Sunday, December 15, 2013

Top Albums 2013

End of the year already.  Interesting year for music.  More of the coffee shop emo drab on every station, in every movie, everyone is feeling very melancholy these days I guess.  Alot of the synth electro music continues to take on new and new levels of excitement as the weekend raves and live shows are becoming increasingly popular and organized.  I am still a sucker for music with instruments and voices.  People that write their own music, don't lip-sing, don't have a gimmick and are actually saying something.  The year for me was very much capped on the day that Pearl Jam, Avetts and Head and the Heart released albums on the same day.  Lot of great music to listen to!  2013 was slightly better than average in my opinion as some of my favorites released music, doesn't seem to be many other highlights besides starbucks music and I am good on that.  These are in no particular order

David Bowie: Next Day
Finally Bowie emerged! He came out with a great album that encompassed why Bowie is David Fucking Bowie.  Very creative.

Chance the Rapper: Acid Rap
I am always looking for good hip hop as it evolved very quickly to shit in the mid 2000's.  Lately there have been a stream of creative artists including Odd Future, Jay Electronica and Kendrick Lamar.  This guy, Chance the Rapper, is awesome.  Its the first album I have heard that can be dubbed "Acid Rap".  Some of it is clearly lost on Acid but some of it has meaning and creativity, actually saying SOMETHING!

Arcade Fire: Reflektor
Got on to this band late after their first record and have grown to love what they do.  Their new album continues in that fashion of sound that blows my ears away.

Lady Gaga: Artpop
You probably know her, love her or hate her, but I dig her and her music.  The only pop artist in my opinion worth anything.  She writes her own music and is insanely daring and creative, what separates it though is she has real fucking talent!  If you doubt it, you don't know music.  New album didnt do very well sales wise but she will make it up with her insane tours.

Head and the Heart: Let's be Still
Loved this band the moment I heard them in 2010.  Second albums are tough and this one had it.  All the groves are there and evolving and much like the first album, its a good listen all the way through.

Avett Brothers: Magpie and the Dandelion
This has to be their 10th album or something and they still have music like this.  One of the best and most underated bands of their time.  I recently read that Marcus Mumford played Avetts songs to develop his own style, everyone knows Mumfords, but these are the originals right here in Carolina.  Latest album, Magpie and the Dandelion in my opinion is top two favorties of theirs all time.  Deep soulful music.  Love vanity!

Pearl Jam: Lightning Bolt
I keep waiting to hear a record of theirs that I am not in love with.  This new record fucking slams.  It also has the older band slowing down with epic tracks like Sirens and Future Days.  Cant say enough about how good this album is.  I hope they never stop.

Phish: Wingsuit
One of the most creative bands of all time decided to do the ballsiest thing in music I have ever seen.  Without any rumors, no noise, noone had a clue, they came out on their biggest night of their touring year (Halloween) and their second set (roughly 1:40:00 in the video) was them for the first time playing any of the songs live, debuted a new full album, live!  Holy Shit! That takes balls for 4 hippies from Vermont.  No press, no hype, fans could love it, could hate it, they could fuck up, it was absolutely awesome and probably the most daring thing I have watched in music.  Check out 2:24:00 for the Abe Vigoda

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Pay Attention

I love the way the mind works.  People are so complex but there are always common blocks in the way that the mind works.  Doing what I do, is a lot of trying to hear what people aren't saying, trying to see what they see and understand what they don't want you to see.  The video below is a great example of this.  Pay attention!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pearl Jam Brooklyn 10/19/13

7 years.  7 fucking years! 7 years since I got to see the one and only Pearl Jam.  The last time my wife and I saw them was our 2nd concert together and my 23rd birthday.  Wow!  Unfortunately Pearl Jam is such a monster of a live band that they perform on these huge overseas tours and very rarely grace America with their presence.  When they do play the US, it is tour stops in the big cities, NYC, Boston, Philly, Chicago, LA and Seattle usually skipping the entire south and much of the middle, I am guessing for political reasons as well as the fact that there isn't much going on in the middle or the south.  Finally, this tour in support of an amazing new album, they are playing many US cities, including Charlottesville, VA, Baltimore, MD, and Charlotte, NC.  Of course those are all on school nights so we were not able to attend any of these.  We were lucky enough to get tickets to the most in demand show of the whole tour, Saturday night, night two at the one and only state of the art Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.  This of course was also a good excuse to visit some family as the in-laws came down with the grandparents for a weekend in the greatest damn city in the whole wide world.  More on that trip later.  Lets talk Brooklyn! Pearl Jam! Wow! Barclays center is easily the coolest and dopest indoor venue I have every been to.  The mystique of the Garden gets taken away by how old and tight it is in comparison with something like this (think troughs) The Barclays had free wi-fi, comfortable seats with great leg room, huge walkways, unbelievable food (Brooklyn pizza, Fro-Yo, NY cheesecake, hipster beers, fresh vegetables and fruits, and all the other fancy shit that you would find in the hipster capital of the world)  Plus, location is unreal.  It is the heart of Brooklyn where the damn Dodgers could have played if only stupid politicians would have gotten their shit together back then.  You come up the from the subway to look at a state of the art monstrosity in the middle of Brooklyn.  After all this, comes out Pearl Jam to a sold out (cheapest seat being scalped $300) with fucking energy that only this borough of this city could bring.  Eddie was on fire the band was on fire and was probably top show that I have ever seen of any band anywhere.  We had seats directly behind the stage and low, 3 rows back what a view what a show, 3 hours of music with little to no stops anywhere, 2 encores, one full acoustic encore.  What a show.  Celebrity citing of Dennis Rodman as well as many others in attendance.  I got to hear every song that was on my "wishlist" and it was quite a ride.  This was the band that I got sober too, this is the band that is tatooed on my arm, and after 7 years and almost 10 sober, what a fucking night!  Highlights: Nothingman, In Hiding, Down, Sirens, Present Tense, Rats, State of Love and Trust, Given to Fly, Betterman, Footsteps, All Those Yesterdays, Future Days, Go, Porch, Blood, Leaving Here, Black, Alive, Rocking In The Free World, and Yellow Ledbetter.  Unreal!  Eddie Vedder best performer of his time.


Lightning Bolt
Mind Your Manners
Last Exit
Hail, Hail
In Hiding
Even Flow
Present Tense
Unthought Known
State Of Love And Trust
Given To Fly
Better Man

Encore 1
Yellow Moon
All Those Yesterdays
Future Days
Do The Evolution

Leaving Here
Rockin' In The Free World
Yellow Ledbetter

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Alabama Shakes 9/20/13 Cary, NC

We absolutely love this band and finally had the chance to see them on a wet, rainy Friday night in late September at the beautiful Koka Booth Ampitheater in Cary, NC.  Wow! What a voice she has! Unreal.  Just as Eddie Vedder has the most impressive male singing voice I can think of, Brittany Howard has absolutely the best female voice I have heard live.  She can bring the house down with her singing alone but with the bluesy band behind her, what a night of music.  If you havent seen them, do it! You will not be disappointed.  Incredible.  Below is the setlist and unfortunately due to the rain that night there was not much good video.  The videos posted are similar performances of songs that were played that night.  Enjoy!

  1. Rise to the Sun 
  2. Hang Loose 
  3. Hold On 
  4. Always Alright 
  5. I Found You 
  6. Mama 
  7. Making Me Itch 
  8. Worryin' Blues 
  9. Heartbreaker 
  10. Boys & Girls 
  11. Be Mine 
  12. Gimme All Yo Love 
  13. I Still Ain't Got What I Want 
  14. On Your Way 
  15. Heat Lightning 
16.  Encore:

  1. I Ain't the Same 
  2. Heavy Chevy 
  3. You Ain't Alone 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Real Life Inception

More great smart people that ask questions and go out and explore solutions.  I like to believe the more optimistic uses of what this ground breaking idea can actually do for people, specifically people with mental illness or other brain disorders and trauma, maybe even alzheimer's.  Just like the Professor X blog I posted, these could be some dangerous areas of exploration and the beginning of SkyNet's takeover.  Who knows? This is another great TED talk and some interesting questions to think about.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Dave Matthews Band Commerce City, CO 8/23-8/24/13

Colorado is a beautiful place and Denver is a great city.  We got the privilege to spend a weekend out there and got to experience a little bit of everything.  We saw the Red Rocks, saw Buffalo or Bison, went up a 14er, walked around downtown, experienced the crazy lightning and instant change weather, experienced 90 degrees and 50 degrees in the same day, got a little bit of altitude sickness and yes saw Snoop to the D-O-double G and the one and only DMB for two great nights.  The band was obviously a little rusty on night one or Snoop got Dave so high he forgot the lyrics, the jury is still out on that.  The first night was great though.  Snoop is such a performer and its amazing how many great hits he has and he rolled through them all while congratulating Colorado on their accomplishment of legalizing marijuana while smoking and throwing blunts into the crowd as only Snoop can do.  Highlights were: Proudest Monkey, Digging a Ditch, Granny, and Warehouse.

1. Louisiana Bayou
2. One Sweet World
3. Big Eyed Fish
4. Granny
5. Belly Belly Nice
6. Why I Am
7. Proudest Monkey
8. Satellite
9. Rooftop
10. (Don't Fear) The Reaper
11. Digging a Ditch
12. Grey Street
13. Mercy
14. (Kill The Preacher)
15. Don't Drink the Water
16. You and Me
17. Warehouse
18. Shake Me Like a Monkey
19. Oh
20. Ants Marching
21. Halloween

Night two was a kick ass set and a ton of energy as the band wasnt as rusty and pumped new life into a great set.  We got to see the show with my wife's cousin which was awesome! Probably the best You Might Die Trying I ever saw next to CVille 2010.  Other highlights were If Only, Rapunzel, Crazy Easy, Song that Jane Likes, Crush and a killer Jimi Thing to close the set.  Cannot wait until Summer 2014!

1. You Might Die Trying
2. Seven
3. What Would You Say
4. Save Me
5. Funny The Way It Is
6. If Only
7. Pantala Naga Pampa
8. Rapunzel
9. Take Me To Tomorrow
10. #41
11. Spaceman
12. Cornbread
13. Squirm
14. Crazy Easy
15. Runnin Down a Dream
16. Crush
17. The Song That Jane Likes
18. Jimi Thing
19. Some Devil
20. Drunken Soldier
21. Two Step

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Dave Matthews Band Bristow, VA 7/27/13

Night two was a short drive from VA Beach and the weather was not so nice.  It was humid and stormed on and off the entire day and throughout most of the end of the show.  Gogol Bordello was a highly entertaining opener and brought a ton of energy to the show.  This will be remembered as my wife's 50th show as it was one of the best shows of the summer and so many fun, rare, exciting songs to hear.  Highlights were the opener that I have wanted to see and hear forever...Ants Marching (instant energy), definitely the rare of rare Crazy Easy, Old Dirt Hill, Long Black Veil on, what a run #41, Grey Street,Take Me to Tomorrow, Dont Drink the Water, You and Me and Two Step.  The encore got the rare Spoon as well.  Great way to end the first leg of the tour and we will pick it up in a month when they start again in Colorado!

1. Ants Marching
2. Big Eyed Fish
3. Granny
4. (Snow Outside)
5. Belly Belly Nice
6. Old Dirt Hill
7. Louisiana Bayou
8. If Only
9. Runnin Down a Dream
10. Crazy Easy
11. (Kill the Preacher)
12. Why I Am
13. Long Black Veil
14. #41
15. Grey Street
16. Take Me To Tomorrow
17. Don't Drink the Water
18. You and Me
19. Two Step
20. Some Devil
21. Spoon
22. Pantala Naga Pampa
23. Rapunzel

Friday, September 20, 2013

Dave Matthews Band Virginia Beach, VA 7/26/13

Had another great privilege to see our band perform two great shows to close out leg one of their summer tour in Virginia, the first of which was at Virginia Beach.  We got to spend the day at a beautiful beach on a beautiful day and watch the dolphins swim in the water not more than 50 feet from us.  We love this venue, as it is smaller than most, quick drive from the beach, beautiful setting, and the band always brings it at this venue.  Last years stop was one of the best of the tour.  We were also very excited to see SOJA again as they are a fun band with some good grooves.  This year VA Beach didn't fail to deliver.  Highlights of the show being Kit Kat Jam, a funky Satellite, Lover Lay Down, Digging a Ditch, and a slamming Rapunzel.  Great show and the next night was even better!

1.  You Might Die Trying 
 2.  Don’t Drink the Water 
 3.  Seven 
 4.  If Only 
 5.  Satellite 
 6.  Belly Belly Nice 
 7.  Louisiana Bayou 
 8.  Take Me To Tomorrow 
 9.  Kit Kat Jam 
10.  Rooftop 
11.  Lover Lay Down 
12.  (Dont Fear) The Reaper 
13.  Gaucho 
14.  Grey Street 
15.  Digging a Ditch 
16.  Jimi Thing 
17.  Pantala Naga Pampa 
18.  Rapunzel 

-------- ENCORE -------- 
19.  The Space Between 
20.  Granny 
21.  Shake Me Like a Monkey 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Best MLB Stadiums

Over the course of my life I have been fortunate enough to travel to and attend many sporting events, particularly the game I love the most, baseball.  Overall I have been to 17 ballparks.  A few of these ballparks have been torn down and replaced with more modern stadiums.  Below is my own personal rankings of the 17 I have attended.  20 years ago, this list would be pointless as the majority of teams played in dumps of stadiums.  One stadium on this list changed all of this and made ballparks and architectural must see and a new and unique experience wherever you were.  Love it or hate it, here we go....
1.) Old Yankee Stadium.  Truly was the cathedral of baseball, the House that Ruth built.  I remember my first time at this stadium and even though the Yankees sucked and I was rooting for a great player by the name of Griffey, there was no mistaking that this stadium was something special.  Before Damon and Affleck or Vince Vaughn, Yankee Stadium was the only stadium talked about in movies or TV, this was the home of the pressure, the comebacks, the history, the ghosts.  Only stadium I have ever witnessed that could make or break a player, from opposing pitchers throwing up before taking the mound to Mr. October and Mr. November, this stadium was the center of the sports world.  The Stadium had a special feel that was unlike any other stadium I have been to.  From Eddie Layton on the organ to Bob Sheppard on the PA, this was baseball's most important venue, always was and always will be.
2.) Wrigley Field. Another old stadium at the top of this list and this is due to the beautiful venue itself as well as the "feel" of this park as well.  Located in a neighborhood (awesome) the ivy, the rooftop bleachers, the lake view, the old scoreboard, the 7th inning stretch and greatest of all...the fans.  No other place that we have been that had a loosing team (last place when we went) had the energy and the passion for just the simple purity of enjoying baseball.  Even Old Yankee Stadium would be empty when the Yankees sucked, Wrigley has its days, particularly early spring and late fall, when it is more empty than full, but it was full and full of energy when we went.  It had a similar feel to the Old Yankee Stadium.  I hope Wrigley never changes.  The fans hate that big toyota sign and the couple of ads in the ivy, but unlike every other stadium, it is still pretty pure.  I hope the Cubs can win some more to show off this beautiful stadium.
3.) New Yankee Stadium. Gargantuan! The place is a monster of baseball, the House that George built.  Biggest scoreboard in all of sports (besides Cowboys) and luxury everything.  Ticket prices are insane. It feels like a resort of Yankees nostalgia and I love that stuff.  We were fortunate enough to attend the first playoff game ever at this stadium and the place started to rock like the old one.  The frieze all the way around the stadium is amazing, the great hall, the Yankees museum, Monument park is still here, there are 5 star restaurants in the building as well as a hard rock cafe.  The stadium has it all.  The classiest stadium in sports by far, just so new, and Babe Ruth never stood in that batters box, but Derek Jeter did and Mariano owned the mound so, years from now this will still be one of the best stadiums in all of sports.

4.) Camden Yards.  The stadium that started it all.  No stadiums looked like this or were placed downtown before Camden Yards hit Baltimore.  A couple of blocks from the inner harbor, it opens right up to the city with Eutaw street and the warehouse.  It was great when it was empty, it was great when it was Yankee Stadium south and its great now that the Orioles have some fair weather fans that show up now that they are winning.  To me, this original got it right.  Every stadium that came after has been trying to follow this one.  Great place to watch baseball.
5.) PNC Park. Continuing with what Camden did, PNC park took full advantage of making one of the most picturesque ballparks out there.  The river, the bridges, the skyline, PNC takes advantage of all of it.  The venue stuns during the day and stuns at night.  Finally, this season, people will get a chance to see just how awesome this ballpark is as the Pirates should make the playoffs for the first time since Barry Bonds was skinny.
6.) Dodger Stadium. I know Ebbets field and Brooklyn, heartbreaking stuff.  The Dodgers have been in LA for some time and this is a great place to see a game.  The palm trees, sight lines, mountains and hills of LA are beautiful.  The skyline is directly behind the stadium.  The fans are into it, the location is great which makes it a great place to watch baseball.  I believe this stadium is 50 years old now and still is one of the best and only four deck stadiums in baseball.
7.) Petco Park.  First time trying to find this stadium in the Gaslamp and couldn't do it, blended right in to the downtown.  Left field actually makes use of an old warehouse and turned it into a bar/restaurant/shop and rooftop deck.  The center field opens clear up to the city and you can see for miles.  The outfield hill which allows you to bring dogs is an awesome feature that only a city as laid back as San Diego would have.  Right center field even has a sand pit for kids to play in during the game! Awesome! If only the Padres could win and do something about their uniforms, this ballpark would get the attention it deserves.
8.) Citizens Bank Park. Philly fans needed to be gone with the Vet.  Not only did Philly get the Linc but it got this bandbox of a beautiful stadium as well.  Again, opens up to a great skyline view, incorporates the Liberty Bell and a Phillies version of Monument park but it has the freaking Phillie Phanatic and some of the craziest fans in sports.  Great place to see baseball, about time for Philly.
9.) Safeco Field.  The House that Griffey Built.  Since the Mariners opened it, they haven't really been that good.  The retractable roof is amazing to behold how fast, simple, and non invasive it can open or close. Only baseball stadium (until new Yankee) that I have seen sushi sold at, the famous Ichi-roll.  Don't know if they still have it or not.  Great views of the city skyline and the bay.  Beats the Kingdome any day!
10.) Comerica Park.  Detroit got an upgrade to a spacious old time but modern ballpark in 2000.  The park has Tiger statues all over it as well as a carousel and playground for kids which is unique to sports venues.  Again, using the Camden blueprint, the stadium opens right up to the downtown skyline.  In recent years they have made some improvements including bringing the fences in a bit, the stadium is still spacious.
11.) Skydome.  This stadium to me is dated now but was revolutionary when it first came out.  A retractable roof! A hotel in the ballpark! A restaurant in the ballpark! A hard rock cafe in the ballpark! All things that were unheard of.  The Bluejays were good when this ballpark opened in 1989 and its a shame that they stopped being good and how dated this ballpark got as fast as it did.  Its great for cold weather Toronto, but, Turf! come on.
12.) Nationals Park.  DC needed a team, it got the Expos.  DC needed a ballpark and it got a gem.  Unfortunately it is in the middle of nowhere in the city and there is nothing around.  Tried to find a bar or restaurant before the game, NADA.  Maybe this will change in a few years, but even though its DC, its feels far from DC.  You can only see the Capitol building with the right view but other than that it doesn't take advantage of being located in the nations capitol.  It has everything else though, all the modern amenities, but nothing stands sets it apart from say Turner Field, Great American Ballpark, etc.
13.) Great American Ballpark.  This stadium was a huge improvement over the dump the Big Red Machine played in.  Just like Nationals park, it has all the modern amenities but misses on taking advantage of the beautiful river in the way that PNC park or San Francisco does.  They block it with outfield stands so unless you are way up top, you are unaware that it is even there.  They could have used that, or turned the stadium around to open up to the skyline in the city of Skyline chili.  They missed on that, but otherwise a great place to see a game.

14.) Veterans Stadium.  The toilet bowl of sports.  This was cutting edge at one time.  The Vet was a dump but so was Riverfront and Three Rivers.  I remember going here as a kid and seeing Dykstra's tobacco juice all over the turf in center field.  I remember tickets being $5, which invited in Philadelphia's finest which is why there was a jail under the stadium.  Not a great place for baseball, maybe not even a great place for football.  But it was Philly, it was intimidating for opposing players and it was HUGE.
15.) Kingdome.  The photo actually represents how I felt about it.  Beautiful on the outside but you don't want to see the inside. Griffey killed in this place and it was loud! Not a good place to see baseball though, Safeco is much better and the Seahawks now play in one of the best NFL stadiums out there (you can get Top Pot, donuts that is, in the stadium).
16.) Shea Stadium. Speaking of dumps! Sorry Mets fans.  Looked like they tried.  The place was huge and it had character and its own unique feel but it was a dump.  I don't have much else to say.  I was not impressed at all.  I am glad you all got a new stadium.
17.) Tropicana Field.  I don't know how an expansion team in 1997 got a dump of a stadium like this one.  The best part about this stadium is the Ray tank in right center field.  Other than that, there is nothing appealing about this stadium.  The team is great, the fans are non existent and a joke.  I feel bad for Joe Madden and the star players that will soon become Yankees or Red Sox.  They need to move this team to say, North Carolina or Virginia.  This stadium is the worst in baseball.

Honorable Mentions: At&t park in San Fransisco.  Weren't able to attend a game when we were out there, but that is one of the most beautiful ballparks in all of baseball.  Cannot wait to get there someday.  St. Louis plays in a great new stadium  that opens up to the city and the arch and reportedly has some of the greatest baseball fans out there.  They do fill that stadium even when it is 110 degrees in July.  Have seen but not attended a game at Coors field in Colorado and Miller Park in Milwaukee, the beer stadiums.  Both look great.

Dishonorable Mention: Fenway Park.  I hate the Red Sox so minus five points there.  Fenway gets points for being old, original and the Green Monster.  Someday I may go, just to judge the experience first hand.  Looses points for not sticking to the origins and pumping big screens and huge scoreboards into what was once an old fashioned, just there for baseball, type of venue.  Also looses points for Ben Affleck.  As well as their falsified sell out streak.  I have also personally sat next to many Red Sox fans at old and new Yankee Stadium that have stated they come to Yankee Stadium to see the Red Sox play just because Fenway is old, crowded, tight, and the fans are rude and inconsiderate of others around them.  I was surprised to hear this as you could say the same about old Yankee Stadium.  Minus points for bad fans.  Overall there are alot of deductions to what could be a great stadium.  Seriously, who the fuck wears Red Socks?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Need more people like these

These days there is a ton of pointless technology that allows people to be dumber, lazier, and more useless than they used to be when people actually made and did things that mattered.  It's good to know that some people are still optimistic and still learning to create and share hope and actually positive uses of the technology available today.  This kid is great and I hope there are plenty more out there like him.  Anyone can make a difference.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dave Matthews Band Hershey Park 7/13/13

We had the great privilege of heading to Chocolate City to see the Dave Matthews Band with Kool and the Gang at Hershey Park Stadium.  We were in Baltimore and had no idea that Hershey was that close to B-More, so we took the drive, saw another incredible show (one of the longest of the summer) and got to meet, none other than Boyd Tinsley.  Boyd has been tweeting with my wife for sometime now and after the shows, he has been holding gatherings near the venue.  Since this gathering was at the venue, we finally decided it was time to go and check it out.  Boyd had a huge line of people waiting to see him and talk with him and really, what a nice guy to spend such time with each person.  I have never seen hugs like that.  He (cue Rob Lowe) literally, hugs everyone for at least 30 seconds.  You may be thinking, yeah 30 seconds isnt that long, it is a very long time to hug someone, anyone, let alone a complete stranger.  Good for Boyd.  He talks with you, autographs anything you bring, pretty cool deal.  Very nice guy.  The show itself was dope.  Kool and the Gang are an excellent band and they had the place fired up after crushing their hits, songs like Jungle Boogie, Ladies Night, Get Down on It, and of course Celebrate.  DMB set was filled with many rarities like Alligator Pie, Idea of You, Drive in Drive Out, and our first Lover Lay Down as well as the high energy thumpers of Dont Drink the Water, Granny, #41, Rapunzel, Jimi, and Two Step (always evolving to epic proportions).  Mark Whitfield guested on and excellent If Only and Crash.  This was also the night Dave got a lift from a fan to the show, he told a funny story about during that night.  Glad we made the trip, glad it worked out, overall a great fun night!

 1. Squirm
2. Alligator Pie
3. Louisiana Bayou
4. The Idea Of You
5. Belly Belly Nice
6. (Kill The Preacher)
7. Don’t Drink the Water
8. If Only *
9. Crash Into Me *
10. Drive In Drive Out
11. Granny
12. #41
13. Spaceman
14. Corn Bread
15. Lover Lay Down
16. Rooftop
17. Pantala Naga Pampa
18. Rapunzel
19. Jimi Thing

-------- ENCORE --------

20. Runnin Down a Dream
21. Two Step

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Dave Matthews Band Alpine Valley 7/5-7/6....Plus Chicago and Milwaukee

Its been a busy summer so I am again way behind on updates to this blog.  Much more to follow, but first we had the huge privilege to travel to one of the best venues to see our favorite band as well as one of our favorite cities and a surprise city as well. 
First things first and we got to Chicago on the 4th of July and got a great deal on a hotel right on the river and a few blocks from Navy Pier.  Chicago is one of my top three cities that I have ever visited and on any day it could be in the 1, 2, or 3 spot depending on my mood.  Next to NY, it is the only what I would call, metropolis, in the USA and it is also one of the cleanest.  There are so many things to love about Chicago, the food, architechture, people, but my favorite is it being on Lake Michigan.  It gives the city a unique outdoorsy laid back feel that only few other cities can rival.  We got to eat at Lou's, get to the top of a skyscraper, watch the firework's off Navy Pier, and the next morning eat at one of the few restaurants that my wife dream's about, Yolk (if you havent been, best breakfast anywhere). 

That day we took off for what many DMB fans argue as the best place to see DMB, Alpine Valley Music Theatre.  DMB fans argue SPAC and Alpine with the Gorge being the best venue hands down, but for the rest of the venues not located on Red Rocks or a beautiful river gorge, its Alpine or SPAC.  Growing up with SPAC as our hometown venue, we were very curious to see what the hype was about and man does the midwest deliver.  The place is HUGE!!! biggest pavillion I can say I ever saw and easily the biggest lawn.  The weather was phenomonal, the view is beautiful and for our experience the people were great!  Wisconsin people really have a great attitude and were so relaxed and fun.  People seem very happy out there.  No place I have ever been to does tailgating like what we saw at Alpine.  This is BIG10 country, they invented it, they do it right, I could go on and on about the amount of skill, effort, and great food that we witnessed all around us each night.  It was more than some college football games that I have been to and I have never seen that level of tailgating at any concert, especially not Dave Matthews.  Awesome!
Night one we were lucky enough to have PIT tickets and were directly in front of Dave, about 6 rows of people back, not bad.  Grace Potter opened and absolutely crushed it.  From my hometown of Burlington, Grace has gotten much better over the years and much more reognition for her style of blues-rock, and much better since we last saw her in 2011.  There was nothing like hearing the 40,000 people behind you screaming and singing the songs along with you.  The place was loud! The sound it crystal clear with the great wooden acoustics that make this venue one of the best in America.  Night one opened with a high energy Lousiana Bayou and by the time Warehouse was played a few songs later the place felt like it was vibrating from the energy.  Other highlights were Captain and a nice smooth twosome of Snow Outside into Fool to Think that featured Stanley Jordan.  The set closer of Ants-O-Ween had the place jumping! Great set, great night, great energy! NIght one set below:

1. Louisiana Bayou
2. Belly Belly Nice
3. So Right
4. Spaceman
5. Warehouse
6. Dancing Nancies
7. Save Me
8. Captain
9. (Kill The Preacher)
10. Don’t Drink the Water
11. Snow Outside *
12. Fool To Think *
13. Granny
14. What Would You Say
15. The Space Between
16. You Might Die Trying
17. Everyday
18. Ants Marching
19. Halloween

-------- ENCORE --------

20. Some Devil +
21. Drunken Soldier
22. Pantala Naga Pampa
23. Rapunzel

The next day we ventured into Milwaukee, not expecting it to be as awesome as it was.  Right on Lake Michigan and beautiful! People again awesome! Food (cheese) again awesome! and clean, architecture unique, awesome, awesome, awesome.  We spent the majority of the day on ther river walk, just very baffled that these wintery type cities, do summers better than warm weather cities.

Night Two we were again fortunate enough to have PIT tickets and were even closer than we were the night before! Grace was again awesome! DMB started off with a great run of Squirm, One Sweet World, When the World Ends, Take Me to Tomorrow, Rooftop, and then the loudest #41! When everyone screams "Yeah"!!! with Dave at Alpine, it is truely one of those unique moments.  Other highlights were Running Down a Dream, Jimi Thing, Grace is Gone with Stanley Jordan and the whole ending run, including another Halloween set closer!  NIght 2 set below:

1. Squirm
2. One Sweet World
3. When The World Ends
4. Take Me To Tomorrow
5. Rooftop
6. #41
7. Gravedigger
8. (Kill The Preacher)
9. Why I Am
10. Runnin Down a Dream
11. Jimi Thing
12. Corn Bread
13. Tim And Stanley Jam *
14. Grace Is Gone *
15. Grey Street
16. Recently
17. The Song That Jane Likes
18. You and Me
19. All Along The Watchtower
20. Halloween

-------- ENCORE --------

21. Dream Girl
22. Time Bomb
23. Two Step

The next day we took in the first place Pirates (yes that is true) at Wrigley Field before departing that night.  There will be another post on ballparks, but all I can say is that Wrigley is the shit! The fans are amazing and outside of the Old Yankee Stadium, I have never been in a better environment for a baseball game and mind you the Cubs are in last place.  Every other teams fans should be embarrassed, the Cubs do it better than all of them!