Godsmack 11/12/15

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Bob purchased three tickets to this event without me knowing and of course I had to go. He was super excited because he had never seen Godsmack before. This was to be my fifth time seeing Godsmack but the last time had been way back in the summer of 2003 at the Gorge. We had one extra ticket to get rid of and finally James decided to go with us after two other people agreed to go backed out. I am very familiar with the venue since this school is my Alma Mater. We had excellent seats and this time I wisely chose to dance with Mary Jane before entering the venue (see Smashing Pumpkins 9/19/07).

After what was one of the weirder beginnings to a show I have seen where Godsmack essentially played a promo video of themselves on the big screen, they took the stage. Total professionals. They were touring for their newest album 1000HP that had been released the previous summer. They played a great mix of songs from all of their albums and threw in covers of Joe Walsh’s “Rocky Mountain Way” and AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell.” One great moment is when they played the first minute or so of the Pantera song “Walk” and the whole crowd went ape shit. At another point Sully gave his whiskey to a girl that had been going crazy in front of the stage the whole show. One of the best highlights of the night was when the drum riser started moving toward the front of the stage and out came another full drum kit from under the big screen that Sully proceeded to sit down behind and make some dual drum magic happen. After some false posturing of “we’re going to play all night” they finished the song they were playing and the show was over. I appreciated the cheeky song that came on as we were leaving the venue – “Rock and Roll Band” from Boston. Good times.

 

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Foo Fighters 10/17/11

Foo Fighters

An excellent new album called Wasting Light meant a new tour and another opportunity to see Dave Fucking Grohl and his band. It had been about 3.5 years since I had seen my old friends so this was overdue. Somehow Tom and I scored floor tickets to see Cage the Elephant open and Foo Fighters rock our faces off. I never get tired of seeing the Foo. I always enjoy when they play “Stacked Actors” but the encore was the best. Dave made his way to the back of the arena like last time to play a couple things by himself and then do a killer cover of one of my favorite Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers songs “Breakdown.” So good.

SETLIST: Bridge Burning, Rope, The Pretender, My Hero, Learn to Fly, White Limo, Arlandria, Breakout, Cold Day in the Sun, Stacked Actors, Walk, Monkey Wrench, I Should Have Known, These Days, This Is A Call, In the Flesh?, All My Life, Best of You, Times Like These, Dear Rosemary, Breakdown, Everlong

 

 

 

A Perfect Circle 7/26/11

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As evidenced by the fact that A Perfect Circle played 10 of the 12 songs off of their 2004 album eMOTIVe, this was essentially a tour that never happened back when the album was new. I had not seen them since 2004 right before I moved from Portland to San Diego about seven months before eMOTIVe came out. The only new music we got to hear was the song “By and Down” that they closed the night with.

Although I respect their reworkings of an eclectic collection of politically charged songs I do not think I am alone in saying that an album of covers is not my favorite A Perfect Circle material. Despite my feelings about eMOTIVe the price of admission was worth its weight in gold when they played “The Noose” and “The Package.”

SETLIST: “Annihilation,” “Imagine,” “Weak and Powerless,” “The Hollow,” “What’s Going On,” “People Are People,” “The Outsider,” “Rose,” “Peace, Love and Understanding,” “When the Levee Breaks,” “The Noose,” “3 Libras,” “The Package,” “Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie,” “Magdalena,” “Passive,” “Counting Bodies Like Sheep To The Rhythm of the War Drums,” “Fiddle And The Drum,” “By and Down”

 

The Offspring 6/3/09

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I had just seen The Offspring about a year before this at the Weenie Roast but now Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace was actually out and they were headlining their own tour. I am fairly certain Bob or his friend from work that went with us scored these tickets for free. I cannot tell you who opened but I can tell you that The Offspring were on point. The energy and performance of the songs were just too contagious to ignore. Then again if you were there voluntarily you were probably not there to avoid it. The highlight for me was right before Dexter played a solo version of “Gone Away” on the piano he played the Charlie Brown theme song. It put a great big smile on my face. I guess you had to be there…oh wait. Lucky for you someone caught it on video and posted it on YouTube so you can pretend you were there too.

SETLIST: “Stuff Is Messed Up,” “Bad Habit,” “You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid,” “ Come Out and Play,” “Have You Ever,” “Staring at the Sun,” “Half-Truism,” “Gone Away,” “Fix You,” “Intermission,” “Gotta Get Away,” “All I Want,” “Why Don’t You Get a Job?,” “Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?,” “Americana,” “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy),” “(Can’t Get My) Head Around You,” “The Kids Aren’t Alright,” “Hammerhead,” “Want You Bad,” “Self Esteem”

Foo Fighters 3/3/08

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Donna being the dear that she was bought a pair of floor tickets as a birthday present for me. Foo Fighters were touring for Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace that was released about 6 months before this. All was well until we tried to get in. The tickets were the printout kind bought off of Craigslist and when the barcode was scanned we were informed that the tickets had already been scanned…as in the person who sold her the tickets printed out multiple copies to sell to us and arrived before us, making our tickets absolutely useless. I was livid. Donna still had the phone number to the gal that sold the tickets to her and I called to light her up. She played stupid and agreed to refund Donna’s money…which did us no good in that moment. We still needed tickets. Walking around in these seeing red moments looking for scalpers I thought I saw Nick “Peeps” Oliveri walk by us. This was later confirmed by a picture I found on the San Diego Union Tribune website. We eventually found someone to sell us two tickets at the very back of the arena in seats near the top. This was a far cry from being on the floor as I anticipated but at least we were still there to witness the greatness that is Foo Fighters. Everything ended up turning out alright because halfway through their set they all came down to a smaller stage that had been set up towards the back which in effect gave us front row seats for their mini-set.

SETLIST: Let It Die, The Pretender, Times Like These, Breakout, Learn To Fly, Cheer Up, Boys (Your Make Up Is Running), This Is A Call, Stacked Actors, Skin and Bones, Marigold, My Hero, Cold Day In The Sun, But, Honestly, Everlong, Monkey Wrench, All My Life, Big Me, Long Road To Ruin, Best Of You

Van Halen 11/25/07

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Van Fucking Halen!?! Not Van Hagar, Van Halen! This is another one of those bands I never thought I would get to see because these guys could never seem to keep their shit together, but shortly after Van Halen was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in January of 2007 it was officially announced that after 20+ years David Lee Roth was reuniting with Van Halen and going on tour. Thankfully one of the stops of the fall 2007 tour was San Diego. Sixteen-year-old me had an instant hard on when hearing this news because every kid learning to play guitar knows about Eddie Van Halen. Twenty-nine year old me was impressed to learn that Eddie’s sixteen-year-old son Wolfgang was going to be filling in on bass duties for Michael Anthony. Not sure what the rift with Michael was but like I mentioned earlier these guys could never seem to keep their shit together.

Van Halen was a band that I subconsciously absorbed from just being around it. The single greatest gift my father ever gave me was exposure to good music. That and back when I was a child MTV used to play music videos. What a novel concept! I specifically remember taking a liking to “Hot For Teacher” and the accompanying video.

The concert happened to be on a Sunday when the Chargers had a home game against the Baltimore Ravens that I attended with Donna, Marvin and Marvin’s dad G Money. Looking back I am amazed that I remember going to the concert at all because I get pretty sauced when I go to a Chargers game. I was in good spirits due to a Chargers win and bid adieu to the other three as I once again found myself flying solo. San Diego State University was just a short trolley ride away and since the show was still not for a couple of hours I found myself a pizza joint that served pitchers of beer to keep me company during my wait.

Showtime! They were everything I hoped they would be – loud, loose and into it. They genuinely seemed like they were having a good time. Was this Van Halen at their peak? No, but slightly aged Van Halen was better than no Van Halen. Like a true guitar god Eddie shredded and made it look effortless. David Lee Roth got a little lazy at times not singing all the words but for the most part sounded great (still hit some of those high notes) and was still flying around the stage doing karate kicks and shit. Lots of energy, lots of f-bombs, lots of smiles and lots of rocking. Very happy me.

SETLIST: You Really Got Me (The Kinks), I’m the One, Runnin’ With the Devil, Romeo Delight, Somebody Get Me a Doctor, Beautiful Girls, Dance the Night Away, Atomic Punk, Everybody Wants Some!!, So This Is Love?, Mean Street, Oh, Pretty Woman (Roy Orbison), Unchained, I’ll Wait, And the Cradle Will Rock…, Hot for Teacher, Little Dreamer, Little Guitars, Jamie’s Cryin’, Ice Cream Man (John Brim), Panama, Eruption, Ain’t Talkin’ “Bout Love, 1984, Jump

Smashing Pumpkins 9/19/07

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I had not seen the Smashing Pumpkins since the first time I saw them back in 2000 for free not long before they broke up. After one side project (Zwan), one Billy Corgan solo album (TheFutureEmbrace) and seven years Billy wanted his old band back. The only original member he brought back into the fold was drummer Jimmy Chamberlain and the reunion resulted in the album Zeitgeist that was released less than two months before this show. This was my first concert at the Open Air Theatre at SDSU, a nifty little concrete amphitheater built outside the library on campus.

Shortly after Donna and I arrived Macy’s best friend Esther spotted me, started running towards me from about 20 feet away and jumped into the air, making me catch her. The collective feeling of “what the fuck” from Esther’s husband Carlos, Donna and myself was palpable (Carlos and Esther’s marriage would sadly last less than a year). After that awkward exchange Donna and I found our way to the great seats we had in the lower section of the venue. As per my M O, I sparked up a joint as soon as Smashing Pumpkins hit the stage and as per unspoken rules I puff puff gave the joint to Donna. The problem with having good seats closer to the stage is that you are also closer to multiple security personnel. I apparently had not accounted for all of the security and was immediately caught as the handoff was occurring. Donna was trying to play it cool when the security guard had his flashlight in her face denying that she had anything. After what seemed like an eternity I convinced her to hand it over knowing that if his intention was to kick us out we would already be walking. At least SOMEONE got to smoke the joint that night…

The Pumpkins were good but to be fair I had seen them in what is essentially a bar prior to this and I never really got into Zeitgeist like I had all the previous material. “Tarantula” seemed to be the song that the band was most in sync with each other on so that was quite enjoyable when they all locked into the groove. All in all Billy Corgan is a badass and I will always remember the ONE time I got busted with my joint.

SETLIST: Superchrist, Doomsday Clock, Hummer, Bullet With Butterfly Wings, Drown, Bring the Light, That’s the Way (My Love Is), Tonight, Tonight, Tarantula, Glass and the Ghost Children, 1979, To Sheila, United States, Today, Ava Adore, Starla, Heavy Metal Machine/White Rabbit/On the Road Again, Silverfuck/The End, Muzzle

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