Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Who

This one is most certainly blogworthy. Josh and I had discussed going to see The Who in Columbus for a while. Well, the big day finally arrived yesterday. Tickets were so expensive it was ludicrous. We checked the website and they seemed to have a limited number of the $79.00 tickets available. Keep in mind, prices ranged from a low of $59 (+ service fee) to a high of $400.
Well, I was mildly concerned about making the long drive (this ain't no Pittsburgh trip) w/o tix in hand. Yet, I wasn't too worried becuase the show fell on a Monday and it was in Columbus. Columbus, or if you prefer its correct title, CAP CITY is a cool city but the people are generally lifeless. The same exact phenomena occurs in Cleveland. Maybe it was all those George Bush campaign stops that just sapped the spirit out of these towns. I can't attribute it all to W, this "uninspired vibe" has always been a trademark of major cities in Ohio. Cincy is an exception.
Anyway, we met at the Alpha. It was me, Josh, Kelly and crazy Kathy. I've got be honest, I was a little worried about the "integrity" of our crew. Kathy was armed with only a Mastercard (doesn't bode well for scoring tix in the lot) and a desire to call shotgun. Much to my chagrin, we rolled out at the designated time - 5pm. The ride up was basically uneventful. Kathy has a unique ability. She can effortlessly introduce random topics into a converstaion that have nothing to do with anything. It's actually a little amusing.
I got a little turned around coming off 71 North but I knew the general direction even though I had never been to Schottenstein, or if you prefer, The Schott. I pulled into the Holiday Inn parking garage and the attendant asked if we were going to the concert. I replied affirmatively and he requested 20 bucks. I said, "How about 10?" I forked over $10 and we rolled up the ramp. At the time, I was amused but upon reflection, I realized that parking in CAP CITY is usually free for the big events.
Anyway, we walked over to the Arena. The show had already started - The Pretenders were on the stage and most of the crowd had already headed inside. Just a few random stragglers and a couple scalpers. I briefly spoke with a guy who wanted a couple hundred for 2 tix. I figured it might be nice to survey the area a little bit. As we walked to the West entrance, this guy opened one of the arena side doors to smoke a cigarette. I looked at his girlfriend and she asked me, "Do you want in?" Could it really be this easy? Yes, it could. All four of us just walked in this side door and strolled to the top level. I love that rush you get for the first minute or so, when you know you just pulled off a 4-Banger. That was the original term used to describe 4 freebie tickets. From here on out, we'll call it 4 FO SHOW. Of course, we still had no tickets, but no one really gave a fuck. We walked out on the Upper Terrace smoking area and drank Old German and Miller Lite. I'd like to say we smuggled these beers in, but that's an overstatement, because when you use the term "smuggle", it implies an attempt at concealment. Truth be told, we could have hoisted these beers over our heads while breakdancing and nobody would have given a damn. Anyway, we celebrated the smooth entrance with a few high fives and a round of "F'in A's." As the Pretenders closed their set, we encountered Scottie and Schneid (and Buzz). I figured we might run into them. They were sitting on the side of the stage - 400 level. We hit that area for about half the show. I kept on eyeing up the side seats right next to the stage. I easily convinced Josh to head down to the front. I thought they might want to see a ticket stub, but the security and the ushers just kind of moved away from us. It was like I was Moses and we were parting the Red fuckin' sea. We walked down to the fourth row. These seats were adjacent to the $400 seats. Actually, they were better because we had all the room we wanted. It must be something about Columbus. People just don't understand that it's a ROCK concert. I think they view much like the would a grade school piano recital or Linsly Extravaganza-type shit. Then, we walked down a few more rows to the front. Front row seats for free. Once again, F'in A. As the show ended, I realized I needed a memento so I asked the security guy to snag us a couple guitar picks. F'in A. A guitar pick which says Roger Daltrey would fit nicely in the sonofstub collection.
The ride home was a more like a celebration. We listened to a few reviews of the show on the radio. I kept thinking to myself, we've got the best review to offer. I'm pretty sure, I'll head back to The Schott in April for the Eric Clapton show. Of course, a 4 FO SHOW is going to be hard to beat. Might have to come up with a new term if there are more of us or multiple cars. I'm sure we'll figure out something.
By the way, the show rocked. At the tail end of the concert, Daltrey's voice was a little cracked but it was near the end of their tour. Townsend still rocks, except when it comes to doing internet research about young boys.

Monday, December 04, 2006


Killer asked me to take a crew to Mellon Arena for a concert yesterday. It was a group of 8 from Bellaire, 2 of which I knew. When he informed me of the show time (3pm), I was a tad bewildered. Who the fuck starts a concert at 3 in the afternoon. I quickly found out the name of the "band" - Trans Siberian Orchestra. Trust me, this is not a group from Siberia.
Back in the late 1980's, I saw a band called Savatage open for Megadeth at the South Hills Theater. All in all, Savatage was a relatively crappy heavy metal band. If they were the main act, they might have been able to sell a couple hundred tickets. I guess the lead guitarist had grander ambitions in life. He came up with an idea for what might be considered one of the biggest spectacles on the arena circuit. Rather than play horrible songs like "Hall of the Mountain King," he opted for a different approach. He, and his band, would be backed by a small orchestra and they would play "metalized" versions of Christmas songs. Throw in a dazzling light show and hardcore pyrothechnic display and Voila - "Trans-Siberian Orchestra".
They would actually be playing 2 shows that day (a 3pm and a 7pm) - both were totally soldout. Let's see, average ticket price of 40 bucks. 16,000 capacity x 2 = 32,000. Congratulations - you just grossed 1.3 million. That's not even taking into account merchandise sales. And they had all kinds of clothing and trinkets. What a fucking racket! The beauty of this production was the crowd. Good Christians with their pocketbooks, of ALL ages, looking for a little holiday cheer. The show started a little late because of all the traffic with the Steelers game. No problem though, the crowd quietly shuffled in like animals boarding Noah's ark. No need for security, although I did see a girl throw up. But then I realized that she was somewhat handicapped/mildly retarded.
Anyway, the show was pretty entertaining - if you don't get out of the house that much. Way over the top. I was mildly impressed but chose to bolt near the end of the first segment. I decided to go hang out with a couple of the other limo drivers. We had a total of 4 limos go to this thing. Now came the best part of the evening. One of the drivers hates my guts. He is a hardcore fundamentalist Christian and doesn't care for my pagan views. This guy honestly believes I worship the devil. It all started a couple years ago when I made fun "The Passion of the Christ." Big mistake. Anyway, I told him what I thought of TSO - that it was basically just a big money maker for the naive little trained minions. They come out to celebrate their faith and enjoy the holiday revelry and they end up spending all their cash. Then I said, "This Savatage guy is my hero. He really knows how to take advantage of the season. I'd really like to meet him. What a great guy. CHA-CHING!!!" This driver looked at me with the look - the look of total disgust. I love it when he gives me that look. I always make sure to flash him the devil sign whenever I see him. That was probably the highlight of the day. I did manage to snag a freebie ticket from the 92.9 light rock station deejay outside the arena. Like I really would have paid to see that shit.