Friday, May 11, 2007

Son Volt, April 21, 2007

Obviously I have some catching up to do!

So that Saturday when we got to St. Louis for Son Volt, there'd been a horrid traffic jam and detour and everything. We finally made it to the hotel and checked in and relaxed for a minute. I called the venue to ask about cameras - it's a place that lets artists set the policy - and today was a "no camera" day. dammit. At that point, we didn't have enough time to skate back downtown and eat at one of the places we'd been considering, so we eventually just hit the venue's neighborhood, hoping to get lucky and get into Fitz's, but we could see people waiting outside, and the nearby big free parking lot was more than full, so I turned around and hit the small $3 parking garage nearby.

"Let's just see what's closest," I said.

In that neighborhood there are tons of little restaurants and bars and sidewalk dining in nice weather, which this was. We came across Riddle's; the sidewalk tables were packed, but there was space inside, and we got a booth immediately. Which was good, because it was pretty much time for doors to open over at the Pageant. ARGH. Well, if there's one thing I hate, it's being late to a GA show, especially when J had agreed to hit the floor for once instead of trying for a table, but there was nothing to be done but enjoy dinner and remember that we'd seen Son Volt a couple of times before and Jay Farrar a number of times - heck, met him, had him autograph our Trace liner notes, so if we had to get a seat like we did last October, well, it wouldn't actually be a tragedy.

So we enjoyed a nice dinner and then zipped over to the pageant, which has the awesomest parking of any venue ever, pretty much. Behind the venue and across the street, there's a parking lot for some kind of municipal transportation - buses, I guess, or shuttle, whatever - and concertgoers can park there. FREE. We picked up our tickets and got inside, and went in, and the place was humming, people filling up many of the tables -

and nobody on the floor.

I swear, you'd think I'd learn. It's a late crowd at the pageant, and for some reason it's an extra-late floor crowd. Unless it's Wilco, and then it's madness personified, but for most of the rest, it's just strange. I never get used to it. So we looked at merchandise and I bought a teeshirt, and J picked a table for us to loiter at while waiting - he was like, no hurry, we'll get on the floor as soon as we see people start to hit it. Good chance for a potty break and that kind of thing, and when I got back, it was starting, so we went ahead and got rail just to audience-left of Jay - which was awesome, so we were between him and the guitarist and could watch the guitarist, which we did. I don't even know who this guy is, he's new, but my god, he's good.
*checks son volt web site*
He's Chris Masterson.
I can't quite figure out who he is, apparently there's an actor by the same name (thanks for nothing, google!). He was a strange one, sporting a vivid white studio tan and weird hair and the kind of tattoos you get when you suddenly realize you'll be making your living as a musician, and scrawny. But cat could play a fucking guitar. J and I both felt that we watched him more than we watched Jay. I love applauding a solo.
Anyway. There we were at the rail, and who should join us, on my left, but the notorious Beatle Bob.

Beatle Bob is a guy from St. Louis who's known for going to concerts and "dancing." He ... well, just watch a video; it's hard to describe. I know a few of you encountered him at Lollapalooza last year and, frankly, I was surprised shannon and I didn't see him at Tallstacks last fall!

google results for Beatle Bob

Beatle Bob's myspace page!

Beatle Bob at wikipedia.

We've seen him around - at Son Volt in the past, and at the Jayhawks and Emmylou Harris and Springsteen and others I can't remember, but we've never met. I'm pretty sure he gave me a thumbs-up all my own, but otherwise we didn't really interact, except for inadvertantly doing the bump kind of often. However, this was my first up close and personal extended time as Beatle Bob's rail companion, and I must say:

Firstly, he seemed nicer and less of a freak than I expected. You hear so many terrible things about the guy. When people came up to greet him he was super-gracious and nice, made conversation with a guy who was in a band, talked about a party later for someone's birthday, really was normal. In retrospect I kind of wished I'd said hello or something, as we're bound to meet again, but I don't usually talk much to people in line or at the rail. After all, you're stuck together for hours, and once you start something, you're trapped. But if I'd had my camera I'd have asked him if he'd let J take our picture together. For posterity.

The opening band was Jason Molina's project. They didn't suck, they weren't bad, but they didn't grab us, either. Bob loved 'em, though. heh. I have to admit, it's kind of entertaining to see bands register him for the first time. He totally threw out some new moves I hadn't seen before, either. Very impressive.

Son Volt was great, just great.
Set list:
1. Satellite
2. Who
3. The Search
4. Circadian Rhythm
5. The Picture
6. Underground Dream
7. Beacon
8. Highway & cigarettes
9. Jet Pilot
10. Automatic Society
11. Exurbia
12. Methamphetamine
13. Damn Shame
14. Voodoo Candle
15. Medication
16. Medicine Hat
17. Tear Stained Eye
18. Action
19. Bandages & Scars
20. Drown
21. Afterglow 61
encore:
1. 2000 light years from home
2. Windfall
3. Life Worth Livin'
4. Chickamauga

Let the record show that it's very difficult to keep a list for Farrar; he loves to name a song NOT from the chorus. Let the record further show that I will never NOT freak out from happiness upon hearing "Medicine Hat," "Tear Stained Eye," "Windfall," and "Chickamauga." And (the one song some of you might have heard of) "Drown" was particularly kick ass this evening as well. That guitarist!! my GOD. "Drown" was HUGE.

"Jet Pilot" makes me happy too. Especially when a guy behind us yelled "Impeach the fucker!" at the end. har har.

Afterward, I held steady to try for a set list, and a couple of other guys drifted in to do the same. Competition!! I held tough, and when the roadie came out he went straight for the guitarist's list and turned and we all reached out. Usually I try "Could I please get a set list?" but he was clearly intending to give a set list, so I stuck with something like "Please, please!" and he came straight to me. He actually said something to the guys, some kind of NO!, and gave it to me as though we knew each other or something. Which, strangely, is exactly what happened in October, except that I hadn't been on the rail all night and the guys were a little grabby and he snatched it back away from them to make sure I got it safely. It's kind of funny. Maybe he just likes women? He'd been busy with guitar changes all night, we hadn't interacted, we don't know each other, but that's twice in a row I've been really lucky with him. so yay!! I don't know what to do with them once I get them, but I really do love the thrill of the chase. That's two son volt, one big head todd, and a security copy - not stage copy - from U2.

*shakes fist once more at memory of unfeeling allman bros crew*

Also, after I got the set list, the freelancer for the Post-Dispatch who was writing the review asked to look at it and made a few notes. Glad to help, guy!

I'm making my own Son Volt's Best compilation cd to introduce them to my friend Tenner, so if anyone else wants a copy, that's doable.

2 comments:

Anonymous Communist said...

OK, I've read your blog several times without realizing it was you, you U2-obsessed-Braves-fan-being librarian.

I am a Cardinals fan, but I have a mancrush on Kelly Johnson. Dude is money for my fantasy team.

And in eighth grade (my MacMurray Gifted Program-going days), I was a freak for U2. I even tried tuning my drums to get them to sound like Larry's. He had those loose snares.

Anyway, nice to know this blog is yours. I'll link to you.

Occula said...

Likewise, I'd read yours a couple of times too. Too funny. Welcome aboard; I'll link you too.

Dude, that's really funny, because I wasn't such a big U2 fan then yet. Late bloomer, that's me. I shudder to think who I was into then.