overwhelmingly underwhelming

are we there yet?
Well, last night was the Radiohead show. Today’s entry is a late one for a couple reasons. First off, we didn’t get back home until 3am. Here’s the rundown:

The show was overwhelmingly… underwhelming. And it kills me to say that, believe me it does. This is the 3rd time I’ve seen Radiohead live, and each time they have impressed me. Musically, sonically, and with their stage presence and show – they are flawless. Sharaun and I had great seats for the Greek Theater show (my 1st Radiohead show), and it was amazing. However, the two times I’ve seen them at the Shoreline, we were so far back from the stage (in the general admission seats on the lawn) that the group looked like ants up on the stage.

The night was cursed from the getgo. We were running late getting to the venue, but actually ended up making it with time to spare. We took the new Ion, which made a great 1st foray into concertgoing. The 2.5hr trip to Mountain View, where the show was, was OK – although during dinner at In-N-Out Sharaun asked if “Mountain Dew” was close to San Jose. She swears she said “Mountain View,” but Ben I and I both distinctly heard different.

Unfortunately, arriving with time to spare didn’t do that much good. About a block away from the venue, we encountered what is possibly the worst parking situation of any venue I’ve ever been to. We were stuck in traffic just to get into the parking lot for something like 40 minutes. When we finally got in, we had about a mile hike to the amphitheater (really, not exaggerating). About halfway there, Sharaun saw the lights go down, and we heard the rumblings of “2+2=5.” By the time we actually got inside the venue, the band was midway through the 3rd song. That put me off right from the start, I think it’s the only time I’ve ever been late to a show.

The place was filled to capacity. We walked in and took up a spot near the very back of the lawn section, which is already miles above the actual seated sections below. The venue has two huge jumbo screens, which are nice since they allow you to see a little bit of what’s going on on the stage. Seeing a huge stadium show like that is such a far removed experience from the normal concert environment Ben and I have grown accustomed to. I mean, we’ve been seriously spoiled by small venues like the Fillmore, the Great American Music Hall, and the Capital Garage. It’s just too impersonal, being at the back of a crowd of ~20,000.

Ben said it perfectly last night, somewhere near the 2nd ecnore he turned to me and said: “Man, they sounded great, they looked great, and it seems like they’re having a really good time. I wish I could have been there.” Yeah. We coulda got a similar experience watching the show on TV with the volume cranked. Dave’s bottom line: Radiohead sounded and looked great, but I wish we coulda been a lot closer.

Here are a few of Ben’s snaps from the show, click on ’em for larger versions:

sharaun and dave after finally arriving at the show. you can see how pissed i am that it’s already the 4th song.

ben musta used the super-zoom, because this image makes it look like our ionosphere seats weren’t that bad… they were.

here you can see the ~20k fans, notice we are at the very back of the milling masses…. woohoo.

As an unintended side effect of the concert, I decided to take a vacation day today – partly because I was dead tired from getting back so late, and partly because there was so much work I had to catch up on around the house. So I woke up at 7am, sent an e-mail saying I was taking the day off, and proceeded to get back in bed and sleep till 11. It was awesome. Refreshed, I joined Ben and Anthony for lunch, then came home and mowed the lawn, edged, fertilized, weeded, and built a new rock/dirt sifter (yeah, the old one bit the dust; it was a flawed design). Later, Steve and Ragan (formerly referred to here as “the Mooneys”) came over, and we added another two courses of stone to the retaining wall. It’s finally coming together.

In other news, my mom called to tell me that the Army pulled a last minute switch on my bro, and he’s now doing basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Not that it makes that much of a difference, but I at least thought it might be cooler there. Who knows.

And, another interesting tidbit. Sharaun has the kids of two of the California gubernatorial recall election candidates at her school. McClintock’s kid is actually in her class, and Bustamonte’s kid possibly will be next session. Funnily enough, she said the candidates kids are actually like best buds. I thought that was interesting.

That’s it for now. Time to hit the sack.

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