Aplscruf's Music Blog

Brent Amaker and the Rodeo 12.14.2007

December 14 Brent Amaker and the Rodeo at the High Dive in Fremont 

For the third time this year, we saw The Rodeo.  This time, we were celebrating my birthday.  We stayed at the Residence Inn, right across from Hooters on Lake Union. We got a kick out of our “waterfront” view of Hooters. We ate at Chandlers before the show, and enjoyed some nice seafood in a quiet atmosphere. 

The Rodeo played at the High Dive in Fremont.  We liked it, but it was totally loud. I was smart and wore ear plugs this time. We did have seats, but there were two opening bands. 

We ended up leaving before the Rodeo came on and went to El Camino, across the street for some awesome mole enchiladas. We got back just in time and moved to the front of the bar to watch the show. 

The guys were great once again, rowdy, full of cuss words, whoopin’ and hollerin’. They had a huge number of shot glasses brought up for communion. This time, I decided to decline, and glad I did. We didn’t spend any time chatting with the band. This very big-breasted lady was pushing her boobs up to all the guys, so I didn’t think I wanted to compete with that. Each one weighed more than my legs.  We had fun people-watching and getting up close to the stage for the full Rodeo experience.   A nice birthday night out. 

March 28, 2010 Posted by | Brent Amaker and the Rodeo, Concert Season 2007, Music | , | Leave a comment

Blues Traveler 11.24.2007

November 24, 2007 Blues Traveler at the Showbox
Blues Traveler was on my list of people to see before they or I die. John Popper’s harmonica playing is legendary. He now lives in Snohomish, so I figured it wouldn’t be long before he came out of his shell and played again. I guess they have a new/old album out that is a remake or cover of their old favorites. We really enjoyed his harmonica works and powerful vocals, but the standing in the mix of an overly drunk and pushy crowd for over 3 hours really got to us.
Before the show, we went to the Fox Sports Bar, just around the corner from our hotel, The Grand Hyatt. We stayed several hours and watched the Apple Cup (Cougs won!!) from a comfy couch.
We walked to the Showbox, right across the street from Pike Place Market.  We were able to stand pretty close to the stage, maybe 20 feet away.  There was an opening act, so we were afraid to lose our place by leaving until Blues Traveler came on. So we struggled through the standing and the waiting. Finally they came on just after 10:00. I think we left by 11:00, after hearing most of the old favorites.
We’ve decided we’re not very tolerant of drunk and pushy people anymore, especially when they’re older than we are!
We taxied back to the Grand Hyatt, which was really nice. I’d stay there again.  We had a long day, and ended it with having some appetizers at a Japanese restaurant across the street from our hotel.   


March 28, 2010 Posted by | Concert Season 2007, Music, The Showbox | | Leave a comment

Brent Amaker and the Rodeo 10.5.2007

October 5, 2007 Brent Amaker and the Rodeo 


We couldn’t pass up another opportunity to see Brent Amaker! They had been in Belgium and other parts of Europe for a while on tour, so we lost track of them through the late summer/fall time. We stayed at the Sheraton this time, which was nice, but more of a business hotel. Taxied in to the Tractor again. 

We were ready to meet the band this time. First thing we did was bring their cd around to get it signed. We talked to Brent for a while, who was actually very charming and not so gruff as his Rodeo persona. He encouraged us to go around to the other guys and have them sign it as well. We found as many as we could, but then they had to take the stage. 

I met a girl in the bathroom who said she found out about them by accident. She was taking a plane to Europe, and they were on the same plane! They wore their black costumes and hats on the plane!!! What a sight they must have been getting off that plane and in some European airport! I guess they really eat up that over-the-top Americana stuff over there, according to Brent. 


I took part in the communion this time, which really sent me over the edge. We drank a little too much that night, but had a rowdy, great time. Again without friends, but oh well. We have learned to enjoy each other’s company this year and it’s been great. 

After the show, we met the drummer, Curtis. He’s about 6’5” and skinny as a rail. He has a bass drum and an upright snare drum, and I believe one cymbal. Very rockabilly. He immediately plopped his hat on my head so P could take our picture. He said he remembers my taking communion. Yep, that was me. Then this other drunk guy jumped in the middle of our conversation and started talking to Curtis. So P told the guy he’d take their pic, but it would look better if he kissed Curtis. The guy obliged, and that became one of my favorite pics. I posted it on my desktop screen at work for the rest of the year! The look on Curtis’ face…the shame and pain, is priceless! 

March 28, 2010 Posted by | Brent Amaker and the Rodeo, Concert Season 2007, Music, The Tractor Tavern | , | Leave a comment

Weird Al Yankovic 9.12.2007

September 12, 2007  Weird Al Yankovic at Puyallup Fair 


I know, I know. I’ve seen so many amazing concerts, famous musicians and artists over the years. And then there’s Al. Weird Al. My son wanted to go, so how could I refuse. 

I bought tickets for this in early summer, and P didn’t want to go. By the time the fair came along, he decided it would be ok to go. He ended up sitting in the grandstands by himself, but he had a good time. The boy and I had reserved seats. I thought I’d get good ones, but waited a couple of days, and got Row 36. They were ok, right near the aisle. 

I think this was the most entertaining show we have seen all year. Weird Al really did it up big! He has a new parody album out right now and it received a Grammy! It’s too funny, with parodies of pop, rap and hip-hop songs played on the accordion, etc. He has about 25 years of music under his belt, so it was a real blast going back to the days of Michael Jackson’s “Just Eat It” and “I’m Fat” and Madonna’s “Like a Surgeon”. And of course his homage to Star Wars that involved storm troopers, Skywalkers, Yoda, Darth, etc. In between songs or sets of songs, he would play videos of “interviews” with stars such as K-Fed and Jessica Simpson. They were so funny! My son was howling. My cheeks hurt from smiling and laughing through the whole show! We met up with P afterward who also enjoyed it. 

March 28, 2010 Posted by | Concert Season 2007, Music | , | Leave a comment

Bumbershoot 9.1.2007

September 1, 2007 Bumbershoot-Seattle Center

We did manage somehow to get away to Bumbershoot for the first time! I was so excited because several of my new favorite bands were coming: The Gourds, The Avett Bros, The Shins, Ted Leo, and others.

It was hot and packed. We went to Memorial Stadium to see the Shins first after getting some lunch. We didn’t have very good seats because we were right next to the walkway where everyone stands to see where their friends are. We stayed for about 4 songs and got out. I couldn’t believe the stadium was so packed. I was mad that we didn’t get there sooner. P and the boy were already getting cranky because of the crowds.

We wandered around, looked at the craft booths, and tried to get a view of some of the bands playing by the fountain. We decided to leave and take the Monorail down to Westlake for an early dinner before the Gourds came on. That was a nice break away from the noise and people. The place was almost deserted. After filling up and relaxing, we went back to the stage where the Avett Bros were finishing up. We really liked their harmonies and unique mix of country, rock, bluegrass, and Americana sound.

We found seats in a VIP section on the side of the stage in the Starbucks fenced area. Thanks to P for going online and getting the free passes! So not only did we have stools and a table just feet from the side of the stage, we were in the shade of a tree, and we had Starbucks coffee!

We had fun watching the performers, including The Gourds, get their gear out, go back and forth in front of us, etc.  They came ready to play for the adoring crowd, now growing larger around us.   Our boy enjoyed the Gourds, too. P wanted to go a little early, so we didn’t stay for the whole set. We did hear some of our favorite songs including “Pill Bug Blues”, which has become P’s song to me. I’ve since learned it on guitar, and want to learn it on mandolin someday. I could have stayed all day and listened, but the boys got restless in the crowds. Overall it was a good experience for all of us.

March 28, 2010 Posted by | Bumbershoot, Concert Season 2007, Music, The Avett Brothers, The Gourds | , , , , | Leave a comment

Todd Snider and R.E.K. at Zoo Tunes 8.8.2007

August 8, 2007 Zoo Tunes with Todd Snider and Robert Earl Keen

August was a busy month, but we didn’t want to miss this show. We wanted to take our son to see Todd Snider, but hoped he’d clean up a little for the family-friendly Zoo Tunes. Well, he kinda tried, but…anyway, another fun evening, this time with the boy.

The Woodland Park Zoo has a big open field where they set up a stage and booths for summer concerts. It’s a good time, and lots of families attend. Todd was in fine form, and was in his storytelling mood. He did try to cut out the swearing, “…for the children,” he said, but was having a hard time! It was really funny listening to him try.  At one point, he gave up because the songs just didn’t sound right without the swear words. The boy got a kick out of it. He knows Todd’s music anyway, so he laughed.

He played lots of my favorites, including Iron Mike’s Main Man’s Last Request, If Tomorrow Never Comes, Enjoy Yourself, Kingsmen, Seattle Grunge-Rock Blues, etc.

Robert Earl Keen was good, but we decided we liked Todd better. I did like the guitarist Robert had. He had a real rock style. Robert had a few favorites that got the crowd going at the end, including Highway Never Ends. Todd joined him for a couple of the songs at the end of the set. Cool.

March 28, 2010 Posted by | Americana, Concert Season 2007, Music, Todd Snider | , , , | Leave a comment

Brent Amaker and the Rodeo 7.21.2007

July 21, 2007 Brent Amaker and the Rodeo 

Brent Amaker and the Rodeo. Wow. We were scheduled to go to Hootie and the Blowfish this weekend, but it was canceled. The lead singer, Darius Rucker had a staph infection in his knee after a surgery and had to cancel his Roslyn show. We were bummed. So instead, we booked a hotel room at the Hotel Andra on 4th downtown and taxied in to the Tractor.

We’d never seen these guys before, and we were in for a rollicking good time! They put on quite a show. They all dress in very nice black slacks, western shirts, cowboy hats, boots. The lead singer, Brent, dons a red cape with the help of his assistant while the Rodeo keeps up a steady rockabilly/Johnny Cash beat. He walks to the stage, his assistant helps him remove the cape, and hands him his acoustic guitar. And they’re off! The Rodeo’s in town! 


We had so much fun! He cusses, he has a whiskey communion in which he encourages people to buy shots of whiskey, then lines them up to pour it down their throats! We were howling! All the songs sound the same with the bass guitar keeping the beat: dum-dee-dee-dum-dee-dee-dum-dee-dee-dum…

March 28, 2010 Posted by | Brent Amaker and the Rodeo, Concert Season 2007, Music, The Tractor Tavern | , | Leave a comment

Willie Nelson and Friends 7.4.2007

4th of July 2007 at the Gorge-Willie Nelson and Friends: The Old 97’s, Drive-By Truckers, Son Volt, Amos Lee

The next big gig was at the Gorge in George. Not only were we pumped because Willie Nelson was playing, but also because he was bringing along his “friends”, 4 other bands! And we were also going to go to the Oregon Coast after that!

We first drove to Wenatchee on the 3rd and spent the night with family. The kids had fun in the pool, and the dogs hung out together. The next morning, we left the boy and dog with Aunt and Uncle and drove through the desert over to the Gorge, about 45 minutes from Wenatchee. It was 98 degrees that day.

We found a pretty nice parking spot to camp, but the shuttle van had broken down. That meant hiking at least a half mile in the heat to get to the amphitheatre. Great. We decided to stay at the truck as long as possible. We set up a makeshift shelter with a rain fly from our tent. We brought lots of food and water, and just lay low for a while.

We thought we could probably hear the music once it started, but we were wrong! We were too far away. We missed Amos Lee completely, and only heard part of Drive-By Truckers. That was ok, though, because it was too hot to sit on those metal seats on black top. We stayed as cool as we could, and then finally made our way down to the seats around 4:00.

Old 97's

We fell in love with the Old 97’s. We downloaded some of their live music a few days before, and really liked their Texas rockabilly sound. They really delivered in the heat of the Gorge. Son Volt was ok, but not too exciting. Their music is kind of a downer. We couldn’t wait to see Willie Nelson. He’s truly an American icon.

Willie came on just as the sun was going down. Beautiful. Gray braids, red, white and blue guitar strap, old beat up acoustic guitar with a hole in it….Willie. I was in tears through many songs, including my favorite, Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground. I later learned to play it on my own guitar: On the Road Again was a big hit. He played all his old favorites. At the end he played a song about finding a peaceful solution to the wars. It was touching.

We headed back to Wenatchee the next morning and picked up the boy. We headed down 97 to Cascade Locks, just West of Hood River. Stayed overnight, then trekked on to Newport and Seaside. We had a nice trip, but not much relaxation! Lots of driving. The beach was a cool 60 degrees, too. Quite a change from the 100 degree weather we were in the day before.


March 28, 2010 Posted by | Concert Season 2007, Music, The Gorge Amphitheatre, Willie Nelson | , , , , , | Leave a comment