Seeing Muse

Last night I went to the concert that we’ve been waiting 10 months to see – Muse at the Pepsi Center.  We originally bought tickets last December for a show that was supposed to happen in April, but a day-of-concert snowstorm postponed the show until October.  I’ll have to admit, with as much time that passed between buying the tickets and going to the show, I had a hard time getting excited about going – especially considering that Muse is #2 on my list.

Once we got there, all that changed.  Muse definitely made it worth the 10 month wait, putting together a set-list that was top-tier.  With the exception of New Born, Assassin and Hyper Music, they played every song I wanted to hear. 

The stage was something else. Passion Pit opened for them playing in front of these three pillars, then when they finished the area in front of the pillars remained empty while the bands seemingly switched.  When the concert started, the covers came off the pillars, revealing the three band members in each one of them.


The pillars moved up and down throughout the concert, eventually lowering the members down to the ground. At one point, they moved a baby grand piano onto Matt Bellamy’s pillar, moved it back up and once it came back down they replaced it with standing drums between songs. It was a total treat.

The visual experience was complimented with the pillars being video walls, in addition to lasers and lights flashing across the arena.  At one point, giant eyeball balloons floated down and surfed along the crowd.




Lastly, no concert experience would be complete without the attendees providing the entertainment.  In this case it was by a middle-aged woman who spent the whole concert passionately/interpretive dancing.  Not to be ageist, but if this lady was a 15-year-old girl, I probably wouldn’t have given it a 2nd though – but the fact that she was pushing 40 made it all the more awesome. My favorite part is when she actually started doing jumping jacks.

This amazing concert gave me cause to revisit my list of top concerts and see where Muse fits amongst them.  I’ve compiled a list of over 40 shows that I’ve seen over 10 years, and am in the process of ranking them. I should hopefully that that post coming later this week.

In the meantime, what are some of your top concerts you’ve been to?  What aspects make it a great concert?

Pumped about Five for Fighting


Tomorrow night Bethany and I are headed down to the Soiled Dove Underground for an acoustic evening with Five For Fighting, one of my favorite artists.  As we thought about it, we realized that this will be the first concert we’ve been to since July of 2008.  This will be a great show to quench our concert thirst. Looking back at a post I wrote in 2005 (coincidentally this post was triggered by my first date with Bethany) that ranked my top concerts, the Five For Fighting acoustic evening ranked #2 in my top 5 concerts list.  I hate to quote myself, but it best summarizes why I’m excited about this show:

For those of you who haven’t heard Five For Fighting beyond "Superman" and "100 Years" – you’re really missing out.  John Ondrasik is definitely one of my favorite musicians of all time, and I had been in love with Five For Fighting for almost 2 years at that point.  So when I heard that he was having an acoustic show I jumped at the chance to get tickets (which weren’t selling very fast at all).  I roped a few of my friends from church to come down to the show.  My friend Fred and I ended up sitting in the 2nd row and we were like 8 feet away from John Ondrasik!   I had never been to the Blue Bird before, but it is TINY! – 150 people, max.  And he we were in an awesome intimate concert setting hearing all of these awesome songs and raw passion that John put into playing each of them.  He gave us a little bit of piano, a little bit of guitar and a lot of amazement.  I wasn’t sure how my friends were going to react to the show, but when we walked out they were blown away as well.  Then one of my friends asked me "How did you manage to get tickets to that?!?  To see someone acoustic and small as that – you have to know the band personally".  I still find it funny [Back in 2005]

It doesn’t look like I’ll be able to bring a camera (which is a real bummer), but I’ll definitely offer my thoughts after the show on Monday.

Mile High Music Festival Recap

Today is my first day back after a long, but very fun weekend at the Mile High Music Festival, and I’m definitely dragging. This weekend was a blast though, and I wanted to offer a few thoughts on Mile High Music, and the Festival experience.

In all the years that I’ve been going to concerts, this is the first time that I’ve been to a festival.  The closest experience that I’ve had was an all-day event that featured 5-6 bands, enough of a contrast of 48 bands over two days.  With the number and the sheer size of the place, it was definitely a taxing experience.  The weather nearly broke 100 degrees on both days, but I never appreciated clouds rolling in as much as I did each afternoon.  We rolled in on Saturday in the late afternoon, but not late enough to escape the heat. I also updated my Flickr with pictures from the festival as well.

Music. I managed to see:

  • Citizen Cope – They were playing when we walked in and were pretty impressed
  • O.A.R. – The show I was anticipating most, as I never heard them live before.  They had such an amazing sound!
  • Michael Franti & Spearhead – Awesome as always, I didn’t get to see as much as I hoped, but got my Spearhead fix nonetheless
  • Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – I was surprised he played some of his biggest hits pretty early on in the set.  Tom Petty was about what I expected, I was glad to have seen him, but it wasn’t a highlight of the day for me.
  • OneRepublic – In all honesty, from what I heard I had low expectations going in, but was pleasantly surprised.
  • Flogging Molly – One of the best shows of the festival.  This was the first time I’ve seen them, but I definitely will be checking for the next time they come back to Denver.
  • John Mayer – This surprised me the most, as Mayer’s sound has changed drastically since the beginning of his mainstream career.  He was extremely talented live and put on an awesome show, but I don’t think he did justice to his bread and butter.  I joked that he played a medley of songs that he didn’t really want to play, but felt compelled to because songs like "No Such Thing" and "Why Georgia" made him big.  He never played "Your Body Is A Wonderland" or "Daughters" though, which I found hard to believe.
  • Dave Matthews Band – This was my 15th show, and was as good as ever. What I found however, is that after sitting in the sun for two days straight, I had no energy left for this show. I spent half of it sitting in the chair, just taking it in. Jeff Coffin did a great job playing for LeRoi (get well soon!), and it was pretty amazing seeing Tim Reynolds play

Venue & Festival Logistics:

The grounds of Dick’s Sporting Goods Park served as an excellent venue for the Festival.  Everything was spaced out pretty well, and it was surprising how little noise pollution there was.  In addition, the organizers were pretty smart in being liberal what they allowed people to bring.  The fact that we were able to bring in folding lawn chairs is really what enabled us to sit through the sweltering heat for two days.  We also brought in more water bottles then were allotted, and they didn’t give us a hard time.  Also, they have the smartest camera I’ve ever seen for a concert: "Non-pro cameras (film, disposable and digital); pro-camera is anything with detachable lens".  I also love the fact that they opened the stadium, allowing people to have shady places to sit as well as running water & toilets.

I know this may come across as overly critical, and the comments made must be taken with a grain of salt for two reasons: 1) This is the first year that they’ve done anything like this, and it’s a monumental task to plan; 2) This was the first festival I have ever been too, and it could be that every festival suffers from these issues.

Honestly, the festival felt like it was over-sold. Not that there’s any problem with having a good crowd at an event: if you have the capacity to accommodate the number of people.  I’ve probably been to at least 100 sporting events and concerts, and the lines at the Festival by far were the worst, especially when it came to food and water.  It easily took an hour to be able to get any kind of food, and the watering lines were too long for as hot as the days were.  I hope that next year they are able to increase the food vendors, as well as double the water stations.

If you read my post leading up to the Festival, you’ll notice I didn’t see all the bands that I originally listed.  With all of the crowds it simply made it too difficult to navigate out of the main stage area into any of the other stages.  This may be simply the way things are at a festival, but Sunday was definitely far worse in terms of volume of people camped out on the stage lawn.  I know the same amount of crows prevented our group from seeing any of the “village” exhibits, as well as the merchandise tent.

Also, I realize the role of General Admission in festivals, but I wish there was some way to offer incentives to people who bought their tickets early.  Our group was talking and we thought what would be cool would be to rope around some of the stages. The people who bought tickets when they first came out have access to the roped section closest to the stage.  You could even tier different sections of the grass dependant on when people bought their tickets.  This way, more people would buy their tickets earlier, and festival organizers can get a better sense of the final number. I know that people could buy tickets on even the week of the event, which makes me wonder how many people waited until the last minute and contributed to the surge.

Lastly, $8 for a beer?  That’s highway robbery.  I realize that people still paid for beer at that price (me included) but the going rate for these things should be between $5-$6.  Also when you charge $8 for a beer, don’t complain about running out of $1 bills for change.

Did you go to the festival?  What were some of your thoughts on the highlights and ways that the festival can be improved?

DMB screws with Coloradoans again

And my weekend was off to such a good start…

I’m playing RSS catchup late Friday night when I came across the announcement that Dave Matthews Band has released their Summer 2008 Tour Dates.  As I started reading the story the news was getting better and better, announcing the opening acts such as Spearhead, The Black Crowes, and O.A.R. That’s incredible!  This is too good to be true!

Then it was.

I went over to the tour dates web site and COLORADO WAS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND!!!!!  You’re kidding me!  Why don’t you just twist that knife a little more?  It’s bad enough that there was no Colorado show last year (not to mention that we were skipped in 2004 and initially skipped in 2005, causing me to make 2 trips to opposite coasts to get DMB shows that year.  2007 was the first year since 2008 that I haven’t been to a DMB show, and now it’s looking like it could be two years?!?  I mean you threw us a bone by giving us those 4 incredible Red Rocks shows in 2005, but I would much rather have no Red Rocks shows if it means we don’t get skipped 2 years in a row!

I’m refraining from full panic mode because rumor has it that they are planning at being at this big festival at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on July 20th.  You probably have the same initial thought I had: “WHERE?!?” Yes, apparently that’s where the Colorado Rapids play soccer (Colorado has a soccer team??).  I’m hoping so, but if there is an announcement it won’t come until the end of the month.  That’s bad.

The closest show to us in Omaha on July 22, and the Warehouse Ticketing period closes on March 17th.  I’m tempted to road trip, but that’s a pretty bad time for me to travel (considering I’m going to a wedding the following week on Monday). However if I don’t go and there’s no Denver show, that would be the second year in a row that I don’t request tickets, causing me to wonder if my Warehouse money should go elsewhere.

DMB, please announce Colorado, and announce it soon!  Don’t screw us for the second year in a row, please?