Thursday, October 07, 2004

Finally ... Rockin' In The Free World

Well, I'm sure in violation of the International Blogging Protocol, having not posted for nearly a week, but quite frankly I haven't had time. And who's reading this anyway? But for those few, obviously very bored souls that might be, I thought I'd recap my rock 'n roll, Vote for Change weekend.

Saturday, Oct. 2, I went to the lovely metropolis of Toledo, Ohio for a Vote for Change concert starring Pearl Jam and Death Cab for Cutie. I didn't reach Toledo until about 3:30, so my pre-show activities were limited a half-hour in the Toledo Art Museum -- I've been there before, most recently in January. It's an excellent museum, far bigger & better than one might expect in a city of Toledo's size -- and a visit to Tony Packo's Cafe, a legendary local restaurant dating back to 1932, that had been frequently mentioned by Klinger on M*A*S*H. The concert was at the Toledo Sports Arena, an old, low slung building that looked like a roller rink. There was one-tier, 5,000 permanent seats, plus another 2,500 put on the floor (over a hockey rink you could feel through the floor boards). The show began 10 minutes before the ticketed time of 7:30 when Eddie Vedder walked onstage alone with a guitar; he played two cover songs: Steven Van Zandt's "I Am A Patriot" and The Beatles' "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away." Then he introduced "representing the other side" a supposed ex-Senator from Pennsylvania, who decried all the liberals on hand. But it was just a joke, it was really actor Tim Robbins who proceeded to play guitar & sing in a 4-piece band called Gob Roberts.

Next up was Death Cab for Cutie, an up & coming band from Seattle I was somewhat familiar with. They were okay, but nothing phenomenal. Then came Pearl Jam, who opened with "Long Road" and proceeded to play a great set -- oh, yeah, I was in the 3rd row. After an electric set, and a short acoustic set hightlighted by Elderly Woman and Black (2 different songs!), after an encore break, Eddie came out alone and introduced special guest Neil Young, along with Neil's wife Pegi. They played Neil's song Harvest Moon, then the whole band came back and played All Along The Watchtower (amazing!), Act Of Love -- at this point, Eddie introduced another special guest who was onstage with a guitar, Peter Frampton -- followed by Cortez The Killer and Rockin' In The Free World.

Boy, that was longer than I thought. Anyway, Sunday was Detroit. First the Detroit Art Museum, then the final Detroit Tigers game of the season, then the concert at Cobo Arena. First, a band called Bright Eyes, then R.E.M., then Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band with special guest John Fogerty. It was awesome. More later.

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