Sunday, August 26, 2007

Smack This!

Last night we saw Godsmack, for I think the seventh time now (they opened on Metallica's last tour, so that pushed their number up for me), and I forgot how much I like these guys. It felt so good to be back at a good, solid, head banging show again. There are so few bands I bother seeing live anymore and the last concert we went to was Roger Waters in July - quite a different vibe. This was Godsmack's last night of the tour, playing the hometown crowd of Boston and celebrating their 10th anniversary - so all the pieces were in place to make it a special night.

To make it even more unique, the show was at The Opera House. I didn't even know this building existed, let alone ever set foot in it. I've never seen a rock show in such a beautiful setting - huge chandeliers, intricate wood and stone work, gold inlays all around... I wonder if the scent of marijuana sifted through many operas like it did last night?

One of the biggest surprises was the opening act. They were just some local unsigned band, Till We Die, that I expected would be politely ignored at best. But they were rather enjoyable and actually had the whole place up on their feet for the last two songs. A pretty impressive thing to witness. I even bought their CD.

And the boys of Godsmack didn't disappoint. A very energetic, fast-paced show with lots of crowd interaction. We had great seats, just right of center in 20th row. It featured all the Godsmack staples - dueling drum interlude between Sully (lead singer who really wants to be a drummer) and Shannon (the full-time drummer) and lots of NY Yankee bashing. I've never been to a Godsmack show without multiple "Yankees Suck" chants and last night Sully even grabbed someone's Yankees hat to shove down his pants and let simmer for awhile. I love bands that show they are fans as well, 'Smack played bits of "We Will Rock You", "Walk", "Back in Black" "War Pigs" (with a follow the bouncing ball, audience sing along), plus some Jethro Tull and Led Zep. I'm looking forward to another solid 10 years from these guys.

Set List:
The Enemy
Livin' In Sin
Moon Baby
Straight Out Of Line
Keep Away
Battala De Los Tambores
I Stand Alone

Next up for us: Tesla in Boston on September 4th. That will officially end the summer fun.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


We got back home from Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey Tuesday night, then had tickets for the Red Sox - Devil Rays game at Fenway, Wednesday afternoon. We were psyched to finally get a chance to see Daisuke Matsuzaka pitch live - but he just didn't have it going on yesterday. He left the game after six innings with Tampa Bay up 6 - 0. But then the bats started to come alive and made it interesting. We were down 6 - 5 in the ninth inning, two men on base, and Manny Ramirez up at the plate. The exact scenario any Sox fan dreams of for a walk-off game winning home run. But alas, Manny struck out and the Fenway faithful went home on a bit of a downer. Only a bit of a downer because the Yankees lost too. Everyone in New England cheers for two baseball teams - the Red Sox and whoever beats the Yankees.

Next up - Friday night the preseason home opener for the New England Patriots. They will be taking on the Tennessee Titans, who according to newspaper reports, are still a little pissy about the regular season finale from last year when we beat them. It was a game full of cheap shots that ended Rodney Harrison's season and pissed off a lot of the Patriots. So this could be a very interesting meaningless game - and since this is already the most hyped-up, high-expectation Patriots' season ever, it is only getting started.

Six Flags was an awesome time. You can do the whole place in a day but I'm glad we took our time with multiple days. We got to ride the big three; El Toro, Nitro and Kingda Ka, repeatedly each day from the front, back, everywhere to get the maximum thrills. If you are into roller coasters - check out the many clips on youtube of these rides in action.
El Toro - totally sick wooden coaster
Nitro - fantastic long and smooth steel coaster
and the giagantic Kingda Ka
We were hoping this would happen to us, but we never saw a rollback while we were there.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Six Flags - Great Adventure

El Toro with Kingda Ka in backgroundHey, we're checking in from Jackson, New Jersey, where we arrived last night for a few days of thrills at Six Flags. One of my favorite sights in the world is driving to a new theme park and slowly seeing the steel tracks of mega-coasters rise above the treeline, like some sick futuristic city. So far we've already been on Kingda Ka - the world's tallest (458') and fastest (128 mph) roller coaster - 3 times! Our first time on it, was in front row at night. Totally SICK being blasted straight into pitch black. The coaster tracks aren't lit up at all and it is an amazing ride. We waited close to 90 minutes for an 18 SECOND ride, but then got on it again for the final two rides of the night - as the park was closing they just let us stay on the ride as they sent it for it's final run. We were in the back row for those runs - a completely different experience. Kingda Ka is the same style as Top Thrill Dragster, a coaster at Cedar Point in Ohio that was closed when we were there a couple years ago, so it was awesome to find it here. Check out some sick shots of Kingda Ka or experience the view from the front row.

Another new coaster here is El Toro - a massive wooden coaster that is easily the BEST wooden roller coaster I've ever been on. A very long and smooth ride. Here are some shots of El Toro. Other great rides so far - Superman: Ultimate Flight, is a very cool steel coaster you ride laying on your stomach, so you feel like you are really flying around. Very cool. So far the only ride I consider disappointing is the Great American Scream Machine. It is a long, 7 loop, steel coaster but is just uncomfortable as hell - I say tear it down and stop giving people headaches. Though with two more full days here, I'm sure I'll be sporting a concussion even I don't go on Scream Machine again.