Wed Oct 19 - caught Chris Isaak at the 9:30 club with Judy & Paula...man I could listen to that guy sing the phone book in that sexaaay voice of his... Ran into old friend Damien who informed us he'd only be working at the 9:30 til the end of the year as he's going in with some partners to open a new venue "the Rock & Roll Hotel" - yay!
Opening for Chris Isaak was a young gal named Brandi Carlisle (I think...) doing a set of soft rock influenced by country & blues, she had a nice enough voice that worked well for a Patsy Cline cover but I felt her original material to be rather forgettable but apparently Chris liked her work enough to ask her to open & it was a pretty big break for her. She told a sad story with a nice ending - about how their van had been broken into & all her clothing stolen & when she mentioned it to Chris he went out personally to the store & bought her some new duds himself!
And as always it was a pleasure to hear Mr. Isaak & the Silvertone band - I don't think I have ever seen a band with such a friendly vibe of camraderie, people who've known each other for decades & feel completely comfortable together & have the flexibility to change around the set in a moment. Very refreshing after some of the stilted band lineups I've seen elsewhere in the last few years. They did a great set of hits & old favs (including - swoon - "Wicked Game" which is easily one of my Top 5 fav songs of all time since "Wild at Heart" came out), some nice older material including "
Danzing" off the 1st album & some as-yet-unrecorded. And of course Chris' outfits are a hoot -heavily decorated Western style suits in the tradition of Nudie's Rodeo Tailor & for the encore he came out in a wonderfully ghastly mirrored suit that echoed the ghost of Liberace'. A fun night!
Then Friday Oct 21 Paula & I trekked up the the University of Maryland in Baltimore & caught My Chemical Romance & company - we got there pretty early but there was already a HUGE line of mainly 14-15 yr old kids & their parents. The MCR fans are young and RABID and react to MCR like they were the Beatles. I think they are a decent enough band (I really like their latest album) & put on a good show but honestly, I just don't get it - all I can guess is that for many of these kids it is their first concert or they haven't seen much to compare it to & are caught up in adolescent hormones. Opening was Reggie & the Full Effect - the singer (Reggie?) came out wearing a crushed purple velvet shirt & matching shorts with a yellowed Lord Fauntleroy sorta lace ruff down the front of the shirt & on the cuffs & introduced himself as Prince and said they were going to do a whole set of Prince songs so I was actually a little disappointed they didn't do any Prince covers (tho they did cover Slayer...) They were OK but honestly, I spent most of the set just wishing the singer would pull up his damn shorts since we saw entirely too much of his gut :(
Alkaline Trio were up next, they were REALLY good, very tight & I love their boppy little pop ditties with lusciously morbid lyrics. definitely would go see them again & have picked up the rest of their albums.
Then My Chemical Romance came on & the audience's screams were deafening and you'd think it was the 2nd coming. (after the first 2 bands didn't get all that much response - honestly I thought Alkaline Trio was a much stronger act - the only time they got much response was - you guessed it, by mentioniny MCR to huge screams of approval!)
I don't think I've ever seen so much teenage energy - not even at AFI or early Marilyn Manson shows. They did their Misfits cover of Astrozombies & announced it by "Have any of you ever heard of the Misfits?" while they projected huge Crimson Ghosts on the video screens behind them and got a huge response, yet few kids seemed to know the words or sing along - curious, is "Walk Among Us" that obscure to today's early teen wanna be punkers? Funny also to be at a concert where very few patrons sported tattoos, the majority of course being too young tho one gall in a backless dress had a very poorly done version of the latest MCR album cover (no doubt because reputable artists won't ink the underage...) May she live to have no regrets. I did thoroughly enjoy their set tho, esp the encore of "I'm Not OK" where Matt Skiba of Alkaline3 joined them onstage for vocals & did a little onstage "making out" with Gerad that was very entertaining! Bought a cool messenger bag that resembles a Ouiji Board except saying "My Chemical Romance" where the alphabet would be. Also got a neat long black sleeve shirt with red edging & a little coffin embroidered on the collar tho honestly I'm not even sure if its an MCR shirt or an Alkaline Trio shirt! So call me a fangirl :) And Gerard is a little cutie (Paula thought he looked like a baby Danzig crossed with Andrew Eldritch...)