Posts Tagged With: concerts

I Took Time Out

Where do I begin? Where did I leave off? So much to say there’s too much to say. Let’s try nutshells, shall we?

Running: January saw 24.25 miles. I’m okay with that number because I was insane at the end of 2016, running practically every single freaking day. January was my rest month. February was a little better: 40.6 miles, thanks to the St. Pat’s nemesis I always blather about. March kicked off with 13.7 miles in the first week. I have skipped a few runs to…wait for it…to weight lift with a certified bodybuilder trainer. I figure if I’m going to punch someone I need to be strong enough to knock them out! Just kidding. I called truce with the nemesis, by the way. I have yet to walk a single step…and, and. And! I find myself with a new PR: 1 hr 4 seconds. The cool thing is, I didn’t “race” this run. I spent the first four miles cruising, just looking for my friend. Once I found him and decided he wasn’t staying with me, I took off. It kills me that I spent only two miles of the run trying to race!
Next up: a NEW 10k for April. This one is a head scratcher. The race director emailed the runners and asked us to decide on the course: did we want to run laps (um. no) or go long. I voted long. Of course.

Books: I read 10 books in January, 9 in February & I’ve finished 7 already this month. That’s what I get for reading Truman Capote, Adimchinma Ibe, David Halberstam, Barbara Gowdy, Marianne Leone, and Laura Esquivel’s incredibly short books.

Music: I have already heard Trey Anastasio. On the horizon I have plans to see Natalie Merchant (of course), The Dead (of course), Phish (of course) and Sean Rowe (of course) before the summer is over.
Truth be told, the summer hasn’t even begun so who knows who will be added to the list.

Travel: Maine, California, Alaska, New York. Not necessarily in that order. More on that later.

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Believe in Bootlegs

Repost from gr4c5 side:

I’ve never been one to get too involved with the great bootleg debate. Either you believe in taping or you don’t. Either you see it as a way to share live music or you see it as a way to steal from said artist. Whatever. I know where I stand. My first introduction to boots was through my husband. I had just seen Natalie Merchant headline for the very first time (Le Spectrum, Montreal October 1999). Kisa found “the show” for me and finagled a trade. I had no clue what that meant and was in awe of the idea that everything Natalie said would be mine for keeps. Mine in the form of a cd I could listen to over and over again. Her reading of Freddie the Fish in French, her Happy Birthday to Me inebriation, Hey Jack (twice), the swearing – yes, Natalie swears. It was like I was back in Montreal, speaking bad horrible French and sipping amazing coffee. When the cds arrived I could barely believe I could relive one of the best moments of my short concert-going life. I was hooked. In my mind, because I was at this show, I now have a souvenir, a keepsake of a really, really good time. Later I found another Natalie Merchant show. This one I took my mother to as a Mother’s Day present. We had one of the best mother-daughter times I could ever ask for. On the recording I can hear kisa and mom helping me scream for a request… and at the end of the night when Natalie breathes “goodnight Portland” I know she is leaning down to smile at us.
Fast forward to last night. Kisa found a “secret” show that BubbleGum put on before the release of Continuum. An intimate show billed under a fake name. BG is like Natalie in that he likes to showcase his new songs to an unsuspecting audience, just to test them out. Just show up somewhere and play it out, play it for them. See how it all turns out. I am grateful for the recording. I am so busy the chances of me “discovering” a secret show are next to nil. Going to be one would be impossible because the chances of BG or Natalie choosing my little town to drop in on is not going to happen. So, having a bootleg of something I missed out on is awesome.
Here’s how I look at the great debate. If the artist supports taping it’s not stealing. The other angle is this – when I went to see BG I paid $4o (before taxes) for the ticket. I bought two shirts to the tune of $60 and you can bet I’ll buy every album he puts out from now on. How did this all start? I heard a bootleg of a Jimi Hendrix cover and was impressed. If I hadn’t heard the boot I wouldn’t have given BG a second look, nor one listen. I wouldn’t have spent $100+ in a single night. He gained a fan because he allowed someone to share. With me.

So, I see bootlegs as a way to capture a I-Was-There moment but I also see bootlegs as a way to alleviate that I-Missed-Out-On-Something-Great feeling. Finally, I see bootlegs as a way to get to know an artist I never would have taken a chance on otherwise. One final word – share the music. If it’s not yours you don’t own it and if you don’t own it you don’t sell it.

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Police Stung

Another repost from August 2007…

The PoliceIf I had been able to get home before 2am and if I hadn’t had to get on a bus that same day I would have written about the Police concert I saw last Tuesday night – yes, a school night!
Growing up, the Police were never in my top 20 of bands to adore and drool over. Okay, so I don’t really remember drooling over anyone except John Taylor from Duran Duran and some of the Police’s songs might have made it into my top 20, but never the band as a whole. In high school I couldn’t think about the Police without thinking of an on-again, off-again boytoy. Maybe I have that backwards and I was his toy…but, whatever. In college the Police had long since broken up and their songs were played as Remember When? nostalgia pieces.
So, having said all that – when the opportunity to see the Police surfaced I politely declined and got my husband to go. I didn’t think I would be missing out on all that much, despite the fact it was at Fenway. Yet, I agreed to go to Tuesday night’s show and I am incredibly glad that I did.
Here’s the setlist:

  • Message in a Bottle – all I could think about was John Mayer saying “I learned this from Guitar Hero II!”
  • Synchronicity II – the cover of the album was made into lights
  • Walking on the Moon
  • Voices Inside My Head,
  • When the World is Running Down- love this song but the live version was really chaotic!
  • Don’t Stand so Close to Me – NOT autobiographical!
  • Driven to Tears,
  • Truth Hits Everybody,
  • Bed’s Too Big Without You,
  • Every Little Thing, – totally thought about JNC and cursed his name
  • Wrapped Around Your Finger, – Kisa kept telling me to watch out for this song and he was right!
  • De Do Do Do, – I can’t stand this song, but I sang along anyway.
  • Invisible Sun,
  • Walking in Your Footsteps, – loved the dinosaur images on the screen
  • Can’t Stand Losing You -> Regatta de Blanc – Can’t Stand Losing You, – one of my favorite songs mixed with one I didn’t know so well.
  • Roxanne, – the screens were done up in red lights, really cool.
  • King of Pain, -This is my all time favorite Police song
  • So Lonely, – I can’t get this song out of my head!
  • Every Breath You Take, – I wanted to hear about the cake you bake but it never came up.


  • Next to You

My favorite part of the night was, as you can guess, Stewart’s drumming. Copland is a master at the kit and I love him for it. During Wrapped Around Your Finger he got up and played different percussion instruments and actually looked like he was having a blast. I was impressed the camera caught his face as often as it did (and I thought Sting would be the only star of the big screen). A & I bought t-shirts. I wore mine for three days straight then used it as a travel shirt. Getting home was probably the only bad point of the night. I was extremely low on gas so I didn’t want to wait in 2 hours of traffic. Oddly enough, A & I sat in the car and listened to BubbleGum while waiting for the masses to head home. We saw some hysterical stuff – a woman fighting with cops because she wanted to drive over a barrier, a wayward driver slaloming the garbage barrel because he lost sight of the line to get out, a princess in a fairy dress.

So, I take it all back. I love the Police.

ps~ I wish I could have carried over the comments from the original blog. I had forgotten about the phone man under my desk!

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Learn Something

Natalie should have been a school teacher. Not because her style of dress has been described as “marm-ish” and not because she has scolded her audiences from time to time. I’m thinking Natalie should have been a school teacher because of her passion for learning and her ability to make everyone around her listen and sometimes, even think. Yes – think. Imagine that. When she opens her mouth we all sit up and take notice, but are we paying attention to what comes out? I think yes.

Take this recent tour: Natalie is playing in small, intimate venues across the country – not to belt out socially responsible songs like “Cherry Tree” or “My Mother the War” or “Don’t Talk” (although the lyrics to these songs mentioned are didactic in and of themselves: illiteracy, politics, alcoholism). Instead, she is attempting to educate her listeners on the subject of long forgotten poetry.

Raise your hands if you know the poetry of Charles Causley, Rachel Field, Edward Lear, Jack Prelutsky, Mervyn Peake, Albert Bigalow Paine, Laurence Alma-Tadema, Charles Edward Carryl, Arthur Macy, John Godfrey Saxe, William Brighty Rands, Nathalia Crane, Robert Graves, Christina Rossetti, or Lydia Huntley Sigourney. If you have been following Ms. Merchant around the world you not only know these poets but you can recite their poetry – at least a poem or two. What’s even more fascinating is the renewed interest in the poets themselves. People are rediscovering poetry written for, about, or by children like never before.

I saw Natalie at the Calvin Theater a few weeks ago and, even though I am a die hard Natalie fan, thought this show was the most captivating concert yet. It was artistic, thought-provoking, visually stunning…and do I even have to mention that voice? Part lecture, part music, all mesmerizing.
Favorite moment: ‘maggie and milly and molly and may.’ I loved the way Natalie crouched down to brush the sands of an imaginary beach. Through her hand motions I changed my mind about the “horrible thing” that chased molly – from it being a crab (e.e.cummings) to a jellyfish…stay out of the water my friends!

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The Cool Wife

Someone called me “cool” last night. Granted, the man was a little drunk and his words came out as, “Yerr girl is cool. You shhhould keep hur aroun.” Kisa grinned at me and held up my wedded hand. “Married!!” the dunk guy yelled. “Good ferrr you!” We have matching bands – how cute is that?

We were front and center waiting for Phish to come on stage and true to form, Kisa was talking fanatic to the group of guys to our right, our age, Hamptons dressed. Comparing shows (did you go to Spac?), critiquing songs (Fee was a little less jammy, don’t you think?), reminiscing about the good ole days (I got into Red Rocks ’95, did you?). I sat saying nothing, but seeing everything – the girl with dreds and the killer koi tattoo swimming up her thigh, the carryover Deadhead carrying his wide-eyed grandson, the six punky teenagers scamming seats closer than their tickets allowed. Suddenly one of Kisa’s conversation companions leans over to me, “…and what about you?” Mr. Tipsy wants to know my level of Phish fandom. It would be a little awkward to admit I am not as frenzied about Phish as I should be, being married to a veteran fan as I am. Yet, I am not an imposter. I know the words to a handful of songs and I even have a favorite album (Farmhouse). Given all that, I still have to think about how to answer as not to offend. “I’m here for the light show.” I am joking yet confessional, but. But! But, before the man can pass judgement Kisa is quick to list all the shows he has seen without me. Huge ones like New Years’ Eve and the Reunion in Virginia. “Woah.” Tipsy is impressed. “My wife tells me to turn the sh!t off…she never lets me go anywhere” he drawls. I nod, not quite knowing how to respond. What can I say? I could never tell my partner what not to listen to or where he can’t go. I mean, honestly, how many times has he heard “Cowboy Romance” cranked on the stereo, all speakers blaring? All’s fair…

So, when the house lights went down and the tripping lights came up I cheered like the fanatical fan that I am not. When a glow stick hit me in the head I picked it up and raved for all that I wasn’t. Fanatic or not, cool I could be. And I will be the first to admit I had fun.

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