Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Taste of Minnesota- St Paul July 4th

The grounds of Harriet Island were packed with kids and families enjoying festival food and celebrating the birth of their nation in the warm evening sun - the choices of fatty goodies were endless, and the varieties of fairground staples like bouncy castles and cuddly toy booths went on and on.

But what brought me here was the promise of an Elvis Costello show in the open air, so after my buddy Rob and I enjoyed some fries and funnel cake, we started to gravitate along with the other music lovers towards the main stage, although I did stop along the way for a root beer float made with 1919 Rootbeer. Yum.

Elvis Costello and the Impostors

Elvis took to the stage around 8pm . With the city curfew set at 10, that gave him 2 hours to do his thing, and given the amount of "thing"s Elvis has to chose from, I wondered which one he'd bring with him tonight , being a man that wears as many musical hats as he does.

Of course , being the professional that he is, he brought the hat that fits best - not the astute, eloquent razor sharp troubador that sang to and with the Bob Dylan audience I last saw him perform to, but rather the high energy balls to the wall rock band fronman that makes the funnel cake go sown easy and lets the kids stay up late.

This lady, along with many others , enjoyed Elvis very much.

Elvis and the Impostors played through an hour and a half of Costello classics like "Watching the Detectives" and the occasional cover. The Impostors swung like a big Swingy thing on the planet Swingy, and being a rock show , they indulged in a little extended noodlings on their respective instruments.

Elvis himself was cheerful and upbeat with the crowd, and by the end of the show, I was left with a feeling that I've always experienced at a Costello show, and that is that the dynamic of one large group of people watching four people make a noise had disappeared, and that we were really just all standing in a field together, and four of us were playing some kick ass rock n roll.

The band encored with "what's so funny about peace, love and understanding' which segued gracefully into "the tracks of my tears" and "suspicious minds".

At the top of the show, St Paul's mayor, Chris Coleman, offered: "It's the Fourth of July -what could be better than having Elvis Costello play at your birthday party?"

As Rob and I headed homeward under a canopy of red. white and blue fireworks over the MIssissippi. I had to concur.

America celebrated her 233rd birthday with Elvis Costello, and on July 5th , at 233 and one day, she celebrated in St Paul with..........

The Bret MIcheals Rock of Love Bus Tour!!!!!!!

i got there a little early - I wanted to check out...

Adler's Appetite

- the band built around Guns 'n' Roses drummer Steve Adler. I missed the start of their set, and got their in time to here the singer's last chorus of "So Fuckin' EEEZZAYY!! " come to it's crashing finale. Unfortunately I nissed out on what it was he was having such "EEEZE!" with . If it's that easy, I thought, maybe I should have a go. I'd been toying with the idea of planting a victory garden. Maybe that's what he was referring to.

I watched a few numbers, waiting for the pounding RRAWWWKK rhythms to re-awaken the obnoxious 14 year old metal head that I was sure still slumbered within, but it wasn't to be. I headed back to the root beer float stand, ordered a double, and, thinking I'd be sharing it with the 14 year old within, was left with the 38 year old without, wondering if Heavy Metal was ever what it used to be, and where had I left my early AC/DC records?

I faced into the crowd once more - a crowd made up mostly of teenagers and their parents. The lady in front of me was rather excited about her purchase of some Sham WOW!s ( hey- it's the best shammy in the world ok?)


Steve Adler and his Appetites were leaving the stage. It was about 7ish and the crowd was starting to thicken; some of the more serious punters were doing there damnedest to get as close as they could to the barrier that kept us all about a hundred yards from the stage. Anything inside the barrier was 50 bucks .

Bret's stage needed a little more set-up time of course; the mic stand needed red white and blue scarves hangng from it, and of course they had their own back line of speakers , all emblazoned with BMB (Bret Micheals Band? Bret Micheals' Babes? Bret Micheals' Bus? Bret Micheals is Bald?), and then came the inevitable hanging around, at least for the crowd.
All told, the band weren't ready to hit the stage 'til just after 9. But wait- curfew's at 10. Dang. Y'think they didn't know?

"Awesome awesomeness. Awseome Pawrdy. Y'guyz're awesome..."

BMB tore though a bunch of Poison hits. The band were full on, and Bret is the consummate front man. The crowd was eating out of his hand and by the time he got 'em singing with him on "wunna my fav'rit sawngs", namely "Sweet Home Alabama", he could do no wrong, and he only had about 35 minutes left not to do it in. Sweet gig.

Time for me to wander around the fairground..........

- pretty much says it all.

- guess she's fresh out......

"'sa Titanic...'s fun..."

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