Friday, October 1, 2010

Bigger is not always Better!!

Most guys I know will agree that bigger is not always better. I'm not talking about what lies below the waistline, just life in general. This past weekend I had the opportunity to see two concerts, one at Hershey Park in PA, and one at the City Winery in NYC.

I have not seen the group Nickleback play. I knew a lot of their songs so when tickets became available I thought why not. The only concert I usually make these days is when Buffett is in the area so I decided to broaden my horizons so to speak.

We went to a bar a short walk from Hershey Park where we could leave the car. Nickleback is touring with Buckcherry and Three Days Grace, two groups I'm not familiar with. The brewskies I was enjoying were familiar so we hung at the bar until the main event was scheduled to start. Some things never change.

The stadium at Hershey Park can hold up to 30,000 for concerts, I would guess there was around 20,000 in attendance. It was a great night for an outdoor concert. Our seats were up kinda high so we decided to stand in an aisle on the field level. Outdoor rock concerts and sitting just don't make sense to me. I would always rather stand, just makes it more enjoyable. Plus you don't have to climb over people when it's time to feed the liver or empty the bladder.

It was a good show, they played many songs I knew - Photograph, This Afternoon, Gotta Be Somebody and Someday to name a few. They also did some great covers, Friends In Low Places by Garth Brooks, Don't Stop Believing by Journey and Wanted Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi. Nickleback is a great rock band, no elaborate stage, just 4 guys on the stage rocking out. I was glad I went. After the show was over we went back to the bar for nitecaps. Again, some things never change!!

It was a late nite and an early morning, I had to be back for my grandson's football game. I made it back and they won but my butt was dragging all day. The Friday before I was offered two tickets to see John Hiatt on Sunday night. It's been awhile since I had done back to back concerts, but I'm a huge Hiatt fan so I could not turn it down. So son Travis, the Tech Guru and another huge Hiatt fan and I headed in.

Now I'm not a city guy, hate the traffic and congestion. I was a regular at the Bottom Line, one of the greatest places to see a concert but when it closed in 2004 my trips to Greenwich Village ended. So while the trip to the City Winery was vaguely familiar, wrong turns were made, curse words were uttered. We got there a little later than I wanted, but a parking garage was almost next door which saved time.

I'm telling you, the City Winery ( is a pretty neat place, like an upscale Bottom Line. Restaurant sitting, probably holds about 300 with a stage in the center. Sure, the food is expensive, as is the drink, but it's NYC! They make their own brand of wine there, I had the Cabernet which was quite tasty. Go on the website, check it out. They have some good groups playing there.

Holly Williams, who is Hank Williams' granddaughter, opened for Hiatt.  A country singer with a couple of albums out she played for about 30 minutes. All acoustic, good music, a great opening act. I plan to pick up her albums she was that entertaining.

Hiatt came on around  9:30 or so. I have seen him many times, with a band, with Lyle Lovett and on the songwriter tour with Lovett, Joe Ely and Guy Clark. This was my first solo acoustic show and I was so looking forward to it. Years ago I saw Buffett perform acoustic, might still be my favorite concerts of all time. When it's just the artist and a guitar, that's just it man. Does not get any better. Hiatt did not disappoint.

He opened with Master of Disaster and played many favorites, Drive South, Buffalo River Home, Cry Love and Walk On were just a few. He has so many great songs, it was almost like a greatest hits concert. Fans were shouting out songs and he obliged by playing them. It was almost like being back at the Bottom Line when John Hartford performed there. Hartford in my humble opinion was the ultimate performer, always playing requests. Hiatt is a close second. If you have never seen him live, it is a must see deal. He plays his heart out. He closed with probably his best known song - Have a Little Faith In Me - just after midnight. One of the best shows I have seen in a long time.

So, Saturday was the grand stage Rock Band and Sunday was the best known unknown singer / songwriter. Two great events, but give me the smaller venue any day. Not because the eyes and ears aren't what they once were, it's just more intimate, more personal. Catch the show if you can, you will greatly enjoy it!

1 comment:

  1. Have Faith in Me...what a great wedding song!