Category Archives: Concert info

All Bad Things Must Come To An End

I’m still recovering from and processing the events I witnessed on a recent Friday night when the Gypsies attended the Final Tour of Mötley Crüe. Alice Cooper as an opening act?? Sign. Me. Up.

I really, really enjoy shows at Oak Mountain Amphitheater. It’s a great outdoor venue just outside of Birmingham, Alabama, with a great setup. We had second tier seats, close to an aisle, and really enjoyed our spot.

a3442317-9db5-492b-924a-78dafedd36d7Pre-show Road Trip Gypsies. And random butt bomb.

We actually had 3 seats for this show. Gypsy 2’s brother Paul was supposed to be at this show with us. Paul loved Mötley Crüe, and was in fact the one who introduced my fellow Road Trip Gypsy to them by taking her to her very first concert during the Dr. Feelgood Tour. A guitarist himself, Paul dragged his sister to all sorts of shows, and he was always the first to know when a new “must-hear” album was coming out. Heartbreakingly, Paul’s health the last several years had prevented him from making long trips for major tours, so when he decided that he wanted to attend a show, we collaborated to make it happen for him. This being the Last Ever Crüe Tour… well, naturally we were all going. Paul’s health, however, conspired against us. After a few weeks of sickness landed him in the hospital with non-functioning kidneys, Paul passed away suddenly after returning home. It’s still a punch in the gut when I realize he’s not here with a smart comment or snarky joke. We kept his seat unoccupied at the show.

The Raskins out of New York warmed up the stage for the night, and did a pretty good job. Wish I’d known a few of their songs, and will be looking them up for sure. Very East Coast-flavored rock n roll.

df4128e9-db6e-4876-ba84-e3657afbceb5View of The Raskins from the second tier.

And then…. Oh boy… the MAN, the NIGHTMARE himself… Mr. Alice Cooper took the stage. I’d never seen Alice’s stage show, but of course had heard all the stories and knew all about the theatrical performance. It was amazing. From “Welcome to my Nightmare” to “Feed My Frankenstein”, Alice still puts on one heck of a show. Closing with “School’s Out” was just perfect.

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Alice Cooper stage setup…Backdrop, Alice as Dr Fankenstein, Alice with snake, and the legend playing the crowd.

Now. I’ve seen the Crüe before. I’ve been 6th row for one of their shows. I’ve seen Tommy’s drum coaster and heard Mick’s phenomenal solos. I’ve been three feet from Nikki at a VIP event when the other Gypsy got to meet him.  I say all this to tell you… I was not prepared to say goodbye. I’m still not.

The boys played every hit, did every costume change, ran around the stage, and had the sold out crowd eating out of their hands. It was amazing. It was pure, perfect, rock n roll.

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Fire! Fire! Fire!

 nikki finalThe one and only… Mr Nikki Sixx.

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The boys saying goodbye from an elevated stage in the middle of the crowd with ‘Home Sweet Home’.

I freely admit, I’m not ready to say goodbye to these guys. No matter where I see them, they put on the best show of all time. They out-perform bands who are a quarter their age, and they do it like the punk rock legends that they are. (Yes, I said punk!)  They pulled out older songs like “On With The Show” that had my Gypsy pal in tears, and “Anarchy in the UK” made my little punk heart overflow with joy. I read a Rolling Stone interview with them yesterday where Mick said he wanted to write a book about the music, and Nikki, Tommy, and Vince plan to continue with their other projects. But until then, they have a North American tour to finish, followed by a worldwide tour, and probably a return to the States for the final shows. Vince said that they hope to play their final show in LA, maybe with a one-off after show at The Whisky in January of 2016, on their 35 anniversary as a band.

I, for one, would love to be there.

RTG1

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Rollin’ down the highway all summer long

It’s been an incredible, busy, frantic summer for yours truly, and I’ve been less than devoted to my blogging duties. To be fair, I have been a *smidge* preoccupied with work, traveling, family duties, and horrific tragedies. This blog is not about venting on you dear readers, however… it’s about travel, and music, and love, and life, and all the things that are good and right in this crazy world. So, freaks and travelers, let us discuss the Way Too Busy Gypsy Summer!

Memorial Day weekend saw a return to Pryor, Oklahoma for Rocklahoma 2014. We Gypsies are old pros at this trip by now, and we really do enjoy the break from everything to just get away with 50,000 other Rocklahomies. Our #1 tip for those considering the trip – book your hotel in January or February, and stay in the town of Claremore. Great people, every convenience you’ll need, good places to eat, and several very good hotels. Feel free to meet us Gypsies during lunch at the Rib Crib in Claremore, it’s become a daily ritual! (Dare I say… a RTG meetup location in the future?)

rib crib

Beautiful, smoky meat. So much yes.

Sadly, the first day traffic situation has NOT improved. As the crowd grows larger, more people are showing up at the same time on the first day to check in, and the organizers, while excellent in nearly everything else, really fall short on this. There truly should be a dedicated VIP parking / artist’s driving lane so that it becomes possible to get around the massive traffic jam to the correct entry point. I’m not sure how they’d solve this, but the problem we encountered was a multi-hour wait in traffic headed to the general admission and camping sections, which caused us to miss several of the early performers.

We did, however, get to see the always-awesome Shaun Morgan and Seether on day 1! These guys were pretty much Day 1’s highlight, aside from the epicness that is…. red velvet funnel cake
rvfcake

Yes, it’s really a thing. And it is spectactular.

Day 1 is mostly for getting our bearings and meeting our seat-mates in VIP. We have a really great group of experienced festival-goers around us, and it makes for one heck of a good time. We did however, have a little surprise on Day 1, when we stopped in the Retrospect Tent to check out one of the younger bands, Nasty Habit. These young guys out of New York put on the kind of show usually seen in flashbacks to the late 70’s and early 80’s. High energy, enormous musical talent, and clearly having an absolute BLAST on stage, the Nasty Habit boys earned a lot of new followers over the weekend, including the Gypsies.

nasty habit

Trust me. You want to see these guys. 

Day 2 was all about the 80’s bands. We were especially looking forward to Extreme and Twisted Sister. While Extreme’s set was a little… odd…. the original lineup for TS did not disappoint in ANY way!
Twisted

Dee Snider is a LEGEND.

We also caught shows by our boys Devour The Day and Adelita’s Way. Blake and Joey from DTD definitely know how to work the crowd, and there will never be a time that I don’t want to hear Rick DeJesus from AW sing. Anything. Ever.

AW rick   Hiiiiii Rick!!!!

DTD

DTD on the Hard Rock Stage = mosh pits, illegal substances, and sweat!

The final day for me was all about Theory of a Deadman and Kid Rock, two of the later performers in the evening. We did get to wander around and see other parts of the festival grounds, and met up with friends who traveled in from other states for the weekend. The Rocklahoma festival site is set up beautifully, there’s tons of open space, and plenty of things to see and do. You can be in the middle of a crowd or totally separated on your own, whatever you prefer.

monkey

 Big crowd around the main stage, passed out chick on her knees, and someone carrying an inflatable monkey. Because they want to.

Tyler from TOADM was fighting laryngitis, but came out and gave it a great try. Most artists would have canceled or just not bothered to show, but the Theory guys always give it everything they’ve got. And then…. the crown prince of redneck hip hop rock graced us with his awesomeness…..

shadow

Best entrance ever? Kid Rock wins.

We left during the last few songs, trying to get ahead of the crowd headed out of the festival grounds. It’s nearly a 30 minute drive back to the hotel we use in Claremore, so we knew we’d need enough time to clean up, pack, and get some sleep before checking out the next morning. Rocklahoma has become our ‘must-do’ festival every year, and no matter who is on the lineup, we always have a great time. VIP tickets are very much worth the cost, and hotels are reasonably priced. Festival food is as expensive as you’d imagine, as are drinks, for the general admission crowd. The Gypsies have discussed attempting to camp one year at RoK but, well, we do love a nice air conditioned hotel with hot showers.

So, now we’re caught up on the festival action so far this summer! Next up, a day trip to the Mötley Crüe last tour ever stop in Birmingham, Alabama, and catching up with Buckcherry and our boys Otherwise when they swing through Robinsonville, Mississippi in October. Stay tuned, freaks!

Love, sweat, and music

RTG1