Last night we partied like it was 1987. We went to see Poison and Def Leppard and it was a BRILLIANT night. Poison were on first. I was a little disappointed that the big video screens weren’t on for their performance, however it would only have been a shock to have seen their current 40-something selves in glorious 30 foot technicolour. I know, we’ve all changed a lot in the last 25 years. I certainly have. However it was nice to imagine that the tiny people on the far off stage were still layered in lipgloss and hairspray. Bret Michaels played his part by wearing a bandana and cowboy hat, as always (my eyesight isn’t that bad then – I could still see that much). They played all the hits (well, the 3 that we remembered from the UK – maybe the other songs they played were US hits??). The highlight was definitely “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”. We were outside and it had gone dark and the audience were all holding their proper old-skool lighters aloft and joining in a lovely acoustic sing-song with Bret. Kind of like a cowboy soft-rock power cut. Wow….
Def Leppard were amazing. We knew nearly all the songs in the set and I couldn’t believe how many hits they have had. I guess they have been together for 35 years, but I didn’t think I knew that many songs. So I could confidently do a 3 in 10 on Ken Bruce’s Popmaster! Again the highlight was the acoustic bit. They all came out with guitars and maracas (well, “maraca” – I’m sure you know the background to that) and sat on a box at the front of the stage to create a more intimate atmosphere (as intimate as you can get with 20,000 people). Like a five-headed acoustic monster. But a nice cuddly one. Sort of.
Although I missed the Olympics closing ceremony and all the Britlove over the last couple of weeks, I have to say that I felt very patriotic watching Def Leppard with all their Union Flags on display, as I couldn’t help feeling proud that a band from the UK were putting on such a great show and clearly being massively loved by a US crowd. Rock On. \^^/
When we found out we were moving to the States, one of the first things I put on my wishlist was to see KISS. Well, two weeks in and I have ticked off that ambition already! We saw them last night at an outdoor venue (well, we had a roof over us but no walls), which was quite an experience with a huge thunderstorm going on around us at the same time.
The first band on were called The Treatment and they actually hail from Cambridge (“Hey, we’ve come all the way from the UK!” they said as they started. “Big deal”, we said, “so have we!”). I’m surprised that in this day and age a group of British teenagers would want to make hard rock, and I can’t imagine they will get much success in the UK market, however they went down well over in the US and will probably go onto great things over here.
Motley Crue did a really good show, with all the usual rock clichés (bikini-clad ladies, who are now at least young enough to be their daughters). The Crue are all about twice the width they used to be, although with a lot less hairspray and makeup, except Nikki Sixx who is still keeping up appearances. The highlight was definitely Tommy Lee’s revolving drumkit, which has to be seen to be believed, although the constant thought of a hamster wheel popping into my head did detract somewhat from the effect. I’m pleased to say they played “Girls Girls Girls”, which is all I really wanted to hear!
I’m not sure I can adequately express how amazing it was to see KISS!!! Something I never thought I would do, and I think it was all the more brilliant for being in a slightly bonkers American audience. It was a spectacular show, considering they are all fast approaching pension age and Paul Stanley is awaiting a third hip replacement (let that be a warning to all you high heel wearers out there). I’m pleased to say they were in full makeup, although only a disappointingly small proportion of the audience wore the same. Lots of explosions, lots of fake blood, lots of Gene Simmons tongue action, all projected onto a 40 foot high screen in glorious technicolour so we couldn’t miss any of it! Not wanting to be outdone by Tommy Lee’s revolving drumkit, Paul Stanley flew out over the heads of the audience and Gene Simmons played one song standing on top of the lighting rig above the stage. I have gone temporarily deaf in one ear, but permanently giddy that I’m a bone fide member of the KISS ARMY at last.
We have no TV yet (however, having experienced a night of US TV in our hotel room, we’re not sure whether 250 channels of nothing are actually worth the money anyway) so we’ve been listening to the radio. The USA has far more radio stations than the UK, with many being very specialised (I haven’t found the late 80s/early 90s/goth/indie/metal station yet but no doubt it exists). We’ve already found some favourites though, and they are surprisingly similar to the UK stations. 93.7 BOB FM is where we are currently “keeping our knob” (yes that is their slogan) and it plays a mix of “proper” music old and new, i.e. the stuff played on actual instruments and not your dancey rubbish. It’s very similar to Absolute Radio in the UK. It even has the same no-repeat workday guarantee. I expected to hear a lot of unfamiliar songs but it seems that 99% of US bands must have made it big in the UK as I know nearly all of the music BOB plays. I’ve also been surprised by some of the UK music BOB plays. While obviously Adele is on non-stop and Coldplay are regulars, I’ve also heard the likes of Jesus Jones and Human League.
Meanwhile over on Sirius, the satellite stations similar to our UK digital service, they have 80s and 90s stations just like Absolute Radio 80s and 90s. Sadly we only get Sirius on our hire car which is being returned shortly, as I will miss both stations.
Of course, once my internet connection is up and running I will be faithfully listening to Radcliffe & Maconie on 6 Music again, this time as my breakfast show 🙂