Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My first foray into blogging & a recap of 2010

Starting in the fall of 2009, I rediscovered my love of live music. When I was in high school, it was nothing to go to multiple concerts a year, either at intimate venues like the long gone away 328 Performance Hall or larger events at the also long gone away Starwood Amphitheater. I saw the likes of Counting Crows (four times!), Weezer, Stone Temple Pilots, the Wallflowers, Live and Smashing Pumpkins among many, many others. But once I hit college, the concert going all but stopped. I managed to make it to a few shows over the following decade, most notably Saliva, Cypress Hill, Davy Jones and an amazing performance by Simon and Garfunkel on their Old Friends tour. But that was pretty much it. It got pushed very far onto the back burner as travel moved to the forefront of my wallet.

But on one boring Sunday night in August of 2009, I was vividly and LOUDLY reminded of just why I loved concerts in my teenage years. I heard that Saliva was playing at a small bar/music hall in Murfreesboro, TN, and ultimately talked myself into making the 45 minute drive to the venue so I could go. I had caught a show of theirs during the Survival of the Sickest tour a few years prior and remembered having a great time, so I figured that it would be an evening and $20 well spent.

Well, to say that I enjoyed myself is the understatement of the year. It was loud...it was flashy...it was intense...and it brought back every memory of exactly what it was that I loved about live music in high school. A good concert just lets you step out of your real life for a few moments and just enjoy something that's fun. Nothing else matters for that little slice of time except for who's performing, what they're singing, who you're with and how much more your ears can take!

Two more Saliva shows in Evansville, IN and Decatur, AL rounded out the year, and I ended up making one single resolution for 2010. More live music. LOTS more. My initial resolution was to go to 5 shows, with at least two of them being Saliva shows. I later amended that to 12 shows, with at least two being Saliva shows. Ultimately, I went to 11 shows...just one shy of my goal, so I was very happy with that. And yes, two of them were Saliva shows :-)

As 2011 rolled around, I decided to make the same resolution for the new year. 12 shows in 12 months. And I'm sure that I will make it this time.

The point of this blog is to share my experiences and photos from the shows I go to in 2011. Since I already have tickets purchased for two shows in January, I figured that I better get this blog established ASAP!

So here's a quick recap of what went on during my musical escapades in 2010...

January 20th, 2010
Better than Ezra
Wildhorse Saloon - Nashville, TN

The first show of the year was Better than Ezra, who I absolutely loved in high school. The show was good, though I did learn the hard way not to wear heels to a concert! Ouch! By the end of the show, I had to give up my front row spot just so I could sit down and get off my feet!




April 1st, 2010
Seven Mary Three, Marcy Playground, Sponge
Wildhorse Saloon - Nashville, TN

February and March both passed without a single good show in my area, but I started April off right at the 102.9 the Buzz Birthday Bash. The tickets were reasonably priced, and all three bands put forth great performances, though Marcy Playground was my favorite of the three.




May 13th, 2010
Saliva, Since October
Sammy T's Music Hall - Huntsville, AL

Hands down, my favorite show of the year was the Saliva and Since October show in May. Since it fell on the first day of my weekend, I got a hotel for the night, and decided to make a weekend of it. After a soak in the tub, and a good long while of lingering over my hair and makeup, I made my way to the venue. The guys from Since October were hanging around in front of the club, so I got to meet all of them, and had a great time hanging out with Smootch and new friends Janelle and Jeremy. Anchored opened, followed by an awesome performance by Since October, and then the most incredible Saliva performance ever! Lead singer Josey Scott was so close to the audience that we were able to touch his stomach as he sang! For this raging Saliva fan, it was the ultimate concert experience!




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May 21st, 2010
Three Days Grace, Apocalyptica, Halestorm, Three Doors Down
Municipal Auditorium - Nashville, TN

The Buzz Hootenanny in late May ended up being the least impressive of the shows of the year. The line to get in the venue was ridiculous, stretching literally all the way around the block. Also, the general admission seats were simply too far away to give a good concert experience, and concert goers were confined to the far stretches of the cheap seats while over half of the main floor went empty. Three Doors Down was fine except that their set was extremely short, and Halestorm just wasn't impressive at all. Apocalyptica was just truly lame, and as much as I wanted to think that playing cellos in a rock band was awesome...it wasn't. They sucked. Luckily Three Day's Grace swooped in and saved the day, but their performance would have been ten times better had I been on the main floor. Oh well. Live and learn.




June 4th, 2010
Saliva, Adelita's Way, Puddle of Mudd
Wildhorse Saloon - Nashville, TN

Finally Saliva came back to Nashville. Through a series of unfortunately misinformed employees, I ended up paying $70 for a meet and greet for this show, and Saliva wasn't even included. So I did get to spend about 15 seconds talking to Puddle of Mudd, but didn't get to see them perform since I left early to hobnob with Saliva behind the club. This show also convinced me that the Wildhorse sucks as a venue for hard rock shows. The Adelita's Way performance was great though, and Saliva was awesome as well, though I do prefer when they are headlining.

Wes Scantlin pointing at my boobs




August 15th, 2010
Marcy Playground
3rd and Lindsley - Nashville, TN

Since I had enjoyed Marcy Playground's performance in April so much, I decided to see them again in August. I ended up running into my friend John at this show as well, which was great.



August 27th, 2010
Since October
Buzz Acoustic Den - Nashville, TN

In an incredibly wonderful twist of fate, I won a pass to see Since October (who was, by now, one of my favorite bands) at the 102.9 the Buzz Acoustic Den in late August. When I arrived, I found that I was one of only 11 people attending the show! It was truly amazing to attend such an intimate show by one of my favorite bands! After the show, the band hung around for as many photos as we wanted, and chatted with me like they'd known me forever. Awesome show...awesome guys...awesome day!



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October 14th, 2010
Brent Mason
3rd and Lindsley - Nashville, TN

In October, a friend from Canada made his first trip to Nashville and invited me to see Brent Mason with him. I had never heard of Brent Mason, but I quickly found out that he is an incredibly famous, incredibly talented guitarist who has worked with seemingly everyone in town. Even though I would tend to choose harder rock shows, I really had a great time experiencing something new!



November 5th, 2010
Since October, American Bang
Crossroads Music Hall - Huntsville, AL

To start off what would be a fantastic November, I made the drive down to Huntsville to hang with Smootch and see Since October for the final time of the year. The show was great as always, and all of the guys recognized me from the acoustic show in Nashville!



November 15th, 2010
Anybody Killa (ABK), Critical Bill, Ajax
The Muse - Nashville, TN

By the middle of November, I was ready to embrace my new-found interest in Psychopathic music and the Juggalo culture and see ABK perform at the Muse. For my first Psy show, I had a great time! I'm not the biggest ABK fan, but he gave a great performance...much better than I was expecting, actually. I also saw Critical Bill, who I had never heard of at the time. I was very impressed with them, and since the show, I've become a big fan of theirs as well!


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November 28th, 2010
Twiztid, Blaze Ya Dead Homie, DJ Clay
The Masquerade - Atlanta, GA

The last show of the year was one of the best, and also one of the craziest! I knew not to expect a subdued, sophisticated crowd, and when I arrived in Atlanta, I was not surprised at all to see a few hundred of the wildest, most fun concert goers I'd ever seen. The show was fantastic, and I was so glad that I had put forth the extra effort to see Twiztid during their World of Webs tour. The whole room was basically one big mosh pit, and there were crowd surfers, weed smokers and a lot of water flying everywhere. It was truly unlike anything I'd ever experienced before...in a great way!

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So there you have it. That was my 2010. I can only expect that 2011 will be equally entertaining, if not more! My first two shows of the year are within the next two weeks...Insane Clown Posse at Expo Five in Louisville, and Full Devil Jacket at 12th and Porter in Nashville. I've had "Go to an ICP show" on my bucket list for about a decade, so I am very excited to be able to cross another thing off the list.

Til next time!


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