Great American Music Hall--December 10, 2000
I flew up to San Jose after church. I really enjoyed the fact that they gave me honey roasted peanuts on the plane. Even cooler: 2 packages, not just one! I knew at that moment that this would be a great day. (OK, so sometimes little things make me happy).
My bro (Ryan) and his girlfriend (Veronica) picked me up and I told them stories about the previous night. We were bummed that the taping wasn't in San Francisco, because Ryan would've been there. Actually, I originally wasn't supposed to go to the Lobero, but Ang's mom gave up her ticket. THANKS, LORA! (I owe her big time).
We drove up to San Francisco, and Ryan had to try to remember how to get to GAMH (Great American Music Hall). He did a great job! When we got to the hall, who was first in line? Angela! YAY! MJ and Ross were there, too. MJ's sparkly Santa hat was very cute! After all the hugging and introductions (to Veronica), we ordered food, which Ross picked up later. Ross was sweet enough to pay for our dinner. (Ryan was supposed to sneakily skip our money into MJ's bag o' stuff, but he forgot). Thank you, Ross! Veronica innocently asked, "So, how do you spell 'MJ'?" Ever the sarcastic one, I replied, "M. J." We all laughed and never let her forget it all night.
A blind homeless man came up and harassed MJ for awhile, which she did not appreciate. After some time, he finally got the hint and walked away. Paul, whom we met in line last time at GAMH, came up to us to try to return a chair that we never saw before. Ross went to the restaurant to pick up our order. When he returned, who was walking alongside him? Kevin! Ross was missing a couple of orders so he had to go back to the restaurant. Ross worked hard to get our food. Thanks, again!
We noticed a whole busload of students arrive. I believe they were a choir group from a local school, but didn't catch the group's name. What a great concert for them to attend! Ryan thought he recognized some people in line from Disneyland, so I boldly went up to one of them and asked if they had been to Disneyland in November. Alas, it wasn't them.
When Rockapella came outside after their sound check, many, many people came up to talk to them. We decided to wait until after the show.
The doors finally opened, and Ang and MJ hurried to get our seats, while the rest of us lagged behind, because we were carrying everything. Front row center, baby! WHOO HOO!!! Delighted that I didn't have to drive, I ordered a glass of Oxford Landing Chardonnay, to celebrate our good fortune. I would have treated everyone to a bottle, but it was Christmas time and I'm not as well-off as Ross. ;) I'll try to catch y'all later next time, guys!
We were warned not to use flash photography, even when we were just taking pictures of each other. Apparently, they just wanted everyone to know very early that the flashes weren't allowed.
The opening act was Wicki 6. The bass dude wore funky pants and a see-through shirt w/fringe. Elaine Chao, the vocal percussionist, rocked! They did cover songs, my favorite one being Bruce Hornsby's "The End of the Innocence."
During the intermission, we were again advised not to use flash photography, so I was very careful to check before I took every picture. The pictures aren't fabulous because my film speed wasn't as high as I thought, but we put up as many as we could on this site.
Rockapella got up on stage one by one, starting with Scott, while singing "I Am Your Man." I love the way they do this, because it gives us lots of time to cheer for each dude.
Elliott told us yet another Driving-in-Califonia story. Apparently, this morning, they tried to drive to the Santa Barbara airport and completely missed the freeway exit, and, in turn, missed their flight. They looked at the time and realized that they had enough time to just drive up to San Francisco. Elliott said, "You have a beautiful state." (Trust me, this is much funnier when El tells the story).
Scott brought Kevin's attire to everyone's attention, pointing to some special pouch on his jacket. (If you saw the guys on the Home Shopping Network, you might remember this outfit). Kevin said that he had something in there for later. This prompted Jeff and Scott to show off their various pockets and hiding places. Kevin asked if we'd like to hear "Change in My Life" or "Where Would We Be?" People were more vocal about the former, so that's what they sang. Cool!
Elliott said that earlier that day, the rest of the guys told him that they'd be wearing their colorful outfits tonight, which is the reason he was dressed in his red shirt. It seems that the guys had played a little joke on our El: nobody else was wearing a brightly colored shirt! They all gave a little "thumbs-up" sign to each other. Poor El. Then he sang my fave song of his--"Don't Do It." He directed one verse to MJ, one to me, and one to a lady that I couldn't see from our vantage point. Yay! MJ and I cheered each other after that. I just get way excited when he does that! Happiness and Joy!
It came time for Kevin to find his Pretty Woman, and he searched the crowd. A group of people had worn T-shirts designed for their fave band member. When Kevin saw that his choice was not wearing the "Kevin" shirt, he sat her down and chose the lovely Jove. She pretty much ignored the rest of the guys during the song, which made Scott look like a hurt puppy dog. Awwww. We still love you, Scott! Kev then revealed what he had been hiding in his pouch: a CD for the Pretty Woman. Elliott said something about being "Down Under," meaning Australia, because of the marsupials there with the pouches. The guys, however, took the phrase a little differently and shot him weird looks. It took me awhile to stop giggling after that.
During "Hold Out for Christmas," the doors must have been open, because we were treated to the sound of a siren during what should have been a nice, quiet piece. I'm glad this didn't happen at the Lobero during the taping, or Scott would have gone over the edge! Of course, that's just my speculation, based on his reaction to the incident during "Dock of the Bay."
Scott advised us that his voice was tired, and he felt really low in his range. He then did Barry's intro to "60 Minute Man," and Barry went to Scott's usual position, and sang tenor. They sang an entire verse and refrain this way, and we all loved it! I think the best part of it all was watching Barry try to do the back-ups' choreography. I think the only reason they stopped was because everybody had totally lost their self-control at that point: Rockapella as well as the audience. Dang funny.
After we all calmed down, they sang the song with everybody in their correct ranges and places. Barry said to Scott, "I didn't realize how difficult it is for you back there!" One of his verses was directed to MJ, so that was fun. He also substituted in the phrase "Dye in my hair" to refer to the new coif. Barry's hilarious.
Jeff stopped his VP solo and asked for Rob, who danced on stage last time. We learned that Rob is singing these days, but he preferred to dance for everyone. Always fun.
For their first encore, Rockapella started out with "White Christmas." Someone sang the wrong lyrics at one point--oops! You know who you are, Elliott! He gave the others a sheepish grin, and they never lost a beat. Well, except for Jeff, who doesn't sing or drum during this one.
They did 2 other encores, and probably would have done more if they weren't so exhausted and didn't have to catch flights. I was only disappointed for my bro that they didn't do "Keep Smilin'," because we just LOVE the part where all 5 guys do VP, making a drum line. (We're drum corps enthusiasts if you didn't know that already, and Veronica would have liked it, too).
Afterward, it seemed like the aforementioned busload of students all waited at the door to talk to the guys, so we hung out for awhile and took some pics. Angela was eager to try out her fun photo camera, which makes little polaroid shots. We also got pics of uber-fans Donna and Stacey. They were pointed out during the show. Wow.
We weren't able to talk to El, because he had a plane to catch. I guess he didn't want to drive all the way to New York. We gave El's holiday care package (courtesy of the Pella Pushers) to Phil for assured delivery.
Kevin was pretty much mobbed, so we didn't get a chance to talk much, except say hi. Ang got a photo, though, I think. He needed to catch his flight, and so did Scott, but we had a smidgen more time to say a few words.
Scott always seems to be the most appreciative for our praise, not that the others aren't. the other guys are quite thankful as well and always willing to talk. There's just a sweetness about Scott that's difficult to describe. OK, enough of that.
After the throng disappeared, we were able to talk to Jeff and Barry, because they didn't have flights to catch. Ross took a pic of MJ and Jeff, then I asked Ross to take one of me with Jeff. Jeff said to me, "So you're just having your husband take pictures of you with other guys?" I said, "What? I'm not married!" Clearly confused, Jeff said, "Oh, I thought he was your husband." "No," I replied, pointing to MJ. "That's her husband." Then, jokingly, I said, "You think all Asian women look alike. THAT's what's going on." Jeff said, "No! I LOVE Asian women!" So I got closer to him and said, "Oh, OK!" He playfully said, "Down girl. Go home." Jeff's a crack-up. (I'm telling y'all--the dream I had that night!...but I digress). Veronica wanted to meet Jeff, so I introduced them to each other. Jeff now knows her as "Brother's Girlfriend Veronica," which is how he said "hi" to her. I advised him that it was her first concert, and he told her to make sure to tell 2 friends, and they'll tell 2 friends, and so on, and so on...
I got a picture with Barry and said, "Thanks, Sting!" In his Grinchy voice, he replied, "Sting, Stang, Stung." He's just the coolest, and always seems to recognize me and smile wide when he gets on stage. Love him.
We were also able to get sandwich pics w/Phil and Fred. Phil thought we only did that because we felt sorry for him not being one of the usually-mobbed Rockapella guys, but we told him that we honestly wanted his pic, too, because he talks to us. When he saw us taking a pic with Fred, though, he said he was insulted and knew that he wasn't special to us. Yeah, right. Fred and Phil are our buds. We love them, too!
Well, finally, it was time to go. I was thirsty the whole way home, but didn't tell anyone more than 10 times. ;) The evening was splendiferous--good company, great music, good wine. Thanks, everyone, especially Rockapella, for another evening I'll never forget. Now, about that dream...swoon!
Oh, and just in case you were keeping track: more honey roasted peanuts on the flight home. YAY!