Monthly Archives: July 2013

LeAnn Rimes and Tyler Stenson

LeAnn Rimes and Tyler Stenson

I was really looking forward to this concert even though Devin wouldn’t go at all. So I invited a friend and we had a ladies night!  This was not a sold out concert and I thought it was strange. LeAnn Rimes is a pretty big name. Apparently there was some scandal about her taking someone’s husband or some such… however, I am not up on all the drama and really don’t care. I like a good chunk of her music and that’s all I care about. 🙂

About the venue: This was at the zoo again. Again, first in line! I really enjoyed being able to show my friend how we do concerts! This is the first concert I’ve been to where there’s been so much  room on the concert lawn. It was strange to see everyone sort of stretched out.

About the music: This was a really fun concert for me. I love me some country music. We went up to the front of the stage and enjoyed an up close view. She was really relaxed and chatting with the crowd. She sang her heart out. My favorite part was when someone yelled out “what’s your  favorite song?” She replies “Dave Mathews, Crash into Me” And then the ask her to sing it, and she totally does. She has someone bring her a phone with the lyrics and the guitarists and drummer pow wow for a few to get it together and then she totally sings it. It was a little rough but for just pulling it off on the fly like that, I was impressed. She shook our hands so many times… she played with the bubbles that someone kept blowing at her. It felt really intimate and personal. It was nearly as good as just hanging out with her. LOL I got a guitar pick from her bass player Joey. It was just a standard blue one, but I know where it came from! LOVE IT!

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Randy Newman

Randy Newman

My first response when the hubby wanted to go see Randy Newman, was “Who?”. Then he explained who he was, what he sings and even played some of his songs for me. Ok, other than the Disney/Pixar songs, I’m still scratching my head a bit. Although, that short people song is pretty funny, if you ignore the incredible bias going on. But hey, some of these concerts are ones I picked so I’ll play along. 🙂

About the venue: For the first time so far, NOT a sold out show. The only real difference is that you have a little more breathing room on the lawn. 🙂  I love that you can put your chairs down in line and actually go enjoy the zoo too. Took the kids first thing in the morning and we had a great time! Plus, we were first in line again. People (staff) are starting to recognize me… LOL

About the music: OK, so the first major difference is the smaller crowd. Second major difference is that the only thing on the stage is a huge (amazingly beautiful) piano. For some reason it hadn’t clicked before that this was gonna be a piano concert. For a guy who is getting up there in years, he is still a wonderful piano player. He was very talkative, and mostly hilarious. Some of what he says you kinda have to ignore if the bias type comments bother you. Everyone sat through the whole concert which I totally expected and it was a relaxing change of pace actually. We had a really great time, even the kids enjoyed it. They didn’t know any of the songs except the Toy Story song but I think that they are really enjoying the atmosphere.

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Gretchen Wilson

Gretchen Wilson

So I didn’t realize that you could buy tickets early to the concerts at Dukes. I searched all over the website and all I could find was that it was it $25 cover. So when I went online to find out what time Gretchen comes on stage there was a big SOLD OUT over her picture. Imagine my surprise. So I emailed the manager and expressed my frustration. He assured me that I would be notified if any tickets should become available. I had mentally crossed this one off the list. Then about a week later he emails me and tells me that he may have a solution, that he was going on vacation but to call him back on the 19th. Of course I set my alarm and did just that. After a bit of phone tag we finally spoke. He said that if I didn’t mind standing that he would put me on his list. I asked him what the cost would be and he mentioned something about the $25 so I was prepared for that. We  get there and we are on the VIP list, a quick stamp on the wrist and NO COVER. Heck yeah!

About the venue: Dukes is a country bar that I have never been to before. I didn’t find the stage exceptionally large or anything but there was lots of friendly people. I don’t  smoke but it did have a nice patio. The drinks are mid-high priced but I was expecting that. They had some local cover band playing when we got there. It was pretty packed already at 7:30 and most people seemed to enjoy the cover band. personally I thought they were a bit squeaky, but they had a decent fiddle player. It was pretty crowded and really hard to get a spot on the dance floor. You had to be a bit ruthless taking up whatever empty space you can find. It was super hot and I was wet with sweat… so was everyone else. Of course as soon as Gretchen came on stage none of that seemed to matter much.

About the music: Gretchen felt like a real person having an amazing time putting on a show for all of us. You felt like she could be your friend. She was chatty and beaming. She really knew how to rock the house too. When she sang Redneck Woman you could visibly see the energy level rise on the dance floor. Even when you didn’t think it could get any higher. She tossed out t-shirts and guitar picks. She laughed and managed to connect with the majority of the crowd. I didn’t know her brother could sing but he was pretty good during the duet that they sang together.  About 2/3 of the way through the show the guitar player looks out at the crowd and I swear he was looking at me, he threw a guitar pick directly at me and I briefly caught it in my hand. It did hit the floor and some how I managed to recover it. I was pretty excited. I would absolutely see her again although I hope she’s in a different venue.

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2013 Seaside Adventure

2013 Seaside Adventure

We headed to the beach for the weekend. Probably our only chance given our crazy concert schedule. We stayed at the Thousand Trails campground which is back behind the outlet mall. It’s an ok campground. It seemed like it was in a wet sink hole or something. It rained in the mornings. It was kinda nice cause they did “bring your own fork” smores one night, and then an ice cream social the next night. There was also a really nice pool and a hot tub and showers. If we were in an RV (more protected from the rain/mist) this place would have been stellar. No beach access of course but it’s not that far of a drive.

We bought a stunt kite and had a really great time. We went to Seaside one day, shopping in cannon beach the 2nd day, drove to Arcadia and then hug point looking for sun, didn’t find it so we drove back north to Gear hart and played in the sand and watched the cars get stuck. We flew our kite some more but the most fun was watching these dumb people ignore the signs that say 4 wheel drive only, and every one of them got themselves stuck. It was really nuts. There was a guy waiting up there to pull people out for a $20 tip. I really could have stayed all day watching these people get their cars stuck. The last day we saw a small sun break and decided to go back to the beach in Seaside before we headed back to Portland. So glad we did. The sun finally came out and we even got a sun burn. The kids played in the sand, we attempted to fly the kite but there wasn’t much wind, we walked the beach, and really just enjoyed ourselves.

Mishaps: Ethan and Averie both (despite our directions) didn’t bring any pants, and Averie didn’t bring a sweater, even though she was wearing it moments before we loaded into the car. So we had to stop and buy pants and a cheap sweatshirt.

Other than that, we enjoyed our time and we got a super cool kite!DSC03695 DSC03665 DSC03676 DSC03680 DSC03686 DSC03691

These pics are from Seaside beach on the first day!

 

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These are from the campground.

 

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This is from the second day- so weird that I didn’t take many pics. Wish I would have taken some of the stuck cars.

 

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This was our last day in Seaside and it turned out to be beautiful.

 

 

Weird Al Yankovic

Weird Al Yankovic

Counting Crows and The Wallflowers

Counting Crows and The Wallflowers

This was a concert we were really looking forward to. We love a lot of the music between these two bands. I wish we could have afforded to bring the kids or at least Averie because “the parking lot song” as she likes to call it, or “Big Yellow Taxi” as I believe it is called is one of her favorites. No idea why, but she just loves it.

About the venue: This was our first time seeing a concert at Maryhill Winery. It was pretty awesome. We did not get reserved seating for this one (not till Willie) so it was general admission. We didn’t know what to expect for a line so we got there at 2, concert started at 6. We were definitely the first ones in line. Well technically there were two other groups before us but there were 4 lines. It was a looong hot wait. For this concert it was not necessary to get there that early. They opened the gates at 4 but we found what we thought were perfect seats and there were still open spaces next to us and in front of us for at least 30-45 minutes. And there really aren’t bad seats here as the lawn is terraced. The next best thing is that it’s a WINERY, hello! Great wine! If I wasn’t allergic to red wine we’d join the club. Another cool thing was that right behind the sound booth is vacant because no one can see over/through it whilst sitting down. This space became the dance floor and oh boy did it get used. By us too! Overall we really enjoyed the venue and really look forward to the next concert here. My only complaint was that they didn’t sell reisling down on the lawn so in order to get it, we had to hike up the big hill to the tasting room and buy it there. But really that’s not bad considering how I needed to work of all the cheese and salami we ate while we were waiting. 🙂

About the music: We really enjoyed the music. I had a hard time deciding which band I liked better. They were both really good. They both played for about an hour and 50 minutes with about a 20 minute break in between for equipment swap so we really got our monies worth. There were several songs by both bands that made the whole crowd stand but overall it was sitting and standing mixed. There is NO CHANCE at getting near the stage with general admission here. So, no guitar pic for me here. Oh well, 🙂 One bummer is that they didn’t play Mr. Jones and one other hit song that I can’t remember the name of. I’ll come back and edit this as soon as I remember. Other than that I had a wonderful time!

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Kenny Loggins (And Never 2 Late)

Kenny Loggins (And Never 2 Late)

We went and saw Kenny Loggins at the Marion Co. fair in Salem, OR. Of course the benefit of going to a concert at a fair is that you get to go to the fair! We were really excited to see Kenny because our wedding song is a Loggins and Messina song. It’s Danny’s Song. My favorite thing he said during the concert “I’ve never played in front of a hot dog stand before, but it’s making me hungry!” LOL

About the venue: Ok, we had no idea what to expect. We bought $40 tickets to see Kenny here and we got to be second row. It was AMAZING to be that close. I got some really amazing pictures and the excitement level was way up there. I do not regret having bought the tickets given who it was we were seeing. We were on wooden benches that numbered about 45 seats across and there were about 40 rows I guess, with 4 ft chain link fence all the way around. HOWEVER, if you do not feel the need to be that close there is plenty of seating around the fence for free, or actually the cost of the fair. So I will know in the future, that if it’s not someone we want to see up close and personal, then we can literally go for the cost of fair admission. It’s not a huge fair and we didn’t ride any rides but we walked through and looked at animals and ate food that was really bad for us. LOL They did have this really awesome kids zone thing that my kids would not have left, I guarentee it. It was a bunch of different blow up features, plus these huge clear balls that you could get inside and roll around on the water, giant bungee jumpers, zip line, and mechanical bull riding. I really wish we had the kids with us. LOL!

About the music: OH MAN! Let me tell you, Kenny’s still got it! My only thing was that he played our song FIRST and I just wasn’t ready for it. Don’t ask me what I needed to be ready, but I just felt… not ready. He had his new group, Blue Sky Riders with him and they played a few of their songs. They were pretty good actually. Not that I’m surprised with Kenny in the lead. After that he went on to sing his heart out. That guy has a falsetto (I’m sure I spelled that wrong) that doesn’t quit. I really enjoyed myself from beginning to end. At the end of the concert the guy next to me took his mom’s record up and Kenny signed it. Then he went back up and got me a guitar pic. SWEET! I would definitely see him again if he comes to town. It was a really great show.

BONUS: The band that opened for Kenny Loggins was called Never 2 Late and the base player was my high school basketball coach. So fun to see him play in his band and they were pretty good. They rocked a lot of great covers. I facebooked him later and begged for a guitar pick from them too. He sent it. I got me a little collection going. Wahoo! Wish I had thought of it earlier. LOLDSC03318 DSC03325 DSC03328 DSC03346 DSC03348 DSC03364 DSC03368 DSC03380

B-52’s and The Go Go’s

B-52’s and The Go Go’s
Please Note: I am in no way a musical expert. In point of fact I have not been subjected to much and I never even played an instrument in school. So this “review” is strictly for my own personal entertainment value! Thanks

B-52’s and The Go Go’s was a lot of fun. I had no idea that they drew such a colorful crowd. There were people dressed up in full on 80’s gear, like neon hot pants, leg warmers, and BIG hair, Trannys, Chicks in towels (not entirely sure why they were dressed in towels but they sure got a lot of attention) and a wide variety of other colorful entertainment. There were plenty of us plain Jane’s there too. One thing is for sure, EVERYONE was there to have a great time, and a great time was had by all. (Speaking for my friend Cheri, Chioma, my hunny and me)

About the venue: Ok, same venue as Huey, but this time we came in earlier. We got there at 2:00pm and we were able to be about 60 people back from the front of the line. We got a great seat, slightly farther to the left than I wanted to be but it turned out great. We ended up being in the shade early which was nice. We also brought ourselves a little picnic. We didn’t have our picnic bag but it worked out because we bought these AWESOME Tommy Bahama chairs that have a little cooler pouch and dry pouch on the back of the chair. This time we see lots of people there with their little tables to eat their food on. YES! We have a little table too, next time we will come with table in hand. 🙂 Then we just had to buy a couple bottles of wine and we were set!

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About the music: The Go Go’s played first. They put on an excellent show. Of course all the music was great. They also brought people up on stage to dance with them during one of the songs. Surely you guessed that they picked the towel girls. LOL! Everyone was on their feet, dancing and clapping from their first song, through their encore! I knew all but about 3 of their songs and I really enjoyed the ones I didn’t know too. I also really loved their cover of “Paint it Black”. Apparently, a large chunk of the crowd was in love with Belinda Carlisle.

The B-52’s came on after that, and they did a great job too. (although, for my money, The Go Go’s were way better!) I knew about half their songs and EVERYONE remained standing beginning to end. There was a little break in between the two bands while they switched up equipment. I loved having the break and then more to look forward to.

All in all a great experience and I am really looking forward to bringing the kids back to this venue for Weird Al!

My Hunny and I at B-52's and The Go Go's

My Hunny and I at B-52’s and The Go Go’s

We were a lot closer!

We were a lot closer!

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Dancing on Stage

Dancing on Stage

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Cheri and Chioma

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Chioma

Chioma

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Huey Lewis and The News

Huey Lewis and The News
Please Note: I am in no way a musical expert. In point of fact I have not been subjected to much and I never even played an instrument in school. So this “review” is strictly for my own personal entertainment value! Thanks

Huey Lewis and The News was AWESOME!

First about the venue: I have been to the Oregon Zoo MANY times, but never for a concert. We didn’t know we’d be able to take our own food inside. There was a note on the website that said to “leave your picnic at home” so we just assumed no food allowed. We also thought that when it said that the lawn opens at 5 that people would meander in and find a spot. We showed up at 3:30 and noticed people carrying chairs in. So we went ahead and grabbed our chairs. Glad we did because there was a line all the way up the ramp and wrapped all the way around the tigers and past the penguins and the monkeys. WOW! This was a bit of a surprise. So once we finally got on the lawn we were literally against the back edge of the lawn area but not all the way back by the food. On a positive note as long as you are on the front lawn and not back by the food, there really isn’t a bad seat in the house.  We set out our chairs and grabbed some over priced food and a couple bottles of wine. The food left much to be desired but the Riesling was great! There were some people next to us that brought in this great little picnic set up… DUH! What am I thinking, we have one of those! Oh we will be bringing a picnic to the next concert!

And the tickets include zoo admission so we will come early and hopefully we will be able to cruise the zoo too!

About the music: He had a woman, kind of a bluesy folk singer named Alice Stuart open. In all honesty, I would have preferred the silence. She was a decent guitar player but I didn’t enjoy her voice or rhythm, and she wasn’t very believable. Huey came onstage and fixed all that! He is an enthusiastic entertainer and still has an amazing voice. The audience stood for most of the performance and most people were dancing. Granted, the majority of the audience was elder, so they sat some of the time. 🙂 The only thing he did that annoyed me was that he played an extended bluesy version of his “Bad is Bad” song (which he already played once) with that Alice chick. It was alright, but I would have rather heard another song that I hadn’t heard yet. All in all I would say that I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and I’m looking forward to B-52’s and The Go Go’s tomorrow.

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Father and Son

Father and Son

Sold out crowd!

Sold out crowd!

Me and My Hunny!

Me and My Hunny!

Demolition Derby, 4th of July, Community Days. OH MY!

Demolition Derby, 4th of July, Community Days. OH MY!

I was all ready to pack up a lunch and go have ourselves a quiet 4th of July afternoon and let the kids play in the lake. That was until my wonderful husband decided we should go to the Demolition Derby here in town instead. Ugh! REALLY? I don’t know about this. It doesn’t sound like much fun to me, but if that’s what he wants to do, then off we go!  OH WOW! Seriously?? That was so much fun. The cars park at either end of the arena and when the round starts they start barreling into each other backwards. It was like grown up bumper cars, playing for keeps! What really amazed me was these cars would leave the arena by tow truck and then they are able to fix them up enough to drive back in for the next round. In the second heat for the cars one of the cars lost a wheel. That car drove back to the arena for the last heat. The trucks were even better. They hit so hard that one of the trucks broke one of the giant concrete blocks around the outside. You can’t help but get swept up in all the adrenaline and excitement over these cars and trucks getting smashed up!

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4th of July was great. You can just stand outside and look in all directions and see plenty of fireworks going off at all times. It reminds me of being a kid in California when most of the people on the block would come out with their own supply of fireworks, and it would end up being a little block party. Too much fun! We set off a good chunk of fireworks ourselves and saved a few for New Years!

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Loves his Grandpa!

Loves his Grandpa!

 

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Grandpa cuddles Grandpa cuddles

 

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Community Days was even better this year than last year. There was a carnival set up on Main St. which was really spendy, like $5 bucks per ride. OUCH! But there were more booths, a longer parade, the library book sale, and evening concerts on the courthouse lawn. I really just love living here!  Our AWANA, FAITHWEAVERS, and YOUTH group were in the parade and then we had a booth at the courthouse too. Averie was in the parade with the dance studio and Ethan was on the AWANA float.