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Date Posted: 21:58:15 09/28/06 Thu
Author: strawb.
Author Host/IP: awfnt.awf.org /
Subject: RHCP review>>
In reply to: strawb. 's message, "jesus, ya'll. i have been swamped with work. i give it to you tomorrow God willing and the creek don't rise." on 18:51:27 09/28/06 Thu

what the hell- i'm already up! ;0)

ok, so i was able to grab tix and a train ticket into baltimore by a sheer miracle the night before (kinda like when i saw them at the baltimore arena on the 'cali' tour. hmmm. i'm starting to see a pattern...). It was Saturday and the day was overcast but nothing was gonna dampen my spirits- I WAS SEEING MY BOYS TODAY!!!! in a matter of hours, i was gonna be breathing the same air as chad, johnny, swan and flea. this day was gonna rule...until i went to the ATM machine and found that by buying my show/travel tix i had overdrawn my account!


i had officially gone into a panic. i walked back up to my apt. and freaked the fuck out. after a couple of minutes i gathered my wits and began to form a plan one step at a time: (1) call amtrak and move my reservation to a later time (i was originally going up to b-more on the 8:40am train b/c the doors to the Pimlico Race Track [where the festival was being held] opened at 10am and i wanted to make sure my ass was there); (2)what the fuck am i gonna do for $$$? I mean, i could walk all the way from Dupont Circle to Union Station (where amtrak is in DC) but that's a helluva walk. also, i don't even have enough money to get back to DC from the b-more. and then it hit me-i knew where i could get some cash.

ummm..i'm not gonna tell you what i did to get the cash but let's just say it was a low point and it's something i'm not proud of. don't worry- i didn't trick myself out in dupont circle or anything but where i got $50.00 bucks from, i put back so hopefully my karma is back on track.

so, i take the cash and cab it to union station. one of the guys i work with lives in b-more and told me the cab fare from Penn Station in b-more to the race track (which was only ~6 miles away) was no more than a $10.00 fare.

karma is a bitch.

i didn't have time to take the metro (aka subway) to union station so the cab ride cost about $6.00 plus tip. that left me $40.00 bucks. The cab ride from Penn Station to the race track was another $20.00. that left me only $20.00 left to get back home to DC after the show which means i could spare NOTHING in terms of water or food for the day. hey, serves me right.

so, i get to the race track (which is pretty big, by the way) and it was already starting to get packed ( the first band came on at noon and i got to the track at 20 minutes till and stayed at the main stage all day). everyone was just sort of standing around and wishing it would rain already, when of course, the event organziaers bring out that festival staple: beach balls. you know, after about 5 minutes those things are annoyoing as hell...

ok- it's now noon and the first band of the day comes on:kasabian. they were good enough. i've heard of them before but they didn't knock my socks off and they didn't knock my socks off live, either. they were fine enough i guess- it really can't be all that great to kick off an entire festival at noon in the muggy-ass baltimore heat so i'll give 'em a little bit of slack. they played for an hour (as did everyone with the exception of the who and our boys who were co-headlining).

next up was wolfmother. people, believe the hype. THIS is the moment when b-more and the festival itself came alive: dancing, pogo-ing, slam dancing and crowd surfing galore. i was up front for the entire time and people, it was during this set that your ole' pal strawb. actually got knocked down for the first time in more than a decade. it really was that rough. compile that with the heat, the throngs of people and having to take care of all those fucking crowd surfers, it was easy to tire out quickly.

next up: the raconteurs. since i'm not hard core about the white stripes OR the raconteurs, it was cool to just sort of take them in and learn what they were all about. they were good but with the exception of jack's sincerely good rendition of nancy sinatra's 'bang bang (my baby shot me down)' and a pretty rockin' version of 'steady as she goes' they really didn't do anything for me. they were good just not great, in my opinion.

next up: gnarls barkely. for you GB fans out there, they came out dressed as gladiators with the backup singers in togas and strappy, gold roman sandles and cee-lo stated they were not 'gnales barkely' but in fact they were Chariots of Fire! they were pretty fun and i was impressed. not impressed enough to buy their album but they were really fun. they did a pretty good version of the violent femmes' 'gone, daddy gone' and of course, folks lost their shit when they did 'crazy.' honestly people, i think dangermouse is great (LOVED the cartoon growing up!)but i just don't get why so many people are going up this band's fuge tunnel. i really don't.

now, at this time it's about 5:00-ish and even with all the pushing and crowd surfing, i'm still hanging in there-about 4-5 rows from the front row rail. the sun has been at full blast for a awhile now, it's packed- and we all know what it's like in a packed audience if you're not in the first one or two rows. i haven't had a drop of any liquid except for this one bottle of water i saw rolling on the ground- which wasn't water at all but vodka. everyone has the same idea- we're all here to see the who and the peppers and if you're anywhere even remotely near the front DO NOT MOVE!!! it's at this time that i realize i have endured a fucking lot to see my boys- i have literally been standing for SIX HOURS without any water, been pushed, prodded and had bottles of warm piss thrown at me. but i thought, 'strawb.-you can DO this! you have made it so fucking close! just get through the killers and than the who is on!' but than i thought about how truly hot it was and how truly aggressive the crowd was becoming as the day went on and i knew: i had to get out. so i tapped the guys in front of me and i got out of the front.

since i had no $$$, i couldn't buy water(which was a fucking rip off at $4.00 per bottle, anyways), so i just sat down on the grass, relaxed for the first time all day and actually breathed cool air. i started walking around when the killers came on (yawn) and tried to find a vendor who could/would at least spare a cup of ice but the lines were too damn long and the vendors i DID get to didn't have any so, i just found another spot on the lawn, spread a shirt out and took a little cat nap.

i was wonderfully yet rudely taken out of my reverie by the sounds of mr. pete townsend. I was laying flat on my back and the next thing i hear is this loud 'DARRRRRRRRRR'and roger daltrey singing about how he 'can't explain!' i sat up at direct attention, grabbed my shirt an started making my way back through the crowd. one of the main reasons i stayed up front earlier in the show was becasue of this band: it was my first time seeing the who live and i was completely determined to NOT watch them on a jumbotron-it's the same as TV. circumstances happened but i was still close enough to get a good spot to see the boys without having to depend on the jumbotron.

the who fucking ruled. as soon as they got on that stage they owned that motherfucker. roger and pete are still in fine form and zak starkey really is a solid drummer. fun fact: keith moon was zak's godfather and actually taught him to play drums. everything comes full circle, ya'll. pete was windmilling throughout (which is exactly what we all wanted to see) and roger still has the same intense (maybe even more so) growl and bite that he did back in the day.

The Who's setlist:

-i can't explain
-the seeker
-anywhere, anyhow
-miles and miles
-behind blue eyes (un-fucking-believeable!!!!! as soon as roger started singing the opening lines, folks went ape-shit and i swear the whole dam place was singing along. who know this was a camp sing-a-long? :0)
-my genreation

**new song

**new song

-pinball wizard (i stand by it: this song has one of the greatest intros EVER!!)
-sparks (single-handedly one of the sexiest instrumentals ever written. this is the song that got me into the who in the first place)
-see me, feel me
-listening to you

people, it's a hard thing in this world to beat, seeing the who live as the sun goes down but...

now the moment you've all been waiting for: THE BOYS!!!

so, the sun has now set, it's nice and dark and then, i hear the roar of the crowd and i see our boys take the stage. it's at this moment everything i had gone through in the day disappeared- a faded memory. my feet no longer hurt, my back no longer ached, my throat was no longer dry-THIS was what it was all for and it was fucking worth it!
they started as they always do- with a kick ass jam! not as groovy as the one that opens the Slane Castle DVD but i'm sure they improvise this regularly. the crowd has officially gone truly bat-shit. you know, seeing flea, johnny and chad do that jam just filled my heart with so much love i felt i would burst. these three gentlemen are truly extraordinary musicians and we are so fucking lucky to be alive when they are so we can all experience these moments with them and they us.

when swan came out (hey- is it me or he looking really good lately?) that's when the crowd really got to it's feet. the jam gave way to 'can't stop' and the crowd..well, you saw that video snippet ian put up! :)

i don't know why and i don't care why but the band was especially chatty that night. swan was the first up and said that "it feels great to be back in baltimore. we have always loved this town. i especially love it becasue it sits atop a giant estuary and flows out into four different bodies of water.' i have no diea what that means but i was hearing swan! the last couple of times i saw the boys he didn't say diddley or squat so it was nice to hear him say something. i mean, it's not like we haven't heard all the boys speak before but somehow it's just...different when you're live. like, there's no tape delay- it's just us, you know what i mean?

the crowd continued to get really rough throughout the set and finally, uncle flea said 'you know, we love that you guys came out to see us play to get really excited but it really makes us sad when you do things to hurt other people. i just saw a girl get knocked in the head and carried out on a stetcher to an ambulance. so please don't do anything that will get someone knocked in the head and carried out on a strecther to an ambulance. i know you all wanna have a good time but you need to look out for one another."

**side note: SEVERAL people got taken out to the ambulance during the day. why the fuck were our boys the ONLY ones to say something about this???!!!!!!! those fucking crowd surfers (tho unintentional) knock people upside the head everytime they go up. i know i may sound like an old fogey but come the fuck on! it's hot, people are tired and you're gonna be so goddamned inconsidereate as to throw your entire body weight on top of people? it ruins everyone's good time b/c you can't enjoy the show: you're too busy looking behind you to see if someones' about to drop on your neck. you know, i used to think fugazi were a bunch of tight-asses for their stance on crowd surfing/slam dancing but now it think they may have a very strong point...

but back to the show-

and speaking of fugazi, since b-more and DC are so close to each other, they were there-just like everytime the boys roll through town, which is always wonderful. and yes, our boys gave a shout-out to them: flea-" you know, it's always great to be in baltimore,not just b/c of all the great people but b/c of some really great friends of ours from DC who are able to come see us whenever we're nearby; to have joe and ian and guy (and he named a few other people who i know aren't in the band) here to see us play is always a great thing because as a band we've always looked up to them and it means so much to us that they come to see us play." like i said, they were chatty! ;)

the band was tight , as usual. seeing them interact with one another it reminded me of an old john quote: "we were so tight when we were on that stage together, we didn't even have to look at each other." they were definetly a tight unit. tho there were no 'johnny leaning on swan' moments the bond that was between the entire band was impossible to miss.

ok- now the moment you've REALLY all been waiting for: the setlist. the first 10 are in order and after that they're not but they were definetly played:

-can't stop
-dani california
-snow (hey oh- a new fave of mine. devestatingly beautiful live)
-charlie (funky as all hell live! another new fave lately esp. with the image of swan doing his 'swan moves' to the into)
-**will you love me tomorrow (john solo-originally done by the chiffons. lighters (NOT cell phones! hurrah!) went up everywhere. he got a hugh response and we were rewarded with his beautiful smile)

-scar tissue
-me and my friends
-right on time/ w extended (!!) london calling intro
-tell me baby
-jam (with SWAN ON DRUMS!!!!)
-californication (**side note for the guitar heads: john did, indeed, play this song with his brownie fender strat and NOT his customary gretsch white falcon)
-stadium arcadium
-by the way (a crowd fave tho admittedly, it's not one of mine. a good peppers song but by no means a GREAT peppers song)
-don't forget me
-throw away your television
-fortune faded (when i heard the opening chords to this i nearly passed out from excitement)


-gia was the closer but...

-when they first came out, john said (yes- he SPOKE!!) that they loved us and were really happy to have played for us especially on the same stage as the who. and then he said 'and this song is for that guy who was holding up the sign." second of silence and then:" hold me closer, tiny daaaancer....." he got as far as 'hold me clo-' and I. LOST. MY. SHIT.

it was truly an enchanted evening. i was tired, dehydrated and sore but i felt none of those things as i was watching our boys and for a solid hour after!

so, now the ride home: i had to actually cross the track all the way to the other side to get to the main entrance. the parking lot was enclosed with this iron gate and no one knew how to get the hell out so folks actually just started scaling the gate! i just used common sense and followed that long-ass gate until i found the opening. it let out into a busy intesection and i thought for sure i would be able to catch a cab (hell- it was ~11:00pm on a saturday in baltimore- cabs HAVE to be around...right?) but NO ONE was able to get one- not even this hot, small, blonde Scottish girl who was trying to get to the innder harbour. :0(

ok- my train was set to leave at 11:40pm so i had exactly 15 minutes to grab a cab. nothing. finally, i just had to call amtrak for the second time that day and get my reservation moved back again, this time my train wasn't leaving until 1:40 am (groan!) but i thought at least i'll be able to get a cab and just kill an hour with 'piper at the gates of dawn.' wrong again. NO cabs were stopping for anyone, so i finally asked a cop if there were any buses going to penn station. yes but no direct lines from from the race track (groan!). so,i thought,'fine' and literally jumped over two scurrying baltimore sewer rats to go to a liquor store across the street and for the first time that day, i had some water.

so, i get on the bus and a VERY nice bus driver told me which buses to get on. after two transfers i finally got to penn station at 1:00am only to find out my train was delayed b/c in coming down from Boston, someone got hit and so it was delayed for an hour. yup- instead of leaving at 1:40am it was now set to leave at 2:40am. quite a few of us festival goers just laid on a bench and passed out for awhile. thankfully, the train was on time and the ride was smooth. people, i'll tells ya': union station has never looked so good to me as it did when the train pulled in. so, after waiting for a cab and dropping some dude off in georgetown, i did not walk back through the doors of my apartment until 4:00am. i took out a roast, ate some otameal and crashed like i haven't done since i was in college.

the boys are in top form right now, people. if they are anywhere near you i highly recommend you go. and after what I did to get there, i don't wanna hear 'well, i didn't go b/c i couldn't find anyone to go with me' or 'tix were just to much.' these are our good time boys, people. get there by any means necessary.

by the way,i put the $$$ back so hopefully 'my name is earl' is right and my karma is now back on the positive side of things.:0)

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