Got on my boots….

Now what?

One of my favorite bands has been U2 since my halcyon years in college radio. They’ve endured fairly well. The last record that I was really fond of “All That You Can’t Leave Behind” The recent records since have had their moments, but as a whole, are well, okay. The lads did provide me, however indirectly, with what might be my zenith in parenting when I took my eldest to her first rock show when U2 played Buffalo toward the end of 2005.

That said, I thought it was pretty interesting that there were many great reviews from the shows played then because they were in arenas with the focus on the music.

I saw the attached photos from the National Post in Canada and thought maybe stadium shows are getting too large. When it is that big, how important is it to say you were in the building, when all you did was pay lots of money to watch the Edge on TV?

It is an awe-inspiring site and a cool picture, but I must be getting old.

I was at a free show last week and somebody complained that I was blocking their view of a tv-screen at a free show. It happens more at the free shows and there are plenty of great ones in our area, but they do attract folks who go so they can say they were there, not because they were interested in the show.

It’s interesting to see and I think paid shows aren’t immune. I was fascinated by the amount of people who used the slow songs at the April Bob Seger show in Buffalo for beer runs. Really? There must be something I’m missing in those eight dollar beers that make them so addicting.

By all means, do check out the pretty fair review from U2’s show on Monday, found here at

It’s interesting to me that great songs transcend anything and when Seger was here, he said the heck with everything and just played.

One of the forum posters on the National Post site hit it on the head that the band would be great in front of a brick wall.

Play decent music and people will come….


Prayer Pimples and Hairy Fishnuts

They say you should always trust your gut. Fat lot of good they know. Apparently my gut has shit for brains. I had two options for today after a little bit of time in at the day gig. I could retire to a good friend’s house and be fed really well. Or, I could stand around at the Arena in my red jacket watching Trans Siberian Orchestra in the name of helping my own fiscal bottom line out. A smart person would have opted for the great food and entertaining company. I apparently am not very smart.

I’ve been curious about Trans Siberian Orchestra for some time. They come every year for Christmas (there, I said it), but I’ve never been. Got the call on Friday asking if I would like to work the show. Stupidly thinking of my fiscal bottom line, I said yes.

As this picture from the Buffalo News shows, there was a cult like following on the floor of the arena. Audience responded to cues for orchestrated mania and all.

It is a visual wonder, multi-level stages, flames, lasers, ramps, heavy metal hair whippage, gyrating singer/dancers and a story teller who was trying a little too hard to enunciate like Geoffrey Holder (hence the Berkley Breathed title for this essay). If there was a sax solo, it would have encompassed every concert of all types that I had ever been to. The hired local string players did an admirable job of ignoring the pyrotechnics. I can’t help but wonder if the Orchestra’s own violin player might have gotten some pre-recorded help as a violin doesn’t really lend itself to flying off of stage risers, but I digress.

Being an agreeable sort, I okayed to staying for the second show. I was moved down to another section and was struck by a unique phenomena. Camera were out in force, but there were a lot of people taking video of the performance. I can’t help but wonder if that you are so hopped up to perserve the performance on video, are you actually enjoying the performance?

I mean, why capture the moment for posterity when you can’t stop to enjoy the moment in the first place?

I’m pretty sure I’m stumped about dinner on Friday night, what it was, what it is, but for whatever reason, I still remember all the salient stuff about seeing Bob Seger and Bruce Springsteen in their appearances at Memorial Auditorium.

I was fascinated by this one guy who had his “portable” phone capturing the 3D assault on our collective senses. Things are exploding all around us and dude’s focus was not on the moment, but of taking video of that moment. I guess the comfort of home couch is not to be underestimated.

It would be easier to fathom if this was a rare sighting, but these guys come here every year. And wouldn’t watching at home be easier on the DVDs that were already on sale in the lobby?

I never understood the paying all that money to be see at a show when you weren’t really into the show.

Enjoy the experience. Nobody really cares if that “Whoo” during the quiet part was yours.