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.