Saturday, September 27, 2008



9/27/86 Dead Milkmen/Hong Kong Flagset @ HUB Ballroom - Penn State

The HUB was our student union building at PSU. I don't remember much about this one, other than it was great to get a punk band playing on campus. That happened once in a while, but it was pretty rare. Like the Fixx show - this one was overrun with the local townie high school punks. Apparently, Hong Kong Flagset didn't leave much of an impression on anybody. A quick Google search on their name returns exactly one entry - my online list of concerts I've attended.



9/26/03 - Black Cat 10th Anniversary Party

Not to be confused with this year's 15th Anniversary Party.

There were a bunch of bands at this one, but the only ones I caught were 302 Acid, The Aquarium and Gray Matter. All I remember about 302 Acid is that they were mostly electronic music, which isn't really my thing. The Aquarium, however, was fantastic. Just drums and keyboards, creating this mesmerizing wash of sound. They played in front of a big screen showing what appeared to be one of those old instructional movies you might have seen back in middle school. I seem to recall them being all instrumental at the time, but they definitely have vocals these days. Maybe I'm just mis-remembering that part. They definitely left a great impression though. Good band. Always worth seeing them.

The main draw this night was the reunion of Gray Matter. I'm not sure if it was entirely the original line-up (like it was this year), but they were still really good. A short but sweet set from one of my favorite Dischord bands. I remember thinking it wasn't very crowded at this show - unlike the nearly sold-out anniversary show this year. Maybe that's just because I was right up front last time and didn't notice.

Thursday, September 25, 2008



9/25/89 - The Rolling Stones/Living Colour @ RFK Stadium

I hated everything about this show.

I remember dialing dialing dialing trying to get tickets. By the time I got through all they had left was up at the veeeerry top, on the side with an obstructed view. dammit. Fine. I'll take 'em. About 10 minutes later they announced a second show (actually the night before). I could have easily been on the floor. dammit.

I was sick as a dog. I had a cold for about a week and was absolutely miserable. I would have bailed, but my friend Michele wouldn't go alone and I didn't want her to miss it. dammit.

It was pouring down rain the entire time. Luckily we were so high up we were under cover, but just the trip from the Metro to the stadium was enough to keep me completely soaked to the bone. dammit.

Living Colour opened. I really thought they were great back then. Unfortunately, playing to a nearly empty stadium in pouring rain caused complete chaos with the sound. Imagine sticking your head in the toilet, closing the lid and flushing it while someone stands nearby with an AM radio cranked up to 11. Well...It didn't quite sound that good.

I remember The Stones being fine. I ended up having a good time. How could I not? The setlist looked something like this. This was the last time I'd see Bill Wyman with the band. He left after this tour.



No shows. Really. See - I don't go to shows every night.




9/23/82 - The Who/David Johansen

There were two concerts I really wanted to go to around this time: Van Halen and The Who. My parents told me I couldn't go to both - I had to pick one. hmmm...Well....This is officially The Who's "Farewell Tour". Van Halen is gonna be around forever. I probably better see The Who, while I still have a chance. Despite the completely erroneous logic, I still think I made the right choice. There was obviously no Keith Moon, but this would be the only time I got to see John Entwistle.

There were two shows at the Capital Centre. I completely bombed in getting tickets for either of them. A friend of mine (who already had tickets) told me his Dad could probably get me a pair. Thrilled with just getting in the door, I'm pretty sure my jaw hit the floor when my friend handed me a pair of sky suite tickets. Those are the big luxury boxes around the edge of the arena (private bathrooms, big comfy chairs and couches, etc. ) Not only that, but we pretty much had the suite to ourselves, except for the one other couple that we were sharing it with. And, God bless 'em, they were willing to buy a 16 year-old kid beer. Sweeeeet.

I remember being really annoyed with getting David Johansen as the opener. I had never heard of the New York Dolls back then. All I knew was that Animals medley that MTV played all the time. I liked it, but c'mon. 2 days later in Philly they got both The f--king Clash AND Santana to open. We get David Johansen? hrmph. It was an amazing show though.

The farewell lasted about 6 years, until they went on tour again. By then David Lee Roth was long gone from Van Halen. I skipped their next DC show in 1989 to go see The Grateful Dead in Philly instead. I didn't see The Who again for 25 years. Same for Van Halen.

23-09-1982: Landover, Maryland, Capital Centre
Substitute, I Can't Explain, Dangerous, Sister Disco, The Quiet One, Eminence Front, It's Hard, Behind Blue Eyes, I'm One, The Punk And The Godfather, Drowned, A Man Is A Man, Cry If You Want, Who Are You, Pinball Wizard, See Me Feel Me, 5.15, Love Reign O'er Me, Long Live Rock, Won't Get Fooled Again, Young Man Blues, Naked Eye

(setlist from The Who Concert Guide)

9/23/84 - The Fixx/Andy Fraser - Rec Hall - Penn State

Stop laughing - I like The Fixx. They had a nice little run of singles back in the day. One of those quintessential 80's bands. We were pretty starved for decent music in BF, Pennsylvania. I was more than happy to go to this one. All the new wave townie high school kids came out for this one. All I remember about Andy Fraser is that there was a song where the lyrics went something like:

It's Danger You
It's Danger Me
It's Dangerous!

Really. Something like that. My friends and I still chuckle about that one. Anyway - He's still around. And he made this song/video for Obama. Good for him.

9/23/89 - R.E.M. @ Merriweather

The second night @ MPP. My last show on the Green tour. I remember being surprised at how different the setlist was from the previous night. The core of the set was the same, but we got a bunch of songs we didn't see the night before: "Driver 8", "Auctioneer", "These Days", "Strange", a cover of "Have You Ever Seen The Rain?", and a bit of "After Hours" and "Dark Globe". They played both "Belong" and "Low" again, too. Excellent.

Had I known R.E.M. was about to take a 6-year touring break, I would have tried a lot harder to see more shows. At this point there were playing in the area at least once a year. There was really no need to chase them around yet. A wouldn't see them again until June 1995 in Chicago.

9/23/05 - Q And Not U/Supersystem @ The Black Cat

The final Q&!U show. The crowd was like a who's-who of the DC scene. I think half the crowd were people from other bands. There were folks from Minor Threat/Fugazi, Beauty Pill, The Make-Up, Smart Went Crazy, Helium...Henry Rollins was there too, although I'm not sure if it was this night or the previous night. I imagine it was this one. This show was kind of a big deal.

Q And Not U kicked ass. The crowd was going nuts the whole time.

9/23/06 - Two If By Sea/The Hard Tomorrows @ DC9

This was a CD Release party for Two If By Sea. Possibly The Hard Tomorrows, too, but I'm not sure. Two If By Sea is a great band out of Baltimore. Slightly dark, but danceable indie rock, with a bit of an 80's vibe to them. I wish they played in DC more often. The Hard Tomorrows were a lot of fun, too, but I didn't get to see them very much. This was the last time I got to see them, before they broke up. Did I mention how cute their lead singer was? Anyway - Both bands are very much worth looking into. Dumbek says "two thumbs up" to both.

ummmm....I just realized Two If By Sea broke up. Bummer. I hate it when that happens. Another example of why I need to get back into seeing local bands when I have the chance. sigh...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008



9/22/91 - Grateful Dead @ Boston Garden

See my other post about why I have so many unused tickets for this run and why I wasn't into it at all.

I was still pretty much out of it for this show, but I at least I was a little calmer now and could at least pay attention a little. There really was no place I'd rather be than at a show, which was pretty much my home away from home at this point. I was probably better off here than sitting at home alone, waiting to hear something about Mike.

This show also holds up as bring one of the great ones from '91. There were 3 firsts for me tonight: "CC Rider," "It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry" and "Nobody's Fault But Mine". "Firsts" were a rarity at this point. To get 3 in one night was kind of special. The band sounded terrific. It was quite the emotional show for me.

But to be honest - I just wanted it to be over with. The next morning Joby jumped a train to head somewhere for work and I drove home alone. That was fine by me. It was the first chance I had to be alone since all of this went down.

9/22/89 - R.E.M. - Merriweather Post - Columbia, MD

I was broke at the time, having recently spent all of my money on Dead Fall Tour tickets, so I just hung out outside Merriweather until I found someone to sell me a $10 ticket. I wasn't traveling around to see R.E.M. yet, but I wasn't going to miss a chance to see them here at home. This was the 2nd of 3 shows I saw them play in '89.

If you've seen Tourfilm, you have a feel for what the Green tour was like. This show was very similar. We got mostly songs from Green and Document, with a couple from the other records sprinkled about. We were also treated to 2 new songs - "Low" and "Belong". I remember in my notes from the show (yes - I took notes) I thought he was singing "Love, Love, Love" instead of "Low". We also got a rather odd snippet of "Behind Closed Doors" at the very end. It was fairly common for them to throw-in random covers and snippets of other songs back then. I wish they did more of that these days.

9/22/05 - Q And Not U/Supersystem @ The Black Cat - Washington, DC

This was the first of the final Q And Not U shows. I wasn't a huge fan of Q And Not U at first. It took a while for them to grow on me. But once I "got" them - Wow. I was far from the first one to catch onto them, but I feel lucky to have seen them as many times as I did. From the tiny Warehouse Next Door to the biggest Fort Reno show I've seen yet. What a killer band. I wish they'd come back. One of the best shows of a very good year.



9-21-91 - The Grateful Dead @ Boston Garden

So here's a tough one.

Tickets for weekend shows in the northeast were always tough. It turned out that me and my friends got some of the mailorder tickets we needed, but not enough. So we were stuck trying to get through to TicketPro on the phone. (I think it was TicketPro - You get the idea.) So the morning of ticket sales, my friend Joby and I were dialing away, not really expecting to get anything. Miraculously - I managed to get through fairly quickly. I was thrilled. The lady on the phone pulled up the tickets - We were on the FLOOR! Amazing. I gave her my name, address, phone number...wait....hang on a second ...........umm.... hello??.................. CLICK..... and a dial tone. She hung up on me! I'm pretty sure I woke up all of my neighbors with the stream of profanities that I was screaming, but I just started dialing over again. DAMMIT!!

So a few more minutes go by...busy...busy..busy... Then my call-waiting starts beeping. I ignored it at first, but it kept going. I answered with an obviously angry "WHAT?!" It was the lady from TicketPro. She apologized for hanging up on me. She still had my order up and just needed my credit card number to complete the order. Can you believe that sh-t!? 5 minutes later and we had more than enough tickets for the 2 weekend Boston shows. On top of that - Joby got through, too. Not only did we have tickets...we had 2-3 extra tickets for each night. Holy crap.

But that's pretty much where the good news ends. Mike - the guy I was dating at the time - decided to head up to Boston a day early to see if he could trade one of our extra tickets for the show on the 20th. Had I been able to leave work, I would have gone with him, but he ended up going up there alone. Our plan was to meet at the hotel very late on the 20th. Joby and I get to Boston - No Mike. He never checked-in at the hotel. There were no cell phones then. I tried calling his house, but his roommates weren't home. We ended up getting a room elsewhere for the night. I finally got in touch with his roommates the next afternoon, just before the show. Mike had been in an accident. He was hit head-on by a huge truck that was driving the wrong way down the highway. All they knew was that he was flown to a hospital in PA and his parents were on their way. I eventually got in touch with Mike's sister, who basically said he was in shock-trauma and nobody could see him. I talked to his roommates again and they said it would be best to just calm down, go to the shows (they were Deadheads, too), then go home and wait it out. I wouldn't be able to see him or talk to him for at least a few days anyway, until he was out of shock trauma. I think it turned into a couple weeks before I could even talk to him. To say I was a mess would be a bit of an understatement.

I won't get into the details of all that, but I'll just say that today Mike is very much alive, well and currently gentrifying Columbia Heights. Hi Mike.

Needless to say, I didn't pay much attention to the shows. It turns out they were actually fantastic. I just couldn't have cared less at the time. I didn't even bother to sell or even give away the extra tickets. I still have a few of the unused ones.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Buck's Guitar Returned!



We are very, very thrilled to announce that Peter's prized Rickenbacker guitar was returned to the band by an anonymous source late yesterday. The guitar had been missing since September 9th after it disappeared from the stage following the band's concert in Helsinki, Finland. With this sudden turn of events, Peter will now have the guitar back on stage with him at tonight's concert in Luxembourg. We wish to thank everyone who wrote in with their support and well wishes over the last ten days.

photo by David Belisle

Sunday, September 21, 2008



9/20/87 - The Dead Milkmen @ 9:30 Club - Washington, DC

I guess this was on the Bucky Fellini tour. I remember thinking "Bitchin' Camaro" and "Instant Club Hit (You'll Dance To Anything)" were hilarious - even though the latter was pretty much an insult directed right at me and my friends. Oh well...

This show resulted in one of my favorite 9:30 memories. We were right up front, getting thrashed around all over the place. I decided that I had had enough, but I didn't feel like literally fighting my way to the back of the crowd (not that there was any room back there anyway). So I decided to just jump up on the stage and sit up there. I was off to the left, right against the wall. Talk about the best seat in the house. The band saw me, but didn't care. If anything, I helped keep stage divers away from the band. I didn't want them stepping all over me either. So I got to watch most of the show while sitting on the stage and playing part-time bouncer. What a great time.



9/19/98 - Pearl Jam/Hovercraft @ DAR Constitution Hall - Washington, DC

I think this was - at least for the DC area. I recall Dinger and I being at his apartment, frantically dialing the phones trying to get through for tickets. Dinger eventually got through, but they were down to single-seats. The woman on the line said we could buy 2, but they'd have to be in separate orders. We got the first ticket, but by the time we finished that transaction the show was completely sold-out. Nice guy that Dinger is - he let me have the ticket. I'm sure he regretted that decision after seeing the Merriweather show the night before this one, but he still insisted that I go to the show.

All I remember about Hovercraft is that they were instrumental, loud and pretty damn good. For some reason I think Eddie was part of the band, though I'm too lazy to look into that. Looking at the Wikipedia page for the band, it's not out of the realm of possibility.

Pearl Jam didn't quite play the hit-laden show of the previous night, but the intimate setting of DAR (3700 seats) made this far and away the better show for me - a fact that I flat-out denied when Dinger asked me how the show was. Eddie came out and did "I Am A Patriot" solo - the very first song of the night - before Hovercraft even came out. Lucky for those of us who got in early. Anyway - It was also a Voters For Choice benefit, so there were a few speakers throughout the night as well - including Gloria Steinem.

Here's a clip from that show. "Soldier of Love"



9/18/93 - Grateful Dead @ Madison Square Garden - New York, NY

Another old Usenet review I wrote shortly after this show:

Security seemed a little tighter this night. They barely looked at my ticket
on Friday, but on Saturday they had two different people verify my ticket on
the way in. (I had TicketMaster both nights). The person right in front of me
in line got turned away for a having a fake ticket. Of course once I was
inside, no one ever asked to see my ticket again. :-)

This show was much better, in my opinion. 1/2 Step was terrific. It even had a
nice little jam at the end. Rooster, which I usually don't like much, was the
best I've seen in a long time. I'll take Althea any day. I was surprised to
hear it since the just played it on Thursday. Masterpiece was very nice,
especially when Jerry came in with the harmonies at the end. Cassidy started
off great, then stumbled a little, but picked up again at the end. Lucy was
just ok, but not great. I was surprised they ended with this. I thought for
sure they'd play Music Never Stopped, or some other Bob tune. Oh well. Still a
great set. Set 2 - Iko was pretty good. Victim was _really_ good. I used to
hate this song, but it's really been growing on me lately. It started with the
just the drummers, while Bob was playing with his knobs. After a minute or so,
the rest of the band slowly joined in, sort of melting into the song. UJB was
great. The crowd was really into it. As for Corina, well, I went to the
bathroom and missed most of it. Drums/Space was terrific. Bill was going off
by himself and Mickey snuck up behind him and started doing this weird dance,
flapping his arms around like he was a bird or something. Pretty funny. Space
was loud and scary, the way a good Space should be. Wheel was good. Watchtower
rocked! China Doll was absolutely beautiful. Very nice. Saturday Night was no
surprise, but it had a lot of energy and the crowd loved it. I was expecting
Lucy in the Sky... for the encore, but was pleasantly surprised with my first
Gloria. What a great song! Plenty of room for Bob's "rock star" schtick, plus
great playing. A great way to end my set of shows. Highlights: GLORIA!, China
Doll, Victim, Drums/Space.

The Garden is a great venue. I'll gladly go back anytime. If only the Cap.
Ctr. (aka USAir Arena) could be so nice.

I had a much better time this night than the night before. This was the only time I ever got to see "Gloria". They only played it one more time - in 1995.

9/18/98 - Pearl Jam @ Merriweather

We got tickets via a ticket-drop a few days before the show. I somehow ended up with an extra ticket for this, even though we got them so late. I remember some dude giving me grief for trying to sell my ticket for $30, when the face value was $23. ummm...The extra charges listed on the ticket actually put the face value at $28.25. And that didn't include the ProTix charges, which were something like $5. So I'm getting grief from some dude for selling my $33 ticket for $30. Dick.

Typically fantastic PJ show. Almost a "greatest hits" gig: "Animal", "Corduroy", "Alive", "Yellow Ledbetter", "Elderly Woman...", "Jeremy", etc. Yowza. Dinger became a fan-for-life at this show. Can't say I blame him.

9/18/2000 - Dickey Betts Band @ 9:30.

Dickey had been booted from the Allmans, so we decided to see him solo whenever we got the chance. I'm not sure what they were thinking, but Dickey was on fire. Maybe we were just getting lucky and seeing him when he was "on", but around this time he was sounding fantastic to us. Dinger still refuses to see The Allmans without him. I recently came across an unlabeled cd in my basement with a Dickey show on it. I'm pretty sure it's this one.

9/18/08 - Faraquet/Statehood/Red Tag Rummage Sale

Ummm...So I actually didn't get to see the big Faraquet reunion. See my other post about why I had to leave this show early. Bummer. I'd been looking forward to this one for a while. I thought Red Tag Rummage Sale was kind of annoying, but that may have been because I was stuck behind that stupid pillar and couldn't see them very well. I'll put that on me rather than them, although I'm not terribly inclined to seek out any of their stuff. Statehood was fantastic, as usual, despite some technical difficulties. At least for the 3 songs I got to see before I had to run out. Overall bummer of a night, though no fault of the bands. At least it was only $8.



9/17/93 - Grateful Dead - Madison Square Garden - New York, NY

I dug up an old Usenet review I wrote of this one 15 years ago:

I may be in the minority here, but I didn't care for this one. Most of set 1
was just pretty boring. Nothing really took off except Ramble On Rose, which
was great. Tom Thumb was fun, but everything else was just pretty dull. I've
only heard Easy Answers twice. It doesn't do anything for me yet. In my
opinion, the set wasn't too bad, it just wasn't too good. Set 2 - Foolish
Heart was nice. Great jamming. Haven't heard that one in a while. Ship of
Fools was boring, St. of Circumstance started off pretty sloppy, but jammed
well at the end, Drums/Space was really good. I was positive they were going
into The Other One, but they fell into Miracle instead. I was pretty excited
to hear That Would Be Something, but I was disappointed. As Barb pointed out,
it looked like Jerry was trying to show Bob the chords to the song. They never
seemed to get it together. The whole song seemed to be forced out. Very
sloppy. Finally, I think they gave up and went into Standing on the Moon,
which Jerry forgot a handful of words to. He really belted out the end though.
Lovelight was a crowd pleaser, if not much else. I'm really tired of I Fought
the Law. The novelty of this one is definitely wearing thin. Highlights:
Ramble On Rose, Foolish Heart, Drums/Space.
Listening to this one again last week, my previous review may have been a little harsh, but no too far off the mark. "St. Of Circumstance" is actually much better than my review implies though. I remember being really annoyed with the "I Fought The Law" closer. They were playing it way too much and it was getting on my nerves. We actually walked out as soon as they started it. That's something I rarely did at Dead shows, because you never know what could happen. Tonight I decided I'd rather miss something than sit through this song again.

9/17/2000 - Furthur 2000 - Bryce Jordan Center (Penn State), University Park, PA

No big surprise to hear that I was excited about seeing The Other Ones at Penn State. I went by myself to this one, because Dinger wanted to stay in Philly with his buddy, Bob, for the weekend. I remember getting a room at the Hotel State College - directly above my favorite bar and right on College Avenue in the middle of downtown. Talk about perfect.

The show wasn't all that great. The setlist was pretty lame (including "Baba Jingo", "Easy Answers", "Preacher In The Ring" and "Victim"....ugh). The lack of Phil probably makes this the least interesting of the post-Jerry tours. But none of that really matters, because something would happen tonight that would forever include this show on my "OMG you won't believe what happened!" list.

Hanson showed up and sat-in. Really. THAT Hanson. "mmmBop" Hanson. Teenage-heartthrobs Hanson. All three of them came out and sang on "I Know You Rider" and "The Weight." Depending on who you asked, it was either the greatest collaboration in the history of music, or a coming sign of the apocalypse. I loved every second of it. Awesome.

OMG - I just realized Hanson is playing in State College the weekend of the Dead gig. I may have to go to that. Maybe.

9/17/06 - Rustbuckit/Vampyre Bunnies - Black Cat Backstage

I think this was the first time I had seen Rustbuckit. In fact - I'm not sure they had been playing much (at all?) before this one. Very impressive old-school DC punk-type stuff. Not surprising, considering their Black Market Baby roots. Great band. Fun show. They're taking pre-orders for their new CD on their website. Hopefully, that means it's coming out soon.

Update: I found my setlist for the Rustbuckit show.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


The roof...The roof...

So I'm at The Black Cat watching Statehood...anxiously awaiting the big Faraquet reunion. So far so good.

But then I get a call on my cell phone from my mother. I think that's a little strange...she never calls me on my cell. But the show is sold out and I don't feel like fighting my way through the crowd, only to find out she just wanted to say "hi" and talk about why I never visit. So I promptly ignored the call.

But then she calls again about 5 minutes later. hmmm...that doesn't bode well. I start to think that maybe my dad or sister is sick and I had better call her ASAP. I worm my way through the jam-packed crowd and out the front door, where I can actually listen to the 2 voicemail messages she left.

"ummm...Hi Jim - It's Mom. ADT just called. Your alarm is going off. They said they think your house is on fire. You should probably go home and check."


I make it from The Black Cat to my house in about 15 minutes (normally a 30-minute drive), only to find everything is fine. There's a message from ADT on my machine saying that they're getting failure messages from the smoke alarm. I called them and they think it's either the battery or flaky wiring withing the alarm itself. Nothing to really worry about. Phew.

That may have been the longest 15 minutes of my life though.


Change Rocks!

It's on! The Dead and The Allmans at Penn State for an Obama benefit. Tickets on sale tomorrow. Interesting that the poster doesn't mention either band by name though. hmmm....

Update: It looks like this sold out in about 9 minutes. I was able to get tickets, but I'll feel better once the tickets are in my hand.

Monday, September 15, 2008



UPDATE: OOPS - I forgot a few shows back on 9/11. That page has been updated with a couple more gigs.

9/16/00 - Furthur Festival - Camden, NJ

Like I said previously - these shows all blend together. I remember staying with Dinger's friend, Bob, so I'm sure it was quite the drunken good time. Bob lived just off of South St. in Philly. It was an easy walk from his place to the ferry and over to the amphitheater in Camden. Dinger and I actually drove up separately to Philly. He stayed at Bob's place the whole weekend, while I drove up to Penn State the following morning. The Festival was playing at PSU the next day. I wasn't about to pass that up.

9/16/01 - Laurie Anderson - 9:30 Club - Washington, DC

This was my first show after 9/11. I'm pretty sure it was my first trip into DC after all that happened. It was great to get out of the house - away from the television for the first time in days. Good to see a few friends again. I remember hanging out in front of the club before the show - everyone obviously talking about the recent events. Every time we'd hear a siren - an ambulance or police car - the crowd would fall silent and start looking around to see where it was coming from and where it was going. People looking up to the sky to see if there were any planes. It was very obvious people were uneasy. Myself included.

Laurie came out and immediately acknowledged the awkwardness of performing so soon after 9/11. I forget her exact words, but she said something about us needing to be careful about where we direct our anger. That may not be quite right - but it was something along those lines. Mike recently reminded me of her comment about sitting in her apartment along the West Side Highway and looking out across America. Other than that, my main memory of the show was thinking how much I didn't like seeing Laurie in a nightclub. I really prefer seeing her in a seated theater. It's just much easier to focus on her and what she's saying.

The show was a nice way to ease back into routine life. It was great to get out, see friends and see a show, but nobody was really ready for a big rocking night out yet. This show was exactly what I needed to soothe my soul a little.



9/15/97 - George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars

I was going through a big P-Funk phase and decided I needed to see them every chance I got. This was my 4th time. They never disappoint. I'm sure it was at least 3 hours long. Everybody needs to see P-Funk at least once. I need to go see them again soon. It's been to long. I need to get funked-up.

9/15/98 - The Allman Brothers Band @ The Classic Amphitheater - Richmond, VA

With The Grateful Dead no longer around, The Allmans became our band-of-choice to follow around. Dinger was out of town for work, so I had planned on skipping this one. But after those Fox shows we saw the previous week in Atlanta, I couldn't stay away. I waited for the ticket drop the day before the show...picked up a 12th row seat and drove by myself down to Richmond. The amphitheater is fairly small, by most standards. I don't remember many specifics from the show itself, but I remember thinking how glad I was that I went. Stopped at Waffle House on the way home. mmm....I love The Waffle House. And I was still home in bed before 1am. Excellent.

9/15/05 - Peelander Z/Bang! Bang!/Kung-Fu Dykes

My previous review here. According to that one, I have pics somewhere. I guess I should try to dig those up. Summary: Peelander were their usual wacky selves. Bowling...lots of crowd participation..."Medium Rare!"...great time. Bang! Bang! is still one of my favorite dance-punk-sex-rock bands. They tend to sneak in to town when I'm not paying attention though. I gotta keep a close eye on them. I remember being disappointed that they didn't have any new music for sale this time. I love them, but I didn't really feel the need to buy Bang! Bang! panties. Check them out if you can. Everywhere they go it's a full-on party. Tons-O-Fun, guaranteed. Kung-Fu Dykes were a disaster, due to them blowing the power repeatedly. Imagine a day-glo Gwar with Silly String trying to operate off of an overloaded power-strip. Kind of fun. Kind of like they were trying too hard. That's not really fair though. They're probably lots of fun when everything works right.

Sunday, September 14, 2008



9/14/91 - Grateful Dead - Madison Square Garden - New York, NY

My first time at MSG. Wow. The energy in this place is fantastic. Nothing compares to it. The band used to say they've played in 3 places: San Francisco, NYC and the road. It was a very different experience, compared to other cities. There's no parking lot. No tailgating. Unlike other towns - where the band rolls in and the Deadheads pretty much take over everything - you could walk a block away from The Garden and not even notice The Dead were in town. I went to this show with Mike - a guy who I met earlier in the summer. My first real boyfriend. I was on top of the world at the time. Not only was I dating a cool guy, but he was a Deadhead on top of everything else. Things were going quite well at the time. The show itself was fairly mellow for a Saturday night. Nothing special. Just really nice. We were sitting directly behind the stage. Very close, but in the back. Those seats give you a great view of the drummers, who are usually fairly hidden from view. Good Lord, they have a million toys back there. Interesting perspective from the back. It gives you a glimpse of what the band is looking at from the stage. Sitting in the back was always a good way to just sit back, relax and take it all in.

9/14/93 - Grateful Dead @ The Spectrum in Philly

I don't really remember anything about this one. The setlist looks pretty lame. Too many new songs, although I did always like hearing Phil sing "Broken Arrow." No big jamming vehicles, other than "Bird Song". "Way To Go Home" and "Corrina" in the same set? Ugh. No thanks. Again - I don't remember anything bad about this whole Spectrum run. I just remember anything special about the shows either. I think around this time I was beginning to get a little jaded and questioned whether or not it was worth going to every show within reach. I decided to start being a little pickier about where and when I'd go see them.

9/14/2000 - Furthur Festival.

I have to admit that most of the Furthur/Other Ones/The Dead shows blend together for me. I saw a ton of them, but only a few stand out. The 2000 version had Ziggy Marley opening. Ziggy was fun, but depending on my mood - I either loved him or was annoyed by him. That's my fault though - not his. He was fine. This version of The Other Ones included Bob, Billy, Mickey and Hornsby - but no Phil. This tour was exciting primarily due to the return of Billy K. on the drums. It was worth following these shows just to watch him and Mickey go at it again.

Saturday, September 13, 2008



9/13/93 - The Grateful Dead @ The Spectrum in Philly

I didn't mention it before, but all of these Grateful Dead links point to, where you can stream these shows in their entirety. Many are downloadable.

hmmm...I have a TicketMaster ticket for this show, which means I didn't mail order for this run. I think I was extremely broke at the time and couldn't afford to drop that kind of money at one time for tickets. I think I mail-ordered for one show and scrambled amongst my friends for their extra tickets for the other two. That would also explain why I didn't go with Steve to this show, but rather my friend Randy - a friend/co-worker that I occasionally went to shows with.

Our seats were very close, but on the side/slightly behind Jerry. Nice view of the entire stage, allowing us to see some of the behind-the-scenes action we'd normally miss. I remember thinking this was a great show for '93, but still not quite to the level of 89-91. I still say this show holds up much better on paper than it does based on the actual performance. That 2nd set looks insane:

Dark Star->
D/S ->
Tubular Bells Jam->
Easy Answers->
Days Between->
Good Lovin

Someone needs to smack "Buzzkill Bob" upside the head for throwing "Easy Answers" in there. What the hell was he thinking? Anyway - despite the dream setlist, it wasn't as good as it could have been. I recall this whole set fitting onto one 90-minute tape. For a show featuring "Playin'", "Dark Star" and "Terrapin", that's pretty disappointing. The "Dark Star" (a song that could easily go 30+ minutes in the 70s) was barely 5 minutes long. The high point of this show was easily the "Tubular Bells Jam." Just beautiful. I'll credit Vince with coming up with that one (even though I have nothing to back that up with.)

This wasn't a bad show by any stretch of the imagination. It was a really good show that could have been amazing, but fell a little short. Another picky Deadhead, indeed.



9/12/82 - The Go-Go's/A Flock Of Seagulls @ Merriweather

I think this was during the Vacation tour. I was just starting my senior year of high school. I remember we had some kind of marching band event up in Baltimore that afternoon, so I drove up there with my parents. I later hopped in a car with a few friends to head to the show afterwards, rather than head straight home. A Flock Of Seagulls were MTV darlings at the time. They were better than I expected - but I didn't expect much. Don't get me wrong - I liked them back then, but I wasn't exactly expecting them to come through in a live setting. They did surprisingly well. The Go-Go's were one big summer party. It just doesn't get much more fun than this. I wish I had a setlist from this show. I imagine it's pretty much all of their first 2 records. I remember buying a t-shirt and giving it to my girlfriend, wishing I could keep it for myself. sigh.... I'm still a huge Go-Go's fan. A Flock of Seagulls... well...more of a fan than I care to admit.

9/12/90 - The Grateful Dead @ The Spectrum in Philly

Night 3 of the Philly run. After being so close the night before, it seemed like we were miles away. It didn't matter though. We were still riding high from the previous night. Again, we sat next to the same people from the previous 2 nights. I was listening to this show last night on ride down to The Black Cat. So nice. We got our first "High Time". My first of only 2 times I would ever see that song. For some reason in the Fall of 1990 they decided to start singing the "gondola/Coca-Cola" verse in "Masterpiece". They always left that out before. Everyone was a bit befuddled when that happened. They again dropped it soon after. There's a great post-drums jam. It sounds to me exactly like "Handsome Cabin Boy", but it's labeled everywhere as "Two Soldiers Jam". Whatever. It's a beautiful jam on an Irish theme that's just as sweet as can be. Following that with a nice "Morning Dew" was killer. Another song I didn't see nearly enough. The encore was "Brokedown Palace" - sort of a tradition on the closing night of a Spectrum run. A typically great 1990 show. We were spoiled by this era of The Dead. They were on top of their game.

9/12/93 - The Grateful Dead @ The Spectrum in Philly

The first of another 3-night fall run at The Spectrum. We were seeing the band a lot at this point. This was already my 11th time in 1993. I don't really remember much about this one. '93 wasn't quite as stellar as 89-91. They seemed more hit-or-miss. The new songs weren't terribly exciting and Vince was starting to get a little annoying. Listening to the show at the link above, it sounds like they were fairly "on" this night, although Jerry seems to stumble on the words to "Stella Blue" a bit. I think at this point we weren't really appreciating what we were getting and started being a little too critical as fans. They were definitely slipping though. I had kind of written this one off. Maybe I'll download this one and give it another chance.

9/12/08 - Black Cat 15th Anniversary Party - Gray Matter/The Shirks

Gray Matter was one of the earlier Dischord bands, playing in the mid-80s around DC. Their drummer, Dante Ferrando, is the manager/owner(?) of The Black Cat. I loooove Gray Matter. They helped Dischord start to shed their purely hardcore stigma. They were still loud, fast and furious, but there was a bit more songcraft involved, IMO. Last night they blasted through the Take It Back EP and followed that with a few random songs from both Food For Thought and Thog. The even threw in my favorite Three song "Swann Street". Nice. I'm sure it was no comparison to back-in-the-day, but they sounded great. They drew a big crowd - much better than last time, as I recall. Good for them. They deserve it. Everyone should own the Take It Back/Food For Thought combo cd. Buy it and thank me later.

I guess I timed things poorly, because I missed most of The Shirks' set. I'm not sure what time they came on (I was counting on 10:30) , but they were done by 10:50. My loss. I really like these guys. They have a great old-school punk feel. Loud, fast, to the point and a lot of fun. You really need to go see them.


Random R.E.M. Stuff

A few random R.E.M notes.

Peter Buck's guitar was stolen! Yes, THAT guitar. The black and white Rickenbacker that Peter has been using since the early 80's was stolen right off the stage after a show in Helsinki, Finland. What kind of dickbag does stuff like this? Anyway, if you have any info contact the band at or phone (001) 706 353-6689.

Pop Songs 08 is a blog written by Fluxblog's Matthew Perpetua. Over the last year and a half he has analyzed every song in the R.E.M. catalog - including a few covers and other songs they used to do in concert. He did everything except for the songs from Accelerate, which is a little too new to really analyze yet. That'll come in time. Anyway, he finally finished this week, ending with (wait for it...) "It's The End Of The World As We Know It.". Congrats on a job well done, Matthew.

But wait - there's more. Apparently, Michael Stipe was a fan of the blog. Michael has agreed to take questions from readers pertaining to the songs - lyrics, inspiration, meaning, etc. and respond to them on Matthew's blog. In fact, he already answered a bunch just yesterday. It's pretty cool - go check it out.

Finally - The boys are gearing up to head to South America. If anybody wants to send me to Brazil, feel free to drop me a line.

Friday, September 12, 2008



Remember when 9/11 was just another day? :(

9/11/86 - The Kinks @ Merriweather Post Pavilion. I love The Kinks. Despite the fact that this show meant coming back home for the weekend about 2 weeks after school started again, I wasn't going to miss this show. In fact I brought a couple friends from college back with me. We bought our tickets earlier in the summer - right when they went on sale. So imagine our surprise when school starts, we get back to PSU and see the local paper, only to find out that The Kinks are playing PSU the night after they play Merriweather. Dammit. We could have just stayed at school a walked to the damn show! But no - we already paid for these tickets, so we drove the 5-hours each way and went to it anyway. Good show, but more of a hassle than it needed to be. Oh yeah - The opening band, Translator, canceled. I think they broke up soon after, so we never got to see them. Dammit.

9/11/90 - The Grateful Dead @ The Spectrum in Philly

The best seat I ever had at a Dead show. 4th row - dead center - right between Jerry and Bob. I think this may have been the earliest we ever went inside for a show. I seem to remember being right there when the doors opened and sitting in our seats by around 6:30 for a 7:30 start time. We didn't want to miss a thing. Once they came on, I'm sure we just stood there slack-jawed the whole time. I definitely developed an appreciation for the texture Bob added to the music, now that I can actually associate some of the sounds with what he's actually playing. He's such an oddball player, it's not always easy to tell what he's doing. Thanks to mail-order tickets, we were standing right next to the same people we were next to on 9/10. It's always fun when that happens. Another solid 1990 show. Vince's 4th show with the band. Nothing terribly unique about it, other than closing the first set with "Hell In A Bucket". That was a surprise. The highlight was probably them playing "He's Gone" for the first time since Brent died. There wasn't a dry eye in the house. It was also Mickey's birthday. This is one of my all-time favorite shows - simply because we were so close. We never got anywhere near that close again. This was my 37th Grateful Dead show.

9/11/99 - R.E.M. @ The Tweeter Center (aka Great Woods) - Mansfield, MA

Woke up early the morning after the Merriweather show and headed up to Massachusetts for the last US date on the Up tour. I managed to snag a single ticket right up front in the 8th row, but once Steve agreed to go with me, I bought us a pair of tickets together. We took turns swapping for the good seat. The highlights were easily "Wolves, Lower" - a song I haven't heard in over 10 years and my very first "Radio Free Europe". Despite being their first single (and arguably their signature song) , R.E.M. is notorious for not playing that one. This was only the 5th time they'd played it in concert since 1987. I wouldn't see R.E.M. for another 4 years.

Update: ummm - I seem to have forgotten a couple shows here:

9/11/04 - Guided By Voices/Tommy Keene @ 9:30 Club

Original review here.

Tommy Keene has been part of the DC scene since I was a kid. Considering how old I am - that's a loooong time. Somehow I had managed to never see him before, so I was thrilled to see him open. What a great songwriter. I'd love to see him again. I wish he played-out more.

I wasn't all that familiar with Guided By Voices, but I heard their shows were legendary and there was a good chance this was going to be their last tour (it was), so I figured now-or-never. They were fantastic. 3-hours of non-stop drunken rock and roll fun. They about wore me out though. Luckily a friend of mine saw me about 2+ hours into the show and offered me a place to sit up in the DJ booth. I never noticed how high up that was. Yikes. Great view though. Many, many thanks for that. Killer show. My loss for not paying more attention to them earlier.

9/11/05 Idlewild @ The Black Cat - Washington, DC

hmmm - I guess I didn't review this one after it happened. Idlewild is a great band. They really know how to bring the rock. 100 Broken Windows and The Remote Part are both terrific records. "Rosability" and "Little Discourage" should have easily been hit singles. The live show didn't disappoint at all. It was everything the records are - just amped up a bit. I don't remember it being terribly crowded, which was kind of surprising. I'm not exactly the first-in-the-know these days. I figure if I really like a band, they've probably already gathered a sizeable audience. Not in this case. Your loss people. You missed a helluva show. Hopefully, they'll come back to the US soon. If so, I'm all over it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008



9/10/90 - The Grateful Dead - The Spectrum in Philly.

Oh, how I loved The Spectrum. I ended up seeing The Grateful Dead there 14 times before Jerry died. The 1990 shows were among the best. This was Vince's 3rd show with the band. There's nothing like a Dead show in Philly. Any show that starts with "Shakedown Street" is going to be a good time. Guaranteed. This one was no exception. "Foolish Heart", "The Other One", "Scarlet->Fire", "U.S. Blues"....yeah - this one was a blast. Check out the link above and listen to the crowd singing along to "U.S. Blues". That's such a Philly crowd - haha. We were about 2 years into going to shows at this point and our perspective on traveling was starting to change. We decided that it was perfectly reasonable to drive from dc->philly->dc 3 nights in a row, while working until about 3:00 each afternoon. Hanging out in the parking lot - while fun - had become secondary to the music. Besides - we were both broke and couldn't afford to take any extra time off of work.

9/10/99 - R.E.M. @ Merriweather. Despite being a local boy, this was my first time in the Pit at Merriweather. 4th row. Great to be close, but damn they pack 'em in there. It was seated, but still seemed really tight. Nice show. We got the rarely played "Low Desert" and the 3rd "Camera" since 1985. Dinger got a shout-out from Stipe for a small sign he made. "Nice sign, boys." At one point I made Stipe laugh by beating him to one of his stock "Man On The Moon" moves, where he bops his head during the "Newton got beaned" line. Either we're starting to see them too much, or Michael needs new schtick. Probably a little of both. He still does that same move, btw. Nice show.

9/10/04 - Snow Patrol @ 9:30. I understand Snow Patrol had played 9:30 once before and it was practically empty. Not this time. Packed to the gills with frat boys and Jennifers. My old review is here. Fun show. Good band. New album next month.

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