It’s been ages since I’ve posted anything on here. I’ve done tons of cool things in my cool, cool city these past several months.
I took Thing 1 (my oldest) to see Neon Trees at the House of Blues May 27th. The opening act, Eastern Conference Champions, was fantastic live. They ended their set with an incredible jam that ended with all three of them beating on drums. I can’t describe it, just go see them. The crowd was really into the Limousines. They were ok. Neon Trees were really excellent. The entire show, all 3 bands, really new how to work the crowd. I was pleased that Thing 1’s first show at HOB was such a great show.
A few days later, I took Thing 1 back to HOB to see The Maine. Augustana was the second act. I love their song, Sweet and Low, but watching them live was boring. I’ve seen The Maine live before. They were much more energetic when I saw them at Warped. I felt like I was watching a different band here. At Warped, they were easy pop, here they were more country-fried. I’m not a country music fan. I found the show to be rather disappointing.
Warped this year was ok. The change in venue really sucked. Blossom is impossible to get to. They have been having concerts there for 600 years and still can’t manage to get cars in and out properly. There’s no way it should take an hour to go 3 miles. The concert itself was only ok. The high points, for me, were the Aggrolites, Paramore, and the Expendables. It was difficult to get between the stages so I missed many bands that I wanted to see (A Day to Remember, Pepper, Sharks, Lionize).
I went to Taking Back Sunday at HOB in July. I was so disappointed. I realize that the original lineup is back together and everything, but I expected that they would play at least one song from their previous album, New Again. Instead, I think they played music from every album EXCEPT that one. And New Again is the album that I know. I could sing every lyric from that album. It’s the reason I bought tickets. And the lead singer is a complete douche. His stage banter is juvenile and boring. The first act was supposed to be We Are the In Crowd but they cancelled. I really was looking forward to seeing them. I do have a suggestion for Taking Back Sunday. If you are touring with Thursday, you should just commit and have a lineup up that only consists of bands with days of the week in their names. Resurrect Til Tuesday. Grab Hey Monday. The Saturdays are most likely available.
I went the entire month of August without going to a single concert. I know, I know. I don’t know how I lasted that long. The drought ended on September 12th when I saw The Expendables with Pepper at HOB. The copious amounts of secondhand smoke insures that I won’t pass a drug test for a long time. The show was good. I don’t know many songs from either band, but they were fun to watch. I’m not sure I’d go to see either band again, unless they are part of Warped again. They are both good, but there are other bands that are much more fun to see.
I finally saw my first show at the Q on September 20th. Rise Against opened for The Foo Fighters. I bought my tickets because I wanted to see Rise Against. I really wasn’t interested in seeing the Foo Fighters. I figured that FF were past their prime. First, the Q is a completely awful place to see a band. You don’t feel a connection with the bands. Second, Rise Against was Amazing. And third, and most importantly, the Foo Fighters were amazing. I wish that they didn’t turn every song into a 20 minute masturbatory experience, but other than that, they were great. They really enjoy what they’re doing. Dave Grohl, I think he would’ve stayed on stage all night. And he did. Even when the rest of the band left, Dave was out there by himself playing guitar and singing. They played so long, that I left after the 3rd encore. I had to get up for work the next morning.
The very next night, I saw Motion City Soundtrack at HOB, in the Cambridge Room. It was part of their 2 nights, 4 albums tour (or whatever it was called). The idea was that the band played all four albums in their entirety in order. I only saw the second night, because I was at the Foo Fighters for the first night. My husband isn’t really a fan, but I had the best time. MCS is an incredible band. The Cambridge room is so small. HOB should really do something about the ventilation system in there though. It was stiffling.
This past Tuesday, I made first trip to The Grog Shop to see the Aggrolites. The Grog Shop is a complete oddity. It looks like someone’s basement. It has layers of graffiti on about ever surface. And then they have a beer list that included enough stuff to keep me busy for a couple of weeks. Sure it was all bottled, but hey, a girl can’t ask for everything. I order the peche lambic and it was served in a beautiful snifter. And I was only charged $6 for the entire bottle. It was an awesome place to see a concert. If they could just get rid of the loiterers out front…. Anyway, the Aggrolites were amazing, as expected. And I think the lead singer, Jesse Wagner, even smiled a few times. But the most surprising thing was how excellent the opening act was. Roots of Creation were this completely perfect blend of reggae and electronica (?). I had to buy their album.
And last but not least, I went to a few Cleveland Beer Week events yesterday. I wanted to go to many more events, but I can only drink so much beer (I know, I know, blasphemy).
I went to Lilly Handmade Chocolates yesterday for the mead and chocolate pairings. There were 4 meads and each was paired with a truffle. I like mead but it’s hard to find anything other than Bunratty around here. Lilly’s had Redstone Meadery Carbonated Mead, Lugashall Christmas Mead, Iqhilika Bird’s Eye Chili Mead, and Dansk Mjod Viking Blod. The last one, Dansk Mjod Viking Blod was most like the other meads I’ve had. I preferred the classic mead taste. And Lilly’s chocolates were really good. I had not been there before as it’s a kind of crappy neighborhood that I don’t get to often. I liked it much more than my husband of Thing 2. I would like to go here again, but I’ll probably find someone else to go with.
After Lilly’s, we went to Deagan’s for the La Chouffe tasting (and glasses). There were 3 different La Chouffe beers. First was the La Chouffe, an unfiltered Belgian blonde. It was good, not nearly as good as Indigo Imp’s Blonde Bombshell. Then we had Ommegang Gnomegang. This was a bit hoppy-er than the other two. Honestly, the three beers weren’t that different. The coolest part of this trip was that the beer rep bought us a round. So, we also had the La Chouffe Bier de Soleil. This was my favorite beer. Sadly, it is a limited release beer. I had a great time here. We got to keep the glasses and the rep gave us hats with bells and a keychain. I love my silly hat. I look like an elf.
Next, we stopped at McCarthy’s Ale House in Lakewood. They had Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. I thought I’d had this beer before, but after tasting it I realized that I’d had beer aged in kentucky bouron barrels but never the brand Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. It was so smooth and slightly sweet. I love this beer. And McCarthy’s is a nice bar. It’s huge. There are a few spots in the bar that could use some attention, but I would certainly come here again.
Last stop of the night was Fatheads. I really didn’t need any more alcohol at this point but, you know. I tried a Stone Vanilla Bean Smoked Porter. It was definitely smokey. I couldn’t really taste the vanilla though. Not my favorite beer of the night. That honor went to Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. I wanted to try several other beers on the menu, but I simply couldn’t drink anything else.
Today I went to my final Beer Week thing. I headed over to Mike’s Bar and Grill in Berea. I haven’t been here before either. It’s small and really really nice inside. I had lunch with my Green Flash 30th Street Pale Ale. The beer was way too hoppy. I hate citrus-y hops. But my lunch was excellent. The sweet potato fries were perfect. And my Philadelphia cheesesteak was huge and yummy. Nothing was greasy either. That could have been a really greasy mess of a meal but it was perfect. My husband’s reuben was great also. I liked trying the Green Flash beer but wish they’d had something other than the 30th street pale ale.
There are so many fun things to do in Cleveland. I’m lucky that I’m able to do them. I’m out of tickets and plans for now so I’m going to go plot my next outing.