Sunday, March 04, 2007

Return of the annoying concert goer

My wife and I have gotten back into the concert-going thing over the last 6 years. We've focused on select artists or bands we really like and venues where we can really get close-up and have that 'intimate' feel with the performer.

Friday night we spent the evening with Chris Difford of Squeeze fame at Philadelphia's Tin Angel. By having an over-priced dinner at Serrano downstairs we were able to have reserved seats for the show upstairs.

At virtually every show there is an 'annoying fan' sitting way too close to us. At this show, it was the guy and his wife in front of us, which put them in the front row and saw the need to push having a personal conversation with Chris throughout the show. And when he wasn't doing that he was continually turning his head around looking for the waiter with a buggy eye and then resuming conversing with his wife during the songs. His head would turn a la The Exorcist kid and that buggy eye would roam the back of the room.

Other annoying fans in the past have been the drunkard at the Joe Jackson/Todd Rundgren show that heckled opener-Joe and then spent the whole Todd show, yelling "Todd, yeah, Todd, yeah, Todd" even during Can We Still Be Friends.

The rest are an odd collection of boomers that think we paid out top dollar to hear their lousy renditions masking the folks on stage. Our dream is to start hosting shows in our own living room or back yard.

That's enough of the rant for the weekend.

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Cheap Trick with OK GO

Last Wednesday, my 'little' brother, visiting from San Antonio, TX, and I hit the TLA in Philly for Cheap Trick and OK GO.

It was a happy accident that I stumbled on their visit. A couple of us at work were discussing Rick Neilsen's guitar collection and I pulled up the Cheap Trick site and saw that they were coming to town. I think it's been 5 or 6 years since they were in Philadelphia.

I was an early fan back in '78 with the release of Heaven Tonight and then quickly picked up their earlier records -- the first purchased by my grandmother for a birthday. As I got older and headed into my concert going years they lost me especially with 1987's The Flame.

As I got older still and they had their 25th anniversary tour, I got hooked back into them, buying the cd's and framing the vinyl's. But their tours and my schedule never crossed paths until now. They've long been on my list of bands I 'gots' to see before I or they check out.

I wasn't able to match the wink my wife got from Tom Petersson as a teen in Saratoga, but I was able to give Rick a pat on the shoulder as he made his way through the bar crowd during opener, OK Go's act.

OK Go was good sport. They've gained viral fame this year with their treadmill Here It Goes Again and backyard A Million Ways dance videos. Their encore for the evening was a re-enactment of the backyard video. Well done, lads. Good infectious entertainment.

Cheap Trick went full force through their set and gave it all, covering the hits from Candy to Surrender to Dream Police and including songs off their new record, Rockford and even The Flame.

Rick spent the evening spitting while singing and spitting on stage and stomping about, showering picks throughout and finished strong with the 5-neck. Robin Zander's vocals seem just as strong as ever and show no sign of aging like so many of his peers and elder rockers. Tom Petersson kept things humming with his 12-string bass and Bun E. Carlos kept the beat well -- though his sticks didn't seem to be as big as they used to be.

That's one more of those goals that I can cross off the list.

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