Thursday, September 25, 2003

Ending the day on a high note 

Yesterday was a good day. Things kicked off with a drive to Huntsville for a half-day at Haven. I met with two potential buyers for the store, and I am hoping to have offers from each of them by Monday. I have no doubt that I'm going to get far less than I'd like, but I came to terms with that a while ago. At least it looks promising that the store may sell instead of having to close.

On the round trip to Huntsville and back, I listened to various R.E.M. bootlegs to get in the mood for the concert. I even managed to catch "Bad Day" on the radio three times while switching CDs. My spirits were high.

Misty and I gave ourselves plenty of time to get to the concert, but that effort was foiled when I realized 10 minutes down the road that I'd left the tickets at home. Ugh. First setback. When we made it to Oak Mountain State Park, we kept driving and driving, and couldn't find the amphitheatre. It was obvious we'd gone too far, so I stopped and asked a park employee. Turns out we'd passed it a while back. Ach! Second setback. Heading back the way we came, we found where we should have turned. To my surprise, we hadn't overlooked the signs — there were no signs. Despite the delays, though, we managed to make it before any of the music started.

Sparklehorse opened the show. I'd heard their music before, and as such, wasn't excited about seeing them. Their performance last night didn't improve my opinion. Every one of their songs was a nothing but a chorus. They'd sing a line or verse and just repeat it over and over throughout the song. Also on nearly every song, the singer used a taped-up mic to distort his voice. I don't know whether they thought this was their cute little trademark (it's not, every band does this) or whether it was just the best way to hide a lack of singing talent (he might have sounded great, but I had no way of knowing). The tunes were nice, but nothing too catchy.

When R.E.M. took the stage, it was immediately apparent that these guys are rock stars. Nevertheless, it's nice to see a band with such clout maintain a down-to-earth attitude. Having seen them in concert a few times before, I must admit some of the excitement has drained for me, but the show was still thoroughly enjoyable. The setlist alone made the night a memorable one. We got to hear plenty of the tunes we've loved over the years...

Begin the Begin
These Days
Driver 8
Drive
Animal
Fall on Me
I've Been High
Bad Day
Imitation of Life
The Great Beyond
Daysleeper
Don't Go Back to Rockville
Exhuming McCarthy
Losing My Religion
Rind the River
She Just Wants to Be
Walk Unafraid
Man on the Moon
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Everybody Hurts
Nightswimming
The Final Straw
The One I Love
Radio Free Europe
It's the End of the World as We Know It

Now, don't you wish you'd been there?