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🫡 2024 March Madness Music Festival

Posted April 6, 2024

Not quite as good as my year, but still impressive:

  • Leon Bridges
  • Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
  • The Black Keys
  • Mumford & Sons

Nicely done, Phoenix…

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Fall Out Boy PYRO 🔥

Pic posted April 6, 2024

Not a great pic, but you get the idea

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Katt Williams and Club Shay Shay

Pic posted April 6, 2024

Watched the podcast and the live version on the same day

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The Black Keys – Ohio Players

Pic posted April 1, 2024

New album drops April 5 – will play the crib on November 10

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Snaptacular. 📱

Pic posted March 25, 2024

Wonder how much First Ave makes annually from Apple

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Link: Paranoid Android (Later Archive 1997)

Linked March 14, 2024

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Mike Campbell @ The Fitz

Pic posted March 8, 2024

Very sad I’m probably not going to this – we have a game that day and there are no good single seats up close (was spoiled by the Fine Line show)

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Richard Thompson PSA: Ship to Shore drops 5/31

Pic posted February 29, 2024

Still no Minnesota tour dates, but first song streaming now (Singapore Sadie)

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Air Supply @ Mystic Lake

Posted February 25, 2024

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The boys were back in town 🎶

Pic posted February 24, 2024

Russell and Graham still have it 💯

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Happy Valentine’s Day 2024 💜

Pic posted February 14, 2024

Too bad I missed out on the Target Center Prince era

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Brittany Howard What Now ✅

Pic posted February 13, 2024

Just finished listening to the new album – excited for SK to see her this weekend (HBD!)

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Dark Matter World Tour 2024

Pic posted February 13, 2024

Our names are in the hat for Fenway and Madison Square Garden 🫰

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🫡 Filling up my AWS server

Posted February 11, 2024

Started a project this weekend to move all of my posted concert videos from YouTube here (and close the YouTube channel). Decided to use the 720p versions, which seem to upscale nicely on most screens. Also installed a new plugin called HTML5 Video Player that is supposed to be responsive and customizable.

Server is now at 90.7% of 77.48GB – might have to bump that up soon, as I’d like to add more old videos from my local storage…

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In the honey time of youth, when the wind had sweet breath. When the rent was way down, I would haul for no man…

— Two Wheeler Four Wheeler

Quote posted February 4, 2024

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Matt Wilson and His Orchestra

Pic posted February 4, 2024

First time for us at the Sheldon Theatre – really nice spot

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Pre-show dinner @ King’s Place

Pic posted February 3, 2024

Glad we got in before the timer ran out

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Link: The Hives live on KEXP 🔥

Linked January 31, 2024

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Love this Richard Thompson tour artwork

Pic posted January 26, 2024

No Minnesota dates so far, but I’m ready for another show

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Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé ✅

Pic posted January 6, 2024

On the big screen @ AMC Inver Grove with CK

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The Cactus Blossoms @ Turf Club ✅

Pic posted January 1, 2024

New Year’s Day show (first of the January residency) with SK & MK. Opener Becky Kapell seemed to have a great time and I got to create another setlist from scratch…

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Willie Nelson 90 ✅

Pic posted December 27, 2023

Fun morning listening to the *53* songs on this tribute

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Nashville Anniversary Trip

Posted December 24, 2023

Realized recently that I need to do a better job of writing up vacation summaries so I have something to go back to in the future when people ask about places we’ve visited. I get so caught up in posting individual things when we are on the road that I know things have been lost. From now on, I’ll still do those posts while traveling, but make sure to write a longform story with a full photo gallery when we get back. Don’t have these for our last two Hawaii trips, but here’s one for our recent quick trip to Nashville…

As I mentioned in my Oak Ridge Boys @ Ryman post, I needed to find a small window in my work schedule to celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary. With a work concert scheduled on our actual anniversary (12/14), I decided to plan a two-day midweek trip just before that. I asked Colleen if she’d be OK with me surprising her on the destination and somehow we all managed to keep it a secret until she got to the gate.

We flew Delta early Tuesday morning, leaving MSP at 7:15am and arriving in Nashville at 9:35am (I kinda forgot both cities are in the same time zone). Picked up a Chevy something from the National Emerald Aisle and rolled into the Melrose location of Hattie B’s for some Nashville Hot chicken for lunch. Got there a little quicker than I expected, so we wandered the Publix grocery store across the street until the restaurant opened. It’s always fun to see what local items grocery stores carry in different parts of the country.

SK and I had tried the Hattie B’s at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas and I’m glad I picked this one to try in Nashville (Nashville Eater had a bunch of other options for Nashville Hot – Prince’s Hot Chicken and Bishop’s Meat & Three were also in my notes as possible stops). Colleen had the Southern “no heat” option, while I wimped out and tried the mild (which was Minnesota perfect). For sides, we shared the crinkle-cut fries, baked beans, creamy cole slaw and the Belgian waffles with honey butter. Would go back again in a heartbeat and based on the Tuesday lunch crowd, I’d say that’s a common opinion with the locals.

After Hattie’s, Colleen asked to go to Third Man Records, which I had totally blanked out as having a Nashville location (the other two are in Detroit and London). Turns out it was less than ten minutes away and we were browsing the small, but awesome store in no time.

In addition to the 1947 Voice-o-Graph recording booth made famous by the Neil Young album A Letter Home, this location also had a Mold-A-Rama machine “CURRENTLY OUTFITTED TO SCULPT A FIRE-ENGINE-RED MINIATURE MODEL OF JACK WHITE’S CLASSIC WHITE STRIPES-ERA AIRLINE GUITAR” and a performance space called the Blue Room Bar.

There wasn’t a ton of merchandise for sale, but there was a very high percentage of things I wanted to buy. Colleen made a record in the Voice-o-Graph, which pushed out a single side 45rpm platter, just as advertised. I restrained myself and only purchased a few stickers, but some of the clothes were very tempting. If Jack hadn’t made me so upset about his phone policy, I probably would’ve spent way more money there.

Next up, Colleen had a recommendation from a friend about the Johnny Cash Museum. It was also within 10 minutes of Third Man, so we parked in a lot nearby and were browsing the insightful displays early in the afternoon. Before this trip, I wasn’t super familiar with the layout of the popular downtown Broadway area, but this museum was just a block away from all of that (and also across the street from the main Goo Goo Cluster store, which we also visited).

The museum was well worth the $26 admission price for fans of the Man in Black and we both learned quite a few new things about him. It’s not a huge museum, but I think we spent about 90 minutes looking around (lots of pictures in the gallery below). The gift shop was a bit of a let down – don’t think either of us ended up buying anything.

We packed up and drove to our hotel to check-in and get ready for dinner. I had originally planned to book us at the Four Seasons Nashville, which was in development at the same time as the Four Seasons Minneapolis that I helped open. Instead, I got a reservation at the “Saint Paul Hotel of Nashville,” the Hermitage Hotel. Opened in 1910, this 5-star beauty is one block from the Tennessee state capitol and was home to the War of the Roses women’s suffrage movement.

We valeted the lovely white Chevy and went up to our very nice, historic room on the fourth floor (yes, we had room 420). Not much of a view, but the king-sized bed was very comfortable and there was an awesome chaise lounge at the foot of the bed that I loved. The fancy bathroom had a shower and large soaking tub, along with a TV built-in to the mirror (which was honestly kind of weird). We received turn down service, then headed to our dinner reservations at the hotel restaurant, Drusie & Darr by Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten (who also had a restaurant in Minneapolis at the Chambers Hotel from 2006-2009).

With our early 5:00pm reservation, we were the second table to be seated in the large, beautiful space. The host and our server were friendly and knowledgable. We ordered the burrata with cranberry compote as a starter, then had the simple prep salmon and cod with a side of mashed potatoes. The soy miso sauce served with my salmon was amazing. The little anniversary chocolate insert that they served with our dessert was a nice touch. The room had filled up by the time we left for the show (the bar was busy the entire time).

The Ryman was about a four block walk from the Hermitage, an easy ten minute hike in the relatively warm December evening. I already talked about the show itself in the other post, so I’ll just mention that the line to get in stretched all the way down the hill to Broadway, but moved quickly. After the show, we walked around the outside of building, but areas were blocked off by the tour busses. I had planned to have after-show drinks at the Nashville outpost of Attaboy, but we were tired and just walked back to the hotel and went to sleep.

My original plan was to sleep in on Wednesday, then hit Shotgun Willie’s BBQ for lunch before heading to the airport. Instead, I woke up early and took a solo walk around downtown, starting at the state capitol, then heading down to the Cumberland River and back up Broadway. Got pictures of city hall, the Cathedral of Seven Sorrows, Nissan Stadium (home of the Titans), the Hard Rock Cafe and the Nashville Apple Store, which is literally right next to the Ryman.

On my way back to the hotel, I stopped in at Rise Biscuits Donuts and picked up some breakfast sandwiches. Since we were still full at checkout, we decided to hit Shotgun Willie’s at the end of their hours (Wednesday through Sunday, 11am until 3pm or sold out) and go to the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere first.

Located about 20 minutes south of downtown, this zoo had some of the best interactive exhibits we’ve ever seen. Colleen got to feed and interact with a flamboyance of flamingos and we LOVED the Lorikeet Landing exhibit, where we made many new nectar-loving friends (including one guy who wanted to nest in my coat pocket). Other highlights included white rhinos, very active meerkats, a gibbon island and some cool saddle-billed storks.

Shotgun Willie’s was about 30 minutes away from the zoo in East Nashville (near Attaboy), but it also allowed us to drive by the Grand Ole Opry complex. Willie wasn’t kidding about the “or sold out” part of their hours, as we had a limited selection of what was left at 2pm. Colleen got the last of the chicken, while I tried the brisket. For sides, we had dill pickle potato salad, baked beans, cole slaw and Texas sheet cake. The staff here was amazing and they had a steady flow of people wanting to get the last bit of BBQ for the day.

It was a quick drive back to the airport and everything went smoothly from there (thanks, Delta!). Our plane back was an Airbus A220, which I don’t think I’d ever flown before. It was super nice and still had that new plane smell. Loved having the 2+3 configuration in the main cabin – Colleen and I had the A and B seats in our row and didn’t have to share with anyone else. A nice end to a nice trip…

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The Oak Ridge Boys @ Ryman ✅

Posted December 18, 2023

“See a show at the Ryman” has been on my bucket list for a long, long time. I’ve been subscribed to their marketing email list for a while and always marveled at the lineup of shows they get each year. Didn’t really know all of the Grand Ole Opry history in the building, as our family didn’t grow up watching Minnie Pearl and the gang, but a lot of my favorite current acts stop there regularly.

When I started planning a surprise anniversary trip for Colleen, I had a very small window due to my current work schedule. Took a quick look at the Ryman calendar and saw there was a two day window that included the Christmas show by The Oak Ridge Boys, a family favorite for Colleen growing up. Thanks to some very kind connections, I was able to buy two tickets on the main floor in the “golden circle,” up close and personal.

I’ll write more about the rest of the trip soon, but the concert experience was extraordinary. You could just feel the history ooze out of every corner of the venue. The sign listing artists that have played there is like the First Avenue stars on steroids. The acoustics were great and the guest service staff were friendly and knowledgeable. Very nice gift shop near the entrance, which used the latest Evolv screening gear to move people along quickly.

We’ve seen The Oak Ridge Boys a few times at Mystic Lake, but had never seen the Christmas show before. This story from The Tennessean (via MSN) says it’s the first time they have ever headlined the Ryman, which I find somewhat amazing. If you look closely at the crowd shot in that story, you can see both of us. Oddly enough, Setlist.fm didn’t even have a plug page for this show, so I created one (but don’t know what songs were played beyond Elvira, American Made and Blue Christmas).

They are billing this the “American Made Farewell Tour” celebrating 50+ years of touring. Joe Bonsall is the youngster at 75, but he needed to be assisted on and off stage and stayed seated on a stool for the whole show. Found out he had a pulmonary embolism in June 2022 that impacted his legs. Duane Allen and Richard Sterban (Mr. Baritone) are both 80 and the man with the amazing beard, William Lee Golden (pictured above), is 84. He actually shares a birthday with kid two, so he will be 85 next month.

Very fun show in a must-see venue for anyone who loves the history of live music…

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Nelly @ Target Center ✅

Pic posted December 14, 2023

Part of the My 00s Playlist Tour with Ja Rule, Ashanti and T.I.

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