Lacking a phone (battery died right after meeting up with people) and a camera (which wouldn't be good for recording list information, but pictures are always good) I don't have a full set list or, well, pictures; but here it goes anyways.
So when someone says "Cheap Trick" I think of only one title, "I Want You to Want Me". I am reluctantly aware that they also wrote the title song for Rock Band 2 ("Hello There"), but what I found out last night is they did other songs that I knew, I just didn't know they were by Cheap Trick: "Dream Police" (which I know but have no strong feelings for), "That '70s Song" (the opening credits song for "That '70s Show"), "Surrender" and "The Flame".
Their Guitarist, Robert Duvall... I mean Rick Nielsen (the joke is only funny if you click on the guitarist link first), has an impressive array of instruments, including this crazy five-necked guitar.
Robin Zander seems to have lost some of his high pitch abilities, but he still did pretty well, just had to drop an octave or two from some of the iconic high notes. Also, his cowboy hat made him look like a (particular) country singer (whose name I don't recall), per two of my companions who were discussing it.
They played two cover songs, which I can't even remember, and then a bunch of classics including, but not limited to, "Magic Man", "These Dreams", "Barracuda" and "Crazy on You". Except for the cover songs they only played songs I knew, and they still sounded like Heart, just live (right pitch always, but the occasional live performance vocal extension).
So a large number of people showed up between Cheap Trick and Heart, and an even larger number seemed to show up between Heart and Journey. When they came on stage the lawn seating was completely packed, and everyone was standing and cheering. By the time they finished the third variation on "Song No One Has Ever Heard" from the Who Gives a Crap? album there was a lot more seating available (and everyone sat back down during the first song). We were having a discussion about not recognizing any of the songs thus far, and a couple of people near us joined in, agreeing. So after the fourth "Hello Seattle!" (I joked they had to do it to keep us awake during the unrecognizable songs) they finally gave us "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" (yay), which had a standing, singing crowd. Then another unknown. We looked at the clock and enumerated their must-plays and decided that would be their last new song. Sure enough, the next two were "Open Arms" (which was a mistake, that's such a good closing song) and "Faithfully". Can you guess what came next? Yeah, you're right, their 5th WTF song. I think at this point was "Lights" (or I might have it swapped with "Separate Ways"). When random song #6 started we decided it was time to head for the exit, since it was close to 11 and surely they'd finish up then. We got halted by "Wheel in the Sky", hit the bathrooms during random #7 while muttering they never played "Any Way You Want It". It came on as I was walking out, but I decided I could just hear it while walking to the car (less good than still being centered with the stage, but still reasonable). Random #8, and then they closed with a song we had failed to enumerate: "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'".
So, Steve Perry quit the band in much the same way that Paul Allen quit Microsoft. The new new new guy, Arnel Pineda has a pretty good voice (not spot-on, but given Zander's decline even Steve Perry probably isn't exactly Steve Perry any more) and amazing stage presence.
White River Amphitheatre
Or rather: The Ordeal.
So, as I mentioned, when I left the house yesterday I had no specific knowledge of the concert that evening. One of the team leads and I had the tedious task of renaming everything divided between us and we were so busy resolving merge conflicts (glad I checked in my half first) that I even neglected to make it to Physical Therapy for my knee on time (glad they called instead of giving me a no-show fee). We decided there was 95% chance for each file we had to resolve that it would still compile afterwards, leaving approximately a 7.7% chance of aggregate success (number of manual resolved files left as an exercise to the reader; I will say it was slightly less than 1/3 of his total files open for edit). He had to leave right after checking in (it's amazing how often that happens, eh?) and I came back, got synced up and then started fixing all of the build breaks. What does this have to do with the concert? It meant that I left work at 4:45 to meet someone in Tukwila at 5:30. A.K.A. epic fail. I had made it as far as Renton and just called and said I was getting on WA-169 to take the "secret way" that doesn't involve as much construction and congestion. Time in traffic: 45 minutes. Distance traveled: 13 miles. This was followed by clear roads until I hit Maple Valley, which I'm going to just go ahead and call the worst place in Washington State (yeah, even worse than Spokane! Or Tacoma!). There are 4 traffic lights in a 4 block span, I think it took 20 minutes to clear them. Grr. So the next 33 miles (Renton to White River Amphitheatre) took 75 minutes, which I didn't expect on a largely 50MPH zone road. Grr.
So the traffic problems (traffic is the thing that makes me the most angry the fastest... if you know how well I deal with people I consider to be 'idiots' consider that that's my #2 problem) were calmed down by the middle of Cheap Trick's performance, and I was thinking that I could probably feel justified with the traffic for the event. I mean, it's Journey, right? (oh, and those other two bands)
As mentioned in the Journey section, I headed to the car during the penpenultimate song. Got to my car at around 11:10, made 3 car lengths of progress before I hit traffic. Concert finished at 11:18. Turned the engine off at 11:20. Turned it back on at 11:45 for 1 car length of progress, then back off a minute or so later when I realized that wasn't actually progress. At 12:25 I turned it back on and started moving; cleared the parking lot at 12:40, and then had clear roads all the way back home (thankfully).
The verdict? I'm never driving there again. The fact I was behind departure schedule originally meant I was in a car by myself. Having had someone to talk to would have been a big help; and on the way back, just sleeping might have been preferable (not sure how much of the drowsiness was "it's late" (since it wasn't) vs carbon monoxide). I might be convinced to go for a good enough performance (and since Styx and Boston both already played this summer (on the same night! sadness!) that won't be this year), but I won't drive.