Tag Archives: concerts

How The Weeks Fly By

3 May

Hi there! Well, not a lot of HUGE goings on lately, but I did snap some photos from the past few weeks of small, inconsequential happenings. I ventured over to my Grandparent’s house for Easter. Now, I don’t know what it is with me, but for some reason, I feel really distant from this side of my family. I used to be a lot closer when we were younger, but grew apart from my cousins and other relatives on this side and only really see them all on two or three occasions during the year. Luckily, there is one member of that side of the family I get on really well with…. my mom’s dog Misty. Here, you can see her chilling in the backyard with my grandmother in the background. Golden Retriever. Pretty much the sweetest dog ever. In fact, while walking her one time, she sniffed out a turtle and was scared of it when it moved ever so slowly in her direction. She is a big wuss, but she’s the most lovable wuss dog ever. Also, she sheds like there is no tomorrow.

Golden Retriever Misty and Grandma

Golden Retriever Misty and Grandma

This past weekend, I figured instead of sitting around moping over the loss of my job, I should get out and see some culture. Therefore, I took it upon myself to head over to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to check out the Titian exhibit. Titian was a Venetian painter from the 1500s whose style influenced a score of other famous artists. The main draw of the installation were the Diana paintings. They are some of the most valuable pieces of art I’ve ever seen and are simply stunning up close. Another amazing draw to this exhibit was the map of Venice that was constructed by a group of artists climbing the towers of the city and making an amazingly accurate and detailed map of the surrounding area. It is one of only three in the United States and is mind-blowing. You can read more about Titian with this link.

One of Titian's Diana Paintings

One of Titian's Diana Paintings

Finally, I went to a few concerts this weekend as well. First up was at Cause and featured the CD release of local band, Two Harbors. BNLX, another local band, were there too and it was a good show. On Saturday, I ventured over to the Varsity Theater with a friend of mine, and after a bit of an adventure (HOW CAN YOU FORGET YOUR ID?!) we made it in and saw Communist Daughter, Rogue Valley and White Light Riot. I am a big fan of the Varsity because you can be right up front and not be swarmed with people or have your eardrums bleeding at the end of the night, but still witness a great show in the company of great people. The show was a lot of fun, the people around me were wonderful and I had a fantastic time.

Two Harbors at Cause

Two Harbors at Cause

Then I saw this awesome bike. It’s a Peugeot and has an interesting frame design. I really don’t know anything about bikes, other than how to pedal them and usually not fall over, but this one really caught my eye… either that or it was the cute girl who was riding it.

Peugeot Single Speed

Peugeot Single Speed

Before long, or, as soon as I get my lazy ass in gear, I’ll toss up some of the scans of the pictures I said I was going to take this summer. There’s a bunch of different stuff and a lot of it is not that great, but I enjoy it and it passes the time.

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Finally A New Post

16 Apr

It’s been awhile since the last update, but, quite frankly, a lot has been going on for me. For one thing, I’m being laid off from my job of three years in a little over a week or so, and that’s never fun. However, it’s probably more of a blessing than anything as the job and workplace were both pretty horrendous and the communication between “management” and the workers was at every level and time lacking in every single way. And then, last Friday, I learned that my uncle had passed away, so that isn’t the best news to get either. However, I did do some other actualfun things (i.e. concerts mostly) in between those horrible updates.

Crowd Outside First Ave

Crowd Outside First Ave

First Avenue is a venue that I have been frequenting a lot lately. I think it mostly has to do with the fact that they are the big local venue that usually gets the biggest acts (unless it’s a stadium show or something) from around the country. One of the bands that I saw recently is called The Joy Formidable and they are the absolute best new band that I have heard lately. Their album, The Big Roar is exemplary from front to back and their live act is very impressive. This was their first time in Minnesota and so I posted up as near to the front as I could get (second row standing, directly in front of lead singer Ritzy Bryan!) so that I could witness the first time they blew the doors off of 7th Street. Their live act is an explosion of sound that never lets up from the moment that the diminutive and oh so pretty Ritzy gets up on stage and drives hard on those first chords. These guys had a ton of hype and they totally lived up to it. The one thing I wish is that they would have played more songs to destroy my ears, as their set list was blitzed through in short time. It felt like they took more time to set up all their equipment than it did for them to melt all our faces. The place was packed to capacity it felt like, and with another album behind them, they could easily fill out the mainroom, which would make for an even more amazing show, but as it was, it was very cool to be this close to an act that should be making a large roar in the scene very shortly. In case you can’t make out the words, their set list was as follows:

Greyhounds in the Slips

Magnifying Glass

Austere

The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade

Cradle

Buoy

I Don’t Want to See You Like This

Whirring

The Joy Formidable Set List

The Joy Formidable Set List

Ritzy's Pedal Box

Ritzy's Pedal Box

Matt Thomas of The Joy Formidable

Matt Thomas of The Joy Formidable

Rhydian Dafydd Davies of The Joy Formidable

Rhydian Dafydd Davies of The Joy Formidable

Ritzy Bryan of The Joy Formidable

Ritzy Bryan of The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

For an even more intimate concert experience, I was somehow picked to go and see Iron and Wine perform at The Current studios this past Wednesday. I sat front row once again, and took in some good music. I was impressed with Sam Beam and the way he seemed very shy, but yet very open and talkative at the same time. It’s an odd description, I know, but that’s how he seemed. Very reserved, yet willing to share things that you wouldn’t think he would share. He was a cool dude and the songs were great. I left very impressed… and with an autographed poster as well.

Sam Beam Iron and Wine

Sam Beam Iron and Wine

Iron and Wine Poster

Iron and Wine Poster

Finally, there was my uncle Wayne (though we never called him that, it was always his nickname Ves) who passed away a week ago. He was a great man and, quite honestly, he was my favorite uncle. Seemingly always in a good mood, he loved to golf, hunt and play cards. He taught me how to shoot a gun, how to play cards and about fishing. He and his wife, my aunt Mary, had what seemed to be an almost perfect relationship. They really were soulmates and it was a tragic and very sad way that he left this earth, but he will always be missed and never forgotten. Obviously, he is the one on the left in this photo.

Aunt, Uncle and Cousins

Aunt, Uncle and Cousins

Basilica Block Party 2010

14 Jul

Last weekend I hit up the Basilica Block Party with some peeps from work. Weezer was the main act and based on the ringing in my ears into the next day, they were worth the ticket. I’ve seen Weezer before in concert, but never an outdoor one like this, and never as a headlining act. They really put on a good show and Rivers was even scaling the scaffolding around the stage, tossing toilet paper to the dudes in the porta potties and kicking beach balls back into the crowd.

St. Mary Basilica

St. Mary Basilica

Basilica Block Party

Basilica Block Party - Minneapolis Skyline

The night started at Joe’s Garage with some really bad service (they most likely didn’t want to serve us happy hour prices and were trying to smoke us out so we couldn’t order) but eventually we ordered us up some cheap beers and apps and got cracking. More beer followed, as did some shots, and, incase you didn’t know, all music sounds infinitely better when you have an enhanced blood alcohol content. Once inside the gates, I was expecting the beers to be overly priced and underly sized. To my surprise the beers were only $5 and were 16oz. Of course, they were only Buds and Golden Draft Lights, but a beer is a beer – well not really, but at this point in the day, who was I to question what sort of beer went into my belly? Although there are many acts scheduled to play, we sort of got a late jump on things, but I did happen to catch the end of the Grace Potter & The Nocturnals set. They play sort of a country/rock combo and they are fairly high energy. The band sounded good and she looked good and all was right with the world. Plus, the day itself was really great and that just makes everything better.

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

Weezer was then scheduled to start at 9:00 and so we all headed back to the main stage, which has the city of Minneapolis for a backdrop. Seeing as I had never been to one of these things before, it was actually really cool to have the city in the background of the concert like that. The crowd was great too. It was so crowded and packed that simply trying to venture to the porta potties would be like trying to venture off in search of Colonel Percy Fawcett (look this up if you don’t know what I mean). Frankly, it would be better, easier and a whole lot more “in the moment” to simply pop a squat or let it all hand out and just whiz where you stood. Really, who’s going to notice? I didn’t do that, but some of our party did venture off in search of the Biffies and were never heard from again… ok, so they were, but they just had to watch the entire concert from farther away and by themselves.

St. Mary Basilica

St. Mary Basilica

Basilica Block Party

Basilica Block Party - Main Stage

Basilica Block Party Weezer

Basilica Block Party Weezer

Basilica Block Party Weezer

Basilica Block Party Weezer

Basilica Block Party Weezer

Basilica Block Party Weezer

Seeing as we were all super packed together, you would think it impossible for me to find a sweet pair of aviators on the ground, but you would be the most wrong you could ever think of. So, yes, I looked down at one point and found some sweet shades. It was cool. Weezer then proceeded to play all the songs you would expect them to and the lights and the beer and the crowd and the cooking demonstration in front of me all made it a very awesome concert experience. Plus, my money went toward a fairly decent cause, which was the restoration of the Basilica of Saint Mary. All in all, a good time.

Aviator Shades

Aviator Shades

And as a final note, I checked out some of the past acts at this thing and it seems like they get better every year. I’m pretty sure that Weezer was the biggest name act they have had and I’m anticipating another big name for next year’s show.

Basilica Block Party Weezer

Basilica Block Party Weezer

Basilica Block Party Weezer

Basilica Block Party Weezer

Basilica Block Party Weezer

Basilica Block Party Weezer

Band Was A Bust

2 Jun
Lake Harriet Bandshell

Lake Harriet Bandshell

This is the scene that greeted me at the time that a concert was supposed to happen. You can’t blame me for trying, but for whatever reason, the band never showed up. It was a beautiful night, so I have no idea why no one showed up. It’s a shame because I think they had a perfect night for playing music, and they missed out. Oh well, I will try again tonight. At least the sunset was lovely.

Sunset Over Calhoun

Sunset Over Calhoun

New Concert Every Night

1 Jun

Ok, so there is no snapshot associated with this post yet, but I am going to venture out and check out a new concert every night this week, starting tonight. The concerts all take place at the Lake Harriet Bandshell and I will be snapping pics and saying a few things about the concerts. They are all free and start at 7:30 pm, so aside from a huge downpour, I am going to sit and listen to music every night. Tonight is the Richfield Symphonic Band. This is only the second concert this year  – as they just started last night – and I plan on going to a lot more of these (weather permitting).