Monday, December 19, 2005

Eight is great!

What an incredible week it was!
Three great shows in three different states...Lots of mountains, holiday travellers, taxis, shuttles and the kindness of strangers. Now that I've had some sleep. I'm ready for more!
Three very different venues. My favorite was/is still the Reno Hilton. Growing up, my first taste of musical entertainment was at Nevada Casino show rooms. As a kid, my folks took me to the dinner shows, Tom Jones, Glenn Campbell, Andy Williams, John Denver, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Sammy Davis JR, etcetera, of course, the most memorable show was ELVIS!
I figured that the Hilton would have a modern room for the Ratdog show but was delighted to find myself in a huge show room just like the ones we used to go to the dinner shows in. Booths with tables, red and brass decor, terraced levels .So much room! The stage was huge. The rail was low. The band was set up deep back on the stage which actually was nice.
As I mentioned the acoustics were wonderful. I could really hear the show. The rail isnt always the best place to hear the music and usually, I'm right by a speaker. It took a while for the room to fill. I only knew one person at the show and didnt see him til the show was over. Met a few people from the message boards though and that was nice! My neighbors on the rail were Setlist Jerry on one side on the other was a fellow who had won his tickets from answering a trivia question on a Reno radio station. He wasnt sure what to expect. Afterwards, it was gratifying to hear how much he enjoyed the show.
One of the fellows I met was taking pictures and gave me his card. I'll have to email him and see where he is posting them.
I had never been to the state of Washington even though I have an aunt and first cousins living there. Flying in was bumpy but scenic, Mt Ranier, the Puget Sound..and flying right by Seattle I could see all the landmarks. After resting briefly at my hotel, I took a cab to the venue. I was surprised by how much Seattle looks like SF and LA. The Showbox is a small club but has a bar and I was able to get dinner there. Tasty fries. Hung around the bar and enjoyed seeing Beth & Lee again. Very festive atmosphere. Soon it was time to get in line for the show. The bar seemed to be the head of the line. The venue was funky in a fun way and the stage seemed really small. The rail was wide open as most of the early birds grabbed the small tables for themselves. Another amazing show this time with a fellow sitting in with harmonica and mandolin. Bobby was almost chatty though I can't quite remember what he was saying.. Something about a song (oh God which one?) being meant to have a Mandolin playing in it....another time Bobby was referring to the key of G ..Hot show, Spirited crowd..reminded me a bit of the first show of 2005 in Anaheim.. my mind swept clean by one song being better than the last. At the end the entire crew joined the band for the last bow of 2005. I waited too long and wasnt able to buy the cds. Hopefully, Disc Logic will have them up soon.
The Grand in SF was also new to me. It was lovely and elegant, with an upstairs like the GAMH has, though I never made it up there to check it out. I can't say where my head was at through the first set but the second set was fantastic! I bought the cds of this show in Seattle and listened to the first set again, as I waded through traffic on the way home from Oakland International Airport. The first set is truly fine! I guess the insane second set just made the bigger impression on me. .....................