Scissor Sisters and the Power of the Internets

19 March, 2010 at 1:20 pm (Concert, Music, Strange Stuff, Uncategorized)

Where to begin?

On March 1st, tickets went on sale to see the Scissor Sisters in concert. This was great for a few reasons:

– They haven’t been on tour in nearly three years
– They haven’t had a new album in 3 1/2 years, but finally have one coming soon
– They would inevitably be playing some of the new tunes at this show
– The show was at a super-intimate venue, the Bowery Ballroom. Capacity 550.

So they were performing two shows: one on Wednesday, March 17; one on Thursday, March 18. I decided to buy tickets for the show on Thursday. My sister doesn’t have class on Fridays so she’d be able to come up and go, and I usually work from home on Fridays so it wouldn’t be a big deal if Thursday turned into a late night. So, done and done. I am incredibly detail-oriented when it comes to these things: I marked the date on the calendars in my phone and on my work computer. I even joked with a friend in Tulsa about coming to NYC on March 18 to go to the show with me.

So on the morning of Thursday the 18th, I check my email – and I have an email from Ticketmaster asking me to review the show I attended on Wednesday, March 17. The first time I read it, I was confused – and then the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach came in. No. Nonononononono. This could not be happening. But it was.

I had purchased the tickets for Wednesday, March 17

I checked the email confirmation and sure enough: March 17. I don’t know how I missed that incredibly important detail; I double- and triple-check these things. I can’t even count how many times I verify a day/time before I buy a plane ticket. But somehow, I totally missed this.

So – yeah. Disappointment? Hardly describes it. I had missed a show I was VERY excited about, and also let my sister down. Score. I called the box office to see if they’d let me exchange the tickets for a show on Thursday, or at least give me a refund. No on both counts. So not only did I miss the show, I’m out $70. (I could hardly have Rachel repay $35 for a show she missed by no fault of her own).

So I had one last resort: Twitter. I follow both @scissorsisters (the band account) and @JakeShears (the lead singer) on Twitter; that’s how I found out about the concert to begin with. So, I tweeted them both. Several times. “Hey @ScissorSisters – I bought a ticket for last night’s show, but thought I bought for tonight. So I missed it!! HELP!!” I wanted to give my comment a chance of being seen, so I think I sent it to each of them 4 times through out the day, once every two hours or so. Poor Jake Shears was being twitter-stalked by yours truly. I didn’t think there was a much of a chance of it paying off; I checked my “mentions” in Twitter several times throughout the day, and nothing.

So last night, I had a couple of consolatory drinks with coworkers after I left the office, then went to Robert & Kevin’s for a short bit. I was about to leave, it was 9:15, when I checked my twitterfeed one last time. And saw this:

@adayinthelyfe I’ll put you on plus one.

From Mr. Jake Shears himself.

Holyfuckingshit.

He’d sent the tweet at 8:20; the doors to the show opened at 8, a DJ went on at 9:00, and then Scissor Sisters go on at 10. So I had 40 minutes to make it from the Upper West Side to the Lower East Side. Challenging, to say the least. But I jumped in a cab and went. The cab driver made excellent time; I got to the venue at 10:01. I talked to the guest-list guy at the door and he couldn’t find me on the list under my twitter name. Yup, that’s right. But I figured I’d come this far: I wouldn’t be deterred. So I was nice, told him thanks, and then stood over to the side, trying to figure out what to do. I tweeted Jake Shears again (poor guy, he must’ve been so sick of seeing my name pop up on his list), and as I’m sending the tweet – I hear the Scissor Sisters start playing their first song on stage. So that won’t work. It then dawned on me: my full name shows up on Twitter. So, Jake may have added me to his list with my actual name, not my twitter handle. Duh. Right before I could go over and ask the guy to check – he tapped me on the shoulder. Seems someone else on the list hadn’t brought their plus one, and he took pity on me, so he let me in anyway. Long story short (too late!): through the kindness of a rock star, a door guy, and a random stranger – I got into the show.

And how was the show? Amazing. Fantastic. The energy was incredible, they played lots of dance-y stuff. It wasn’t a long show (less than 90 minutes), but they played a mix of old songs and new. And I have to say: assuming the new music they played is all on their upcoming album, the album will be a good one. Can’t wait to buy it.

So that was my day! It was crazy, and stressful, and amazing. And the moral of this story?

1. Never underestimate the power of social networking
2. ALWAYS DOUBLE-CHECK DATES ON TICKETS.

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Paul McCartney in Concert = AMAZING

19 July, 2009 at 11:03 am (Concert, Music, The Beatles, The British Are Coming!, Weekend Update)

Last night I went to see Paul McCartney in concert at Citi Field. Citi Field is the new home of the Mets…wait, let me Beatles Geek-out for a moment and explain. See, The Beatles played the first-ever concert at Shea Staduim (the former home of The Mets). Not only was that show the first at Shea; it was the first show at a stadium ever. Pre-Beatles, there weren’t big stadium and arena shows…anyway, last year they shut down Shea, and Billy Joel did a big “goodbye” concert there – and Paul made a surprise appearance. So, since he’d been in the first concert at Shea and the last concert at Shea, it only made since that he’d do the first show at the new “Shea”!

Perfect weather for an outdoor concert

Waiting for the show to begin...


Note: Pics were taken with my iPhone, which has the unfortunate side-effect of making us look further away from the stage then we actually were.

So, last night was that show. It was, in a word, Incredible. Best concert I’ve ever been to? Absolutely. Am I still on a post-concert high? Hell yes.

First, though, there was an opening band, The Script. They’re an Irish band I’d never heard of before, but they were good! I’ll definitely check their stuff out.

And then…out came Paul. He came on shortly before 9:00 and started his set…and because I knew I’d want to blog about it, I kept track of the set list during the show…

Drive My Car
Jet
Only Mama Knows
Flaming Pie
Got to Get You Into My Life
Let Me Roll It/Foxy Lady
Highway
The Long and Winding Road
My Love
Blackbird
Here Today
Dance Tonight
Calico Skies
Mrs. Vandebilt
Eleanor Rigby
Sing the Changes
Band on the Run
Back in the U.S.S.R.
I’m Down
Something
I’ve Got a Feeling
Paperback Writer
A Day in the Life/Give Peace a Chance
Let It Be
Live and Let Die
Hey Jude

And at this point, the concert “ends”. Of course, we all know that encores are a requirement for live shows at this point…though frankly, after the last few songs he had played, I had no idea what he’d do for an encore. Well, he did:

Day Tripper
Lady Madonna
I Saw Her Standing There

That was ending two…and then, though I wasn’t sure he’d do it…encore two!

Yesterday
Helter Skelter
Get Back
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band (Reprise)
The End

So yeah. Fucking amazing set list. Granted, he does have 5 decades (!) of material to choose from…but he played every song I wanted to hear, and then some. The man may be 67, but he played for 2 1/2 hours. And during the entire concert, he never even stopped for a drink of water. I don’t even know how that’s possible.

And the thing with Paul is, he’s so adorable. There’s a reason he was called the cute Beatle – he was always the flirty, charming one. That hasn’t changed. And there is nothing better than an artist that plays and still seems to know how lucky they are, that they get to be a successful musician, one that thousands of people will pay good money to go see. I’ve been to some concerts where the performer seems pissed off to be there – that ain’t Paul. He still seems like he’s having so much fun with the whole thing.

But highlights from the show? Well overall, there is this sense of nostalgia that’s sort-of permeated his work for the past few years (not including his last album, released as The Fireman). During the whole show, there was a giant screen at the back of the stage showing whatever might be relevant to the song at hand. They were all really good – and then, for some reason, during “The Long and Winding Road” they were showing photos of the American desert. Random…until I remembered that, when he was married to Linda, they lived in Arizona – in fact, she died there. So all of a sudden it made sense, “subtle tribute to Linda”…and sure enough the next song was “My Love”, which he had written for Linda when they were married and which he dedicated to her. And then a couple of songs later he played “Here Today”, a song he wrote for John after he was murdered. Paul actually seemed to choke up a little while he was singing that one, it was pretty touching. And later still, he played George’s song “Something” on a ukelele George had given him. So yeah, lots of reminiscing.

However, it wasn’t all downers! He played new stuff, more than I thought he might (which is great, because his last couple of albums have been pretty good, especially his most recent). And he of course played tons of Wings stuff. But he didn’t disappoint those that only know him as a Beatle (like my coworker who came with me) – he played a TON of Beatles numbers at the end.

My favorite moment of the night? It would have to be “Live and Let Die”. Yes, yes, this is a Wings song and not one by my beloved Beatles. But “Live and Let Die” is a total stadium-rock type song – Wings did a huge stadium tour in the 70s, and this was always one of the highlights. Big pyrotechnics, the whole bit. So I was curious to see what we would get last night, as it was the first time i’d ever been to an outdoor concert of this magnitude. Fireworks? Why yes, yes indeed…

Live and Let Die

Live and Let Die


That photo also give a good sense of how the venue was set up – the screens they had to the right and the left were ENORMOUS, and yet totally HD (that doesn’t come across in the photo, either).

So here I am, the day after. My voice is hoarse from the yelling, my hands sore from the clapping. And I’ve already created a playlist on iTunes to recreate the set list from last night. (note: I’m missing way more songs than I should be, five or so. It’s downright embarrassing). The concert was absolutely the best I’ve ever been to (including the last time I saw McCartney). I’m so glad I was able to go – and able to blog about it, so I can try and re-live it in the future 🙂

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Guess Who I’m Seeing Tonight?

18 July, 2009 at 1:59 pm (Concert, Historical Figure, Music, The Beatles, The British Are Coming!)

Can’t wait!!

Hey Jude (with Elton John, Sting, Phil Collins, Eric Clapton – most of the legends of music in the UK)

Note: Not sure when this is from, but it’s awesome

A Day In The Life/Give Peace A Chance

Note: This is just from last year. I blame his age for him forgetting the words

Live and Let Die

Note: This is from before I was born, back in the era when my mom most loved Paul McCartney

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Paul McCartney’s US Tour

9 July, 2009 at 10:53 am (Concert, Historical Figure, Music, The Beatles, The British Are Coming!)

Totally the cute Beatle

Totally the cute Beatle


Seemingly out of nowhere, Paul McCartney is doing a “tour”. I say “tour” because there are very few shows, and it seems he’s just doing them as he wants to. Which, frankly, if you’re nearing 70 and you’re a Beatle, you’ve pretty much earned the right to do. Anyway, the tour, in its entirety, is:

July 17 – New York, Citi Field
July 18 – New York, Citi Field
July 21 – New York, Citi Field
August 1 – Washington, FedExField
August 5 – Boston, Fenway Park
August 6 – Boston, Fenway Park
August 15 – Atlanta, Piedmont Park
August 17 – Tulsa, BOK Center
August 19 – Dallas, Cowboys Stadium

More of a mini-tour, really. And yes, you read that right: he’s doing a show in Tulsa-freaking-Oklahoma. Kudos to Tulsa for opening the BOK Center; that place has done them well. The tickets for the NYC shows are all sold out (they sold out basically as soon as they went on sale). The tickets for his Tulsa show go on sale July 20th…if I were in Oklahoma, you know I’d be on top of that. Because, let’s be frank: how many tours can he have in front of him?

Paul's Aged Just a Wee Bit...

Paul's Aged Just a Wee Bit...

And yes, I’m going to see Paul at Citi Field. July 18th. I cannot wait!!!

Now, in honor of the recently departed Michael Jackson: his and Paul’s better collaboration (I don’t really dig “The Girl is Mine”). This video features:
– Michael Jackson, before he was creepy and before he stole all of Paul’s Beatles’ songs
– Paul’s less-than-stellar 1980s work
– Linda needlessly lurking around, Yoko Ono-style
– LaToya (I think…) playing the object of MJ’s affections. If that’s true: ewwwww

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Elton John and Billy Joel are touring together again

21 February, 2009 at 4:27 pm (Concert, Music)

I want to go to there.

I saw them together in OKC 7 or 8 years ago…it was an awesome show. As of right now, they don’t have any shows scheduled in NYC (but they have one in Tulsa?!). The closest they’re coming is Philly (worth the trip), but it says they’re still adding tour dates, so…here’s hoping!

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We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration

18 January, 2009 at 5:27 pm (Barack Obama, Concert, Historical Figure, Music, Politics, TV to Watch)

obama
Update: HBO has made this available online; watch it here
Highlights:

– Malia taking her own pics with a digital camera from the presidential viewing booth
– Obama’s niece being passed out in the presidential viewing booth and sleeping through the whole show
– Mary J. Blige getting choked up after she was finished singing “Lean On Me”
– Jamie Foxx doing a pretty spot-on Barack Obama impersonation – and Barack cracking up at it
– Tom Hanks reading passages from the speeches of Lincoln. Though could anyone watch this part and not think of the part of “Forrest Gump” where Forrest speaks in front of the Vietnam war protesters at the Lincoln Memorial?
– The (seeming) contradiction of following up the quote from Reagan’s inaugural address with James Taylor’s “Shower the People You Love”. This isn’t the first song that comes to mind when I think of the Reagan years…
– Joe Biden apparently forgetting that they had a mic for him to use, and him figuring he had to shout for those at the end of the Mall to hear him. No so, Mr. Vice President-elect. The delivery was just awkward…I couldn’t even concentrate on what he was saying. On the flip side, he was less long-winded than usual!
– John Mellencamp’s “Little Pink Houses” actually being used appropriately. (see, THIS is what I think of when I think of Reagan’s administration!)
– A gay men’s chorus (?) backing Josh Groban and Heather Headley on “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”. (I need to check into this – but it was a choir of mostly white, middle aged men wearing red AIDS awareness ribbons. So I’m not really going out on a limb here.)
– Jack Black introducing Garth Brooks. Random!
– Garth Brooks singing “American Pie”. Awesome!
– Garth Brooks getting the thousands and thousands of people at the monument watching to join in singing and dancing to “Shout”
– Garth Brooks singing “We Shall Be Free”. (Though it was a shortened version, so the verse with the line about being able to love anyone you choose was cut. Darn.)
– Seriously, Garth Brooks was great. The man knows how to work a crowd. Why won’t he come out of retirement?
– The Obamas up and dancing to Stevie Wonder, Usher, and Shakira’s number
– U2 singing “Pride (In the Name of Love)”. That song just meant more on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, on the eve of MLKJ Day.
– U2 singing “City of Blinding Lights” – this was one of Obama’s campaign songs, so cool seeing them do it live for him right before he actually becomes president.
– Bono does love to work a crowd. And people may get sick of him being political – but the man seems to really believe everything he says. You have to give him credit for that.
– The bald eagle being presented was kind of odd, though it did make me appreciate that we didn’t end up with the turkey as the national bird
– Obama’s speech. It was great, and it wasn’t even the “big” one.
– A big group, including Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen, singing “This Land is Your Land”. The whole thing. Oklahoma represent, ya’ll.
– The big finale, Beyonce leading everyone in singing “America the Beautiful”. I don’t know how you could hear that and not get chills.

Overall, it was a great show. It set the perfect tone for this new presidency…in fact, it almost seemed like the “people’s inauguration”. The real inauguration is important, and steeped in history – but this felt more modern, and more real. I’m curious to see how it measures up to today, and of course am anticipating Obama’s inauguration speech. I can’t wait!

Update:Here’s is Obama’s speech today:

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Obama Inaugural Celebration Concert

17 January, 2009 at 9:47 pm (2008 Election, Barack Obama, Concert, Historical Figure, TV to Watch)

I was bummed I was going to miss this, since it’s on HBO…and then I found out (via a text “from” Obama) that the show will be free! That’s right, HBO is making itself free while this concert is on. So watch it, at 2:30 or 7:00 ET on Sunday, January 18th!
82671

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Ben Folds rocks, and I have a new crush

3 October, 2008 at 8:52 am (Concert, Music)

For my birthday, Sandy bought me two tickets to see Ben Folds on September 30th. Excellent! He hasn’t been here since I’ve lived here, and I’ve been dying to see him live (I saw him in Tulsa once, but it was a pretty low-key show, which doesn’t do him justice). There was just one catch to Sandy’s gift, though: she wouldn’t (or really didn’t want to) go with me. So why did she buy me two tickets? I have no idea; you’ll have to ask her. Anyway, Rachel came with me instead – and we had a fabulous time.

The opener for Ben Folds was an artist name Missy Higgins.

Hot Australian

Hot Australian


I know someone has told me about her before, but I cannot remember who. It’s driving me a little nuts. Anyway, she’s super-cute, and has an adorable Australian accent, and a gorgeous voice. Oh, and she likes girls. Sorry Jenny Owen Youngs, I have a new guitar-girl crush

Next was the Ben Folds show. Ben Folds isn’t on stuff white people like, but he should be. I mean, take a look:

Almost as white as the RNC

The biggest white crowd since the RNC

So the crowd didn’t look like NY. Regardless, the show was phenomenal. I don’t know if you know Ben Folds, but he beats the hell out of a piano – yet at the same time, he still plays piano beautifully. And his albums don’t do it justice – live, there is just SO much energy to his music. I’m trying to find a clip that shows this, and I am still looking for a good live clip…but trust me. He came out and played newer stuff, off the last two albums, plus some ‘fake’ songs (that’s a whole other story). He did that for about an hour and 15 minutes with the full band. Then, he left – and came back and did a whole second set with just the bass player and drummer (fun fact: the Ben Folds Five was actually a trio). That part of the show was about 45 minutes of old stuff. Two hours solid. And he played every song that I was hoping he would play. It was awesome. Plus, Ben Folds is one of those rare artists that actually likes, REALLY likes, what they do. He comes across as knowing he’s lucky that he gets to do this for a living, and seems like he’s just having a lot of fun with the crowd. I had a blast.

Alright, I settled on a clip…it doesn’t do his live show justice, but it’s one of my favorite old-school Ben Folds songs. It was from a live show he did for MySpace, so it’s a pretty small crowd…

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