Friday, July 28, 2006

KISS at Chumash Casino

Jacki and I took a quick trip about 130 miles north of LA to see KISS perform in a tiny venue in the Chumash Casino. We took off from LA around 2pm on Wednesday and checked into our hotel in Buellton California. We headed to the casino around 6pm.

This was definitely not your typical Vegas casino. Although it was clean and looked fairly new it definitely was missing the glitz and glamor of the Vegas strip. But what did we care we weren't there to gamble.

The show started just a little after 8pm.

Now for those that know me well, and if you had read my blog post from a couple of months back you'd know I'm a huge KISS fan. This marked my 17th time to see the band. This was one of the best performances I've ever seen them give. They were playing a small venue to 1300 people and they actually cared about how they sounded. The small stage just allowed them to interact musically much better than they do when they play a large arena.

The setlist was great. Eric Singer was back to playing more engergized versions of the songs and Tommy is now in full on fake-Ace mode.

There were a few incredible surprises. First was as they kicked into Detroit Rock City to open the set we suddenly realized this isn't a stripped down show as originally advertised. The Pyro was in full force. The next surprise came a few songs into the set as they introduced a song from their first album called "Kissin' Time". This song has only been documented as being performed 3 other times in their entire career. This is the first known performance in the US since May 24, 1974. Paul, and Gene traded vocals on verses just like the studio version and Eric Singer sang Peter's part. This is one of those nights you normally only get to read about, and to know that I was there. I was able to get a video recording on my camera as they played it. The sound is a little muffled but now it has been captured!

Although the set didn't have any additional shockers they did play some tunes that aren't in heavy rotation including Got To Choose, Heaven's On Fire and Come On And Love Me.

After the show we headed to the front to begin the search for unclaimed guitar pics. Luck was on my side and I was able to find two Tommy pics under piles of confetti. Of course Jacki is amused by me degenerating into my mode of trying to pics as if my life depended on it. The Tommy Thayer signatures on the pics were different that the Tommy Thayer pic I got in 2003. Always great to continue adding to the collection.

July 26, 2006
Chumash Casino
Santa Ynez, California

Set List:

Detroit Rock City
Makin' Love
Watchin' You
King of the Night Time World
Christine Sixteen
Got To Choose
Heaven's On Fire
Kissin' Time
I Love It Loud
Love Gun
God of Thunder
Do You Love Me
Shout It Out Loud
Black Diamond
Let Me Go, Rock & Roll

C'mon and Love Me
God Gave Rock & Roll To You
Rock and Roll All Night

As you see from the picture of the set list above both Kissin' Time and C'mon and Love Me were not on the printed set lists the band used. Spontaneous additions to the set are always the best. The bands playing was spot on as were the vocals including some great harmonies from Eric. And the sound guys also did an amazing job. You could hear every instrument and vocal crystal clear and nothing was distorted. Lets hope the bootleggers were out.

This has been an amazing couple of months of concerts for me and to think I saw KISS twice and they aren't even on tour. First the VH1 Rock Honors, and now this show in Chumash. I really wish I had planned for the time off so I could go see the show they have scheduled at the same venue on Friday. If only all concerts could be this good.

With that I leave you with a picture Jacki took of me during the final encore of Rock And Roll All Night with the band onstage, the KISS sign in the background and confetti all through the air. It was a great night.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

A good day for a wedding

It is a few hours before the wedding. A bit of role reversal this time around. Instead of the child bringing the fiance around for approval you have the parent doing so. My Mom is worried about the way she looks, the way everyone feels, if everyone approves of Marvin and is hoping for one of the best days of her life. Of cousre she should worry about nothing and today will go off beautifully.

6 1/2 years ago Jacki and I along with my sister Lisa and her husband Jeff were going through the same things and at the same place as my Mom is getting married today. In a unique twist it turns out that 27 years ago yesterday my Mom and Marvin where the best man and best woman at the wedding for Maureen and Jim. Maureen and Jim will be playing the same roles as my Mom and Marvin at this wedding.

Things have completely come full circle.

Did I mention how hot it is in Houston in the middle of the summer? We are now off to sweat through the ceremony.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

More Concerts

The past couple of weeks Jacki and I caught a few more shows. First Mike Keneally Band at The Baked Potato. They finally spelled his name correctly on the Marquee. Then Zappa Plays Zappa, and this past Monday we saw Pearl Jam at the LA Forum.

Highlights of the Zappa show included Stink Foot, Peaches, Montana, and Inca Roads. Terry Bozzio provided some comic relief all punked out on vocals.

This was my 3rd time to see Pearl Jam and was the best performance I've seen from them by a long shot. I don't know if it is an LA thing or what, but bands seem to generally be in great spirits when they play LA. Two sold out shows at the venue doesn't hurt either. They even had a plaque outside the box office that recognized their sell outs. Picture below. The funniest plaque was the 20 sell outs from Phil Collins over the course of about 20 years.

Pearl Jam
The Forum
Los Angeles, California
July 10, 2006

World Wide Suicide
Brain Of J.
Marker In The Sand
Severed Hand
Even Flow
I Got Id
Daughter/(It's Ok)/(I Believe In Miracles)/(Blitzkrieg Bop)
Better Man/(Save it for Later)
I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts

Encore 1
Man Of The Hour
Off He Goes

Encore 2
Big Wave
State Of Love And Trust
Rockin' In The Free World

The Forum was an odd venue. It was a gigantic room that somehow had an intimate feel. A very good room for a big show, however the venue itself was a dump and the facilities were far from modern. I'm listening to a copy of the show taken from the Peal Jam bootlegs site and the venue made for a fantastic recording.

Its been a good summer for concerts.

Next we're off to Houston tomorrow to see my mom get married. First she graduates college after I do and now she is getting married after me. We'll be in Houston until Monday and then I'm off to Korea for a few days.

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