Sunday, June 29, 2008

I Nailed It To Your Door

The exciting sequel to The Battle Of Evermore!

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
Greek Theatre, Berkeley, CA
June 27, 2008

I give thanks to The Rocks Godz for allowing me to witness this magical musical experience again a mere 2 weeks after it had entranced me in another Time Zone.

Prior to the gig, Skychick and I had an unusually positive "bad meal" experience at a Louisiana-style restaurant on Shattuck Ave... Skychick's blackened ahi tuna salad was prepared in a way that wasn't very good (WAY too salty... WAY WAY inappropriately too salty... WAY..).. so she sent it back and ordered something else. My shrimp po'boy was good.. decent.. but it's hard for me to pay $11 for a po'boy in California when you can get amazing ones in cool local places in New Orleans for $5. Anyway, while the food experience wasn't that great, the restaurant itself was a good experience. The staff was very, very nice AND they had a good jazz band playing out in front on the sidewalk that reminded us of NOLA.. Based on the latter things I can say that we'll be visiting Angeline's Louisiana Kitchen again to give their chef another shot.

As we arrived at The Greek the fog was starting to roll in and any hope for a nice Summer evening was officially cancelled. The crowd at the show was definitely more granola 'n patchouli than the NYC show 2 weeks ago... but it was also more overtly enthusiastic.. and definitely more stoned... Dude!! Pass it down! The Umlaut Nation was nicely represented by Skychick, Teri, Raymond, Robin, John, and Steve with Mrs. Steve.

Best Quote: "I'm in Hippie Ponytail Hell!" - Teri.

2nd Best Quote: "I LOVE YOU ROBERT!! - Shouted by a guy in the crowd... It was Pride Week in S.F. after all..

I was tripping on how Plant's onstage personae revolved around him and his mic stand. When he simply stood and sang it was easy for me to forget I was watching ROBERT PLANT.. However, when he'd pick the mic stand up and hold it at an angle behind him while leaning forward into the mic to sing I was reminded it was THE GOLDEN GOD onstage. Magic.

'The Battle Of Evermore' was just as stunning as it had been a couple of weeks ago; the crowd's reaction to the mandolin intro was made even more dramatic since we were outdoors on a cold night, with fog coming through the trees at the top of the venue. Eerie... Mordor... "Dance in the dark of night.. sing to the morning light."

However, I have to say that my fave song of the evening was the set-closing 'Your Long Journey'... Why am I drawn to so many songs about Death?? Discuss amongst yourselves.

As we walked past a concession stand, Skychick was stopped by an old friend who she hadn't seen in 20 years!! Someone who had also moved to San Francisco from New Orleans... Skychick was also a bit gobsmacked that this was the first time she'd seen Plant live since May 19, 1977 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I love how music enables you to Time Travel, don't you!?

(Blurry Pic by Umlaut)

Number of Zeppelin shirts = 7. Forbidden shirts = 1 (METAL). See 'The Battle Of Evermore' for the merch audit. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags. Consumer alert: If you're going to buy one Plant / Krauss merch item I would suggest the tour book, which is a beautiful hardcover gem ($40).

"Please read the letter... I nailed it to your door.."

In other news: Umlaut's friend Paschke made it onto the front page of the July 27th edition of the San Francisco Chronicle with his .45!

As Paschke put it, he made it onto the front page of a major newspaper with a firearm and didn't have to go to jail to do it. Nicely done, brutha! Nicely done.... and in related news: On the drive home from the Plant / Krauss show, all of the southbound lanes of Highway 101 were closed due to a shooting on the freeway so we had to take backstreets home. Are guns the reason for traffic congestion and global warming?? Discuss amongst yourselves.