Monday, September 29, 2008

Music Builds Tour photos

O.K. So I was able to upload a few pics that didn't need editing to the my photo site right off the sd card via my hubby's computer. One of my usb hubs seems to have died, which means no dvd recorder on my computer, and no card readers. Anyway, rather than doing a massive edit on the last blog, I just thought I'd post photos in a separate blog. So, here they are, ready or not! :)

Jars of Clay:

Robert Randolph & the Family Band:


Third Day:

Meet & Greets:

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sometimes it isn't just the weather that's Hot in Phoenix

Yesterday was a long day. I think it was good overall, even though a few things didn't live up to my expectations. In the morning, my husband woke me pretty early (I was sort of awake already, but not really rested) to go out because I wanted to take Saguaro photos. Then halfway out, the sensor got dust. So I don't have any way to clean it now, and there is blue sky in the background, so I know they will show up. My lack of sleep showed as I was feeling pretty crabby most of the day.

Anyway, the rest of the afternoon, I just read, watched television, and killed time until it was time to get ready to drive to the Dodge Theater in Phoenix for the Music Builds Tour. I had some sodas for Dan of Jars, a couple of small items for Jon of Switchfoot
and some things for Mark Lee of Third Day. I left pretty early because I figured I'd need time to figure out how to get the sodas to Dan, and definitely didn't want to miss a thing. I got there between 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. and saw the buses, so I went to see if I could get someone's attention, since I didn't see an accessible office. While I was waiting, Tim came up the street and I said, "hi" and told him what I was doing. I probably sounded really lame as I just went blank. It was and "I have a million things to say in 30 secs. kind of blank." Then a couple of guys came to try to meet the artists. They were disappointed because they just missed Tim. I was laughing because they had a list of who was who. We saw Matt of Jars get off the bus, and I pointed him out. They asked what he played. There was a guy with an all access pass on the curb chatting on the phone, so when he got off the phone, I told him about my gift for Dan, and he said he'd find someone for me. He was true to his word. He came out with Aaron who works with Jars, and Aaron said he'd take the sodas. So I went back to my car and got them, and came back to give them to Aaron.

After my little venture, I waited a little and chatted to the guys by the buses, but then figured I was starting to feel a little burn, so I went around to the front and chatted with anyone who would listen. LOL I get so chatty at concerts.

Someone told me that they only allowed disposables, so I got worried, and went to the front of the line to check. I ended up meeting Gina at the front of the line and found no one seemed to have a problem with my camera. I meant to go back to my spot in line, but they opened the doors while I was chatting and the guy wanted to check my bag. I didn't even have my ticket out. LOL They didn't even look in my camera bag. They were busy checking out my gifts to Mark. LOL

I chatted with Gina a bit, then went to find my seat. After I found my spot, I went to the Third Day tent to check in for the meet & greet. I asked about Jars meet after their set, and he said it was at the merch table. So, I went back to tell Gina, and then went to my seat.

Before long, Jars came out on stage with a really rocking version of The Flood, and continued to put on an amazing show. They played a really good mix of their songs, old and new. I could see the timer on the right side of the stage, so I was kinda sad as I saw the time was nearing an end. I prepared to rush back to try to meet them, but I made a quick stop to get the set list. I wanted to see Dan and maybe meet the rest of the guys (I've just met Dan and Matt before.) I waited by the merch table and was about 3 people back. I heard screams, so I figured they were around. I couldn't see anything. I went around and didn't see them. I asked and finally someone said "over there" and I went to look and finally saw them. By then the long was long, and we got cut off long before reaching them. The security told us 1 more minute, so I left the line and tried to get pics which didn't work out so well since there were people in the way. In the end, I was standing in front of Matt and he did autograph the set list, but that was about it. I walked just behind Dan until we split (he went left, the seating went to the right. That was one of the disappointments. I was really hoping to meet Jars. :( Next time I want to run the meet for them. LOL

Anyway, by then Robert Randolph had already started their set, so I got to my seat, and proceeded to enjoy them quite a bit. They are very good musically, and a lot of fun onstage. I didn't see a set list, so I didn't go up and ask for one. I waited for Switchfoot.

Switchfoot hit the ground running with Stars. The stage setup was absolutely beautiful with "starlights" in the background. All I can say is that Switchfoot's set was amazing as usual. Jon came down into the middle of the crowd with full spotlight. I couldn't see much then. Their set ended far too soon, and it was time for the meet/greet. I stopped real quick again to get the set list and ran for the meet and greet line. It was already really long. I was stressing because I didn't want to miss Third Day. In the end, I didn't leave the meet and greet, but it was really quick and not much time to interact with anyone. I didn't even really have time to think of anything much to say, and practically ran by Chad. I'm not sure I even really saw Jerome. He was there, but I went by too quick. I said, "this is killing me because I love Third Day, and I could barely hear. I asked security if I could listen at the door and then get back in line and was told if I left the line I would not get back. :( Anyway, I got the set list autographed, and then almost left it there. (Typically Melanie ditziness.)

I headed quickly for me seat, and Third Day was playing Rock Star. I was clapping before I even got to my chair. Mac sounded amazing as always. Mark did an incredible job on the guitar! They played my favorite song on the new cd (Run to You), and then Tunnel (my favorite on Wired.) At one point Tai, et al., were commenting on signs way in the back, and sent security to get the signs, which were song requests. Mac couldn't remember the words to Shine. I laughed, because no one else seemed to know them in the front. I just went blank. LOL I did know the words to Wire, but when he asked I didn't catch what he said. LOL It was pretty funny, actually. Then their set ended. Instead of leaving the stage for the encore, Mac said he was going to stay and then he brought out Jars of Clay for I'll Fly Away, and then Jars and Switchfoot for When Love Came to Town. Usually Robert Randolph comes out and sings a part on the last song, but he had to leave early, so Steve of Jars sang that part. Mac asked him to make his case as to why we should vote for him to sing Robert's part, and he said "I practiced real hard." LOL He did a great job. The entire finale was simply amazing and I realized just how many great vocalists were on the stage all at once.

After the show ended, I headed again to the stage to pick up a set list and was again successful (3 out of 4.) I was looking for Jason from the 3D boards because I wanted to meet him at the meet/greet. I was towards the end of the line, but I didn't care this time since it was much fewer people than SF's and I wasn't worried about missing anything. While I was standing in line, I saw Jason go by, and I hollered, but he didn't hear me. I saw someone I knew I recognized, but couldn't place him. Then after a while, Jason came by again, and I got his attention. I had a pic taken with him, and then I met the person I couldn't place. It was Tim! (Man, I should have known that - but it's only been 2 or 3 years since I saw him last. LOL) Then Tim, Jason and I had a pic taken together.

I don't remember the exact sequence, but the guys all came down the line and said "hi" to everyone before the actual meet. It was pretty cool. Mark even remembered my name. David remembered me as well. Mac recognized me.

We had a short conversation and I ended up waiting in line a little more. One of the stage guys came by and said there was something everyone didn't have, and gave me a copy of the rigging layout. It's pretty cool. I offered to take a pic of the family in front of me and e-mail it to them, since they just had a cell phone. (They were the ones in the back with the signs. She said her special ed preschool students helped make the signs.)

Finally it was my turn. Mac remembered me, but not my name. Then we had a short conversation. I gave him some gum, in memory of the K-Love cruise where he had been looking for gum. I don't think I ended up explaning that well. He probably has no idea what that was about. LOL I gave David a hug. Then I talked to Mark and gave him some baby things, and a bookmark. He thought they were really cute. LOL We talked about the book club, and books, among other things. Then I had my pic taken, and we talked a little more. On the way out, I talked to David a little a mentioned that last time I saw him I gave him a book. He kinda remembered, but then didn't know the book title which was O.K. because I was drawing a blank as well. LOL Between the 2 of us we finally came up with the author.
LOL He couldn't recall if he'd read it or not. He said he didn't read much, so I said he should give it to Mark. LOL We both laughed. Then on the way out someone asked David about his kids, so he took out his player/phone, or whatever it was exactly, and showed up pics of his boys. They are so totally adorable!!

Then I headed out, said goodbyes to Tim and his daughter, and a friend and headed back to the parking lot. I thought about going to the buses to see if Jars was still there, but decided it would be a bit much and didn't. I also figured I probably had missed them anyway. I'm sure everyone was really tired. After all, they just put on one "hot" show in Phoenix. :)

I left the lot and couldn't find a way to pay for the parking, so now I'm a little paranoid I'll get some notice asking me why I didn't pay. Just for the record, I had my parking ticket, and my money out, but not instructions were there, no envelope on my window (they do that in Boise) so I just left. I made most of the trip home fine, I went the wrong direction on the street off the freeway, but figured it out and turned around. So I stopped at a Chevron and bought a 44 oz. soda because I was realllly thirsty!!
and I got lost a bit on the last turn, so it took me longer than it should have to get home. Over all it was a great night.. not perfect, but still pretty amazing.

I hope some of the pics turned out. I'm sure most aren't sharp enough, but I think I have some. I hope so. I will have to post a big photo blog when I get back to UT.

To anyone who got through this whole post, you deserve an award. LOL

Peace out (that's Mac talk),


P.S. If you are ever at Dodge Theater, I recommend getting a drink before you go. $4.50 for a bottle of Sprite was a tad much!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Phoenix is Hot... and I don't mean cool

It's still hot here in Phoenix, even in September. All in all I'm holding up rather well in the swelter.

Yesterday we drove all over. First we went up to the Dodge Theater so I could see where I have to go tomorrow for the Music Builds tour. I think I'll be ok getting there and back. :) Still not 100% sure about parking. There is a public garage across the street, but not sure it is the one the venue mentions and it was a tad on the expensive side, but maybe it will be easier entering and leaving. I'll probably call later.

Afterwards we came back to my daughter's to get directions to the soda pop shop in Scottsdale. I wanted to pick up a certain soft drink that is sometimes hard to find for Dan of Jars. I didn't realize it was 45 minutes away. LOL But we found it there, along with some other interesting soft drinks we picked up for ourselves. I took pics, but I'll have to add them when I get back home.

Then we headed back and decided to stop and do a little shopping while we waited for Dee's husband (Brian) to help his friend fix his car. We went to Borders, and then across the street to Berean Christian and I bought Downhere's new release. I also picked up Bebo Norman's while I was there. Finally we landed at Ross. Ed waited outside - not exactly his thing. LOL I tried on a pair of pants and a skirt. The pants almost fit, but not quite, so I decided against them. I really liked the skirt, but then I noticed a small stain and decided against it. My daughter did get a cool pair of Jersey sheets for $12.99, and some shorts, so she fared better.

Finally we ended up meeting Brian at a Mexican restaurant my husband went to before, but they didn't take debit or credit cards (and it was freezing cold in there.) I offered to go next door and get cash, but my husband decided to make a statement. Anyway, we ended up heading for Arriba's down the road a bit. The food was good and the service was pretty good as well. There was a bit of a toothpick inside Brian's enchilada, though, and they were really apologetic and gave him his enchilada gratis.

Then we went back to my daughter's place and watched a bit of tv and I goofed off on the laptop. Then I read a little more of my new book, "Unchristian" until I decided to go to sleep.

I think we are going to Fry's Electronics later, and when the sun goes down a bit, I may go out and see if I can get some Saguarro pics.

Tomorrow.... Third Day, Switchfoot, Jars of Clay, Robert Randolph & the Family Band. I can't believe it's coming up so soon! I've been paranoid that I have the wrong day and I'm going to miss it. Sigh...

More adventures to come soon...


Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Wild, Crazy, Wonderful Week

This has been one of the busiest, craziest weeks ever - and it was a mostly self-induced sort of insanity. LOL

Wednesday, I had a ticket to see This Providence in Sandy. It had been more than a hear since I had seen them, and last time I promised Sean that I would cook dinner for the band the next time they came. I couldn't recall if anyone else was involved in the conversation or not, so I sent a message to ask if it was still on (since Sean left the band) and they said to bring food. LOL So, Lauralee and I set about to do just that. We fixed pot roast, salad, drop biscuits, brownies and fast fudge and made enough for a small army. Oh, and I brought grapes from my yard, too. We got there and set up inside at a round table, and the food was big hit (Phew!) We really didn't know how the timing would come together, but it all came together quite well. We did have to move the food outside for a short bit just before the show, but it went very well. Dan was in a fun mood, and the show was absolutely the best! :) I usually try to photograph without flash, but it was so dark I used flash, and felt kinda bad because I probably blinded everyone. I need an attachable flash that doesn't send out that horrible strobe and so it can be bounced anyway. This Providence went off tour and headlined at Solid Ground, and the openers were all pretty good. The main opener, Everybody Else, was pretty amazing as well. After the show, I took Lauralee home, and headed out myself. I got home quite late, and still had to unload the car and put things away. But it was all worth it!

The next day, I had a ticket to see This Providence on the Why So Serious tour in Pocatello, ID. I got to the venue about an hour before the ticket time, and there were guys putting up signs for a venue change. So I found the new venue, the Booth Barn, parked and looked for the entrance. Someone said they thought it was around the side, but the bands were unloading. I was bold and went back there, visited with This Providence, and a few others, and took some pics while I waited. Then the show started, and I didn't realize it, so I headed around as quickly as I could and got as close as I could to the stage. A few people did let me in front to take pics, which I thought was really nice. The first band to play was Mury. I had seen them twice before and they were pretty good. Hey Monday was next, and I really liked them quite a lot. Most of the people I talked with after the show loved them as well. Then A Rocket to the Moon played. I really loved their set. I felt kind of badly as I heard about their trailer being ripped off of about $5,000 (cash/posessions) including some camera equipment and lenses. So, you should check them out and support them if you can.
Then This Providence played and were, once again, awesome. :) The power cut out during a number of the sets, and it also happened during This Providence's set. Shane (who does merch) came up on stage and pretended to be a rock star. It was great! LOL Finally things got to working again, and they finished their set. Then set up started for The Cab. I was pretty sure I'd like them, and they were quite good. Trying to photograph the lead singer was a lot like trying to take a photo of a bullet. LOL They have a good stage presence.

I was able to get a copy of the set list for three of the bands, including This Providence, and I decided to get TP to autograph their set list. Then I visited for quite a long while before heading home. I think I arrived home around 2:25 a.m.

For concert no. 3, I had a ticket to see The Rocket Summer and Phantom Planet the next day. Normally I go around 1-2 on weekday concerts at In the Venue, and am often the first one there, but usually for TRS, there is a big group that shows up around 10. So, my original plan was to go at 10 a.m. I was just to exhausted, so I waited. I acutually got to the venue around 1 p.m. and was the first one there. It's funny, I had prayed about timing and resigned myself to possible staying in the back (don't think I'd survive the middle) and I should always remember that God works out the timing regardless of what I want. Things will be as they should be. It was a pretty amazing show, and I ended up on the barricade, dead center. I knew I was going to get killed. LOL Once again, the opening bands were good. Phantom Planet was absolutely incredible. I didn't see how Bryce could top that, but he set about to do his best. In fact, it was probably the best I'd seen Bryce. He was engaged with the audience, he sounded great, played a very good set (new and old.) At one point he left the stage, went into the middle of the crowd and sang two acoustic songs. At another point in the show, Bryce used the looping machine, or whatever the tech term is for that thing, and played drums, then keyboards, then guitar in a loop and sang. It really sounded good. Another highlight was my friend Lauralee telling Bryce that it was her birthday, and him telling her happy birthday from the stage. We set about to get her a set list, and someone was nice enough to give it to her.

Afterwards we bought merch, had photos taken with Bobby of The Morning Light (first opening band) and then went outside. I was walking back towards the bus as Bryce usually comes out after the show, and sometimes Phantom Planet plays an acoustic set afterwards. On the way out, I heard Bobby talking about God, and said something back and we ended up in this huge discussion for about 1/2 hour. Then I went back to where the buses were, and waited. Bryce finally came out and I waited until almost last, had photos taken with Bryce (our tradition) and talked for quite a long while. Then I said my goodbyes and headed for home.

The next morning I was leaving for Phoenix (Saturday) via Kanab, UT, and didn't even wake up until 11 a.m. We left around 4 p.m. Today we left Kanab and took our time getting to our final destination. I am now at my daughter's on my hubby's laptop.

Like I said, a long crazy, wonderful week. I wouldn't change much about it. I am grateful.

God is good. :)

Peace out,