A Giant Rock Road Trip
I know I told you that I was going to get on the road for a rock 'n' roll road trip. The trip turned out great and was bigger than even I had planned. Yes, Mr. Insufferable turned into Mr. Spontaneous and doubled down on the road. I'll fill you in on the entire trip - all you have to do is check back over the next few days.
Before we get into that, don't you detest writers that start an article with a quote from someone famous, or worse, insert untranslated foreign phrases into the body of the article? It implies that they are more learned or somehow superior to you, the reader, upon whom they fully depend. I guess it's better than writers who are condescending (that means talking down to people), but it's right up there with the person who is listening to you grouse about someone or the other who then says that they don't judge people anymore. Well, you just judged me there, Blackstone. The fact that people do this sans gene makes me want to barf.
Where was I before I headed down this needless path? Oh yeah, a rock 'n' roll road trip, DC style. Say what? DC is a big city, but for a big city, it's not like it has the most dynamic rock scene in the country. But it has been coming on as of late, with a slew of new venues and plenty of solid shows rolling through town. And it's completely overrun with millennials and their beards, tattoos, avocado toast and disposable income (given that they own, well, nothing).
Friends of ours laid down the smack and said that they wanted to go to a show and picked Young the Giant at the Anthem. We responded with our rally cry of "we're there," and we were.
As you know, BRP is originally from the DC area, but I have to tell you that this city has substantially changed since I left. Yes, the crime rate went down (and correspondingly, has risen in Philly), but I'm talking about huge changes. One of them is the waterfront in SW off of Maine Avenue. When I lived there, this was where you went to buy fresh fish from the group of fishmongers who lined the docks. They are still there, off to one side, but the area has been transformed with new condos, hotels, restaurants, bars and the Anthem, a large, well done live music venue that is the heart of the redeveloped area. The entire redevelopment cost something like $2 billion, at least $1 billion of which was spent disposing of the stinking fish soil that underlay the entire area. It's impressive.
Young the Giant was just the latest of the big acts to roll through the Anthem. They filled the place, and brought a solid show with them. It was the last stop on their recent North American tour, and that lead to some fun silliness at the end of the act. They also brought with them a bunch of hits, like My Body and Cough Syrup that had the crowd rocking and partying.
We weren't in normal BRP territory. Nope, no standing room tickets with accompanying pushing and shoving to the front of the stage. This time we sprang for seats, and ended up with unobstructed visuals from the upper deck. I have to tell you: the Anthem is a big place, and the standing room section is huge. It holds up to 6,000 people, which means it's over twice the size of the Fillmore in Philly. But it basically looks a lot like a bigger version of the Fillmore, with seats above the standing room floor, and bars on the sides. Unlike the Fillmore, it does not take cash - cards only - which means that it takes a while to get through those bar lines (and the owners aren't ripped off continually by their staff).
I did move around and get some shots of the band from the side - they are much closer than our seats, not that our seats were bad. The stage is big, and the band had plenty of room to stretch out and strut their stuff. Sameer Gadhia, the lead singer, danced, jumped and strutted around, leading the band through their paces and firing up the crowd. He reminded me of myself when I was about 8 in his high water pants (I at least had the excuse that my hand-be-downs were put on a growing lad), but he has a fine voice and a good touch of showmanship with the crowd.
The band did a good job of rolling through their big songs, keeping the pace of the show managed so that the crowd was satiated, and enjoying themselves at the end of their tour by allowing their manager and stage crew to join them on stage during their last tune. It was fun, and we all came out satisfied with a good night of rock 'n' roll.
So here's the cool part. We head out onto the waterfront promenade and head to another bar to keep the good times rolling. We hear live music playing and find ourselves in the Union Stage. A poster on the wall announces that Caroline Rose is playing the next night in DC, and we go, "whoa, we missed her in Philly, and here's our chance to make amends." Did we do that? Hey, it's BRP, what do you think?
You guys check back soon as I bring you some more on this DC road trip. I think you'll find it entertaining. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and enjoyed time with family and friends. I know that at this point you've probably had enough turkey (and, perhaps, family?) and you need something to bring you back to the trivial and silly things in life that keep you going, like BRP. I'm glad you swung by to check it out, but you'll need to come back again and again because I have to catch you up on Caroline Rose. Oh, and the Menzingers at Union Transfer in Philly. And another road trip coming up this week, this time to see one of the biggest acts ever to come out of the rock era. Phew, it's hard to keep up with the happenings of this biggggg November! See you soon.
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My name is Bill, and I live in the greater Philadelphia area. I love music, and I have a lot of opinions. This site is primarily focused on music, but sometimes I get off track. I hope you enjoy.