Tag Archives: Concert

Delta Rae in Portland – 16-Oct-2019

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Wednesday, 16-October-2019

Sarah and I don’t really go out that much, but this was our second concert in as many weeks.  I’m pretty sure that we deserve a medal, or at least a minor commendation, for that level of non-hermitude… right?

Anyways, we had a blast at Angels and Airwaves.  We’d already bought Delta Rae tickets a while back, but having just had such a good time at another concert doubled us down for this one – We both love Delta Rae, and the last time we saw them in concert was glorious, so we were psyched for this one.

 

The venue?

The Douglas Fir Lounge – upstairs it’s a very 70s-ish lounge.  Walking to the bathroom there, I expected to see disco balls, bell bottom pants, and a lounge lizard or two.  Maybe afros?

But downstairs, it was awesome.  A small enclosed space with great acoustics, log-cabin style walls, and high ceilings… but most importantly it only held maybe 200 people, and probably less.  Sarah and I were second-row, standing room only, getting to rock out nearly on stage with the band.  Not a bad setup, not at all.

 

The show itself was amazing – Like Angels and Airwaves, Delta Rae knows how to put on a show.  But unlike Tom’s “unique” stage presence, Delta Rae led a perfectly coordinated dance of a concert.  They’re clearly all artists who take their stage presence extremely seriously, and put a huge amount of work into creating a specific vibe and ambiance.  Everything was intentional, perfectly balanced, and exactly on time.  It was amazing – like a perfect dance.

We had a great time.  Enjoy the pictures! We even commandeered a set list off the stage after the concert was over!

Angels and Airwaves in Portland!!!

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Saturday Evening, 28-Sept-2019

When Daniel and I started doing roadtrips, our album of choice was Phobia, by Breaking Benjamin. It’s a glorious album, very good for the long arching roads between Boston and Virginia.

A year or two later though, we found a new band – Angels and Airwaves. They lent themselves beautifully to the ~4 hour drives to and from the Loj, or the 2 hours to and from Rumney – From that initial discovery, I was hooked and listened to every album as soon as it was released.

When Angels and Airwaves released their movie, I immediately bought tickets… but I wasn’t able to make it. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you what got in my way, but I know that I gave my tickets to Daniel, and was jealous of every second he got to spend in that theater.

Then, I heard about how we got to see them in concert back in Boston. He even got me a tee-shirt; absolutely amazing, but also horribly frustrating since I wanted to be the one rocking out in the front row.

Why wasn’t I rocking out in the front row? Why shouldn’t I? Portland was on the tour list, and I can afford to get tickets for Sarah and myself, so why shouldn’t we?

I bought tickets that evening.

Since it’d been ages since Sarah and I had been on a real “date night out”, we made an evening of it. We went to a restaurant called Montage; somewhere that Sarah highly recommended. Montage, a place which I assumed was a french place, for some unknown reason, and that I learned is actually a raucus cajun place. Subtle difference, you know? Once I recovered from the shock, it was amazing! Great food and great energy – absolutely a good way to prep and fuel up for an evening of rocking out with my favorite bands.

We went, we stood in line for exactly zero seconds, and then we walked into the venue and waited for the openers to come on.

What to say, what to say… The openers were good, but not really my jam. I just spent a solid 10 minutes trying to figure out their band names, but I can’t find them for the life of me. And that’s okay, because I didn’t go to see them. I went to see the band that came on after they left. I went to see Angels and Airwaves.

What we saw was exactly what I wanted, and nothing like what I expected.

When Daniel told me about seeing Angels and Airwaves, he mentioned that Tom (the lead singer) didn’t really talk much, and that he mostly just played – as if he knew that people had come for the music, and not for random rants.  Well, it turns out that Portland is different than Boston, and that Tom wanted to tell us stories.  A few of the standouts:

  • Note that, according to the merchandise guy that we spoke to afterward, most of these stories are completely made up.  Maybe it has something to do with those times that Tom walked backstage for a minute or two, and then came back seeming a little more energetic and happy?
  • He got into playing the guitar to “get the girl”, but when he asked her out she said that she was sick.  So, he took flowers over to her house… only to be greeted by her father, who said that the daughter was out with her friends. The father then asked Tom who the flowers were for… to which young Tom responded, “For you, sir!”
    Tom then proceeded to make out with, and then sleep with, the girls father.
  • A time when Tom and his bandmate were walking on the Oregon coast, and the bandmate convinced Tom to strip naked and run around in a dental-floss thong.
  • Less strange story – An east coast city brought dogs backstage.  He loved that.
  • He’s successfully convinced the Navy to declassify information about aliens, and that “you haven’t heard anything yet!”
  • Note: the above is true.  His non-profit group “To the Stars” has successfully worked with the Navy, and they’ve declassified a few examples of Navy pilots interacting with “Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon”, which is the new way to say UFOs.

Short version: Tom DeLonge is a strange man, at least when he’s in Portland.

 

Important version: I don’t care how strange he is, the concert was unbelievable and I am unimaginably happy that I got to see it!!!

The music was glorious – it was obviously different from the CDs that I have, but in a comfortingly familiar way.  It was the music I love, but just different enough for me to appreciate it in a new light.

The light show was amazing, even Sarah was impressed by it.  And coming from a theater / film background, it takes a lot to impress Sarah.

The flow and setlist were glorious, and everything flowed well together, even including Tom’s slightly tilted ramblings.  They played mostly Angels and Airwaves music, and a good mix of new and old songs at that.  But they also played some of the older Blink 182 songs, which was super cool.

 

Check out some pictures, and buy tickets the next time they’re in town.

Holy Crap I saw Rush!

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Friday, 07SEP12

 

Rush is one of those bands that I should have been listening to since I started getting into fantasy and sci-fi, but for one reason or another I never really listened to. I’d heard of them sure, but never listened to one of their albums clean through.

Until I was introduced to the greatness that is 2112. After I first heard it and started desciphering the lyrics I was hooked. That one song, if you can call it a single song, kept my iPod busy for nearly half a week straight before I even moved onto their other classics.

So when I heard an ad saying that they were playing Boston as part of their new tour, I immediately called up Mike and informed him that we were going. Of course, he’d already heard of it though, and had a date set and tickets ready to buy.

Instead of Boston we’d chosen Manchester since it was a ton cheaper, a slightly better venue, and nearly a month earlier than the Boston shows.

And so, I headed up. Friday night, Mike and I met at a park and ride a bit North of his place and started the mostly-short drive into Manchester. On the way we had an interesting run-in with salesmen outside a Dunkin Donuts trying to throw paint on Mikes car, so they could show off a hood-cleaner (he nearly killed them), but otherwise the ride up was pretty boring and full of random Engineer-talk.

The fun really started when we sat down next to Rush’s drummer at the bar we’d chosen for dinner. It wasn’t actually Neil of course, but the guy seriously looked so much like him that even I did a double-take as we sat down to the bar. We started chatting with the guys, hearing about their front-row seats (the jerks) and shooting the shit with the Bartender. It was packed to capacity, something that the bartender said never happens, but as soon as word got out that the main doors to the show were open, the place was a ghost town within seconds.

Except for Mike and I, of course. That’s the whole advantage to buying tickets (and thus assigned seats) ahead of time, right? So we leisurely finished up our beers, said goodbye to the bartender and the waitresses, paid out the tabs, and headed over to find our undoubtedly amazing seats.

And they were honestly some of the best in the house. Some people want the front row, and some want box-office suites. Not me – Directly above the stage, a bit to the front, is my ideal. That way you’ve got the whole show lined up right in front of you, and no part of the stage is hidden from what we can see. The cheap seats are the good ones, if you ask me. There is always the danger of being seated right behind a support column though… but thankfully we weren’t so unlucky this time around.

And then, Rush took the stage.

No opening band, no MC, just… Rush.

And everyone saw that it was good.

More than good – the show was epic. I’d never been to a true “arena rock” concert before, and I honestly don’t think there are many, if any, bands left touring that can control an arena quite as well as Rush did. They easily filled the massive Verizon Arena, and the energy coming off the stage was nearly enough to keep me knocked back in my seat. Almost.

The set itself was almost an exhibit of its own – massive “science equipment” pulled straight from a mad scientists lair adorned the whole stage, and every once in a while an extra would walk up and start adjusting the knobs and dials as the band played in front of him. I think there was even a popcorn machine somewhere…

The show went on for ages. Seriously, new-age bands can learn a thing or two about stamina from these three guys. There was an intermission, complete with a few drunken assholes running around like idiots, but the show went on for at least three hours of nearly uninterrupted rocking.

Once it was actually over (they did two encores, one of which was Tom Sawyer, and then had a teaser video on the stage screen) Mike and I headed back to the cars. Traffic was hell, complete with random super-duty trucks trying to drive over us “small fry” – thankfully Mike’s brakes worked quite well, though we stopped with less than a foot to spare. With that, we wisely decided to trust my old-remembered knowledge of Manchester, and took a few winding back roads to find our way back onto the highway, and onto our way home.