) here.

Nats, Dave and Harry

Sunday, August 9th, 2009

Friday Jill was planning on coming with me to meet up with Dad and see the Nationals take on the Diamondbacks, but she was feeling a little under the weather. I headed out on my own since Dad had already left for the the game and it was better than normal traffic and Metro ride in. I got there a little early, but couldn’t find him until he turned on his phone, and I bought some tix and went in. Our seats were in 111 row EE, higher and farther away from the plate from the last game, but easier to take in the action. And there was a lot of action, as we saw a Zimmerman homer and they extended their win streak to six in a row (and incredibly it’s still going on, eight as of tonight). We also enjoyed some Ben’s half smokes and tasty adult beverages before heading out in the top of the ninth.

Saturday Jill and I really slept in, to close to noon. The weather the night before was perfect, and it started warming up. By the time Illa and I got back from a run/walk, we were panting more than usual. I spent the afternoon getting Dad’s new laptop ready (a retirement gift from us and Sharon) and Jill got some rotisserie chicken for dinner. We’d planned to leave for Nissan Pavilion at 4, but we left 45 minutes late. It was ok, we tried a new route and made good time. We tailgated with the chicken, some veggies and chips and guacamole Jill had made, then we went wandering and found my old elementary school classmate Greg and his wife (I’d seen on Facebook they were going) and chatted with them until showtime.

Donovan Frankenreiter was pretty good – if you like Jack Johnson, you’ll like him, but I don’t know if I’d see him as a headliner. Dave Matthews Band killed it, as usual. I expected the show to be strong since last year’s show turned out to be LeRoi Moore’s last, but it was stellar. Starting off with my favorite new songs, “Why I Am” and “Funny The Way It Is” was good, and an inspired pairing of “You Might Die Trying” and “Lie In Our Graves” was appropriate, but my last “Raven” was 7 years ago and it was my first “I’ll Back You Up” in 10 years (and that was a Dave & Tim, have to go back 14 years for a band version). With rarities like that and awesome jams on “Lie In Our Graves” and “#41” it was verging on great, and then they busted out a cover of “Burning Down The House”, then followed up with “Dancing Nancie” and “Grey Street” – no contest. As usual at Nissan, we left before the encore, and it was an easy out this year.

Today we got up early in order to make it over to Alexandria to check out an early showing of the new Harry Potter movie in IMAX. It’s become a tradition for us to see it in IMAX, but this time Udvar-Hazy wasn’t playing it. Picking the first 10 minutes to turn into 3D was an odd choice, though reassembling the house was cool (the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs trailer was a better use of 3D, but it was a good flick overall, really ready for the next two now. I’m also going to miss Alan Rickman in his role when they’re all done.

We went to lunch next door at Delia’s Mediterranean Grill and Brick Oven Pizza where Jill had a grilled salmon sandwich and I had half a Prosciutto White pizza, then we headed over to Sharon’s where she was having a housewarming/moving party since she’s only been there a couple months, but she’s moving to Boston by the end of the month. I showed Dad how to use the new laptop and we got to chat for a while (including grilling Sharon’s neighbor about her Date Lab appearance before heading back. For dinner I grilled some burgers and corn, then sauted some green beans and made oven fries. Now I’m surfin’ madly, should probably get to bed soon (Jill went to sleep a couple hours back).

A rare concert double header

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Not that I wouldn’t go to see two shows in one day, there are just logistical problems, mostly because headliners usually go on at the same time. But last night one of the concerts was at Jaxx, which I know from past experience runs late, and the other was supposed to start early, so I gave it a go. I grilled burgers for dinner while Jill made a salad and boiled corn, then she had a meeting and I headed to DC. I didn’t get started until 8 and had to stop for gas, so by the time I found a parking spot it was just after 9. I was worried I was missing some of the headliner since the show was supposed to start at 8, and I hurried to the Black Cat, but I didn’t need to as the opening act had just started. Not that US Royalty were bad, as I matter of fact I quite enjoyed them. But that meant Tinted Windows didn’t go on until quarter after 10, endangering the double header (especially since the last time I’d tried one it was an epic fail).

You may not have heard of Tinted Windows yet, but you know their members. James Iha was the guitarist for The Smashing Pumpkins (and briefly A Perfect Circle), singer Taylor Hanson is one of the Hanson brothers, Adam Schlesinger plays bass for Fountains of Wayne and Ivy, and Bun E. Carlos is the drummer for Cheap Trick. With a pedigree like that, you’d think they were a power pop supergroup, and you’d be right. Adam Schlesinger wrote most of the songs and that’s always a good sign (you may not know he also wrote the title track for the movie “That Thing You Do”), so they were a must see for me. The show was good – with only one CD out, they played the whole thing, a couple b-sides and covers. The highlights were the singles, Kind Of A Girl and Messing With My Head. I didn’t stay for the encore as I had a feeling I’d be missing some of the next show.

tix

So I headed to the car, took 14th Street as it turned into 395, then got off in Springfield. Sure enough, Extreme was on stage and I’d missed about 30 minutes, they’d just finished “More Than Words”. But I wasn’t too upset, seen that plenty of times and they still had an hour to go, lots of good stuff including a recent twist of going from Get The Funk Out into a cover of Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’. The best was yet to come in the encore – after stellar versions of “Am I Ever Gonna Change” and “Hole Hearted”, they decided to throw away the setlist. Nuno called for something totally different, and launched into a Van Halen riff. Usually when that happens, Gary says “That was a long time ago” and they do something else, but not last night; instead, we got the first full version of “Mean Streets” since he left Van Halen. Great night and worth the trouble of getting to both shows, even if I didn’t make it home until 1:30AM.