Goodbye, Blue Sky


Some images from the Tuesday in the Park show by The Machine at Artpark. I took my british rock loving son up to hear/see the Machine. Artpark is a beautiful place to see a show. If I had my druthers, I’d be heading up to see Buddy Guy and Robert Randolph to cap the week, but my wallet had other ideas. It was a nice sized crowd that into the music in a great setting. The changes from the free days of a few years ago caught me off a bit, but we had a good time

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The Machine does a real good job aping the Floyd sound, so if you are into Pink Floyd at all, and apparently about 8000 of us were, it’s worth taking the jaunt up. Something about the laser show by the gorge and good sounding music, along with the festival of people watching (apparently a lot of us got our Pink Floyd shirts from Amazon or Target).

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The guy with the yellow sign was condemning us all to eternal damnation with scripture, still not sure what the offense was, but the folks in front of me stumped him with some quotes of their own. It’s sort of reassuring that uddering the “Devil made me do it” can befuddle our sign waver. He’s condemned me at enough events that I should get frequent flier miles on my way to damnation.

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Nice night….

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Mother, did it need to be so high?


Let me be upfront. I like beer just fine, beer before a concert, especially on a day like yesterday, hells yeah, a pint or two is fine thing. But when you are paying at minimum of $100 for a seat at Roger Waters‘ performance of “The Wall” I think I’d be less enarmored of the $8.00 cans of whatever to see more of the show. Maybe I’m just jealous as a lot of these folks seems really well financed. Jeff Miers of the Buffalo News wrote about the show here and I got to agree, it is astounding production of one of the last big albums that rock fans think of as a whole. It’s just too bad most folks didn’t see the first few songs as people were still streaming in during the big hit “Another Brick in the Wall, Part II.” Now, Mr. Waters’ team comes with an announcer beckoning people to take their seats, but much like the Sabres’ intermission bell, it didn’t get taken overly serious (these folks learned for the intermission).

(from the Buffalo News)

I was ushering last night and foolishly suspected that both at the price point and the fact the Wall came out 33 years ago, things might be on the sedate side. A few young hipsters prove that wrong, unleashing a technicolor yawn over some poor folks. After reconciling that customer service problem, I was a little more able to take in the spectacle. If you have the means, by all means, take it in. That album chocked with alienation referenced that we all had a copy of lends its music to a number of messages from current events all these years later.

While watching Waters and the show command the bulk of the attention, it amused me to see that despite the price tag, despite the attempts at musical profundity on stage, despite the high costs (let’s be honest) of things in the arena, a lot of folks at during the show wanderlust. I’m figuring for those bucks for tickets, convenience fees, etc, I’m seeing the damn thing. It’s interesting to me that there is a population that will be lots of $ to “be there.”

Wish I had that kind of money.

It was a great concert, you should have seen it.

Mother


A few years ago, the remaining members of Led Zeppelin got together for a one-off show in London. All sounded great and greedy tour promoters started guestimating about the crapload of potential profits (and yes, crapload is a unit of measure….for the moment).

I can imagine the other band capable of causing a caniption across Live Nation would be Pink Floyd. I saw Roger Waters perform the Wall in 2010 when it first came to Buffalo and amazingly, it and he return Thursday Night. It is an astounding show, not a conventional rock concert. If you have the means, I recommend it. Of Course, if you have the means to swing these tickets, I just want to be your friend as I think the lower bowl is close to $200 a pop.

Glad I’m getting paid to be there

Ticket to Ride


I went to my first rock concert in 1978. The tickets were bought over the counter by standing in line. This dawned on me on how simple it was watching how getting access to a major event is something the internet hasn’t made easier. In fact it might be a little more messed up. If you were a kid of the burbs, you could walk up to the National Record Mart (remember them?) and get tickets from somebody who acted like a rock star because he worked in record store, making minimum wage.

Inflation does what it does. Remember when a souvenir t-shirt was under $10? but the idea of if you can get through the Ticketmaster, Tickets.com, or Live Nation sites when a major show is announced, order your two seats and pay a “Convenience” fee tantamount to buying a third ticket? That is a little nutty, when the convenience means your printer at home, your toner, their lack of an actual person aiding your purchase. Who they paying with that fee? The electric bill? The good folks over at Kleinhans Music Hall have been hosting concerts of all colors once again and that is a great thing as the place is perfect. I had to laugh a little when a poster on twitter lamented how they were just using their box office staff instead of a “robust ticket selling website like Ticketmaster.” The same robust site that crapped out on numerous Springsteen and Roger Waters hopefuls earlier this week.

Give me a robust busy signal for a few minutes or a short line to wait in for the real deal over the computer freezing anytime. The net ain’t there yet.

Great Gig in the Sky


So, if you are into music at all, there are some recordings we all seemed to have. You might not remember how they appeared, you just know you had them, in a variety of formats. Growing up in the suburbs in the late 70s, regular forays to the Twin Fair record racks, Cavages, and even the old Record Theater (remember the apples?) were part of the fabric.

It seems like some recordings just popped up with my crowd: Hotel California, Led Zeppelin ll and IV, One for the Road, Who’s Next, Rumours, among others all seemed to set the foundation for everybody’s record collection. And then there was Dark Side of the Moon. I wasn’t really into Pink Floyd too much as a teenager. They were always pretty omnipresent on rock radio. It took me a while to acquire the taste. I dutifully got my copies of Dark Side and the Wall, and eventually Animals and Wish You Were Here, but they didn’t seem to go into heavy rotation in terms of stuff I listened to alot. But they did seemingly get repurchased.

In 1987, I acquired my first cd player and responded to this acquisition by running out to get a copy of Sgt. Pepper‘s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Dark side of the Moon. As my stereo equipment improved over the years, I can occasionally hear something, but I’ve never been one to purchase remasterings, new editions, what have you unless there was something especially compelling.

Until last night, I opened up the Itunes store to see the house that Jobs built trumpeting the Pink Floyd immersion series. These are expansively detail repackages of all the best known Floyd material with a lot of surplus extras.

It is the extras that intrigue me. I didn’t go for buying yet another copy of Dark Side, but hearing the guys who made the record perform it in a 1974 was too intriguing to pass up.

Fun to hear such familiar songs performed mostly live while the band was still together and before “Money” “Time” and the rest became such staples, and before the band imploded.

It’s the little things like that make you reach “Behind the Music” and realize that there is some good stuff there. I’m glad Itunes didn’t go all “album only” for once to make it easier to hear some true oddities.

Run Like Hell


Roger Waters is a freaking genius. His current tour of The Wall is a sight. I was in the audience for the Buffalo stop and it was a a complete show, literally, flawless sound, the erection and destruction of the Wall, complete with updated graphics from the old Pink Floyd animator. The first view of the model airplane crashing into the “Wall” served notice that this wasn’t just any rock concert. This wasn’t a rock concert in the traditional sense as the performance was of just the entirety of The Wall, the legendary Pink Floyd album created by Waters. It was one of those albums that we all had, but there was no sense of nostalgia in the playing of the 30 year old album as a performance piece.

The show was unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

From waiting for the “Construction” to the performances of songs that are so familar

Comfortably Numb

In the end, the Wall did come down, but it was a glorious end. Even my Iphone had a good time.

This video is from Boston a few nights ago, but it gives you an idea

Great show, catch the tour if you can.

Comfortably Numb


Maybe it’s the fact Roger Waters arrives in Buffalo to perform The Wall in its entirety next week, but Pink Floyd came back on my radar and this song has been in my mental remote control a lot the past few days.

It’s funny because you can sometimes hear stuff a million times, but something has to kick in to remind you to listen to it to remind you how good or crappy it is. But when you consider the soap opera that can be some musical groups it is a wonder they put anything out. Probably won’t hear the above next friday, but I would imagine he might give us a few Floyd bits in the encores. But the resulting hullabaloo of a major concert in the area has the local classic rockers playing more Floyd to hype the show. It’s good for this stuff to come by as obviously Floyd is done but to hear the guy who wrote most of it seems like a good thing. I know he did Dark Side of the Moon at Darien Lake a couple summers ago, but there is something about that as a concert venue that is something lacking to me.

I remember reading about when Pink Floyd staged a few shows around the Wall when it was released and can only imagine what technology of 2010 can do for the styrofoam bricks of 1980. It will be fun to find out.