Sunday August 1, 2004

Geddy Lee of Rush plays (and plays and plays and plays) in Atlanta!


Still uploading and editing pics.

In the evening, I took Tom to see Rush at Hi-Fi Buys. I'm hoping that seeing Neil Peart and crew will impress and inspire him.

I saw them 2 years ago and enjoyed it better then than now. They started at 7:35 and ended 3 and a half hours later. Good Lord! Yes, they played and played and played. The 30th Anniversary Tour was starting to feel like it would run into another decade. They executed their parts brilliantly. Personally, I could've done without the covers. Geddy Lee has got no Mississippi in him whatsoever and hearing him sing "Crossroads" is almost surreal in its uselessness. "Heart Full Of Soul" was vaguely interesting. The rest was chops and more chops. The 20 plus minute 2112 Suite really pleased the music geek contingent as did "La Villa Strangiato," "By-Tor & The Snow Dog" and "YYZ." Me? I'm simpler than that. I liked the hits best.

They gave fans their money's worth, though, which is more than I can say for a lot of bands out there now.




Saturday July 31, 2004





Spent today (I wish I could say relaxing) editing the thousands of pics I've taken over the last few days. It took over ten hours just to upload the pictures to Retna (yes, I have a digital connection - there's just a lot of pics). Amanda and I did go out to dinner tonight. Again, we deserved it.

There's really not much else to say. That's all that happened!




Friday July 30, 2004

Collective Soul struts again at On The Bricks!



Oh...God...I' How will I make it through the day?

Got to On The Bricks early to do the staff portrait only to have the principles of the booking agency (i.e. the most important people) missing. Oh well, I got lots of pics of the rest of the staff!

Since Amanda did so well last week and I felt so bad today, I put her to work doing all the atmosphere and park shots while I just shot the bands. Thank God she was there to help me. I really did feel pretty bad. I probably would've dehydrated out there today.

I was so tired that I didn't do a single portrait shot (those are the most potentially profitable) even though several opportunities presented themselves.

Of the bands on the bill, I thought The Virginia Coalition was much better than last year while I found the North Mississippi All Stars to be not nearly as good. I did love the Van Halen-ish washboard solo, however (yes, you read right).

Collective Soul celebrated finishing their new album the day before with a homecoming show. The DJ that broke "Shine" even came out to introduce them. For some reason, Collective Soul's music never really connects with me, but they put on a heck of a high energy show. They're a really strong live band.

Funnily enough, the biggest buzz at the festival had nothing to do with the bands! When I was sneaking out early, I was stopped.

"No, you can't leave yet. Vern is here, Vern is here!" he back from the dead or just summer camp? What are you talking about? "Vern from Trading Spaces, don't you just love him? Don't you just love that show?" Ummmm...I don't know what you're talking about. "You have to take our pictures with him." No problem. Just tell me which one is him!

He was a nice guy, he posed for pics with a lot of people who don't like or want their pictures taken with celebs. They loved him. So anyway, if it matters to ya, I met Vern (woo-hoo!) and I can report that he was very cool to us.

When I got home, I got more good news. There was a voice mail message from Mom. She sounded good. Apparently, the surgery was a success. They managed to pull 14 tubes of blood from her today (yikes! egad! anyothernonsenseexclamationyoucanthinkof!) and she said that made her feel much better. In fact, she's planning on going to the mountains this weekend for some relaxation. She sounded infinitely better than the last couple of times we spoke.

Thanks to the powers that be for looking out for Mom this week. Keep it up. And don't forget the rest of my family and friends while you're at it!

Now sleep.




Thursday July 29, 2004

The Cure did exactly what The Cure does in Atlanta!


I was far more excited about today. Frank came in to catch this one, too (Hey, Shawn - we had an extra ticket - it shoulda been yours). For some reason, I've always missed The Cure. I wasn't going to do it again. Especially with Interpol and Muse opening up! Here are my short verdicts on each band...

Mogwai - Pretty sounding but PAINFULLY boring. Did I make that clear enough? BO-RING!

Auf Der Maur - Suprisingly potent and heavy. I was impressed. Melissa (ex-Hole / Smashing Pumpkins) classily avoided left handed compliments such as "Courtney is a whore!" (I know you were trying to say that you think Melissa Auf Der Maur is better than her former Hole band leader but what are you trying to prove? How is she supposed to respond to that?)

The Rapture - Ridiculous. Almost fun. Amanda liked them better than me. Touches of "Making Plans For Nigel" era XTC. In a way they were really good. It may be the first time I've seen a band that was so cool that they kind of sucked! Maybe they were just too self-aware and ironic for me. Frank and Amanda agreed that the cowbell guy made the band. I just stared blankly and quizzically.

Muse - Unreal, scary cool. Powerful and otherworldly. They blew away what they can do on record and that's saying something. They're not afraid to flat out rock. It's just too bad that they have those Jeff Buckley and Radiohead similarities. That's what's stopping a great band from reaching their full potential.

Interpol - You know I love you guys, right? That's why it pains me to say that this was clearly not an Interpol show. You didn't seem to be enjoying yourself all that much and the set was kind of boring. You made me a fan at the last show. This one doesn't stop me from being a fan but if this had been the only time I saw you, well... Anyway - Frank really enjoyed your set.

Thursday - This is the "one of these is not like the other" band on the bill. Emo-pop. One of my most hated genres. Thursday is one of my most hated bands, too! That's why it pains me to say that I enjoyed their set. They put on a good show, connected fully with their fans and gave it all they had.

The Cure - Sounded amazing. Perfect mix. To cool off, I went out on to the lawn for awhile and sat under a full moon watching The Cure. It's times like this that I remember how lucky I am. Their show was 2 full hours. I've got to say that it did get kind of boring on occasion. They didn't make as much use of visuals as I thought they would (and should have). Again, they did sound amazing. I'm sure The Cure fans were ecstatic.

One question. Was "Why Can't I Be You?" always that ridiculously bouncy? To quote Beavis & Butthead, "This is children's music."

Overall, great night. Great bill. Experimental and satisfying. Plus, with Lollapalooza cancelled for this year, this is the great alt-road show of '04.



Wednesday July 28, 2004

The (International) Noise Conspiracy positively smokes (the good way!) at the Vans Warped Tour Stop in Atlanta.

Ahhhhh...isn't it fun to get up at 7 in the morning to cover a rock show? I got up today and was on the road by 9 to go cover the Vans Warped Tour. It's a "punk" festival that runs during daylight hours. I was there by 11 when gates opened. It was so disorganized from a security standpoint that it took me over an hour looping the site in high heat to get my credentials. I almost left before I fired a shot.

I got relief at my last resort. They hooked me up and I was off. I was not having fun, though. As a matter of fact, I thought most of the bands were perfectly mediocre and / or just plain dull. Standouts were few. Letter Kills stood out 'cause they're decidedly not punk. They were more like Guns 'N' Roses slightly modernized. I guess that explains why they're opening the Velvet Revolver tour, eh? Flogging Molly was brilliant in their schtick. I really enjoyed what I saw of them, too. The hands down, top band of the bill was Sweden's International Noise Conspiracy. They positively kicked it. They did it in black leather in a 100 degree heat, too. It was (apparently) their first date on the tour and the singer was saying that the heat was "like Kryptonite" to him and that he'd just been through the worst summer in 30 years in Sweden. He then went on to lambast America and it's current foreign relations fiascos shouting bravely how America was affecting even countries like Sweden with their current policies and bull-headed stubborness. The band sounded great, too. Like Motown Garage Metal or something. Super cool. They should tour with The Mooney Suzuki.

I didn't stick around for ANY of the headliners. I really needed to shoot Yellowcard, NOFX, Bad Religion and the rest but I was crashing from the sickness brought on by the second hand smoke from Monday so I didn't get any of those. Plus, I have to pace myself. I still have two more days to go before I can rest at all!



Tuesday July 27, 2004


Let's see. Who should I cover tonight? My choices are: Dave Matthews Band / Robert Earl Keene at Hi-Fi, Sarah McLachlan / Butterfly Boucher at Philips or Lyle Lovett at Chastain.

How 'bout none of them? Why? Why because I'm detoxifying and feel like death warmed over from all the second hand cigarette smoke last night. Guys (and girls), listen. When I feel like I'm going through withdrawal from just sitting with you for a couple of hours, you're smoking too much. Get it together!

I'm sitting home tonight and doing nothing.

At least I got some of the thousands of pics ready for Concert Shots. God only knows when the site will actually get updated at this rate.

Also, I got an offer to go to Myrtle Beach next week with all expenses paid plus per diem plus pay to shoot Edwin McCain as he films his upcoming DVD at the House Of Blues. have no idea how coincidental this is. Amanda and I try to go to the beach at least once a year. When looking at the calendar the other day, we found that my schedule may keep us from it this year. Then I get an email from Fran with this offer (he's the guy that filmed the Sevendust DVD - they used my shots, too, if you remember). The pay's pretty low but, hey, we were going to pay to go to the beach, right? So it all works out, right?

Well, not exactly. I do have my obligation to On The Bricks. I'll have to miss that. Plus, the whole Edwin faction is flying from Atlanta to the beach on Wednesday. We can't fly out with them because I'm covering the KISS show Wednesday night (and you know I ain't a-missin' that one). So I'll get home about one-ish (hopefully) on Wednesday night, grab a few hours of sleep, then drive (how quaint) for six or seven hours to get to the beach and work that night. Hopefully, Friday'll be a little more laid back. Heck, maybe we'll stay an extra day and catch Loretta Lynn on my Dad's birthday. Maybe that'll be a good distraction. Of course, then we have to drive back 8 or so hours on Sunday and go straight to Gwinnett to shoot Hilary Duff.

I've said it before and I'll say it life is occasionally like the Ironic Punishment Division Of Hell.



Monday July 26, 2004


Yeah, I know - I know. You think I've been neglectful of the diary lately. That's not completely true. I mean, I've thought of it every day. I have just been so unimaginably busy that I can't even say.

Anyway - let's get to it.

Today was a worrying day. I got a call last night from my Mom telling me she's going to have surgery today. I'm sitting around behind the computer, editing, waiting, thinking about 40 weeks ago today and all potential outcomes from this latest development.

Thankfully, Benji went and he and Missy updated me throughout the day. Everything seems to have went okay. I hated not being able to go home for it. The main concern was just for her to be okay. That appears to be the case, at least as far as the surgery is concerned.

Tonight was the final rock trivia for a while. I'm still exhausted and didn't want to go but I had to be there to represent! Ballard added 5 more questions and started half an hour late. On top of that, everyone on my team (except me, of course) decided that to end rock trivia, cigarettes (one after the other for 2 and a half hours) would be necessary. It was miserable. My eyes were actually red and burning. Tom knew I was depressed about my Mom and thought it was all that. Well, that was certainly a factor but geez people, what are you thinking? Are you trying to addict me to second hand smoke?

As for the outcome, we won by 5 points! That's a far cry from the 30-point crushing that we gave last week, but I'm more than proud of it. We did good. We are the champions, my friends.

Just wait. If it ever starts back after Frank moves here, we're going to really show 'em a thing or thirty!

Click here for ye old week and its accompanying blather.