Mister Saturday Night Special

so it was a very interesting Saturday past (8/25/07). My sister decided fairly early in the day that she wanted to go see the Def Leppard/Styx/Foreigner show at  Hi Fi Buys Amphitheatre. I thought she was gonna go with her friend since her husband is out of town but, nope, I got the nod to go instead. When I went to Publix to buy the tickets ($30.50 x 2 somehow equals $89 in Ticketmaster math), the lady behind the counter began telling how she saw Leppard on the Pyromania tour and the guy behind me spouted how lucky I was to be going. I was going to suggest they set up a date and go together but just ventured back into the heat with my too expensive tickets.

Before I dropped my mom off at my sister’s house to babysit, we went to Waffle House to eat. When we walked in, two of six booths were occupied, one was open and the other three were dirty. When we left, all six booths were dirty as our waitress, who disappeared after serving us, had informed the cook that she hadn’t waited on those tables and they “weren’t paying her to clean those tables.” I kinda think they were. Lord knows she certainly wasn’t going to get to wait on anyone else until she did clean them.

So my sister and I leave Duluth at about 6:15. We make good time through the city and get down near the Lakewood/Langford Parkway exit by about 7:10 (the show was a scheduled 7:00 start.) Whammo, the exits were packed full. Typical city of Atlanta traffic control (or non-control) means incoming show traffic moved at a standstill. When we get inside, it’s pushing 8:00 and not only have we missed Foreigner (no big deal since some schmo other than Lou Gramm is singing these days) but we barely get situated for Styx. Now I’ve only seen Styx without Dennis DeYoung (meaning not back then either) but they are still fairly enjoyable for what they are. And they played that Toys For Tots charity show back in 1977, alright. All of the set (outside of Too Much Time On My Hands) was from the albums The Grand Illusion & Pieces Of Eight. But it was hard to both see and hear Styx because a) the speakers situated on the roof of the covered seating were not turned on for Styx (meaning the lawn was only hearing the band from the stage PA which wasn’t very loud)  b) the video screens were also not used. I understand why Def Leppard didn’t want the video used but not allowing use of the speakers for slightly better sound comes off as just petty. They’ve been playing shows together so maybe there’s problems between the two bands, who knows.

Def Leppard were just sort of disappointing. After all the raving I did for the covers album they released last year, this was just a tepid not very rocking show. My sister noted that all of their songs tend to sound alike and as the set wore on the near capacity crowd began to dissipate. Not sure if the older crowd had to get home to babysitters or were just bored like me. The couple next to my sister didn’t seem to mind. This late forties-ish twosome were making out like it was the No Tell Motel. He was shirtless (and shouldn’t have been) but she didn’t mind, at one point licking his shoulder. Ewwwww.

Anyway. we left just before the set ended with Photograph, the one song I kinda wanted to see. When I got home I flicked by a show called Red Eye that Fox News airs at 2 AM. The show has a panel who comment on various news stories and items. On Saturdays they usually run repeats but last night I stopped on it when I recognized the countenance of Sir Johnny Rotten. Of course Johnny ran the show and nobody else could easily get a word in edgewise, but that’s ok. Two weird moments. One, they actually interviewed Johnny, which they don’t usually do with panelists. Secondly, they brought on the great wrestler Rey Mysterio Junior and interviewed him as well. In the process, you could hear Johnny literally perk up at the mention of lucha libre and he then saluted Rey for for his good work. John Lydon is familiar with lucha libre. Absolutely surreal.

Before I went to bed I watched most of a sort of documentary called “This Film Is Not Yet Rated” about the MPAA, ratings, and the people who make them. Will finish it in just a bit when I get home and may post a mini-review later.

One quick review is of a DVD called “This Is Southern Rock”. Besides seeing the shells of what’s left of bands like Blackfoot and Molly Hatchet, you get to see the completely different sounding guy ARS have gotten to replace Ronnie Hammond. There’s a vintage clip of Black Oak Arkansas (who I never much cared for) but little else to recommend here.

American Heavy Metal Weekend

so I watched the “cult classic” Heavy Metal Parking Lot courtesy of Netflix yesterday and wasn’t that impressed. When they said it was a favorite on the Nirvana tour bus I could only think that Kurt identified himself/his audience in the lunkheads going to see that Judas Priest show. Zebraman that hates punk is interesting, but the highlight for me is the guy in the DC 101 shirt that resembles a cross between Steve Perry and Chris Robinson, aka one ugly guy.

No I can’t really identify with the crowd going to see Priest that night (other than agreeing that they DO rock) but I did witness a couple of lunkhead moments myself back in the 80s at the few metal shows I did go see.

In 1985, Mike Mitten (RIP) and I ventured down to the Omni courtesy of comp tix to see AC/DC with opener Yngwie Malmsteen. Now, Mike liked his metal a bit more than me, but even he agreed that Yngwie was a douche so we waited until we figured he’d be about over before heading to the Omni. At that point, will call was located in the foyer at the Omni International/CNN Center. As we approached the window, the show had apparently just sold out as one of the workers was closing her booth. A drunken guy straight out of the parking lot documentary yelled very loudly “What’s that c*** doing?” He then proceeded to bang on the booth window and say “Hey, c***, what are you doing?” We got our tickets and went in and to this day one of the few things I remember about the show was that the entire row in front of us was teenage boys who were, for some reason, shirtless.

I also saw Metallica at the Omni back in 1989. At that time, virtually every show I saw there the security near the floor would hop on anybody that moved. Except at Metallica. The comp tix we got were just off the floor and sure enough a fight breaks out in my row. I’m still waiting for security to arrive.

A year before we got comp tix to see Dio and Megadeth at the half-house configuration of the Omni. I only decided to go because I read a review in either the NME or Melody Maker where they mentioned that at one point the guitarist “killed” a giant spider with lasers coming out of his guitar. So stupidly outlandish, I HAD to see it! I was one of the few however as had they moved everyone in the building to the floor, it still wouldn’t have been full. This is half-house, remember. Anyway, at some point I had to pee and stumbled in the dark to the men’s room. Now, with that small a crowd, you’d expect harmony. Nope, I pick the bathroom where two genii decide they’re gonna fight. and I barely survived that to just get back as the guitarist is finishing his lame overlong solo and killing the spider. Bad news all the way around.

Skip ahead around a decade to Lakewood and Ozzfest, the first time the reunited Black Sabbath play Atlanta. At one point, Ozzy bellows “Come on, you gotta get more fuckin’ crazy!” At this point (I’m on the lawn) I look to my left and folks have set the lawn ablaze. Ozzy, can you get “more fuckin’ crazy” than setting the venue on fire?

Anyway, those are my “parking lot” moments. Devo fans didn’t really “party” enough to get their own documentary so I couldn’t have filmed much at shows I went to…..

Unrelated note, I kinda like the Simpsons movie. Sappy predictable ending but good bits interspersed…