Tag Archives: 2011

Labor Day 2011

Matt took a phone call when we tried to take our family photo so we all got on our phone too.

This year there was no Buffett show during the long weekend so Nancy and I took the opportunity to just relax after a long few weeks. On Sunday my Dad got the family together at his house to enjoy some of my famous smoked ribs. All summer we have talked about cooking the ribs for him and Pat and this weekend was the perfect opportunity. Upon hearing I was cooking ribs many decided to show up: Bobby, Tracy and the kids, Matt, and even my brother and Audrey. The two of them never show up to any family events so it was a surprise to see them there.

Nancy and I arrived at three so I could start cooking the ribs.  I had the rub and sauce already done before arriving, just needed to prepare the ribs my dad got.  After getting them on the grill it was time to relax and enjoy a few beers while the ribs slowed cooked. One thing I really love about ribs is there is very little that needs to be done while they cook, all the works is in preparing them.  About 90 minutes into the cooking process I add some more charcoal and a few more handfuls of wood chips and that is i.  Almost three hours later I pulled them off and they looked incredible as always.  I brought them into the house and the vultures circled as they cooled off. All the sides had been prepared and the table was set, just needed the meet.

After dinner we celebrated Bobby’s birthday which was in a few days. Got a great shop of him blowing out the candles with his kids.

My now famous slow smoked baby back ribs, yum.

After a successful dinner and it not being a school night, everyone enjoyed the cool summer evening and sat on the deck for a few more hours. Pat and Tracy eventually get the kids ready for bed while the adults setup a family poker game. It is becoming a tradition that we have a couple $5 buy in games when we are all together. I couldn’t hang and decided to take a nap on one of the outside couches, the cool weather was making me sleepy. Eventually everyone called it quits and we headed home well past midnight. That evening over dinner we talked about a rib off when football season started and we are working on a date that is good for everyone. I will cook the same recipe, been very happy with the results so far, and hope to bring home a trophy.

Phish nTelos Pavilion June 19th 2011

Updated: January 17th 2012 – I have stopped trying to write a post about this and the rest of the tour.  I am just going to post a quick thought and the set list so it will be on my site.

Final show of the tour and I was psyched for this one. After hiking The Great Dismal Swamp, I was a little tired and just wanted to sit on the lawn and enjoy some good music. The trip to the venue was quick and I made it with plenty of time to spare.

I wish I had more time to get a bit to eat but I didn’t want to be late like I was for Charlotte. One thing I noticed was just like last year, there were cops all around the venue and parking lots. But also like last year they were not inside the venue, just had to get past them. House security was slow and extensive with city cops making sure things ran smoothly. All that security and people still manage to bring all sorts of stuff into the venue.

This being another Fathers Day show, the bands fathers where on stage and did some singing.  They also brought all their children on stage during Brother.  It was a great way to start a kick ass show from the band.  Being Fathers Day I did call my dad after leaving the Dismal Swamp on my way to the venue.  Unfortunately I am out traveling about half the time on Fathers Day, it is not unusually for me to be at a Phish show or some musical festival.  I do manage to call my dad and often set something up for another day when I am back in town.

After the show I headed home for a short nights rest and went back to work on Monday.  I was dog ass tired that day but I fell good after the tour.  As soon as one tour ends, I start dreaming of the next.  They never come soon enough.

Set 1:
01. Harpua (1)
02. Brother (2)
03. Down with Disease
04. Back on the Train
05. Funky Bitch
06. Timber
07. The Wedge
08. The Moma Dance
09. Thunder Road (3)
10. Tube
11. Alaska
12. David Bowie

Set 2:
01. Crosseyed and Painless
02. Walls of the Cave >
03. Slave to the Traffic Light
04. Fluffhead
05. Sand
06. Sneakin’ Sally Thru the Alley >
07. Light >
08. Backwards Down the Number Line
09. Suzy Greenberg

10. Julius

(1) Harpua featured all of the fathers of the band members
(2) For the third year in a row, Brother featured all of the children of the band
(3) First time played

Phish Walnut Creek June 18th 2011

Updated: January 17th 2012 – I have stopped trying to write a post about this and the rest of the tour.  I am just going to post a quick thought and the set list so it will be on my site.

I made it most of the way from Charlotte to Raleigh the previous night looking for a place to sleep.  My intention was to hike in the Uwharrie National Forest but I couldn’t find the entrance to the place I wanted to hike.  I spent all morning driving around with no luck.  Eventually I just gave up and headed to the hotel room to check in.  After that I went to The Pit for some BBQ but got so discouraged from the huge crowd I went to The Oxford for some Irish food and beer.  I did walk back to The Pit for dessert and a beer.  I would have to wait till Nancy and I made a trip to Raleigh before I actually got to eat their BBQ.

This time around I made it to the show with plenty of time to get a good spot on the lawn and catch the opening of the show.  I have been here before, all to see Phish play.  Back in 2000 it was called Walnut Creek, then again in 2003 under the name Alltel Pavilion and finally this year as the Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion, that’s a mouth full!

I don’t remember much detail from the show, like all of them, it kicked ass.  I do remember having one hell of a time getting back to the hotel room.  I must have spent close to two hours driving around because I thought I knew where it was.  This was before I got my new car with GPS or had a smart phone with the same capabilities.  How did we ever get along without them?

Set 1:
01. Cars Trucks Buses
02. Peaches en Regalia
03. AC/DC Bag
04. Guyute
05. Possum
06. Halley’s Comet >
07. 46 Days
08. Divided Sky
09. The Ballad of Curtis Loew
10. Run Like an Antelope

Set 2:
01. Twist
02. Rift
03. Prince Caspian >
04. Esther
05. Been Caught Stealing
06. Piper >
07. My Friend My Friend
08. Kill Devil Falls
09. Split Open and Melt
10. Golgi Apparatus
11. First Tube

12. Good Times Bad Times

Phish Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (Charlotte) June 17th 2011

For me what truly marks the start of summer is Phish tour. This year started a little earlier than usual for the band in my opinion, but they are packing an east coast leg 1, three day festival over 4th of July weekend, and then a west coast leg 2 ending in a three night run in Colorado. From what I have read after this summer tour there will be no more shows this year. They certainly have toured heavily after coming back from hiatus in 2009 and they deserve a break, just not a long one.

I was going to catch three consecutive show, the last three of the tour in fact, over a long weekend. It started in Charlotte, NC on a Friday and progress to Raleigh and finally Portsmouth on Sunday before heading back to work on Monday. I probably should have taken Monday off in hindsight, but at the time I thought I could do it, Portsmouth is only 3 hours from my house. On Friday I got an early start, not driving, just getting up, Charlotte is 6 hours from my house so in relative terms, rather close. Getting a few things done I hit the road in the rental by noon after a quick stop for gas and coffee.

The drive down was uneventful considering I had my directions and it was only to North Carolina. This time I am proud to say I didn’t miss the exit for interstate 85 like I did years ago seeing Phish in Greensboro. Things were going great till I got into Charlotte proper and started looking for the venue. The directions I had from Google were not very helpful and I got lost…..of course. It drove around for just over an hour before I finally found the venue. Poor signs are to blame for this one, not one sign saying “Venue This Way” and a street sign was totally nonexistent.

Pulling into the lot it was pretty empty at this point as the band was just about to get on stage. I followed the attendants into the way back of the lot so I knew getting out would be a bitch. I found my way to the entrance past the people milling about and headed up towards the lawn to secure a spot. This show I actually secured my first pavilion seat from mail order in as long as I can remember but decided against it. They had already finished Mike’s > H2O and started on Weekapaque, I just wanted to relax and enjoy the music. Truth be told I really like the lawn for shows like this. Summer shows with a good crowd are best experienced on the lawn. There is a vibe and plenty of space to rock out as compared to pavilion seats. I was just bummed it cost me an extra $15 for the privilege of sitting on the lawn.

The weather was pretty good for a mid-July night in Charlotte, with a slight breeze and no threat of rain. What I didn’t count on were all the mosquitoes, guess they got the schedule for the venue like I did. Even in a crowd of thousands they found me and bit the crap out of me. The welts from Charlotte lasted almost two weeks and itched like crazy for the next few days.

First set was actually good and what I expect from a late tour show from the band, the music was flowing and the jams tight. Even the song selection was great with the traditional Mike’s > H2O > Weekapauge, Bouncing, NICU. By the end of the set they conjured up some more classics with Axilla, Wolfman’s and a new song I like, Stealing Time.

During the set break I felt like I could finally relax and reflect on the journey down to Charlotte. I got a good start but got lost and was late to the show. I walked in and the magic was already happening, now it was time to lounge and get psyched for set 2 as the sun set behind me.

Set two started with Backwards Down the number line and segued for most of the night. Next up was Rock and Roll which lately they have been doing long jams in the middle of the song. The official Phish releases have separated these out as a separate jam and they are good.

Updated: January 17th 2012 – I have stopped trying to write a post about this and the rest of the tour.  I am just going to post a quick thought and the set list so it will be on my site.

Set 1:
01. Mike’s Song >
02. I am Hydrogen >
03. Weekapaug Groove
04. Bouncing Around the Room
05. NICU* >
06. Sample in a Jar
07. Colonel Forbin’s Ascent >
08. Fly Famous Mockingbird
09. Axilla
10. Wolfman’s Brother
11. Scent of a Mule^
12. Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan

Set 2:
01. Backwards Down the Number Line >
02. Rock and Roll$ >
03. Ghost >
04. Free >
05. Reba# >
06. Icculus
07. Hold Your Head Up >
08. Bike@ >
09. Hold Your Head Up
10. Chalkdust Torture
11. You Enjoy Myself

12. Wilson >
13. Loving Cup

Soulive State Theatre April 23rd 2011

First show of the year!  It is a shame that it took 4 months for this to happen, but it finally did.

Not long ago I got an email update from the State Theatre about the Soulive show in late April and got excited.  Way back in 2004 was the last time I saw them at this great local venue.  Over the last few years the band lineup has gone through many changes, most notable with vocals provided by Reggie Watts and Toussaint on vocals.  They also had a rotating horn section which sometimes included Sam Kininger on sax.  I was excited to find out that it was going to be only the three piece for the evening.  Even the opening act was Eric Krasno spinning records for the crowd.  Often they would bring up members from the opening act to sit in for a few songs.

Soulive, copyright Alex Leary
Soulive, copyright Alex Leary

Jeremy and I got a late start and didn’t arrive at the club till almost a quarter to 10, parking proved to be the biggest issue for us arriving late.  Once that was squared away we meet up with a friend of Jeremy, Ben, and talked with a few other concert goers before the show started.  Now and again I would turn my attention to Eric on stage doing his thing and just couldn’t get into it.  He released a mixtape a few months ago that I got and it was alright.  I found his flow on stage to be a little lacking, he didn’t seem to know where the crowd was going and didn’t want to lead them either.  As a result the song selection was all over the place and I couldn’t make sense of it.

The pre-show conversation in our group quickly fell apart and just as we broke the house lights went dark and Soulive walked on stage.  They opened with a few classic hits and jammed out for a while.  In support of their new album Rubber Soul they covered several Beatles songs including Come Together and I Want You (She’s So Heavy).  Eric really took the lead on all the covers and made them very dark and twisted.  If you ever saw the movie Across the Universe I thought he would have been perfect to play some of the parts, just that weird dark feeling throughout the songs.  Neal and Alan tried to breath life into them but the weight of the guitar was to heavy for them to overcome.  Eric certainly nailed the cover of She’s So Heavy.

Near the end of the set they played Lenny and Tuesday Night which are always good and brought the funk back something fierce, getting the crowd going again after the Beatles.  For an encore Do It Again made its appearance in proper form, when you have an energetic crowd this can be a good song to end with.  Even though it was a Saturday night about half the crowd was already gone and most of the energy for Do It Again walked out with them.

Eric Krasno from Soulive, copyright Alex Leary
Eric Krasno, copyright Alex Leary

I thought the shows was good but not spectacular.  I loved the three piece from yesteryear but I thought their playing was a little lacking.  Each member is a great musician in their own right with side projects they focuses on.  Collectively they needed more practice as a group before the tour started which was evident.  Eric wants to take things down a dark path.  Alan looks like he is desperate to break out and do some solos but his fingers can’t keep up while Neal is just sitting there at the drums.  He has his moments of brilliance but it was like he was waiting for the others to catch up to him and they never did.  He would take control at times but it is hard for one man to carry this group.

After the show Jeremy and I hanged around to get a soundboard recording from the show.  For years they have offered these CDs to those willing to fork over $20 and wait about 30 minutes.  For once we decided to do it and plopped down $20 each for the recording.  Popping the CD in to listen on the way home we were shocked by what we heard, garbage.  It sounds like an analog signal coming off the board into their CDR machine was way to hot.  The show was completely overloaded and un-listenable.  I am not upset at the price so much as the quality.  The recording is amateur hour at the Apollo and I expected better from the band.  One of the tapers released his recording and it is a million times better than the “official” recording.  Needless to say I will never be buying one of their live recordings and in the future will tell everyone to stay away, its a waste of your money.

Only other thing of note all night were the bitches.  You know who you two are…..

Show Starts at 10:20 pm
01. Hat Trick
02. El Ron
03. Turn It Out
04. I Know You Got Soul
05. Come Together
06. Something
07. Eleanor Rigby
08. I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
09. Lenny
10. Flurries
11. Bubble
12. Tuesday Night’s Squad Part 1 >
13. Tuesday Night’s Squad Part 2
Encore starts at 12:00 am:
14. Do It Again

House Lights on at 12:12 am