Vatican: 4/19/2011

OK, so this is not a concert ticket stub, but it is a ticket stub and a pretty cool one in my opinion. Back in 2011, my wife and I took a trip to Italy, which was amazing. Often, you have expectations of places that you visit and they don’t quite live up to them, but Italy does not fall into that category. It surpassed all my expectations.

Rome was the last stop on our trip, and we definitely wanted to see the Vatican, particularly the Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter’s Basilica. Because it was Easter week when we were there, the crowds were larger than usual. Someone who was a veteran traveler to Italy suggested that we pay for a guided tour, which allows you to skip the lines. I have to say, it was money well spent. The line literally stretched for miles, and our tour guide took us up to the entrance whisked us right in.

Now, we all know what the Sistine Chapel looks like. We’ve seen plenty of pictures. But I have to say that when you are standing there, looking up at this massive work of art, it is an experience that is totally transcendent. A picture cannot do it justice. The sheer scale of this masterpiece boggles the mind. I could have spent a week there, gazing up at the ceiling and losing myself in the images, symbols, and colors. It was a moment in my life that I will treasure.

After the Sistine Chapel, we went to Saint Peter’s, which was packed. It was almost impossible to move inside there, but we slowly made out way around, taking time to marvel at Michelangelo’s Pieta. But what I found the most fascinating in St. Peter’s were the mummified popes. Yes, throughout the basilica, glass caskets displayed the mummified remains of various popes. I personally find the whole concept of religious relics to be intriguing, the belief that the physical remains of a spiritually powerful individual can convey mystical power to those in its presence. I must confess, there did seem to be some tangible energy in the atmosphere.

After the tour, we wandered the streets of Rome until it was time for dinner, and indeed, food in Italy is worth the trip. After dining there, you’ll never set foot in an Olive Garden again.

Ciao!

Patti Smith: 3/9/2020

Patti Smith has been on my bucket list of musicians/bands that I want to see before I die for a long time, and has actually been at the top of that list ever since I saw Steve Winwood. So when I saw that Patti was playing at the legendary Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco, I was psyched, until I realized to my dismay that I had heard about it too late and tickets were long gone for both nights. I looked at the “verified resale” prices and balked at the fact that they were well over $200. As much as my wife and I both wanted to see her, we did not want to do so that badly. I opted to play the waiting game, checking back occasionally to see if anything appeared within the limit of what I was willing to spend. My patience paid off, and I managed to secure us some tickets a couple weeks before the show. Still paid more than the face value, but at least it was within our budget.

And then came the coronavirus.

The Bay Area was reporting a number of cases, and health officials were advising individuals to avoid crowds. Yes, a sold out concert constitutes a crowd. My wife and I discussed the risks, and decided to go for it. This might be our last chance to see Patti in concert, we spent the money, and chances are, we would not be going to any more concerts for a while. In fact, the word is that now Santa Clara County is banning all large events, so this would definitely be the last show for a while.

One bonus about the virus scare was that the roads were free of traffic. The drive to San Fran, which would usually be close to two hours during rush hour, was an easy one hour. Parking was a breeze. We actually found street parking on Fillmore Street a few blocks from the auditorium. We figured we would grab a cup of coffee before the show, and saw the familiar Starbucks sign as we got closer to the venue, but they were closed – at 7:00 pm! WTF? What kind of a caffeine pusher closes their doors at 7:00? Well, we just went to the Fillmore and got in line.

They guy behind us coughed, and my wife told him he needs to be covering his mouth. That’s why I love her! He assured us that he was getting over a cold and it was not corona. Fine, but we kept a safe distance anyway. Then the woman in front of us struck up a conversation. She was a big Patti Smith fan and had gone to see her the previous night. Hearing her rave reviews just made us more psyched.

When we entered the Fillmore, I was truly awestruck. This place was home to the music that I grew up on, that is integral to who I am. The walls were covered with vintage photos: The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Who with Pete sending his guitar sailing into the air, Eric Clapton when he was with Cream, on and on. The building seemed to resonate with the energy of concerts passed. I felt like I had entered the rock and roll Garden of Eden.

We found a spot, not too crowded, and checked out the opening act, Oliver Ray. Interesting. Three guys, Oliver on acoustic guitar and vocals, one guy on electric guitar, and the third dude on pedal steel. They had a unique sound that was hypnotic, almost too hypnotic. If we were sitting, my eyes would likely have started rolling into my skull. When they finished, I noticed Patti Smith on the side of the stage, watching them. I thought, “Now that’s cool. Supporting your opening act.”

In the break between bands, the place got packed. My germaphobia kicked in, and I tried not to let anyone press or rub against me. Not really possible at a general admission open-floor concert. I resigned myself that I would just need to sterilize myself afterward.

At long last, Patti and her band took the stage. And she was AWESOME! You know, sometimes when you have high expectations for a band, it is not easy for them to live up to the expectations. Not the case here. She was every bit as great as I had hoped. She played a nicely diverse set, interspersed with a couple readings from her books and some fun banter with the crowd. Her voice was strong, and she had more energy at 73 than a lot of musicians half her age. She proved that she is still the Godmother of Punk.

High points of the show for me… hands down the peak was “Land” segueing into “Gloria” to close the set. I’m getting chills now just recalling it as I write. She did a haunting cover version of Neil Young’s “After the Gold Rush,” which was very poignant. And finally, “People Have the Power” as an encore left me feeling hopeful and empowered.

As we were exiting after the show, we got a nice bonus. The staff was handing out really cool concert posters (see pictures at end of this post). We will definitely have to get them framed.

Anyway, here is the full setlist, after which I’ve included a few pictures from the show. Rock on, and keep yourselves healthy in these strange times.

 

Setlist:

  • Ask the Angels
  • Privilege (Set Me Free)
  • Don’t Say Nothing > “Footnote to Howl”
  • Reading from “Year of the Monkey”
  • Dancing Barefoot
  • Maria
  • Nine
  • Because the Night
  • About a Boy
  • Citizen Ship
  • After the Gold Rush
  • Reading from “Just Kids”
  • Pissing in a River
  • Land
  • Gloria

Encore:

  • People Have the Power

MoogFest: 10/29/2010

This stub was from the first MoogFest held in Asheville, NC. I went with my wife and our older daughter, who was very excited that MGMT was performing. I was unfamiliar with MGMT, but my daughter gave me some of their music to listen to, and it was very cool. Anyway, we got tickets only for the first night of the three-day festival.

There were more bands playing than we had the opportunity to see, and of the ones we did see, some of them we only caught part of their sets, since the festival was taking place at multiple venues (Civic Center, Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, Orange Peel). Of the bands that performed on the Friday night, these are the ones we got to see:

  • DEVO
  • MGMT
  • Big Boi
  • Girl Talk
  • The Octopus Project

Couple things to note. One of members of DEVO had a death in the family and could not attend, so the remaining members performed with Octopus Project, which was cool. Big Boi we only caught a couple songs. MGMT was definitely the high point. We went up fairly close (they were playing in the Civic Center). It was general admission with an open floor, so lots of freaks dancing to the music. My daughter had a friend with her, and the two of them were psyched. It made my wife and me very happy to be there and to see them having so much fun. Live music is such a great bonding experience.

At the time, I was not a huge fan of electronic music and hip hop, but I really enjoyed the energy and the light shows were mind-boggling. I made a promise to myself that next year, I would go all three days. And I kept that promise to myself. I’ll try to dig up my stub from that show and post on it soon.

Dead & Company: 12/31/2019

Although I am a long-time Grateful Dead fan, and saw my first Dead show back in 1980, I was never fortunate enough to make the pilgrimage to the west coast to see the Grateful Dead do a New Year’s show. But now that I am here living in the Bay Area, I was not going to miss my chance to see Dead & Co. on New Year’s Eve.

When tickets went on sale, I logged onto everyone’s favorite Ticketmaster website and was put in a queue, and I waited… and waited. Finally I got in and nothing in my price range. But I was patient. Refresh… refresh… refresh. Finally, a single ticket appeared at face value for under $100, so I snatched it up. The rock and roll gods had smiled down upon me.

As NYE approached, I weighed the options on whether to take the train into San Francisco, or drive, which is less than an hour. I opted to drive, since I don’t indulge. I was unsure how late the concert would go and didn’t want to miss the last train, which was about 2:00 am.

On New Year’s Eve, my kids were in town for the holidays. Thankfully, my family was very understanding about my need to go to this show, and they were planning a chill evening at home. I headed off after an early dinner and drove into San Fran, getting there a few hours before the show.

As I pulled up to the Chase Center parking area, I asked how much parking was. The attendant told me $50. “$50?!” I replied, aghast. “No thanks.” I drove about a mile or so away from the venue to another lot, and that was also $50. I couldn’t believe it! I’ve paid half that much for concert tickets. I grudgingly turned around and went back to the lot right next to the Chase Center. If I was going to get hosed for parking, at least I wanted to be close.

After parking and finding a restroom, I made my way to the hippie vending area (nicknamed Shakedown Street). Lots of tie-dyes, stickers, and an abundance of illicit substances. While I generally don’t care what anyone chooses to do in regards to intoxicants, I confess that all the people selling nitrous oxide balloons and all the freaks huffing them pissed me off. I wanted to yell at them and say “Hey! You know that nitrous is one of the major global warming gasses, right? You selling nitrous to make a quick profit makes you just as bad as the oil execs pushing fossil fuels to make a buck.” But, I bit my tongue, purchased a “Making America Grateful Again” tee shirt, and got in line to enter the venue.

My seat was straight back, so I had a good view of the light show, and the sound was decent for an arena. The band took the stage right at 8:00 and launched into “In The Midnight Hour,” a great song to open a New Year’s show. They played two sets, and then took a somewhat longer break as the countdown to midnight began.

Shortly before midnight, the lights went down and the celebration began. A huge art deco clock was lowered behind the stage, and a biplane took off, circling the arena with some skeletons sitting on the wings. Then the dancers hit the stage, kicking up their heels in a “roaring 20’s” display that was very cool. As the sequined dancers kicked and shimmied, Father Time stepped out and began the countdown. “5… 4… 3… 2… 1… Happy New  Year!” Colored balloons cascaded down from the rafters as the band started playing “Sugar Magnolia.” Perfect! Everyone danced throughout the third set, and the band closed the night with “Touch of Grey” as the encore. Yeah, a new decade, and I will survive.

The drive home was uneventful. I had a bottle of cold brew coffee in the car, so I drank that and listened to the Stones’ “Exile on Main Street.” Good driving music for a late night drive home.

Anyway, here is the full setlist, along with some picture I took from the show. Rock on, and may 2020 bring you lots of live music!

Set 1:

  • In the Midnight Hour
  • Big Railroad Blues
  • Iko Iko
  • Mr. Charlie
  • Loser
  • Tennessee Jed
  • Sugaree
  • New Speedway Boogie

Set 2:

  • Help on the Way >
  • Slipknot! >
  • Franklin’s Tower
  • Estimated Prophet >
  • Eyes of the World >
  • Drums (with Zakir Hussain) >
  • Space (with Zakir Hussain) >
  • Milestones
  • Standing on the Moon
  • Not Fade Away

Set 3:

  • Sugar Magnolia >
  • Uncle John’s Band >
  • Scarlet Begonias >
  • Fire on the Mountain
  • Sunshine Daydream

Encore:

  • Touch of Grey

Hamilton: 11/29/2019

So I have finally found out what all the excitement is about, and went to see Hamilton.

My wife and daughter were watching the parade on Thanksgiving morning, when a commercial came on advertising Hamilton in San Francisco, saying tickets were still available. My wife went online, and sure enough, we were able to get three tickets for the following day (we were not going to miss our shot!). The ticket prices were very reasonable, $99.00 each, which is way less than what I hear others have paid for tickets to a performance. The only down side was that the seats were not together, but we were in the same general area of the mezzanine, so that was fine.

While I’m not a huge fan of Broadway musicals, I do enjoy them, and this was definitely one of the better musicals I have seen. The songs were great, the story was engaging, and the stage was very cool. While I personally would not consider it to be $400-a-ticket good, it was well worth the hundred bucks a ticket we paid.

Since I’m not a theater critic, I don’t have much else to share. It was a cool show and I’m glad I went.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra: 11/26/2019

This was the first concert I had attended in a while. The past few months have been challenging: relocation issues and the passing of a loved one just a couple of the major things. As such, hitting concerts was not a priority. But things are settling a bit, so my wife and I decided to go see Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the SAP Center (affectionately called the Shark Tank since it’s home to the San Jose Sharks hockey team). I’d never seen them before and heard they put on a killer stage show, so I figured it would be worth checking them out.

We had lower level seats, pretty much straight back. I figured this would be a good spot to appreciate the lasers and pyrotechnics (I was correct in my assumption). The show started almost on time, and there was no opening act, just TSO.

So the first half of the show was Christmas Eve and Other Stories, and was comprised of about 15 songs, very much in the Christmas spirit. I have to say, if I’m being honest, I found it a little too hokey for my tastes. It was like being strapped in a chair and made to watch Hallmark Holiday Programming for an hour straight (note that Hallmark Channel sponsored the tour). My wife said it felt like being in a mega-church. So while there were some cool parts, overall, I was not impressed with the first half.

Thankfully, they redeemed themselves in the second half.

The second half was chock full of classical hits (Grieg, Mozart, Beethoven, etc.) amped up with wailing guitars reminiscent of Judas Priest. And the light show was mind-blowing! There was even a massive Tesla coil shooting out flames and bolts of electricity that crackled in time to the musical pieces.

So on the whole, I liked the show. I would even consider seeing them again, but only if it was not around the holidays. I would love to see a performance that was all hard rock interpretations of classical music. That kind of stuff brings out the prog rock fan in me.

Here are some pictures I snapped from the show, along with the setlist. Hope your holidays rock!

 

Setlist:

  • Who I Am
  • An Angel Came Down
  • Come All Ye Faithful / O Holy Night
  • The Prince of Peace
  • First Snow
  • A Mad Russian’s Christmas
  • Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)
  • Good King Joy
  • Ornament
  • Old City Bar
  • Promises to Keep
  • This Christmas Day
  • An Angel Returned
  • Epilogue
  • The Storm / The Mountain
  • Handful of Rain
  • Mozart/Figaro
  • Christmas Canon Rock
  • Wizards in Winter
  • Can You Hear Me Now
  • Beethoven
  • Believe
  • Wish Liszt (Toy Shop Madness)
  • Requiem (The Fifth)
  • Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24) (Reprise)

Motley Crue and Alice Cooper: 10/22/2014

While I generally get physical tickets for concerts, this one is a printout e-ticket. What’s unique about it is it is a Groupon ticket. My brother contacted me and said that Alice Cooper and Motley Crue were playing in Greensboro and he wanted to go, and asked if I was interested. Since I had never seen the Crue (they were not high on my list) and it was their final tour, added to the fact that I will not pass on a chance to see the Coop, I said yes. Anyway, my brother said he was getting tickets at a significant discount through Groupon. I didn’t even know that was a thing! He snagged tickets for himself, a friend of his, and me.

I drove out to Greensboro, which was about a two-and-a-half hour drive from where I was living at the time. We all connected, grabbed some dinner, and went to the show. The first band to play was called The Raskins. They were pretty good. Young leather-clad rockers who were clearly raised on steady diet of early punk.

After a brief intermission, the lights went down and Alice took the stage, opening with “Hello Hooray,” in my opinion one of the greatest opening songs ever. The song concluded with a shower of sparks cascading from above the stage. It was awesome! The rest of the show was all killer, no filler, blasting from one classic tune to the next. The only disappointment was that it was a fairly short set, with no encore. But I suppose that is how it goes when you’re one of the opening acts.

Then came Motley Crue. So I confess I have never been a fan, swiftly changing the station on the radio when they came on. But I’m open-minded, and was actually looking forward to checking them out. Lots of people I know told me that they put on an impressive show, so what the hell, it’s only rock and roll.

My overall impression… meh. I didn’t hate it, but I certainly did not love it. And in all fairness, they played after Alice Cooper, who is one of my favorite all-time artists. Had it been Motley Crue opening for Alice, I think I would have enjoyed their set much more than I did. It just felt anticlimactic. Even Tommy Lee’s “big drum solo” where the drum set went along the track above the crowd just felt, I don’t know, like a big fat who-cares. But, at the end of the day, I’m glad I got to see them and check them off the list. Definitely not the worst band I’ve seen, but not rushing out to buy any of their records either.

Here are the setlists for both Alice and Motley Crue. Rock on!

Setlists

Alice Cooper

  • Hello Hooray
  • No More Mr. Nice Guy
  • Under My Wheels
  • I’m Eighteen
  • Billion Dollar Babies
  • Poison
  • Dirty Diamonds
  • Welcome to My Nightmare
  • Feed My Frankenstein
  • Ballad of Dwight Fry
  • Killer (partial)
  • I Love the Dead (excerpt)
  • School’s Out

Motley Crue

  • Saints of Los Angeles
  • Wild Side
  • Primal Scream
  • Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S.)
  • Looks That Kill
  • On With the Show
  • Too Fast for Love
  • Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room (With “Rock and Roll (Part 2))
  • Without You
  • Mutherfucker of the Year
  • Anarchy in the U.K.
  • T.N.T. (Terror ‘N Tinseltown)
  • Dr. Feelgood
  • In the Beginning
  • Shout at the Devil
  • Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)
  • O Fortuna
  • Drum Solo
  • Guitar Solo
  • Live Wire
  • Too Young to Fall in Love
  • Girls, Girls, Girls
  • Kickstart My Heart

Encore:

  • Home Sweet Home

Warren Haynes 25th Christmas Jam – Second Night: 12/14/2013

After a long night of music on the first night of the Jam, I rested up and felt ready for the second night’s festivities. The headliners for the second night were:

  • Aquarium Rescue Unit
  • O.A.R.
  • Michael Franti & Friends
  • Gregg Allman & Friends
  • Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
  • Gov’t Mule
  • Xmas Jam Band

In addition, there was a nice array of special guests: Craig Sorrells, Bill Evans, Roosevelt Collier, Casey Driessen, Mike Seal, Dr. Dan Matrazzo, Billy Thornton, Ron Holloway, Mike Barnes, Ron Johnson, Jeff Sipe, Audley Freed, Count M’Butu, and John Scofield.

I had seen all the main acts before, with the exception of Aquarium Rescue Unit and O.A.R. I was totally unfamiliar with O.A.R., but had heard of them. I have to say, they were really good. Their version of Led Zeppelin’s “Fool in the Rain” with Warren Haynes sitting in on guitar was excellent.

Of all the bands performing that night, I was most excited about Aquarium Rescue Unit. I’d seen Col. Bruce Hampton several times, and was pretty psyched to see the classic ARU reunited for a live performance. They did not disappoint at all, even though my expectations were high. They totally jammed from beginning to end. Unfortunately, this would be my last time seeing Col. Bruce. Just a few years later, he would die in a way that every musician dreams about. He was on stage with a stellar list of musicians, celebrating his 70th birthday with a concert at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. While jamming with his friends, in the middle of performing the Grateful Dead’s “Lovelight” as an encore, he collapsed on stage and died. Here is the Jambase article about his death. When I go, I hope it’s like that; guitar in hand and surrounded by my friends.

Anyway, back to the Christmas Jam.

The rest of the night was incredible. It had to be to keep me up until 3:00 am again. While ARU was the highlight for me as far as bands go, the definite high point of the entire night was when Gregg Allman kicked off his set with “Statesboro Blues.” I can’t think of a better Allman Brothers’ tune to open a set.

Speaking of sets, I could not find all the setlists, but here are the ones I was able to locate. Rock on!

Setlists:

Warren Haynes and Craig Sorrells

  • Hope She’ll Be Happier

O.A.R.

  • About Mr. Brown
  • Dareh Meyod
  • Black Rock
  • Fool in the Rain (with Warren Haynes)
  • Peace
  • Heaven
  • That Was a Crazy Game of Poker

Aquarium Rescue Unit

  • Fixin’ to Die
  • Elevator to the Moon
  • Basically Frightened
  • Compared to What
  • Yield Not to Temptation (with Bill Evans and Roosevelt Collier)
  • Space Is the Place (with Warren Haynes, Casey Driessen, Roosevelt Collier, Bill Evans, Mike Seal, Dan Matrazzo, Billy Thornton, Ron Hollaway)
  • Right Now (with Ron Holloway, Mike Seal, Casey Driessen, Roosevelt Collier, Bill Evans, Ike Stubblefield, Billy Thornton, Craig Sorrell)

Michael Franti & Friends

  • I Got Love for You
  • I Don’t Wanna Go
  • The Sound of Sunshine (with Mike Barnes)
  • 11.59 (with Mike Barnes)
  • Let It Go
  • Life Is Better With You (with Warren Haynes, Artimus Pyle, and Chris Pyle)
  • Say Hey (I Love You)
  • Hey World

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals

  • Medicine >
  • The Divide >
  • Big White Gate
  • Stop the Bus >
  • Paris (Ooh La La) >
  • The Lion the Beast the Beat >
  • Nothing but the Water
  • Gimme Some Lovin’

Gregg Allman & Friends

(Gregg Allman, Warren Haynes, Audley Freed, Ron Johnson, Jeff Sipe, Count M’Butu)

  • Statesboro Blues
  • Just Another Rider (with Bill Evans, Ron Holloway, Craig Sorrells , Greg Hollowell)
  • Soulshine (with Bill Evans, Ron Holloway, Craig Sorrells, Greg Hollowell)
  • Stormy Monday
  • Dreams (with Oteil Burbridge, Bill Evans)
  • One Way Out  (with Oteil Burbridge)

Gov’t Mule

  • Hottentot (with John Scofield and Dr. Dan Matrazzo)
  • Doing It to Death (with John Scofield and Dr. Dan Matrazzo)
  • Sco-Mule (with John Scofield, Dr. Dan Matrazzo, Ron Holloway)
  • Kind of Bird (with John Scofield and Bill Evans)
  • Whisper in Your Soul (with Grace Potter)
  • Gold Dust Woman (with Grace Potter)

Warren Haynes 25th Christmas Jam – First Night: 12/13/2013

The 25th annual Christmas Jam to benefit Habitat for Humanity was a milestone event, and as such, was extended to two nights and featured an array of amazing musicians. I, of course, had to go both nights.

The first night featured a solid list of headliners:

  • Warren Haynes & Ray Sisk
  • Gov’t Mule
  • Love Canon
  • Keb’ Mo’
  • John Scofield and the Uberjam Band
  • Gregg Allman
  • Phil Lesh Quintet
  • Widespread Panic

In addition to the headline acts, the show also included the following special guests: Ike Stubblefield, Randall Bramblett, Birdland, Jay Bowman, Ron Holloway, Ron Johnson, Casey Driessen, and Jeff Sipe.

As a die-hard Grateful Dead fan, I was most excited to see Phil Lesh. And while he played a great set, I felt somewhat sad at the end. Basically, whenever Phil sang, he just seemed weary, like the years were finally catching up with him. It did not come as a surprise that he essentially stopped touring after this, only playing an occasional show on the East Coast and basically playing at Terrapin Crossroads, a club he owns in San Raphael. I guess that seeing Phil looking old made me feel old too.

I’m pretty sure that Gregg Allman played a short acoustic set with Warren during this first night, but I could not find a setlist to confirm that.

On to Widespread Panic. They are one of those bands who, like Primus, I feel that I should like, but I really am just not crazy about. And as the clock was nearing 2:00 am, my tolerance for them plummeted real fast. I ended up leaving the show about halfway through their set. I knew I would have another long night of music the next day, so I wasn’t going to wear myself out staying up for a band that I just wasn’t that interested in.

Anyway, here are the setlists that I was able to find online. Check back soon for my memories from the second night.

Setlists:

Warren Haynes & Ray Sisk

  • Glory Road

Keb’ Mo’

  • France
  • More Than One Way Home
  • Government Cheese
  • Every Morning (with John Scofield)
  • Perpetual Blues Machine (with John Scofield)
  • Shave Yo’ Legs

Phil Lesh Quintet

  • Celebration >
  • Playing in the Band >
  • China Cat Sunflower >
  • I Know You Rider
  • Night of 1000 Stars
  • Mountains of the Moon >
  • St. Stephen >
  • The Other One >
  • Over the Rainbow >
  • The Other One
  • Terrapin Station

Widespread Panic

  • Disco >
  • Papa’s Home (with Count M’Butu) >
  • Up All Night
  • Worry
  • None of Us Are Free
  • Surprise Valley >
  • Ride Me High (with Randall Bramblett) >
  • Drums >
  • Surprise Valley
  • Expiration Day
  • Angels on High (with Warren Haynes and Randall Bramblett)
  • Jesus Just Left Chicago (with Warren Haynes)
  • Ain’t Life Grand

Gov’t Mule

  • World Boss
  • Mother Earth
  • Opium (with Bill Evans and Ike Stubblefield)
  • Scared to Live
  • Game Face (with ‘Mountain Jam’ snippet)
  • Captured
  • Funny Little Tragedy (with ‘Message in a Bottle’ quote) >
  • Thorazine Shuffle (reprise)

The Raconteurs: 7/23/2019

I bought these tickets to see The Raconteurs at the Fox Theater in Oakland before we moved out to California. My wife loves the band, and I really like them too. Actually, my favorite of all Jack White’s projects. So I scored tickets and the show promptly sold out. They added a second show, but there’s something that makes a sold out show just a little more special.

Anyway, we drove to Oakland, which took a while because of rush hour traffic, but we still made it in time to grab a bite to eat before the show. After dinner, we walked to the theater, which even from the outside looked really cool.

Now I have to say that the inside of the theater was even nicer, really beautiful and ornate. Unfortunately, this was a “no phones” show, and they were hard-core. Everyone had to put their phones into these hermetically sealed pouches that could only be opened upon exiting the venue. But, if you want, you can Google the venue and there are plenty of pictures online to give you a sense of the décor.

The opening act was an artist called Lillie Mae, who is someone Jack White produced. She and her band were awesome. Totally worth checking out. Cool alternative country vibe. My wife said that they sounded like a mix between Dixie Chicks and Mazzy Star, which was pretty accurate.

After a brief intermission, The Raconteurs took the stage. We had general admission floor tickets, so we were pretty close, and I was grateful that I brought earplugs, because they were quite loud. After so many concerts, I need to protect my hearing.

What can I say about the show? They totally rocked! It was all killer and no filler. High energy, great mix of old and new stuff. The only criticism I have is that it was kind of short. Including encore, they barely played for an hour and a half. For $85 a ticket, I feel like you should get at least two hours. But beside that, it was great.

Here’s the setlist. Rock on!

Setlist:

  • Consoler of the Lonely
  • Level
  • Don’t Bother Me
  • Old Enough
  • Shine the Light on Me
  • Top Yourself
  • What’s Yours Is Mine
  • Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying)
  • Broken Boy Soldier
  • Only Child
  • Help Me Stranger
  • Blue Veins

Encore:

  • Bored and Razed
  • Many Shades of Black
  • Sunday Driver
  • Steady, as She Goes