We heard the sound check! From outside the room where the show was (but inside of the whole building). They played I See the Light, Big Dipper (both of which Jess has a very cool dance to!), I'm a Little Rocket Ship, the first verse of Mr Wrong, and Joan Osborne's Sensitive About It. Jess not only wrote down the set list to the show, she did it to the sound check as well! How I wrote it isn't the order they played in though..
Anyways, I did get into the show, even though I was underage. I didn't have any problems. Jess, John, and I were first in line and we rushed to the front of the stage as quickly as possibly to get in the front row, but it turns out it was very unnecessary because the only place people were rushing to were the barstools. and I think we stunk or something cause it was a WHILE before anyone came to the front of the stage by us cracker2000s.
The opening band was really good, except I didn't love the singer's voice. But they had lots of energy etc etc. Let's get onto Cracker now.
They opened with Been Around the World. They played Dr Bernice, with Kenny kicking ass on accordion, as usual. Dave forgot the words to part of Dr. Bernice but I cannot remember which part it was. Johnny took out the acoustic guitar and played Trials and Tribulations. They also played I Want Everything, aside from their pretty normal songs played. The crowd was very rude during I Want Everything, and after Dr Bernice, which bothered me cause that's just like the best song. It seemed like their set was really short, they only played 18 or so songs I think, but Jess will have to clarify that part cause I didn't write it down. Get this people, Dave broke NO strings. not even on Low. We were amazed. I went with he was gonna break 2, Jess was 3, John was 1. We were all wrong. However, I was right in that they opened with Been Around the World (which was pretty predictable but hey that's ok!).
Well first of all, their tour manager threw Frank's drumsticks from the sound check out to me and John! Take that mark!! :) We hung around for a while after the show, and the place had pretty much cleared up. Then the tour manager went into the guys' dressing room to see if they minded Jess, John, me and John's friend to come backstage to have 'em sign a few things. And they didn't. So we went! It was very cool! They were all just back there talking, smoking cigars, etc. I got Johnny's pick, which he initialed for me. They told us a cool story, and they all signed some of our stuff. I still needed Johnny and David to sign my Golden Age pack of cards and John had them sign his Eurotrash Girl single and it was funny, Johnny said how he loves signing stuff that he doesn't even have! I requested that they play Sweethearts sometime in the near future, and Johnny said that that's the third request for that song within the past three shows, so they might play that soon! He also said they may start playing Happy Birthday to Me again, with Kenny on accordion. That oughta sound neat.
On the way back home, I think that all the band members were in the van, but they passed us and saw Jess' license plate.... and they honked at us and Frank rolled down the window and waived to us! That was pretty damn cool!
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We got there nice & early (5pm), and there was of course nothing to do. So, we walked around the block and hung around outside awhile. Well, until a homeless veteran attempted to convince us that we should give him our spare change convinced us that we should stay inside.
Oh, while we were standing around inside waiting to get in, Bob walked by us, and then this one girl with big hair ran over to the three of us and in a really excited voice she informed us: THATS THE BASS PLAYER!!! We nodded in confirmation and smiled .. Yup, that's Bob Rupe.
Ken finally arrived, and I was able to sneak him past the line of people waiting to get in. We had to ride the elevator though. It might have been faster to scale the building and enter from the roof. (That has to be the slowest elevator I've ever ridden in -- and it was only three stories! .. and the only way to get the gear into the show).
Jill forgot to mention the free t-shirts we got for being among the first 96 people at the show (it was WROV 96.3). The back of the shirts say "spank me". This is the station that hosted Quiet Riot last week. Um, they also host monster truck shows. (Hey! I saw Quiet Riot in their hey day!) (and I have been to a monster truck show, but I won the tickets, I didn't pay for them!)
The acoustics of that place were pretty bad. Had they turned up the bass just a bit more they could have leveled the building. It was pretty good close to the stage (louder than normal I think, but that might have been speaker arrangement).
The opening act, Hotplate was pretty good. They need to learn how to use sound a little better though, well, at least the lead singer. I couldn't understand a single word he said all night - but they were good. Jill and I got their cd handed to us by the drummer as they left the stage. We later got on the mailing list, and got the cds signed by the singer. He promised us he'd get a couple other members to sign the cd, but he couldn't find them.
Ken saw Hotplate a couple of weeks ago, opening for 7 Mary 3 (I think). He said they were pretty bad, but their drummer had a broken finger that night. It was of course much better last night. They also had a great bass player who obviously worships Les Claypool (of Primus), which I didn't mind at all.
Then they started setting up the stage for Cracker - that's when Jill and I got our sound check drum sticks. Cracker finally hit the stage and it was great - they had a ton of energy going into their first 6 or so songs. (I'm waiting on Jess to post the set list too.) This may just be me, but they didn't seem to connect with the audience all that well, and maybe that's why they didn't play as long as they do sometimes. There must not have been enough cracker2000 fans at the show.
They did play Mr. Wrong, but Johnny didn't show us his tattoo. : ( The crowd pretty much contained themselves during Low too. I did see a mosh pit open up several feet behind us though.
Afterwards, we hung around and did get backstage to meet all five of them. I got to see the world's most expensive copy of Bob's Car .. Jess had each and every one sign her copy. I got my drum stick signed, and my Eurotrash Girl single signed. (I hate having my favorite Cracker song be so popular.)
I got to shake David & Johnny's hand (hey, it was my first time! and I've been listening to David since '88). I even got to light Frank's cigar. Oh, and Bob was right, the Hotplate cd cover doesn't look any better in daylight.
They mentioned that had a bad experience with some stalker like fans that night too, but fortunately it wasn't the four of us.
As we were leaving Jess and I had to say something like we'll see you next week, too.
All in all, this was my best show (of 6) ever, getting backstage to meet all of them has a whole lot to do with it too. : )
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Sound check set list:
from when we got there... we may have missed a song or 2...
1.Big Dipper 2.I See the Light 3.I'm a Little Rocketship 4.Sensitive About It (David on vocals) 5.Mr. Wrong (partial)in between they did partial instrumentals that were not quite identifiable... possibly Eurotrash Girl for a few bars... and a CC song?? Just a wild guess from the picking pattern... anyway that was cool. From where we stood it sounded like a bootleg of a show.
and the Set list for the show:
1.Been Around the World 2.7 Days 3.Eurotrash Girl 4.I See the Light 5.Teen Angst 6.Trials and Tribulations 7.Pictures of Matchstick Men 8.100 Flower Power Maximum 9.Dr. Bernice 10.Lonesome Johnny Blues 11.Sweet Thistle Pie 12.Get Off This (miss fire) 13.Get Off This 14.Mr. Wrong 15.I Want Everything 16.Low *encore* 17.The World Is Mine 18.St. CajetanOK now from the start....
As we were driving into "downtown Roanoke" we spotted the road to turn onto to circle back around to the club. In the CD player was a wonderful CD Will J. made me of various B-Sides and rarities. As we pulled up to the light I noticed some movement to my right on the sidewalk (the ONLY movement I must add, Roanoke is a strange, strange town!) and turned to recognize David. I nudged Jill for her to look and she does (and cranks up the music and lets the window down a tad to let "Bad Vibes Everybody" waft out into the deathly silence of downtown Roanoke (OK so I'm exaggerating a little bit, but only a little bit). =) Anyway so when we get onto the street the club's on I ask Jill to help me look for a place to park but she's still looking for David so we have to circle again (see we needed Mark the navigator! ;-P) and when we circled again we noticed a parking deck...
After parking we met up w/John and checked out the place. Strange setup. I mean that terrible slow elevator was a killer for getting the bands' equipment up to the stage, AND who ever heard of having a bar on the 3rd floor and the only bathrooms on the 2nd floor and require elevator access to them? anyway, as has been covered before. Jill made a fool out herself early on and I had to pick at it since she was being so mean to me =).
And then we took a walk and got hassled by the homeless guy (best dressed homeless veteran I've ever seen, his jean jacket was nicer than mine...) so I felt right at home... then we went up when we though we heard the sound check going on and it looked like some other folks were going in (cause Jill had to be first so she could get in w/o being 18) when we got there they were doing the sound check. It was really strange how there were no posters saying Cracker tonight or tickets on sale at 8 or doors at 8 or anything. Just nothing at all. So we stood around w/ this nice seeming guy who ended up also being on 1st or 2nd row at the show (right?) had fun joking on the "groupie whores" who didn't seem to know the words to all the Cracker songs even (I had the privilege of being next to them during the show... but their manner got them an all access pass from one of the security guys).
Anyway... so the sound check was neat. Had a great time chatting Cracker w/ John and Jill... building was literally shaking w/ the bass. It was fun to see the people continuously going in cause they thought the show had started and then see them get escorted out... also nice was seeing Jill fumble w/ the balloons and trip on the strings when Kenny walked by. ;-P
Finally it was time for doors, Jill got in no problem and we went in and rushed to get our spots on the front row. The stage was set up with amp(?) cases as barriers across the front and then a series of steps rose up and back to the main stage which put the front row a good 10 - 15 feet from the band. In a way it was neat though cause you could see them all at once pretty much and David always stares pretty much straight ahead at the shows and our location put the front row almost at eye level w/ him. So we started to get situated and noticed David and Johnny sitting at the bar giving an interview to 2 women with a camera and microphone. (anyone on the list from Roanoke? Did it appear on TV?) then a guy told us they let us in too early and we had to leave. SO we went back out and wait 30 more minutes. then we were let in and rushed back to our places.
As has already been said, most everyone rushed for the bar and no one except us and about 4 other folks came NEAR the stage till almost time for the opening band. Opening band Hotplate came out. They were interesting/tight instrumentally but not my cup of tea. They were pleasant though, (I mean I've been to shows where I couldn't wait for the opening band to go off). These guys had lots of showmanship and energy and as John said, bore an extreme resemblance to Primus... though I'm not sure if Primus does ska/reggae stuff too... ? They went off. By that time the place was packed. It was the biggest venue I've been to without seats... SO I suppose that was great.
Cracker came on and played very well. I thought the sound was pretty good, especially after the fears that arose during the sound check listen... David did mess up the lyrics about 3 times on Dr. Bernice, but hey, I certainly don't mind since I do it a lot too... those "the wind may" parts get me every time! =) Gives it some character I say! ;-) It is so COOL how they've arranged the "hot desert night" bridge with the accordion and all and the stops after each beat. What was rude was that after Dr. Bernice a guy behind and to the left of me yelled out "You guys suck!" Believe me it wouldn't have been pretty what I'd have said to that guy if I'd been standing next to him. I Want Everything was a highlight... Very beautiful. The crowd talked through the whole thing. Otherwise they simply rocked....
Oh, and no flash photos were allowed and I couldn't figure out how to set my little disposable camera to no flash so I waited until the 2 bouncer guys both rushed into the crowd to nab cameras from people taking pics to get 1 shot of David/Kenny/possibly Frank and 1 shot of Johnny/Kenny. We'll see how they turn out. I can totally understand the guys not wanting tons of flashes blinding them)
Hmmm what else... I See the Light was also very cool... Couldn't do my I See the Light Dance as the bodies were packed too tightly and it calls for some leeway to the left and right, but there was plenty of room for the Low dance... =) After the show the mean bouncer guy gave me Johnny's pick, so I suppose he was not so mean...
Oh, and I have to just say that Woody rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After we stood around a good long while Woody was really nice to ask us if we were ok etc. and was kind enough to get us "in". I suppose telling the guys we weren't the crazy stalker guy... Have to say I was really afraid to go back there (anyone who's met me at the shows knows I'm like totally shy) so I shoved Jill in front of me who shoved John in front of her... =) And we went in to see the guys just hanging out and being normal guys. Luckily the "Bob incident" seemed to be forgotten. ;-P They were all really nice. I was too afraid to talk, so I can't say what I said... except that Frank asked me "What were you writing" so I said the set list for the review to put up on the internet, and he asked if I had a web page, and I said yes, he said he couldn't find it on Yahoo, I had to say Yahoo wouldn't put up my site so I kindly directed him to the UBL. He also asked if the e-mail list was on One List and we said yes... Oh and they told us this interesting story about how they were Good Samaritans one night. They saw 2 drunk guys slip a girl a ruffie and carry her out to the van and they intervened till the cops got there so the guys wouldn't drive away. (This story was sparked by Bob noticing a guy carrying a girl over his shoulder on the street below...) Anyway, it was very cool and nice, I was a bit embarrassed that I couldn't really speak... But I suppose absence of speech it better than mindless babble... Told the guys the show was great and we'd see them next week... and we left.
It was so strange that as we left we popped in the Fillmore CD and Jill and I just kinda gushed about the coolness of the show etc. to each other and then right after we got onto 460 a car pulled up beside us and honked and I turned my head to see Frank roll down the window and wave. We waved back and they passed on by. I knew that extra 10 bucks was worth it for the personalized license plate. Don't know if they recognized we were the same ones who were w/ them backstage or not, but all in all it was cool anyway. and yes, My Bob's Car CD cover is now signed by all current members of Cracker!
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