No Direction Home

This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Coming Through In Waves



July 17, 2017

Roger Waters 

Livi, Chris, Kathy, Renae and Keith





Coming Through In Waves

Another week, another rock and roll icon live in concert, this time the legendary Roger Waters, co-founder of Pink Floyd as well as lead vocalist, bassist and creative guru who led the band through one of their most productive and successful eras. They are one of the most influential and iconic bands in rock history.  I had the great pleasure to see Waters perform what would be the first show of what would become his current “Us and Them” world tour last fall when I saw him play at Coachella as part of the Desert Trip show, but this was a solo show at the American Airlines Arena in Miami.



The week began with the last few days of a week-long visit to Key West by Kathy’s good friend Pam and her two boys, who pretty much were the meat of the sandwich that the two concerts in Miami, Paul McCartney last week and Roger Waters this week. We capped off their visit with a nice visit to Origami on what was exactly the sixteenth anniversary of Kathy and I’s first date there. It was a fun night.

Pam

 



Then it was another road trip to Miami and to the Intercontinental Hotel once again as we got there in plenty of time to meet our friends Chris, Live, Keith and Renae at 180 degrees restaurant and pub in downtown Miami for some pre-show drinks and food. It is always fun to hook up with Key West friends in other cities and we love going to shows with Chris and Livi who we have joined for more than a few shows.

 





The concert tickets urged fans to get to their seats promptly as Waters was going to take the stage at 8 PM prompt, we were there and prompt only meant about fifteen minutes late, which is pretty good. We saw more Key Westers at the show including our friends Matt and Debbie and Jan and her husband who were only a few rows away from us. We had great seats in the 5th row of section 2 on the floor.

Matt and Debbie

 





Roger Waters is known not only for his fantastic catalog of songs both from Pink Floyd and his solo career, but for his incredible staging. Light shows, lasers, fantastic effects and huge video screens that ran both the width and length of the arena. He certainly knows how to make a large room feel intimate and as concert craft goes, there are few acts who can match him.



The sold-out show had an amazing 24 song set-list that featured 19 songs from his time with Pink Floyd and 5 from his solo albums and the show lasted close to three hours with a brief intermission. The crowd was one of the best crowds that I have ever experienced in Miami, as they seemed to hang on every note and cheer mightily at most every song of the amazing show.

 





They even cheered for what has been a somewhat controversial portion of the show when Waters expressed his disgust for President Donald Trump during a few of his songs with huge video screen images showing Trump in all sorts of demeaning ways, a group of kids wearing resist shirts joining him onstage to sing and dance and even his famous flying inflatable pig featured anti-Trump messages.  It was easily the most political concert performance I have ever seen that was not at a benefit concert.







Water’s political leanings have had some audience members complaining or even walking out of some of his shows, but I saw none of that at this show. In fact the cheers were loudest during some of the most political statements. I thought it was fine, but then I knew in advance that Waters has very strong political beliefs and if you did not know that, you have not been paying any attention to his music. 



I know for a fact what the political leanings of performers like Kid Rock, Toby Keith and even Ted Nugent are and they would not prevent me from going to see them, and I certainly would not boo or walk out of a performance of someone whose politics I disagree with. That is part of what makes America so awesome, freedom of expression should be celebrated, even and perhaps especially if someone is espousing views that you don’t agree with. Personally I thought it was one of the best shows that I have seen this year and among the better ones that I have had the pleasure of attending in some time. 







On our way back down the Keys, we stopped in briefly to say hello to my Cathedral High School classmate, Michael. He and his wife were taking a few days and visiting Key Largo during a trip to South Florida and I did not want to pass up the opportunity to say hello, having seen him maybe once since we graduated some 35 years ago. It was a quick, but nice hello and hopefully they can return and come to Key West next time.

Michael and Michael

Finally I want to take a moment to acknowledge the closing this week of one of the more popular bars in Key West. The Lazy Gecko has been a Duval Street mainstay for close to twenty years and while Kathy and I have not frequented the place in many years, we have had many memorable times there over the years and many of our friends have worked or played there. While rumors surround the closing, I basically have no knowledge of or interest in why they are going away, but will certainly miss the place and wish those involved with success and happiness in whatever ventures await them. 



 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Sentimental Jamboree



July 11, 2017

 



Kathy, Morgan, Marky, Wendy and Scott 

Liz and Puddles





Sentimental Jamboree 

I am not sure how many times I have seen Paul McCartney in concert, I know that since he started touring regularly in 1990, I have tried to catch at least one show every tour and that I have seen him live at least once in each of the past four years including his set at Lollapalooza in 2015 and last year as part of the massive Desert Trip concert. I keep going back for a number of reasons, mostly because he is one of the iconic figures in modern rock music, but also he puts on a damn fine show. 



 



This year, his tour sort of snuck up on me, even though I had ordered tickets months ago when they first went on-sale, there just has not been much publicity about his current One on One tour’s stop in Miami. Kathy and I drove up on Friday afternoon and checked in to the InterContinental Hotel just a few blocks from the American Airlines Arena and after a quick meal, walked down to the venue.







We had good seats about twelve rows up on the side and the show started just after eight, with McCartney and his band taking the stage for what would be about a three hour non-stop amazing set of 39 songs. Most bands play between 15-20 songs in 75 to 90 minute sets so this was beyond impressive, especially since the man is 75 and still looks and sounds amazing.

 



The set was heavy on classic Beatles and Wings songs though it spanned the time from the very first song he ever recorded with the Quarrymen, “In Spite of all the Danger” right up to his most recent release from last year that he put out with Rhianna and Kanye West, “FourFiveSeconds”. In between was a collection of some of the greatest songs in rock history. 





The cool thing is that he could have played a totally different 39 song set and still not duplicated and of the classic songs that he has written or been a part of singing. He managed to honor his fellow Beatles, his late wife Linda, his current wife and former Producer Sir George Martin in his song choices and he delivered a rousing set that had the Miami crowd as energized as I have ever seen a crowd in Miami (which tends to have a more subdued audience than many places). 







Adam, Pam and JJ

It was certainly one of the finest shows that I have seen this year and equaled the two other excellent shows of his that I caught at Lollapalooza and This Desert Trip. I think the fact that it was the first night of the second leg of this tour, coming after a nice rest helped make the show more on point and the band more energetic. Saturday morning we were back on the road early heading home to Key West, we had to attend a memorial service and we also have friends visiting this week.

Kathy and Pam







Kathy’s good friend Pam and her two sons J.J. and Adam are in Key West this week and staying with us. Pam and Kathy are long-time friends in fact when Kathy first moved to Key West 26 years ago, she came with Pam who lived with her during her first year here before moving back North. She was making her first visit to Key West in nearly 16 years and it was both of her sons first visit ever and it has had us enjoying playing tourist this week.



Dani, Puddles, Emma and Charles 

Travis, Chris, Mike and Kelly

Playing tourist had us going out to frequent dinners, spending an evening watching the sunset at Mallory Square and even going snorkeling at Looe Key. It is nice sometimes to see the place you live through the eyes of new visitors and this really isn’t too bad a place to be a visitor after all.
Finally this week saw the return of one of the favorite acts to grace the stage at the Key West Theater with the return of Puddles Pity Party. This was my third time seeing Puddles perform and the second go round for Kathy as his sold out show returned once again to Key West where he has been a beloved performer since first appearing here a few years ago. 

Nick, Puddles and Travis 





Puddles and Jack



Fresh off his appearance on “America’s Got Talent”, Puddles was back in Key West for an encore performance of his traveling show featuring singing, comedy and just plain old good times. It is virtually impossible to accurately do justice to Puddles, his act is one that you just have to see for yourself, which I highly recommend if you ever get the chance. He has an ability to bring out emotions in the audience that is uncanny especially since he is a 6’8” tall clown who does not speak other than to sing with his golden voice.







 





http://www.miaminewtimes.com/music/paul-mccartney-gives-the-people-what-they-want-at-aaa-9479116
 
http://www.puddlespityparty.com/