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U2 at Gillette Stadium, Foxboro MA, 9/21/2009

It's probably about time Natalie and I went to a big arena show, and so we did...

The reason I never was that into arena shows is the distance and lack of intimacy, never mind the multi-hundred dollar seats. However Natalie scored at the last minute by noticing $50 general adm. tix opened up and snatched them up on the spot. Apparently, there are a few "levels" of GA. There's "on the field", then "Red Zone", which I gather you pay a lot more for, and then there was some inner circle deal.

The trick with the inner circle was that it was guarded by a bunch of security passing people through. Had we not gotten the scoop that anyone with GA is allowed in, we never would have approached, because it looked "Exclusive". The Inner Circle held like a couple thousand fans and got you to within a couple of feet of the stage.

At that point, the only difference between this and any other show was that the stage was like 8' high. We took our spots 3 rows from the stage and laid in wait.

All in all, the show was great. We were close enough we didn't feel like we were watching TV from the stands. This was easily the biggest show I'd ever been to, previously it was probably "anything in a hockey arena", so NIN, Tool, that kind of thing. I think I'll take stadium shows much more seriously now, assuming we can get down close in and not spend a fortune to do it. Thanks U2 for making a show I wanted to see, even with 80,000 other fans.

Here are some of my favorite pictures, here's the Flickr set:

More Pictures

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Alice in Chains, Paradise Boston 9/7/2009

[music | Leonard Cohen - Don't Go Home With Your Hardon]

Yep, Alice in Chains (!) at the Paradise (!!)

I can't believe how incredibly lucky we were with this show! I'll get to the show, the luck actually started earlier. We rolled down Comm. Ave around 6:10 or so, and apparently, seems like this was move-in weekend at BU, at least, there was lots of "moving in" looking activity. AND there was a show at the Agganis Arena as well. Luckily they opened up the lot to general parking for the low low price of $25 (generally street parking is pretty easy to find, but with this triple hit, it wasn't to be).

So we slid into Brown Sugar for some of the fastest Thai food ever. Love that place, needs to be hotter :-)

We ended up making it in line just before doors, but wow was it a line. We didn't get in until 7:30, and by that time I thought I was fucked, with no good photo spots left available. Getting inside, that looked like the case, until we went all the way stage-left where there were some road cases and not much else. They had taken over the whole area at stage right for mixing desk and guitar tech stuff, so you couldn't reach the balcony from there, it was a bit of an odd setup. This is when I noticed there was also a barrier 3' out from the stage, which was unexpected. Maybe this was the better spot after all? I remembered from the Lupo's show a few years ago that Jerry was at stage-left for that one, so that's why I wanted to angle that way to begin with.

Turned out I was in the absolute perfect spot to shoot from tonight. The sound was fantastic, the crowd was perfect. Way better than most any Boston audience you get I guess. I've never lived anywhere else, but from what I understand, artists roll through Boston and the audiences are all too jaded and hanging around and not seeming into shows. Not tonight, not even a little. Everyone sang every word to every song, it was great.

At one point, Jerry Cantrell tried to hand a pick to someone and took a mean header off the stage into the 3' gated security area dealy. Got back up, miraculously, found a mike, and just said "Bitch cursed us this morning" (it might have been Duvall that said this, I don't think so). Evidently Mistress Carrie (Mistress Yoko?) jinxed the band by asking them if they'd fallen off stage in an interview this morning, they said it hadn't happened in some time, now BAM. Har.

I have to say I enjoyed this even more than the Lupo's show, if that's even possible, probably just due to my proximity. I got more energy from the band, and crowd, than I have in a long time.

Toward the end, the road cases I was camped out on became stage runway, so suddenly I was gathering up my stuff and joining the staff in holding the cases tight for Jerry and William so no one else took a spill. They were incredibly interactive with the audience and it was great to see how happy a band can look when they seem to be really having fun.

Here's the setlist as it was handed to me, looks totally accurate:

Rain When I Die
Again
Check My Brain
Them Bones
Dam That River
A Looking In View
We Die Young
Nutshell
Down in a Hole
God Am
Acid Bubble
Angry Chair
Man in the Box
Would?

Encores:
Sludge Factory
No Excuses
Rooster

And here's some of my favorites out of the dozens and dozens of pictures I got. Many more at Flickr, many more than that on my machine. Clicky Biggy:

PICTURES!

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Depeche Mode - Mansfield, MA 7/31/2009

[music | Eddie Murphy & Rick James - Party all the Time]

Twenty years ago, my boss saw Depeche Mode at Great Woods, with Nitzer Ebb opening. Last night I thought that that must have been the show to see. An archived Globe article tells me I'm wrong. Nitzer Ebb would have made a much better opener than Peter, Bjorn and John, though. PB&J just pretty much annoyed us. The best part of their set was my SMS conversation about it. ("they're playing "Party all the Time", swear to god". "Hey, they're doing the Jitterbug into my brain". "PB&J (HAH) are doing Erasure covers".) before it devolved into Scandinavian bands that should have been on the stage instead. "Hey, at least the Ace of Base girl was stacked, the PB&J guy is kind of doughy, but it's just not the same".

Update: My copypasta review at Last.fm has gotten a couple of comments which made a really good point. Looking back it looks like we didn't enjoy or somehow regretted this show. Negative, it was awesome, it could have sounded better, and I'm willing to accept that it might have been our position in the venue. Let me know if you were in the middle and it sounded great to you. I still have high hopes for the CD!

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I'm going to pop

[music | Combichrist - Get Your Body Beat (Amduscia Remix)]

I think I just gave myself diabeetus. For Natalie's birthday I took her to breakfast. I got as close to full-English as you can get in my town:

2 bacon
2 sausage links
2 pancakes (where's my pertaters)
2 bread, toast
baked beans
eggs (scrambled)

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NIN/JA Tour, Mansfield MA

[music | Pigface - Alles Ist Mine (DJ? Acucrack remix)]

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Leonard Cohen - Wang Center, Boston MA 5-29-2009

[music | Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Tower of Song] -- note: This isn't as much worth chasing down as it sounds, more just "fun".

¿Quien es mas Macho: Leonard Cohen, o Nick Cave?

Tonight's Leonard Cohen show will certainly have been the coolest show I go to this year. As people have been saying all tour, he just keeps going and going. This show clocked 3:15 including a 15 minute intermission. The arrangements were spot on, and at 74, he can run and skip around the stage better than I could. I am horrible at remembering sets, songs I know happened were:

Everybody Knows
Tower of Song
First We Take Manhattan
Boogie Street (Robinson)
A thousand Kisses Deep
Waiting for the Miracle
Democracy
Suzanne
Take this Waltz
Anthem
The Future
I'm your Man
Perfect Offering
Chelsea Hotel
Hallelujah
If It Be Your Will (Webb Sisters, awesomely)
Bird on a Wire?

Closing Time (laughs)
I Tried to Leave You (bigger laughs)

Fill in what I'm missing if you could, that would be swell.

Pictures and less than apt comparisons

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The Beat @ Tupelo Music Hall

[music | DJ? Acucrack - Damage Control]

I guess we need to move to Londonderry now. Tupelo Music Hall was a pretty damn good little venue, except for the whole "having chairs" thing. The Tupelo Guy said at the beginning that this would be about the most energetic band you'd see at the venue, which is probably for the best, because honestly all you want to do is dance, but you just can't.

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Dork Yearbook

BoingBoing launched a fun Dork Yearbook photo project. Upload your embarrassing pics of your geeky childhood, and they will add helpful captions. I decided to recreate my yearbook picture for 2009 as well.

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Vintage LOLCats

[music | The Reverend Horton Heat - Bad Reputation]

Natalie and I were at an antique store a couple of months ago and found some vintage postcards with lolcats on 'em. I like seeing things that represent a straight line from our past to our present, especially if it's something as random as lolcats. 100 years ago, people thought it was amusing to take pictures of cats and caption them in humorous ways. I can only hope that these were funnier 100 years ago than they are today, otherwise these copywriters should have been hanged.

Marvel at 100 year old comedy kittehs

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ohGr - Paradise, Boston 12-06-2008

[music | Miranda Sex Garden - Go Wailing Accents]

Tonight we have ohGr and American Memory Project at the 'dise. Also, grainy photos of same.



Short rundown and long bullshit rambling about Clubbers & Concertgoers

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