Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pearl Jam @ Time Warner Arena

So, somehow I've managed to go 22 years and not see this band because of my aversion to seeing shows in big arenas.  What a mistake!  It almost looked like I might not make tonight either as my father in law had taken a fall from a ladder, and Amy had to get down to Clover to take him home.  I ummed and ahhhed about tickets on Stub Hub up until 7.30pm and out of blue I checked Ticketmaster, only to find a ticket on the floor.  Decision made.  While it was in a seat on the floor, I still had a great view of the stage.

One of my reservations about seeing Pearl Jam now, is that I was a fan of Ten & Vs and really only knew a scattering of songs since then, so would I also enjoy the show?  I also wanted it to look like the Even Flow video, but both band and I are the wrong side of 40 so realistically that is never going to happen.

Things got off to a slow start - it's time to promote a new, unknown-to-me album.  But that all changed with Do The Evolution.  It livened up and things got good from here.  The new Lightning Bolt sounded great (much better than on Jimmy Fallon last week) as well as the punkish Mind Your Manners.  Even Flow, I swear, was played to get people some singing practice as Daughter was the next song and 12000 Charlotteans nearly out-sung Eddie Vedder.  They played Getaway for the first time live, and then ended the main set with a raging Rearviewmirror.

The start of the encore was pretty mellow, a couple of acoustic numbers, then Just Breathe.  Better Man was great but made me laugh - thinking of the time one-time friends played this during their wedding ceremony (Mate, are you sure you wanna use that song?  It goes "She lies and says she's in love with him.  Can't find a better man".  What do I know, 20 years later they're still together).  The encore finished with a blistering Porch.

Lights didn't go up, but a portion of the crowd started moving out.  Their loss.  There was still another 5 song 2nd encore to come.  Elderly Woman was a crowd favorite but nothing compared to Alive.  From the first spine-tingling chord the crowd was going nuts.  And they sung so loud.  And I had goosebumps.  And the'd never know they'd been playing this song for more than 20 years.  I felt like it was their favorite song.  A great energy!  Although the venue tried to end it there but turning the lights on, Pearl Jam finished the night with a cover of Bob Dylan's Along The Watchtower.

Two and three quarter hours and 30 songs of pretty great rock.  A good night indeed.  Was also surprised by the amount of interaction the band had with the crowd.  Whether it be banter between songs, highlighting the Veterans in the audience, apologizing for a 10 year absence in Charlotte, giving out tambourines or celebrating their 2nd week with a number 1 album - I felt the band were humbled by the turn out.

My only regret - not seeing them sooner.

Pendulum / Low Light / Present Tense / Last Exit / Do The Evolution / Lightning Bolt / Mind Your Manners / Severed Hand / Even Flow / Daughter / Getaway (Live Debut) / Sirens / Setting Forth / Not For You / Immortality / Infallible / Unthought Known / Rearviewmirror
1st Encore: Bee Girl / Yellow Moon / Off He Goes / Just Breathe / Given To Fly / Better Man / Porch
2nd Encore: Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town / The Real Me (The Who Cover) / Black / Alive / All Along The Watchtower (Bob Dylan Cover)

The Crap Facts:
This is my 369th concert.
This is my 2nd concert at Time Warner Arena.
This is my 19th concert in Charlotte.
This is my 20th concert in North Carolina.
This is my 176th concert in the USA.
Pearl Jam are the 434th band I've seen.
Pearl Jam are the 300 time I've seen a band in the US.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Carolina Panthers v St Louis Rams @ Bank Of America Stadium

Thanks to Mike, a spare ticket means another trip to the footy.  This time in beautiful sunshine.  Again we had his dad's season tickets on the 40 year line, 10 rows back from the Panthers sideline.  Unbelievable seats.

We missed Munnerlyn's interception touchdown after some slow going at the usually reliable Bad Daddys, but settled in for the rest of the game.  I thought Tolbert's touchdown was a 2 point conversion, as I thought we'd scored the play before.  And we were right there when Steve Smith went on his aggro rant after scoring his touchdown.  I bet he can sledge with the best of them.

Panthers did seem to be the better team, but a 70 year Rams touchdown that was called back for a weak penalty and a dropped chance in the in-zone could have made this a completely different game.   There was plenty of feeling in the game with Rams' Chris Long getting ejected (I didn't know that could happen in NFL) and plenty of handbags - it kind of seems funny watching these hulking big men get upset and do little about it because any punch they trow could hurt them from all the padding the players wear.

Once again a sellout, but there are always tons of scalpers with what seems like plenty of tickets.  And still quite a lot of spare seats in the stadium.  Though fewer than at previous games.

I maintain my undefeated Panthers record.  3 games seen, 3 games won.

Carolina Panthers 30 (C. Munnerlyn, M.Tolbert, S.Smith touchdowns, G.Gano 3 extra points, 3 field goals) defeated the St Louis Rams 17 (Z.Stacy touchdown, E.Sims safety, G.Zuerlein extra point, 2 field goals)

Paid Attendance: 72,686

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Vintage Trouble @ Uptown Charlotte

Unbelievably this is the first night out Amy & I have had on our own since our anniversary in May.  But it's not just a concert I take her to.  Vintage Trouble is playing at the Q-City Barbecue Championships downtown.  And because it is hard to find anything for a vegetarian at a BBQ festival we start the evening off at Mimosa Grill. What a great restaurant!  Food, service, ambiance was all top notch and just what the doctor ordered for the two of us.  I had the Mahi Mahi special with andouille sausage and rock shrimp jambalaya, after a wonderful butternut squash soup.  Amy the pecan crusted trout.  Fantastic meal.  And again, after living in Vegas for 10 years, we laughed when the relatively cheap bill came out.

Only 2 blocks away an outdoor stage had been built for the festival, and surprisingly not many people were there to see Vintage Trouble.  The got close to the front, on the left hand side of the stage and had a great view.  It wasn't long before they took the stage - and as usual - by storm.  From the get go the band exudes so much energy and passion.  (It was the same thing in February when I saw them in Vegas).  Although the crowd was small, they were instantly mesmerized!  Nancy Lee was great, as was Total Stranger and Pelvis Pusher.  Lead singer Ty Taylor has an awesome stage presence and makes you want to dance.  He was unrelenting for the whole show and took it upon himself to get out into the crowd and amp them up.  He dances his way through the whole crowd and started a Soul Train-style dance line.  With only one album under their belt, most of the songs to me are familiar, and Amy loved it.  They finished the night with a barn-burning cover of Ike & Tina Turner's Baby Get It On.  For those who got out to see this band I hope they have a new favorite band, and I can't wait for these guys to get the recognition they deserve.

One of the things that stood out about the show was the diversity of the crowd.  From your BBQ fan, to your Uptown Charlotte Executive, a spattering of Troublemakers, the Charlotte homeless, the out of town St Louis Ram fans in Charlotte for the game tomorrow - everyone having a great time.

The Crap Facts:
This is my 368th concert.
This is my 1st concert at Uptown Charlotte.
Uptown Charlotte is the 101st venue I've seen a concert.
This is my 18th concert in Charlotte.
This is my 19th concert in North Carolina.
This is my 175th concert in the USA.
This is my 2nd Vintage Trouble concert.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Danzig & Butcher Babies @ The Fillmore

25 years of Danzig!  Man, I'm getting old!  I remember hearing Danzig III and then jut soaking up as much as I could.  This is now my 6th Danzig show (in 9 years) and 3rd where Doyle has been with him.  This band still knows how to put on a show.  And loyal fans, from the Misfits on, soak it up.

I think the Butcher Babies had just taken the stage when I walked in the door.  It was a brutal sound from the start, and my first reaction was "How did I forget those earplugs I bought specifically for this reason?".  I generally don't listen to stuff this heavy anymore, so wasn't really my cup of tea.  But is was nice to see and hear 2 women giving their all with their metal growl and scream.  It seems like they have a good following and a great repoire with the crowd.  And I give props to any band that gets off stage and then works their own merch stand.

It was near 10pm when Danzig hit the stage.  This is the least amount of people I've seen at the 5 shows at the Fillmore, but the loudest when a band came on.  It took Glenn a couple of songs to get into the swing, but once that undeniable Danzig sound of Twist Of Cain started this show rocked. Dirty Black Summer was great and How The Gods Kill is favorite and was superb.  After about 50 minutes Danzig took a break and the ginormous Doyle prowled onto the stage to help tear through 7 Misfits songs.  Skulls & Night Of The Living Dead were the only 2 songs I recognized, but this mini-set definitely re-energized both band and crowd.  After the Man/Mountain left the stage we got 2 more Danzig songs, including the awesome Mother, which the crowd sand over the band.  Just when You thought you'd seen it all, they come out for the encore and rip apart Do You Wear The Mark, before Doyle has one last appearance with Astro Zombies.

I thought it was not going to go well in the beginning and the Danzig may have past their used by date, but after 2 songs I couldn't be any more wrong.  This is another awesome show and I can wait for my 7th (one day).

Danzig Setlist
SkinCarver / Hammer Of The Gods / Twist Of Cain / Am I Demon / Her Black Wings / Tired Of Being Alive / Blood & Tears / Dirty Black Summer / How The Gods Kill
Misfits Songs With Doyle: Death Comes Ripping / Vampira / I Turned Into A Martian / Skulls / London Dungeon / Night Of The Living Dead / Last Caress
Soul On Fire / Mother
Encore: Do You Wear The Mark / Astro Zombies (Misfits Song With Doyle)

The Crap Facts:
This is my 367th concert.
This is my 5th concert at The Fillmore.
This is my 17th concert in Charlotte.
This is my 18th concert in North Carolina.
This is my 174th concert in the USA.
Butcher Babies are the 433rd band I've seen.
This is my 6th Danzig concert.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Surfer Blood @ Visulite

Unfortunately tonight's show, crowd wise, is a complete contrast to the night I saw the Surfer Blood open for the Foals here in May.  This Monday night hardly bought out 50 people to see another great, if not extremely short, show from Surfer Blood.  Flying solo, I myself only decided at the last minute to go to the show and literally walked in the door, got a beer and a spot down the front and the band came on.  They seemed more comfortable on stage this time, probably because the weren't avoiding the Foals' gear.  I only knew the songs from Astro Coast, but the unknown songs, presumably from the brand new Pythons, were just as good.  John Paul's wander through the crowd during Take It Easy was as endearing as it was awkward.  My only detraction from the show was its length.  I know I live really close to the Visulite but to be out the door, see a show and back in the house within an 1 1/4 hours is pretty disappointing.

Neighbor Riffs / Twin Peaks / Squeezing Blood / Weird Shapes / Floating Vibes / Miranda / Voyager Reprise / Take It Easy / I Was Wrong / Say Yes To Me / Demon Dance / Swim / Drinking Problem
Encore: Gravity / I'm Not Ready / Anchorage

The Crap Facts:
This is my 366th concert.
This is my 3rd concert at Visulite.
This is my 16th concert in Charlotte.
This is my 17th concert in North Carolina.
This is my 173rd concert in the USA.
This is my 2nd Surfer Blood concert.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mudhoney & Cheap Time @ Tremont Music Hall

Why has it been nearly 15 years since I've seen Mudhoney?  That is ridiculous!  I suppose the just don't play in Sydney, northern England or Vegas.  Mind you, this is their first ever show in Charlotte - on their 25th Anniversary tour.  Anyway I'm glad to be back a the Tremont seeing them again.

Cheap Time opened and I arrived not long after they started.  It felt like they were going through the motions, but the audience was not over enthusiastic - was it chicken or the egg?  A relatively straight forward rock band filling in the time while we all waited for the main event.

Mudhoney came out and started with their new single I Like It Small and from the get go were into it.  For a band who had been playing some of these songs over 25 years they had an energy and exuberance about them that was captivating.  Something I remember from seeing them previously.  Last time I saw them in 99 when Rocket From The Crypt opened (and RFTC were amazing), Mudhoney made them look dull in comparison. So many favorites throughout the night Who You Drivin' Now?, Sweet Young Thing Ain't Sweet No More, Flat Out Fucked, Get Into Yours.  But none better than Touch Me I'm Sick - it is one of my top 20 songs of all time and for 2 1/2 minutes I was in pure heaven.  An encore that included Here Comes Sickness, Hate The Police and Black Flag's Fix Me just left me wanting more.  Lets just hope I see them again before another 15 years goes by - we'll all be too old by then.

Mudhoney Setlist
Poisoned Water / I Like It Small / You Got It / Suck You Dry / Who You Drivin' Now? / Get Into Yours / F.D.K. (Fearless Doctor Killers) / In This Rubber Tomb / Judgement, Rage, Retribution & Thyme / Flat Out Fucked / Sweet Young Thing (Ain't Sweet No More) / No One Has / Touch Me I'm Sick / What to Do With The Neutral / I'm Now / The Final Course / Ghost / Chardonnay / The Only Son Of The Widow From Nain
Encore: Here Comes Sickness / Hate The Police (The Dicks cover) / Fix Me (Black Flag cover)

The Crap Facts:
This is my 365th concert.
This is my 3rd concert at Tremont Music Hall.
This is my 15th concert in Charlotte.
This is my 16th concert in North Carolina.
This is my 172nrd concert in the USA.
Cheap Time are the 432nd band I've seen.
This is my 3rd Mudhoney concert.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite @ The Fillmore

This show ended up being redemption for me.  Many years ago I saw Ben Harper in Vegas and unbeknowst to me it was for some animal benefit.  We were herded (no pun intended) in the back of the Joint while tables at the front were served a meal as Harper tried to play.  The sound was atrocious, and the short set left me feeling severely disappointed.

Tonight couldn't be any more different.  What a great night!  An early Sunday night kick off (thanks from the old man who has to get up and look after the twins in the morning).  The band came out to rapturous applause which they seemed quite humbled by.  And from the first song, Get Up!, things were great.  While not a lot of sings were familiar to me (except the Innocent Criminals Homeless Child), Harper, Musselwhite & band played tight old school R&B.  I kinda thought Musselwhite's harmonica was a little limited, but his gravelly vocals really authenticated the blues sound.

Highlights for me were I'm In I'm Out & I'm Gone, I Ride At Dawn and Long Distance Call.  But the piece de resistance was the encore's final All That Matters Now where Harper sang acapella without a microphone.  The crowd was near silent (there's always some dickheads aren't there) and his voice boomed and then the crowd sang back.  Brilliant!

Just a question for some show goers - Why do you pay good money to see a great band and then spend the 2 hours talking about useless crap or reading your cell phone?  SHUT THE FUCK UP AND PAY ATTENTION!  Half a dozen times I had to move away from different people who had no interest in being there or were so busy watching the show through their phones  They completely missed the experience.

Harper stated a couple of times that they'd have to come back to Charlotte soon - I hope he meant it.

Get Up! / I Don't Believe A Word You Say / The Blues Overtook Me / Don't Look Twice / When It's Good / She Got Kick / I'm In I'm Out & I'm Gone / Blood Side Out / Homeless Child / I Ride At Dawn / I'm Goin' Home / Long Distance Call / When The Levee Breaks
Encore: We Can't End This Way / Long Legged Woman / You Found Another Lover (I Lost Another Friend) / All That Matters Now

The Crap Facts:
This is my 364th concert.
This is my 4th concert at The Fillmore.
This is my 14th concert in Charlotte.
This is my 15th concert in North Carolina.
This is my 171st concert in the USA.
Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite are the 431st band I've seen.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The National & Frightened Rabbit @ The Fillmore

Tonight I am ticking off a bucketlist band.  I own 2 National albums and think they are great and have always wanted to see them live.  As far as I'm aware they never came to Vegas whilst I lived there.

I walked into a relatively full Fillmore in the middle of the Frightened Rabbit set.  I found a spot on the 2nd tier in the middle.  Great view but the sound was terrible (this is where we were for Gaslight Anthem as well).  I hear great things about this band, but tonight I fail to see it.

The National come out after showing their backstage warm-up live on a screen behind the band.  An interesting concept.  The National play a very moody, atmospheric rock - a lot mellower than I usually listen to - but I think they are great.  Even the songs I don't know.  It took 3 songs for recognition with Bloodbuzz Ohio.  Again the sound is not great.  Is it where I'm standing?  This is where I stood for Gaslight Anthem, and Rancid down the front last night was great.  There is not much interaction between band and the audience - it almost feels like the band is going through the motions.  Great renditions of Abel & Squalor Victoria (the other 2 songs I knew) and after 20 songs the band left the stage.

To me it feels like a completely different band came back for the encore.  Singer Matt Berninger came out into the crowd and covered the entire Fillmore for Mr November and was briefly back on stage before get back in the crowd and out the exits to to sing Terrible Love.  The group then finished with an awesome acoustic / accapella version of Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks.  And then it was over.  It seemed that the crowd and band were just starting to ramp up for the evening, and then they left.

The National Setlist
I Should Live In Salt / Don't Swallow The Cap / Bloodbuzz Ohio / Mistaken For Strangers / Demons / Sea Of Love / Afraid Of Everyone / Conversation 16 / Squalor Victoria / I Need My Girl / This Is The Last Time / Brainy / Abel / Lucky You / Slow Show / Pink Rabbits / Graceless / England / About Today / Fake Empire
Encore: Sorrow / Mr. November / Terrible Love / Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks

The Crap Facts:
This is my 363rd concert.
This is my 3rd concert at The Fillmore.
This is my 13th concert in Charlotte.
This is my 14th concert in North Carolina.
This is my 170th concert in the USA.
Frightened Rabbit are the 429th band I've seen.
The National are the 430th band I've seen.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Rancid & Tim Timebomb @ The Fillmore

It was as if the forces were working against me to get to this show.  I wanted to get in to see Tim Timebomb & Friends (Tim Armstrong pulling double duty) but as I'm walking out the door, a neighbor needs a lift to the hospital as it appears his 4 year old has attempt a couch headstand only for the dismount to fail with him nearly breaking a coffee table with his nose.  Poor kid was a mess, but his dad had it under control.  After driving them to the hospital (only a mile away) and walking home I get in the car to take off.  It's only halfway there that I realize I have forgotten tickets.  Really!  Serves me right.

However I made it in the door as Tim Timebomb were playing their first song.  A good hour of punk and ska covers and originals was a great warm up for what was to come.  From NoFX's Bob, to California Sun to an Operation Ivy cover, I'm so glad I made it in time.

I will forever argue that there is no such thing as a bad Rancid show.  This is my 5th Rancid show, and I never leave unhappy.  With Roots Radicals being the opener, a surprisingly not sold out crowd starts a wild 29 song set.  All my faves got played, Fall Back Down, Olympia WA, and Time Bomb to finish off the set. Again, this year, I am at a show celebrating a milestone for a band (20 years of Rancid), yet they perform like youngsters who are ready to impress for the first time.  Great energy!  A 3 song blast encore ends with Ruby Soho - just the song to get a bunch of people buzzing before leaving the show and begin craving the return of Rancid.  I am definitely one of them.

Rancid Setlist
Roots Radicals / Journey To The End Of The East Bay / Maxwell Murder / The 11th Hour / Last One To Die / Dead Bodies / Old Friend / Hooligans / I Wanna Riot / Nihilism / Black & Blue / Fuck You / Gunshot / Listed MIA / The Wars End / East Bay Night / Salvation / Bloodclot / Rejected / It's Quite Alright / Fall Back Down / St. Mary / Olympia WA / Something In The World Today / Tenderloin / Time Bomb
Encore: Radio / Black Derby Jacket / Ruby Soho

The Crap Facts:
This is my 362nd concert.
This is my 2nd concert at The Fillmore.
This is my 12th concert in Charlotte.
This is my 13th concert in North Carolina.
This is my 169th concert in the USA.
Tim Timebomb are the 428th band I've seen.
Tim Timebomb are the 350th time I've seen an American band.
This is my 5th Rancid concert.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Black Flag & Good For You @ The Chop Shop

I gotta say I was slightly nervous going to this show.  A couple of years back I saw Bad Brains and was really disappointed...but it's Black Flag.  Some of the greatest songs of all time.  I had to make sure I wasn't missing a chance of a lifetime.

Got to the Chop Shop at 8.30pm - the time I was told the show would start (I'm old I need to know these things) - only to see a sign at the door saying opening band starts at 9pm, and then they didn't come on til 9.20pm. FAAARK!  While Good For You is another Greg Ginn band I wasn't overly impressed.  I thought the drumming was kinda week and singer Mike Vallely's Morrison-esque swagger did not invoke the same stage presence.  I saw the whole hour - a long time for an opener - but by the end the crowd thinned out, disappearing to the smokers patio.

After a small wait - the same band walked out but with Ron Reyes now taking over vocals.  From the opening notes of the first song, Revenge, a small section of the crowd went overboard in a mosh pit that had everyone taking stock of where they were.  I think I have a good knowledge of the Black Flag catalogue and a great amount of songs I love were played tonight - Depression, TV Party, Six Pack, Fix Me, Police Story, Rise Above amongst the better ones.  Gimme, Gimme, Gimme didn't have the punch it should have.  And there were some new songs (?) that seemed better suited to Good For You.  The did end strongly with a great Louie, Louie rendition.

Overall a good night.  My first visit to the Chop Shop - I like this venue and can't wait to see some more stuff here.  Again my expectations were pretty high, but Black Flag today is only 2 members of a band that were a force 30 odd years ago.  While it was good to hear these songs, I felt the ferocity was lacking and some of the songs I have heard covered by other bands (eg Pennywise, Circle Jerks) better.

But at least I can say I've seen Black Flag.

The Crap Facts:
This is my 361st concert.
This is my 1st concert at The Chop Shop.
The Chop Shop is the 100th venue I've seen a concert.
This is my 11th concert in Charlotte.
This is my 12th concert in North Carolina.
This is my 168th concert in the USA.
Good For You are the 426th band I've seen.
Black Flag are the 427th band I've seen.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Muse & Cage The Elephant @ Time Warner Arena

So I think technically this is my first real arena rock show.  I've seen bands in big venues (Tool, Pantera, Rage Against Machine, Midnight Oil etc) before but not a show with a large arena in mind.  While I have an interest in seeing Muse, and finding out why they are so popular, my main interest in the show is to see the awesome Cage The Elephant.

Amy & I met Mike and Laura at Villa Francesca for a quick snack before the show started.  When I say quick, when your babysitter arrives 25 minutes late and the opening band is the most important part of your night, you scoff down the food and skoll your drink to get to the venue.  Good food though, will come back and try it properly one day.

Was surprised to arrive at the venue and see the whole top floor curtained off.  Seems like Charlotte may not love Muse like the rest of the world.  We were close to the back (at the top of the U shape) but seats weren't too bad.  I just kept thinking about all those shows I missed in Vegas because of my reluctance to get into a big venue show.  Oh well! - lesson learnt - at 40.

Cage The Elephant came out and did what they do best. Rocked it!  Man I love this band!  While an arena is not suited to their shows - a more intimate setting I think gets Matt Shultz' going - CTE worked with what they had and gave it everything.  From the back the sound wasn't so great but songs like In One Ear, Back Against The Wall, Tiny Little Robots and Ain't No Rest For The Wicked (yeah I'm a huge 1st album fan) are just superb live.  But the performance adds to these songs.  The band plays tight while Shultz channels his inner Iggy Pop to explode all over the stage and shake up the Muse-waiting crowd.  I am getting more and more used to the new single, Come A Little Closer and thought It's Just Forever fit perfectly into the set.  I hope they come back through Charlotte soon - maybe tear up the Fillmore or the Chop Shop.  Just read that they are opening for Foals in England early next year.  What I wouldn't give to see one of those shows.

Cage The Elephant Setlist
In One Ear / It's Just Forever / Aberdeen / Tiny Little Robots / Back Against The Wall / Teeth / Ain't No Rest For The Wicked / Indy Kidz / Come A Little Closer / Shake Me Down / Sabertooth Tiger

Except for Kings of Cydonia I am Muse illiterate.  Not sure how that happened but Mike assures me that as much as Cage is perfect in a club setting, Muse is made for an arena - and boy was he spot on.  Not only did I see an hour 40 minutes of great musicianship, but my senses were overloaded by the visuals.  Matt Bellamy's voice is incredible - a range which made me wonder if I was at Queen show at some points.  Not to mention the sounds he gets out of his guitar.Wild!  I think because my knowledge was limited, some songs sounded a bit samey to me, but Supermassive Black Hole, Kings Of Cydonia and Madness were favorites of mine.  Not sure I'd go out of my way to look for there albums but definitely glad I got to see them live.

Muse Setlist
The 2nd Law: Unsustainable / Supremacy / Panic Station / Supermassive Black Hole / Plug In Baby  / Resistance / Hysteria / Knights of Cydonia / Monty Jam / United States Of Eurasia / Follow Me / Liquid State / Madness / Time Is Running Out / Undisclosed Desires / Stockholm Syndrome / Agitated / Uprising
Encore: Starlight / Survival

The Crap Facts:
This is my 360th concert.
This is my 1st concert at Time Warner Arena.
Time Warner Arena is the 99th venue I've seen a concert.
Time Warner Cable is the 50th venue in the US I've seen a concert.
This is my 10th concert in Charlotte.
This is my 13th concert in North Carolina.
This is my 167th concert in the USA.
This is my 4th Cage The Elephant concert.
Muse are the 425th band I've seen.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wild Dunes, Isle Of Palms, SC

From 24 to 28 August 2013

This was a little family getaway down to the beach for a few days near the end of summer.  Needless to say the days involved going to the beach - as you do when you have a beach front apartment, and then using the pool in the afternoons.  

What is most important is that it was the first time the boys had been to the beach and their reaction to the ocean was priceless.  I honestly thought they were going to explode with excitement the first time we went in the water.   They loved jumping in the waves and wading on the edge.  Was just a delight to see them so excited.
L, Me & B

Amy and I also took them on their first bike ride.  As we hired bikes and rode around Wild Dunes.  While not sure at first, it ended being another successful day that they loved.  Cant wait to bring them back to the beach next year.

BBoy & L ready for their first bike ride.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Carolina Panthers v Chicago Bears at Bank Of America Stadium

A perfect fall day for the first preseason Panthers game of 2013.  I've been fortunate to get a ticket from a friend of Amy's, Mike - whom we will go and see Muse with next month, to see my 2nd NFL game, and 2nd Panthers v Bears game funnily enough.  Mike's dad has season tickets on the 40 yard line, on the Panthers side, 10 rows back.  Phenomenal seats!

The game was a good one, and the Panthers looked good.  Hopefully this will give them a start to a successful season.  Defense was spot on and Cam Newton and the attack looked confident.  The game was not as close as the score indicates.  Panthers had a good lead for a majority of the game, then rested their top players in the last quarter to give some fringe players a chance.  

I had a great afternoon.  Couldn't believe how good the seats were, and the weather could not have been better for watching football.  I am now 2-0 for Panthers games I've been at.  Maybe I need to come all year as a good luck charm.

Carolina Panthers 24 (B.LaFell, K.Barner, J.Norman touchdowns, G.Gano extra point, field goal, M.Lineberry 2 extra points) defeated the Chicago Bears 17 (J.Bostic, M.Ford touchdowns, R.Gould 2 extra points, field goal)

Paid Attendance: 70,700 (This game was considered the 104th straight a sell-out.I don't believe the crowd would have been a two-thirds of this size.)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Melvins & Honky @ Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC

Road Trip!  Melvins are playing close by - I must go and see them.  This is my 7th Melvins show, in 7 different venues in 4 different states.  I arrived at the Cat's Cradle after a 2 1/2 hour drive up from Charlotte. This venue has been around forever in this college town and has seen many a good band come through.  I'm assuming that, because of this, people are interested in seeing all sorts of music.  I say this because this is the largest crowd I've seen the Melvins play to.  The place was close to capacity - much larger than the crowds in the Vegas that I saw them play in.

Honky kicked off proceedings and this Texas-rock outfit let their guitars and humor warm up this crowd in the best possible way.  Dale pulled double duty, playing his half of the drum set for Honky.  Good set - pretty appropriate opener, definitely got the crowd warmed up.

As usual Buzz walked onto the stage with no fanfare and was followed by the rest of the band and tore into their set.  Jared was absent due to pending fatherhood, but his place on bass was aptly filled in by Jeff Pinkus of openers Honky (and previously Butthole Surfers).  One song run into the next as the minimalist crowd interaction allowed the night to be filled purely with music.  Honeybucket is one of my all time favorite songs and I am determined to hear it live one time.  Alas, tonight is not the night - looks like I'll be coming back to see Melvins again sometime.  Having said that Sweet Willy Rollbar was fantastic.  Night Goat was great and I finally got my first live rendition of Lizzy - another fave.  All in all, another blistering set by such an original band.  Can't believe this was a 30th anniversary tour - Melvins played a raw and rockin' set, belittling they age as a band.  Though I've never seen it any other way.

Until next time.

Melvins Setlist
Hag Me / The War On Wisdom / We Are Doomed / Sweet Willy Rollbar / A Growing Disgust / Let It All Be / Your Blessened / Night Goat / Lizzy / Billy Fish / The Water Glass / Evil New War God / Hung Bunny / Roman Dog Bird / Graveyard (Butthole Surfers cover)

The Crap Facts:
This is my 359th concert.
This is my 1st concert at Cat's Cradle.
Cat's Cradle is the 98th venue I've seen a concert.
This is my 1st concert in Carrboro.
Carrboro is the 43rd city I've seen a concert.
This is my 10th concert in North Carolina.
This is my 166th concert in the USA.
Honky are the 424th band I've seen
This is my 7th Melvins concert.
Melvins are the 1st band I've seen in 5 states.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Barenaked Ladies & Ben Folds Five @ Uptown Amphitheater

After last year's Barenaked Ladies show in Vegas, I was keen to see them again.  This time in a venue I'd never been at, and with Ben Folds Five, who I'd never seen before.  Was pretty excited for the show.

However I would end up disappointed.  The Uptown Amphitheater is a pretty good venue.  We were in seats in the front two thirds of the venue, which was OK for music like this.  But in a couple of weeks Queens Of The Stone Age are here and I'm not sure I want to see them in this venue, as general admission is either at the back or to the side of the stage.  Not really what you want for a rock show.

Ben Folds Five came out to thunderous applause.  They are from Chapel Hill, NC and not doubt have a huge fan base everywhere in this state.  It kind of went downhill from there.  While I don't know many of their songs, the further the set went on, the more people either lost enthusiasm and sat down, or left to get a drink.  Music and voice hit some bad notes on a few occasions, and song selection was relatively low key. Obviously their"hits" Brick & Underground were a crowd favorite, but overall I was disappointed.

It took the Barenaked Ladies a while to warm up as well.  A lot of new material to start the set and it wasn't until Be My Yoko Ono that the show really got started - that and the mention of Charlotte's own Prices Chicken Coop (BNL know how to play to a crowd).  Brian Wilson was great as well as Big Bang.  One Week is always a big favorite and $1000000 was a good ending.  My highlight was the last song of the encore - Violent Femmes' Blister In The Sun.  A fun rendition to a song everyone knows.  Overall the night was OK, but Ben Folds Five was not what I expected, and the show wasn't nearly as fun as last years with Blues Traveler.

Barenaked Ladies Setlist
Limits / Did I Say That Out Loud? / Pinch Me / Gonna Walk / On The Lookout / Four Seconds / Be My Yoko Ono / Brian Wilson / Odds Are / Big Bang Theory Theme / One Week / If I Had $1,000,000 / Barenaked Rap
Encore: Call & Answer / Alcohol / Blister In The Sun (Violent Femmes Cover)

Ben Folds Five Setlist
Philosophy / Michael Praytor / Alice Childress / Erase Me / Sky High / Brick / Do It  Anyway / Landed / Narcolepsy / Underground / Army

The Crap Facts:
This is my 358th concert.
This is my 1st concert at Uptown Amphitheater.
Uptown Amphitheater is the 97th venue I've seen a concert.
This is my 9th concert in Charlotte.
This is my 9th concert in North Carolina.
This is my 165th concert in the USA.
Ben Folds Five are the 423rd band I've seen
This is my 3rd Barenaked Ladies concert.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Black Keys & Flaming Lips @ Charter Amphitheater, Simpsonville, SC

So after months of talking about it, my brother in law and I finally get tickets at the last minute for this outdoor show featuring 2 great bands.  Friday afternoon I drive down to Greenville in the rain (that makes me nervous for the show) and we have enough time to stop by the great Henry's Smokehouse for a quick bite of barbecue before the 20 minute drive down to Simpsonville.

For the whole drive down it rained and we saw plenty of lightning.  From that moment on our luck changed.  We skipped the exit everyone else was getting off at, and glided into the parking lot without traffic.  We also were guided into a newly opened lot which, while a ways from the amphitheater, was close to an exit (hopefully a quick getaway is in order).  We then proceeded to wait in a mile long line for an hour while it was decided whether the concert would go ahead or not.  Eventually as we got close to the entrance we were sent to another entrance, for those without bags, and walked straight in as Flaming Lips hit the stage.

Rumor had the doors opening at 6pm, but we got in at about 8.40pm so I think the Lips had their set shortened.  I wasn't wrapped with their choice of (only) 8 songs, as I knew none of them - most were off the new Terror album.  However a Flaming Lips concert is more than the music, and the visuals more than made it a good show.  As Wayne Coyne sung above a podium, lights shot from the microphone stand across the stage and when darkness hit by set's end, the laser roof above the crowd had everyone in awe.

Flaming Lips Setlist
Look...The Sun Is Rising / The Terror / The W.A.N.D. / Race For The Prize / Try To Explain / Virgo Self-Esteem Broadcast / Butterfly, How Long It Takes To Die / Always There, In Our Hearts

It seemed like a long wait for the Black Keys, maybe because it felt like it was going to rain and we were watching lightning off to the back of the stage.  When they came out - it was to thunderous applause which continued as the got right into Howling For You.  Gold On The Ceiling, Girl Is On My Mind and Thickfreakness were highlights for me, but songs seemed slower than what I remember.  We had a great spot on the lawn - as I was apprehensive about how good the view might be in a large outdoor venue - and even right at the back, where we were for the encore, sound an visuals was really good.  Hopefully next time they'll make a stop in Charlotte.

The big plus was not a single drop of rain happened from the moment we stepped out of the car, and the relative ease we had getting out of the parking lot was laughable.  We were back in Greenville before others were even out of the lot.  Sorry Mason!

Black Keys Setlist
Howlin' For You / Next Girl / Run Right Back / Same Old Thing / Dead & Gone / Gold On The Ceiling / Thickfreakness / Girl Is On My Mind / Your Touch / Little Black Submarines / Money Maker / Strange Times / Sinister Kid / Nova Baby / Ten Cent Pistol / She's Long Gone / Tighten Up / Lonely Boy
Encore: Everlasting Light / I Got Mine

The Crap Facts:
This is my 357th concert.
This is my 1st concert at Charter Amphitheater.
Charter Amphitheater is the 96th venue I've seen a concert.
This is my 1st concert in Simpsonville.
Simpsonville is the 42 city I have seen a concert.
This is my 1st concert in South Carolina.
South Carolina is the 11th state I've seen a concert.
This is my 164th concert in the USA.
This is my 2nd Flaming Lips concert.
This is my 4th Black Keys concert.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Motel Glory, Amigo & Elonzo @ Milestone

Back at the Milestone, only one week later, this time to see 2 bands that Amy's cousin, Slade, plays in. Again I can't tell you how much I like this venue. 4 local bands tonight have bought plenty of friends to make it a good night for all.

I saw Elonzo open up.  Nothing out of the ordinary but fitted in with the rest of the evening.  And their friends had a blast.

Amigo is the band Slade writes and leads.  They are like an alt/country/rock band.  I liked it.  The band is tight and Slade has a good repoire with the crowd.  Having said that he seemed a little tense on the stage.

Motel Glory is more a straight up rock-bordering-on-punk band, who were in also great form.  Slade leaves singing duties behind for this band and almost seems like a different person.  He looked relaxed onstage and seemed to be really enjoying just playing - his movements were almost more suited to a fan in the audience.

I hope all goes well for either or both of his bands.  I had a great night and the Venn diagram of a crowd also enjoyed all the bands I saw.

The Crap Facts:
This is my 356th concert.
This is my 2nd concert at Milestone.
This is my 8th concert in Charlotte.
This is my 8th concert in North Carolina.
This is my 163rd concert in the USA.
Elonzo are the 420th band I've seen.
Amigo are the 421st band I've seen.
Motel Glory are the 422nd band I've seen.
Motel Glory are the 200th band seen in the USA.
Motel Glory are the 200th American band I've seen.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Screaming Females & Late Bloomer @ Milestone

I have 2 people to thank for this show. Firstly, my cousin-in-law (is that a title), Slade. His bands are playing here next week, so I got on the Milestone website to see what else plays here. Out of nowhere - the Screaming Females. Stoked! The other person to thank is someone I don't know, Carson Daly. His awesome Last Call With Carson Daly highlighted the Screaming Females a while back and I thought they were great. This show highlights great music as well as interviews extremely interesting people. Not sure I would have heard of this band were it not for the show.

The Milestone is what a music venue should be.  About 40 years old and not a piece of work done to it since opening.  A small, low to the ground stage, where the bands load out the back door straight into their vans.  A single floor fan is duct taped to the ceiling and barely is there a space on the wall that is not covered in graffiti or bands' stickers.  I also only paid $4 for a beer and a bottle of water (a big fuck you to all the Vegas venues who've been ripping me off for 10 years).

Locals Late Bloomer opened.  There was nothing in their show that blew me away but it seems to me that this is the bar that gives local bands a place to play.  I can't not love the Milestone.

After hanging in the crowd during the opener the Screaming Females stepped up and tore it up.  I wish I had a familiarity with their music, but I and a good size crowd got a lesson in rock tonight.  Singer Marissa is an absolute powerhouse.  Her guitar playing is dynamic, her voice booms, she loves what she is doing and she is fantastic at it.  Her energy was literally drawing people towards the stage.  And the band are tight - perfecting their craft over the years to put on a great gig.  I wanted to get my hands on a setlist so I could look for the songs they played.  Looks like I'll have to just go through the catalog.  I hope this band comes through town again soon.  Or least close enough that I can make the drive to see them.

The Crap Facts:
This is my 355th concert.
This is my 1st concert at Milestone.
Milestone is the 95th venue I've seen a concert.
This is my 7th concert in Charlotte.
This is my 7th concert in North Carolina.
This is my 162nd concert in the USA.
Late Bloomer are the 418th band I've seen.
Screaming Females are the 419th band I've seen.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Charleston, SC

On 19 & 20 May 2013

So while mum was over visiting she decided she wanted to go to Charleston.  She'd seen it once as a child in a movie she'd forgotten but always wanted to check it out.  So her and I packed up the car one day and drove down for a night.

We got to the Holiday Inn in the northern part of town and set off for a wander around town.  We walked all the way down King St to Market and walked across to the indoor markets before stopping for a quick bite at a pub on N Market St.  Leaving in a hurry, we walked up to the port and just made it onto the last Fort Sumter Tour.  The 45 minute ferry ride took us out to spend a couple of hours out at Fort Sumter - where the American Civil War started.  Really interesting place full of history.  Can only imagine how magnificent it looked in its full glory.  A 2 hour history lesson from the National Parks Service before our cruise back to Charleston.

Upon arrival we went to the Tourist Info Center, before doing a lap of the town on the free trolley.  The trolley stopped not far from the hotel.  I had decided on dinner over at Shem Creek.  I had eaten at a bar there 12 years ago with Amy, and after 10 years in the desert just love the idea of waterfront eating.  We ended up at the Waters Edge where we enjoyed a great seafood meal while overlooking the creek.  Glad we went over the bridge to Mt Pleasant for this.

Me & Mum @ Water's Edge, Mt Pleasant

After a nice breakfast in the hotel.  We walked back down to Market St to get on an Old South Carriage Company ride through Charleston.  To stem the flow of traffic, the horses are directed on 5 different routes via a lottery system.  Fortunately for us, our trip wound through the southern tip of the city.  An area we had yet to explore.  We spent close to 2 hours seeing some beautiful homes and churches, as well as getting a great historical rundown of the city.  After the tour we walked down to the see the homes of Rainbow Row.  It was then that the weather turned nasty and we jumped on the trolley back to the hotel.  From there we headed home.  Mum had a blast and it was nice to be away for a day. I wonder where we'll go when she comes back next year.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Lyle Lovett @ Belk Theater

I wasn't really sure what I was going to be in for when it came to a Lyle Lovett concert.  I don't know any of his music, but Amy loves him and that makes it a great anniversary gift from me.

The night started at Malabar - a great tapas restaurant just 2 blocks from the Belk Theater.  Amy & I overindulged in some fantastic food before heading into the show.  What I found at the show were fantastic musicians (the band was great), a prolific storyteller and a man with a great sense of humor in both his lyrics and his between song banter.  For 2 1/2 hours Lovett played many crowd favorites, let other band members take the limelight for some songs and left the crowd in stitches recalling song meanings and adventures he had in other trips to North Carolina.  While not the music I'd normal listen to, I definitely walked out a Lyle Lovett fan.  And Amy had a blast, which was most important.

Up In Indiana / Instrumental / Release Me / White Boy Lost In The Blues / Isn't That So (Jesse Winchester Cover) / Keep It Clean / The Truck Song / Sonja / Natural Forces / Give Back My Heart / God Will / I Will Rise Up / Temperance Reel (Luke Bulla) / Remember Well (Luke Bulla) / LA County / The Road To Ensenada / Private Conversation / Her First Mistake / Night's Lullaby / Pantry / Let Me Fall (Keith Sewell) / If I Had A Boat / Fiona / That's Right (You're Not From Texas) / White Freightliner Blues (Townes Van Zandt Cover)Encore: North Dakota / You Can't Resist It

The Crap Facts:
This is my 354th concert.
This is my 1st concert at Belk Theater.
Belk Theater is the 94th venue I've seen a concert.
This is my 6th concert in Charlotte.
This is my 6th concert in North Carolina.
This is my 161st concert in the USA.
Lyle Lovett is the 417th band I've seen.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Foals & Surfer Blood @ Visulite

I love going to a show to see one band and getting into both of them.  This was the case for the Foals and Surfer Blood.  

I had been given Surfer Blood's Astro Coast and was stoked to find they would be playing within walking distance of the house at the Visulite (instead of the no too far Neighborhood Theater, after a change of venue).  Got to the venue to find it packed (a little different to 11 years ago seeing Reverend Horton Heat here) and arrived as Surfer Blood were tuning up onstage.  It didn't take long before they were lulling us with their gentle melodic rock.  They played a great set including some new songs of an upcoming album. Highlight was singer John's walk through the venue during Take It Easy.

In contrast I knew that Foals were English and on Sub Pop.  2 pretty good references for a rock band as far as I'm concerned.  Foals were polar opposites of Surfer Blood - music was angular and very high energy.  Considering I knew not a song - this was a great show.  While they seemed almost cramped for space on the small Visulite stage, lead singer Yannis covered every inch of the stage as well as spending 2 songs in the crowd.  Speaking of which, this crowd was into it.  The place was packed to the rafters and everyone was moving to Foals.  Highlights were the opener Inhaler, Olympic Airways and then Two Steps Twice, which closed the encore

I hope I get to see them again.  I bought Antidotes when I got home so next time I might be more familiar with the music.  Surely the only way to make the show better.

Foals Setlist
Prelude / Inhaler / Balloons / Olympic Airways / Bad Habit / Milk & Black Spiders / Spanish Sahara / Red Socks Pugie / Late Night / Providence / Electric Bloom
Encore: Stepson / My Number / Two Steps, Twice

The Crap Facts:
This is my 353rd concert.
This is my 2nd concert at Visulite.
This is my 5th concert in Charlotte.
This is my 5th concert in North Carolina.
This is my 160th concert in the USA.
Surfer Blood are the 415th band I've seen.
Foals are the 416th band I've seen.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Gaslight Anthem @ The Fillmore

After nearly 10 years away, I am back living in Charlotte and get the lucky job of checking out a whole bunch of new venues in a quest to see as much rock as I can in my life.  The first such show happened a few days after my 40th when Gaslight Anthem came to town.

Joined by brother in law Drew, his fiance Erica, Amy and I started the night off at Osso.  This great Italian restaurant is located as part of a huge complex called the NC Music Factory (an area with bars, the Fillmore, Comedy Zone, the Uptown Amphitheater and other great nightlife spots).  Dinner was great, and one of the things that I know I am going to love here is the price of dining out.  Compared to Vegas this place was so reasonable.  A great vibe and superb food was the perfect start to the evening.

We got into the Fillmore late in that we missed the opening acts.  First impression of the venue is great.  Was a little surprised by the huge turnout (I only say that because Gaslight Anthem never did their own headline show in Vegas - that I'm aware of).  Big place holding about 2000 people, has long steps all the way the back, allowing people to get up front and get into the action, or stand back and still be able to see.  People were also different from what I've been seeing for the last 10 years (sooo much to get used to). A conservative looking crowd who happily follow instruction and aren't too cool to show they are having a great time).

Gaslight Anthem came on not long after 10pm and started with a couple from 59 Sound - this is still one of my favorite albums of the last 10 years.  Having said that, they don't have many songs I don't like.  The Charlotte crowd were great and some to the banter with Brian Fallon and the crowd showed a great connection between the two.  It was a shame it only went for 2 hours - I could've listened forever.  For me the highlight was the fact that they ploughed through 9 songs off my favorite album.  So many bands these days forget the songs that got them their start and built their fan base (I'm looking at you Tool).  Gaslight know whats good for a show and deliver appropriately.  A 4 song encore was a great ending to the night with 59 Sound getting the crowd fully revved up before they left the venue.

Another great show under my belt.  My only concern was the sound.  In the venue it was relatively quiet and somewhat muffled.  Which I found surprising - or is my tinnitus finally kicking in?

High Lonesome / Casanova, Baby! / Old White Lincoln / Handwritten / 45 / Boxer / Howl / Mulholland  Drive / Biloxi Parish / Meet Me By The River's Edge / Too Much Blood / SeƱor And The Queen / The Queen Of Lower Chelsea / The Spirit Of Jazz / 1930 / Film Noir / Great Expectations / Here Comes My Man / Desire / The Backseat
Encore: She Loves You / American Slang / The Patient Ferris Wheel / The '59 Sound

The Crap Facts:
This is my 352nd concert.
This is my 1st concert at The Fillmore.
The Fillmore is the 93rd venue I've seen a band.
This is my 4th concert in Charlotte.
This is my 4th concert in North Carolina.
This is my 159th concert in the USA.
This is my 4th Gaslight Anthem concert.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Band Of Skulls & Vintage Trouble @ Vinyl

There is nothing better than going to see a show on the strength of one song (in this case Band of Skull's Sweet Sour) and getting to see two bands just kill it with a small enthusiastic crowd.

Erik and I arrived just as Vintage Trouble were starting.  Apparently this LA band have done a bunch of shows in Vegas in the past, but I had never hear about them.  They were awesome!!  In the style of old school R&B this band tore it up.  Singer Ty Taylor has a stage presence that makes you want to move.  And  the sound from the rest of the band was fantastic.  I don't know any of their songs but I picked up a few names of stand outs, like Nancy Lee, You Better Believe It and Total Strangers.  To think that either side of this show they are opening for The Who in the Joint - I believe that in the near future we will be seeing Vintage Trouble headlining their own big venues - much in the vain that I saw Black Keys play a 2pm slot at Coachella 2009 and today.....  So impressed was I with this show that the moment I walked in the door I downloaded  The Bomb Shelter Sessions and spent half the night looking for clips of the band (it's been a long time since I've done that).

To their credit, Band Of Skulls had a tough act to follow, but did a fantastic job in their own right and style.  They kicked off with Sweet Sour - the song I wanted to hear - and then delivered a rocking hour plus set of blues riffs and four on the floor rawk!  Again I knew nothing else, but some songs that really stick to mind include Death By Diamonds And Pearls, Hollywood Bowl and Devil Takes Care Of His Own.  Another thing that stood out for me was the sound of the voice of singer Russell Marsden.  His singing voice sounds so different than when he spoke to the crowd.  He'd finish a song and then a booming Southern English accent would come out of his mouth to speak.  Sounded weird.

Overall a great night with at least 1 (though I'm sure many more) new fan for both bands.  For any future bands I see this year, you have your work cut out for you to put on a better show than this.

The Crap Facts:
This is my 351st concert.
This is my 2nd concert at Vinyl.
This is my 146th concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 146th concert in Nevada.
This is my 158th concert in the USA.
Vintage Trouble is the 413th band I've seen.
Band Of Skulls is the 414th band I've seen.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Nashville Pussy & Ditch Diggers @ Las Vegas Country Saloon

At the start of 2012 I set a New Years Resolution to have seen 350 shows before I turned 40.  It meant seeing 27 shows in 15 months - a tall order and not something I'd done since my early 20's - but I made it tonight with a month to spare.  And all the better that I'm seeing my mate play with the Ditch Diggers for the second time.

A midweek show downtown unfortunately didn't bring a big crowd.  I arrived just as Roman and the boys were loading in, so by the time I had a beer, was joined by Mike & Brandon from work, and picked our spot, the Ditch Diggers were kicking off.  I had seen them a while back at the Double Down, but this show was miles ahead. The new line up was tight, and Roman seemed relaxed and was enjoying himself.  And the sound was also worlds apart.  Hearing them through a PA made it so much better.  They tore through their 40 minutes of rock/psychobilly and won the crowd over.

Nashville Pussy is one of those bands that's been around for ever, and now that I've seem them, I don't understand why this hadn't happened earlier.  It was great 4-on-the-floor rock, with a twisted sense of humor.  Tons of songs about drinking and drugging, but my favorites had to be "Gonna Hitchhike Down To Cincinnati And Kick The Shit Outta Your Drunk Daddy" and "Go Motherfucker Go".

A great night of rock.  But I'm so glad I don't have to get up at the crack of dawn to go to work tomorrow.

Nashville Pussy Setlist
I'm So High / Wrong Side Of A Gun / Going Down Swinging / She's Got The Drugs / Ain't Your Business / Speed Machine / C'mon C'mon / Gonna Hitchhike Down To Cincinnati And Kick The Shit Outta Your Drunk Daddy / Hate And Whiskey / Struttin' Cock / I'm The Man / High As Hell / Go To Hell / Milk Cow Blues (Kokomo Arnold cover) / Why Why Why / Go Motherfucker Go / You're Goin' Down

The Crap Facts:
This is my 350th concert.
This is my 2nd concert at Las Vegas Country Saloon.
This is my 145th concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 145th concert in Nevada.
This is my 157th concert in the USA.
This is my 2nd Ditch Diggers concert.
Nashville Pussy are the 412th band I've seen.