Archive for setlist

We Forgot All The Names, the Names We Used to Know

Posted in Concert/ Events with tags , , , on March 19, 2014 by sethdellinger

I had big plans to write my first big concert blog in a long time after last night’s Arcade Fire show.  I long ago ceased writing lengthy concert reviews when I realized nobody really cared (not your fault!).  But last night’s show was SO different than any rock concert I’ve been to, I had big plans.  But the need to go to work in between the concert and the blog has taken the wind out of my sails, so allow me to make a long story somewhat short.

So the music media has made a big fuss over this tour.  Arcade Fire has, in the past year or two, become an immensely popular band, but not in the usual way.  They don’t have any radio songs.  Their music doesn’t necessarily appeal to the average music consumer.  And yet millions and millions of people like them.  They are a band with “indie” or “hipster” appeal, and when a band such as that decided to play arenas, a lot of people cry foul.  I understand this argument.  To make music from a distinctly artful, non-populist place and then play immense buildings whose construction was underwritten by public tax dollars and then named after banks and beer companies, well, it’s weird, but also: that’s life.  What ya gonna do?  They’d have to play ten times as many club dates to allow this many of their fans to see them.  And I have no problem with talented artists getting rich.  So anyway.  There was also the thing I mentioned earlier in my blog about them requesting formal wear and costume.  So yeah.  A lot has been said and written about this tour (known as the Reflektor tour).

The band obviously has done all it can to silence these critics.  From the moment I entered the building I never once thought about the fact that I was at an arena rock concert.  Not once.  Not everyone was in costume or formal wear, but well over 50% (my guess would be 70%) were in one or the other.  Enough so that I never once felt self-conscious about my mask.  There were many and various interesting things set up and taking place throughout the concourses that added to the effect of being somewhere other than a rock show–I don’t have time or space to detail them. The house lights were kept off for the entire duration of the audience being in the building.  This is actually unheard-of.  What this means is, once we left the concourse area where you buy your beer and t-shirts and went into find our actual seats, the lights were off.  Like, even before the opening act.  The lights stayed down during the opening act.  Of course there were the lights from the stage, etc, but the big lights, the “house lights”, stayed off.  This added a major effect of otherworldliness (although admittedly also was in many ways a pain in the ass).  The lights stayed off when the opener was done playing, in the wait period before Arcade Fire came out (the house lights always come up between acts!).  but most surprisingly, the lights still stayed off even after Arcade Fire was done.  This almost seems like a safety concern!  But it was worth it.  It was the first thing, aside from our own costumes, that immediately changed our expectations of this event.

The modern-day rock concert is very predictable.  It moves with a certain pace and certain things always happen on cue.  Nothing was to be like that at this show.  I swear I’m trying to hurry this story up.

The opening act: Dan Deacon.  This man is an electronic musician (he makes music by himself using, well…electronics).  Again, right off the bat, just not what this audience is expecting.  But I must say, his music does compliment Arcade Fire’s rather well.  The big deal here is that Dan didn’t play from the stage Arcade Fire was going to.  He was on a stage at the other end of the arena.  This was genius.  See, the folks in the first 20 or 30 rows against the stage (they are not in assigned seats like me but are General Admission) are not going to do any dancing or moving, because they are concerned with their placement by the stage.  But Dan’s position at the other end brings the General Admission folks who were too late to get a good spot at the main stage over to HIS stage, and he proceeds to do amazingly interactive things with them; dance contests, “high five walls”, all kinds of neat stuff that probably is pretty run-of-the-mill at electronica shows but is all-but unheard of at a rock show.  The audience was interacting.  On a large scale!  AND, on top of all this, this unique and terrific activity made those of us in the stands rapt with what was happening.  Let me break that down: a bunch of hipster rock fans were rapt with attention at an electronic musician opening act.

So that was kind of neat.

So Dan Deacon got done and we waited for the main act. The lights stayed down which was creepy and awesome and annoying.  The wait wasn’t as long as normal.  After about 20 minutes, with very close to no warning, the main stage throbs with sound and light, the curtain gets yanked up, and suddenly Arcade Fire is playing “Reflektor”, the title track from their new album.  I was really far away but this is what it looked like from closer.  It happened with so little warning, I can’t find a video on YouTube that actually caught the beginning:

So then they rocked our faces off for awhile, which I won’t bore you about.  There were tremendous things throughout to really set the show apart: confetti and lots of it from the rafters, lots of glow in the dark things, incredible stage presence with jumping and dancing and twirling of strings and people wearing many different masks and just all kinds of oddities.  But mostly just really incredible, intelligent, emotionally-charge artistic rock music that can’t be beat.

I regret there is not yet quality video of their performance of “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)”, a song that is constructed like a swelling rock anthem, but is a story about two children whose town gets completely buried in snow, but they climb out their chimneys and survive, eventually reverting to more bestial ways and forgetting much of their past civilized lives, while also falling in love with one another. It exists as a wholly unique song in the pantheon of rock.  It has always moved me with its sideways and unexpected approach to deep human themes such as fear of loss, longing for love, and desire for the unexpected.  And yet, as unconventional as it is, as the song began to play, 20,000 people sang, quite loudly, along with me, lines such as

“Then we tried to name our babies,
but we forgot all the names that,
the names we used to know.
But sometimes, we remember our bedrooms,
and our parent’s bedrooms,
and the bedrooms of our friends.”

We were singing these unconventional lines like it meant something to us, like it was important.  Like they were secrets.

On their most recent album, they have a song called “We Exist”, which is about the pain of teenage gays “coming out” (so far as I know, everyone in the band is straight).  A great moment for me was Win’s introduction of this song, which can be seen in the video below, and then the absolutely terrifyingly gnarly version of the song they proceed to play.  What isn’t visible in this video is that during this song, the “reflektor man” came out and stood on Dan Deacon’s stage, as spotlights

"Reflektor Man" on the opener's stage during "We Exist"

“Reflektor Man” on the opener’s stage during “We Exist”

bounced beams onto all of us, as Win sang, from the vantage point of teen gays, We exist! It added yet another layer to the complicated, thrilling, and admittedly academic theme of reflection, twinning, and identity that is explored on the new album.

So the band ended it’s “main set”.  Here is one of those conventions of the modern concert industry I was speaking about.  The main act plays for about an hour and a half and walks off the stage, pretending the show is over.  We all know the show is not going to be over, that there will be an “encore”, regardless of whether it is asked for.  It is expected (one way we usually know this?  The house lights stay off, which of course means nothing to us now).  Well, literally the SECOND Arcade Fire walks off the stage, the openers stage again (which is closest to me) rises up in the air, and there are “The Reflektors”…this is an “alter ego” band that Arcade Fire has used throughout promotion leading up to this album.  This alter ego band looks like this:

the-reflektors-announce-the-end-of-collaboration-with-arcade-fire

The Reflektors are normally Arcade Fire wearing exaggerated masks of their own heads (get the exploration of identity and reflection????) but clearly this group that just popped up on the second stage was not them.  After claiming to be the true “great band here tonight” and trying to get us to chant “Arcade Fire Sucks”, a recording of Chubby Checker’s “The Twist” started playing and The Reflektors pretended to be playing it.  About halfway through the song, Arcade Fire came back out on the main stage (never a moment of us having to cheer really loud for under some guise we were “trying to get them back out”, no long moments of interminable waiting…just straight-through unexpected oddity).

So.  The encore.  They played a four song encore.  The second was a cover of BoyzIIMen’s “Motown Philly”.  They’ve been playing geographic-specific covers at every show so far, but I honestly was not prepared for this! Watch this amazement by clicking here.

The next-to-last song was the Haitian-music inspired “Here Comes the Night Time”, which featured by far the largest blast of confetti I’ve ever seen.  Click here to see it.  Start watching around 3:30 to be in good shape for the confetti blast.

They closed, of course, with their raucous heartwrencher “Wake Up”.  If you watch only one video on this page, you should make it this one.  Look at and listen to the crowd in the great video this person took.  This rivals the best crowd moments I ever had at a Pearl Jam concert.  Here are 20,000 grown people have an absolute, without-a-doubt, joyful cathartic moment together.  I should have expected that moment when they let us do the singing but it took me by surprise and shook me up. Watch how, after the drastic tempo change about 3/4 of the way through the song, the entire arena turns into a huge dance party.  And seeing the big frat-boy-esque lugs beside me just belting out lines like “I guess we’ll just have to adjust!” was a perfect illustration of what makes this band so great, and also so unconventional.

Setlist:

1. Reflektor
2. Flashbulb Eyes
3. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
4. Rebellion (Lies)
5. Joan of Arc
6. Rococo (with snippet of Lady Gaga’s “Do What U Want”)
7. The Suburbs
8. The Suburbs (continued)
9. Ready to Start
10. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
11. We Exist
12. No Cars Go
13. Haiti
14. Afterlife
15. It’s Never Over (O Orpheus)
16. Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)

Encore:

1. Normal Person
2. Motownphilly (Boyz II men)
3. Here Comes the Night Time
4. Wake Up

Behemoth

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on October 18, 2013 by sethdellinger

Godspeed You! Black Emperor at Union Transfer, Philly, 10/16/13

Setlist:

1. Hope Drone
2.  Mladic
3.  Gathering Storm
4.  Terrible Canyons of Static
5.  Moya
6.  Behemoth

Notice they only played six songs.  Well, that took three hours.  I thought they were going to play all night!

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Here is the video of their set-closing, bone-crushing barnburner, “Behemoth”, from the show I was at Wednesday night.  Even if this kind of music isn’t your thing, I implore you to just watch a minute or two to get an idea of just what in the world this band is all about:

Everything’s Gonna Be Undone

Posted in Photography, Rant/ Rave with tags , , , on December 15, 2012 by sethdellinger

You may or may not know that one of the unstated goals I had when moving to New Jersey and hence ending the “living-alone-very-far-away-from-everyone-I-know” experiment, was to try to be less of an asshole.  Living so solitary, as I did for two years in Erie, hastened an already alarming trend within me that caused me to be cynical, unkind, and judgmental.  And nowhere was this more evident than when I went to concerts.

I was alone, and everyone around me wasn’t.  Generally speaking, the type of people who go to concerts are nice, gregarious, outgoing folks who want to make friends.  I hated them, I ignored them, I went as far as to be mean to them.  I hated strangers, but I hated strangers at concerts the most.

So it was with great pleasure and not just a little surprise that I realized, as Band of Horses was about to start playing tonight, that I had made friends at this concert; I was first in line (that’s right, first), and I never gave a second thought to striking up good-natured temporary kinships with my front-of-the-line-mates.  I ended up on the railing next to two of them (a married couple from Wisconsin who are following the band) and we talked Band of Horses while we waited for the show to start.  They saved my spot for me when I needed to pee—one of the more complicated and worrisome aspects of attending General Admission concerts by yourself.  When the show was over we hung out together to try to get setlists (we didn’t) and it was just very pleasant.  I ran into some other line-mates after the show as we stood in line at the merchandise booth and we talked like we were old pals. It felt nice not to be an asshole.

Here is a picture of the line (from my vantage point at the very front!!) just before doors opened:

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Band of Horses speak to my soul, whatever the fuck that means.  This band continues to evolve into a force in my life hitherto unfelt.  Tonight was my fourth time seeing them (still haven’t seen my Band of Horses white whale) and my emotional reaction keeps evolving (meaning I come close to crying like a baby a whole lot).  Ben Bridwell’s lyrics, coupled with the band’s live show–which is 100% exactly the kind of live show I want from a band–hit me in some secret place that even I can’t locate.

Here is tonight’s setlist:

01 Monsters >
02 Neighbors reprise
03 Compliments
04 Cigarettes, Wedding Bands
05 Laredo
06 The Great Salt Lake
07 Islands On the Coast
08 Northwest Apartment
09 Is There A Ghost?
10 Slow Cruel Hands of Time
11 Older
12 Electric Music
13 Dilly
14 Window Blues
15 Everything’s Gonna be Undone
16 Weed Party
17 Knock Knock
18 Ode to LRC
19 The Funeral

encore break

20 No One’s Gonna Love You More Than I Do (Ben & Tyler only)
21 A Song for You (Gram Parsons cover)
22 The General Specific

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crowd

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“It’s not the dream that makes you weak/ It’s not the night that makes you sleep.”

Posted in Rant/ Rave with tags , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2012 by sethdellinger

The concert last night was AMAZING.  Partly because it featured two bands that I’m pretty much at the apex of liking right now, and it’s been a long time since my concert-going career was so in tune with what I’m currently digging (which is why you may have noticed a significantly higher rate of commentary about this concert on social media than I normally indulge in), and partly because I really have slowed my concert going frequency in the past year, so now when I do go to a concert, the experience is starting to have some of that oomph that it had in the beginning, oh-so-many years ago.

The Band of Horses show destroyed me emotionally, while the My Morning Jacket show ripped my face off, in the good way.  I won’t bother you with specifics, but it was wholly satisfying.  Although, one specific: I finally got a “Steam Engine” from My Morning Jacket, after seeing them 7 times now.  “Steam Engine” is my white whale with this band.  I’ve just thought up that term for this purpose, but it’s perfect.  I seem to have a “white whale”” with just about every band I see frequently.  My sister and I shared one with LIVE (it was “White, Discussion”) and we finally got it on their farewell tour.  With Pearl Jam it was “Hard to Imagine”, which at one point seemed unthinkable I’d ever hear…and by the end of the 2008 tour, I was actually annoyed when they kept opening with it!  haha.  Anyway.  Aside from those two, I think I have yet to see any of my other “white whales”.  Oh, and of course, I got “Steam Engine” last night, and I definitely fucking cried.

Of my opener/ closer predictions, I got one out of four correct (“The Funeral” to close BoH’s set)…which was by far the easiest guess, but was no gimme!  I got one from each band’s wishlist that I had made.  Not too shabby.

The inside of the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, before the crowd arrived. I had a seat in the balcony.

Band of Horses during “Infinite Arms”.

Band of Horses setlist

1.  For Annabelle
2.  NW Apartment
3.  Knock Knock
4.  No One’s Gonna Love You More Than I Do
5.  Detlef Schrempf
6.  Infinite Arms
7.  The Great Salt Lake
8.  Cigarettes, Wedding Bands
9.  Older
10. Ode to LRC
11.  The First Song
12.  Laredo
13.  The General Specific
14.  Is There a Ghost?
15.  The Funeral

My Morning Jacket during “It Makes No Difference”

My Morning Jacket setlist
1. X-Mas Curtain   <—this is an incredibly abnormal opener
2. First Light
3. Outta My System
4. Holdin’ On To Black Metal
5. Tyrone (Erykah Badu cover)
6. Mahgeetah
7. Into The Woods
8. Evelyn Is Not Real
9. Gideon
10. Rocket Man  (Elton John cover)
11. The Bear
12. Strangulation
13. It Beats 4 U
14. Steam Engine
15. Victory Dance
16. Circuital
17. Touch Me I’m Going To Scream pt. 2
18. Touch Me I’m Going To Scream pt. 1
19. Highly Suspicious
20. Wordless Chorus
21. Run Thru
22. Smokin’ From Shootin’

Encore One:
1. Wonderful (The Way I Feel)  [with Ben Bridwell of Band of Horses]
2. I’m Amazed
3. It Makes No Difference  (The Band cover)

Encore 2:

1. Off The Record
2. One Big Holiday

In case you’re even mildly interested, I recorded MMJ coming onto stage and the first few minutes of “Xmas Curtain” (which has some incredibly interesting lyrics)…for me, one of the most interesting things to see from shows I wasn’t at is how the bands start the performance…the entrance music, the first few chords, the audience response…and MMJ never disappoint in this regard. (notice the red and green lights for “Xmas Curtain”, which, as far as I can tell, may or may not be about having sex with a prostitute on Christmas).   This also gives you a good idea of how far away I was :(

O is the One that is Real

Posted in Snippet, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on August 16, 2012 by sethdellinger

The dual concert of two of my favorite bands, Band of Horses and My Morning Jacket, is in two days, and even though I have exactly zero friends who are fans of both these bands (I know a few people who *kinda like* each one but no superfans), I have to get a few things out into the public sphere here.  I’ve been following both band’s setlists on this tour (here are Band of Horses’ and here are My Morning Jacket’s), and both bands are mixing up their setlists more than any band I’ve ever seen short of Pearl Jam, and I dare say that if they had PJ’s depth of catalogue, it would be even more extensive than Pearl Jam.  Band of Horses (BoH) and My Morning Jacket (MMJ) are mixing up their openers and closers a lot more than Pearl Jam ever has.

So, although my so-called friend Kyle once mercilessly mocked me in a blog entry of his for making entries like this, I feel compelled to put my wish list for both bands here, as well as my predictions for what will open and close each band’s sets.  Even though none of you are fans, if I am right or I get my wishlists, at least I can point back to this and say I did it!  And if I don’t, nobody will care, so it’s really win-win for me.

Band of Horses

Opener prediction:  Am I a Good Man
Closer prediction:  The Funeral

Top 3 wishlist:
–Evening Kitchen
–Compliments
–No One’s Gonna Love You More Than I Do

My Morning Jacket

–Opener prediction:  War Begun
–Closer prediction:  Steam Engine

Top 3 wishlist:

–O is the One that is Real
–Steam Engine (anywhere in the setlist will do)
–It’s About Twilight Now

And here is a sweet video of MMJ playing “Dancefloors” at Red Rocks a little over a week ago:

Deep in my heart, that’s where the knot comes loose.

Posted in Concert/ Events, Photography with tags , , , , on August 12, 2011 by sethdellinger

Pictures, video, and setlist from My Morning Jacket show, 8/10/11 in Pittsburgh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim James and Neko Case duetting "Islands in the Stream"

 

 

The following videos are all from the same show, but only the first, “Knot Comes Loose”, was taken by me (the sound sucks.)  The others were taken by people with better cameras and shittier crowd positions. :)

 

Picture of the setlist taken from the band’s Facebook page:

 

Setlist:

1.  Victory Dance
2.  Circuital
3.  Off the Record
4.  I’m Amazed
5.  Gideon
6.  You Wanna Freak Out
7. Knot Comes Loose
8.  Slow, Slow Tune
9.  Evelyn Is Not Real
10. Honest Man
11. Dondante
12. Movin’ Away
13. Smokin’ From Shootin’
14. Run Thru (end only)
15. First Light
16. Touch Me (I’m Going to Scream) part 2
17. Mahgeetah

Encore:

1.  Wordless Chorus
2.  Islands in the Stream (w/ Neko Case)
3.  Holding Onto Black Metal
4.  One Big Holiday

You Would Not Survive a Vacation Like This

Posted in Concert/ Events, Erie Journal, Memoir, Photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 3, 2011 by sethdellinger

So.  That was a pretty insane trip home (and lots of other places).  I’m not even sure where to begin.  This may end up being a ridiculously long and disjointed blog entry.  I apologize in advance.  If it ends up not being extremely long and disjointed, I will come back and delete this intro, and you will never read it.

First, I should like to thank my family (Dad, Mom, Sister) for their various forms of hospitality and much-needed displays of unconditional love.  Yay human spirit and the familial bond!  I feel pretty damn good about my family.  You guys rule!  And thank you to all my friends who made me feel as if I never moved away.  I am blessed beyond belief with deep, intense, loyal friendships!  In addition, a big frowny face to those who I had to miss on this trip (most notably, loyal blog reader and renowned Muse, Cory.  Little does she know, my next trip home is going to be so all about her, she will have to call the cops on me. And the truly lovely Mercedes, whom I am unabashedly smitten with.   Also, on-again-off-again blog reader Tiff, who I had *promised* a certain something to…well, next time, ok???).  I was stretched a little thin to do and see everything and everyone I wanted, but it was fairly satisfying nonetheless.

My Zany Itinerary

Let me just show you the zaniness of where I’ve been the last week and a half.  I am going to include tomorrow, as I go to Pittsburgh tomorrow for a work seminar.  Here’s where I was, for the most part, the last ten days:

3/25: Erie, PA/ Carlisle, PA
3/26: Carlisle, PA/ Asbury Pary, NJ
3/27: Mantua, NJ
3/28: Brooklyn, NY/ Newark, NJ
3/29: Manhattan, NY/ Mantua, NJ
3/30: Mantua, NJ/ Carlisle, PA
3/31: Carlisle, PA
4/1: Carlisle, PA
4/2: Carlisle, PA/ Erie, PA
4/3: Erie, PA
4/4: Pittsburgh, PA
4/5: Pittsburgh, PA/ Erie, PA

And I aint even tired yet.  Bring. It. On.

My Newville Tour

Early on in my trip, I had a little extra time to kill early in the morning, and I drove into Newville (the small town I grew up in) and walked around the town for the first time in many years (I have been there plenty as of late, but not actually walked around).  I took some pictures of major landmarks in my life, also making sure to get a few pictures of some of the places that have played large parts in some of my blog entries.  Here is a bit of a pictorial tour of Newville:

My first house, 66 Big Spring Avenue. My bedroom was the top two windows on the right of the picture.

The big enchilada….the childhood home.  Most famously portrayed in this blog entry right here.

I have been trying to upload the famous picture of my mother and I admiring my grandmother’s garden, but I am having some trouble, so here is a link to that picture on Facebook. And here is a picture of that back yard area today:

One of my most popular blog entries ever was “The Fruit that Ate Itself“, about me being bullied in a local church yard.  I snapped some pics of that area in current day:

The church yard itself.

The line of trees is where the dreaded swingset and slide had been.

The Senior Center where the "fight" ended. Those are the bushes I flew through in the climactic moment.

If you’ve read my blog entry “Down the Rabbit Hole“, you may be interested to see this cellar door on one of my childhood neighbor’s homes:

OK, so just a few more pics here, but not related to any previous blog, just some Seth-historic stuff:

The very spot where I got on a school bus for the very first time.

This was my corner when I was a crossign guard.

Friendies

I had almost too much fun with friendies to try to sum things up here.  I’ll hit some highlights:

I surprised Kate with my presence not once but twice, and she lost.  her.  shit. each time.  First, Michael and I surprised her at her house:

It was also on this visit that this picture of Michael happened:

A few days later, I was strolling through Carlisle wasting a few minutes before picking up another friend, when I came across Kate and her family at the local eatery The Green Room.  As I was leaving them I took this pic of Kate, her husband Matt, and their son Dylan:

Let me just take this moment to say, as I was strolling around Carlisle that night, I was struck by just how freaking cool of a town it is.  Those of you who still live there, please do not take it for granted.  First, it is totally adorable.  And such a great pedestrian town!  And for a relatively small town in central Pennsylvania, it is arts-friendly.  Open mic nights, free music, poetry readings, public displays of photography, and on and on, are quite common.  The area known as the square and the surrounding blocks are humming with a vibrant intellectual life (not to mention some fantastic cuisine).  Please partake of what the gem of a town has to offer!

My brief time with Burke was spent in some fairly intense conversation that may, in fact, make me think about my life differently.  Oh, and Johnny Depp is a fucking sellout.

I spent some truly hilarious time with Jenny.  Jenny is quickly becoming a Major Friend.  (if her name is unfamiliar to you, this was the last woman to be an “official girlfriend”…and if my hunch is true– that I am a lifetime bachelor– she may go down in the history books as the last woman to be an official Seth girlfriend…what a distinction!).  Anyway, I sure do love this woman.  She has the special ability to make me laugh until I am worried about my health…without saying anything. She has a non-verbal humor akin to Kramer.  She can just look at me and I lose my shit.  Here we are, loving life:

Of course, you know I saw Michael, and it resulted in a moment of hilarity that I am pretty sure you “had to be there” for, but we decided that Merle Haggard had at one point recorded the “classic” song “You’re Gonna Make Daddy Fart (and Momma Aint Gonna Be Happy)”.  I still laugh when I type that.

Mary and I had one helluva time trying to find parking in downtown Harrisburg—notable because it’s usually not THAT hard.  Sure, those few blocks in the very center of town are tough, but we were unable to find ANY spots on the street ANYWHERE.  When we finally did park (in a garage) we ended up just hanging around Strawberry Square , when in fact we had intended to go to the Susquehanna Art Museum. I’m still not sure in the least how this distraction occurred, but we had a blast.  But the major news from this venture is that Mary has OK’d some photographs of herself!  You may or may not know that pictures of Mary are quite rare.  She just hates pictures of herself, and of course I love taking pictures of people, so this is a friction.  Plus, she really is one of the most exquisite women in existence, so I always feel as though the world in general is being deprived of some joy by the absence of Mary pictures.  When I take a Mary picture, I have to show her, wheneupon she then either insists on immediate deletion, OKs the picture for my own personal collection but not anyone else’s eyes, or (the most rare) OKs a picture for online distribution.  So here, lucky world, are 4 new Mary pictures:

That's the back of Mary's head in the lower right.

Staying at Dad’s

It is with much chagrin that I realize I did not take a single picture of my papa and me on this trip. *sad face*  Nonetheless, I must say, spending time with my dad just gets more and more pleasant as the two of us age.  It never stops surprising me how we continue to grow into friends (while he retains his essential papa-ness).  He is one cool dude and we somehow never run out of things to talk about.

This also marked the first time in recent memory that I have stayed at Dad’s for multiple days without my sister also being there.  In this sense it was entirely unique.  The last time I stayed at my dad’s by myself for more than one night was way back when I was still drinking and on-again, off-again living there.  So this was new, and really, really great.  In a lot of ways, it felt like a true homecoming, learning how that house and I interact when I’m a grown-up, and sober, and left all alone with it.  Turns out we get along just fine.  And I sleep magnificently in my old bedroom.  But it’s tough getting used to that shower again.

Hey Rosetta!

I’m gonna really have to shrink down the Hey Rosetta! story, or I’ll be here all day.  So, in summary:

Here are pictures from Paul and I’s show in Asbury Park, NJ.  It was a fantastic time, both Paul-wise (Paul, thanks for helping me see that not all my close friends have to be women!) and band-wise.  Really, one of the more satisfying concert-going experiences I’ve had.

Then, I made an audible call and went to see them by myself twice more over the next three days, in New York City (more on NYC later).  Long story short, I ended up basically knowing the band.  But they started talking to me. I suppose when you are a band that is really famous and successful in Canada, and then you come to the states and are playing bars where most of the people are ignoring you, and there is a short fat guy with gray hair jumping around and screaming your lyrics, when he shows up to your NEXT show in a different state, it is worth taking note.  So as I was taking this picture of the chalk board advertising their show in Brooklyn, a few of the band members were walking out of the bar and saw me and introduced themselves.

Because shows like this entail a lot of waiting around (if you insist, like I do, on front row) in small bars with no “backstage” area for bands, as well as lots of changing-out of gear between bands (not to mention trips to very small bathrooms), the two shows in New York would prove extremely fertile ground for me talking to the band.  This went way beyond my previous “thank you, your music has meant so much to me” that I’ve been able to give other bands.  This was basically a getting-to-know-you situation.  Specifically cellist Romesh Thavanathan, lead guitarist Adam Hogan, and violinist Kinley Dowling spoke quite a bit to me and I was definitely on a first-name basis with them by the end of my second New York show, and I’d had a chance to speak to every member of this six-piece band.  Certainly, this was fairly incredible, but also….in some ways, not as great as you’d think.  Parts of this experience were awkward.  I may blog more about this at some point, just because it was pretty intriguing (ever have your favorite band watch you as they are playing?)  But don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  It was an amazing experience.  Here is a video I took of “Red Song” at Union Hall in Park Slope, Brooklyn, followed by a few select pictures of the New York shows:

I also managed to snag handwritten setlists off the stage two of the three nights.  Here are scans of the setlists:

So now, for the benefit of probably just myself and maybe Paul, here is some Hey Rosetta! setlist discussion:  on the first setlist shown, Bandages was skipped.  On the second shown (from my thrid concert, Manhattan) ‘Bandages’ and ‘Red Heart’ were swapped in position (as were the two songs where a swap is indicated, ‘Yer Spring’ and ‘Welcome’…and talk about a way to open a show!  “Lions For Scottie” into “Welcome”!)  Here are all three setlists for shows I went to this tour:

Asbury Park, NJ

1.  New Goodbye
2.  Yer Spring
3.  New Glass
4.  Bricks
5.  Another Pilot
6.  There’s an Arc
7.  Seeds
8.  Red Heart

Brooklyn, NY
(reconstructed via this photograph)

1.  New Goodbye
2.  Yer Spring
3.  New Glass
4.  Bricks
5.  Another Pilot
6.  There’s an Arc
7.  Welcome
8.  Red Song
9.  We Made a Pact
10.  Seeds
11.  Red Heart
12. A Thousand Suns*

*’Bandages’ is on the setlist in the 12 spot, but ‘A Thousand Suns’ was played.

Manhattan, NY

1.  Lions For Scottie
2.  Welcome
3.  Yer Spring
4.  New Glass
5.  Yer Fall
6.  There’s an Arc
7.  I’ve Been Asleep For a Long, Long Time
8.  Holy Shit
9.  New Sum
10.  Seeds
11.  New Goodbye

Encore:

1.  Bandages
2.  Red Heart

And now, for the record, the sum total of Hey Rosetta! songs I’ve seen, including the two acoustic shows I saw last year:

1.  Red Heart–5 times
2.  Bricks–4 times
3.  I’ve Been Asleep For a Long, Long Time–3 times
4.  Lions for Scottie–3 times
5.  Bandages–3 times
6.  New Goodbye–3 times
7.  Yer Spring–3 times
8.  New Glass–3 times
9.  There’s an Arc–3 times
10.  Seeds–3 times
11.  Seventeen–2 times
12.  Red Song–2 times
13.  We Made a Pact–2 times
14.  Another Pilot–2 times
15.  Welcome–2 times
16.  A Thousand Suns–1 time
17.  Yer Fall–1 time
18.  Holy Shit–1 time
19.  New Sum–1 time

Mom’s/ Sisters

So my mom now lives with my sister, which makes visiting everybody much easier!  It was quite nice to see everybody all at once!  In the same breath, however, I must admit it made me feel as though I did a poor job of paying ample attention to everyone.  When you are seeing a gaggle of loved ones all at once for the first time in a long time, it can be a strain to give equal time.  I think specifically of the nephews, who I love uncontrollably but whom I was not able to give the sort of attention they are accustomed to receiving from me.  When it came down to it, my mom and my sister were the center of my focus (not to mention the antics of Pumpkin Latte).  Don’t get me wrong, I had a lovely time!  I guess I’m just feeling some guilt, cause those boys worked up a good amount of anticipation for my arrival and I almost certainly dissapointed.  That being said, the time with Momma and Sis was marvelous. LOTS of laughs, and a new momma/ son tradition: I claim her and I are going to do the Jumble together, and then I end up freaking out over how amazing she is at it, while I add absolutely nothing to the process (she really is amazing at the Jumble).  Also, I “T”d my sister, which always rules.  A brief but incredibly heartwarming time.  Some select pics:

Sister and Pumpkin Latte, as she was taking their picture

Sis, Me, Mom

New York

The New York trip is another thing I shall have to gloss over, or I’ll be writing this blog entry until next week.  I did what I typically do: I drive right into the city, pay a thousand dollars to park, and just walk around.  I usually have very little plan other than one or two fairly simple goals.  This trip’s goals: see sunrise from inside Central Park, and buy a New York Times from a newsstand and read the whole thing from inside a midtown Manhattan Starbucks during the morning commute hours.  I’m not sure why I wanted to do these things, but once the goals were in my mind, I could not seem to let them go.  I accomplished both, and although being in Central Park during sunrise was magical, it was not easy to get any great pictures of the event, due to the vast amount of:

a) Tall trees, and
b) skyscrapers

These things blocked the view of the actual sunrise rather effectively, but feeling the world come alive from within the park was quite joyous.  Here is the best picture I got of the sunrise:

I spent almost two hours in the Starbucks, enjoying my latte and an incredible issue of the NYT.  I suppose for a moment I felt as hip as I’ve always suspected I am.  It was a quality time.

I spent the rest of the day wandering around, taking pictures, eating, even napping briefly in the tranquil section of Central Park known as the Woodlands.  I also visited, for the first time, the Central Park Zoo, which was a lovely treat.  Here is some video I took of the Sea Lions being fed (and putting on a little show) followed by some pictures:

Sunset, Brooklyn

Me in Central Park

Some Things I Learned

1.  8 months is not long enough to forget how to get around (but it IS long enough to cause some occasional navigation confusion)

2.  When you are a single man in your 30s who moves away from everyone he knows and doesn’t visit home for 8 months, a surprising amount of people from all demographics will just straight-up ask you about your sex life.  This is fodder for an entire blog entry at some point that will be in the form of a “rant”.  FYI, nobody need worry about my sex life, mkay?

3.  You may think where you live is boring, but leave it for a little while and then come back; you may just find it’s really cool.

4.  There are really hot ladies everywhere.

5.  Don’t tell people you got fat.  You may think it will make your fatness less awkward, but it makes it moreso.

6.  Things change.  Buildings get knocked down, businesses change their name, streets get re-directed.  Accept these things as a natural course of existence. (reminds me of a Hey Rosetta! song:  “The schools that we went to have all been closed./ And all of my teachers are dead, I suppose.”)

7.  You can walk further than you think you can.

8.  If you move and your sports allegiances change a little bit, you can just kinda keep that to yourself on your first few visits home.

9.  As you leave places you have stayed for just a day or two, remember to gather all your various “chargers”.  We have a lot of chargers in this day and age.

10.  Family and friends really are the best things in the world, even if saying so sounds cheesy and cliche.  Fuck it, it’s true!

I Almost Forgot…

Today is my 8 year sobriety anniversary!  The original purpose of this vacation was for me to have off and see my loved ones leading up to the big day.  (I just have to complete my anniversary tradition of watching “Dark Days” on the anniversary itself)  So…yay me!  But also…yay you!  Thanks everybody for putting up with my horribleness when I was horrible, and then helping me live such a satisfying and fantastic life in my sobriety!  What a treat, to be able to celebrate the week leading up to it in the way I did.  And how neat is it that I almost forgot today was the day???  That must mean life is pretty good.  I love you, everybody!

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