Wednesday, November 02, 2005

So Much To Say! (Part I)

Yesterday was one of the best days I've had in a long, long time!

First off, I have to thank Just.A.Girl for letting me crash here. We've been friends for a long time, but it's a whole new level when you have to share your home for a few days! I'd buy her a thank you gift, BUT I BOUGHT HER A TICKET TO SEE THE ROLLING FRIGGIN' STONES!!!

OK--The concert was the main purpose to come out here. We got there in plenty of time, drank some overpriced microbrews, ate some overpriced sandwiches, and bought an overpriced t-shirt for j.a.g. With any luck at all, there will be a HNT pic with that shirt. Anyway--we get inside the Rose Garden (where the Trailblazers play. Basketball, for the uninformed.). I was somewhat surprised at how small the place was in comparison to where I usually see concerts. It was bigger, but not as big as I anticipated. We had floor seats in row 35. In a bigger place, those wouldn't be too bad. In a place like this, I think there were only 45 rows total. So we were in back. But hey, it's the Stones! Of course, Mona had front row seats, but this is my story--just not in as much detail!

Mötley Crüe opens the show. To maybe a half to 2/3 full house. Tommy Lee has a HUGE.... well, we know that, but an enormous bass drum. Bigger than a marching band bass drum. Must be compensating for something..... Lots of fire, a midget, half-nekkid women, and an overly gratuitous use of the word fuck and all its derivations. Most people sat during the entire set, which included all their big hits. It just wasn't much of a Crüe crowd. All the empty seats belonged to people sipping wine out in the lobby, and reminscing about the previous 10 Stones' shows they've seen. All in all, they were a bit of a letdown. And I think that they know it too. While lots of fire is always good (thanks, KISS), midgets and half-nekkid women are nothing more than gimmicks to divert your attention away from the subpar music. I'm glad I got to see them. I'd never pay money to see them again.

The Rolling Stones. Anyone who thinks that these guys are dead/over-the-hill/boring can go fuck themselves. From the opening chords to "Start Me Up", to the confetti and streamers flying from the rafters at the end of "Jumpin' Jack Flash", these guys showed what rock & roll is all about. I wish I looked as good at 30 as Mick Jagger looks at 60-something. The man doesn't stop dancing! Always on the move. Always with the attitude. And as many wardrobe changes as Britney Spears! Charlie Watts plays drums with his usual blue-collar work ethic. Where Tommy Lee (and most other) drummers beat the hell out of dozens of drums on stage. Watts plays the drums. All 4 of them. Yes, the drummer for the greatest rock band of all time plays on FOUR drums. Again--any more than that is a gimmick. The Stones don't need gimmicks. Keith Richards is looking better than he has in years. In other words, he still looks dead. Or should be. But he plays the hell out of the guitar. And is still spry enough to be falling to his knees when he plays, and springing back up and dancing from one end of the stage to the other. It's just odd to see a corpse doing that. Ronnie Wood--very obviously the youngster of the group. Also plays a mean guitar. Also still sporting a fashionable 80's hair style. Along with backup singers, keyboards and horns. And great visuals. But the best part of the show?

The center part of the stage was on a hydraulic dolly. Just over halfway into the show, the entire dolly is slowly wheeled to the back of the arena floor. Back to row 31. In other words, we were 4 rows away from the Rolling Stones! Close enough to see that these guys have been doing this thing for a long, long time. It was a clusterfuck, as far as security was concerned. They finally gave up trying to keep people by their seats. No cameras were allowed, but j.a.g was able to get some camera phone shots before security told her not to. They aren't great shots--it's an old camera phone, but it gives you a pretty good idea of what things looked like to us:

Needless to say, the back half of the arena went nuts (as did we). Very cool concept. These guys definitely play to the fans--no question about it! They have so many hits that they can't possibly do them all, but the did the really big biggies--Satisfaction, Brown Sugar, Angie, Wild Horses, Jumpin' Jack Flash--not much of anything that I didn't get to hear. I'm not sure that it was the best concert I've ever been to, but certainly the most satisfying!

After the show we stopped off for a quick beer, then realized that we hadn't really had any dinner, so we stopped off at Taco Bell. It doesn't get any better than that!

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