Rumblings, Ruminations, and Retrospectives

Musings from the mind of the Beast.

By

Look At All The People Here Tonight!

Well, in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you couldn’t have possibly missed what happened just a few days ago.

Rock legends VAN HALEN released their first studio album since Van Halen III in 1998 and their first album with iconic frontman David Lee Roth since 1984. “A Different Kind Of Truth” dropped onto store shelves and into the waiting hands of legions of fans who have been waiting with baited breath for well over a decade  for a new album by arguably the biggest rock band that’s ever walked this planet.

Today’s Van Halen looks a lot different than the last version of Van Halen yet the band returns to it’s rock roots, as Edward Van Halen (guitar) and his brother Alex Van Halen (drums) reunite with the band’s original lead singer David Lee Roth, and the trio also gets an injection of youth as Eddie’s son Wolfgang Van Halen (bass) plays on his first studio album (although he has previously toured with the band).

“A Different Kind Of Truth” is the band’s 12th studio album, and as 3/4 of the band approach their mid-to-late fifties, the album is filled with music that sounds like it was made when they were in their 20’s. Six of the album’s 13 tracks are reworked songs from the band’s early years, while the other seven are brand new songs.

This post is an introduction; over the next 13 days, I’ll be reviewing every single one of the tracks from the new album, one every day until I’ve covered them all. Check back every day to see what I think of each new track, and on Day 14 I’ll wrap things up.

Run out and grab “A Different Kind Of Truth” right now and follow along!

By

Let Me Hear You Scream

Alternately: A date with Ozzy Osbourne

I’ve been on a pretty good streak the last couple weeks. On the 13th, I got a phone call to tell me that I’d won a draw to be one of the first 25 in line to see The Dog Whisperer himself, Cesar Millan, in a meet in greet on the 15th. On the 14th, it was Cesar’s seminar (more on that coming up), and on the 15th, Stephanie and I got to meet him!

Then on the 17th, I got an email from the folks at LiveNation, informing me that I’d won a pair of tickets to see none other than the Prince of F**king Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne on the 20th! The seats turned out to be awesome – row 10, in the first available section to the left of the stage. What a view!

The show opened with a montage video of Ozzy replacing several popular characters in film and television. Ozzy “took over” the roles of the lead character in Avatar, Jersey Shore, Iron Man (him taking off the Iron Man mask and proclaiming “I AM IRON MAN!” was CLASSIC), among others, including the wildly popular Twilight series.

The line of the night came from a scene in one of the Twilight movies where a female character (I haven’t seen the films or read the books) tells Ozzy’s rendition of the main character “You’re a vampire!”, to which Ozzy responds “A vampire? Vampires are pussies. I’m the Prince of Fucking Darkness!”

I’m not the hugest Ozzy fan, though he’s brought us some classic tunes that I really enjoy. I found a whole new respect for him when him and his family appeared on “The Osbournes”, where we got an inside look into his life and career. He’s gone through an awful lot, and seeing him overcome a lot of it is nothing short of awesome.

Back to the concert; I have to be honest. Ozzy is 61 years old. He’s not a spring chicken any more. He can’t move the way he used to. Actually, he’s been reduced to a pretty fast shuffle back and forth across the stage. He needs a teleprompter to make sure he doesn’t forget the lyrics. He can’t hit every note he used to.

But you know, it doesn’t really matter.

Ozzy has a new, young band behind him, and WOW, these guys are AWESOME. I wasn’t thrilled with the bass guitar players’ sound, but the guy can go. The drummer hits like a freaking monster. The guitar player? WHOA. The guy RIPS it up. I thought that during his extended solo, he’s maybe not as naturally musically inclined as other master guitar players, but there’s absolutely no doubt that when this guy straps on that guitar, he gets down to BUSINESS, business is all about rocking as hard as he possibly can. The guy can PLAY.

Ozzy and Co. SCORCHED through two and a half hours of great music, featuring classics from his time with Black Sabbath and his own solo career, as well as material from his latest album, including the smash single “Let Me Hear You Scream” (which, coincidentally, is the title of this blog post. See what I did there?).

The set included songs such as “Iron Man”, “Mama, I’m Coming Home”, “Crazy Train”, “Fairies Wear Boots”, “Mr. Crowley”, “Bark At The Moon”, “No More Tears”, “I Don’t Want to Change the World”, “Fire In The Sky”, “Shot In The Dark”, “Suicide Solution”, among others.

As per usual at a rock concert these days, the band was loud, there was a bunch of pyro explosions, and one of the cool things was that Ozzy had this giant hose next to him on stage, and every once in a while, he’d pick this hose up and unleash this MASSIVE torrent of foam all over the crowd (and the security guards in front of him!), quite often deliberately spraying himself as well. It was hilarious to see that every time Ozzy used the foam, a crew member would come roaring out from off-stage with a squeegee to wipe down the teleprompter so Ozzy could see the upcoming lyrics!

Here’s some pics shamelessly plucked from the web to better illustrate this, cause words just can’t do it justice:

Pretty awesome!

Throw in a sold out crowd and the prerequisite hot drunk chicks next to us, and this was a pretty fun event. Thanks to LiveNation and Twitter for the free tix! We’d seen Ozzy before when he was here at the old Winnipeg Arena, but we were waaaaaay at the back, and the experience wasn’t nearly as awesome as this one was.

Thanks Ozzy and gang for a great show!

By

A Message to Team Fantini

Or as Steph calls it: Team Awesome, lol.

Time to begin the journey, folks. It’s gonna be rough. There’s going to be times where we might all just want to say “fuck it” and pack it in. It’s gonna be hard.

But we’re in good hands with Jason. The guy sounds like he really knows his shit. If we just follow what he tells us, and we work hard, it’s going to be awesome, indeed!

For those times where you DO just want to say “fuck it”, keep in mind the video below.

We can do it!

By

Vegas: Day 2

So, how do we follow up the extra-spectacular eye-candy that was KA the night before?

You don’t, really.

TOMORROW IS A NEW DAY!

We open up Day 2 with brunch. Specifically, the MGM Grand buffet (on this blog, pronounced “boo-fay”, in honor of Phoebe on the “Friends” TV show). We’ve been told by everyone – “You have to check out the buffets!”, so here we are. And, let me tell you, Mister (or whatever title you prefer)… WHAT A SPREAD.

There’s like a dozen rows of glass stations, all filled with food. They had breakfast AND lunch, so we had EVERYTHING. Bacon, eggs, sausages, 4 different kinds of breakfast potatoes, fruit, quiches, pancakes, waffles, omelet stations, and more. For lunch, there was chicken tenders, sushi, salads, a full taco bar, a Chinese food station, a full Italian station (all kinds of pastas), and plenty more. Not to mention the desert bar, which had multiple kinds of cakes, crème-brulee, and ice cream with chocolate, strawberry, sprinkles, nuts, and my favorite, tiny M&M candies for toppers.

Everything was absolutely awesome. Well, except for the sushi. Steph ate it, but I refuse to eat sushi just on the principle of it. So, it sucked. It was a little expensive -  around $55 for the both of us – but it was very high-quality, and I’d do it again. Especially for the ice cream with the mini-M&M’s on top!

So, we finish up, loosen the belt a couple notches, and waddle our way over to the MGM Grand Lion Habitat. This is so cool. They have two adult, female lions in the habitat, which itself is an enclosed, somewhat large area, with toys for them to play with, a small area for water (a waterfall), and an upper area that they climb on – which doubles as an underneath viewing area for patrons; there’s a tunnel you can walk into that’s directly underneath where the lions climb and sleep, so you get a VERY close view of these giant cats. These lions are actually maintained by a gentleman that lives just outside Vegas. He maintains a lion sanctuary, and the lions inside the MGM habitat are actually swapped out every 6 or 7 hours, so they’re not spending all their time in captivity. Very cool. We snapped a whole bunch of pictures here, and then one of the best things of the whole trip happened next.

Not only are there two big lions to look at, there’s also a few month old cub! And not only is the cub there, but you CAN TAKE YOUR PICTURE WITH IT!

So Steph and I got in line, waited about 30 minutes, and then there we were, standing in a room behind this absolutely CUTE little lion cub – Steve Irwin would call her a “good lookin’ little Sheila!” She was on a table facing away from us (her name is Pebbles), and we got to pet her back while the handler got her psyched up with toys to look into the camera. We got a perfect shot, and an 8×10 to bring home with us.

Steve-o  would also have summed it up best: “WHOO-HOO!”

So, after getting our picture and purchasing a few things from the Lion Habitat store, we head over to kill a few minutes on the slot machines, before deciding we’ve been inside the hotel for too long. We head outside, and walk around the corner, where we’re in full view of the Strip. We get pictures of the MGM Grand statues outside, New York New York across the street, featuring the roller coaster on top of the hotel, the miniature Brooklyn bridge and the smaller-scale replica of the Statue of Liberty. We can also see Excalibur, the Hooters Hotel (should have stayed there!), and other places. It’s awesome outside, about +10 degrees.

Well, just about awesome. Stephanie all of a sudden stops dead in her tracks, and punches me in the shoulder.

“Jarret! MY BAG!”

“What?”

“My bag! With our stuff from the Lion Habitat! It’s still in the casino!”

We left it at the damned slot machines.

Steph turns and BOLTS back for the door, and I follow her back. When I get to the casino, she’s long gone, but I go back to our slot machine, and of course, the bag is gone.

Well, kiss that $100 goodbye.

I hang back near the open area that leads to the doors, ensuring that Steph can find me on her way back, and then moments later, I see her ZOOMING across the casino floor in the opposite direction. Aaaaaaaand, she disappears.

So I wait for a little longer, maybe another 5 minutes, and then she comes roaring back towards me, skipping, if you will, and she’s holding her bag in the air like an Olympic torch bearer. Either a patron, or an employee, or Security found the bad and turned it in. Thank you whoever you are! Steph couldn’t be happier. Pebbles is safe and sound!

From there, we decide to hit the Stratosphere. So, we manage to almost walk around the entire MGM Grand (or at least that’s what my back told me) and we get to the monorail area, buy a 3 day pass, and jump on board. It’s quite a fun ride, heading from the MGM Grand and then back north, passing hotels like Bally’s, Wynn, the new Planet Hollywood, and the Hilton Las Vegas, before arriving across the street from the Sahara. We jump in a cab and head over to the Stratosphere, and DAMN that thing is huge. A big tower, over 1000 feet straight up. We go through the casino and walk around the place, seeing all the shops, and two of the most aggressive cell phone accessories salesmen I’ve ever met.

It’s too early to go up to the observation deck, so we decide to head to this show called American Superstars, a show with several musical celebrity impersonators. Or, tribute artists, as they prefer to be called. It starts in like 5 minutes, so, we hurry and purchase our tickets (close to the stage), and head into the venue, only to find people still setting up for the show. A lady informs us we’re rather early, and I check my watch, which is somehow displaying the second time zone, and we’re 90 minutes early.

Question #1: How did my watch flip over to the other time zone?

Question #2: Since when does a time zone contain half an hour anywhere else than in Newfoundland? Certainly not in the middle of the continent?

So while we’re busy trying to solve these mysteries, we decide we need a bite to eat, and head over to a nearby pretzel place. I have the world’s greasiest pretzel dog, and we head back to the show. This time, we’re seated, and I need to go to a sidebar here.

When we bought our tickets, we were looking at places close to the stage, and they had some nice looking booths there. Now, me and booths normally don’t get along. And really, it’s not the booth’s fault. It’s the fact that my ass is the size of nine normal human asses. So I ask the guy: “Are the booths BIG? I’m a big guy, so I need to be able to get in there.”

The guy sizes me up, and says no problem. So we buy the booth.

Now, we’re getting seated, and this lovely lady shows us to our booth, which I immediately ascertain can only fit three human asses, not nine, so I tell her this, and she moves us to a table right in front of the stage. Awesome.

Then, we see an ad on the big screen, where if you bought tickets to the show, you can add on admittance to the Stratosphere tower for only $5. That ALSO includes a boo-fay. Don’t need the boo-fay, but if we were to buy tickets to the tower separately, it would cost $15 each. Thanks for telling us at the ticket booth!

So Steph – who doesn’t mind paying for things, but absolutely HATES getting ripped off on anything, boogies her way out to the front, and comes back with new show tickets with the admission to the tower tagged on. You go, girl!

The show is about to start. First dude up is Elvis. Or, a dude playing Elvis. Or, as they prefer, a dude paying tribute to Elvis. Whatever the hell they call it, this guy is MONEY. He’s like Elvis reincarnated. He’s singing about Blue Suede Shoes, and how he’s a hunk-a-hunk-a-burnin’ love, and he’s shaking everything and sweating his ass off, and he’s NAILING this performance. Later on, he tells us that a couple years ago, he went to Graceland, and they had an Elvis impersonator competition, and out of over 300 Elvis’s (Elvii??)… he WON. Holy shit. But yeah, he’s THAT good, and we have a blast.

The next dude did a Tim McGraw impersonation, but his singing was mediocre, and he acted way too cocky to be like Tim McGraw. Up next, a Britney impersonator, and while I don’t really like her music, at least this woman was easy on the eyes – and the outfits certainly didn’t hurt her situation. She even said during her show, that we “don’t need to be a Britney fan to be MY fan!”, and I’m instantly convinced.

“Britney” finishes her set, and next, we’re introduced to Carrie Underwood, and this girl doesn’t really look like Carrie at all. She’s very pretty, and the headlights were on ultra high beams, if you’re pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down, and she was a decent enough singer, but NOT Carrie Underwood. And she doesn’t even sing any of Carrie’s popular songs. Pass.

But next, we’re promised, the man, the myth, the legend, the King of Pop.. MICHAEL JACKSON! And HOLY CRAP does this guy ever LOOK like Michael! His voice is a little off, but let’s face it, only Michael could ever sound like Michael, so no problem there. This guy ROCKETS through all of MJ’s biggest hits, and moonwalks his ass across the stage just like MJ himself. He looks, dances, dresses, acts, talks, and I’m sure sneezes, eats, and shits just like Michael too. WOW.

Shane Parsons, if you’re reading this, you NEED to go see this show if you can!

*crotch grab* HEE-HEE!

From there, we’re off to the Stratosphere tower. The observation deck is 900 feet in the air. 108 floors up. The elevator goes up at a rate of three floors per second. That’s a 36 second trip.

I can’t get taken up *5* floors at my office in 36 seconds.

We arrive at the 108th floor. I tell you, you haven’t seen Vegas until you’ve seen it at night, and from almost 900 feet in the air. You can walk all the way around the tower, seeing an amazing night-time view of Las Vegas, all lit up. You can see the *whole* city, and seeing the whole thing lit up is VERY cool. Words can’t do it justice, so when I post the pictures, you’ll have to go check. We walk all the way around the tower, and once we’ve had our fill of the view, we head back to the elevator, where the same elevator dude that brought us up asks us if we want to go OUTSIDE.

Excuse me?

The 10*9*th floor is an OUTDOOR observation deck, about 1/3rd of the way around the tower. So we go. Sweet mercy. Seeing straight down at that height, with the wind blowing in your face, and all the lights… wow. What a view.

But not only is there an amazing view at 900 feet in the air.

They have RIDES.

“What kind of rides could they possibly have at 900 feet in the air?”, you might ask?

I will tell you. They have THREE.

  • The Big Shot: Think of the Drop of Doom at 900 feet in the air. In REVERSE. You strap in, and the ride shoots you straight UP 160 feet at 45 MPH, pushing over 4 G’s. That’s nuts. You’re over 1000 feet in the air with your brains in your feet and your stomach in your throat.
  • X-Scream: Basically, a giant teeter-totter that’s pitched over the side of the tower off the observation deck. You sit in this rail car, and PLUMMET down the track towards the city streets, before the thing HAMMERS on the brakes right at the end. WHOA.
  • Insanity: Ok. If the Big Shot is nuts, this ride is f’n crazy. You strap into a chair with a group of other people. There’s four mechanical arms to this thing, and you’re lifted out OVER the city at 900 feet in the air. Picture your hand, bent down at the wrist so your fingers are pointing towards the floor. The ends of your fingers are the chairs in which people sit. Then picture your hand opening up and extending, so that your fingers are straight out. You’re in that chair at 900 feet, looking STRAIGHT DOWN. THEN… the whole thing starts spinning around in circles at a high rate of speed. HOLY SHIT!

Ok. You back with me yet? I hope you haven’t puked all over the place or passed out in fear. You sure you’re ok? Alright. Let’s continue.

One of the things I wanted to do was play some cards. Not content to just want to pour dollar after dollar into the slots, I wanted to sit down and play some real games. So, we went downstairs in the Stratosphere casino, and grabbed $100. I immediately gave $50 to Steph for safekeeping (come on, it’s habit by now) and I sit down at $5 minimum table.

Ok. There’s one thing I have to explain here, which might contribute to my lack of decision-making ability that I will soon describe.

The dealers at Stratosphere are all extremely good-looking women.

Extremely good-looking women with tiny, tight jean shorts.

Extremely good-looking women with tiny, tight jean shorts and – how do I put this somewhat PC – great boobs.

Extremely good-looking women with tiny, tight jean shorts, great boobs, and shirts open to the waist.

ARE YOU GETTING THIS YET?

So I sit down with my $50 and start playing. I haven’t played real Blackjack for at least a couple years, so I’m rusty, and I let them know this. The girls were very nice, taking the time to give me the odds of winning certain hands, providing advice on what to do with certain cards, letting me know when to split or try and double up, all the good stuff.

Shortly, I’m up $70, sitting with $120. I should really get up and leave. But I can’t. There’s some kind of… super magnetic force that’s got me pinned to the table. I look up, and see what they are-I mean, what it is.

An hour later, my $120 is gone.

But it was FUN.

We cash out our remaining $50 and decide that it’s late, so we jump a cab back to the Sahara, and ride the monorail back to the MGM Grand. Another successful night!

Next: Vegas: Day 3

By

‘No Doubt’ about it…

… last night’s concert was an amazing show. Featuring warm up act Bedouin Soundclash, special guests Paramore, and headliners No Doubt, the concert brought the wide range of aural assault.

While the concert itself was fantastic, there were also some lessons to be learned about the whole experience. On with the explanation / show review…

Lesson #1: Come Prepared

Stephanie signed up with the No Doubt Fan Club to get special floor tickets that allowed us entry to the venue before the general public. Sweet! We got ready; I brought a t-shirt and shorts to work so I could change after work and be ready for the throng of people. We both brought only the essentials: bank card/cash, identification, ticket order form. Excess keys, purse, etc are all left in the car. You can’t be weighed down when you’re in a pit.

But as well as you prepare, sometimes it just all goes wrong and falls to shit.

After work, we realize we forgot the camera in the car, so Steph heads off to get it while I head over to Moxie’s to meet our friend Angie and not keep her waiting too long. As I get there and she asks where Steph is, Angie fills me in on these huge signs on the MTS Center doors that say ‘absolutely no recording devices’. So I call Steph and tell her to leave the camera in the car. There’s a wasted trip.

Steph shows up at Moxie’s, and we all have a drink and share a spectacular plate of double-cheese nachos. The doors are apparently going to open for the fan club at 6 PM, so about 5:30-ish we head out to the arena and get in line. Not too many people ahead of us, so we’re all good. We’re pretty much guaranteed guard rail, which is essential if you’re going to be on the floor.

It’s at this point Steph realizes she’s left her ID in the car, so just minutes away from getting in, she has to run BACK to the parking garage, a trip that’s going to take her at least 15 minutes. So I wait in line, striking up a conversation with this guy and his girlfriend (who were really nice) as she and Angie make the trek, and then hilarity ensues. They get to the door of the second level of the parkade – which is locked – and Steph realizes the key is in the car, where we left everything else. So, it’s off to find a security guard to open the door.

Meanwhile, I can’t get the tickets, since Steph used her name to order them, so I wait as the entire fan club line passes me to get into the arena. That’s it. We’re screwed. We’re going to be stuck in the middle of the pack of people, and we’re going to get crushed. Both Angie and I have bad backs, and Stephanie’s going through a knee injury. Cue up: horrible concert experience.

Finally, the girls return, and we make our way into the arena. Stupid arena person writes ALL over my COMMEMORATIVE fan club ticket, and I look out onto the floor. There’s all kinds of room at the stage! We head up to the guardrail, just right of center, and we’re beside the guy and his girlfriend that I met in line. CRISIS AVERTED!

Lesson #2: Stay Strong. Hold your ground.

Through the magic of insane MTS Center security policy, we’re not actually allowed to stand against the guardrail until the bands come on the stage. Something about they don’t want us getting squished. Do they really think an extra hour is going to kill us, considering what’s about to happen when the bands come on stage?

Anyway, Stephanie, Angie, myself, and “dude and his girlfriend” (heretofore indicated by “dude” or “DAHG”) strike up a conversation with the security guards.

Jarret’s Concert-Going Tip #1: Make nice with the security personnel. You never know when you’re going to need them, and also, they may just turn an eye aside when you want to use your camera, or beat up the stiff behind you.

That’s blatant foreshadowing, people. Stay tuned.

So anyway, we’re seated on the freezing concrete floor, as it’s an hour and a half until show time, and then all the people start streaming in. Up to our feet we go to protect our spots, and it’s still just under 90 minutes until the show starts. Mine and Angie’s backs curse at us, and the wait begins as we talk to the security guy about what it’s like for him at concerts, about different acts he’s met, what are some of the people he’s met like, we all talk about our different musical tastes, etc. Really nice guy.

Then, we’re minutes away from show time. The crowd’s getting fired up. The energy’s building. We all go lean against the guard rail even though we’re not supposed to, and my back promises me to buy me a Coke when the show is over. Some random woman (further noted as ‘SRM’) comes up with her little kid, maybe 5, and taps me on the shoulder. SRM asks if I mind moving aside so her kid can see.

Do I mind?

I may be being a bit of an asshole here, but quite frankly, I don’t care. I’m the one that paid well over $100 for the special fan club ticket that allows me early access. I stood in line and in front of the stage for 2 hours. I *earned* this spot, and I’m supposed to allow you, SRM – who obviously didn’t pay for the special privileges that I am about to enjoy – to show up at the eleventh hour and wave your kid in my face just so you can weasel your way up to the front? Take a freaking hike, sister, and take your sob story with you. I’m about to be less than 10 feet away from some great music, and not Atlas himself is going to move me from this position.

Jarret’s Concert-Going Tip #2: Once you have earned your three square feet of space on that guard rail, you DEFEND that sucker with your very life.

Lesson #3: Keep an open mind, and have fun.

It’s show time. The lights drop, and the pretty much sold out arena POPS as we’re all programmed to when the lights go out.

First up is Bedouin Soundclash, (BSC from now on) who I’m positive I’ve heard one song of theirs on the radio, and didn’t mind it, so I have a small inkling of who these guys are. In my mind, either this is going to be a complete train-wreck, or I’m going to be pleasantly surprised.

The band comes on stage, and launch into their first song right away.

Jarret’s Concert-Going Tip #3: A rock band + saxophone + trumpet = GENUIS.

BSC plays a real nice 30 minute set. They’ve got a real nice sound, not rock as I originally guessed, but more of a ska/reggae feel to their music, with a real nice groove to everything. Their singer has a nice rasp to his voice.  I may even pick up a CD if I can find it. When they played their signature song "”When The Night Feels My Song” (the one I knew from radio) the entire arena LOST IT, and it was super loud.

BSC leaves the stage to a happy crowd, and the anticipation for Paramore starts to mount. I know these guys mostly from their hit “Misery Business” and their giant smash “That’s What You Get” (not to mention playing it at least 100 times on Rock Band).

The teenage girls all around us start to get pushy, all trying to wiggle their way up to the front, and DAHG and I, Steph and Angie all raise shields and prepare for the onslaught, bracing ourselves on the guardrail against any invaders. We chat up the security guard some more and kill the half hour between sets.

The crew is really efficient at getting things torn down and the final sound check done for the next act. Paramore has a really neat setup with their guitar and bass cabinets all covered in massive photographs that look like artsy newsprint.

Again, the lights drop, the crowd POPS, and Paramore hits the stage and immediately assault us with huge guitars and big sound. I can’t believe how YOUNG this band is (the singer, who looks about 20, herself, later tells us one of the guitar players will turn 22 in September). “Misery Business” rips through the arena, and they’ve caught my attention. Two guitars, bass, drums, and female vocals. I take note of the aforementioned guitar player’s muting technique – it sounds nice and heavy, but not TOO much.

Jarret’s Concert-Going Tip #4: When it’s there and it’s real, soak up the atmosphere.

There’s a fantastic vibe about this band. The music isn’t too complicated, so I don’t want to go out on a limb and say they’re great musicians, but they’re very good at what they do. Very high energy, as evidenced by the bass player – who nails down an exceptionally solid rock bass groove throughout the set and pulls off a seasoned look as he rocks around – does two running side flips over top of one of the guitarists!

DAHG, Steph, Angie and I increase power to the aft shields as the pushing and shoving gets more intense. Everyone wants to get as close as possible. Using the guardrail like a giant pillar, we push back and hold our ground, even as some chick behind me is using my ass and back as her own personal bass guitar.

More about Paramore… one thing that really came across about these guys is that stardom hasn’t hit yet. They’ve only release two albums, with the third coming out in September, but you can tell by the way this group carries themselves that they’re having FUN. There’s no “rock star” attitude here. They have a blast playing their music and performing in front of a crowd, and every time the crowd would pop, both the guitarist and bassist in front of me would blush and smile, shaking their heads in disbelief. It really seems genuine, folks. Everyone in the band has gigantic smiles on their faces throughout the entire set. They’re happy to be here and it shows.

Several songs later into their 45 minute set, including new ones from their upcoming album, “That’s What You Get” is unleashed upon us, and we all divert emergency backup power to the aft shields as the crush continues, and by this point, Dude and I (I can’t believe I haven’t gotten his name yet) are regularly fighting women off from trying to squeeze between and knock us off the guard rail, but sore, sweaty, and tired, we manage to hold our positions as Paramore wraps up their set and thanks us before leaving the stage.

Time to take another breather, and prepare for what is going to be the final onslaught on our ears, minds, and bodies. The No Doubt crew comes out to roll some shiny white floor across the stage, the rest of which is being dutifully held behind curtains. We’re all wondering what the hell is going on with the floor, when the security fellow warns us that he’s going to be too busy pulling people out of the crowd to get anything off the floor for us (Paramore fired out some guitar picks and drum sticks). People regularly get crushed in these pits and have to get removed from the crowd – they just can’t take it.

Remind me why I’m here again?

Oh yeah! The lights drop and so does the curtain, revealing a very white stage with a set that makes you think you’re on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise from the new Star Trek movie this year (do you finally get all the talk about the shields? WITTY, HUH?), and No Doubt (noted now as ND) is standing there all in white costumes. The place looks rather sterile, but that all changes as the crowd LOSES THEIR COLLECTIVE MINDS and we’re further pounded against the guardrail.

Lesson #4: Survive. Fight back if you have to. Do what you must to live.

ND LEAPS into action, launching into “Spiderwebs”, and the arena foundation cracks. It’s big. It’s loud. The crowd found their minds that they lost earlier, put them back inside their heads, and then proceeded to lose them all over again. DAHG and our group are now regularly being pounded against the guardrail. We fight back by pushing off the guardrail and squishing those people against the crowd.

Did I mention that Gwen Stefani is gorgeous in person? It’s easy to look good on TV, but at 39 and a kid later, this woman is still HOT. She’s got the midriff showing, and Shania Twain can eat her heart out as she WISHES she had abs like Gwen does. Very nice! And it’s not hard to see why. From the opening note of the concert, right through the set, both Gwen and the bass player are literally leaping, bouncing, kicking, and stretching their way across the stage. A ND concert is effectively a 90 minute cardiovascular workout for these two. She may have been a bit short of breath at times, but for all that work, Stefani never missed a beat, nor did she miss a word. I mean, the woman is throwing kicks that almost nail herself in the CHIN, and she doesn’t miss a beat or a note.

Here’s a quick word to all those so-called “performers” like Britney Spears and the like that lip-synch their way through their careers (like they’re going to READ this), but folks, THIS is how it’s done. THIS is a performance. I don’t want to sit there for 90 minutes or two hours and watch you dance to a CD track. I want to hear you PERFORM. And Stefani is nothing but a PRO. Wow. She does it all, and STILL sings live. Amazing.

What else can you really say? The band played all the signature songs, from the aforementioned “Spiderwebs” to “Bath Water” to “Don’t Speak”. The whole while, DAHG and I are being physically destroyed. We’re taking shots to the ribs, legs, knees, back, and head. The shields have been breached, and there’s been several hull breaches reported, and casualties on several decks. We’re being crushed even further, and the inertial dampeners just simply can’t compensate.

Jarret’s Concert-Going Tip #5: When the going gets rough, the rough has to get going.

Finally, I’ve had enough, and as I take one more shot the ribs, I grab on to the guard rail and SHOVE BACK with all I’ve got, and a couple girls are rocked like only I can rock them. One of them took major exception to this. How DARE I defend my territory? How DARE I draw the line in the sand? This beey-ATCH reaches out, and like the catty whore she probably is, tries to rip the hair out of my head.

Now, I must digress here, and point out that I just got a fantastic hair cut last weekend (highlights and all), and now my hair is about two inches long. There’s nothing to grab. Obviously, this woman is used to fighting other females, and isn’t intelligent enough to adjust her game plan and try something different against the Alpha Male.

One small problem through all of this, is I’m a pretty instinctive kinda guy. I get attacked, and my first reaction is to wheel around and throw a left forearm that would have made Hulk Hogan cry with pride. Right in the face. And lo and behold, that was the end of it.

If there’s any law enforcement officers reading this… it was in the heat of the moment. And she started it. If you take me, you take her too.

Speaking of law enforcement, you know that security guard we were chatting up? He saw the whole thing and just nodded. The tips work, folks!

Anywho, it was pretty surprising after that. We had our space, and the crushing, pounding, and grinding were all but gone. Although, I rather enjoyed the grinding. Just kidding.

ND continued tearing through their set, and the walls of the MTS Center threatened to collapse in upon themselves and crush us all into some kind of mix of bone fragments and human jam on the concrete floor. The band played “Sunday Morning”, Hey Baby”, Simple Kind Of Life”, among others, and through the entire set, I’ve noticed the bass player (being a bassist myself) and how this guy was just in the ZONE.

His playing was spectacular, his fingers flying over the strings when needed, and holding down the signature riffs and grooves which are the foundation of ND’s songs. Often, he played for minutes on end with his eyes closed, just enjoying the vibe and the playing, and others, he broke into miles wide smiles at the joy of the fans, and he and I connected a couple times, and I’d invariably give him the traditional two fingered rock and roll hand sign to let him know his work was not only appreciated, but recognized for the skill he was displaying. Other times, we’d just smile at each other.

This guy had a look on his face like he was so deep in the zone… he had a Lou Diamond Phillips/John Travolta look to him, slightly darker, and with a little eye shadow on for effect, when he stared out over the audience, his whole aura projected that he was the most bad-ass mother-trucker in the arena, and every single note he played was the most bad-ass bass note ever released by a human being.

THAT’S how cool this cat was.

Ahh, being in the front row.

Anyway, at the end of the concert, where the encore included “Rock Steady” and ended with the gigantic “I’m Just A Girl” (where the guys totally SUCKED when asked by Gwen to sing the lyrics) which all but popped the roof off the top of the building, the cheering went on forever, and the bass player actually came down front off the stage, and came up to me and DAHG and personally handed us each a signature bass pick, his gesture of thanks for appreciating what he did. We thanked him profusely and sincerely before he was ushered away by security to keep the now near-rioting fans away from him.

Despite the physical abuse, this was a tremendous show from top to bottom. The only real complaint I had was the vocals were really tough to hear for most of the night, but I attribute that to us standing face to face with a couple giant speakers that played mostly bass and guitar through them.

Lesson #5: I’m too old for this shit.

No more floor / pit / moshing for me. I get beat up too much.

Aftermath

This was a really fun show. I don’t know about Angie, but my back’s pretty sore today. So are my feet, and as I’m wrapping this up around 3:30 PM, and my ears are STILL ringing. The last two fingers on my right hand are still numb from leaning on the guard rail.

But it was all worth it. All the pounding and hell we all took last night, the quality of show justified it, and I’d give everything a 9.5 out of 10, just losing a bit of a mark due to our placement and the vocals. This was a really cool show to be at.

Stephanie took lots of pictures with her cell phone, but as I haven’t got those yet, I’ll just rip a few from the MTS Center web site.

I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed being there. That’s right, folks… we were this close. ;)

     

By

It’s HERE!!

Finally… THE ROCK HAS COME BACK…

No, just kidding.

After a couple weeks of waiting and worrying, I finally got our picture of Stephanie and I meeting Nickelback.

Way cool.

Nothing much more to say about it – if you read my previous blog post about it, then you’ve got it all.

So, here’s the pic!

By

Greatest Jerome Iginla Song EVAR

I was going to entitle this "The Greatest Thing Ever", but then I’d have to keep reusing that title as the next awesome thing I’d find on the internet would become the Greatest Thing Ever, and you, my faithful blog reader, deserve a little more variety in my post titles than that.

Anyhoo… my buddy Ryan posted this on his Facebook, and this indeed rivals the Ukranian Katy Perry polka.

I’m not the biggest Flames fan ever, but I DO like Jerome Iginla, which makes this video all the more awesome.

So, without further ado, I present to you, the Jerome Iginla Please Stay In Calgary song.

By

HOLY FLARKING SNIT!!

And if I wasn’t posting this in a place where my mother could potentially be reading this, you can guarantee the title would be MUCH MUCH more R-rated than that.

“What’s all the hub-bub, bub?” you may ask?

I’m talking about Sunday, bloody Sunday. April 5th, 2009. The Day Nickelback Roared Into Town.

“Ok, you went to a rock concert,” you may be thinking.

No, my dear friend, it goes WAAAAAY beyond all that.

You see, I’ve been a Nickelback fan since 1998. Ever since I first heard “Fly”, “Window Shopper”, and “Little Friend” from 1996’s Curb I was watching out for these guys.

Then, in 2000, The State was released, and when I heard “Breathe” and “Leader Of Men” for the first time, I knew this little band from Hannah, Alberta was really on to something. I remember vividly the very first Nickelback show I went to, at Rocktoberfest at the Winnipeg Convention center in 2000, and Nickelback was opening up for another famous band – whose name I’ve totally forgotten now because they were blown off the stage. I went to the show with my then girlfriend (now wife) and a few friends, and I couldn’t stop talking about this band and how great they were going to be.

Well, in a room of 200 people, Nickelback was on stage, playing their ASSES off like they were playing in front of 20,000 people, and here I am, losing my MIND because these guys were just too awesome. At the beginning of the set, I looked like a fool because I was one of 200 enjoying the HELL out of this show while everyone else was like “Who the hell are these guys?”

But by the time that set ended, Nickelback had blown the headlining band off the stage, and I’d gone home a very, very happy guy. My friends were all telling me how I’d found an awesome band, and Nickelback gained more than a few fans that night.

Fast forward to 2002, and after Silver Side Up was released, I got to see Nickelback in my first arena setting. They came to the Winnipeg Arena, and by the time I heard they were coming, all I could get were upper deck seats, but let me tell you, that didn’t affect anything. On their first arena tour, the band was fired up, and we were right above the stage. I must say, that it doesn’t matter if you’re 50 feet above the stage – that pyro burns just as hot! The band was amazing, and superstars had been born. The crowd was into it, and Nickelback put on one hell of a show.

On to 2004 and The Long Road tour, and the concert experience just kept getting better. Every time I have seen this band, the show just keeps getting better. From 200 people in a room to the nosebleed section, and now they’re back, and I’ve gotten my first ever floor tickets. Miraculously, we ended up right on the guard rail right smack in front of Ryan. OH MY GOD WOW. I’ve never experienced a concert from up close before, and being a Nickelback show, it was a real treat. I managed to snag Aaron Lewis’ set list as Staind had opened for Nickelback, and the night kept getting better as I got a guitar pick from Chad, and part way through the set, the band was just jamming and tossing cups of beer into the crowd. Yup, I got one.

2005 gave us All The Right Reasons and another tour, this time at the brand new MTS Center, but I didn’t think I could survive another night on the floor, so we got regular seats. The show was awesome as usual, but something was missing.

So when the band came back in 2006, still on the ATRR tour… we HAD to have floor tickets. Nothing else would ever compare. We got the floor tickets, and again, miraculously ended up against the guard rail, right between Chad and Ryan.

And then, something amazing happened.

In between songs, Chad started talking about how Daniel could chug a beer faster than anyone he knew, and had even scheduled a drinking contest between Daniel and Hal Anderson, a local rock-radio DJ. Anderson pulled out due to “back problems” so the band needed something to fill the time in – so Chad started pulling people on stage to have a big contest against Daniel. Chad starts walking along the front of the stage, and I’m waving my hand at him. My wife is jumping up and down screaming “Pick him! Pick him!” and Chad hears her. He turns and looks me right in the eye, and sizes me up – I’m a big guy, about six feet and I’ve obviously drank a few in my day by the size of my gut – and Chad screams out “YOU look like a beer drinker! GET UP HERE!”

OH MY GOD. I’m going on stage with Nickelback. I’m about to pass out.

My wife, some other fans, and security haul my ass over the guard rail, and I get escorted up to the stage. I meet the entire band, and since Daniel was the one we were drinking against, he came and introduced himself to everyone. Daniel was even kind enough to stop and talk to me for a moment. I asked him how he was doing, and he mentioned how his hand has bugging him from playing on tour so much, and he showed me a blister he was getting on his hand. I asked him about possibly wearing gloves, and he mentioned he thought of that, but then he couldn’t really feel the sticks as well in his hand if he did, so he’d tough it out. He then wished me luck in the drinking contest. Really cool guy.

So the time comes. We’re all given a Corona, and we’re told if we can drink the beer and slam it down on the stage before Daniel does, then the winner gets $1000 cash right there. There’s about 8 of us on stage, and let me tell you folks, there’s NOTHING compared to standing on a rock stage with Nickelback and 11,000 people cheering at you.

Ready, set, GO! I pound my beer, and slam it down on the stage – only a FRACTION of a second after Daniel does. OH SO CLOSE! I shake Daniel’s hand again, and we’re all escorted off the stage. WOW! I got high fives from all over the crowd on the way back to my spot. What a night!

Later on in the show, Chad announces he’s going to a local club to party after the show, and if anyone wants to come see him, we’re welcome to. So we head down to the club after, and sure enough, there’s Chad greeting fans. Once we finally made it to him, he instantly recognizes me, and yells “Hey, it’s the beer drinking guy!” and promptly buys me another beer. He signs my wife’s concert ticket, and good times were had by all!

So now, it’s 2008, and Dark Horse is released. A new tour is on the way.

You might now be wondering what this entire post is about, but I’m getting there, believe me.

It’s all about the experience. My wife and I are wondering… we’ve been at two fantastically amazing Nickelback shows and had such super experiences… how are we going to top this? Even if we buy floor tickets, we’re not guaranteed spots up against the guard rail, and we don’t just want any old seats.

What could we possibly do to make the concert experience any better?

And then the answer comes in an email.

“Join the Nickelback Fan Club and get access to pre-sales and VIP packages.”

Huh? VIP packages? Let me at it!!

Fan Club? Became a member.

So I check things out, and thanks to the corporate folks at my job who decided to give me a big bonus… VIP t-shirt, set of signed guitar picks, VIP laminate, poster, early venue entry…

… and photo opportunity with the band backstage.

Holy h-e-double hockey sticks I’ve hit the freakin’ mother load.

A couple very nervous clicks of the mouse later, and my wife and I are now Nickelback Platinum VIP’s. How are we going to make this experience any better?

Well, for starters, we’re going to be in the VIP pit inside the stage design… and we get to meet the band backstage.

It’s months before the show… then weeks, and then days… when Sunday came along, I could barely sleep the night before. We got up early. I was jumpy all morning and all afternoon leading up to the show. Triple-checked that I had all my paperwork in order – I wasn’t going to screw THIS up! Driving to the MTS Center was surreal – all I could think about was how awesome everything was going to be.

But in the back of my mind, I had this sinking fear that once we got there to pick up our packages, something was going to be wrong and the whole thing was going to be shot.

Thankfully, everything was in order, and we met Tom early on. Was very professional and cool about the whole thing. We got in line and were taken backstage just as opening act Saving Abel took the stage, and we get led down to the bowels of the MTS Center, every step taking us closer to Nickelback.

Through one set of doors we go, and then we had to wait, about 10 minutes. Heart’s beating faster now, sweating a bit. Nervous as hell.Through another set of doors, and we’re stopped right outside Nickelback’s room. There’s a big display set up, and the guys are there… the girls ahead of us go in, and then BAM… it’s our turn!

My wife and I go in, and I give the band a hearty “Hey, guys!”, and they all seem very genuinely happy to give the fans this chance. Each member of the band made sure they took time to not only say “hi”, but to shake hands and introduce themselves and ask how we were doing. My wife gets hugs from all of them. Very cool. Stephanie (the wife) then remarks to Chad and Daniel that they probably don’t remember, but the last time they were here, I was on stage with them – do you remember the “beer drinking guy?”

And rather than just brush it off, Chad turns to Daniel, and says “That was you in the drinking contests last time?” Daniel answers yes, and Chad says “It was really close, right? Like bang-bang?” And we’re all YEAH!, and Chad and Daniel are all “Awesome!” We line up for our picture… I’ve got my arm around Chad on my left, my wife on the right… SNAP. Tom says it’s a great pic, so we say goodbye to the band, and wish them a good show. Mike, Ryan, and Dan all said “goodbye”, “nice to meet you”, and Chad said “I hope you really enjoy the show. Thanks for coming.”

These guys are SO cool.

So we each pick up a signed 8×10, and another set of guitar picks, and head out to the Pit. We’re the first ones there, so we’ve literally got the best seat in the house. We’re physically right against Ryan’s side of the stage.

Seether comes on, and they played a great set with all their noteable songs. The guitarist and bassist came over to slap hands a few times, and those guys put on a special show for us. Really good stuff from Seether, although due to the stage set up, the guitarists’ amp was right beside us, and it was hard to hear the vocals at times.

After Seether was done, the security guard comes to advise us of the giant pyro and to be careful about how close we are, and that there will be a giant theatrical countdown to a giant explosion, so be ready.

Well. I’ll be damned.

Even before the countdown starts, the lights aren’t even off yet, and a sonic BOOM goes off near my head and I literally jump four feet off the ground. I’m a big guy, so lemme tell you, that ain’t easy! The lights drop and the crowd loses their minds… we get the giant countdown on the big screen, and when it reaches zero, there’s a thunderous explosion of sound and pyro that just took my breath away, and then we only had a seconds’ rest before we were ASSAULTED by the guitars of “Something In Your Mouth”, and a very-near sold-out crowd (last time was about 11,000, this time almost 14,000 showed up) lost their freaking minds. Unbelievable.

The show rocked all night long, and the band played for 2 hours and 5 minutes! There was fire and pyro EVERYWHERE – when the fire pots lit up, I pretty much had to duck to avoid getting fried. Ryan Peake was so close at points I could reach out and touch his guitar if I wanted to. Chad, Mike, and Ryan all came over by us and stood literally inches away. Nickelback ran through a ton of great music – I was so blown away I don’t remember the entire order of the set, but “Something In Your Mouth”, “Burn It To The Ground”, “Gotta Be Somebody”, “I’d Come For You”, “If Today Was Your Last Day”, and “This Afternoon” all made appearances from the new album – and during “This Afternoon”, and “Rockstar”, the band all went out to the extended walkway and played at the front of the house – where a SECOND drum kit rotated out of the walkway for Daniel to play with them!

Daniel’s drum solo was awesome, and the band also did other tunes like “Figure You Out”, “Photograph”, “Someday”, “Saving Me”, “Far Away”, “If Everyone Cared”, “Because Of You”, “How You Remind Me”, and “Too Bad” were all done awesomely. Timmy came out and did acoustic guitar on a few songs, and Ryan did lead vocals on a “Kings Of Leon” tune I didn’t catch the name of, but was very cool as well. There was also a jam session while the band had crew members fire out t-shirts to the crowd, and they nailed the opening riff of Metallica’s “Sad But True”, and I swear they played it way better than Metallica ever could.

Well, OK… that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it was pretty damned sweet.

These guys DELIVER live – Chad was SPOT.ON. with the vocals, and the band was smoking. I tell ya, Mike may not be a press hound and he seems very quiet, but the smile on his face told you for the entire show told you that there’s no place he’d rather be. Near the end of the show, they brought up Seether frontman Shaun Morgan to sing vocals on Filter’s “Hey Man Nice Shot” – VERY cool.

Funny note… while Timmy came out to play a tune… I *think* it was “If Everyone Cared”, and it was his first time out at the front of the ramp, so Chad went out there with him, and while Chad and Ryan stayed up there to play “Someday”, Mike had to come back and work Chad’s distortion pedal for the chorus – Chad had forgotten all about it – but it still came off without a hitch.

Tremendous job all around, from the band, down to the crew, and venue folks.

I doubt they’ll ever read this, but Tom, great work handling all of us star-struck fans backstage, and to Nickelback, THANK YOU for an unforgettable night of rock and roll.

Truly amazing. There are no other words for it.

So what do we do NEXT time Nickelback rolls through town?!?

By

You’ve GOTTA See This.

Today, I made quite possibly the greatest find in the history of the Internet. And, it came courtesy of the Ellen show! Imagine that.

But, I just had to share!

Everyone love those goofy Ukranians.

And we all know that the Ukranians love their polkas.

How can you not love a Ukranian polka? Especially when it’s done to the tune of Katy Perry’s "Hot N Cold".

PURE. GOLD.

Anyway, have a look-see.

By

Dancing With The Stars

Well, ok… that post title may be a *little* bit misleading.

You see, I don’t dance a damned lick.

BUT, this post is all about the stars.

Today was Day 1 of the Manitoba ComicCon (clicky), and I gotta tell ya, it was a star-studded afair to be sure. There were tons of tv and movie stars known all over geekdom, and the people came out in droves to see them.

So, donning my Christopher Reeve Foundation dogtag, Stephanie and I braved the crowds to meet our favorites and peruse the merchandise.

The list of guests is on the site, but just to name a few: Smallville’s Justin Hartley and Erica Durance (Green Arrow and Lois Lane, respectively), Lou Ferrigno (the Original Incredible Hulk), John DeLancie (Q on Star Trek: TNG), Helen Slater (Supergirl), among many others. The ComicCon crew did a fantastic job of assembling a fine cast to grace us this year.

But before we get on with the stars (okay, I lied… this post isn’t ALL about the stars), the GeekDom was out in full force. With any kind of GeekCon, you have to expect that there’ll be people dressed up as their favorite actor/actress/tv show rep/alien/furry creature, and today surely didn’t disappoint. There were Jedi’s, superheroes of all sorts, video game characters, and fuzzy beings of all shapes and sizes. Take a look at some of these pictures that we took, and click on them for a bigger image:

Random Fuzzy Creature:

Indiana Jones

Halo’s Master Chief

We also saw a really hot girl (well, her body, anyways) in a black Spiderman suit, a girl dressed up as Wonder Woman, many Batman outfits, Jedi’s, Bobba Fett, and all kinds.

Did I say there were celebrites? Of course I did.

Our friends Angie and Karen joined us at ComicCon, and Angie is a gigantic Hulk fan, so she was there to see big Lou Ferrigno. The guy is still massive and looks like he hasn’t changed in 20 years. He has arms the size of my legs (well, almost). Did I say he was huge?

Here’s a pic of Lou at the autograph table:

Stephanie and I got to meet John DeLancie, who was AWESOME in his recurring role as “Q” on Star Trek: TNG. He was often the best part of the show, and he played his character very well. In person, he seemed a little eccentric – he made everyone wait while he gobbled down some yogurt, lol.

Our friend Karen, besides being a Star Trek geek, is also a monster Stargate fan, so we got a shot of her with Stargate star (that’s a lot of star in this sentence) David Palffy:

Now, on to the two big reasons we were starstruck today. Steph and I are big time Smallville fans (I’m a glutton for anything Superman, and it’s a great show), and ComicCon featured two of the show’s stars – Green Arrow and Lois Lane.

One thing I have to say… even though there was a huge line up, Justin Hartley (Green Arrow) is very personable guy. Seems very down to earth and guy-next-door. He had a big shiner under his left eye, and he took time to tell us the story of how he got the shiner working on a stunt on the show. Top-notch guy, and I’m glad we got to meet him. We were going to leave, and then Steph said we should go see him. Good call, hon. Here’s a pic of us with him:

Steph thinks he’s dreamy – black eye and all. ;)

The main reason I wanted to go today was to see Erica Durance. If Steph can think that Justin Hartley is dreamy, then I can think that Erica is smoking hot. And, I gotta say, she’s much better looking in person as compared to the show – and she’s AMAZING on the show. We got to talk for a couple moments, and one thing that struck me is that she’s a lot smaller in person than she seems on the show. She’s actually tiny. Did I say she was smoking hot? Here’s a pic of us with her:

We’ve got others, but then this post would be incredibly long, if it wasn’t already.

Did I mention Erica is hot?

And finally, we go to ComicCon for the merchandise. Steph dabbles in Star Wars, Star Trek, and Harry Potter, but she usually doesn’t buy anything unless she finds something really cool. This year, she didn’t buy anything, but came away with a really cool shot of her and a Yoda statue:

And for me, I always try to make one special Transformers purchase every year. This year, I made a HUGE score, with a boxed Japanese Masterpiece Skywarp! He was always my favorite of the Decepticon jets. Here’s a couple pics of the box:

So there you have it, ComicCon 2008. I’d say it was a huge success, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next year. If you’re into any kind of video game, comic, movie, toy… I suggest you take this in if you can.

Good times.

And no dancing involved.