Aplscruf's Music Blog

Brent Amaker and the Rodeo 12.13.2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Black Daisy, The Purrs, and Brent Amaker and the Rodeo

Sunset Tavern, Ballard


I had a rowdy weekend with P in downtown Seattle for my early b’day celebration. I thought [29 – ha] was going to be tough, but we managed to shop at Pike Place Market, eat till we were stuffed, see a show, take a whiskey communion, and taxi back to our hotel at 2 am. Not bad! And it snowed…even better!

P also surprised me with an acoustic/electric guitar! He’s so sneaky, he brought it down to the hotel that am and had it brought up to the room! I told him I didn’t need anything, I just wanted to go out on the town. So he asked if he should take it back. Are you kidding me?? ha

Before the show, we shopped a little at Pike Place Market. We also stuffed ourselves at McCormick’s and Schmick’s on 1st Ave, just up the street from our favorite hotel, Hotel 1000. We also had drinks and appetizers at Boka next door to the hotel, and were amazed by the large snowflakes pelting the window of the taxi as we headed in to Ballard to see our Rodeo boys.

We saw Brent Amaker and the Rodeo (new album entitled, “Howdy-Do!”) in this little divey bar called the Sunset Tavern in Ballard, just up the street from the Tractor. I think it used to be a Chinese restaurant back in the day. Still has red velvet wallpaper. Two other bands played first: Black Daisy, a Tenacious-D style band with extremely funny yet tasteless lyrics, then The Purrs who’d been playing for many decades, apparently.

The Rodeo came on last, so we had to pace ourselves to make it to midnight, but always worth the wait. Johnny Cash with a potty mouth. We brought them some whiskey for the communion, danced along to their crazy, campy cowboy songs, and I kissed P under the mistletoe. We even received little gifts from the boys. One lucky audience member received the grand prize, Rock ‘Em, Sock ‘Em Robots!

The next morning, although a very cold 19 degrees, we decided to walk back to Pike Place Market. It was so interesting there. We decided to eat breakfast at Lowell’s, which has been at Pike Place since forever. It was crowded, so we ate at the bar, but had a view of the sound from across the restaurant. It was a sunny, chilly day. People were flocking in after the Jingle Bell Run, all decked out in running gear and Santa hats. It was interesting watching all the runners with their flushed cheeks and panting breath. I had never been at the Market when vendors were setting up their booths. They were carting big plastic containers of their wares, boxes of fruit and vegetables, meats and fish. It was fun walking amongst the organized chaos and chatting vendors. We also did some shopping in The Market and purchased family Christmas gifts at Market Spice Teas and Beecher’s, a local cheese shop.

A wonderful birthday weekend!

February 16, 2010 Posted by | Brent Amaker and the Rodeo, Concert Season 2008, Music, The Sunset Tavern | | Leave a comment

Tom Petty at The Gorge 8.16.08

August 16, 2008 

 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers 

Steve Winwood opened 

The Gorge 

Good ol’ Tom. 

Opened with You Wreck Me, Closed with American Girl. All the greatest hits in between, and a couple of extras. 

Here are most of the songs, not in this exact order, plus some long jam sessions on several, including Breakdown, a blues song called Willie something, Don’t Come Around Here… 

You Wreck Me 

You Don’t Know How it Feels 

Free Fallin 

Even the Losers 

Mary Jane’s Last Dance 

Runnin’ Down a Dream 

Don’t Come Around Here 

Blues Song 

It’s All Right 

I Won’t Back Down 


Honey Bee 


Saving Grace 

Break Down 


American Girl 

I’m sure there were some more in there, but he did extend several of the songs with some great jams that never seemed too long. 

We had a terrible time getting out of Bothell/Redmond when we were ready to leave last Saturday! We spent 2 ½ hours stuck at lights, stuck in traffic, getting food at Whole Foods, stuck trying to get on the freeway in Issaquah! They were working on 405, so we decided to take the surface streets to 90. What a pain. We almost wished we would’ve taken Highway 2 and gone over Stevens, but then it’s quite a drive past that to the George. 

Once on the road we made really good time. There was no line up to get in, so that was great. By the look of the campground, many people spent the night Friday and made a weekend of it. Tom played 2 nights. Unfortunately, we did not get in the premier campground, and had to park where they told us, which was very disappointing. We begged the security/parking guys to let us get to the fence where we could see an opening, but they would not budge. I told P to watch his mouth so we wouldn’t get kicked out of there! 

As it turned out, we were in the middle of a quiet young couple on one side and people our age on the other who had a big camper van and large gazebo, so we were ok. But we were surrounded by some other pretty noisy campers that night. I think I’m getting too old for this! 

We set up our tent fly and almost didn’t because in 100 degree weather, we were ready to rip the thing to shreds! We were so hot and tired when we got there, and we couldn’t figure out how we set it up before. It took us about ½ hour to get it set up, attached to our truck hatch, and then get the chairs and the cooler out. Then it was finally time to relax for a couple of hours before heading down the long trail to the amphitheatre. 

Our seats were stuck right in the middle of a very long row. Once in, we were pretty much stuck for the whole show. P got out a couple of times to use the restroom. I just decided to hold it and stay put. I’m glad I did because it was near impossible to move in those rows. 

Overall, we had a good time, but it paled in comparison to being so up close at the Troubadour. Nothing will beat that. 

February 16, 2010 Posted by | Concert Season 2008, Music, The Gorge Amphitheatre, Tom Petty | | 1 Comment

CSN Chateau Ste Michelle 6.6.2008

June 6, 2008 

Crosby, Stills and Nash 

Chateau Ste Michelle Winery, Woodinville


We had a Peace-and-Love Friday with CSN. Rain or shine. Well, it didn’t rain. But it was so cold I was wearing my ski parka while drinking wine and eating cheese and crackers.  The weather held out and the sky cleared just as they started the show. They had propane heaters up on the stage for the boys. It was so cold, the poor guys were bundled up! Crosby wore a little striped stocking cap all night and looked like a homeless Santa, but he could still sing! 

They were great. I was warned by a co-worker that the last time he saw CSN they did not sound very well. He said they were just not harmonizing like they used to, and were even apologetic. This time, they were on their game. They really sounded amazing. The boys did a great job with harmonies, hammering out hit after hit. They started with some slower songs, then picked up pace in the second half. 

They had to take turns warming themselves under the heaters. It was really blustery and cold. But at least it didn’t rain. In fact, the clouds cleared away as the sun set. It was really a beautiful evening. We’d never seen them before, and they were on my list of concerts to see before they (or I) died. 

What we found incredibly sad was the fact that their anti-war songs still have meaning today. One funny thing David Crosby said was, “If our President cannot pronounce the word ‘nuclear’, should he be allowed to…” 

Crosby and Nash constantly made jabs at each other, even swore at each other a few times, but all in good fun and humor. 

At the end, we started leaving, until we realized there was an encore. We hustled back up to the front of the stage and got some great shots up close. That was well worth the trouble of then getting stuck in the crowds on the way out. 

We dodged most of the crowds and headed across the street to the brewery for some more food before taking a taxi home. Another fun time! 

February 16, 2010 Posted by | Chateau Ste Michelle, Concert Season 2008, Music | | Leave a comment

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band 3.29.08

March 29, 2008


Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band 

 The Boss! Finally, we got to see The Boss. Would have preferred to see him at Asbury Park, but this will have to do for now. This weekend was weird. I was starting my new job on Monday, but this was a perfect transition thing to do. I had a rough month. I was an emotional wreck thinking about leaving my old company after 10 years, and leaving some attachments and emotions behind. I needed to do it, and everything about it felt right, but it was still very hard. So it was good that we got away, stayed downtown at the Pan Pacific Hotel, and just got back to each other. 

The bad news was that we had to see them at the Key Arena. Yuck. It’s such a steep venue, that although we were relatively close to the stage, he was only about ½ inch tall. It was like watching him from heaven. I brought binoculars, but they didn’t do much good. The music, though, was awesome. He played almost every song from his new album, Magic. And, of course, brought the house down with the old favorites: Born to Run, Born in the USA, She’s the One, etc. 

I didn’t really ever think of Bruce as hot (he‘s old!), and yet I felt extremely left out when I saw that a couple of hundred very lucky people from the GA section got to go up front and stand next to the stage. They were the ones who had an absolute full-on concert experience because they got to be right there where the action was happening, up close and personal! Some lucky girls in the front grabbed his legs (P noticed–all the way up the thigh!) in his tight jeans and he also let them strum his guitar at the end of one rousing song. I was sooo jealous. I know what it’s like to be near the stage, and it’s so much different when you have to sit so far away. Just not the same experience. 

February 16, 2010 Posted by | Music | | Leave a comment

The Gourds 2.14.2008

February 14, 2008 

The Gourds at the Tractor 

The Gourds are special to P and me.  They were a great band to see on Valentines Day to lift the spirits and enjoy with the company of loved ones. We stayed in a hotel in the U-District, of all places. Seems weird for Cougs to be in Dawg country. I think it was called the Deco Hotel, and was recently renovated in that style.  We enjoyed its cozy atmosphere in the heart of such a busy, noisy District.   We ate downstairs in the very quiet, dimly lit, little hotel restaurant. We had some good food, drinks, great conversation, and even got the knowing, admiring smiles of an older couple who were also there celebrating Valentines Day. 

The Gourds are a full-on, in-your-face, full-body, mind, spirit show. I just love their Cajun/Tex-Mex sound. The keep the place hopping for hours. Afterward, I had Kevin and Jimmy sign my CD.   We spoke with Kevin briefly, then we snuck backstage to talk to Jimmy, the bass player, who looked exhausted and was slumped down on the couch.  He was courteous, slurred he was really tired, signed his name and drew lines all over a page of the liner notes! I mentioned something about leaving our boy at home this time, but he told us The Gourds were his favorite band at Bumbershoot. Jimmy asked how old our boy was (12), and how he missed his own boys. We let him be after that, and taxied back to our hotel. 

February 16, 2010 Posted by | Concert Season 2008, Music, The Gourds, The Tractor Tavern | , | Leave a comment