| Sunday December 10, 2006
Ah, c'mon. You know what I did all day, right?
I edited the hundreds and hundreds of pics from last night. It wasn't exciting but it (sometimes) pays the bills.
If you wanna see my WireImage gallery of the show, by all means, click here!
The rest of the day was pretty dull, standard fare what with the relaxing and trying to get back on track. That's okay as this week was kind of a monster for me. I need a break or else I feel like I might collapse or something but it doesn't look like I'm going to get one until the new year...
| Saturday December 9, 2006
The Goo Goo Dolls headlined the Star 94 Jingle Jam in Atlanta...but apparently very few people bought tickets to see them.
Today I was rested for once. I guess it was a smart decision to stay home last night. Of course, I must have a shoot tonight if I had yesterday "off", right? Yep!
Tonight it was the other big radio station's holiday show. I have two incongruous things to say about it. This was handled perfectly. Every thing flowed and everyone was right on target. It was a great shoot with a lot of buzz bands. Unlike the show the other night, this was sold out to the rafters. They even announced that it was the most successful holiday show of the year in the U.S. as far as sales. The crowd was amped up, too. To me, however, the actual bands and performances were pale compared to the Wednesday night gig despite this one being much more "successful". Even the worst band the other night was better than the best tonight. Oh well - I guess I don't get it.
KT Tunstall - She opened and did what she does. It was nice and melodic but not much to latch on to. She's like if Jewel was British and a bit more interesting.
Hinder - WTF? What year is it? These guys somehow time-traveled from 1987 and landed here. And it's a shame. Back then, they would've been 3rd tier rock gods (remember Dangerous Toys?) but now it's simply comical. The young girls seemed to love 'em anyway. Seriously, I don't get it. If rock wants to make a come back, I know of some great rock bands. This ain't one of 'em. Oh - and just for the record, I heard the semi-pathetic story of why the guitarist is called Blower. However, it seems to me that he should be called Blowee. Can't they even get that right?
The Fray - Oof. You're kidding, right? Do we really need another American Coldplay? All I can say is BO-RING! Yikes.
Goo Goo Dolls - Someone in the biz that I talked to mentioned that a poll of this show's attendees proved that almost all of the tickets were bought for the earlier "buzz" bands on this bill, not for the Goos. It's a shame when a band like the Goo Goo Dolls stands out as the hardest rocking (Yes, Hinder - I didn't forget you) but that's what happened tonight.
Oh well - not the best night for music but a great shoot that should sell some images.
| Friday December 8, 2006
Well, since I couldn't upload my Seger pics to WireImage due to my deal, I didn't even edit the photos 'til late in the day. It's such a shame...almost as bad as with The Rolling Stones. I've got all of these great pics and so few are gonna get to see 'em. Oh well - that's part of the game.
Joe came by and we rehearsed during the day. He's out of his job at the moment and trying to rechart his course. I hope he puts it into his music. If he does, it'll pay off. We got a good rehearsal in. The big surprise for me about Joe is that he doesn't really know much about The Beatles except the obvious radio hits. It's a shame. I tried to remedy this by hooking him up with a homemade Beatles Box that I hope piques his interest. I guess we'll see...
We were supposed to go to the Flagpole Christmas party tonight. I felt bad about not making out but Amanda and I were just too tired after all of these late nights. Instead, we vegged out and watched Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer. I still get emotional over Clarisse's "There's Always Tomorrow". What a song!
We also watched the original Frosty The Snowman cartoon. It was alright. The stupid network then decided to put Frosty Returns (screw John Goodman and Jan Hooks) instead of the one where the snowman gets married to Crystal. Ack! What were they thinking?
I couldn't take that so we went on and crashed.
Thursday December 7, 2006
Bob Seger may look like your crazy uncle these days but my God, he rocks harder than I ever thought he could!
Of course I spent this date which will live in infamy editing my pics from last night's Mistletoe Jam. If you wanna see the pics of all the pretty young boys, click this!
Tonight it was back to the same room but there were no "pretty young boys" on stage. In fact, this was more of the "homely old men" show...but it rocked so much more.
Bob Seger has only done two tours in the last 20 years and each of them have been 10 years apart. This is the first chance I've had to see him and I was looking forward to it. Granted, there's a lot of stuff by him that I really don't like but the stuff I love - well, I love! He won't let me use my images on the wire service which is a shame. So really, I went to this one more for my own entertainment and in honor of my Dad (who loved him some Bob Seger). It was worth it despite its beginnings.
Apparently, a bus exploded somewhere on the highway that we were on. The whole friggin' interstate was shut down going our way. We had to get off on all these roads that we didn't really know. Of course, they were all backed waaaaaay up. Ticketed show time was 7 pm. I knew we'd never make it in time. We'd been listening to some totally random music. At exactly 7 pm (to the second) and very far away from our destination, Seger's "Still The Same" came on to our stereo system. It seemed like a sign that I'd missed it and would never hear one of my Dad's favorite songs of all time live. It was depressing and still cathartic (If you knew my Dad, you know the guy in that song). We kept pushing on. When we finally got there we found out that there was an opener. We missed Eric Church but I was so happy not to miss Seger that I didn't care. It's rare for me to see someone legendary that I haven't. When I finally got out there, I was blown away.
He opened with an amazing "Roll Me Away" and "Trying To Live My Life Without You". Despite a ridiculous order from Seger's management (shoot for one minute, stop for one minute, shoot for 30 seconds, stop for 30 seconds - for the duration of two songs), it was a great shoot. The lights were good and while Seger looked very, very old, he managed to rock very, very hard. I ran back out to the car to dump my camera off and got back just in time for the end of "Mainstreet" which soon gave way to "Old Time Rock And Roll". Lemme tell you, this packed crowd was into it. They were giving it all they had and so was Seger and the Silver Bullet Band. Don Brewer from Grand Funk Railroad was the drummer so you know that there was strong beat to it all. After the solid new "Face The Promise" came what I'd been waiting for. "Still The Same" wrapped around me and did what it always does...it gave me a few more minutes with my Dad. I loved it. Now this is real songwriting. Of course, he had to follow it with one of my most hated Seger songs, "Betty Lou's Going Out Tonight". Ugh. It's right up there with "Horizontal Bop" in making me ask "Why, Bob?" In all honesty, I don't really need to ask. I know why. They're perfect for a glorified bar band but man - I hate those 2 songs.
Despite those and several droning dud new songs ("Simplicity", "Are You") and an unnecessary cover of Chuck Berry's "C' est La Vie", this was a special night. If we needed more proof, Patty Loveless even came out to duet on "The Answer's In The Question" which is a great new country song. This was the first time that had ever been done. Seger announced that performance his "favorite of the tour" and I can't blame him. Other personal highlights from early in the show for me were (of course) "We've Got Tonight" and "Turn The Page". There's always something exhilarating about hearing such classics live for the first time. Heck, I even enjoyed the main set ending with "Katmandu" which I've always disliked. I get that one after tonight.
Now - I would've loved to have heard any number of hits that he didn't do ("Like A Rock", "Shakedown", "Fire Lake", "Feel Like A Number", "Shame On The Moon", etc.) but I can't complain about what we did get. The first double shot was "Night Moves" and "Hollywood Nights". I couldn't help but think about Dad again. I sang right along just like everyone else. The final encore was equally as good. First came "Against The Wind" (I'm starting to relate a little too much) and then he delivered the knockout punch with the apropos "Rock And Roll Never Forgets". I know I won't forget it! Wow! This was another one of the best shows of the year and it came in right under the wire.
1. Roll Me Away
| Wednesday December 6, 2006
JET headlines the 99X Mistletoe Jam at Philips Arena (after The Killers have to cancel their slot).
I talked to Mike for the first time in a long while. He's apparently been working with some of his North Carolina crew during our down time. His medication had him a little out of it but he seemed like he was ready to get back on it. I am too. And while I still insist that we look for a local person to be the permanent guy to fill that throne, Mike may be the guy for the record as I don't feel like we have enough time to wait, find and train a newbie. In my dream, the definitive lineup would make this sophomore album, which I know will be the definitive record. Still - I'd rather make something happen under not-quite dream terms than wait around for something that can't happen now. Besides, Mike can do anything that needs to be done and do it better than anyone else I know. A miracle may come but until it does, it looks like the Chris, Frank, Joe, Mike lineup will be making Satisfactionista. And that's cool because musically (I say in all humbleness) no one I've seen can touch us at what we do!
Before the phone call, I edited and uploaded the pictures from last night of Tenacious D and Neil Hamburger. You can check out the shots by clicking on the respective blue names.
After the phone call, I had to get on the road for tonight's shoot. I was tired by this point. Add to that the insufferable traffic and a not very well organized show and I was fairly frustrated. Tonight was what was supposed to be the big alternative station's (99X) Christmas show. I've gotta tell you, though, the venue was mostly barren. It was strange to see so few people in such a big place. You would think that The Killers and JET alone could sell more but apparently not. Of course, The Killers wound up canceling due to illness. There still should've been a LOT more people there than there were. I wonder what (or who) is to blame.
Here are my brief notes on each band that I saw.
OK Go - A lot better than I thought they'd be. I liked 'em. They could tour with The Matches and be the more pop side of the same coin. The guys had a decent sense of humor and encored with a syncopated dance. They wound up being my favorite of the night.
Plain White T's - These guys were added after The Killers cancelled. They were very solid power-poppers and they're great at what they do. Unfortunately, I don't remember a single song which can't say much about 'em. I've got no problems with them but have nothing to remember them by but some pics.
A.F.I. - They can call themselves whatever they want. Some call 'em techno, some call them metal, some call them modern rock, some call them (what?) punk and they're all (more or less) wrong. They're basically pretty boy metal from the '80s with a little moderning up for the '00s. They had tons of energy and ripped off every glam legend with equal aplomb. They were great fun to watch. Too bad they didn't have a single worthwhile song.
JET - Real rock and roll. They actually came on early (which was great since the others made us wait so long). I only saw and shot the first 3 songs so I could get on home but as always, JET delivered some great straight up rock. I dug 'em then and I dig 'em now. I hated leaving early but I had to get on back and get to editing.
| Tuesday December 5, 2006
Tenacious D rocks out at Gwinnett...still, I kinda liked Neil Hamburger (the opener) better.
Today was based around tonight and this week. I spent a lot of time confirming and such. It's a busy one as I'm sure you can see!
Tonight, I drove out to Gwinnett Arena for the Tenacious D show. I didn't have a ticket so I didn't intend to stay. Of course, once I got there, I had tickets coming out of my ears. Still - I decided to shoot and leave. I did have one (debatably) pleasant surprise. Neil Hamburger opened the gig. It delighted me to no end to watch "America's Funnyman" torture the D's audience. There's nothing like intentionally bad jokes being told as if they're grade A. If you love absurdity, Tony Clifton or blurred performance art, I recommend highly that you check him out. So what if Andy Kaufman did it better. This was still funny (to me and a few others). I wish Amanda coulda seen him. I know she would've loved it. If you don't know what he's about, click here to get a bit of a video intro to what Neil does. As a warning, it might be a little offensive.
As for the D, there wasn't much time with them. I shot their first 3 songs which went by remarkably fast. I know one of the 3 was an acoustic cover of Queen's "Flash". I've always thought Tenacious D was waaaay overrated. I don't know. They're mildly amusing but the joke falls flat quickly for me. Granted, I didn't get to see the big, full out rock and roll with a complete band set that came later so maybe I can't judge.
The good thing about leaving is that I got home fairly early. In fact, it was early enough to where Amanda and I started watching my (unreleased) season 2 of Night Gallery collection. Ah, the wonders of the interweb never cease for me! Tonight we watched "The Boy Who Predicted Earthquakes". Not bad - not great - but a solid start.
Monday December 4, 2006
Jon Bon Jovi christens a Habitat For Humanity jet at Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport.
Happy birthday, Grady...wherever you are!
I had to get up way early today. I didn't like it. Joe tagged along, though, which helped out a lot. Since I knew he was on his way, I managed to get myself ready and out in time. Today's gig was for Retna. They wanted me to go shoot Jon Bon Jovi acting as the spokesperson for Habitat For Humanity. He was christening a special jet whose main job was to fly back and forth to Africa and build people homes. Well, the plane doesn't build the homes (I don't think) but I think you know what I mean.
It was freezing today, too. After a long, arduous, getting ourselves lost kind of trip we got there only to get out of the car and get blasted in the face by the Ice Wind. Thank God the event was in an indoor hangar. It was still cold but bearable under all of the lights. It was weird to be here. We waited and waited. Joe was right up front in the crowd while I wandered around wherever (they were great in helping us get what we needed).
By the time JBJ showed up, the room was filled with Delta employees. There may have been a thousand of 'em. Jon apparently refused to do what he was supposed to do so instead of coming out of the front of the plane for a photo op, he went under the plane and walked on the stage that way. To be honest with you, he didn't seem all that happy with being there. He said all the right things but he still seemed either angry or sick. I don't know but I was surprised with his lack of pleasantness. He wasn't out rightly rude but he was definitely not forthcoming. He did his spiel and took off ASAP. After he left, I took some pics of the flight attendants that had gathered, then we hit the road back to Athens.
Joe and I had a great talk about music and the band. We mostly listened to mashups (it's been a while since I've listened to any). I really do believe that he and I can create some great music together.
Now if only we will...
I got home in time for a late lunch. Joe took off so I could edit and upload. That proved to be incredibly difficult. Retna has made themselves nearly impossible to deal with. Things have to change or this is the last shoot of any kind I'll do for them. It's not worth the effort for the payoff.
In the evening, Amanda and I had to go to a condo association meeting. Yep! It was exactly as fun as it sounds. We were both tired. I felt bad as Amanda didn't get out of there without being named the acting secretary / treasurer. I know she can do a better job than anyone but I also know that our time is so limited as is that I don't know how she'll pull it off. Still - if anyone can, it's her.
Click here for last week with drummer auditions round 1, the results of the song poll for the second album, B4MX, the O' Gorman reconnect, the New York Dolls (and more) plus the 40 Watt Christmas card.