Thursday, October 27, 2005

Bob Walkenhorst, October 26, 2005

The evening started with "Dry Dry Dry" land. I believe "Masters of War" was right after that. And then, at the end of the show, 2nd to last song, "Blowin' in the Wind". I was struck by that pair of Dylan songs. Both have an anti-war idea to them. ("and how many times must the cannon balls fly before they're forever banned") One the other hand, the two songs end with very different death related comments. "and I hope that you die, and your death will come soon" vs "and how many deaths will it take till he knows that too many people have died". Not necessarily contrary in a technical way (if we understand the latter to refer to deaths from war and violence and such, and not to mean death's not part of the life cycle). But very contrasting attitudes. So it seems to me.

Note: I looked the lyrics up online, and Dylan's website has that as the 2nd verse, but it was the 3rd verse as Bob W. sang it last night.

Being one who listens to and pays attentions to lyrics, I had to laugh on the 2nd verse when Bob sang "how many times can a mountain exist before it is washed to the sea". Uh, huh? Usually just once. ;) Had I had been singing the song in my head I might not have noticed. But there was no tape of the song playing in my head. Just me listening to Bob.

I'm totally not being critical of Bob. No way. I just find it amusing.

Thankfully, I do know the song and thus was able to go back in my head and figure out that it was supposed to be "how many years...", which makes much more sense. :)

On to other songs. :)

"Doomsville", now that one, I'm used to it not being a dance song. So I sat and listened. And, then, somewhere in there, I realized, it's danceable. And I got up and danced. I don't know if they played it a little faster than usual, or if it was just me, or what. Just something made it, for me, something to dance to when usually it isn't.

For a while it was all originals Bob songs, other than "Masters of War". Somehow that struck me. Later on, towards the end, it was lots of covers.

"The Race is On" again. Have I mentioned I like that song? :)

"No Romance". When Bob sang "I spent too much of my life waiting / hoping, dreaming, wishing, believing / and way too little of it living", I was thinking, Bob has helped me to live my life, to live more fully. And that's a nice gift.

You know, I think hoping, dreaming, wishing, believing instead of living is better than not hoping, dreaming, wishing, believing, nor living. Ah, but best, perhaps, to hope, dream, wish, and believe while living.

They played a Beatles song. I forget which. One of the less familiar to me ones.

Oh yeah, near the beginning of the show, Bob, I think after making reference to last week's show, said "We're the Geniticklers". Or something like that. (I got the Geniticklers right. I just wish I remember the how he presented it better. You all will just have to download and listen. Or else Jim or someone else will maybe provide a better report.) I like that... Genitickers. :)

After that Bob said that's not the weirdest Gig he's ever played, but before he told his story, he had Jeff and Norm tell theirs. If you'd rather just hear them tell the stories themselves, go ahead and stop right here, or skip to the next post if there are replies. The weird gig stories are the last part of my post.

Jeff's was one 4th of July, playing a party at someone's house, and it rained so they were set up in the very tiny living room, playing to like 3 people, and the person who I guess was hosting it, he insisted on using the microphone to welcome everybody.

Norm's was, way back in 1977 or so, a band called I think he said Nation, they had long hair and played Kansas-like music, and they played a New Year's Eve gig -- and Norm pointed out their music was not dance music -- and it was in a church basement, and the couples ranged in age from like 30 to 80. And this was when Norm was pretty young.

All these stories, really, better to listen for yourselves than rely on my retellings.

Finally, Bob's story. His weirdest gig was lipsyncing on the radio. Yes, lipsync on the radio. See, it was done in front of a live audience. This was in Belgium. The Rainmakers. And they interview the band, and then go straight into the music. The thing was, where they were (pretending to) play from was not the same place as the interview. They had to walk about the same distance as from the door to the stage at the Record Bar, was Bob's description. (Maybe 30 feet? 40?) And so, as soon as the interview ends, the music starts, and the band is still walking to the where they play from, while the music is already playing, and then they get there and pick up their instruments and starting playing along (or however one properly describes it)The evening started with "Dry Dry Dry" land. I believe "Masters of War" was right after that. And then, at the end of the show, 2nd to last song, "Blowin' in the Wind". I was struck by that pair of Dylan songs. Both have an anti-war idea to them. ("and how many times must the cannon balls fly before they're forever banned") One the other hand, the two songs end with very different death related comments. "and I hope that you die, and your death will come soon" vs "and how many deaths will it take till we know that too many people have died". Not necessarily contrary in a technical way (if we understand the latter to refer to deaths from war and violence and such, not to mean death's not part of the life cycle). But very contrasting attitudes. So it seems to me.

Then later in the show Jeff told another weird gig story. This involved mushrooms. No, not the kind you buy in the grocery store. Now, Jeff was expecting the mushrooms not to take effect till after they were done playing, but they kicked in more quickly than he expected, plus the set was longer than he expected. And you'll just have to listen to Jeff tell it (wish I could tell you what song it's after), or else wait for someone else to do a better job than me. Anyway, this made for a weird gig for Jeff. Jeff did point out this was many years ago.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Styx in KC at the American Royal Rodeo PBR Superbull

Yes, the opening act for Styx was 3 hours of bull riding. Well, not 3 hours of actually riding. But you get the point.

But it was cool. Tickets ranged from $10 to $65. Plus ticketmaster fees. Plus parking. The cool thing is, $5 extra gets you on the arena floor for the concert. I paid the $5 extra. Besides, $15 for a cheap seat for the Superbull plus access to the floor for the concert sure beats $29 or $65 for the better seats. Cheaper and closer to the stage.

It's amazing how many people don't spend the $5 for floor access. (Which, because it's a rodeo, the floor is dirt. Oh, and in case you are wondering, they lower the stage from overhead after the rodeo part is done.)

Chuck was there. :) Yay. It's funny watching him playing bass, using a pick, because I'm so used to watching bass players that don't use picks. (It's been a while since that last Styx show with Glen.)

It's funny, for me, and I suspect I'm not alone in this, there are some people I'm a fan of who, being a fan of them is part of my identity, part of how I see myself. And some I like a lot yet don't really have that same identifying myself with being a fan. Tommy Shaw is someone where, it's like, being a Tommy Shaw fan is part of who I am. Glen Burtnik I just don't tend to see it that way. Yet, who was it I was most interested in for those first 15 Styx shows? Glen, not Tommy. It's weird going to a Styx show as a Tommy fan. It's weird not watching Glen.

Anyway, it was a good show. :) I'm glad I went. I'm so spoiled by the Elders and Bob Walkenhorst that it didn't feel like a musical epiphany or anything like that. But it was good. :)

Friday, October 14, 2005

Elders, Shawnee Mission East High School, 14 October 2005

(Posted on the Elders messageboard)

Hey, it's kinda cool to go to an Elders show and be home by 9:30. (Oh, wait, I was home by that time at the last Elders show, but I went out again to see the Nace Brothers. :) Plus that was a Sunday. 8 pm on a Sunday feels later than 9:30 on a Friday. :))

It was an awesome show. The sound at the beginning was, well, not up to the usual Elders standards. But just watching the Shawnee Mission East Choraliers enjoying the Elders more than made up for that. Plus, the sound improved and it actually wound up being one of the best sounding Elders shows I've been to in a while, I think. Supersoundman Buzzz earned his keep, I think. :)

I think the Choraliers earned that $25 (the show was to earn money for their trip to Ireland) just by having fun and thus contributing to a really fun Elders show.

Oh, yeah, and they contributed a little singing too. :) Them singing with the Elders on "Men of Erin" was kinda cool.

I think I was the only person over 18 dancing. But that's okay. And I'm not sure if it's good or bad that I matched (almost) what the (the choir members) all were wearing... black shirt, blue jeans (but my black shirt wasn't plain, but rather a Styx / Peter Frampton t-shirt). (They wore choir robes when they sang.)

"Men of Erin" (the choraliers singing with the Elders) was the 2nd to last song. Followed by "Devil's Tongue". The choir stayed up on stage and were dancing having a good old time. It was fun to watch them. And I could tell watching Steve that he appreciated their enthusiam.

The guys were all busy signing autographs after the show. Well, except Norm, who was out there, but not right at the merchandize table, and not getting hit up for autographs as I walked by. Thus I got to wave at him without waiting in line. (The other 5 of you will just have to imagine me waving at you, I guess. :) Consider yourselves waved at. :))

Oh, and the guys got to be honorary choraliers. They got stoles (same as the ones the choir members have) signed by the choir members.

Norm went to Shawnee Mission East, 1974 graduate. When Ian introduced Norm and mentioned this there were much cheers, of course. Then Ian does the usual "all the way from Lee's Summit Missouri" (or something like that). That didn't go over so well, LOL. They were more enthusiastic for Prairie Village (Brent). The school is in Prairie Village.

This was reserved seating, your ticket tells you where to sit. I got pretty much the perfect seat for me. 2nd role on the outside aisle. Perfect for getting up and dancing on the side. I did sit in my seat a litle bit, though.

The O'Riada Academy of Irish Dance were also good. And they got a [i]very[/i] enthusiastic reaction from the crowd. The even did an encore (a sequence from one of the dance).

$25 is more than I spend on most Elders shows. But, given what I spent on the upcoming trip to Ireland with the Elders, and how much I'm looking forward to going, it seems a small thing to spend $25 to help the choir go to Ireland and see the Elders in exchange. And, as I said, the choir members did a lot to add to the enjoyability of the show.

Oh, yeah, and there's one exception to what I said about the age of the other folks dancing. Plenty of old folks like me (old compared to the high school kids, that is; I'm 36, by the way) dancing for "Love of the Century". Not me, though, as I didn't bring a dance partner with me.

(I didn't take pictures. Sometimes it's nice to have a night off from picture taking. And I wouldn't have gotten good shots with my camera anyway.)

Did I mention I really enjoyed it?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Weston Irish Fest, October 9, 2005, Elders and Brigid's Cross and others

(Posted on the Elders Messageboard)

Switchback were first on the main stage. I wasn't there yet, but I heard some quite positive comments about them.

Brigid's Cross was next. I quite like them. I saw them last year at Weston Irish Fest and was glad to get the opportunity to see them again. They are quite fun. They are a trio, fiddle, keyboards/bohran, and guitar. Plus vocals. And they do some secular songs, and it's fun to hear there versions of them. Paul (I think it was him), the fiddle player said "There are two types of music, Celtic and secular. We do both".

Then there was a pipe and drum corp, Ararat I think, that played during the changover on the main stage. I enjoyed listening, though I walked around rather than sitting and watching.

Next up was Jiggernaut. They were good, though I didn't like them as well as Brigid's Cross. In fact, I left before they were done to catch part of Brigid's Cross's 2nd set, at the Hall stage inside the pub.

(written later in the day) Did I mention I really enjoyed Brigid's Cross? Highlights... they do this song... "Some say the Devil is dead and buried in Kilarney. More say he rose again and joined the British army". I enjoyed the song. It's fun. And, then... at the end of the song, he sings... "and he went down to Georgia..."... and then they go into... well, I bet you all can guess what song. A good fiddle song. :) They also did "Dust in the Wind", which I enjoyed. They had a Celtic instrumental as an intro to it. Oh, and then there's "Doing an Irish Polka". That would be a certain Ricky Martin hit with new words.

Now, their second set was scheduled 4:30 to 5:30 on the indoor stage. And Elders were scheduled to start at 5:10 on the main stage. So, there I am in the cellar watching and listening to Brigid's Cross, who I don't get the opportunity to see/hear as often as the Elders, and I'm trying to figure out when to leave. And I take into consideration that I figure the Elders aren't going to start on time, particularly being as the O'Riada Academy of Irish Dance were performing before them, and last year they went longer than scheduled. I think I left about 5:20 and had time to use the rest room, drink a bit of water, and then get in position to rush the stage.

Folks weren't waiting up front before the Elders started. Nice big empty space in front of the stage. But like within 30 seconds or so of the Elders taking the stage, here comes everybody. The space filled up nicely, though not overcrowded. I did feel a bit lonely up there by myself for a few seconds before everyone else showed up though. :)

I started out in front of Steve, and somehow wound up instead between Brent and Steve. Which is fine.

A few notes about the show.

4 of the O'Riada dancers, one of them being one of Ian's daughters, danced during Buzzz's Jigg.

"Love of the Century"... I used to imagine dancing with a certain guitar player to that song. As in, who in the room would I want to dance with. I don't do that anymore. :) I was remembering that, though, when they played that song.

One of their newer songs, Ian's introduction: "This is a song about us. It's called 'We Need A Miracle'". And, like the other two times I've heard it, still a good song. :) I bet it sounds even better when one's not right up next to the stage. :)

Okay, so, they ended with "Devil's Tongue", as they usually do, went off stage, and, of course, folks wanted an encore. They came back out and did an instrumental and then "10 lb Earhole". Which has the competition to see whether the men or the women have the loudest 10 lb Earhole. Girls went first. Brent takes a microphone and holds it down where several of us females were standing. Hm... suspiscious behavior... don't they always cheat in the boys favor, being guys themselves, when they cheat? So, what does Brent do when it's time for us to sing/shout? He pulls the microphone away. I was too busy laughing to properly yell out. Thankfully, plenty of women were yelling out just fine. The girls won. :)

Oh, a few notes I'm reminded of from the pictures. On "Men of Erin" they had two bagpipers come out and play the tune after the vocals were done. After a while Ian and Tommy joined in on drums. And at some point Norm and Brett joined in. And then Brent joined in on fiddle. That surprised me. And that left Steve the only Elder not playing. :)

And on "Devil's Tongue", Norm came over to Steve's spot and sang with Steve from Steve's microphone when they were doing their 2 part harmony. All the Elders shows I've been to and I do believe that's the first time I've seen them do that.