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Monday, June 23, 2003

Roskilde Here I Come

"Wenn Woodstock irgendwo weiterlebt, dann hier in Roskilde"
(Sammy Hagar / Van Halen, 1995)

I found the above quote on the Roskilde Website. I find it difficult to believe that Sammy Hagar speaks German, but hey, more power to him if he does.

Fleetwood Mac at the Excel Center

Friday night I saw Fleetwood Mac at the Excel Center and I must say I was more than pleasantly surprised. Trip preparations prevent me from writing a full review, but with or without Christine McVie, Stevie, Linsday, John and Mick put on quite more than a nostalgia show, despite the fact that as a friend put it, "No Christine, no Songbird." The remaining band was still heavy on star power, showcasing Stevie's still tremendous singing, Buckingham's extravagent, if not long-winded guitar solos, and Mick Fleetwood's being the lovable character that has endeared him to millions for so long. I must admit I admired his red elvish shoes, and if not impressive, his final drum solo, played on electronic pads on his vest as he paraded on the stage was fun and amusing, if not still remarkably deft.

The band that played President Bill Clinton's inaugural party did not let the evening slip by without a political comment by Buckingham. "When love is gone there's always justice, and when justice is gone there's always force," he said by way of introducing "Peacekeeper," the band's first single from their new album "Say You Will."

Perhaps the most moving part of seeing the Mac live at all was seeing them work together so well knowing what they've been through over the past 25 years. Those of us old enough to remember when Stevie and Linsday really were in love might have been touched to see her put her hands on his shoulder during a tender moment.

And speaking of hands on, for some strange reason, my ass was apparently open season for the women at the end of our row as I moved in and out several times during the show to go to the restroom and such. Not to complain; they were damn cute. And the two fellows from work who attended the concert with me didn't get this special treatment. On my last pass back to me seat I decided to edge through the other direction to avoid another pinch, and was told, "We just think you're darling!" (And yes, if they read this I'd gladly accept an invitation to their next party.)

Public Service Announcement: Always wear earplugs!

After the Jayhawks holiday show at First Avenue in December, my left ear started ringing. No big deal, I figured at first. Although I usually wear earplugs, that was one of few shows of the hundreds I've seen in the past year where I failed to wear them. (It only takes one night to do permanent damage.) Nearly seven months later, my left ear is still ringing, no more loudly, nor any more quietly than before. I'm growing used to it.

The good news is that after a hearing test today I have found out I have no permanent hearing loss in that ear. (I'm as surprised about this as I am happy about it.) The other good news is that I picked up a pair of ER-20 High Fidelity Earplugs which will protect me from further hearing damage without the drawback of plugs that I hate: I can't makeout human speech well enough. I plan to give the new ER-20's an adequate road-test at Roskilde and the Witnness Festival.

Don't mess around. See for more information on hearing losss and what you can do to prevent it.


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