Saturday, July 28, 2007

Dream Theater goes Platinum

I just got back from seeing Dream Theater at the Gibson Amphitheater in Universal City. For this event I bought the DT Platinum experience which included a meet and greet, a picture with the band and a great seat for the show, more on that later.

Being a Friday afternoon I ended up leaving work early in the event of a worst case scenario with traffic. Fortunately it wasn't that bad and only took about an hour to get to the venue. Once at the venue the DT fans began to congregate outside of the gates and then the Platinum pass holders ended up finding one another.

I picked up my backstage pass around 7pm and headed into the venue. The meet and greet was nothing special. They ended up having about 50 people backstage and just ran us through. First run through was to get a picture. No idea how mine turned out, the person taking the photo said the shots looked fun and I could tell Mike Portnoy was having fun in the pic so I'm hoping it will be a fun picture.

The second run through was to get an item signed. I brought a copy of their most recent cd and had the band sign their picture in the booklet. They also gave us a signed 8x10 of the band as we left the meet and greet. All in all I probably had 90 seconds with the band. If you are wondering if the Platinum pass is worth it, I would say no and stick with the gold ticket that will get you a seat in the first few rows. Maybe it was just LA... The one nice moment during the signing was when the guy in front of me asked Mike what was in the setlist tonight and I said don't tell him. Mike laughed and thanked me so he could tell the other guy he can't say because of me.

Outside of the meet and greet I went and purchased their newest official bootleg of Deep Purple's Made In Japan. I passed on the other merch and made it to my seat. The seat was second row dead center. Can't get much better than that. I caught the last half of the second opener Redemption, featuring Ray Alder from Fates Warning.

During the set break a guy sitting first row center said the subs were too loud and he was going to move back to the second row. I ended up swapping seats with him and ended up front row dead center. The best seat in the house. At this point the camera and I were ready for the show to start.

Once the band came out they had a very clean stage with giant ants hanging off amps, sitting on the ground and hanging on Jordan's keyboard rig. Pretty wild and tied into the theme of the new album cover. They ran through some of the new cd, avoided their hits, and picked some deep tracks from previous albums. A very creative setlist. Although the sound wasn't great due to the subwoofer problem, you could tell the band was spot on and were as tight as ever. At one point I saw Jordan give John Myung a sign of approval after John nailed the closing of a song on bass.

Highlights of the set for me were Surrounded, Lines In The Sand, The Spirit Carries On, and from the medley Learning To Live and Octavarium.

Dream Theater
July 27, 2007
Gibson Amphitheater
Los Angeles, CA

Intro Movie
Constant Motion
Panic Attack
Scarred
Surrounded
The Dark Eternal Night
Keyboard Solo
Lines In The Sand
Misunderstood
The Spirit Carries On
In The Presence Of Enemies

Encore
Medley
i. Trial Of Tears
ii. Finally Free
iii. Learning To Live
iv. In The Name Of God
v. Octavarium

Dream Theater July 27, 2007

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Amp'd Mobile RIP

One of our competitors is terminating customer support today and will shut off service in a matter of days. They recently filed for bankruptcy and were not able to secure additional financing. It is never good to hear of a competitors failure, but it is encouraging to see that our different approach to the space is yielding much more positive results.


http://www.engadgetmobile.com/2007/07/24/ampd-revises-shutoff-date-july-31-at-the-earliest/

Rush at the Hollywood Bowl

The month of concerts continues. Last night I made it out to the Hollywood Bowl to see Rush. I had the best seat I've ever had at the Bowl and Rush came out and delivered a great set. I ended up meeting a guy named Rick from Houston, Texas that had come out for the show. It was nice to talk about Houston and all of those past Rush shows in the Woodlands, at the Summit and even the Texas Jam show at the Astrodome.

The band looked fresh and sounded great. This was one of the best performances I'd seen Rush give. I remember they were also very good on the R30 tour so maybe they are one of those few bands that get better with age. The show started while the sun was still up and by several songs into the set the sun had set. The sound was perfect, you could hear all the instruments and Geddy's vocals clearly. Although Alex appeared to be singing as loud as he could into his mic you couldn't hear him, and that is probably a good thing.

During the intermission Dave Foley walked over to talk to some friends of his that were sitting in the same box I was. I wanted to get a picture with him but he wasn't making eye contact with anyone other than his friends. He said a pleasant hi as he walked up and that was it. As he walked back to his seat a guy one box over did get him to autograph his Rush ticket. Kind of an odd thing to get autographed, but since Dave is Canadian I guess it works.

Highlights of the set Entre Nous, Natural Science, the South Park intro to Tom Sawyer and they fact that Rush played no medleys. All full songs for a change!

Rush
Hollywood Bowl
Los Angeles, CA
July 23, 2007

Intro Movie
Limelight
Digital Man
Entre Nous
Mission
Freewill
The Main Monkey Business (guy comes on stage to baste the chicken's that are rotating behind Geddy)
Bob and Dough McKenzie from the Great White North introduce
The Larger Bowl
Secret Touch
Circumstances
Between The Wheels
Dreamline

Intermission

Intro Movie
Far Cry (w/ pyro as Geddy sings "circuits blowing")
Workin' Them Angels
Armor And Sword
Spindrift
The Way The Wind Blows
Subdivisions
Natural Science
Witch Hunt (w/ more pyro)
Malignant Narcissism
Neil's Drum Solo
Hope (Alex Solo)
Distant Early Warning
The Spirit Of Radio
South Park Video introducing
Tom Sawyer
Encore
One Little Victory (w/ Pyro)
Passage To Bangkok
YYZ

Click below for a few more pictures.

Rush - July 23, 2007

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Ozzfest 2007

Darian and I went to the first free Ozzfest in San Bernardino, CA yesterday. 15 bands played and we caught 8 of them. Although I didn't enjoy the music as much as some of the other shows I've recently seen I must commend Ozzy and Sharon for making this a free event.

Second Stage
Daath - First band of the day we saw. They were playing the second stage and the crowd seemed to be into them.

3 Inches Of Blood - Next up, and until the 2nd stage headliners they had the greatest demand of the crowd.

Mondo Generator (featuring Nick Oliveri) - I was expecting more from these guys, but I've always expected more from Nick's other band Queens Of The Stone Age. Crowd seemed to mellow during their set.

Behemoth - European metal with guys decked out in makeup. Intense set, their drummer could play double bass like I've never seen.

Hatebreed - Crowd went absolutely crazy. Multiple pits in front of the stage which resulted in this huge dust cloud over the crowd. We were by the mixing board and could barely see the band because of all of the dust.

At this point D and I headed over to the merch booth to get her a Hatebreed shirt. In the merch area we ran into a couple of her friends a friend that works at Hot Topic in Santa Monica and another friend from her school. We hang out with them for about 20-30 minutes, saw a couple of fights, saw a guy get arrested and quite a bit of blood. Its unfortunate that crowds like this get out of hand. To think 50K plus people at Rocklahoma I didn't see one fight and there were no reports of any arrests. Not the case at Ozzfest.

Towards the end of the Hatebreed set we headed over to the main stage to find our seats.

First up on the Main Stage was Lordi.

Main Stage
Lordi - Pyro galore. This is one of the bands I wanted to see, more for the spectacle. They definitely delivered.

Lordi - Set List
Intro - SCG3 Special Report
Bringing Back The Balls To Rock
The Kids Who Wanna Play With The Dead
Who's Your Daddy
Blood Red Sandman
The Deadite Girls Gone Wild
Devil Is A Loser
They Only Come Out At Night
Would You Love A Monsterman
Hard Rock Hallelujah

Static-X - They earned the best performance of the day. For their song Cannibal John 5 came out, decked out in makeup and played lead guitar for the song. Outside of Ozzy I enjoyed their set the best out of the day.

Lamb Of God - I have heard good things about this band but due to very poor sound during the set I didn't get to enjoy it. Crowd loved it and they did play Laid To Rest, the one song of their's I knew. From where I was sitting Redneck was the biggest crowd pleaser.

Ozzy Osbourne - What can you say about Ozzy, he is the reason Ozzfest exists and if royalty existed in metal he would be at the top. This was my second Ozzfest, the first being 10 years ago in 1997. This was the one tour Zakk didn't play with Ozzy so it had been 16 years since I had seen Zakk. This was a great set. Ozzy's newest lineup grooves much better than the lineup with Rob Trujillo, who went to Metallica. Blasko - Bass
Adam Wakeman - Keyboards (Rick Wakeman's son - Rick is in Yes)
Zakk Wylde - Guitar
Mike Bordin - Drums
Ozzy

Ozzy Setlist
Intro movie with Ozzy integrated into various TV show, music video and movie clips.
Intro music - Carmina Burana
Bark At The Moon - Zakk wearing a black kilt / skirt
Mr. Crowley
Not Going Away
War Pigs
Road To Nowhere
Band Introduction
Suicide Solution
Zakk Guitar Solo w/ Star Spangled Banner
I Don't Know
I Don't Want To Change The World
Mama I'm Coming Home
Encore
Crazy Train
2nd Encore
Paranoid - During the final encore Zakk tripped on his cord, fell on the ground and unplugged his guitar.

Ozzy closed the show saying tickets will cost twice as much next year.

Ozzy made the event worthwhile. I'm not into the new, underground heavier metal out today so I don't see myself getting into the majority of the bands we saw. The only band I might check out would be Static-X.

After the high point of the night with Ozzy we then had to deal with the hell of the venue. It took 2 hours, no exaggeration, to get out of the parking lot. Show let out at 11pm and we get home at 2am.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Rocklahoma Pictures and Wrap Up


Day 1 Pictures


Day 2 Pictures


Day 3 Pictures

It is very hard to sum up how great this event was. The music was great and hanging out and catching up with Terry made it that much better. We were able to relive some of those old times where we would take a road trip or fly somewhere to see some great bands.

Everyone we met was fantastic, from the group on the 10th row that let us hang outin their seats the entire time, to the security guys that always welcomed me to the front of the stage to take pictures, to the people we met at the hotel and restaurants that were just excited to know we came to their little town in Oklahoma to experience Rocklahoma.

The event was the most organized big event I had been to. Reserved seating also made a big difference in making this a very enjoyable event. All said and done we caught 20 bands in a 3 day period. It is quickly becoming a blur and can't wait to do it all over again next year.

Day 3 Rocklahoma Set Lists

Here is a recap and the set lists from the final day of Rocklahoma. Wrap up and pictures will be posted next.

July 15, 2007
Rocklahoma
Pryor, OK

Terry and I arrived during the Steelheart set. I think we missed two songs. I was pleasantly surprised. The singer had an amazing voice and I had forgotten that he was the singing voice of Mark Wahlberg in the movie Rockstar. The highlights for me were We All Die Young and Stand Up.

Steelheart
(missed first two songs)
Buried Unkind
Sinner (?)
I'll Never Let You Go
We All Die Young
Stand Up -> fast riff from middle of Dazed And Confused (Led Zeppelin)

They changed the order of the bands so I thought Britny Fox was up next but evidently they swapped set times with Steelheart, so LA Guns was up next. Terry and I were eating lunch and ended up missing the first song of the LA Guns set.

For me this was the breakout performance from the third and final day. I've now seen LA Guns three times but with radically different line ups. This line up featured Tracii Guns, his son Jeremy Guns on bass, Chad Stewart on drums, and original vocalist Paul Black.

Paul Black was a fantastic front man. He worked the crowd well, had a Chris Robinson (Black Crowes) kind of look and vibe about him and seemed very happy to be playing to the crowd. Chad Stewart was also playing with Faster Pussycat so I think he gets the distinction of being the hardest working man at Rocklahoma.

L.A. Guns
(missed first song)
No Mercy
One More reason
L.A.P.D.
You Can't Always Get What You Want (Rolling Stones) -> with Sweet Child Of Mine riff (GnR)
Ballad Of Jayne -> Whole Lotta Love -> Superstition -> Ballad Of Jayne
(Paul Black invited people on stage, well over a hundred jumped on stage. This was one of the highlights of all of Rocklahoma, a great moment)
Shut The Fuck Up (Brides Of Destruction)
Sex Action -> Paint It Black (Rolling Stones)
Hells Bells (AC/DC)
Never Enough
Mean Street intro (Van Halen)
Electric Gypsy
TNT w/ Paul on Drums and Chad on vocals (AC/DC)
Children Of The Grave riff (Black Sabbath) -> Rip and Tear

One of my favorite bands Great White was up next. The played a nice selection of hits, album cuts and even played a new one off their yet to be released new album. Their set was more blues rock and laid back. Even with that said they were able to keep the audience standing on their feet the entire set. Jani Lane came out for Jumpin' Jack Flash and shared vocals with Jack Russell. Jack had one of the best punchlines on stage. After introducing the rest of the band he said if you don't know me by now then you don't know Jack.

Great White
Cant Shake It
Face The Day
Standin' On The Edge
On Your Knees -> Achilles Last Stand (Led Zeppelin) -> On Your Knees
Mista Bone
House Of Broken Love
Save Your Love
Rolling Stoned
Rock Me
Jumpin' Jack Flash w/ Jani Lane (Rolling Stones)
Once Bitten Twice Shy

Jackyl is a band with a singer that comes off as extremely arrogant and full of himself. However those are the ingredients for a great front man. Their performance was great and the crowd loved it. The music was a mix of hard rock and southern rock with a heavy dose of over the top lyrics thrown in. Of course the highlight of the set was with the chainsaw solo during The Lumberjack.

Jackyl
Sometimes I Find Myself Acting Just Like a Negro (?)
Push Comes To Shove
Just Like A Devil
She Loves My Cock
Kill The Sunshine
Down On Me
I Stand Alone
When Will It Rain
Dirty Little Mind -> Miss You reference (Rolling Stones)
Redneck Punk
Black Sabbath intro (Black Sabbath) -> The Lumberjack

I've been seeing Queensryche live since their very first tour back in 84/85. They ended up being a last minute replacement act replacing W.A.S.P. I was disappointed in losing W.A.S.P. but I think 95%+ of the audience considered the 'Ryche a huge upgrade. Their music doesn't traditionally fit in with the rest of the bands on this line up but they were able to command the audience just fine. The delivered a fairly high energy set and omitted their slower paced songs for this appearance. Geoff even hit some of the high notes in the middle of Take Hold.

Queensryche
The Whisper
Damaged
Breaking The Silence
I'm American
The Hands
Another Rainy Night (Without You)
I Don't Believe In Love
Eyes Of A Stranger
Empire
Walk In The Shadows
Take Hold Of The Flame
Jet City Woman

The last band of Rocklahoma was a group I was into very heavily as a child. I never had the chance to see them live and had to settle for a Dee Snider solo show with his band Widowmaker in the 90s, which was great. Dee and company know how to command a huge crowd. They brought their New York attitude, the makeup, the costumes and played great. This was a great send off for the first Rocklahoma and I don't think a single person in the crowd left the show dissappointed.

The surprise song of the night was Silver Bells from their Christmas CD. They brought in fake snow that fell from the lighting truss, like confetti, brought out the Santa hat and even threw out candy canes into the audience. This was also one of their best sounding songs of the entire night. This was a great send off and great to see one of the bands I so dearly loved long ago.

Twisted Sister
What You Don't Know
The Kids Are Back
Stay Hungry
Captain Howdy
Shoot 'em Down
You Can't Stop Rock And Roll
Fire Still Burns
We're Not Gonna Take It
The Price
Burn In Hell w/ Drum Solo
Silver Bells
I Wanna Rock
Encore
Come Out And Play
SMF

Monday, July 16, 2007

Day 2 Rocklahoma Set Lists

Here are the setlists for the bands we saw on day 2.

July 14, 2007
Rocklahoma
Pryor, OK

Faster Pussycat
Cathouse (changed lyric to Whorehouse)
Slip Of The Tongue
Number 1 With A Bullet
Power And The Glory Hole
House Of Pain
Don't Change That Song
Sex, Drugs, & Rock 'n Roll
Bathroom Wall (cut from set)
The drum intro to Bathroom Wall was started but then quickly aborted.

Enuff Z'Nuff
Lyric included "Cops said baby said" (?)
Kiss The Clown
Heaven Or Hell
Little Indian Angel
Lyric included "Girl in the red alright with love alright" (?)
There Goes My Heart
Lyric included "There is a spark" (?)
Baby Loves You
New Thing
Prior to playing New Thing, Chip told the crowd they had one more song and asked which one did we want to hear, New Thing or Fly High Michelle. I yelled out New Thing and got it.

Firehouse
Overnight Sensation
All She Wrote
Crash
Shake & Tumble
Love Of A Lifetime
Reach For The Sky
We Got The Funk into
Don't Treat Me Bad

Warrant

Sure Feels Good To Me
Down Boys
32 Pennies
Talk About Love
Love In Stereo
I Saw Red
Rainmaker
Bourbon County Line
Dirty Jack
Sometimes She Cries
Heaven
So Damn Pretty
Joey Allen Guitar Solo
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Cherry pie

Skid Row
Makin A Mess
Piece Of Me
Sweet Little Sister
New Generation
18 & Life
Monkey Business
Thick Is The Skin
I Remember You
Slave To The Grind
Youth Gone Wild

Winger
Intro Music - Like A Ritual Drum Fills
Blind Revolution Mad
Easy Come Easy Go
Your Great Escape
Down Incognito -> John Roth Guitar Solo
Rainbow In The Rose
Generica
Junkyard Dog
You Are The Saint, I Am The Sinner
Headed For A Heartbreak
Cant Get Enough
Madalaine
Seventeen

Dokken
Intro Music - Without Warning
Unchain The Night
Into The Fire
The Hunter
Kiss Of Death
Breaking The Chains
Dream Warriors
Too High Too Fly
Alone Again
Its Not Love w/bass solo
Tooth and Nail
In My Dreams

Vince Neil
Intro Pulp Fiction Valley Of Darkness Speech
Live Wire
Piece Of Your Action
Helter Skelter
Rock And Roll (Led Zeppelin Cover)
Don' t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)
Red Hot
Same Ol' Situation (SOS)
Kickstart My Heart
Whole Lotta Love (Zep) -> War Pigs (Sabbath)-> Heaven And Hell (Sabbath) -> Whole Lotta Love - Jeff Blando on vocals, Vince was off stage
Dr. Feelgood
Girls, Girls, Girls
Wild Side
Encore
Teaser

Day 1 at Rocklahoma (Part 2)

Here is the rest of the recap including set lists from Friday night.

July 13, 2007
Rocklahoma
Pryor, OK

Quiet Riot came out and did a very high energy set. The line up included Kevin Dubrow, Fankie Banali, Alex Grossi, and Chuck Wright. They focused heavily on the hits with a couple of tracks from their most recent release. The only complaint is their songs had many false endings where the band would do an ending, Dubrow would get the audience pumped back up, and then the band would re-do the ending. It was great to see Frankie on drums and I noticed that he was playing DW this time around.

Quiet Riot
Metal Health (intro only)
Put Up Or Shut Up
Slick Black Cadillac
Free
South Of Heaven
Mama Weer All Crazee Now
Red Light Mama, Red Hot ->I Don't Need No Doctor -> Whole Lotta Love
Drum Solo
The Wild And The Young
Let's Get Crazy
Cum On Feel The Noize
Metal Health

Next up was Ratt with one of my favorite singers, John Corabi. However John is playing guitar and is not singing lead vocals with Ratt. This line up included John Corabi, Robbi Crane, and original Ratt members Bobby Blotzer, Warren DeMartini and Stephen Pearcy. Stephen's voice sounded a little shot for the set but they showed how they can play to a large crowd. This was a great set and was very well received by the crowd.

Ratt
Sweet Cheater
Dangerous But Worth The Risk
I'm Insane
You Think You're Tough
Wanted Man
Slip Of The Lip
Way Cool Jr.
Nobody Rides For Free
Back For More
Lovin' You's a Dirty Job
Lack Of Communication
Over The Edge
Lay It Down
You're In Love
Walkin The Dog
Body Talk
Round And Round

Last up was Poison. They brought their big stage with pyro and confetti at the end of the night. Brett brought some military up from the crowd for Something To Believe In. It came across as very sincere and was dedicated to the soldiers. For the encore Gene Simmons introduced Poison over the PA. He made a joke about You Wanted The Best but we (KISS) couldn't be there, so enjoy Poison at Rocklahoma.

Poison
Look What The Cat Dragged In
I Want Action
Ride The Wind
I Won't Forget You
What I Like About You (Romantics cover)
CC guitar solo -> Georgia On My Mind
I Hate Every Bone Body In Your Body But Mine (CC on vocals)
Something To Believe In (Bret pulled military up on stage from crowd)
Can't You See (Marshall Tucker cover)
Your Mama Don't Dance
I Need To Know (Tom Petty cover)
Drum Solo
Unskinny Bop (with cool pyro)
Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Fallen Angel
Talk Dirty To Me
Encore
Nothin' But A Good Time

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Quick Day 2 Rocklahoma recap

It is Sunday morning and Terry and I are getting ready to begin day 3. I don't have time to do the write ups off all the setlists yet but will get them posted when I get back.

Yesterday we saw the following bands.

Faster Pussycat - with Taime Downe

Enuff Z'Nuff - I got a guitar pic

Firehouse - the surprise performance of the day

Warrant - unfortunately the worst set of the event so far, they really needed Jani Lane

Skid Row - no Sebastian but a great effort from Johnny Solinger

Winger - they lost the crowd and musically didn't fit in with the other acts, although they played a great set. I got a guitar pic from this set but it wasn't a signature pic

Dokken - Don's voice isn't as good as it used to be but the Dokken set with a replacement guitarist and bass player was much better than when I saw the original Dokken line up in '95

Vince Neil - This was probably the best performance I'd ever seen Vince give. He was great, his band featured Dana Strum and Jeff Blando, both formally of Slaughter, and the drummer was a monster and had more moves than Tommy Lee. I got a signature Vince Neil guitar pic and this was a great way to end the night.

Day 2 of the event didn't seem quite as crowded as the first day. Day 1 estimates were 50,000 people,. Yesterday many of the bands said the crowd was between 30,000 - 35,000. I'm expecting a smaller crowd today since some of the bands playing today don't have the wide appeal a Vince Neil or a Poison can bring.

It has been a great weekend so far, we even renewed our tickets for Rocklahoma 2008 so Terry and I will get to do this again next year.

We are off to last and final day.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Day 1 at Rocklahoma (Part 1)


Terry and I started our day with a 3 hour drive from Choctaw up to Tulsa. We ended up starting an hour later than we hoped but it wasn't a problem since we were able to eat a good breakfast and get a little extra sleep.

We checked into our hotel in Tulsa around 1:30 and headed out to Rocklahoma shortly thereafter. We got to the venue at 3pm, an hour before the first big band went on stage. We got our wristbands, found our seats and got some of the VIP buffet food.

The first band of the day was White Lion. Well only Mike Tramp from White Lion but he was billed as White Lion. We noticed the seats hadn't filled in so we claimed some seats around 10th row center. Fortunately we were able to keep these seats the entire day, so we are hopeful that we will be able to use these seats for the shows on Saturday and Sunday.

White Lion came out, and both looked good and sounded good. So good in fact we though maybe they should have been bumped to a later time. Little did we know how good the other bands were going to be.

July 13, 2007
Rocklahoma
Pryor, OK

White Lion
Hungry
Little Fighter
Tell Me
Wait
Lady Of The Valley
When The Children Cry
Radar Love

Second act out was Y & T. I've come to love several Y & T songs through the years and it was great to hear them live. I'd seen Y & T previously back in '85 and '87 when I wasn't all that familar with the material. Tonight they played all of my favorites including Don't Stop Runnin', Mean Streak and Summertime Girls. They had the best sound fidelity of the entire night. Dave's voice was perfect, the band had a great sound and was by far the tightest band that played. Although they did lose some momentum with the audience during some of their slower songs.

Y & T
Black Tiger
Lipstick And Leather
Don't Stop Runnin'
Dont stop
Dirty Girl
Mean Streak
Rescue me
Eyes Of A Stranger
guitar solo / instrumental (possibly I'll Cry For You)
Summertime Girls
Forever

The surprise act for the day was Slaughter. Only Mark Slaughter and Blas Elias are remaining from the original line up, but that didn't matter. All these years most of my friends, myself included, have joked about how bad Slaughter is, and even called them Laughter but with an S as in Slaugh-ter. They probably played the best show of the day, and Mark worked the crowd harde than any other band today.

Slaughter
The Wild Life
Burnin' Bridges
(Mark's amp not mic'd, he ends up walking around for about 3-5 minutes soloing on guitar until his guitar can be heard over PA)
Spend My Life
Mad About You
Eye To Eye ->
Heaven and hell (Black Sabbath cover) ->
Eye to Eye
Fly To The Angels
Up All Night

During the middle of the set Mark came out to the crowd to get everyone worked up. He ended up standing right over me on the 10th row and was singing from there for about 2 minutes. I have some great pictures that I'll post shortly.

That is the update for tonight. It is now 4:20am Rocklahoma time and we have a full day ahead tomorrow.

Sets for the Quiet Riot, Ratt, and Poison shows will be posted shortly along with numerous pictures.

Friday, July 13, 2007

On the road to Rocklahoma


I flew in today to Austin to meet up with Terry. We are off to Rocklahoma! I finally got to see his place. On the way out of town we ate at Pappasito's, I had to get a quick tex-mex fix in. We drove for about 5 hours and crossed the Texas / Oklahoma border and pulled off to get a hotel.

We are staying the night at the Choctaw Indian Casino in Durant Oklahoma. Rooms are cheap, nice enough, and we will get a good shower and breakfast here in the morning. It is a bit surreal, a Vegas style casino in a small Oklahoma town. It looks to be full of locals. After checking into the hotel around 1am we went down and played about an hour of Blackjack. We quickly learned no alcohol is available at Indian casinos and decided to call it a night.

Tomorrow we will have a full day. Check in to the hotel in Tulsa, head over to the event in Pryor Oklahoma, and take in our first day of bands that include White Lion, Y&T, Slaughter, Quiet Riot, Ratt and Poison.

I've seen all the bands before except White Lion. I'm looking forward to the Y&T (saw for the first time in '85) and Ratt (saw first time in '99).

We will head out around 10am.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A busy few days

This week has been quite busy with the 4th. On Wednesday Darian, Jacki and I went up to York's to rehearse again and to have some 4th of July bar-b-q California style with some steak grilled up for tacos. Food was good and the rehearsal was also good. Darian took her bass this time and we worked on 2 songs. By the end of the night they were sounding fairly tight.

For Thursday and Friday we had back to back nights of Mike Keneally Band. Thursday night was down in San Pedro. I had never been down that way. Once we got to the venue Jacki and I paid admission and then got a quick bite to eat. About 10 minutes after we sat down Joe Travers (drums), his wife, and Doug Lunn (bass) sat in the table right behind us. We knew that as long as we got out of the restaurant before they did then we wouldn't miss anything.

This was probably the best Keneally set Jacki and I had seen. Doug Lunn on bass was also a treat. He played a fretless bass and had a fantastic tone.

A couple of points during the night Mike took requests. I yelled out "I Can't Stop" and he actually agreed to play it. A definite highlight. Other highlights for the night were Rosemary Girl and Uglytown. The band played very tight and the venue was great for live music. Held about 60 people and had grand piano on stage that Mike took advantage of a couple of times through the set. At one point they even launched into a free form improvised piece which they pulled off. Mike was playing a solo that he mirrored on guitar and keyboard at the same time.

The Friday night set was a little looser and not quite as exciting as the first night. They had Evan Francis on sax and flute for some of the set. However the highlight came at the very end of the night when the band played Inca Roads. Jamie Kime from the Zappa Plays Zappa band came up from the audience and Jamie and Joe led the band through an amazing rendention of the Zappa classic. Although Thursday's show was much better the Inca Roads performance was alone worth seeing on Friday night. We took Darian on Friday for her first Keneally experience. Although it wasn't the best first impression she could have had she did say she enjoyed watching Mike play his solos.

Saturday we spent a good portion of the day cleaning. Our house is now the cleanest it has been since we moved in. This up coming week I'm back to work for a few days and then I'm off
to Rocklahoma with Terry.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

First Rehearsal

This past Sunday Darian and I rehearsed with a girl named York up in the Northridge area. Jacki and I met York at a Mike Keneally show at the Baked Potato a couple of months back. After numerous exchanges via email, phone and Myspace we finally were able to get our schedules to sync.

Since this was the first time for us to get together this was both a psuedo audition as well as a meet and greet to see if everyone worked well together.

Once the drums were set up we ran through one of York's songs called Relinquish. You can hear a demo recording on her Myspace page.
http://www.myspace.com/karleyyork

Click the song Relinquish to listen.

After working through that song York walked through another couple of her songs. By this point we had somehow convinced Darian to pick up a guitar. Within minutes she had learned the chords for York's next song and Darian was suddenly the primary guitar player for the session. Very cool to see.

One of York's friends, Katt Lowe, also came by. She played guitar, provided feedback to the bass player, Tony, and even ran us through several of her own songs. This was the first time I had actually worked with someone who was semi-professional. She is good friends with the original singer from the Runaways, Cherie Currie. An all female band that featured Joan Jett and Lita Ford when they were in their teens.

The remarkable thing is how Darian is getting involved so young. She is at the right age and is already light years beyond what any of my friends or I could have done at age 15.

The plan is to get back together this weekend. Let's hope that second impressions are as promising.

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