Showing posts with label ca. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ca. Show all posts

Friday, December 03, 2010

Roger Waters - The Wall in Oakland, CA 12/3/2010

Roger Waters Playing Guitar The Wall 2010
Pink Floyd released a double-disc concept record titled "The Wall" in 1979, the year after I graduated from High School. I cranked that politically charged rock album out of my stereo system in my bedroom at full volume nearly everyday. I thought so much of it I purchased a Japanese pressing of The Wall because the Japanese were using 100% virgin vinyl which always sounded better on a nice stereo system. I had a nice stereo system too, a Luxman turntable, running through a Harmon Kardon receiver powering 2 M&K Satellite's and a self powered Miller & Kreisel Volkswoofer.

Bombers on Roger Waters "The Wall"
I thought The Wall was a musical masterpiece unrivaled in the world of rock music. If there was ever an album that deserved an award this was it, I was shocked and disappointed when they gave the 1980 record of the year Emmy to soft rocker newbie "Christopher Cross's "Sailing" album of the year, what a joke. Don't get me wrong it was a nice pop record, and I listened to it, but honestly the Emmy's lost me that year, I confess I no longer respected their decision from that point forward right to this day. Pink Floyd was the certain winner in 1980. In my world the Emmy's blew it.

The Wall is Growing
Pink Floyd brought The Wall live in concert to The USA in February of 1980. They performed 12 shows in the USA, 7 of which were in Los Angeles, CA and 5 shows in Uniondale, New York. I of course was in Chicagoland, about as far as you can get from either location. It was not within my power to get to either performance. It killed me to miss The Wall performed by Pink Floyd in 1980. Then in 1982 Pink Floyd released a full-length movie based on the double record album. The screenplay was written by Roger Waters, Pink Floyd's creative genius/bass player.

The Bands Expresses Alienation from the Fans
When I heard that Roger Waters was taking The Wall on Tour in 2010, I promised myself I would go and experience it live in concert and I did not disappoint. Looking at the Roger Waters 2010 Tour schedule for The Wall, WOW!! This is a very ambitious tour, featuring performances across North America with many cities in the USA and Canada. Which are the closest venues to Tahoe? December 2010 in Oakland and San Jose California. Jack and I decided to catch Roger Waters in Oakland, CA at the Oracle Arena. That way if we broke down or something we had a second chance in San Jose. Jack and I purchased 2 decent tickets online from Ticketmaster a couple of weeks before the Roger Waters concert. I was actually surprised there were tickets available for the show, I was prepared to bite the bullet and go thru StubHub if necessary but we didn't have to do that, we purchased our tickets through TicketMaster the official retail outlet straight up, well for two tickets at least!

The Wall is Complete

2 Rows of Semi's on Roger Waters Tour
We drove down to Oakland from Tahoe  the roads were dry and everything went fine. Jack invited his friend Dwight to go see the Roger Waters Concert so now there were 3 of us and only 2 tickets. Thanks to a terrible traffic jam, we arrived at the Oracle in Oakland 15 minutes before the concert was set to begin. We immediately put our finger in the air signaling others we were in need of a concert ticket and walked to the venue,  on the way we walked past the Roger Waters Entourage. OMG this is the biggest concert production I have ever seen, at least 15 Semi Tractor Trailers and 6 tour buses. I was told they have 2 of these setups

Roger Waters looking up at The Guitarist atop The Wall
We hopped in line at the Oracle Box Office to buy a ticket for Dwight. As luck would have it, they ran out of tickets like 5 people before us, seriously it sold out right if front of us! We turned around and headed back to the parking lot to see if we could snag a ticket from somebody with an extra. Ticket scalpers suddenly raised their prices to like $250 per ticket because the Roger Waters concert is sold out right. We find a scalper that doesn't know yet it's sold out and he quotes me a $100 bill for a ticket,  hell I think we paid more than that for our  Roger Waters Tickets on Ticketmaster, so I make the ticket scalper promise me this is a good ticket, for what ever that was worth in Oakland California! All I can think is let's make it happen, I wanna go in, like hook me up now, The deal is done and the three of us bolt for the door, tickets in hand. By some miracle the ticket we scored from the scalper works and we race to our seats.

Roger Waters Lead Guitarist Jams from on Top of "The Wall"
We are just in time for the start of The Wall which immediately captures my full attention with a stunning pyrotechnics and fireworks display. From then on it was an incredibly powerful performance with a not so subtle messages. Throughout the concert workers actually erected a HUGE wall across the Oracle Arena. The wall which went up a little at a time, gradually alienated the audience from the band. The wall was cleverly used as a screen to convey messages, it was awesome! I couldn't believe how many projectors were working in sync to make that work, and it was flawless too, perfectly executed.
The Flying Pig is an Important Statement

Roger Pointing out People in the Crowd

Poor Little Pink

The A**hole Judge
The End

Roger Waters is a brave man and that was more than just an EPIC Concert, it's a not so subtle call for peace and it's not to be missed by the music connoisseur. I hope his message of positivity finds it's way into the hearts of the people in charge of Earth and makes it better for all.

What didn't I like? Here's something I never expected in Oakland of all places. There were a couple of pesky employees working at the concert with a vengeance for pot smokers. They were on the lookout and when they spotted somebody allegedly smoking pot in our section they made a big scene by calling the cops and having the people kicked out of the show every time. It never happened to us but it happened a few times. Is this anyway to treat people who spent around $250 each for tickets in this section? NO WTF Oakland that's ridiculous.  I'll never go to the Oracle again. Each time we were totally disrupted because these employees and cops were yelling at nice at what looked like nice folks and standing in front of our view of the stage and pointing large flashlights at everybody. It could have been part of the show where Roger sings "there's one smoking a joint and another with spots, if I had my way I'd have all of them shot" these staff were looking for problems, but it was real bad and it spoiled an otherwise perfect night.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sierra Spring Skiing Corn

Jack, Dwight and Bridget
It hasn't snowed in in Tahoe for a while, and I hope it doesn't either. There I said it, I hope it doesn't snow for a while. Why? Well we have a decent snow base and the corn skiing is starting to get really good out here. So I'd rather see the snow settle down a little more so we get the perfect corn snow.

Dwight on a Rail at Sierra

Bridget and Her Mom Gail at Sierra

Article at the Heavenly blog:
How to ski corn snow
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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sierra Buckle Up Big Air

Riders were flying high over Sierra at Tahoe today for the 4th annual Buckle Up Big Air slopestyle competition. With a purse of $4000 up for grabs, riders were throwing down big time. The comp is a benefit for Greg Smith memorial and to spread Seatbelt Safety Awareness. We got photos of all the action too. All proceeds went towards the Sierra Education Foundation, and towards building a signature feature for Greg. more Buckle Up Big Air Pictures

Skier Get Big Air
Snowboarder Flyin' High
The Bottom Big Jump and Finish Area
Skier Big Air Over Sierra

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Stateline, NV New Years Eve Crowd

Every year thousands of people gather in the streets in Stateline Nevada to bring in the New Year and this year was no exception. The streets were closed and all traffic was diverted around and nice weather welcomed thousands who came to party and celebrate the new year.

Some dude climbed the street light during
the Stateline New Years Eve celebration.

As you can see, there were so many revelers that the party spilled over into South Lake Tahoe, CA.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Widespread Panic Fox Theater Oakland

We are down in Oakland, CA at the fabulous Fox Theater for 3 nights with Widespread Panic in Concert.
The Fox Theater Oakland, CA

Jack and Shay in Oakland

We had lunch at Thai Noodle in Berkley

The MetLife Blimp over Oakland

Widespread Panic tour bus in Oakland

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Lake Tahoe, California

We just got back in town after an awesome weekend at the Phish festival. Here's a nice photo of Lake Tahoe coming down from Spooner Pass on US 50 from Carson City, NV.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Welcome to California

The "Welcome to California" sign along US 395 south, entering from Nevada.
California's Topaz Lake greets Cali visitors.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Moon Rise Mojave Desert

This evening we were driving US 395 in California out of San Bernadino when I captured a photo of the moon rising over the Mojave Desert at Sunset.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Phish 8 Festival

Happy Halloween everybody!!! It's day two of the 3-day Phish 8 festival in Indio, California and it's gonna be a party. Everyone is speculating about which album Phish is going to cover for Halloween tonight. My friends Jake and Heather have been telling me "the horns are hired" and that means the Rolling Stones, guess we will see.

Phish fans dressed up as Ghost Busters.

This moving sculpture was among the interesting pieces of art in the festival grounds.

Phish 8 Speakers

The Phish 8 Beer Garden

Walking to the main stage at Phish 8 Festival

Phish General Merchandise shop.

A look at the Ferris Wheel in the Phish concert area from across the field by the main vendors area.