t’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Sometime it feels like homework. If it were a class, I’d a failed by now.
I’ve been lucky to be able to see a few shows lately. It took about 2 hours to go 55 miles in a snowstorm to trey anastasio and classic tab at the 9:30 club. Trey at the 9:30? Yes. I missed an hour of the almost 2 hour first set, but I feel I got the gist of it. he has a female horn section featuring jen hartswick. Both ladies sang which is always nice. The band was tight and excited. Trey was on top of his game, smiling and looking like he was genuinely enjoying himself. That kind of joy emulating from stage is infectious and made the brutal neck pain, white-knuckle drive worth it. a man and his audience.
The next week I got to see furthur at hampton. This line up is truly refreshing and something I think deadheads have been waiting for. John kadlecik’s command of the jerry parts makes me dance with my hands and want to run uncontrollably through the coliseum halls naked and then explain to the cops that its cool because elvis and jesus were my fathers and that I am named after them. That’s right “copper” I’m elvis christ the 2nd…It’s cool man. I can be naked. I’m allowed. Did I mention jesus and elvis? That’s what john playing does to me. It’s good. Joe russo and jay lane bring the energy to the drums and percussion while jeff chimenti and his grand piano bring the keith godchaux type of lines to the table. He lays them out fat (musically of course). The two female singers were a welcomed touch. You know I like me some female backup singers. I would imagine phil and bobby are more than happy with their choices. I know I am.
I felt lucky to have the vip experience at the national theatre in richmond for the henry rollins show. VIP tickets get you a separate bar with old-school high ceilings, comfortable couches and 2 separate bathrooms. The designated seating is a choice between tables and chairs or couches located on the first 2 rows of the balcony. It was beyond cool. Henry rollins is a genius. I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as I did because I have never been to a “spoken word” show. I had no idea what to expect. I had listened to black flag a little bit as an angry skateboarding tween and early teen but I wouldn’t consider myself a fan of his. Of course now I would but going in to it, I was curious to say the least. He walked out and talked for almost 2 and a half hours straight. Super smart, intelligent, articulate and super fast-paced stories full of his passive aggressive type of unintentional humor. I was hanging on his every word. He reminded me of my friend barry merrill in the sense that they both barely have enough oxygen to get out what they are trying to say like “taking a sip of water off of a fire hydrant”. I would highly recommend both aspects of this show. The vip option at the national and henry rollins. Where ever he plays. Or…..talks.
Finally, I got to see michael franti and spearhead opening for john mayer at the jpj coliseum in charlottesville, va. No search whatsoever at the entrance. I could’ve snuck in a giant exploding bong bomb. I didn’t because I’d thought I’d get searched. Damn it. Both this show and the henry rollins show were possible because of my mother n’ law fearlessly staying overnight with my kids (one of which is freshly weaned off the boob) allowing emily and I to escape for an evening out. Thank you to the all mighty nini. Don’t go changin’. Franti and spearhead are definitely riding on the success of his hit single. This success is long long overdue. I always felt the world would embrace him on a mainstream level. This tour has been underway a while and spearhead has no problem adapting to the arena show which is different from a club or theater. 2 different times, michael came out in the audience, singing and dancing and spreading his positive-ness. He even came out in the audience with a guitar and headset mic. And played and sang then brought a bunch of people with him back to the stage. It was way more than an opening act. He owned it.
John mayer and his band were fantastic. I don’t have any of his albums but I can appreciate what he does. The show had the state of the art production with the giant screen and these bad-ass moving lights that traveled around the truss on a track. They also went up and down on a cable. I’d never seen anything like it. His band was tight and….yes…..he had two female back up singers. Mmmmm good. My favorite part was the solo, instrumental guitar section. He did an alternate tuning thing on his acoustic that was similar to a charlie hunter style of song. He was playing bass lines and melody simultaneously. That blew me away. I was excited to put aside all the bad press stemming from his obsession of telling everyone everything he’s thinking at all times and just check out his skills on a musicians level. One things for sure. The dude can play. One of the many signs that the young girls brought in to raise up in hopes that john would read it, thus blocking the view of the folks behind them said, “hey john, remember me? I’m legal now”. I liked that one. I was SUPER pissed he didn’t play “your body is a wonderland” or “daughters”(actually he may have. I was buzzin a little). The fact that I was slightly bummed confirms my wife’s theory that I should play freeker every night.