Counting Crows: November 16, 2004 – Roseland Ballroom – New York, NY

The best concert I ever saw?  Definitely not.  But it was certainly the most unexpected – and was a fun night from start to finish.  The lead singer Adam Duritz drank about 12 Coronas during the show.  It was loose and fun, but well played at the same time.   The ballroom felt like the entire audience was sitting on the stage with the band and we were all a bunch of old friends just hanging out. 

This was my first concert I attended after Phish’s Coventry debacle and it was the perfect night to get me back on the train.  Coventry was so hopeless, ugly and dirty – this night was good clean fun. 

The text below was written by me a few days after the Counting Crows show in 2004.

I saw Phish 68 times from 7-1-95 through Coventry  (8-14,15-2004) .  It was difficult walking away from the stage that last time.  Yes, the music was emotionally subpar and the mud made it hard to move, but the real reason it was difficult to walk away was what we really left behind on that field in Northern Vermont.  I saw Phish for the first time when I was 19.  When I left Coventry I was 29.  Almost 10 years of traveling to shows with my tour buddy – meeting new people and seeing new places.  It was more than just the music – IT was an experience.  That’s what I’m going to miss…
But anyway…  
So I got free tickets to the Counting Crows Show at Hammerstein Ballroom on Tuesday night.  As the band took the stage the lead singer Adam (Something) stepped up to the mic and said,
“This is going to be our last show.”
My heart sank.
Not because I cared if it was the Counting Crows last show – 3 months after Coventry, it finally hit me that Phish was never going to play together again.  Hundreds of memories flashed through my head within the few seconds it took him to continue,  
“Of 2004.” 
I didn’t think it was very funny.
I will miss posting Fakebeave’s Fakesetlists, finding out when Ticketmaster rereleased pavillion seats and reading reviews of shows I couldn’t make.  I will miss reviewing the shows that I went to, reading about people whose favorite song was my least favorite, handing out UNO cards at a show and not having people look at me like I’m crazy.  I will miss the moment when the lights went down to start a show when I just got to my seat.  I will miss dancing in the balcony at the Worcester Centrum, sitting on the concrete floor at the War Memorial in Rochester, feeling the building move in Madison Square Garden, the  thousands of balloons in the Fleet Center on New Year’s Eve.
I will miss walking past the roller coasters at Darien Lake and Coney Island, freezing my ass off in Providence during the Island Tour and the Oh Kee Pa -> You Enjoy Myself opener that blew me away.
I will miss the covers during the summer of 98.  Sabotage, Terrapin Station, Trenchtown Rock, Ramble On, Vernon Down the House and Sexual Healing. 
I will miss going to a show by myself in Albany and making new friends for a couple of hours, the hour long Runaway Jim in Worcester and Page singing Strange Design to bring us all back to reality.     
I will miss all the Crosseyed and Painless teases, Andy Gadiel’s Phish Page, glowstick wars, marshmallow wars and tortilla wars.
I will miss the Wipeout show I was at, and the Halloween shows that I wasn’t at.
I will miss buying things in the lot and the things they did to me during the shows.
I will miss going to shows in my home state of New Jersey and the band ALWAYS delivering for me.  Doing the Meatstick with Sofi, BB King and the kid at the end of that set who said “I didn’t think they would ever stop playing JAZZ.”  I will miss the heat in Oswego New York, the long drives to Limestone in Maine and Big Cypress in Florida , taking shortcuts to venues while everyone else sat in traffic.
I will miss all the lots in Philly and our own personal delivery guy the last time we were there.  I will miss having great seats in the pavillion, sitting behind the stage and sitting in the last row in an arena.
I will miss guessing the opener, calling the next song, being disappointed when Trey started Character Zero, listening to Bouncin before it was cool to hate it, still not knowing what they are saying in You Enjoy Myself, the disco funk of 2001 and After Midnight from Big Cypress.
I will miss the Post-Hiatus music and the feeling that they were back.  I will miss the flubs, forgotten lyrics, segues, SEGWAYS and the stop and start jams.
I will miss Mike driving through the lots in a golf cart, almost driving over Fishman as he stepped out of the tour bus, Page when he was on crutches and Trey counting off the beginning of Guyute.  I will miss the Waterwheel Booth, the custies, the wooks, the white hats, burnouts, techno kids and dogs.  I will miss the vendors and all their glass, hemp everything, Lot Shirts and hairy armpits on cute girls.
I will miss drinking an icy cold Fat Tire and Sunshine Wheat in Maine on a perfect summer day.
I will miss going to the movie theater, Jay-Z in Brooklyn, the SPAC Piper and the Clinic at the Aftershow.
I will miss the debacle that was Coventry – the cost of fake tickets on Ebay whan I had bought one at Face Value, the rain, the mud, the farm tractors, the mud, the ANNOUNCEMENT by Mike and already having camp set up since the night before.  I will miss watching thousands of tired people hike into the venue.  I will miss the way we all pulled together for one last party.
I will miss watching the sun rise at Big Cypress after they played from midnight to 6:30am  – it will never rise again.

Thanks for everything,
The Real Beave
In case you were wondering you CAN find anything on the Internet.  Below is video and audio from the entire show.  Listen at least to the first minute so you can hear my thoughts racing through my head as Adam Duritz begins the first of his many drunken rants from the night.  Thanks to my wife for inspiring this post.  Read her memories from this night here: WHATIWANTMYKIDSTOKNOW

Pterodactyls are Pterrifying

I have known for a long time that dinosaurs are awesome.  This weekend I learned something about my favorite dinosaur that I never knew before. 

The whole family went to the Turtle Back Zoo with our next door neighbors on Saturday August 25, 2012.  On the drive there, the skies opened up and it poured rain for most of the drive.  When we got to the bottom of the hill where the zoo was, the rain stopped – the ground was completely dry and our day at the zoo was on.

Our first stop in the zoo was the reptile house.  The first thing you see when you walk in is a giant pterodactyl hanging in the ceiling.  We had been here before, and I had seen it hanging up there before -but I never thought to question “why?”

Why is the coolest f’ing dinosaur ever in the reptile house?  I asked myself.  The pterydactyl is a bird!  It has wings.  It flies.  It makes that scary-ass screeching sound when it swoops down to catch its prey with its super sharp talons.  At least, it probably did anyway.  It is the scariest BIRD to ever flap its wings.   It had no feathers – it was the bird equivalent of those freaky bald cats that the Egyptians had on the walls of the pyramids.  Hell, even the way you spell its name is frightening.

I asked my wife, “Why is there a pterodactyl in here, aren’t they birds?”  No sooner did I finish my question to her, when she pointed to the info written out below the display.  Pterodactyls are REPTILES!  My mind was blown.  My entire childhood and grown life I thought that they were birds.  I began to question if everything I had known up until that point had been a lie to me.

So I quickly took that picture that you see above, and texted it to my oldest friend ChuckO.  We always used to say to each other: “OH NO!!, THE PTERODACTYL!!”  I have no idea when we started saying that to each other, or why it started in the first place – but to this day if one of us were to use a super stupid high pitch voice to say “OH NO!!” – the other one would continue “THE PTERODACTYL!!”

I did a bit of research while I was writing this and learned even more about Pterodactyls.  Apparently, the term pterodactyl, isn’t even their real name. 

1. There’s no such creature as a “pterodactyl.”

It’s unclear at what point “pterodactyl” became a synonym for pterosaurs in general, and Pterodactylus and Pteranodon in particular, but the fact remains that this is the word most people use. Working paleontologists never refer to “pterodactyls,” preferring to focus on individual pterosaur genera.

Thanks to this website for crushing my childhood dreams even further.  10 Facts About Pterodactyl

While my childhood may have been turned upside down at the zoo this weekend, the kids had a blast.  And if I can’t have my own pet pterodactyl, then I want a Pterodactyls are Pterrifying tshirt.  Even if they aren’t the scariest birds ever.

August 9th, 1998 – Phish – Virginia Beach Ampitheater

The loudest, most intense, meaningful crowd reaction I have ever witnesssed.  Under a full moon on the third anniversary of Jerry Garcia’s passing – Phish encored with this Grateful Dead song – Terrapin Station.  I still get goosebumps everytime I listen to the first twenty seconds of this.  Even though I never got to see you perform live, we miss you Jerry.