U2 at The Sphere, Las Vegas – October 11 and 13

I have been waiting my whole adult life to see my favorite album of all time – Achtung Baby – performed in it’s entirety. Since this became “a thing” I hoped and hoped U2 would do it one day. After they toured with Joshua Tree and played the whole album, I was 99% sure they’d do the same for the AB anniversary. I kept up my u2.com membership ONLY to be able to get tickets to some future AB tour. Covid hit, the anniversary passed, but I held onto hope it would just be delayed. And then came….The Sphere.

That giant technological marvel that can only be at home in Las Vegas. And who better to open the Sphere than U2, playing Achtung Baby in full. I died a little. I panicked a lot about getting tickets. And I celebrated when I scored GA tickets through the fan presale for Oct 11th. Fast forward months, and finally finally the day arrives, when LeighAnne and I get to see our fav album.

I was nervous, I was hopeful, I didn’t know what to expect.

Gone are the days where we queue outside all day. Sorry, did I say day? Fans have been lining up for these shows DAYS in advance. To be honest, I don’t really understand why. Part of this show experience is THE SPHEEERE. If you are at rail for this show, basically, you are just at another U2 show. Would it be great, of course. But having seen it now, you really don’t want to be that close. The Sphere is MASSIVE. It looks big from the outside, but just kind of a normal big. Inside is cavernous. And the point of playing at the Sphere is the surrounding show. At rail at this show, you are either NOT seeing everything that is happening, or you are and now you have a broken neck LOL.

So we got there fairly “late”, had to deal with the ONE SINGLE ENTRANCE and line, and then took spots as far back as you can get in the GA section. The opener was a DJ…..I don’t have a lot of respect for DJs anymore because mostly, they are playing a playlist. No skill necessary. It was FINE, but honestly no different that the usual music bands play before they go on. Maybe it was louder, lol. The DJ did have a cool platform he was “performing” on – a neon outlined Trabbant car, which, as we found out, drove from one end of the Sphere to the other. THANK GOD, we had gotten up off the floor before the car started moving towards us, it would have been bad LOL.

Time for the main event. Achtung Y’all!!!

Zoo Station
The Fly
Even Better Than the Real Thing
Mysterious Ways
One (With Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender” snippet)
Until the End of the World
Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
Tryin’ to Throw Your Arms Around the World

All I Want Is You (With Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic” snippet)
Angel of Harlem (With Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone snippet)
Love Rescue Me

So Cruel
Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
Love Is Blindness

Elevation (with “My Way” snippet)
Atomic City
Where the Streets Have No Name
With or Without You
Beautiful Day




I mean, I KNEW what we were gonna get, but it doesn’t make it less !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! God, so good. As seen in the setlist, they did not perform the tracks in order, and took a break “from the heaviness” as Bono said, with a small Rattle and Hum set.

Looking at other set lists, they have changed up the middle set a few times, but I am glad for what we got. Other nights they played Pride (no thank you, I never need to hear that song again), and MLK (honestly, I’m so unfamiliar with it, I don’t care), and I still haven’t found…. (again, pass). I will always take Desire and Angel of Harlem over any of those other options.

So let’s talk about the Sphere. It’s ridiculous. Going in I took 2 Dramamine, just cuz, I know I don’t do good with screen movement anymore (like, simulator rides). I’m going to say that was a good idea. I was mostly fine. Only 1 song was bothersome (Even Better Than The Real Thing) and it’s because there were things moving down, then other things moving up, and it didn’t make me sick, but it might have without the pills. I had to look at the floor a lot during that one, just to get my bearings. The most impressive visual effect came during The Fly. The screen fills with alpha numerics, which travel up to the top of the sphere. Then they come down! I mean…..it’s like a square ceiling is falling down onto your head, and now the sphere “has walls” and you feel like you are in a regular square room. It was BONKERS. There wasn’t a lot of crazy effects like that, just other kinds of projections and imagery that was really cool.

Although I was dying for my fav song, Love is Blindness, the absolute highlight is Acrobat. Dear. Lord. What an incredible song, and incredible guitar, and incredible power. It’s always been a favorite of mine, but I almost forgot how awesome it was going to be because of dying for Love is Blindness (which also DID NOT DISAPPOINT!) Acrobat may be the best live song I’ve ever seen. It is for sure up there in the top 5 with NIN’s Reptile and….not sure, I haven’t really thought of this before LOL. Surely, other NIN songs lol. I said to LeighAnne I would go to this show again purely for Acrobat…………………..(foreshadowing!)

The encore is joyous, with classics and fun “must play” songs. I’m not sure anyone counts Elevation or Vertigo as their most favorite songs, but the are so fun live. The new song, Atomic City is solid, though I haven’t listened to the studio version cuz I was going into this show spoiler free.

Some of the sphere effects I really liked were fairly simple. Embers falling from the sky during Wild Horses were lovely. Bugs on the “screen” during Love is Blindness gave you a weird claustrophobic feeling that goes with the song. The simplicity of a desert landscape and white smoke flag of Streets. It was all very well done.

And that was that. I said I would go again, and there was another show Friday but I was being responsible. Until I wasn’t anymore. I kept checking for ticket drops, just to see if there were any. I wasn’t really going to go again. Until everyone peer pressured me into it, and a text from LeighAnne to go made me cry in a bar. So at 6pm show day, I bought a seat in the 200 level, the level people say is really the best seats to have for full sphere appreciation.

The setlist was the same for this show, except they swapped So Cruel and Acrobat, which I think worked better. The flow from Acrobat to So Cruel to Ultraviolet was lovely. Here’s one thing about having seats – THERE IS STUFF HAPPENING ON THE LITERAL STAGE. The Rattle and Hum set, and the 2nd part of Achtung Baby has less/no effects on the sphere. SO I THOUGHT. From GA, it seems like a regular concert, with regular lighting effects. But from above, the stage is lit up, it has effects projected on it, including images of the band playing (see also, my video of Acrobat). You don’t realize that at all from on the floor. For Trying to Throw your arms Around the World this time, there was imagery of a large balloon with a real life rope coming from it which Bono holds as he walks around the stage. I’m not sure why the Wednesday show did not have this imagery, maybe the rope thing wasn’t working. It was cute (for lack of a better adjective). I also saw reference in another review of some kind of “ladder” which made appearances in previous shows, but not either of mine.

The perspective from the seats feels more immersive than the floor. It feels more like you are inside the effects. That doesn’t mean better, just different. It’s as impressive on the floor as the seat.

Enough about visuals, how’s the sound? Well there are like 160k speakers, so it sounds pretty damn good LOL. (“The sound system comprises 1,600 X1 speakers that are installed behind the LED panels, along with 300 mobile modules, for a total of 167,000 speaker drivers.” whatever that means…..) I’d say the sound was slightly better from the seat, but not enough to make a huge difference. I only say that because when Bono spoke during the 1st show, I couldn’t quite understand what he was saying sometimes, and from the seat he was clear as day.

Do I want to go again? Yes. Have I looked for more tickets and flights to Vegas? No, I’m being responsible LOL. I am going to bank on a full AB tour after this, with Larry back drumming like they toured for Joshua Tree. I just can’t imagine after all the planning, and learning these songs again, that they would only be doing the 25 Sphere shows.

Bono – Stories of Surrender

Bono wrote a memoir. I was really excited when it was announced months ago and preordered it right away. Then as a complete surprise (to me at least) he announced a book tour. What??? Coming to Toronto, what?? I had to go. I knew it was going to be a once in a life time, super rare event, and I kinda didn’t care what it cost. Luckily I have been maintaining my u2.com membership in hopes of an Achtung Baby anniversary tour, so I was able to get a presale code.

Of course, ticketmaster is complete trash. I immediately got in with no wait, got a pair of tickets, cashed out – payment fail. For no reason. Got kicked out, back in the lobby queue, not moving out of it, retrying, going onto the laptop instead, getting in and of course, no tickets available. I was so mad. But I perservered! I just kept refreshing, over 20 minutes later, I was able to snag 2 tickets. Didn’t know where they were, didn’t know how much they were, I just took whatever. Turns out they were pretty great seats mid floor, for a price I was comfortable with. Now to find someone to go with.

I offered them to all my u2 friends and no one was able to go with me 🙁 🙁 🙁 which I really found epically sad. Honestly, I didn’t want to take J because he doesn’t care at the level I needed the person to go with to be at. And I know he didn’t really want to go anyway, because he just doesn’t care. So I found a random girl on facebook who was looking for tickets, and it worked out great.

I drove up for the 2nd time in the same weekend, and with all the construction I was kind of lost, but somehow ended up on the street where people were waiting for Bono to arrive at the venue. And there was a parking ramp right there. So very convenient haha. My new friend Kimberlee showed up, and a few other friends of hers came as well, and we all hung out waiting for Bono. It gave me flashbacks to London in 97 (on a WAAAAY SMALLER scale haha). Bono arrived around 530, and various staff had said he wasn’t going to talk because he had to save his voice, and he might or might not sign. So when he arrived, he did a quick walk up and down the line to wave, but no autographs or anything.

I was not sure what to expect when this show got announced. A book tour – I figured it would be Bono talking for 2 hours, reading from the book. The same thing an author might do at a book store for a signing/reading. And I tried very hard not to pay attention to reports from the first few cities. But I was unable to avoid the news that he was actually going to be singing too! It really was like a one man show. Bono with a cellist, a harpist, and a “dj” percussion, keyboardist. There was a simple stage set up of a few tables and chairs, and 2 screens which were used to display Bono’s drawings of various things/people he was talking about. He interspersed songs between the stories he was telling – mainly of the relationships that have made him who he is – parents, Ali, the band. It was very heavy on his father, the way their relationship progressed through the years.

Oh man it was something special. It was emotional, it was funny. He was still Bono, with his Bono mannerisms. Acoustic songs in a different vein than with U2. I find it hard to really discuss. He held the audience in his hands (as usual, but in a wholly different way). It was awesome.

  • “City Of Blinding Lights”
  • “Vertigo”
  • “With or Without You”
  • “Out of Control”
  • “Stories for Boys”
  • “I Will Follow”
  • “Iris (Hold Me Close)”
  • “Sunday Bloody Sunday”
  • “Pride (In the Name of Love)”
  • “Where the Streets Have No Name”
  • “Desire”
  • “Beautiful Day”
  • “Torna a Surriento”

The show ended with the death of his father, and Bono singing opera. He had done a little on Miss Sarajevo on the 360 tour (?) which was impressive then. But holy jeeesus. Given that his voice seemed sore, and the not talking before the show thing, he killed it. Ridiculous.

Econoline Crush returns

Econoline Crush has been teasing new projects for years now. Yeah yeah, covid blahblahblah. They played Burlington in the summer, and for whatever reason, probably lazy, I didn’t go. They announced a show in Toronto with Finger Eleven, and I jumped on it. I was supposed to go with Mary, but complications arose and I was going to end up having to go alone. I almost didn’t go. I didn’t want to drive up there, since I had to drive home for the Bowie tribute the next day in Buffalo, and then back to Toronto Sunday for Bono. But all year I’ve been passing up on things I wanted to do because I didn’t feel like going, or didn’t feel like spending the money, and I decided screw it, go. Cuz if I didn’t go, the next day I would wish I had.

So I took the TOO LONG almost 3 hour, 90 mile drive to Toronto. Ended up running into Joe who was a few behind me in line. Haven’t talked to him in years, ended up hanging by him during the show, so it didn’t feel so weird to be there alone (not that I mind).

As soon as Trevor got onstage, instant smiling. It was so great to see him perform again, and after all these years he’s still got the energy and enthusiasm he’s always had. It was a fairly quick set, 45 min ish. It’s an entire new band, as Ziggy died earlier this year, and it’s been so long since they were really active. Trevor sounded great – the typical stress of age on the vocals was apparent with high notes, but no big deal. The band… I dunno. Something sounded weird – almost too slow? It was so very loud, I’m not sure if it was the acoustics of the venue, or the loudness but some songs I barely recognized until the chorus came in. Like, I knew the words but not the music. But overall I really enjoyed seeing Trevor again, and hearing those songs, and I am glad I sucked it up and went.

  • Home
  • Blunt
  • Invincible (this is not right, they did not play this song)
  • You Don’t Know What It’s Like
  • Going Under
  • Surefire
  • Razorblades and Bandaids
  • All That You Are (X3)
  • Wicked
  • Sparkle and Shine

setlist from setlist.fm, but it’s not right.

Nine Inch Nails #56 – “Cleveland”

As we know covid ruined everything. NIN had planned a 2020 tour that would have brought 5 shows to Toronto, cancelled. They planned a “rock and roll hall of fame” 2 nights in Cleveland for 2021 which I got a ticket for one night, cancelled. 2022 tour, closest date again is Cleveland. Since I don’t like the 3 most recent EPs I really wasn’t excited to see a tour for them, so when tickets went on sale AND I was “at work” I didn’t set alarms to try for tickets, or anything like I would have done in the past. I remembered late for the first pre sale, but went on and never got out of the lobby to try for tickets until they were all gone. I attempted 2 more pre sales and the public sale, each time forgetting to go right on at 10am, and I was not willing to pay surge price, or $40 for lawn so I was left without tickets. And sadly, I wasn’t sad about it. I didn’t really want to drive down there, and I didn’t want to spend absurd prices, and I didn’t want to be on the lawn.

But as it goes, Mary saw a set list from early on in the tour, and really wanted to go. Spent months looking at ticket prices, and finally just bought 2 lawn from a fan on ETS for cheap, thinking as it got closer, and then day off, ticket prices HAD to go down so we could get seats. Well, they didn’t. We were relegated to the lawn.

We are old now, we got to sit in between bands, low stress. I am never going to queue all day for the rail again, so I thought it would be fine. Well, I learned that is not the case for me. lol

Since this turned into a sort of “rock and roll hall of fame” show, and the band did a live Q&A at the hall the day before there was the thought that maybe some guests would show up. Adam got to go to the Q&A and said he suspected there would be some appearances. Foreshadowing…..

Nitzer Ebb and Ministry opened. I am not very familiar with either, and they were fine. Didn’t love it. Seen worse. NIN opened with Somewhat Damaged. And that is when I realized I cannot see them from so far away. I could not see anything in detail, and the side screens showed the view of a singular camera guy who walked the stage the entire show. So it was lovely and artsy and beautiful but not good for actually SEEING what’s going on. Set started pretty typically, into March of the Pigs, Piggy etc. I did have the thought that this was just going to be the same thing I’ve seen 55 times. 2 new songs, one that I don’t mind one that is boring. Blahblahblah. We get to Reptile. This is the true moment when I realized I can’t be so far away. I need to feel Reptile in my chest. Those killer guitars, the drums, the vibe…I just couldn’t feel it so far away and it made me sad, even tho it sounded amazing as always (unless Peter Murphy is guest starring. I’m still bitter about that).

Middle of the set went to new songs again, one that Robin sang! But it was NOT AT ALL familiar to me, to the point where I wasn’t even sure it was a nin song. It was. I hate it. Another boring new song that I will forgive, purely because TRENT PLAYED SAXOPHONE. Wish I was close so I could see sexy old man Trent playing sax. lol Back into the old stuff. I will say there is a benefit to the new things I hate – it makes the old stuff even better haha. Then we get THE PERFECT DRUG. I had COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN that they had fiiiinally put it into the set a few years ago. Awesome. Burn is back, another moment to be closer.

We get to the Frail, and as it winds up and you wait for the Wretched you hear Eraser start. It always makes me laugh when the Wretched doesn’t start, and I think of Adam haha. But this time… Eraser begins, and there seems to be a lot going on on the stage. I CAN’T REALLY SEE THO cuz LAWN! The video guy is wandering around, and Trent and Robin walk on stage (they had gone behind some light screens)…and there’s people around, and then the camera is on this blond guy standing there….wait, what? I know that guy, I just saw him play at Gratwick Park. It’s Richard Patrick! So while I knew there was the guest possibility of, say, Danny Lohner, because he was part of the Q&A, given Trent and Rich’s history, that was really fucking unexpected. And then I realize, Danny is on stage, and then there is a little guy playing drums – Chris Vrenna! And someone is there with a theramin…it’s Charlie Clouser. So basically it’s everyone important from past band lineups on stage all at once. Robin and Richard (and Trent) are playing guitar. Ali, Charlie and Danny are on bass/keyboards/gadgets. 2 drummers. They do eraser, and all of the rest of the set – Wish (another moment wishing I could feel it), Sin, Gave Up….Hey Man Nice Shot! and finally Head Like a Hole. It was awesome having all those guys up there, and a really nice thing for Trent to do. Especially cuz though obviously I know nothing about their lives, it still feels like a bit of an olive branch to Richard. Danny is still so entertaining to watch, he broke a keyboard like it was the old days lol. Man it was great.

HLAH finishes and the NIN logo comes up and we wait for an encore….but it doesn’t come. They had been doing them, unlike that one tour that didn’t (summer 06?) and they hadn’t played Hurt. Also, I had accidentally seen a previous setlist that showed an encore of AND ALL THAT COULD HAVE BEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! whaaaaaaaaaaaaat? What what what? The 1 song I really never thought they’d ever play. I was kinda mad for seeing that setlist, for several reasons. One, I’m not totally sure how I feel about them playing it live. I always said I wanted to hear it live, because I loved it so much. But on the other hand, I feel like it’s a very special song, AND it’s kinda strange so I don’t know how it would translate and I wouldn’t want it to be bad. The other reason is, now that I saw that they were playing it, if they DIDN’T, I’d be mad lol. And they didn’t. There was no encore. NO HURT!!!!!!!!!!! HOORAY!!!!! So I’m kinda mad, kinda relived I didn’t hear it in the end.

I’m really glad I got convinced to go. I really truly was not going to go, and I wasn’t that upset that I wasn’t going, but it really was good. I realized that I did miss them. It felt good. Kinda like home. But never lawn again.


  • Somewhat Damaged
  • March of the Pigs
  • Piggy
  • Heresy
  • Less Than
  • The Lovers
  • Reptile
  • Sanctified
  • Copy of A
  • Shit Mirror (the song I feel like I never ever heard before)
  • God Break Down The Door (a bunch of noise but with SAX)
  • The Perfect Drug
  • Closer
  • The Big Come Down
  • Burn
  • The Hand That Feeds
  • The Frail

Enter Richard Patrick, Chris Vrenna, Danny Lohner, and Charlie Clouser

  • Eraser
  • Wish
  • Sin
  • Gave Up
  • Hey Man Nice Shot
  • Head Like A Hole

Then there was the epic zombie hoard walk to the car, and then sitting there not moving eating car charcuterie (that’s what seeing nin at 40 is lol), finally got out an hr and 45 min after the show ended.

Las Vegas and NIN #55

We picked our random vacation week then Trent announced shows in Las Vegas at the same time, so decision made. We stayed at The Plaza because I wanted to be able to go to a nice pool, since it was going to be sweltering, and they have a new rooftop pool area. Adam decided to go to the show too after I bought my tickets, so he joined us after a few days.

As soon as we got there, off to Drag Brunch at Treasure Island. There were 6 queens, all past RuPaul’s Drag Race alumns, it was awesome. And there were bottomless mimosas, so we drank 3 bottles of champagne with the (not great) breakfast buffet. That didn’t end well for me, but the show was awesome, and though I lost the rest of the day, it was worth it lol.

Monday we made plans to meet up with Adr1 and Tom and the kids. We were going to try to do some trivia but there wasn’t really any going on so we met up to check out the Container Park, then went up near their house to a pizza place for dinner who was having music bingo. Tom didn’t feel well so he left us there, and we ate and played for a bit. It was fun, even though it wasn’t trivia really because you could use your phone to look up the songs if you didn’t know them.

Adam arrived Tuesday morning, we hung at the pool a bit and Adr joined me with the kids. So we had a good time in the water, and chatting, and Adr said the nicest thing ever – that I’m still her favorite person to do nothing with LOL awwww. <3 She needs to move back to Buffalo! Tuesday night we ended up checking out the High Roller giant ferris wheel on the strip, which was pretty neat. Wednesday was the show. Honestly, I wasn't all that excited about it because I really don't care for the EPs, but I told Adam that I would try not to be an asshole about it lol. He had VIP and went down early, plus I had no interest in queueing. I've gotten too old for this shit. Plus the lack of excitement, I didn't feel the need to be up front. BUT, it's still Trent and I still love him. The line was insanely long when we finally did get there, but we didn't end up with a bad spot. Pretty central in all ways, and other than the guy who didn't put his arms down, filming the entire show on his phone, I could see decently. I hate that I have to admit this. Maybe I've aged out of NIN shows? Don't get me wrong, it was still good, but I don't get any of the catharsis, or really any of the energy I used to get from the shows. Is it because I'm not up front? Have I just seen too many that they've lost their effect? I am pretty tired of seeing March of the Pigs after all. It makes me sad though. The setlist was pretty good, Year Zero heavy up front, not too many new songs, and some deep cuts that were very welcome. But as J said, the middle got a little boring with The Lovers and Find My Way back to back (he was probably bored with Even Deeper too, but NO!!! I will always take Even Deeper as a slow song!) And BONUS!!! NO HURT!!! And no Closer, which I do always enjoy, but it's ok. 1. Pinion / The Eater of Dreams 2. Metal 3. Me, I'm Not 4. The Beginning Of The End 5. Survivalism 6. March of the Pigs 7. The Lovers 8. Find My Way 9. Burn 10. God Break Down the Door 11. Letting You 12. Gave Up 13. Even Deeper 14. I Do Not Want This 15. I'm Afraid Of Americans 16. Less Than 17. Came Back Haunted 18. Only 19. Wish 20. Head Like A Hole So...it was good. But I just don't get the emotional benefit that I used to, so...I am very unlikely to travel to see him anymore (unless he puts out something I love, or does some kind of very unusual out of left field tour, like an all acoustic tour or something), and if he continues to do stupid things like "you can only buy tickets in person" crap, this may have been my last show. 55 is a good number to stop on. Now this brings me to his new EP, Bad Witch. I haaaate it. And if I'm honest, I basically hate the other 2 EPs as well, though there are a few tracks I like here and there. But everything I liked about NIN is gone. Trent's brilliance was in his ability to craft a song that could be loud, angry, noisy and heavy but still have a musicality to it, with a catchy hook and a melody. It's all gone. If he wants to experiment fine, go for it, but it is not what you expect and want from NIN. Even though I didn't love Hesitation Marks, it had solid actual songs, and not just movie scores for a non existent movie that he decided to put lyrics to. Because that's what it feels like. And I hate it. And I'm not going to listen to it.

Gary Numan – Town Ballroom, Buffalo NY – 12/2/17

Gary Numan came into town for the first time ever, and Adr2 and Bliss were down to go. We picked out our spot on the upper right side of the stage with a perfect view, and no one bugging us lol.

I don’t have a lot to say. It was great, Gary looked and sounded good. He seemed tickled at the audience reception, and I guess he did a 2nd encore, which I guess is unusual. I enjoyed it.

Ghost Nation
The Fall
Everything Comes Down to This
Bed of Thorns
Down in the Park
Pray for the Pain You Serve
Here in the Black
Love Hurt Bleed
My Name Is Ruin
When the World Comes Apart
A Prayer for the Unborn

Are ‘Friends’ Electric?

Encore 2:
I Die: You Die

The Tea Party – Horseshoe Tavern – 11/30/17

Even though I am still slightly mad at the Tea Party for our argument in the summer about their setlists, I couldn’t resist a Thursday night special acoustic show in Toronto. I didn’t think they would play the same old set, even if they did, it would be acoustic and thus different so I was excited.

Mary, J and I decided to spend the night with a free room at the Hilton, so we had all night to hang out before the band went on at 10:30. We met up with Carolyn, Kurt and their son for some good BBQ dinner, checked into the hotel, and had some beers at Mascot Brewery. Headed to the show, caught the end of the opener (a guy from USS), and waited around for the Tea. They went on late, of course, and the Horseshoe is a small place that was packed. We couldn’t see shit, plus since it was acoustic, they were seated.

But it was awesome. They always sound fantastic, and it WAS  a different set.

Acoustic set:

Walking Wounded
Requiem (dedicated to Gord Downie, with Tragically Hip “Bobcaygeon”)
Haze on the Hills
In This Time
Winter Solstice
Save Me / The Maker (with Led Zeppelin “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” intro)
Shadows on the Mountainside
Coming Home
Sun Going Down

2nd set:

Writing’s on the Wall
A Certain Slant of Light
Fire in the Head
Heaven Coming Down (with U2 “With or Without You”)


I don’t think we’ve heard Walking Wounded since I first started seeing them, and Requiem (which I hate on the record but was decent acoustic, because it wasn’t whiny) since they toured for Interzone Mantras. I still hate the Maker, but that’s ok haha. Sun Going Down is always welcome, and acoustic, cool. 2nd time ever for A Certain Slant of Light and I don’t know why they don’t keep that in the set. It’s fantastic.

Overall Mary and I were happy with the set, even if we couldn’t see anything lol. Went out for another drink at the Bovine afterwards before heading to the room for the night. Good times.

A Perfect Circle – Air Canada Center, Toronto Ontario – 11/15/17

APC is back!! I couldn’t miss out on going to see them, but I was wary after the way the last show went – the worst setlist ever. So I bought tickets but planned on checking the setlist before the show, and if it was crap I was going to sell the tickets. Turns out, it was safe to attend!

Maynard being Maynard, he implemented a super strict no photos or videos rule. Signs posted everywhere, on the backs of chairs on the floor, and apparently 60 people got tossed out of a show earlier in the tour. We had seats in the 100 level, so I wasn’t worried about it too much, but I left my phone in the pocket anyway haha.

The band sounded great, but things sure have changed since the beginning. My worst concert injury ever occurred at APC in Boston on their first solo tour, with Danielle, when half the floor of the oversold show fell over during Rose onto us, and a fat guy fell on me trapping my leg between him and the steps we were standing on and I thought it broke. Now, everything is seats, and while people on the floor stood, the rest of the arena stayed in their seats. It’s kinda crazy!


The Package
The Hollow
The Noose
Weak and Powerless
By and Down
People Are People
Thinking of You
A Stranger
3 Libras (All Main Courses Mix)
Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums
The Doomed
The Outsider

Highlights included The Package and Thomas. A new song called the Hourglass was intriguing. The other new songs were fairly interesting and a bit different than their past works. I’m looking forward to the album. I knew they weren’t going to play Judith, but I would have liked to hear Magdalena. Maynard’s voice is still great, but he occasionally stayed in a lower octave, and did not do the Thinking of You “chant”, instead he chose to tell us how he multi tasks on tour by doing his workout during the show, and proceeded to use his shake weights LOL.

They are definitely still worth seeing, and I hope they tour again once the album is out.

U2 – New Era Field, Orchard Park, NY 9-5-17

Leading up to the show, J was supposed to teach blackjack and wouldn’t be able to go, so I finally sold his ticket (and another) to my boss Nick and his wife Lisa. Then the class gets cancelled, so I have to buy J another ticket so he could go again lol. So we met up at their house, then went to Ken’s to hang out before hand, have some drinks and food, and head to the stadium. I had wanted to get there around doors open, but that didn’t happen and we got there by 7, which was ok. Found Kate and her boyfriend, and were decently close. Nick was amazed at how close we were, he had never been that close at a concert before. Is he nuts?!?! lol Where else do you go watch a show from?! Ended up meeting up with some other coworkers who found us on the floor, it was a good time.

Beck opened, and he was fantastic. By far the best U2 opener since Garbage in 2001. Lots of energy, good songs, even if I only knew 3 (plus a new one that I didn’t know was Beck, which they play at work).

As for the show, it was basically the same as the previous 2, except they switched out Miss Sarajevo (thankfully), and added Mysterious Ways. They sounded great, though I think Bono sounded better in June. They seemed to be having a good time on stage, which is always a plus. It ALMOST started raining during Running to Stand Still, which LeighAnne agreed would have been epic.

Nick and Lisa were appropriately impressed (they had never seen U2 before, and I wouldn’t call them fans) which is always a good thing. They both said they’d go see them again, and even hours later Nick was still all “what a show!” Sometimes I wish I could go back in time, or get amnesia and see my favourite bands for the first time again. That feeling of awe and being impressed.

from @u2.com: It was a spirited evening tonight as The Joshua Tree 2017 tour rolled into New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. Throughout the show, the spirit of John Lennon provided inspiration as Bono added a snippet from “Give Peace A Chance” to “Pride”; a snippet from “Come Together” concluded “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”; and a snippet of “Helter Skelter” ended “Vertigo.” Bono recalled the band’s first visit to Buffalo in 1980, on the night Lennon was murdered.

Bono also spoke about the DREAMers: 800,000 undocumented young immigrants impacted by the rescinding of the DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act) by the current U.S. administration. He said at the end of “In God’s Country,” “We Irish were the DREAMers of our day. Economic refugees. We must not forget that.” He then dedicated “Trip Through Your Wires” to the DREAMers.

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma were also featured during the show. There was a lyrical shift in “Where The Streets Have No Name” — “I want to take shelter from the hurricane.” As in Detroit, “One” encouraged people to text The Red Cross with a donation to help with the hurricane relief efforts. Bono said ahead of “One”:

This country has been a second home for this band and it is an amazing country and we feel very blessed to be a part, even a tiny part, of your lives. America. Not just a country, an idea. A great idea. One of the best ideas ever. Recently, we’ve seen a twisting of that idea. Stirring animosity. Summoning hatred. Bitter division here in the United States of America. After Hurricane Harvey, watching Texans crossing every kind of divide to help their neighbor, that’s helped the world remember the kind of America that is always here.

“One” ended with a few lines of “Drowning Man,” marking only the 30th time that song has been snippeted. “Drowning Man” has never been peformed in full.

Sunday Bloody Sunday
New Year’s Day
Where The Streets Have No Name
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
With Or Without You
Bullet The Blue Sky
Running To Stand Still
Red Hill Mining Town
In God’s Country
Trip Through Your Wires
One Tree Hill
Mothers Of The Disappeared
Beautiful Day
Mysterious Ways
Ultraviolet (Light My Way)

Julien-k at Evening Star 8-10-17

7 years later Julien K returned to WNY for a show. I was excited! They released 3 albums in that time, and their sound has changed a bit since their first record. I’ve been supporting all their crowd funding campaigns, and following them on FB, and my interactions with them have all been great (unlike my interactions with The Tea Party). I didn’t get VIP tickets that included a meet and greet, cuz well..it’s not that important to me to meet bands anymore, plus I figured they’d be around the venue before/after.

There were 2 other openers, Optic Oppression and Ghost Feeder (who was decent and I got one of their cds), then Julien-K. It was a supporting spot for Pig, so I knew it wouldn’t be a full set, but they did a nice mix of songs from all the albums, and didn’t just play songs only from California Noir. I couldn’t find a setlist for this particular show, but this one looked about right:

Death to Analog
Strange Invisible
Deep Beat Overground
Kick the Bass
Mannequin Eyes
Flashpoint Riot
Blue Monday

The show was freaking great! So much energy. There were shades of the old Ryan from Orgy, but as a front man, he’s established a style of his own…part guitarist, part Dave Gahan. The songs sounded great, and it was fun! Evening Star is a smaaaaalll venue, where you can get up close and personal with your favorite rock idol’s crotch if you want, still no barrier after all these years, and Ryan acknowledged that they knew it would be a small crowd, but that they appreciate our dedication and support for their campaigns etc. They truly seem genuine in their appreciation of their fans, which is a nice change (again, see The Tea Party).

They were indeed around before and after the show, I gave Amir the photo of us from 1999, just because. I didn’t really talk to Ryan, as he was talking to other fans and then involved in a conversation at the bar with…Danielle! Ha! Danielle and her brother David were at the show, as I sort of expected. I texted Danielle before the show started to see, and we met up and talked a bit. Haven’t seen her since the last show 7 years ago, and we didn’t really get to talk then, and I hadn’t seen David since we graduated college. So it was nice to see them and catch up a bit, but I didn’t want to interrupt them during Pig just to talk to Ryan about…well…nothing. Cuz other than saying they were great, which J and I did when we did interrupt to say goodbye to Danielle and David, I have nothing else to say to Ryan. I don’t know what to say to strangers!! lol

But even though *I* don’t have anything to say I think it’s great that they are so accessible to their fans, in person and on the web. It’s such a difference from other bands, and it made this show a very enjoyable experience. It was a show I was excited to see, that didn’t end up as a let down because the band is full of assholes. There hasn’t been a show that I enjoyed that much in a while, because even though the Transmission shows were great, there is something not fun about the Tea Party anymore. Or they are just a heavy band that feels serious. Other shows since then like Garbage, or next week (Guns n Roses) I didn’t have much investment in even though I wanted to go, so they were good, but this was just fantastic. Loved it. Hopefully they won’t wait another 7 years until they are in the area again.

Pig was the headliner, most people were there for them. They were alright. They are ex KMFDM members, and I’d say I enjoy KMFDM much more, because they have more of a groove or melody to them, that I enjoy.