Saturday, May 30, 2009

Now... where was I?

The Crystal Inn, the white car is mine and my hotel room is the second floor above it:

Self portrait in my hotel room:

My comfy bed:

Picking up where I left off last...

As was promised, the exuberent water polo crowd calmed down and filtered back into their rooms by 10:30 p.m. Somewhere around 11 p.m. I was back in my room for a little more sleep. I woke up again around 12:30 a.m. One car had pulled into the venue lot. It was still raining - and the sprinklers were on. I watched for a few minutes, and then went back to sleep setting the alarm for 1:45 am. The alarm never went off, but somewhere between 2:30 and 3 a.m. I again woke up. This time I decided to shower and go downstairs for a bit. I got on the computer for a few minutes, then chatted off and on with the gals at the reception desk for a couple of hours. I checked the venue lot twice, retrieved something out of my car, and put something back in my car.. exciting things like that. It had been I think I know the life history of the lobby gals. They probably know a bit of mine as well. LOL I went back upstairs,and went back to bed for a couple of hours and left a message for the gals to call me for breakfast. No changes. It was 7 a.m. before I knew it. Again I checked the venue from the comfort of my room and headed down for breakfast. The breakfast was complimentary with the room, and it was a nice breakfast indeed. I couldn't sample everything, since I am on a low-fat, less sugar diet, but it was all wonderful. There was fresh fruit, a fruit cocktail sort of mix with large pieces of fruit, biscuits & gravy, scrambled eggs (I had to take off cheese, but they were yummy), bacon, sausage, bagels, cereal, apple/orange juice... and other breakfast foods. I took pics with my cell. :)

After breakfast, I headed over to the venue - about 8 a.m. to be the first one at the door.

The next two people arrived around 8:30 a.m. by taxi cab. They were from SoCal and had stayed in downtown SLC, spotted Paramore's bus and met Haley and Taylor. I chatted way too much about anything and everything. We took turns at the door when someone needed a break. There was one other guy there that had an early entrance/meet&greet for No Doubt who had been in the venue lot for a while. He was waiting in a separate line, but he did come up to chat about his No Doubt obsession with us for a while. (I saw him after the show ... and he was pretty happy about his meet and greet.) After a few more people showed up, I finally went over and moved my car from the hotel lot to the venue lot and used the restroom. I also refilled my cup with hot water for tea. It was a nice, casual sort of day for most of the day, and it was absolutely gorgeous outside.

This is the beautiful, scenic view from the venue doors:

At one point in the afternoon, I saw my friend Amanda with her kids and met her kids for the first time. They were just as cute as their pics. :) Her boyfriend was with her also, and his kids. She was coming back later for the show and had reserved seats.
At around 2:30ish, I think, Lauralee showed up and got in line with me. She's faster than I am, so the plan was for her to go ahead and get a spot for us if I get delayed (and something always happens to me.) LOL A while later a couple of her friends showed. She finally asked everyone in the line ahead if they minded if those friends got in line with us and I guess everyone was ok with it. So, we waited, and waited some more.

An hour or two before door times, they had a portion of the venue blocked so that one could enter the buidling, buy merch and get back in line. IT was genius. :) I bought a Sounds tee, A No Doubt tour tee, and a Paramore wristband. In other words, I think I spent that bonus I'm getting on Monday already. ;)

Finally it was getting close to the time to go in. Point and shoot cameras would be allowed. I was at the front of the line watching, waiting.... Finally they opened just my door, but the scanner wasn't working. I was getting nervous. Then they couldn't get my wristband on. She said, "calm down, you'll get in." LOL I knew I would get in. IT was being in front I was worried about. I don't survive in the middle of a floor show. But I did make it to the front on the far left. The No Doubt fans had early entry, so most of the center stage was taken. I didn't want direct center anyway.

I started to notice I was a little tired... but too jazzed for it to faze me too much. :) The show finally started to much applause. To my surprise, the crowd wasn't too scrunched. The Sounds opened and played a great set. I saw them in 2006 at Warped Tour and they were quite good. The gal does have a certain fondness for a word beginning with the letter "F" (no, this is not Sesame Street folks) and the last song was B.S. Lies (only bs is not truncated.) LOL That only really happened at the very end of their set for this show. I still liked them, though.

Finally it was time for Paramore, and I was ready to be squished within an inch of my life, but it never happened. I have seen Paramore a few times, and I have to say that even though they are always amazing live, they were even better. IT helps that the E-Center has good sound. Haley, just glowed, and the set was well performed and energetic. It was obvious from the crowd response that the arena was full of Paramore fans. Too soon it came to an end, and it was time for No Doubt to set up.

No Doubt's set up took a while. They taped a thin, white mat of some sort to the stage floor. It was interesting to watch. When everytning was ready a sheer curtain drops, and you can see the shadows of all of the hands reflecting back, and NO Doubt took the stage. The curtain falls. It was quite an entrance. Both Lauralee and I were pretty impressed with No Doubt's set and would see them again if they come back to Salt Lake City. They did a lot of old favorites, Don't Speak, I'm Just a Girl, Sunday Morning, Hey Baby. A few minutes before midnight, Gwen brought out her son and had everyone sing happy birthday to him.

Then he was so cute and waved at everyone. Even though they played a fairly long set, it didn't seem long at all.

I'm leaving out about a zillion things, but this is already far too long. After the show, Lauralee and I chatted and waited for traffic to die down. She needed to leave, so we said our goodbyes and parted company. I waited in the car just a little longer and headed for home. I think I finally arrived back home somewhere between 1 and 1:30 a.m., tired but satisfied.

And so another saga of concert adventurism, comes to an end.

Peace out,

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Tour Buses and Water Polo

I am currently at a hotel across from a large concert venue. I am there to see No Doubt and Paramore. The tour buses and venue door are seriously outside my window. Perfect room for me.

I got here about 5 p.m. and the guy at the lobby desk called me by name. I was really surprised. He said his wife's name was Melenie and we have the same last name. So after I was done checking in, I asked him if I was the last one to check in or something; and he told me that I was. I was wondering how he knew my name. That was different. They were actually waiting for me to show. LOL

Anyway, I slept for a while, waking every couple hours, and woke up to voices in the hall about 40 minutes ago. I asked what the group was, and it's a girl's water polo championship. I don't think they won, but I think they had a good time. The should quiet down in about 20 more minute.

I keep watching the window to make sure not too many will beat me in line. It's been raining, so probably no overnighters, I hope. I plan to get ready after midnight and just keep checking. Hopefully I'll have enough sleep.

The hotel is gorgeous. I'll post pics when I'm not here anymore.

Tomorrow should be a long, but interesting day.

Peace out,

P.S. Since it is Memorial Day, and I have been reminded, it would be a good time to take some time to pray for the servicemen and their families. I think I will have lots of time in line to do just that!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mae Day, the story continues...

After the lines split, the wait almost seemed longer. At one point Dave, Mae's bass player on this tour came out and introduced himself. I asked him if this was temporary or permanent. The answer was that he didn't know, but he had hopes it would be permanent. I really enjoyed talking with him. And even though the last bit of time drug a little, soon the doors were opened and I headed for the stage.. a lot slower than I would have liked. The venue was pitch black. The outside was extremely bright. I couldn't see a thing. Apparently the guy in front of me couldn't either. He started to take off for the stage and went flying into the benches. I'm sure he was sufficiently embarassed. I didn't want to repeat his fate.

I finally found a spot to the right of center. I didn't want to be too close to center and be too close to take photos. That didn't work out. I ended up directly in front of where Dave would stand. Not sure how I managed that twice in a row since he was in two completely different places both times, and so was I. LOL

There was a guy behind me that went to get some of the 3 D glasses for Mae's set and I asked if he would pick up a pair for me. I tried to help keep his spot open. He returned with the glasses and also had a copy of the EP. I was kicking myself and wondering why I didn't see if he would get that as well. I wanted to kick myself even harder after I found out they were sold out 20 minutes into the show.

After a time, the show finally started with the Robert opening and playing a very nice acoustic set. I was a bit disappointed that Tokyo wasn't there, but Robert did a very nice job and I really did enjoy his set.

Next up was Larusso, a local band that I am quite fond of. I always enjoy their music and they played well, as usual.

Barcelona followed Larusso, and I must say that I was completely impressed. The music was actually on the mellow side, and the vocals were completely incredible. The lead singer has an wonderful voice. The gal next to me thought he sounded like Billy Joel. I wasn't hearing it, and I replied that I definitely thought he sang better than Billy Joel. LOL

PersonL was the main opener and Kenny did a good job of keeping everyone interested and getting the crowd going. I had seem them at Kilby and thought they weren't too bad, but it was a little screamy for me. This was not the case at The Avalon. He actually sounded great and I loved the whole set. I thought some of the guitars were a bit reminiscent of old Beatles.

After PersonL's set (if I have the order straight), the venue gave away a guitar signed by Mae. They promised that they would be giving away a guitar at sold out shows. A very happy young lady was able to go up on stage and claim her prize.

Then after a bit of time for set up, Mae finally took the stage. The crowd was very enthusiastic. Dave was in front of me on the right, Robert was on keys a ways behind Dave and mostly in the shadows. Jacob was far back to to the right so that the backdrop where the video part of the concert would be happening was easy to see. Unfortunately, with the angle and me being so short most of the time I could just barely see Jacob behind the drum set. LOL I wish there had been a set list for me to snag so I could recall the order of things. Suffice it to say that they did play, "The Ocean", Suspension, the new songs from Morning and a fairly lengthy set. Afterwards the crowd clamored for more and Dave came out and played two songs acoustic. At one point other members of the band came out and played with Mae. It was sad that it had to end, but I knew that the acoustic set was yet to happen. :)

At the end of the last song I made my way to the back quickly so I could get a good seat for the acoustic set. I went back to the merch table and paid for the acoustic show and tried to unsuccessfully to get the ep. Instead I ended up with a gray Mae hoodie. I can always use those. LOL Then I felt badly that I was out of cash for anything else. Security started asking people to go outside as they were going to empty the venue and then let people back in. I managed to end up in the front and found a good spot once inside. The acoustic set was completely amazing, although I did miss Jacob with his water jug. :) At the end the crowd convinced Dave to play a part of the new song coming out on May 30 called Over and Over. He said it was really more of a rock song, meant for electric guitars, and he agreed to play part of it. I can't wait to hear the complete, recorded version because I really liked what I heard.

After the acoustic set, I went outside and Dave, Dave & Zach visited with fans. I had my pic taken with them all. Jacob was acting tour manager, so he was taking care of business. Zach did go and get him for me (I think it was Zach.. I was pretty tired), though because we had an unfinished conversation from earlier in the day and I wanted to say goodbye and get a pic. I managed to get some friends to take a photo of me with Jacob and when I went to look at the photo, I saw how burnt I really was. Wow, was my face red!!! So, in all of the pics I look something like a lobster (minus the claws, of course.) LOL

Finally about 1 a.m. or so we left and I dropped off Nicole and company at her grandmothers and headed for home. I probably scared them all half to death with my bad driving as I was pretty tired and out of it. LOL They probably won't want to ask me for a ride again! ;) But I did make it home safe and sound, and very tired.

I left so much off this long saga, (like giving Zach his birthday card and gift and getting a chance to visit a bit before the show with Zach & Jacob), but suffice it to say that it was a wonderful day and I had an incredible time. :)

I can't wait until they come back in the fall. :)

Love, Peace, exhaustion and too much fun in the sun...


Zach was front right stage, and Dave (bass) was behind him.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mae Day

I've been anxiously awaiting Mae Day for months now. I bought my ticket for Mae's Salt Lake City show the first minute they were on sale. I wanted to be there early, I wanted to be in the front, I wanted to be able to use my good camera and I wanted to talk to Jacob, Zach and Dave. From the standpoint of meeting those ceratin goals, the day was an awesome success.

I normally work late and last night I stayed after talking to a co-worker for quite a long time. I had plans to get up at 9 a.m. (that I pushed up to 9:30 a.m.), so I probably didn't pick the best day to start a long conversation and get home late. I knew I would be tired. I was and am very tired indeed.

My alarm rang far too soooon, and I quickly got dressed, took Mollie for a short walk and ten headed out to The Avalon. Since it was a beautiful, sunny Saturday, I wasn't sure what I'd find when I arrived. I arrived at 10:45 a.m. and was pretty much alone for most of the day. I finished reading my book, "A Rose from the Ashes: the Rose Price Story", listened to my Zune and waited for anyone to join me and keep me company. At one point a guy on a bike stopped to talk to me for a really long time. He was a 58 year old, Vietnam Vet, who was couch hopping. After a while, he left and I was on my own again. A feww people came and went... looking for tickets, trying to see when Mae would play their acoustic set, etc. A group of girls showed up, peeked into the building and left but said they were coming back later for the show. Right after they left, Mae showed up. I went over and talked to Jacob a bit, and then Zach. I gave Zach his birthday card and gift and we exchanged hugs. We now both have vowed to see the new Star Trek movie. :)

I was expecting oothers to show up at the venue as well, and Nicole and company showed up around 3:15 or so. They held my spot while I went across the street and bought lunch and took care of other business. Slowly people began to arrive. At about 4:30 or so, Miss Corey came and brought me a yummy homemade oreo cookie. I am off chocolate and all but a small amount of sweets, but since it was a special ocassion, I decided to go for it. It was really, really good. :) Shoot, I should have taken a photo of it.

The crowd continued to grow and at 5:15, the lines were separated into will call and hard copy ticket holders. I think that was around 5:15... less than 2 hours to showtime. be continued. I'm falling asleep. Stay tuned: same bat time, same bat channel. LOL

Friday, May 15, 2009

Laughter Does a Heart Good Like Medicine

Take your medicine and watch this! :) It isn't even a bitter pill to swallow. I quite literally laughed out loud numerous times. :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I had put in to get the day off work yesterday so that I could see Revive in concert.
I was denied. I normally help out in the kitchen for concerts at this venue with this promoter (People for Christ Ministry) so I offered to help until I had to leave for work. I not so secretly hoped the band would be timely and that sound check would be early. :)

I had my alarm set for 7:40 a.m., but I probably woke up hourly for some reason. It was rather annoying as I really needed some sleep. But finally 7:40 came, the alarm went off and I dragged my tired (and rather sleepless body) out of bed and proceeded to get the day going. I said a few prayers along the way.

I cleaned up a little, got dressed, took Mollie outside, and loaded the car.
The plan was to be there at 10 a.m. Then I was going to make homemade potato soup and get a few things ready for lunch. There as much to do as Subway had donated sandwiches for the event.

I left the house by 8:30 and headed for Smith's to get gasoline. Then I had to go inside and get two bags of ice because the one outside their gasoline area hadn't been restocked. This is what happens when one is in a hurry. LOL. Then I realized I had forgotton a pan I needed, so I drove the mile or so back home, got the pan and headed out to Salt Lake City. There was traffic, but it was moving well, and I arrived 15 minutes early. When I arrived I was really excited to see the bus had already arrived, so I figured they were all at the hotel. One wish fulfilled, one to go. :) Then I parked and started unloading my car.

Then a few others began to arrive. Eleanor started some Bear Creek Chicken Noodle, Paula diced an onion for me, and I peeled and cubed 10 lbs. of potatoes ,and started them boiling. Paula set up the tables and fruit bowls. I cut up seedless watermelon. IN the interim my pastor showed up and said he couldn't stay and asked if I'd pick him up a cd, so I said I would. The sandwiches arrived about 11:30. Things went rather smoothly, and everything was ready on time. About 12:10 we started to serve lunch, pretty much one or two at a time. Everyone was taking the chicken noodle. I tried to give it away. Ty (or was that Rich? I can't recall) came back and had some later in the afternoon. I hope he liked it. I think he had some just because he said he would, so that was pretty nice of him. LOL

Then something amazing happened... wish no. 2 was fulfilled. The started sound check. I didn't bring all my camera gear, just a point and shoot (and I hadn't had a chance to charge the batteries) and I ran to the car and grabbed it. Then I went in to listen. Let me say that Dave has an absolutely beautiful voice, and their harmonies were spot on. I know it was probably nothing compared to the actual show, and it was still excellent. I couldn't really get any pics without flash, so I asked if the minded if I took some pics, and was told no, shoot away. The camera wasn't co-operating too well (not focusing and long delays - should have changed the batteries after all) but I did get a few. They all posed for me. It was kinda fun. LOL I asked if I could get some merch and bought a cd bundle for me and the newest cd for my pastor and a sticker.

Then I went back in to see if there was anything I could do to help with dinner. All I really was able to do was chop a bit more watermelon, and put some noodles in boiling water. Still.. I guess I did my part. LOL I think Lynn was fixing Chicken Alfredo - lots of garlic, and it smelled wonderful.

I finally headed for work a little later than planned as I can get a bit gabby at times, and figured it would be close but I might make it. The longest part was waiting at the two lights between the venue and the freeway (who timed those things?!) and the traffic accident about 20 minutes from work. I ended up being 12 minutes late. :( Not good. But no one seems to upset with me yet. I did call to let them know when I got stuck in accident traffic. It was already off the road or it might have been worse.

Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. LOL I wonder how much soup was left over and what happened to it. LOL Stay tuned... or not. I can see ya'll are on the edge of your seats.

Till next time....

Peace out,

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Good Times

Monday was a normal day, so was Tuesday - get up too late, barely make it to work on time. Work, go home. The main difference was that the days have actually been somewhat nice this week. Wednesday was my long day. I got up early, made it to work at 10 a.m. instead of my usual 4:30 p.m. and worked until 2 p.m. Then I headed for Salt Lake City to see We Shot the Moon, John Allred and Camera Can't Lie. On the way I made a few stops, one to get gasoline, at Smith's to get some Throat Coat Tea and other items, at Wendy's to get a chicken go wrap, etc. I made it to Salt Lake a few minutes before 4 p.m., I think. I didn't check right away. I listened to my cd player in the car, and saw one of the band's drive past the venue. Since no one else was really around, I decided to find a restroom and do what one does in restrooms. As I started walking I spotted Starbucks and decided that would be a good place to go.

Once I walked to Starbuck's and went in side I saw 4 guys all sitting/standing around a single laptop computer. I chuckled quietly and thought it must be the opening band. I mean how often do you see 4 guys gathered around a single laptop unless it's a band. LOL

So, I made a purchase at Starbucks, used their facilites, and walked back to the venue. After a few minutes I decided to walk around the back and see if I could
see anyone. I had a few gifts to hand out, especially one for Jason of WSTM. LOL

When I arrived at the back I saw John Allred and he invited me in. I just hung around and chatted with a few people and bought one of Jon's tees. Just before WSTM started sound check I told Jason I had something for him. He had been making comments on his facebook, and a few times mentioned being worried about running out of tp, so I gave him some toilet paper (and a couple of nicer things.) Everyone laughed. Then I waited, chatted with John, Shane, Jon, Jason, et al. Jon told me how much he loved Camera Can't Lie and said they were really good.At one point someone asked about Camera Can't Lie's whereabouts, and I mentioned that they were probably at Starbucks and laughed. Amanda showed up a bit later and we chatted for a good, long while. Anyway, the afternoon passed and I had a wonderful time waiting and listening to sound check.

Finally the show was starting and I went up to the front with my camera and took lots of pics, clapped my hands, sang along and really enjoyed myself. I had to agree with Jon as Camera Can't Lie was really good, although I think the vocals could have been just a tad louder. I was having a bit of a tough time with the lighting and kept having issues for a while. Finally about halfway through WSTM's set I realized I had the ISO set at 200. That explained a lot. It's funny that I had recently told myself I would check that. I have done this on at least two other occasions, and it's really not a good idea. LOL On the bright side, there is less color noise on ISO 200, and I shot RAW, so I was able to salvage quite a few. The shutter speeds could have been a tad faster on a higher ISO, though, so clarity could have been better. I still had fun, and have something to show for it as well, so I can't complain too much. (Sorry for all the technical details if you aren't the least bit interested in such things.) LOL

Anyway, too soon the show was over, and I chatted some more and bought an ep from Camera Can't Lie. Trevor took a photo of Jason and I with his "gift."

Then I made the drive back towards work. I was to work 2 hours after the show (1 a.m.-3 a.m.) but since I made it back by 12:15 a.m. I only had to work until 2:15 a.m. IT was a good thing. I barely made it. Needless to say, I went out pretty quickly once I hit the sack. IT was worth every minute. :)

To sleep, perchance to dream...

Sweet dreams, all.


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Before the Storms

The middle part of Sunday was such a beautiful day. We had plans to go to my daughter's, so before we left I decided I'd better get my tulip pics in while there was light outside and it was relatively dry. SO, of course, it was a little breezy, which made it take a little longer. Ever try to photograph a moving flower? LOL

Here are a few of the results (the first photo was taken in my daughter's yard, I believe):

I also got a couple of awesome shots of a sandal. LOL