Aplscruf's Music Blog

Five…No…Ten Favorite Shows of 2011

I was lucky enough to see a show almost every month of 2011, and some months, two or three shows.  We’re winding down now, getting ready for the holidays and visiting with family and friends.  We’ll still see a couple of shows between now and the end of the year, including The Paperboys on December 23, one of my Top 10 favorite bands of all time.  Click Here For Previous Review.

So far, though, I do have a list of my Five Favorites of 2011.

5.  Screw it.  I can’t make a decision, so I’m going to go with my Ten Favorites of 2011.

10.  The B-52’s at Chateau Ste. Michelle – This show was great because The B-52’s brought the energy, the showmanship and the great songs we all love to a beautiful outdoor venue.  We were there with a large family group and danced and sang along.  Click Here For Review.

The B-52's

9.  Vicci Martinez at Big Daddy’s Place – This was a chance to see Vicci, a Tacoma, Washington local, wail her lungs out in a small suburban venue before becoming a national sensation on The Voice.  Click Here For Review.

Vicci Martinez

8.  Massy Ferguson and Brent Amaker and The Rodeo at The Tractor – Our first introduction to Massy Ferguson and Brent with The Rodeo back on a smaller stage.  Curtains For You, a poppy, energetic band opened the show, and a biker in the front knew all the words.  I love the picture of Brent Amaker smiling while the biker is in the moment.  No whiskey this time, but now that the stage performer liquor laws have changed, we’ll get to hear “Bring Me The Whiskey” at the next show!

Curtains For You, Brent and Biker

Massy Ferguson

Brent Amaker

7.  Star Anna at Neumos – We saw Star four times this year, but this time, even P was completely hooked by her vocal prowess.  He connected.  Click Here For Previous Review.

Star Anna

6.  Jackrabbit and Massy Ferguson at Nectar Lounge – Jackrabbit, reincarnated after North Twin’s demise, and again Tony Fulgham won me over.  Massy was celebrating their EP release, and I got to post my review of the show on
RandomvilleClick Here For Review.

Tony Fulgham of Jackrabbit

Ethan Anderson of Massy Ferguson

5.  Jackrabbit and The Gourds at The Tractor – Jackrabbit opened and rawked the set, warmed up the crowd for The Gourds, another crazy night of crossover music, from 60’s psychedelic rock to old-timey revivals.  Most memorable moment was approaching Mr. Kevin Russell at Hattie’s Hat and telling him I was going to review his show.  His response: “Oh, Shit!” I later gave him the ol’ two-fingered stink-eye when he noticed me in the audience, and I mouthed, “I’m watchin’ you!”  Click Here For Review.

Tony Fulgham of Jackrabbit

The Gourds

4.  Old 97’s at The Showbox – My first press pass!  Right up front.  I loved every minute, and sang my heart out to every song.  Click Here For Review.

Old 97's

3.  Flight To Mars at The Showbox – Another press and photo pass!  My sister-in-law joined me and took absolutely brilliant pics of the boys (Click This Link for her pics), including local Tim DiJulio (Lazy Susan and North Twin) and Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready.  Click Here For Review.

Tim DiJulio and Mike McCready of Flight to Mars

2.  Nashville (Will Kimbrough, Marshall Chapman, Minton Sparks, Slim Chance and The Can’t Hardly Playboys) – the whole Nashville experience was wonderful.  Kept to small venues and the Americana singer/songwriters.  Click Here For Review.

Marshall Chapman and Will Kimbrough at The Station Inn

Zach and Josh of Slim Chance and the Can't Hardly Playboys at Layla's

1.  Los Straitjackets at Slow Food Roots Music Festival – A bizarre series of events.  Marshall Chapman’s book had a chapter on Eddie Angel who once played in Marshall’s band.  Now Eddie’s fronting Los Straitjackets, and just happened to be playing in Seattle and a small fair in Stanwood within two weeks after I finished the book.  I brought the book, my son, our appetites to the festival.   We ate delicious local food, watched some pretty loco boys in Mexican wrestling masks play instrumental surf music, and were completely blown away by their skills and entertaining antics.  My son loved every minute of it.  To top off a perfect afternoon at the festival, they all signed Marshall’s book!  Click Here For Review.

Los Straitjackets

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November 19, 2011 Posted by | Americana, Big Daddy's Place, Brent Amaker and the Rodeo, Chateau Ste Michelle, Concert Season 2011, Flight to Mars, Jackrabbit, Langhorne Slim, Los Straitjackets, Marshall Chapman, Massy Ferguson, Music, Nectar Lounge, Neumos, North Twin, Old 97's, Randomville, Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs, The B-52's, The Gourds, The Paperboys, The Tractor Tavern, Vicci Martinez, Will Kimbrough | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The B-52’s Came to Party at Chateau Ste. Michelle

The B-52's Photo by Joseph Cultice

The B-52’s came to party on a beautiful Saturday night at Chateau Ste. Michelle, an outdoor venue and winery in Woodinville, WA.  They looked fresh, fit and sounded terrific.  The four members, Fred Schneider, Keith Strickland, Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson strutted their stuff and added a few bandmates for the tour.   The B-52’s are getting ready to release a new live album recorded in their hometown on October 11 called With the Wild Crowd – Live in Athens, GA.  In support of the upcoming album, they showcased their greatest hits from the past 32 years, sang them with energy and punch, and partied like it was 1979.  A quick look among the aging and stiffly dancing crowd, though, reminded me otherwise.

Check out the full review of the show on Randomville!

September 17, 2011 Posted by | Chateau Ste Michelle, Concert Season 2011, Music, The B-52's | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The B-52′s July 6, 2002 Chateau Ste. Michelle

Here’s another post from the old days…This was our first time at Chateau Ste. Michelle winery to see a concert. 

The B-52’s

Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, Woodinville, WA

Saturday, July 6, 2002

Our son was very cranky this morning because he knew he was going to spend the night at Grandma and Grandpa’s.  P and I were going to the B-52’s concert at the Chateau Ste. Michelle winery in Woodinville!  I was so excited.  We saw them for the first time in 1990 at the Mercer Arena.  It was such a huge crowd;  it was really hard to get close.  We managed to squeeze our way to the front (festival-style standing on the floor) and almost got squished.  I remember feeling the air getting forced out of my lungs by the crush of the crowd.   I knew we’d have a better experience this time because we had reserved seats in the 10th row!

That evening, we taxied to Woodinville to avoid the parking mess.  We had just enough time before the show to munch down a sandwich and a couple of ales at Redhook Brewery, across the street from the winery.  I knew that in order to get P to dance or at least move to the music a little, I needed to get some alcohol in him.  We then walked over to the winery.  We went into the wine shop; I was amazed.  They let you purchase your wine, give you cups and let you drink it during the concert at your seats!  They even had little cheese and cracker plates for sale.  Wow, way better than the Gorge, where there is a designated drinking area and a two-drink maximum.  I guess with the kind of music they have at the winery they aren’t too worried about crowd control. 

We purchased a bottle of champagne and later some cheese and crackers.  It was a perfect evening.  It was about 80 degrees that day, and stayed in the 70’s at night.  We sat and drank through the first act, a blues guitarist named Erika something-or-other.  She was solo, but pretty good.  It was relaxing to sit and eat and drink before the big dance!  After Erika, there was an intermission.  Usually, the intermission is about 45 minutes, so we went to the bathrooms and looked at t-shirts.  Unfortunately, they only accepted cash.  We only had enough to get a taxi home, so I lost out on that deal.  they had some cute lobster shirts, too.  Oh, well.  I’ll have to look online.

We turned around to go do some more shopping, and we heard the audience yelling.  Oh, there they were!  We ran back to the stage.  We got to walk right in front of the stage to get to our seats.  It was soooooo cool!  I was 5 feet away from my musical heroes!  I have listened to The B-52’s since I was 14!  So much fun! 

They opened with Whammy, which got everyone (less the row directly behind us, for godsakes!) on their feet.  We stayed on our feet for the rest of the concert.  They played a variety of songs from all of their albums including: Mesopotamia, Give Me Back My Man, Love Shack, Strobe Light, Volcano, Private Idaho, Roam, and more.  

The remaining members (Ricky Wilson passed away from AIDS-related illness sometime before Bouncing off the Satellites was released) still looked great, although noticeably older, considering it’s been over 20 years since their first album was released!  Keith still looked exactly the same.  P thought he still looked in his mid-twenties!  He was still skinny and fit.  Fred looked even smaller and skinnier, but older.  I guess they’d all be pushing at least 50.  He was the most energetic.  He looked like he was having a lot of fun up there.  Cindy Wilson had a big blonde bouffant hairdo and a blue velvet top that fit loose at the bottom.  She was pretty heavy.  Kate had a big auburn wig that went down her back.  She was in purple and covered with rhinestones.  Both girls sang their hearts out, but were a little raspy at times and quite stiff.  It made me feel old, until P pointed out that everyone here is old, except for the girl in front of us and some of the kids who brought their parents!

While we were dancing and singing along, I noticed there was a pretty blonde girl in front of us.  She kept turning around and offering us more champagne!  She was younger than anyone around us.  I then started wondering who she looked like.  Then I realized she could be Mena Suvari from American Pie and American Beauty!  I kept asking P, “Is that her?  Is that her?”  He thought so at first, but then wasn’t so sure.  She was definitely one of those perfectly sculpted people who tend to stand out in a crowd.  She seemed confident, but also very nice and friendly to all of the people around her. 

She then started  stacking all of the white patio chairs so she and her 40-something boyfriend could have more room to dance.  She kept motioning us to come up closer to dance in her area.  It was so cool!  Although, I still don’t know for sure if it was Ms. Suvari. 

Pat left to get some more champagne, but the wine shop was closed for the evening.  While he was gone, she asked me if I was from around here.  I told her yes, just north of Woodinville.  That was the deciding factor for me.  She wasn’t from around here!  She must be visiting from out-of-state–possibly California?  I then screwed up my courage and told her I loved her in American Beauty.  She looked confused, and said, “What?” I repeated myself, louder, trying to compete with the loud music.  She smiled, but I don’t think she said anything.  I felt awkward, not knowing if she understood me.  I immediately changed the subject and pointed to the hot air balloons that were flying just behind the stage, up several hundred feet.  She was impressed by that, and showed the person on her left. 

Her boyfriend had moved, and noticed he was on the end of the aisle.  She went to join him, and they later moved their way up to the second row to dance.  They pushed more chairs out of the way.  Now everyone around us moved their chairs and it became a festival dancing area. 

I danced and sang every word of every song.  P was semi-dancing, and at least mouthing the words, too!  [I have later come to realize I need to let him do his own thing and be thankful that he enjoys going to shows with me!]  Somewhere during a slower song, we hit the restrooms again.  It was so fun to run next to the stage and look up at the band.  I later asked P why there wasn’t more security by the stage.  He said, “Well, judging from the age of the crowd, I don’t think they’re too worried about some drunk 40-year-old woman trying to climb up on the stage!”  He had a point there. 

The only disappointment was the length of the concert.  They started at 8:00 and ended at 9:00 sharp.  I couldn’t believe it!  Over twenty years of songs and they only played for one hour.  We did manage to cheer them back for an encore.  They played Rock Lobster and Modine.  I saw the Mena look-alike on the way out.  I thanked her for the alcohol.  She smiled and said, “Oh, you’re welcome!”  Who knows…

August 7, 2010 Posted by | 2002, Chateau Ste Michelle, Music, The B-52's | , | Leave a comment