I had a banana and oikos triple zero vanilla yogurt for breakfast as well, FYI
Posts made by Josh Ross
RE: Nerd Alert: Happy Second Birthday Spaffnerds.com!
RE: Nerd Alert: Happy Second Birthday Spaffnerds.com!
I had a wonderful time it in California. It was cool. I did cool things with cool people and it was tight af fr fr
Review: 2018-01-12 - The Miramar Theater - Milwaukee, WI
2018 is going to be a big year for Spafford if this most recent start to their For Your Amusement Only Tour is any indication.
The excitement bubbling around this show was at an all-time high. The show sold out a good week-and-a-half before doors and many people were left looking for tickets for the show. Just goes to show that the phrase, "buy in advance guaranteed to dance" definitely rings true. So this is just a PSA for all you wooks out there to buy your tickets in advance so you won't get shut out.
My friends, unfortunately, aren't as smart as I am and about a dozen of them didn't get tickets so, of course, were like little helpless puppies. Luckily for them I was able to somehow work magic and find tickets and get them all into the show. They are forever indebted to me.
All the nerds met up at a local bar just two doors down from The Miramar called the Black Rose. It ended up being a huge turnout and the bar had no idea why so many people were present, and I told them they could give me 50% of the bar sales for sending all these patrons their way. I never got my money, but I'm still holding out that I will.
Now to what matters the most. The Show.
There was no opener and we just got an evening with Spafford and it sure was quite an evening. The Miramar has a legal capacity of 400 people and I am almost positive there were more than that amount of people in the venue that evening. It was packed, energy was through the roof, and people were ready to dance.
A pretty neat story to share: a friend of mine, seeing their first show that evening, was talking with me before the show and wearing a shirt that was once owned by former Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers bass player Howie Epstein. Howie was from Milwaukee and my friend's family was friends with Howie's family and he had been gifted the shirt. Fate must be real because the band opened with their rendition of Breakdown by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and it was one to write home about. At over 15 minutes long they definitely stretched it out and grabbed everyone's attention. It was a great start to the evening and it was only going to get better.
Next up the band seamleslessly segued into My Road (My Road), a newer tune that was actually debuted in Madison, WI during Fall Tour. The song is quickly becoming a fan favorite and the jam sequence is always some smooth jazz funk and no one can complain about that.
Shake You Loose was on deck and the song has become one of my favorites of late. Just a good old-fashioned feel to it and the ladies love it. The dance party in The Miramar was just beginning.
The band started up Electric Taco Stand and that really got the crowd going. Taco Stand is one of the most fun songs in Spafford's catalogue and we got a special treat for this one with the > Dis Go in 5? > Taco Stand. The energy was through the roof when the band dropped back into the Taco Stand and some people actually thought the set was over and went to go outside and smoke, but nope, set not over.
Next up came Catfish John. Spafford does a phenomenal cover of this song and it never dissappoints. Spafford did play this the last time they were in Milwaukee, but it didn't even matter. After that ETS, Spafford could have played the fucking ABCs and everyone still would have a giant grin and be throwing down on the dance floor. That's how this Catfish John was. Raging. The band stopped and we all got a chance to catch our breath and refill on the booze and water that we all desperately needed.
Would like to take a second to note how much this sell out means to Milwaukee. The Miramar theater doesn't sell out jam shows really, ever. For the band to sell it out is great but so far in advance was awesome. The whole venue was full of friends and familiar faces and it couldn't have been more fun. It was great to catch up with lots of friends over set break, but everyone was ready for the second set after that monster first set.
Lovesick Melody, a new song, started to open the second set and it goes into Soil, which is another new tune. These songs have been played together now a few times and it seems its a suite, and it's a great new addition to the band's catalogue. Soil is some deep groovy funk and has the potential for massive jams in its future. It was a great version. The real insanity was just beginning.
Just before Weasel started my friend was like where is the Untz, I heard theses guys had untz! Boom! 10 seconds later, WEASEL. Weasel was not played too often on fall tour, but boy did it make a comeback. UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ. I don't really know what happened, all I know is that it was FUN. From the beginning Red lays down these long deep dark keys and the jam builds from there to some crazy peak and you don't think it can get any better until a seamless segue into Palisades. Alright. Someone pinch me. This beautiful composition is a treat. It's got beauty, finesse, and rock all meshed into one and it's the best. The greatest part about it is you know that the drop back into the UNTZ is coming. After Palisades blew people's minds the band dropped back into Weasel and all the noobs had no idea what just hit them. I highly recommend listening to this version because it's superb.
Honestly the show could have ended right there and I would have been content. But there was more music and I'm okay with that too.
Next up was After Midnight. Spafford crushed it. The real highlight was the outro jam where they slowly creep into Mind's Unchained. Mind's Unchained is a fucking great song. Everything about it. Lyrics, composition, jam. Up there in my top 3 Spafford songs. It wasn't too long, but it sure did pack a punch.
All In. Let me say after the ETS sequence and the Weasel sequence, now we got this ALL IN. This was epic. Just would like to comment on Cam's drumming during this because it's otherworldly. Does the guy have 8 arms? The jam took us to the moon and it was like an intergalactic drum circle. These guys are good.
Band leaves stage everyone is sad.
Band come back everyone is happy.
Into The Mystic was a treat, not too often played and had the crowd feeling all the feels, but they weren't done and as they went right into Galisteo Way the energy was insane. The jam had a nice pretty jam to it that was kind of influenced by Into The Mystic.
Show ended and the band got such an ovation it was amazing.
Milwaukee loves Spafford.
Sadly now I have to wait til March for some more shows out in the mountains, but things could be worse....
Photo Credits: Adam Mizewski- Adjomi Photography ( my good friend!)
Review: 2017-10-14 - The Blind Pig, Ann Arbor, MI
Saturdays are for the boys and on this fine Saturday the boys drove out to Ann Arbor, Michigan for some Spafford. A buddy and I drove from Milwaukee to Chicago the night before to meet up with some other Nerds in town and a fellow Nerd who flew in from Denver. Safe to say it was a nice reunion and we maybe had too much fun the night before the show.
That didn't stop us, however, as we woke up and were out of Chicago by 10 AM for a nice four-hour trip to Ann Arbor. I had never been to Ann Arbor before and unfortunately this time didn't get to see too much of the city or campus, but I'd like to go back if I get a chance. We arrived at our hotel, turned on the Badger game, and cracked open some cold ones! We decided to hit a local pub and after some wings and many Irish Car Bombs it was time to get ready for the main event.
We made our way to The Blind Pig and got there in time to grab a Jon Rose Version.2 Fall Tour print. Really love Jon's work and was elated to add this piece to my collection! The venue in and of itself is nothing to write home about. It was small and intimate which was nice, but the staff were not the friendliest to say the least (they all seemed completely miserable). None of that mattered, however, once the music began. We caught Haley Jane and the Primates set and having never seen them before it was pretty cool! She's a rockstar for sure. The set finished and many more people began to arrive for the main event.
It was really cool to meet a whole bunch of Nerds I had never met before and everyone was super excited for the show, handing out stickers, etc... The lights went down and it was time to rock.
The band opened with America and it is such a great song to open with. Always a rocker and grabs the audience's attention. Sets the pace for a great first set. With a nice segue into Memphis in the Meantime the band put on display their ability to go from one intense rocker like America into a more smooth and bluesy track like Memphis with such ease and fluidity which is honestly my favorite part about the band in general. Next up the band transitioned into Todd's Tots, another great tune which puts on display the compositional abilities of the band.
Next up was a cover of Stevie Wonder's Living for the City which is an awesome cover and the band does it well. After that ended the band launched into Virtual Bean Dip which is always exciting. You never know when this one is going to blast off and take you to places you never knew you could go. The band has played many versions of this song that have done that. This one didn't stray too far from its normal boundaries but it was rocking to say the least. There was time for one more song and we were treated to Plans. This is a song that has grown on me and the jam at the end is always great and will make ya ga ay yi yi yi yi yi yi oh oh oh ohhh every damn time. It was time for set break and it was perfect time to catch a breather outside.
After a quick breather everyone was excited for the second set and it sure did blast off quickly with Electric Taco Stand right out the gates. It was a good ole standalone Taco Stand that was as funky as ever and a great way to start the set. Next up the band went into Space Gadget which has seemed to become more a part of the regular rotation this tour and I am OK with that! Following the Gadget we got one of the best covers Spafford does in Feel Like a Stranger. Red slays this song vocally and the whole band's performance is always top-notch. Following the rocking Stranger the band launched into Backdoor Funk. This was the highlight of the show for me, not only one of the smoothest Spafford songs, the jam on this one took off and explored different terrains peaking in a super melodic area that found its way effortlessly back into the funk and ending of the song. I sure hope the board gets released for this show because that is one that I really want to listen to again and again! A fan favorite in Slip and Squander ended the second set and the peak of this song is always great and grabs everyone's undivided attention!
We all wanted more and I couldn't have asked for a better encore. Hollywood is great song. Everything about it. Such a great feel and honestly I didn't think we'd get another song, but right at the end the band launched into The Postman and it sure was a doozy. Can't wait to get a SBD for this one also. One of the band's biggest and best jam vehicles and this one sure did get spooky as ever. Loved it and it was a perfect ending to a great show. After the show we all went back to the hotel and celebrated the great show we just witnessed into the early hours of the morning.
Moral of the story here: Saturdays are for the boys! Also driving six hours from Milwaukee to see Spafford is always worth it!!
Special shout-out to @kabumped for sharing photos of the show!