Sherry's Rockapella Trip Report
Sunday, May 7, 2000--Great American Music Hall
Due to my church schedule and flight availability, Ang & I took separate flights back up north, this time to San Jose. My flight left late from Burbank, due to the late arrival of the previous flight, & problems w/ the plane's air conditioner The flight was completely full & heavy, so the pilot wasn't able to make up time in the air. I, therefore, arrived about 35 minutes late. Ang was there, but hadn't taken the train because it didn't stop at the station. It sure was good to see my brother Ryan's face, though, since it had been several weeks since I last saw him. He drove us up to San Francisco, through much freeway traffic. The drizzling weather didn't help the traffic, either. After circling the streets of San Francisco for awhile, we finally went back to the AMC parking structure.
Ang went ahead of us to get the tickets at will call (no forgetting tickets at home for us this time!), so Bro and I went looking for a restroom. We saw some guy slip on a piece of slippery pizza. Poor dude. The only restroom we found was in KFC, so we bought a bucket of chicken for people in line. I didn't have many takers for the chicken, though, so I ended up giving the rest to a woman who had been asking for $.
It sure was good to see MJ and Ross again! (We had met them last year in line at this same venue). I met their friends (whose names I've forgotten--sorry). They were about to experience Rockapella for the first time. Stood in line w/ Laura & Wendy, met Donna ( the Redding coordinator) & Stacey, who was all the way out here from NYC. We ended up sitting in the front on the left side w/Laura & Wendy. I was seated right next to the speaker, so my heart beat quite a lot during the show, especially w/ Barry's booming bass sound, and Jeff's awesome VP. Actually, my whole chair vibrated at times due to the rhythm section's sounds, which made the experience even more, um, interesting! ;)
The opening act, Talk of the Town, was just awesome! They were donning these red & black ensembles, and Bro was digging on their red socks. They kept talking about doing a full show in 20 minutes. Great medleys! They did this one bit where the leader let a little boy, Ben, conduct the rest of the guys. Cute.
Between acts, I went over to MJ & Ross' table, and met Paul, who has been a 'Pella fan for 4 years, but tonight was the 1st time seeing them live. How totally cool for him--he was sitting front row center.
Rockapella was way cool, and the crowd was awesome. "Pretty Woman" Nicole was obviously a long-time fan, which was cool, because she knew just what to do for her part of the choreography. You go, Ni-icole! Jeff let a little boy (Rob) get up on stage, so that he could dance during Jeff's solo. the solo went on forever for this, which was VERY cool. A very vocal woman in back of me kept yelling out, "Sing It!" Lady, what the heck do ya thing they're doing? During the encore without the mics, she said it again, and Scott's face was priceless. During their "Keep Smilin'" encore, the guys did one of the coolest things I've ever seen/heard: they made their own Vocal Percussion Drumline. Bro and I were very excited about this, as we are Drum and Bugle Corps fans.
Afterward, we talked to Fred: 'Pella's plane from Oregon was 2.5 hours late, which is why they were so late for their sound check. He said that they'd be doing a radio appearance at 7am in the morning, then would tape for TV on K-RON at 8am. He wasn't sure when the TV appearance would air, though. If you happened to see it, let us know how it went!
Ryan (aka Bro) took a picture of Ang & me w/ Rockapella. I told the guys that this was my brother, Ryan, and they all said, "Hi, Ryan!" They're too cool.
I talked to Elliott, who said that GAMH would be the perfect place to tape a TV concert because the hall is great, and the audience is the best. Phil kept trying to get the guys ready to go, which seemed frustrating to him. Ang talked to Scott about this site, which he said he'd check out. He hugged her goodbye! I then said bye to Scott, and he hugged me, too! WOW! I told him that I'd miss seeing them every other day, but knew that they had other, more important fans to tend to. He said, "Not more important." he shook Ryan's had & said, "Bye, Ryan!" I gave Barry a high-five, and we finally left the building.
Over at the parking structure, we couldn't get the parking payment machine to work. We didn't have so much of a wet drive back to San Jose.
The next morning, I listened to Rockapella's appearance on KZQZ (Z 95.7). The fans had demanded (via e-mail) to have them appear on The Woody Show. The DJ (I guess this would be Woody?) explained Rockapella's sound as "banging on different body parts." Jeff gave a little sample of his vocal percussion, and Barry gave a little sample of his bass sound. Scott (I think) explained that the rest of them just do the words. ;) They gave us a taste of "Tempted," "Doorman of My Heart," and their Folger's commercial. They said that they are working on a Christmas CD, which should be out this year. WOO HOO!!!
And now, as I type this, I'm reminded of the withdrawal I'm going through, not seeing Rockapella all the time anymore. Sigh.