My Lifetime List of Concerts @PhilCollinsFeed @tonybanksmusic @officialmatm @genesis_band @billyjoel @jimmybuffett @davematthewsbnd @DavidLeeRoth @sammyhagar @IronMaiden @JWatsonRanger @pinkfloyd @GreatWhiteRocks @38SpecialMedia @Wolf_Trap #concert #music

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I’m constantly listening to music, and yet I’ve never really enjoyed going to concerts. I love it when a bar has a live band, but I don’t buy tickets and go to concerts. It’s just never been my thing, except when it’s critical that I see a band live. I never saw my two favorite bands, Rush and Fleetwood Mac, in concert, and with Peart dead and Buckingham probably out for good, I never will. That’s a shame, but here are the concerts that I’ve seen. All of them were must-sees for me.

October 10, 1986: Billy Joel, Capital Centre, Landover, MD. The Bridge tour. My first concert was for what was at the time my favorite artist. I saw this with my sister (foreshadowing!).

August 9, 1987: Night Ranger/Great White, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD. I was there the night before for Howie Mandel, then I came back the next day for this concert, which was also my first date. I chose Night Ranger over Chicago because I really wanted to see the Outfield (though I did, and still, looooove Night Ranger). Unfortunately, the Outfield cancelled and were replaced by Frehley’s Comet, who also cancelled, leaving me with Great White. I didn’t appreciate Great White then as much as I do now. Still a great show.

December 13, 1987: Yes, Capital Centre, Landover, MD. This was the Big Generator tour. Earlier in the week, I was on the University of Maryland’s radio station (my cousin knew the DJ well) hyping the show.  

June 1, 1988: Pink Floyd, R.F.K. Stadium, Washington, DC. A Momentary Lapse of Reason tour. A holographic dogfight? Yeah, I had to see that, and I had to see it outdoors. Surprisingly, this was only the second best visual concert I ever saw. The best was . . .

August 8, 1988: Iron Maiden, Capital Centre, Landover, MD. This was the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son tour. It was the most impressive visual show I’ve ever seen, and the music was fantastic, and I was on the floor (10th row, IIRC), but my strongest memory relates to the concert t-shirt I bought there. As I was leaving the show, someone told me that I was wearing it backwards. I wore that damn thing backwards the entire night. I’m such a dipshit.

August 7, 1989: Mike and the Mechanics/The Outfield, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD. Vindication! I finally saw the Outfield! Oh, and MatM was pretty good too. I especially remember how much better All I Need is a Miracle is live. Unfortunately, there’s a weird and tragic memory attached to this concert relating to the first time I had ever really experienced death. This gets a bit convoluted, but bear with me. I never liked the Outfield song, 61 Seconds. So, every time the cassette tape reached that song, I flipped it, and it placed the tape exactly at the start of All the Love, which was a huge hit for them. As a result, I never heard Mystery Man until the concert. I loved the song, but for whatever reason took notice of the repeated, stressed use of the word, “goodbye,” in the song. It turns out, a friend (18 years old) was killed in a car accident that morning. That messed me up for about a week.

August 26, 1992: Bruce Springsteen, Capital Centre, Landover, MD. Springsteen is really good, but for whatever reason, this concert was just meh to me. In fact, I’ve said elsewhere that, prior to Genesis the other day, I had seen only 11 concerts. This is one of the ones I forgot because it had little impact on me. The other was . . .

August 11, 1995: Jimmy Buffet, Nissan Pavilion, Bristow, Virginia. This should have been my answer to the “worst concert” question from the tweet, but I didn’t recall the memory quickly enough. Buffett thought he was in the deep south, and almost all his songs were country music. I wasn’t a fan of it. He also played his biggest hits — Fins, Margaritaville, etc. — in the middle of the set rather than as encores. It was a rather strange choice. I still enjoyed the show because, well, it’s Jimmy Fucking Buffett.

June 12, 1999: Guinness Fleadh (Chicago: Van Morrison, Hootie and the Blowfish, Steve Earle, Black 47, Elvis Costello et al.), Chicago Motor Speedway, Chicago, IL. This was amazing. There was a ton of variety in the music played. I went because my late cousin, Ann Marie, came down from Madison, WI for the show and asked me to go with her. Elvis Costello was a huge disappointment. He played every song by himself on an acoustic guitar and spent more time complaining about modern music than he did playing. He was a buzkill. Van Morrison and Black 47 (who I had seen in a bar about 5 years earlier) killed it.

June 30, 2000: Dave Matthews Band, Soldier Field, Chicago, IL. This was an incredible show. You have to like his music, of course, but they’re remarkable musicians. Also, Al Green showed up and sang with the band! For this one, I had a regular seat, but Alissa snuck me onto the field.

August 8, 2002: Sammy Hagar/David Lee Roth, Nissan Pavilion, Bristow, Virginia. The place was surprisingly empty, but that allowed me to enjoy the show more than otherwise. (I really don’t like going to concerts.) David Lee Roth spent most of his set hitting on a particular woman in the front row. Ummm . . . the years had not been kind to her, but she was giving him the pop he wanted, so he maintained focus on her the entire show. We were all hoping that Michael Anthony would join Sammy for his set. He had done that at a few shows, but we weren’t among the lucky ones.

August 14, 2006: Billy Joel, Verizon Center, Washington, DC. My only repeat concert, I saw this with my sister and her adult son. We were behind the stage, so we saw the TV screen that provided Joel the lyrics so he didn’t have to remember them. Look, the guy had a lot of material going back over three decades. I don’t blame him. He played everything everyone wanted to hear. I missed Allentown due to a bathroom break, but my sister had it worse. She missed her favorite Joel song, Pressure, during hers.

July 30, 2017: .38 Special, Wolftrap, Vienna, VA. .38 Special was actually the opening act, and I left after their set. I was more interested in seeing the new Game of Thrones episode than I was sticking around. I saw what I wanted to see. The parking at Wolftrap sucks. Otherwise, it’s a good venue.

November 18, 2021: Genesis, Capital One Arena, Washington, DC. I’ve said enough about this already.

But I really don’t like attending concerts. 🙂

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The Ixitxachitl Lich #science #biology #gaming #DnD #ADnD #ixitxachitl

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Sundays now are lazy days for me. I either post something silly or other people’s work. Usually both. Today, it’s (loosely) using science to imagine a D&D creature.

Funny story. I never thought I’d ever be able to spell ixitxachitl, and only recently did it stick in my brain. Now I can spell it at will. Small victories, huh?

Now, someone stat this thing.

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Dungeons & Dragons is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to, nor endorsed, the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)

Shishi @ShangChi #Caturday #ShangChi #MCU

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Yesterday, I posted about Shang-Chi, which inspired a conversation with my friend, Tanya. All of this centered on the fact that there are tons of stories from mythologies beyond Western Europe that we don’t generally see in American art. Leave it to the MCU to take that step with Shang-Chi. Well, today is Caturday, so let’s go back to Shang-Chi.

Guardian Lions (Shishi)

Shang-Chi displayed a host of animals from Chinese legend. Two that stood out were guardian lions.

Credit Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki

In a language I don’t speak, they’re called shishi. Needless to say, the west has its own term for them: foo dogs. Yeah, we named them after dogs. We can’t even put them in the right taxonomical suborder.

Shishi traditionally guard places as a single, mated pair, one male and female, with a connection to the concept of yin and yang. There were only two in Shang-Chi guarding Ta Lo, so it looks like the MCU did at least a little bit of homework. They’re said to have the power to ward against things as threatening as disease and evil spirits to things as mundane as crowds and shar corners. Their role in the battle of Ta Lo is also consistent with legend. There isn’t a lot they could have done beyond that, but it’s good to see that they’re staying close enough to the legends as you can expect from cinema. Close enough for government work. (That’s a dig against Tanya.) 🙂

You can see this as introducing American audiences to other cultures; I see it as proof cats rule the world.

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Shang-Chi Re-watch, CGI, and the Eternals @MarvelStudios @shangchi @TheEternals #ShangChi #MCU

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I watched Shang-Chi again Thanksgiving morning before 9 hours of football. It’s still really good. The one consistent criticism I’ve heard is that the final battle is CGI. I don’t have a problem with that at all. In fact, I think the MCU uses CGI battles in a powerful way.

Chinese mysticism is hokey nonsense, but so is Norse mysticism, Greek mysticism, etc. As an amateur student of mythology (and legacy D&D player), I may appreciate eastern mythology more than most Americans, and I can assure you that those stories are a generally untapped resource. The MCU is the perfect universe to capitalize on that resource. Shang-Chi was just the start. If you can suspend your disbelief with superheroes, you can accept giant dragons, hokey martial arts moves, and magic in general, and those things often require CGI.

Some of those stories involve creatures that simply don’t exist in the real world, and to do things as grandiose as the MCU does, CGI is a requirement. If you don’t like it, that’s fine, but you’re being a bit unfair if you claim that the CGI dominates the scene. As large as it was (spoiler alert!), the good dragon didn’t win the day. He was defeated. He was about to die. Human beings with whom we can relate, Shang-Chi and Katy, made the difference. If you want to criticize something, criticize that Katy managed an impossible shot with less than one day’s training with a longbow. Many of you have. I’m with you on that.

Side Note: I’d love it if Thor used the Bifrost to take Shang-Chi to visit Shang-Ti in later movies. We’re now dealing with celestial-level threats. We need an Odin equivalent. They should also use Black Panther to introduce Egyptian (Bast) and other African (Shango) mythology.

Tie in with the Eternals?

I had a thought. The ten rings looked remarkably similar (spoiler alert!) to what Phastos used in the climax of Eternals. Moreover, the mid-credits scene of Shang-Chi tells us that the ten rings are a lot older than 1,000 years, and the fact that the MCU has so far faced only titan-level threats, not celestial-level threats, is consistent with MCU characters having not yet dealt with that sort of energy signature. A quick search on Google reveals that my idea isn’t novel, <whining voice>but I wanted you all to know that I thought of it all on my own</whining voice>.

So when does Eternals come to Disney+? 🙂

Shang-Chi and the Eternals were fun. I have high hopes for the next few phases.

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Genesis, Capital One Arena, 11/18/2021 @PhilCollinsFeed @tonybanksmusic @officialmatm @genesis_band #music

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With recent events sending me into a tailspin, I needed a distraction. Coincidentally, I got one. After 53 years, I finally got to see one of my favorite rock bands, Genesis. I took only two videos, and they’ll leave you wanting more. Sorry, but I went there to listen and watch, not to videotape.

As I’ve told you, while Genesis isn’t my favorite band of all time, their album, Duke, is my favorite album. The concert began with some of that album as follows . . . .

I took this video because I liked that they were displaying the spines of cassette tapes for all of their albums.

One of the songs didn’t serve as a distraction, but rather a reminder, but that’s not a bad thing. I don’t think I want to see some more concerts, but unfortunately none of the bands I’d want to see are currently on tour.

Only my 12th concert.

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