Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Musical Month: Bon Jovi, Poison Cherry, and Steve Earle

My blogging has become worse than sporadic . . . after producing material at a fairly regular (albeit irregular) pace I have fallen into posting almost monthly, which isn't going to cut it.  If we ever plan to make this blog our ticket to a career as an elite husband-and-wife duo on the Travel Channel (I will take recommendations for the name of our show), I better start blogging more regularly . . . and about more than just trips to flea markets, even if they are markets of apocalyptic proportions.
Last month was a very musical month for us.  First, my father-in-law kicked of his career as a blogger by opening a fascinating blog about the blues that I highly recommend visiting (www.bushdogblues.blogspot.com).  Perhaps inspired by his content, I decided it was time for a music post here as well. 
We kicked off the month with Bon Jovi, live and in concert.  Our expectations were mixed--I assumed it would be entertaining, and Megan could not quite remember what Bon Jovi sang (of course she knew the songs, but they weren't permanently fixed with the man himself).  The concert exceeded expectations as I became embarrassingly excited as the words "Shot through the heart . . . " echoed across the American Airlines Center.  The show had plenty of cheesy stage antics (my favorite was Bon Jovi's gestures which suggested that Bon Jovi was somehow directing the ethereal rock pouring from Richie Sambora's ax).  Megan seemed disappointed at Bon Jovi's conservative attire as the show began, but he quickly ditched the leather jacket to reveal a low-cut leather vest.  Later, he donned a black leather jacket featuring the name of his new album on the back--"Lost Highway."  A friend who attended with us noted that the words looked more like "Love Machine," and we decided that would have been more appropriate anyway.  We left quite pleased, but not as pleased as the drunken middle-aged lady to our left who moaned, "That's my song," as each verse began.  I am pretty sure she had a better time.
Not willing to release the 80s, we later found ourselves at the Lakewood Bar & Grill to watch Poison Cherry perform.  Poison Cherry is a big-haired, immaculately-costumed band that seems to exist in some strange bend in space and time, the 80s living, loud, and quite healthy today.  Such is the force of their time warp, that many of the bar's patrons also seemed to have stepped foot into the concert directly from another era.  None of that really mattered, though, because Poison Cherry simply rocks in the most grandiose and obnoxious ways possible.  The guitarist sported red tights with tiger stripes, and not to be outshown by his righteous garb, he managed to strum the guitar with his tongue shortly before smashing it to the stage.  Once again, we found ourselves rocking to Bon Jovi but in a more intimate and somehow much more exciting way.  We were baffled upon entering the bar to see the number of diehard Poison Cherry fans, and, as I watched Megan shouting the lyrics to "Bad Medicine," I realized Poison Cherry had won two more.
Finally, we wrapped up the month with a Steve Earle concert at Lakewood Theater.  The show began wonderfully with Steve playing acoustic guitar and harmonica to some of his great songs.  And then a DJ walked out on stage and approached a turntable.  I wasn't sure what to expect at this point, but, needless to say, the show just got weird from there.  The DJ was spinning beats to Steve Earle's tunes, and the compositions seemed disjointed and cacophonous.  He broke up the set with a great performance of "Galway Girl" on mandolin, but then the DJ returned and the strangeness continued.  As he left the stage, I felt terribly disappointed and confused.
Fortunately, his encore salvaged the entire experience.  He walked out and began playing the tune to "Rex's Blues" while telling stories of his times with Townes Van Zandt.  That alone would have been worth the ticket price for me.  Then he launched into "Rex's Blues" followed by "Fort Worth Blues," and I have never heard those songs the way I heard them that evening.  I never got the chance to see Townes Van Zandt in concert, but Steve Earle managed to connect us to that experience, if only a little bit, that night.
The live music will continue.  We are now a bit over a month away from the Bonnaroo Music Festival.  While my college friends are now veterans of the festival, Megan and I look forward to our first experience.  And maybe, just maybe, I'll manage to craft an entry or two between now and then.
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