I was just talking to Gigi. She's on a shooting. Apparently, there are about 4 separate shooting incidents every night. Welcome to Shotsburgh.
Anyway, we're talking about the hurricane Sandy 12-12-12 benefit rock concert. A this time, I'd like to officially praise the lord on behalf of the benefactors that insure the event is broadcast in a curse-free fashion (I just saw them edit out Adam Sandler for possibly using the word "tits"... lame). Ah yes, the magnanimous advertisers. Chase Bank Corp, the Verizon Foundation (whatever that means), and who knows whom else.
So we're sitting here yapping and we're gradually coming to realize that we've recently seen just about EVERYONE who is performing at Madison Square Garden. Seriously, when I say everyone, I honestly mean everyone. Well, except maybe Alicia Keys. And I don't think she tours that much. Maybe a prolonged stint in Vegas. Or maybe that's Rod Stewart. Who really knows? Who really cares?
So I was thinking... I've made a conscious decision to watch this thing in its entirety. So while I view this whole benefit concert, I might as well share my impressions of the bands and compare/contrast them with their recent Pittsburgh appearances. I'll do this pretty much in real time. So don't expect too much in terms of the customary flowery language and nauseating pontification.
In NYC - Springsteen opened with "Land of Hope and Dreams." Good choice. Then he played that new tune "Wrecking Ball." Weak selection but it sounded decent I suppose. The Boss rambled a while about the joys of masturbatory discovery in his teen years in a run-down Asbury pubic playground. Ahh, memories... a tribute to the finer things in life. He ended it with a semi-rousing rendition of "Born to Run." Him and Jon Bon Jehovah knocked out the blessed duet. I don't think his mic was on for the first few stanzas. Speaking of stanzas, they just showed Tony Danza manning the Samsung cell-phone bank. He appears somewhat frail and greying, a distant memory of a dashing, testosterone infused housekeeper vacuuming a curtain. Hold me closer Tony Danza - Elton John.
In Pittsburgh - Springsteen was totally bad ass. October 12, 2012 at Consol Energy Center. We even saw him earlier that day at an Obama rally. An acoustic show on the Pitt campus at Soldiers & Sailors Hall. Faith healer and legendary televangelist (the 2 terms are mutually inclusive) Benny Hinn was supposed to perform there in 2010, but I think he got wind of my plans to tar and feather his ass. So he canceled. Coward.
Billy Crystal comedic interlude - relatively weak. Not much of a reception from the audience. They showed NJ Gov. Chris Christie waving from the crowd. Not to sound obviously mean, but do they provide his fat ass with two seats? There's no way that guy could fit comfortably in just one MSG seat for the duration. If they give him 2 seats (like on an airplane), do the disassemble the arm rests? Inquiring minds want to know. These are the kinds of questions I would ask the celebs (Chelsea Clinton, Whoopie, et al) working the phone bank.
IN NYC - Roger Waters has a killer intro tune - "Into the Flesh." I attentively watched to see if they would ram the airplane into the makeshift wall. Some producer must have ultimately decided that this would've been in bad taste (you know, 9/11 anxiety). Good choice there. The Bio Channel people got it right. Eddie Vedder played with him but didn't seem to get overly-involved until the power vocal section of "Comfortably Numb." Wise.
In Pittsburgh - July 3, 2012. We went to see The Wall performed in its entirety. This whole event never really seemed like a concert, more like a masterpiece. Amateur descriptions don't cut it.
I don't even think I'd want to see one of those Eddie Vedder solo acoustic shows. I mean... I guess I'd hit it if he came to the Weirton Community Center, but I wouldn't go out of my way. Though please do not confuse my rigid stance with his full-time band. They go by the name of Pearl Jam. Recently speaking, we saw 'em in Philly (twice in 2009). One of my all time favorite concerts - the opening show of a 4 night run at the demolished Spectrum. Another time in Columbus (killer show in 2010) and one more in Cleveland (somewhat blah - I was in a bad mood :( . I threw in the extra parenthesis there but it looked weird, so removed it and added an additional, perfunctory space before the period. See... now you know I care. I really do. Otherwise I wouldn't write this shit to begin with.
In NYC - Bon Jovi was luscious. I wonder if Emil's brother is still his chiropractor. That dude really is the chiropractor to the stars. Among his other notable clients are Bill Belichek and many of the New England Patriots. He should run a commercial in the Philly/Boston metro areas with that "BACK that Thang Up" song. Youz a big fine women woncha back that thang up. Seriously though, Bon Jovi is gay. He's even gayer if your name is Sasha and you're a multi-divorcee in her late 40's. And Richie Sambora should drink shots of Sambuca from Cher's butthole.
In Pittsburgh - We actually did a Bon Jovi (February 11, 2011). It was mildly amusing. Not really a fan. Never was. Even during the glam rock heydays of the late 80's. But Gig did snag a set list.
In NYC - Eric Clapton came out and lulled the crowd into:
B. A mild state of annoyance
C. An eagerness to see who comes on stage next
D. All of the Above.
yep, you guessed it. "D" all the way.
In Pittsburgh - I've NEVER seen Eric Clapton. I have little desire. Yeah, I know - Cocaine, Sunshine of Yinz Love. He sounds like he does on the radio. Exhausting, boring, beleaguered. Strangely enough, he's coming this spring. Here's where I rank my sense of urgency to go see Clapton (out of 5).
5. Sitting through an entire Saved by the Bell reunion show. Hosted by who else but the untouchable duo of Mr. Belding and Miss Bliss. Throw in Screech if you seek the trio effect.
4. Eric Clapton at Consol Energy Center - April 6, 2013. Isn't tonight that end of the world Mayan prophecy crap? So how we gonna make it to the planet Claptonite?
3. A Benny Hinn fire crusade.
2. An Erik Estrada autograph signing at the grand re-opening of the Ohio Valley Mall in St. Clairsville, Ohio.
1. Oglebay Festival of Lights on Christmas Eve. I've said it before and I'll say it again. All that's needed is a pair of hedge clippers with an added dash of sassy panache. They'd call it "The Night the Lights Went Out in Wheeling."
As I type these words, Alicia Keys is wailing to the crowd these themes of love and perseverance. Put those cell phones in the air !!! For the love of Allah. Someone needs to put a stop to this concert cell phone waving bullshit. For there is only one Ozzy Osbourne. And it's called a fucking cigarette lighter! And it's the only acceptable thing to "let us see."
I have deemed the behavior of Alica to be unacceptable. Hence, she will not get a review.
They just showed a bunch of Sopranos characters - Janice, Bobby Bacala, Johnny Sac, Paulie Walnuts, Steve Buscemi (Tony Uncle Al). Very cool. Man, how I miss that show. Probably the best dramatic series of all time. If you differ, I must ask you a simple question. What is better than the Sopranos?
In NYC - the Rolling Stones were kind of weak. Poor song choices. "You Got Me Rockin" and "Jumpin Jack Flash"??? Why don't they let me write the set list? Should have had Alicia Keys come out and do the Gimme Shelter bit. I suppose they might do it at the end.
In Pittsburgh - Saw the 2006 PNC Park Stones show when Pearl Jam opened. One of my all time favs. Can't get over the notion of them playing the ballpark. Had to exit early to accommodate the lascivious cravings of the limo crew. Understandable... but it was a Stones show for Christ sake. So all in all, that's a definitive fail. Did provide a nice contrast though. And the Pearl Jam set list was a pretty lame one. Still though, very cool.
IN NYC - The Who are on right now. They sound very strong. Gotta love how they edit out the "who the fuck are you" part. I hate the FCC. And I even have a valid reason. Their enfeebled, puppet leader, Secretary Julius Genachowski has neither the integrity nor the courage to respond to the letter I sent him on March 1, 2012. What a fucking baby.
In the steel-service industrialized city - Yep, we saw 'em just a little bit ago (Nov. 11, 2012 at Consol). They did the entire Quadrophenia show and threw in about 6-7 hit tunes at the end. I had a good time, but the concert itself seemed a bit lethargic. Weak crowd turnout. Upper level was only half-full.
The MSG show is still on - Pinball Wizard. They just sound really refreshed compared to the show we just saw. Should have played "Won't Get Fooled Again" and/or "Behind Blue Eyes." But I guess they only get a few tunes. It'd probably be best to leave it to their discretion. I hope Eddie Vedder comes out for Teenage Wasteland. Yeah... I know it's called Baba O'Reilly. Trust me. I get it. But he didn't. They didn't. Wait... now "Love, Reign O'er Me" is on. Still no Eddie Vedder. Maybe they'll have everyone come out for a "finale-rocking-crescendo-Mayan holocaust-end of eternity closer sing-a-long, sing out strong song." I hadn't given it any thought until now. Gotta be the standard Paul McCartney "Hey Jude." Maybe get Jay Z, Alicia Keys et al and have them to do the Empire State of Mind bit. Since I'm scribbling this in real time, I suppose we'll find out together (at least in realm of the fantasy blogosphere).
Maybe I'll do my first ever Tweet! I secured the sonofsaf hash tag shit a few months ago, but just can't summon the motivation. See... it's just like a Hanukkah present. Oy vey, wipe your nose with that schmatta. You gotta unwrap that dradel. After all, we made it out of clay. So just go out and play. That's some spiffy lyrics. Maybe Creed or The Nicklebacks should turn Jew. Maybe that's just what the world needs. A crappy Jew rock band. You know something... I think the lead singer of Green Day is a Jew. Dude gives me a fucking headache.
IN NYC - Kanye West is on stage. He's a hip-hopper. Jay-Z too.
Up in the Burgh -
They just sent Gig to Consol to cover a rash of "mass marijuana inhalations" at the Wiz Khalifa concert. There are "many" fans on the scene who apparently need medical treatment. They're "passing out" everywhere. Seriously, you couldn't make this shit up.
Believe it or not, we zipped down to the Jay Z / Kanye West show at Consol (November 19, 2012). We left a little early... not because of the pot smoke. It was all the FLASHING LIGHTS - messin' with Gig's equilibrium. Rap bastards. Son bitch.
It's 11:30pm - this show's gonna run late.
Ya wanna know something weird. Whenever, the bio.HD channel censors a lyric or pelvic thrust, they throw on this blobbular Athari pong-related image. It looks like a composite of the following images used by psychic-trash metal band Voivod.
Voivod = killer underrated band. Sucks that you can't find any decent quality bootlegs of these noble Canadians.
IN NYC - Billy Joel is on. Glad they put him later in the sequence. Makes sense. Glad he didn't play the "makin' love to his tonic and gin" song.
In Pixburgh - Last time I saw Steinway, me and Jenn went to the Igloo (March 4, 1999). FYI - I don't need to google the date. And I'm not one of those weirdo self-described idiot savants who remembers every date as though its emphatically relevant. I'm much cooler - because I have all my ticket stubs tacked up on my bedroom wall. If you require substantive evidence that I'm indeed hip, I'd propose adding this super-extended analogy to the SAT tests of those Linsly kids.
New Jersey: Jersey Shore: Miley Cyrus: Hannah Montana
West Virginia: Buckwild: Eric Saferstein: sonofsaf
And I have corks too, including the cross of purity. Corks and ticket stubs - this is where the U.S. is trending. Hell, I almost forgot the Elf on a Shelf serving as a whimsically, omniscient overseer. Proof that I do indeed exist in the year 2012. Potential banter for degenerate historians I suppose.
In NYC - Coldplay singer Chris Martin is on. He's the sauvest yuppie in the world (sing it like the Chrisagii).
In Rooneyville (technically Boogertown) saw 2 very strong shows (2005 & 2009). Both were exceptional concerts, except I admittedly got sucked in by the novel excitement of my first cell phone wave. In retrospect... sad.
In NYC - Paul McCartney is on. Helter Skelter is a cool opener but why on earth would you play that exhaustive version of the "Let Me Roll It." You've got the entire Beatles catalog at your disposal, not to mention some of your own solo stuff, and you decide on this grueling Wings tune? He must like that song. I do not. Now he's playing another obscure Wings tune. Peculiar.
On a blasphemous note, especially in the wake of others misery (hurricane) /jubilation (historic rock concert). Isn't it always about these "we need to pray" people and "I just want to take a moment and thank God" clips and "place your trust in the lord"... and his benevolent cock. These people are making me tired, much in the same way pretzels make George thirsty. Fortunately, the hurricane Sandy benefit didn't turn into G.F.A. (God Fest of the Aughts). Praise his name.
And hey, we didn't pay a fucking dime for any of the concerts mentioned in this entire blog. BOO-YAH!!! The passion of the jew. We're the exact opposite of all the saviors in tonight's Garden audience. Surely, they payed out the ass. Just an observation.
Actually, I take that back. Here's the numbers to the best of my recollection - we paid $9 & $20 for the Columbus Pearl Jam show, $7 & $11 for the Cleveland Pearl Jam show and $20/$40 for the Philly shows. I paid $20 to see the Stones/ Pearl Jam show at PNC Park. ALL the others were FREE. How did we pull it off? Through the time honored and proud tradition of "aggressive but non-confrontational, both distant and passive, yet in-your-face and resolute" begging. Oh yeah, and the occasional sneak-attack.
Alright, I'm signing off. This Sandy relief concert could have used a shot of Marilyn Manson... in the collective groin of the garden.
So I'm watching the finale. Paul McCartney introduces Alicia Keyes and they fucking PREEMPT it for a some kind of Hamilton Beach coffee maker Amazon.com commercial. Then, there was another commercial for some insurance shit or something. Unbelievable! Alright, they segued back in to the finale. Yep... Empire State of Mind. So Saf, how do you feel? What did this night mean to you?
Quality of concert performers - 95 (Praise the lord... no dumbshit Korean technocrud)
Quality of the production - 74 (Bio HD? I just think it was too much for them to handle).
The crowd - 54 (On the whole, this crowd of "fans" seemed unusually weak). MSG attendees usually amp it up. One could argue, this concert was just the delayed aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. But hey, I watched the whole damn thing. Sup wit dat?