Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tears for Fears

When: Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Where: The Wiltern, Los Angeles
Accompanied by: Gabrielle
Genre: Alternative Rock

Set List: Secret World, Sowing the Seeds of Love, Pale Shelter, Call Me Mellow, Everybody Loves a Happy Ending, Change, Mad World, Memories Fade, Closest Thing to Heaven, Ready to Start, Floating Down the River, Everybody Wants to Rule the World, Advice for the Young at Heart, Woman in Chains, Badman's Song, Break It Down, Head Over Heels

Encore: The Working Hour, Shout
They are still selling out shows!!

I had the opportunity to see Tears for Fears a few years back at the OC Fair w/ my friend, Kerrie. They were amazing then...and they certainly did not disappoint this night either. In fact, there is just something to be said about seeing any band at a venue as amazing as The Wiltern. 

Tai & Gabs
I luffs her so much!

Gabrielle spoiled me with picking up tickets for this show as a birthday gift....yup, leave it to me to milk my August birthday all the way into September!!  I won't lie though, I really wanted to go to this concert but with all that has been going on in life, this was one that I figured I'd have to miss. Thank you, Gabs, for making sure that didn't happen.

For whatever reason, my emotional state has been a bit off the charts lately. Chalk it up to getting older, reevaluating life, trying to determine what is in store for the 2nd half of my life..so, music as always speaks to me on various levels.  I knew tonight would most likely bring about a few tears... possibly even tears for fears?  *sorry*

And I knew without a doubt that once they performed this one, that there would be no holding back (although the Gary Jules version destroys me much worse).  It's just one of those songs that will always take me back and propel me forward like a slingshot - reminding me that I am and always will be a little bit broken.

Oh, and let's not forget this one...

And of course, any song from Songs From the Big Chair were going to be embraced wholeheartedly... that is the album that certainly instilled my love for this band. As it did for many, I'm sure.

Between the company of my amazing partner in crime, memorable music, stunning venue and one too many cocktails, I place this evening up there at a high 9.5.  The only way it could have been a full 10 is if there weren't taller people in front of us. And if the person behind us didn't accidentally knock the margarita out of Gab's hand. Although, I will give them props for offering to compensate the loss with a few dollars. That was decent.

Tear For Fears
The Wiltern - Los Angeles
September 23, 2014

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Meshell Ndegeocello w/ King

When: Sunday, September 21, 2014
Where: El Rey Theater, Los Angeles
Accompanied by: KJ
Genre: Funk, Soul, R&B, Hip Hop, Rock, Jazz

Set List: Unknown

Can't say a whole lot about this show. Unfortunately, I was not well and we had to leave about an hour into things. It was one of those nights where I was determined to ignore my illness until it got to the point that I could no longer enjoy myself.

Fortunately, he who endures my madness was completely understanding. After a quick stop at Rite Aid, I took a shot of sleepy cold medicine and was long knocked out before arriving home. 

Guess I'm not much of a rock star after all.


Meshell Ndegeocello 

@ El Rey Theatre

 Sunday, Sep 21 2014
Meshell Ndegeocello has so many ways of getting through to you. She's an utterly sublime bassist who can seamlessly cover the waterfront of jazz, funk and soul before floating off into pure psychedelia. She's an enchanting vocalist who can soothe with her tone while startling you with her frank yet poetic lyrics. She's bold enough to stand her ground against her former champion, Madonna, and flexible enough to have collaborated with John Mellencamp, Basement Jaxx, The Rolling Stones and The Blind Boys of Alabama. From the soul-deep entreaties of her 1993 debut album, Plantation Lullabies, to the spaced-out jazz-reggae idylls on her latest release, Comet, Come to Me, Ndegeocello always manages to be confrontational and fearless, even as her music shape-shifts through various layers of dreamy hypnosis. 


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Foo Fighters RVA

When: Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Where: The National Theater, Richmond VA
Accompanied by: MJ, Heather, Donna, Bob, Aimee Mae, LeAnn, Doug, Katylalala, Cheryl, Tarquin
Genre: Ef off, Gene Simmons...Rock is NOT dead!!!

Set List:  All My Life, I'll Stick Around, Rope, Up In Arms, Big Me, White Limo, Arlandria, My Hero, Cold Day, Generator, Walk, These Days, Prentender, Learn to Fly, Breakout, Skin & Bones, Weenie Beenie, Monkey Wrench, Hey JP, Everlong

Encore: Aurora, This is a Call, Best of You

So what happens when a group of die hard fans decide they want their favorite band to come to their hometown? The go online and ask people for money. Or something like that...thanks to the people of Richmond, VA for deciding to give crowdfunding a shot to bring Foo in for a gig. And kudos to Foo for hearing their plea and while it's really not that surprising that they agreed, it's still pretty freakin' fantastic that it all panned out and as far as I'm concerned, it's an event that will go down in music history as the first of its kind.  

Oh, and did I mention that I was there?  I hadn't planned on it. It was a pipe dream. But when the text came through on 9/2/14 from a friend (you know who you are!) saying "I've got a ticket, if you can get to Richmond", I had to at least consider the options, right? Two days later, I had my flights booked and it was just a matter of counting down the days.

Yup. Just a mere 2200+ miles from the LBC to Richmond....really not that far in the grand scheme of things, right?! Call me an superfan. Call me crazy. Call me maybe. But, the truth is that going to see my favorite band is just a bonus...it's the group of people that were the real draw. And the memories being made was all the reason I needed to make this trip happen.

Tuesday, 9/16/14 12:30 AM Red Eye Flight to Charlotte, NC en route to Richmond, VA
Hello Charlotte. Hello Richmond.

Crazy how empty LAX is at 11pm on a weeknight. I made it through security in a record 15 minutes which left me TWO hours of hanging out and people watching until my flight to NC was ready to leave.  The upside is that once I got on the plane, I'm pretty sure I knocked out because the next thing I knew I was watching the sunrise as we were getting ready to land in Charlotte.  Which, by the way, has the nicest airport ever!!
Tarquin, Donna & Tai

A few hours later from Charlotte, I boarded a super tiny plane (causing slight anxiety), and was making my way to Richmond Virginia. Home to Bob & Donna Martin!!

Upon arriving in VA, to the worlds smallest airport next to Long Beach, CA, I was greeted by Miss Donna and Unpractical Tony/Tarquin!   I'm pretty sure I squealed and shed a few tears!  And the fact that Tarquin picked me up off the ground - picked ME up  - left me astounded!!  This is totally off topic, but the idea of anyone picking me up and twirling me around is something that I never thought I'd see happen. 
Scoping out Donna's Space

From the airport, we made our way to the Martin abode where fresh baked cookies were waiting. Because Donna is the hostess with the mostess!!  I had to take a pix next to Donna's computer where all the magic happens!!  It's a FFPB thing -it's okay if you don't understand.

I was able to spend a few hours decompressing and trying to nurse my tired eyes.  Granted, sleep never really came, there was too much excitement brewing and I didn't want to miss a thing.  A few hours later, we had ourselves Cheryl from Iowa and Heather from Pennsylvania!! We caravanned ourselves out Capital Ale House in Glenn Allen to meet up with MJ from DC and a few of her crew.

After dinner, Heather and I headed to the hotel, which was conveniently located a block and a half from the venue. Of course, we did the proper thing and scoped out the area before making our way to the hotel bar for a nightcap.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 Show Day

Happy to say that Heather and I got up early enough to start our day at the gym! Yup, we got it like that. From there, coffee and a quick bite and by 11:00 am, made our way up the block to check out the vibe.  There was no doubt that something big was going on in Richmond. The fun was about to begin!!


Sure they said no lining up before 5:00 pm...but seriously? By 2pm or so, the line had begun and it was a matter of hurry up and wait. Some people don't understand why getting there early to get a spot in line is so important. If you've never done rail, then it just can't be explained. It's something that needs to be experienced. And sure, it's hours waiting. Sitting. Standing. Stretching. Chatting. Making new friends. Catching up with old friends. 

And piece by piece the FFPB came to life: Heather, Mae Mae, KatyLaLa, MJ, Tarquin, Donna, Dave, Jody, Cheryl, Emily, LeAnn...we were everywhere!!
Truth be told, the show was just a bonus ...this trip was really about the people. Yes, I love Foo. Yes, I will travel for Foo. But it wouldn't and couldn't be the same without my fellow FFPB's.  And just like that the time goes by and it's time to go in and claiming victory at the rail.
The rest of the night is a blur (much like Dave in all my photos because he never stands still)...Normally, I would have had my trusty Canon camera to capture all these moments, but it has long since crapped out on me and the money I had set aside to purchase a new camera was rightfully spent on my ticket to Richmond. Go figure. Regardless....show time!!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Heather and I got up early enough to grab coffee and a bite. We hugged and said our goodbyes.  I had half an hour to kill, so I do what I do and ran out to see as much of Richmond, VA as I possibly could.  It's amazing what ground you can cover in 30 minutes. Okay, so it wasn't that much, but I did the best I could.  

By 10am, I was in a cab and on my way to the rinky dink RIC... passed through Philadelphia and enjoyed a cuppa chowda and watermelon martini before the long 5+ flight home to Southern California.  Plenty of time to look out the window and reflect upon the previous 36 hours of my life. And smile.

Grand Canyon & LA
Yeah, it was a quick trip. Sure, I would have like to have had more time. But I set out and achieved exactly what I wanted to achieve. For the 2nd time in my life (taking into account LaraPalooza 2012), I was able to embrace WWLD? with all the heart and soul of the woman herself (I love you, Lara)!!  Long Live DonnaPalooza 2014!!!

DonnaPalooza 2014

I went all the way to Richmond, VA to see Foo Fighters and all I got was this lousy drumstick and set list.

Personal Side note for 9/18/14: Happy Birthday PJL - thank you for inspiring me to always follow the love of music. From the days of sitting in your garage watching you and the other members of Osiris do what you do, I knew that I was meant to always be a #1 Fan!!  From the depths of my blood curdling scream - which I still get looks to this day - to spending countless hours before and after a show with hopes of just a glimpse of my favorite rock gods, a show like this makes me feels 16 again. Full of hope, love, and an endless amount of amazing energy.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Joey Cape/Chris Cresswell/Brian Wahlstrom

When: Thursday, September 4, 2014
Where: Constellation Room, The Observatory, Santa Ana
Accompanied by: Kathryn
Genre: Punk goes Acoustic

Wind In Your Sail

It's negative
I wish you the worst dear
To feel the greatest pain
A positive
You say it's all in vain
I know I felt and I won't feel again
I know you

Hours of madness
Years of dysfunction
The deepest embitterment
No will to strive or achieve
Finale in breakdown
Perpetual fall on your knees
As you crawl back to me

It ends like this
I can hope for bliss
If you fail again
'Cause I'm right here
To witness every step
And when you trip
I will cherish it

Hours of madness
Years of dysfunction
The deepest embitterment
No will to strive or achieve
Finale in breakdown
Perpetual fall on your knees
As you come back to me

I live to watch you fail [x3]
I am the wind in your sail

I wish you the worst dear
To feel the greatest pain
'Cause I'm right here
To retrieve all you stole
Every tear and everything you own
I wish you

Hours of madness
Years of dysfunction
The deepest embitterment
No will to trust
This is how I lived
This is how you left me blue
As I crawl back to...

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Offspring/Bad Religion/Pennywise

When: Saturday, August 30, 2014

Where: Sleep Train Amphitheater, Chula Vista
Accompanied by: Cody
Genre: Punk/Rock

Long ass drive. Totally worth it. A great night with my boy, Cody...and an excellent way to round out another amazing birthday month!!  

Life is good. What more can I say? Music shared with friends is love.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Soundgarden/Nine Inch Nails

When: Monday, August 25, 2014

Where: Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles
Accompanied by: Kathryn Knox
Genre: Industrial Rock

Soundgarden Set List: Searching With My Good Eye Closed, Spoonman, Gun, Outshines, Jesus Christ Pose, The Day I Tried to Live, My Wave, Fell on Black Days, A Thousand Days Before, Rusty Cage, Black Hole Sun, Beyond the Wheel

Nine Inch Nails Set List: Copy of A, Sanctified, Came Back Haunted, 1,000,000, March of the Pigs, Piggy, Terrible Lie, Closer, Gave Up, Disappointed, Find My Way, The Great Destroyer, Eraser, Wish, The Hand That Feeds, Head Like a Hole

Encore: Hurt

Those who know me, know that I like to milk my birthday pretty much through the entire month of August...and what better way than a bus ride with one of my favorite girls, KnoxyMama?!?  And this girl knows how to pack a picnic - cheese, crackers, sparkling wine, and best of all, birthday cupcake complete with birthday candle to make a wish upon!!  The love I feel from my friends knows no bounds!!

Sadly, this ends my NIN excursions for the year. And while it's sad to say goodbye (for the moment) to a band that changed my world, it will be nice to have some time to let my heart heal. NIN emotionally exhausts me.

Until next time..."You were never meant to see, All those things inside of me,  Now that you've gone away,  I'm just tryin' to find my way..."

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Helio Sequence/Liam Finn

When: Saturday, August 16, 2014
Where: The Roxy, Hollywood
Accompanied by: Tiffany, Karen & Lisa
Genre: Rock

The Helio Sequence & Liam Finn @ The Roxy - article and photos from L.A. Record

A night out to celebrate my final moments of 45...spent with 3 of my girls, at the Roxy, drinking cocktails and listening to live music. It's moments like this that make my heart and soul so very happy. 

No set list.

My only complaint is that Liam didn't play longer. And that I wasn't so drunk that I could remember the conversation I had with him a little better...but I'm sure if was something along the lines of:

Me: "You're great."
Liam: "Thank you."
Me: "pfftt, ummm, It's my birthday."
Liam: "Happy Birthday."

End scene.

Otherwise a most perfect night.

Fingers crossed that Liam comes back around in 2015...ideally another night like the one Tiffany and I had on May 20, 2014.