Tuesday, July 17

Concert reviews


This was my third time seeing JM live at Blossom, but the first time that I did not have seats in the pavilion. I was kind of bummed about that, but it turns out that the lawn is an AWESOME people-watching venue! Half the time I forgot that I was at a concert, because I was so engrossed in the human drama around me. My sister-in-law and I enjoyed this immensely.

Ben Folds opened the show, and though I only own that one CD that everyone owns of his, the one that has "Brick" on it, I still recognized most of the songs he played. Which was weird. He also made us laugh out loud by his between-song banter, where he attempted to recreate the "Brown Note" -- the same frequency the military allegedly uses to make people crap their pants. He couldn't get down low enough but he said that the low tone he played was enough to make the weaker people "shart" -- which just about killed us.

During his set, a nearby Ben Folds MEGAFAN was shouting all the words, dancing, and interjecting certain catch phrases between songs, like, "Fuckin A", "Fuck Yeah," etc. John Mayer came out during the last song in BF's set and the megafan was not pleased. Not at all. Then, when the set ended, he loudly proclaimed that he had been ripped off, that Ben Folds should have been allowed to play longer (he played for about 45 minutes), and then the Megafan packed his stuff up and left before JM hit the stage.

John's set was awesome. He opened with "Belief" which is one of my favorite songs off of Continuum, and then went into "Why Georgia" -- another good one. He played a good mix of his three main albums, plus a John Mayer trio song, and another obscure one that I have heard before but can't place.

During the set, we had, at various times, intertwined lesbians, high school idiots, college idiots, drunk idiots, and a host of others around us. It made for some good snarkage.

For the encore, John treated the audience to my least favorite song in his reporitoire, "Your Body is a Wonderland," but he did it acoustic. The last time my sister-in-law and I went to see JM, we were trapped next to these obnoxious girls who shout-sang the lyrics to this song and even had hand motions to go along with the lyrics. Smartass that I am, I performed a slowed down version of their pantomime routine during this acoustic set. It was funny to me and my SIL, but people around us probably thought I was an idiot.


As Andy Summers struck the opening chords of "Message in a Bottle," thus beginning the Cleveland show, the woman next to me (who looked and sounded remarkably like Kelly from "The Office") turned to me and said, "I bet you weren't even alive the first time these guys were on tour!" First of all, THANK YOU to that woman for making me feel not so old. But actually, yes, I was alive. I was in about the third or fourth grade when the Synchronicity album came out, and I also owned all of the prior albums (Ghost in the Machine, Zenyatta Mondata, Regatta de Blanc) on casette. This was largely due to a huge musical influence in my life -- my babysitter at the time, Carrie, who was a few years older than me and a HUGE Police fan. She and I would watch MTV and wait for the video to "Every Breath You Take" to come on, and we would listen to all the albums all the time.

Anyway, I am still riding the high from this concert. Every Police song that I could think of that I would want to hear live -- they did. They did some other great songs that fans of the Police would recognize, and they did a couple obscure songs that even I didn't know. Sting looked fantastic and sounded great. Every once in a while there seemed to be some kind of disconnect between Sting and Andy -- I couldn't tell who was at fault, but the music just seemed to be off. Also, Stewart Copeland was AWESOME. So much of what makes the music of the Police so great is the drums, and he was truly a showman. In addition to his standard drum set, he had a gong, a series of chimes and bells, and some other random percussion instruments. During certain points in the show, he would literally toss his drumsticks over his head, grab a brush, and get up to play the chimes. The song "Wrapped Around Your Finger", which is not one of my favorites normally, was probably the best song they did because of how cool Stewart's part was. When he was done on the chimes, he would again toss the brushes over his head, pick up a new set of drum sticks, and go right back to drumming. So cool.

My seats were in the LAST row of the Q (I hate calling it that, but to borrow a phrase, it is what it is), but at least we were facing the stage. There were screens set up above the stage so we could always see the action, and they also featured some retro Police graphics (for instance, the analog caricatures of the three band members that was the cover art for Ghost in the Machine, see below). So that was cool. Because we were up so high we could pretty much see everything and everyone, and that really added to my enjoyment of the show. To be part of such an enthusiastic crowd was really something special to me. I am so glad I was there.


I bought the tickets because I love Pete Yorn. But I have never seen Dave Matthews live, and I am looking forward to it. I'm not the hugest fan of his, I have his first three albums but then kind of lost interest. We have pavilion seats, which should be great, especially for Pete. I am totally going to be the Pete Yorn Megafan who is pissed that he didn't play longer.

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