Friday night: I went from work to Jack's parents house with a pit stop at Target, where I believe I may have scored my bridesmaid dress for the wedding I will be in in a little over a month. It was funny because I was on the phone with one of the other bridesmaids and saying I didn't know what the heck I was going to do but that standing in front of the dress rack made me think of it. I got off the phone, turned around, and there it was. Now to procure shoes. They will be flat yet pretty. Anyways, the E. family had pizza and chatted and I was unusually blabber mouthed around them. I left early because I knew saturday would be rather huge!
Saturday Morning: Drove to VA for my drum lesson. We did two stroke rolls for like 45 minutes of my hour lesson for some reason. I went over "Can't Stand Losing You" with him and he insists that the rim strikes are much simpler than I thought they were - I thought they were 3 against 2 for some reason. I finally got him to let go of the g.d. Backstreet Boys song so now I'm learning my favorite Kelly Clarkson song. PHEW. I was not practicing the BB song because I hate it so much. Then it took me about 1h45m to get home in solid traffic on the beltway - oh my god, my knee hurt, I was grumpy, and I still had to drive to PA. Then my ipod took a crap and I had to restore it completely. I was trying to be zen... I finally lost it about 10 minutes from Phoenixville when both mapquest and google gave shitty misleading directions. Ask examorata, I am really good at punctuating my freakouts with soothing words of reassurance that I will get over it and I am just having a bad day so far. Then we got to the hotel and the toilet didn't work. Picture the narrowing of my eyes and pursing of my lips. Yeah. (I should note that for under $60 a night, it's still a damn fine place to stay. They fixed the toilet while we were at the show.)
The Main event:
We got to P'ville in enough time to grab a bite at Jester's, a bar across from the Colonial Theater (where the original blob was filmed!) so we had dinner with my friends from the forums, Chris and Tara. We scouted all the people in the bar for signs that they were our people and the jukebox had early PG as well as Gensis discs in it... which was completely awesome. Shored up with bar food, we all rolled on over to the theater, to discover that it was *packed*!! (Over 500 seats sold, yeah!) We barely found four seats together. Fortunately, there really wasn't a bad seat in the house. I would have liked to be able to see the drums better, but then I also begged Brian P. at the bar afterwards to let me come watch a rehearsal, so maybe that will get taken care of... :)
At any rate, we settled in and waited for the show to begin. The obnoxious teenagers behind me, obviously dragged in my their parents, saw the new lead singer in his full batwing regalia and immediately started with the "what's up with the vampire guy". I for one, thought it was AWESOME!! Way to embrace the show! Many people afterwards remarked that it was hard to know how strong a singer Brian F. was until they got the mix right so that we could hear him. Now, I didn't really notice this right away, maybe my ears are pretty blown out, but I thought he sounded good, and just got better once his mic levels were up. I thought his voice had a substance to it that worked really well... I think of Gabriel's voice as thin and shimmery at times, at least, those are the words I'd use to describe it. Filone's voice has more meat to it, and this is not a bad thing.
Now, we all know PG's voice is a nearly impossible sound to nail. Which is why I really appreciate it when people don't try to, and just sing their little hearts out, which is what the Trespass lead singer was doing. (He did give the songs PG treatment, but still was able to focus on just singing well!) (And his story intro cadence was spot on.) Later in the show I thought he nailed some of the Phil songs too, so that was refreshing. The only thing he seemed to have trouble with was Entangled I think? It was something from the Trick album which involves both a little falsetto as well as singing in the low register. I forgot to bring the set list in with me to write from, apologies. At any rate, it didn't matter, the passion was there, and as a performer, he absolutely stepped up to the plate. Fantastic.
Naturally I don't want to forget the instrumentalists, considering the fact that with Genesis' music it's really easy for them to overshadow the vocals, particularly in a tribute setting, where you have alot of fans eager to hear this keyboard solo or that drum part. I felt strongly that none of the members of the band disappointed - quite the opposite in fact. Sure, there were some flubs here or there, but like consummate professionals they were taken in stride and adjusted for. Some fans are forgiving, others are not. Maybe Tony Banks is a robot and he did the Firth solo 100% note perfect every single time he played it live. That's great - why hold everyone to that standard? On the other hand, if you go see Bach's whatever concerto, you do expect not to hear any mistakes. Nevertheless, this is effing rock music, and frankly, to me that means that the passion for it can make up for any amount of gaffes. And there were not very many gaffes, so there you have it. I was blown away by each members' performance, and Alan on keys took on a track that Genesis never even played live, Trick of the Tail, which by god was an awesome thing to hear. Right, so, long story short: Shut Up Naysayers with your Accursed Naysaying! Andre, Dave and Mitch were phenomenal as well, and I knew when I could feel the sound from those bass pedals tickling my guts, there's a good thing going.
Also particularly enjoyable: In that Quiet Earth, and the excellent drumming thereon. I was overjoyed to hear Hairless Heart, currently my favorite track from the Lamb... oh, and the lights and other technical details. Nice job, tech crew!
Among the fans... I will never get over the warm feeling of being surrounded by other Genesis fans. There was an astounding array of homemade and vintage t-shirts on display... I had to stop a girl from leaving the bathroom and accost her about her completely authentic Abacab tour t-shirt. She told me it was the first concert she ever attended... lucky. :) Many ages were represented... there was one younger fan who gave up on being seated halfway through and danced on the left aisle... dancing girl, I didn't get to see you after the show, and I'm not single and you're probably straight, but I love you! There were a few hecklers... people who, if I could have identified them post-show, I would have given a very stern talking to. How fans can behave like that (drunk) I'll never know (irresponsibly drunk).
Post show we went back to Jester's for drinking and hobnobbing (we chose the cheap hotel based on the fact that it was less than two blocks from the theater and the drinkin' (the fun and responsible kind!)) and when the G songs came on the jukebox... everyone was mouthing the words... it was not a little bit surreal and very exciting. Joe and Maite, my other friends from the forum, hung out with us and we had a grand old time and when the band came in they chatted with us and generally made us feel like VIPs. I will happily do promotional stuff for them if they ever have a show in the DC/Baltimore area. :)
In all of this, examorata was by my side. Months ago, I told her I would pay for her ticket if she'd come with me. I figured it was a dragging-along kind of thing, I just didn't want to go alone, and I knew she was at least a bit of a Genesis fan. It turned out she had a good time. She was SO AWESOME for this whole trip. Thank you!!
Jen I have one thing to say: Dam!!! ;)
Sunday before getting on the road, we had one major touristy spot I insisted on visiting, the Eastern State Penitentiary. This was a phenomenal tour; we expected to stay maybe an hour, but ended up staying more like two. They have audio tours which make it very convenient to be independent and take your own time. Oh, and Steve Buscemi narrates. It was sobering and moving and scary and fascinating all at the same time. We'd have stayed longer if not for the fact that our feet began hurting and we wanted to get home eventually. I have pictures but need to load them off my camera! There were some artist installations, some more interesting than others, but I really did like the auditory one, as well as the recreation of a Gitmo cage inside one of the cells. And the ghost cats.
Finally, we moved on towards home, chatting all the way. I was able to relax with mind-numbing TV and Jack's magical stir fry upon my return. Another fantastic weekend under my belt.