First, huge thanks to Megan for driving into NYC, which is always an experience. We shall never forget her creative curses thrown at other drivers, many of whom also had out-of-state plates but jumped on the "moron city driver" bandwagon with relish.
Second, nearly as huge thanks to my friends. How often can people spend 16 hours together, non-stop, and not only not run out of things to talk about, but never get annoyed with each other or have any kind of tension? You guys rock harder than the bands did!
So. The bands.
The venue, Sullivan Hall, was fine. Standing only, which was annoying but tolerable, especially since we got there at 6:45 or so and there was hardly anyone there. The sound was kind of bad, but we were right up front, so everything sounded mostly okay to us, except when there was feedback.
Ace in Blind was a pretty decent rock band from New Haven, who thanked their friends and family for coming down for the gig. So cute. Sad that they didn't have more people there, but we helped make up for it by buying their CD. I also got their T-shirt for Number One, and told her wearing a shirt for an obscure band makes her look cool. Or she could tell her friends it's a band her mom went to see in NYC, which would make me look cool. But she said that would make her look like a dork. Oh, well.
Next was Andy Suzuki, who played with The Method, I think he said. He had a high, sweet voice, very emotional lyrics, and tons of energy. The band was really interesting, with the typical guitar, bass, keyboard, and drums, but also another guy who did all kinds of eclectic percussion, a backup soloist (his sister!--Mom sold his CDs for him), and the coolest, an electric fiddle. He was good. He dueled with the guitarist and his fingers flew! The instrument sounded even sweeter than Andy did.
Doesn't he look a lot like Joseph Gordon-Levitt?
Next came Life of Riley. I became a Riley fan (love that name, too, have it slated to use in a book :) ) back when Jason Manns first did a tour with them, and they were great on stage. I was disappointed when they had to stop.
Which was a real problem with the whole setup. But I'll get to that.
Finally, we got to Jason. He was accompanied by Jonah, the Life of Riley drummer, and that was a great enhancement. The backup percussion supported Jason's guitar and his incredible voice, and they had nice on-stage chemistry. I grinned every time Jason growled, and my friends looked at me and laughed every. single. time. But damn, it was WAY too short.
Here's the problem. The bill was typical--less experienced bands first, more well-known, experienced, skilled performers last. But the bar had another gig at midnight. So when the first band started nearly half an hour late and ran 45 minutes over, it pushed all the others, so the last one, the one we traveled 8 hours to see, was the shortest. Jason didn't have time to play any of his new stuff and left off many of the favorites (damn, I really want to hear "Journey" live--maybe someday).
Still, it's a minor complaint. We did have time to meet Life of Riley and talk to Jason for a little bit.
Overall, it was well worth the trip, and I'm satisfied for now. I won't have to go to such extremes to go see Jason play again, at least not for a while, though I do expect to see him again sometime. I already feel like a groupie, can't make that complete without the actual hanging around part. :)
Now, to try to recover enough from the trip to survive the rest of the summer...