Saturday, February 25, 2006

I guess Syracuse fans don't think too highly of Georgetown

So I took my two best friends (both Syracuse grads) to today's GU-SU game for an early birthday present. The following conversation took place during the game, yes G'town won...

Me: So what do you think "Hoya Saxa" actually means?
Pete: We're going to lose in the first round of the NCAA tournament to Wichita State.

I don't know why that amused me so much, but I was laughing for about 20 minutes straight. Guess it just means I'm a huge sports geek.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Start Me Up... and if you start me up I'll never stop...

So last night, I randomly was offered a free ticket to the Rolling Stones concert in Baltimore. Obviously that sort of thing doesn't come along too often, so I had to go. Went with a couple of coworkers, who I've seen a lot of concerts with this year, including 3 of what I would argue are seminal rock'n'roll bands: U2, Aerosmith, and now the Rolling Stones.

My coworker that I refer to as my "little sister" and I were discussing all three shows on the drive back last night, and I found it odd that we had exactly opposite opinions. She thought U2 and the Stones were the best, while Aerosmith left her a bit cold. Her reasoning was that she felt they played to the crowd the most, while I completely went the other way.

My reaction was that the U2 concert was the worst we had seen. I had been dying to see them for years, and when I finally got to, I felt it was one of the most distant, unemotive shows I had ever been to. Bono spent far too much preaching betweens songs, and not just about his One campaign to end poverty (which I think is admirable), but he also chose to speak to issues of AIDs, malaria, war, famine, drug use, and US foreign policy. When he did play, their set was full of the album cuts of songs, no "jamming", no crowd interaction. It was far too polished. They played for about 2 hours, completely relying on the devotion of the audience (of which there was plenty) to cover their own lack of energy.

Aerosmith was my favorite of the 3, they played for nearly 3 hrs, each song felt as though the band was into each other, into the crowd, and was working to impress the audience... it was a true "rock concert" from the days of yore. Joe Perry and Brad Whitford alternated solos all night long, and Steven was a whirling dervish of purple fabric. That man could sing Yankee Doodle and I think he could sell it.

The Stones fell somewhere in between for me. I didn't have much expectation, because while I love classic rock, I'd always assumed they had gotten too old to really rock out. I think I'm still sort of right. Mick gave it his best shot, but he and Keith both look like they're rolled onstage out of a coffin. Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts have held up okay, and emote some, but Keith pretty much doesn't move anymore. That being said, the music was great. Unfortunately, with a 5 song encore, it still checked in at just under 2 hours. When a band has a catalogue of 40 years, and charges 100 bucks a ticket, forgive me if I expect more. As an example, last week I saw a local band, Virginia Coalition, who's been around maybe 6-8 years, they played for 2 and a half hours. That's a good concert, and reflective of the effort a band should put in for their fans. I've heard through the grapevine that other shows on the Stones tour saw much longer performances, so maybe they just have something against the city of Baltimore. After all, it was their first concert there since 1969.

I'm not really sure why I posted this, other than I've been thinking about it alot today, and its a nice distraction from female issues. But I'm so fascinated that two people can have such divergent opinions on concerts. I guess I'm just a music snob.

Anyway, if you were at any of these shows, or just want to talk music, feel free to respond.