October 25, 2001
Sherry's Rockapella Trip Report
Galaxy Theater--Santa Ana, CA
Well, it's the beginning of Pella Week! Yay! I had taken the rest of the week off, so I could sleep in and rest up for all the festivities.
Angela came over and we drove to Ontario to pick up Gordon, whom was waiting for us at McDonald's. Sorry that we were late, Gordon! We arrived at the Galaxy Theater and saw that the front door was open, so Gordon decided to purchase his ticket. It turns out that the show at that point was Standing Room Only, so that's cool! Well, not for Gordon, since he had to stand...but for Rockapella, that's great news! Angela picked up our tickets as well, using her Disneyland Annual Passport as her ID, because she couldn't find her driver's license. The dude at the counter, Stevie Ray, said that, unless she could find her driver's license to show that she's over 21, she'd get a big black "X" in henna tattooed on her hand, which would remain there for 2-3 weeks. Angela later found her driver's license, though, so no Henna X. We got Smiley Faces instead. Stevie Ray was very cool and watched over our goodies during the concert.
Karla was in the lobby with her fabulous Rockapella Museum. I approached the counter to check it out, and who was standing in front of me, but Barry himself! He was checking out the museum with a little penlight. We just hung out there for awhile, and Barry approached us, starting up a conversation. We talked about the condition of New York City and he showed us a medallion/coin that was given to each of the guys from the air force base, which all of the pilots there carry when they fly, as a piece of good luck. Very Cool. He showed us the new shirt he bought. I said, "That looks clingy, Barry." Barry said, "It is." I replied, "Ooh, I like clingy!" Barry grinned widely.
Scott was the next to arrive. Phil had just picked him up at the airport, and he was tired from his flight from Florida. (The other guys had flown straight here the other day from Wisconsin).
The rest of the guys were late for Sound Check, because they were waiting for Barry and Scott at the hotel, due to a misunderstanding. When they arrived, they were rushed backstage to do their sound check. Phil was gracious enough to allow us to watch quietly, which was fun, since I was late to the other one, and didn't get to hear Jeff warm up. I did this time, though. We got kicked out of the seats that we had chosen, because the tables needed to be cleaned. That's OK. I was too happy to see the guys to care about that. Elliott was distracted by the tables, though, because they were all different colors. He asked if the tables would be covered, which they wouldn't be, so he wasn't happy about that.
After sound check, we hung out in the parking lot. I had parked beside Barry's mom, so we spoke with her and pet her beautiful dog. Hank and Sharyn were out there, too, so Hank teased us as usual about various topics. Liz and Joe arrived and Joe went walking in order to look for something to eat before dinner: a danish from Carl's Jr. Fancy!
We got in line and I saw my friend Vicky with Michael, Brandon, and Sarah. The staff asked the people under 21 to get in the Will Call line to get their X's on their hands, and their drink tickets. That was odd, but I guess it saved time for the people over 21 who had their tickets already.
When we got inside, the maitre' d led us to our table, which, to our surprise, was the sound table from which we had been kicked out at sound check. Seated at our table were Liz, Joe, Angela and myself. Gordon kinda sat to the side of us eventually, taking one of the chairs from the overflow area of another table. Actually, Joe kinda stole it. Sshhh--don't tell his department!
It took forever for our waitress to get our drinks and appetizers, and I had to ask a few different people about the special, because the first two weren't sure. Vicky, who was a Rockapella concert virgin, was seated in the front, on the rhythm section side. Her friends, Carolina and Louis, were virgins, too, and I was happy to see all the newcomers seated in my favorite spot. Hey, if I can't be there, it might as well be people that I like, right? Ferdie and Rob sat with them as well. Rob came over to our table later to check out our food, since they hadn't even ordered yet. I heard applause later from their table, and it turns out that their waitress had finally come to take their order. Later on, she spilled drinks on Vicky and Ferdie, offering free cocktails. The Galaxy should have comp'd their dinners, since it was their fault that the glasses were made of flimsy plastic, and the food wasn't good at all. OK, the appetizers were good. That's it. Considering that we were required to pay $9.95 (on top of the ticket price), even if we didn't order dinner, the food and the service should have been better.
The first act, The Perfect Gentlemen, a barbershop quartet "with a twist," was even better than I remembered them when they won our region's Harmony Sweeps a couple of years ago. I felt that their set was too short, so I'll have to go see them another time. Y'all should see them when you get the chance, especially the History of Music in the 20th Century piece. Awesome.
The second act, Tyler Hilton, also did a great job. I'd heard him he was on KLOS' Mark and Brian show, and I'm glad to have seen him live. I also had the chance to meet him earlier that day, and he was very personable. Oh, and cute, for all of you teenagers out there! I introduced him to Barry, as if I was some kind of PR rep or something. ;) Hey--I'm close. I'm a Pellapusher! Tyler was nervous during his set, but the crowd gave him plenty of support.
After Tyler's set, I was excited to see Rockapella's feet backstage (the curtain was too short, and I saw leather pants, figuring that they must belong to Kevin). Kevin was wearing tan leather pants, El a shirt with one red sleeve, Scott all in black, Jeff in blue and black, and Barry was wearing his clingy maroon shirt, to my utter delight.
During "Moments of You," Kevin used the mic stand as a hobby horse. I don't know why. Maybe because they were out West. During "Have A Little Faith," Scott inserted the line "I need some caffeine." He was tired, remember? Kev and El kept poking at each other. What was that about? I don't know, but it was too funny. El warned us that "No Doubt At All," one of their new songs, hadn't been performed much yet, and it might end up in a trian wreck, whcih, thankfully, it didn't. El later told me that if it works during sound check, then they include it on the set list. Sometimes they're "on" at soundcheck, but when it's "off," it's really off, so they just don't sing that on those nights. I like that piece, with all the riffing betwixt El and Jeff. Oh, and I love the word "obstetricious."
Scott added a lot of extra "F"s to the word "Stuff" during "Use Me." A LOT.
Then came Kev's time to ramble--er, talk. He started to tell us a story about being bored that day and going to a car lot to do a test drive. He then suddenly asked a little girl what she was going to be for Hallowe'en. She replied, "Shirley Temple." Barry said, "Me, too!" and so did Kevin. Another little girl said that she would be a 50's girl. Much "Aww"ing from the audience. Kev then asked Rockapella what they'd be. Scott said he'd be a 50's girl. El said he was going as a Peanut Butter Sandwich. Barry said he'd be going as Shirley Temple. Jeff said that he would be the big kid who beats up the rest of Rockapella and takes their candy. Crazy Jeff. They asked Kev what he would be. When he didn't answer immediately, the guys said, "Elvis Stojko," obviously teasing him about his hair. He didn't appreciate that much and retorted to Scott, "Aren't they missing you from the set of 'Just Shoot Me'?" Ooh, Kev, you made Scott pout! Scott said, "Hey, I worked really hard on my hair today." Kev decided it was finally time to sing and looked to Scott for the pitch. Annoyed, Scott said, "Which song?!" which cracked up all the guys. Kev finally sang "Where Would We Be."
They followed that with "Dance With Me," which was awesome! That was my first time to see it/hear it, so I was WAY excited. The disco lights were fun, and enhanced by their cute little mirror ball. Holiday Folger's started weird, but it ended fine. Everyone loves Jeff's sleigh bells, and rightfully so.
Scott's "Thank You" curtsy after "Long Cool Woman" is hilarious. Kevin picked Dori as the Pretty Woman for the evening. It was her 70th birthday, and she worked it, baby! Jeff said to her, "You're a fine looking woman." During "Stand By Me," Scott inserted Dori's name: "Stand by me, Dori." Very cute.
Scott, getting up the gumption to face Large Man Barry, said, "When I cross the Mississippi, I get butch." Barry sang his new manual labor song, "Big Bad John." I love it, especially the trio's "How ya doin'--Hi." Some guy yelled out "Do a drum solo" and Jeff got an annoyed look on his face. The guy then said, "Mouth solo!" and Jeff responded, "Oh, like you just did." Go, Jeff! Ferdie was really irritated by that guy. During Jeff's solo, he asked that guy to go up on stage and do some VP, but the guy didn't know how to do that, so it didn't happen.
During "Up On The Roof/Wonderful World," El dropped out and laughed for about a verse before regaining his composure and singing again. During "Tempted," Scott sang, "Ooh, Jeff Thacher, sing along," to which Jeff replied, "Ssshhh." We were treated to "All That Comes To Mind," which I'd never heard live before, so I was quite happy. "The Star-Spangled Banner" was beautiful, but nobody stood up, which was weird. Maybe I should have just stood up anyway. The last song, "Keep On Smilin'," which is my favorite because of the VP drumline, earned a much-deserved standing ovation.
Afterward, I schmoozed with my friends, and also met up with Laura & Wendy, who told me stories of their Rockapella concerts back East.
At the meet and greet, Angela and I doled out our goodie bags. Thanks to Stevie Ray for not eating the cookies! Barry said, "You shouldn't have," but this is our Pellapusher trademark, so OF COURSE we had to! Jeff absolutely loved the Muppets' Animal beanie, and said, "Ooh, Animal! Cool! This one's going on my desk!" Beaming, I said, "You hear that, Ang? It's going on the desk!" Scott laughed, and I told him, "And you--you're on my desktop! Remember when you left that voice mail message for me?" he said, "Oh, yeah!" I said, "Well, it's on the computer as a sound byte, and I just do over and over, "Sherry, where are you? Sherry, where are you? Sherry, where are you?" while mimicking myself clicking a mouse. He giggled some more. I love making him smile. Swoooon! I asked Kevin if his tan leather pants were new, since I hadn't seen him wear them before. He said that yes, they're new. It frightens me that I knew that.
We took a pic with Stevie Ray for posterity. If we had extra cookies, we would have given them to him, but alas, that was not to be.
After grabbing some eats from Jack-In-The-Box, I drove us home, and, exhausted, I went to sleep. After all, I had to wake up early for the next Pella day!