Like A Trip Back To Middle School

Saturday, March 1, 2008

sing me something soft, sad and delicate or loud and out of key, sing me anything

After not going to a single concert for the first eight weeks of 2008, I felt a need to step it up this past week (with a lot of help from Keely, who is awesome).

On Thursday night, Becky, Briton, David and I attempted to go see Ashlee Simpson at Mirage, which I shouldn't have even bothered to link to because I believe if I ever end up in Hell, it's going to be an awful lot like Mirage, or maybe the Crazy Donkey (see below!), and I'll never step foot in that place again (unlike the aforementioned Crazy Donkey, which I just threaten to never go to again, but actually can be persuaded when the right band is playing) and would encourage anyone reading this to avoid it at all costs . . . ANYWAY. After Happy Hour-ing it up at Chrebets for a few hours, we called our chauffeur for the night, Pat, who dropped us off at Houlihans where we drank some more, ate two orders of cheese fries, and almost gave up on attempting to see Ashlee before we'd even headed over. But for some reason I insisted, and we stood in the cold for what seemed like forever (it was probably about 3 minutes), there was a $10 cover for the guys, they forced us to check our coats AND pay for it, and the entire place just oozed of sketchiness. As someone who has lived on Long Island for all but five years of my life, I've definitely seen my share of Long Island sketchiness, but sometimes I forget exactly why I despised Nassau County for the first 25 years of my life until I moved here. Long story longer, we decided pretty quickly that we didn't want to stay, especially when the bartender told us that Ashlee wouldn't be making an appearance until 12:30 or 1, so Becky and I took a scandalous picture with an Egyptian statue that would have been way more scandalous if we were taller

and then we attempted to leave because Pat was on his way to pick us up, but once they gave me my jacket, they wouldn't let me back in to wait without checking my coat again, and David lost his coat check slip and they wouldn't look for it for him, and we got yelled at twice for standing in the wrong place - needless to say, this was as close as we got to seeing Ashlee Simpson:

Which worked out kinda well because shocker! None of us actually like Ashlee Simpson anyway! So she and Mirage can suck it.

Friday night! Thanks again to Keely (who was responsible for the Maroon 5 awesomeness last Sunday), Mary and I headed to the Beacon Theater to see James Blunt with Sara Bareilles. Sara Bareilles was pretty good (I'm admittedly pretty sexist with my music taste - I have been told on a number of occasions that I listen to too much "boy music") and I was pleasantly surprised by James Blunt. I played his first CD to death when I ripped it from Mary back in '05 and aside from a brief period when Mary first bought "All The Lost Souls" and was playing it around the clock, my James Blunt exposure for the past couple years has pretty much been reduced to Mary singing "You're beautiful!" (just that line, or maybe a couple, but never the entire chorus) in a high pitched voice to Sydney at least four or five times a week (that I hear). I recognized more songs than I thought I would, and fortunately, there was no mass suicide during the "Goodbye, My Lover" / "No Bravery" one-two punch. And even though he announced that "Goodbye, My Lover" had topped the list of 'most requested funeral songs' (what an honor), I couldn't help but smile remembering this clip from The Office.

During the last song before the encore, they shot confetti out all over the theater, which was fun - who doesn't love confetti? He took a picture of the crowd at the end of the show, as the big screen at the rear of the stage showed crowd pictures from a bunch of other shows he'd played with the city and date written on them, which was fun. So yay James Blunt! I've had "Give Me Some Love" stuck in my head for the past 24 hours.

Finally, tonight John and I headed to Suffolk County's own hell, The Crazy Donkey, to see Straylight Run. I've been to the Crazy Donkey twice before, to see Nine Days in 2004 (after which I swore I'd never go back) and then to see Dashboard Confessional's solo show in November (where it took them an hour in between each act, including an hour to "set up" for Chris Carabba to literally stand there with his guitar and Kristen and I ended up leaving after an hour because it had gotten so late). So I wasn't planning on even coming to this show, but I'd missed Straylight Run's NY show in December, and I got the tickets for John for his birthday. Needless to say, we didn't know until we got there that Straylight Run wasn't co-headlining - whoops. To the Crazy Donkey's credit, when we called they said that they'd be going on at 6:30, and John Nolan (with out of control hair!)

was on stage and playing "Your Name Here" at 6:26. John and I somehow ended up standing by the bathrooms (which, seriously, could not POSSIBLY be in a worse location - whichever architect thought it would be a good idea to put them immediately to the right of the stage, about ten feet away, should seriously rethink his profession - we had to push through a couple hundred people just to get to the bathrooms, and some woman grabbed onto me and asked me to help her get there because I guess she thought it would be easier than pushing her own way through, and then she told me she was there with her daughter), which was fun during the opener's set when Shaun Cooper, Will Noon and Michelle "will always be Michelle Nolan to me" DeRosa all came by to use the bathrooms before their set, but was not so much fun when we had to move every 30 seconds for bathroom users. I might as well have watched the last few minutes of the show from inside the bathrooms - a group of little kids (I hate all ages shows) pushed their way in front of me and some kid who seriously could not have been older than fourteen MAX was standing next to me and then had the nerve to grin and give me a thumbs up when I blocked some other kid from pushing in front of the two of us. I HATE THAT PLACE. And I also hate the fact that Straylight Run was done before 7:00.

Oddly enough, they didn't play the singles from TNTS, and they played mostly songs from their first cd. I've given up hope of ever hearing "The Tension and the Terror" live again, but I was disappointed that I didn't get to hear "A Slow Descent." Their way too short setlist was:

  • Your Name Here (Sunrise Highway)
  • The Miracle That Never Came
  • Take It To Manhattan
  • Existentialism on Prom Night
  • It's For The Best
  • Mistakes We Knew We Were Making
  • Tool Sheds & Hot Tubs
  • Hands In The Sky
So it was a good time - way too short (who goes to a concert on a Saturday night and is home by 8?) but I can't complain. It was the first time I'd seen them since Warped Tour and I've been cheating on them lately with Brand New.

Okay, this post took way too long to write and it kind of sucks, but I'll make up for it in the next couple of days when I implement the new and improved "Person of the Month" award with its first two winners. Boy do I know how to keep them coming back for more =P

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