My Favorite Concert Experiences

music musings, beaverdamusa.comIn the past, I have mused on what were my favorite concerts.  This musing is about my favorite concert experiences or moments.   While the particular show, may or may not have made my list of favorite concerts, these particular moments stand out for me.  So in no particular order, other than how they came to my brain, here are some of my favorite memories:

  • The opening of Styx’s Paradise Theatre show in Nashville – I was standing within a person or two of the front row as A.D. 1928 starts with a lone janitor sweeping the floor in front of a large curtain.  True to the album order, Rockin the Paradise kicks off with the curtain dropping, lights flashing, and pyrotechnics for days.  The shock was amazing.
  • Sammy Hagar – 5150 tour in Memphis -   This was Sammy’s third show with Van Halen and it was so full of energy.  The sound guy must have figured he could over power any acoustic because my ears ached for two days.  Also, Sammy & Eddie both climbed up on the lighting catwalk above the stage.  Sammy even stood on the railing and leaned out over the crowd only hanging on by one hand.  Two nights later in Nashville it was only Sammy on the catwalk.  My theory on why is in a later bullet.
  • Jimmy Buffett – W.O. Smith Music School benefit at Tennessee Performing Arts Center– the opening song was Jimmy coming out barefooted and sitting on the edge of the stage with his feet dangling.  He launched into It’s My Job as he started an unforgettable night of truly acoustic music.
  • Van Halen in Atlanta – Sammy reunion show – Sammy left Van Halen without any prior hint so many Van Halen fans felt like they never got a chance to say good-bye.  This tour was that chance.  It was obvious that this would be his last tour with the band.  When It’s Love was the last song they played and I loved the fact that one of my favorite VH songs was the last one I heard Sammy sing with them.
  • Van Halen – 1984 (I think) tour in Nashville at the Municipal Auditorium – my friend Joe and I had aged enough to know that trying to get up front was too much hassle, but loved standing on the floor.  We had discovered that the sound was awesome at the back of the floor by the sound board.  Well, we look over and who is watching the show about ten feet from us but Valerie Bertinelli – Eddie’s wife at the time.  [This is why I think Eddie didn’t get on the catwalk]
  • Alabama A&M Homecoming – My roommate and blog host, his future (and current) wife, and I noticed that there was a great show happening at the Von Braun Civic Center in Huntsville.  Midnight Starr, Zap, featuring Roger (never figured out which one was Roger), and the Gap Band were playing.  We head down to see it and then realize it was Alabama A&M’s homecoming.  To say we stood out is an understatement.  Let’s just leave it at that.
  • Van Halen – Atlanta & Nashville – Van Halen (with Sammy) was touring and kicked off their tour at an amphitheater in Atlanta.  There is something about the opening night of a tour – the band is so jacked up with energy.  Well, we spent the night in Atlanta and then drove back to Nashville the next day to [you guess it] see them again at Starwood amphitheater.  It was quite the experience.
  • That Nashville Moment – this occurs at any concert in Nashville.  It always seems that when artists perform here, they always pull another star out on stage with them.  Whether it was Ann Wilson with Emmylou Harris and Allison Kraus or Jimmy Buffett having his former neighbor John Kay (Steppenwolf) come out, it is always a treat.

Thanks for indulging me as I stroll down memory lane.  Hopefully, there are many more moments in the future.

Musing in Nashville


In Fact, It Could Get Better

music musings, beaverdamusa.comThis blog wasn’t supposed to happen.  But, I just can’t let the opportunity pass.

In February 2015, I attended Styx performing with the Nashville Symphony at the Schermerhorn Center here in Nashville and blogged about it.  (Styx with Nashville Symphony (2015)).  At the time, I didn’t think any Styx show would top the show that night.   They proved me wrong on Saturday (5/21/16) at Ascend Amphitheater in downtown Nashville.

styx_ascend #2The evening shaped up to be perfect weather for sitting on the lawn and listening to music.  Skies were clear and temps were hovering around 65.  My sweet wife came along for the ride and we met up with our dear friends Joe & Shannon, who attended the previously mentioned Styx/Symphony show with us.

It is a close race between Joe & my wife as to who has attended more concerts with me. Joe & I started seeing shows together in 1980 when we saw Eddie Money at Vandy’s Memorial Gym.  We traveled many miles to primarily see our favorite band – Van Halen.

Why was this show better?  I think it was a couple of things – first the show was louder than it was at concert hall.  Secondly, and probably primary was the fact that you could hear the symphony more throughout the songs this time.  Whether it was location (we were farther back from the speakers) or the mix, they came through in many places that I don’t remember.  There were also a couple of places during the night where the guitars and keyboards would stop and they would let the symphony have the spotlight.    One thing that hit me was that most members of the symphony are probably of the age that grew up on Styx music.  How cool that must have been to be playing along with the same band you grew up with.

It still amazes me (and others agree) how great Tommy Shaw’ voice still sounds.  For several singers you can really tell that age, and probably other “things” have not been kind to their voice.  Try this – go listen to the song Crystal Ball from Styx’s Caught in the Act live album recorded in 1984 and then listen to the song on Styx’s 2015 Live at the Orleans Arena – Las Vegas.  It sounds pretty much the same.  Same pitch, same tone, and same range.  Not many rock singers can say that.  I must also compliment the conductor Liza Grossman who conducted both Nashville Symphony shows, as well as Styx’s project with the Cleveland Youth Orchestra.  She is clearly into the songs and obviously loves her job.

I really don’t know if I can see them without the Symphony.  Between the music of Styx, the Symphony, the weather, and the ambience of Ascend – it doesn’t get much better.  I love my town.

Musing on a wonderful show


P.S. Set list:

  • Grand Illusion
  • Too Much Time on My Hands
  • Fooling Yourself (joined by original bass player – Chuck Ponozzo)  This is one where the guitars stopped mid-song and let the symphony shine
  • Lady
  • Lorelei
  • Man in the Wilderness
  • Light Up
  • I Am the Walrus (Gowan paid tribute to George Martin who melded symphonic music with rock music)
  • Suite Madame Blue

Intermission – 15-20 minutes

  • Miss America
  • Lights
  • Space Oddity (Ground Control to Major Tom) – nod to David Bowie
  • Crystal Ball – favorite song – Tommy Shaw show his vocal chops during this one.  Also, the one song the symphony complemented the most
  • Pieces of Eight – classical piano intro piece written by Gowan in honor of his father’s ship (Khe Dive) in WWII.
  • Blue Collar Man
  • Come Sail Away – last one with the Symphony.  The cellos and violins each took a “solo” in the middle.

Symphony leaves

  • Paradise Theatre
  • Renegade




Inside Zach’s iPod – PC version

music musings, beaverdamusa.comNo, the PC doesn’t stand for politically correct – if you know me, you are probably still laughing.  It is time to play Inside Zach’s iPod, but I am actually listening to iTunes on the computer.  To the new readers, I hit shuffle and then comment on each song. Please keep in mind that my wife and children’s music is in the mix – don’t judge.

  • Surrender – This Cheap Trick classic is always guaranteed to get my toe tapping and my head bobbing.  This version is from the Live at Budokan.  This group was one that always eluded me as far as live music.  I finally got to see this classic performed live this past summer.
  • Gentle on My Mind – This Glen Campbell hit has grown on me as I age.  I remember when it was popular in the 70’s.  If you don’t know, Glen is suffering from Alzheimer’s.  His struggle was documented in a documentary which followed him as he performed his farewell tour.  Yes, I am kicking myself for not going.  It was amazing to see how he could still play guitar as great as ever, but couldn’t recognize his wife.
  • Too Much Time on My Hands - Confession time.  I can’t stand this song.  I don’t know why, but it just grates on me.  Now, I am a pretty big Styx fan, but for some reason, this one just doesn’t do it for me.
  • Love is Just A Mystery – This is a deep cut from the Babys’ Union Jacks album.  My love for the Babys and John Waite has been the subject of a past blog.  Can’t think of much else to say – guess that is why it is a deep cut.
  • It’s About Time – this is one of the last three songs recorded by Sammy Hagar when he rejoined Van Halen for the farewell tour.  I was lucky enough to get to see this tour in Atlanta.  Sounds silly, but that allowed me to have closure knowing that it was probably the last time I would get to see Sammy with Eddie.  The last Sammy song I heard that night was When It’s Love.  By the way, I danced to that song at my wedding reception.

I realize this is kind of short and not too deep.  Some days are just like that I guess.  Until next time (hint – Miranda), be safe and Happy New Year.

A Concert (and Blog) Blast From the Past

music musings, beaverdamusa.comA friend of mine recently commented that he was impressed on how I capture the set list for the shows I attend.  I had to let him know that I either verify the list before or after the shows so I can get the titles right for obscure songs.

That got me pondering about a blog I wrote a few (six) years ago about concerts today vs. years ago.  Prior to my Music Musing blog, I had a general blog called Squire Ponderings, but it leaned heavily toward music.  Like an Andy Griffith or Leave It to Beaver rerun, here is one of my older blogs from 11/11/2009 –

Concerts – Then vs. Now

Having just seen KISS at the Sommet center and with Styx/REO Speedwagon/Night Ranger coming up in a couple of weeks, I have been thinking about concerts and how they have changed over the years.

My first concert was my sophomore year in high school – Eddie Money played Vanderbilt Memorial Gym. My friend Joe and I got us some dates and off we went. Having heard all the stories about concerts and the debauchery that occurs there, we were pumped. That evening I proved that a bottle of ice cold Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill could be drunk in the time it takes to get from 31st & West End to Memorial Gym. It can be drunk, but keeping it down is another story. I can’t remember the cost of the ticket, but it couldn’t have been more than $10. Well, it wasn’t the drunken orgy that we imagined, but I was hooked on live shows.

Most of the concerts I saw in the ‘80’s – 90’s were at the Municipal Auditorium in Nashville. My first show there was Charlie Daniels’ Volunteer Jam. The Municipal is a round venue which held probably about 9,000. In the 90’s, most shows moved to Starwood amphitheater in Nashville, which was a completely different perspective. Being able to lounge on the ground under the stars was cool – unless it was August and raining. An added benefit of Starwood was the fact that it sold BEER. Wow, you could drink at a concert without having smuggled a bottle into the venue in your shoe, crotch, or wherever. They even had an area where corporations could buy box seats and have servers bring you drinks, food, etc. Maybe this is when the transition started. What transition, you may ask? Let’s compare yesteryear to today:

Yesteryear – My buddy Joe & I decide to go see Journey on the Escape tour. We drive to Nashville & find a Sound Seventy ticket outlet. We shell out our money for the exorbitant amount of $10/ticket. The tickets have raised lettering with cool designs custom-made for the particular show. We roll to Nashville, probably sneak a bottle of Jack (bought underage) by the searching Metro police at the Municipal, and we are ready to rock. (Side-note – wonder if a Metro policeman on Municipal duty ever bought liquor?) We arrive about an hour and a half early so we can get good spots standing in the general admission area in front of the stage. We park on the side of James Robertson in front of the Capital and walk to the auditorium. The opening act, Loverboy, comes out after the house lights go out. Occasionally during the show, I glance up towards the ceiling. There, through the haze of smoke, cigarette and other, I make out a faint glow – NO SMOKING. This warning can be seen hanging from the ceiling. For encores and power ballads alike, the crowd (even non-smokers) holds their lighters aloft begging for more. Before Journey comes out, the question is “what will they open with?” or “wonder if they will play Lights?” After the show, Joe & I make a most difficult decision – which shirt do we buy to wear to school the next day? While either will smell like the interior of a Cheech & Chong van, we have to choose between the $5 t-shirt or splurge and get the $7.50 jersey.

Today – You decide to attend a Sommet Center concert. You sit at your computer and log on to the Ticketmaster website. You hope your 45 yr old eyes can read the random letters and numbers that allow you to proceed with selecting tickets without having to resort to the Dick Tracy decoder glasses. Once you make it past scalper security, you select your ticket with prices starting around $40 (top row, back of arena) and ending at $1000 (backstage 5 minute photo op with the band). You can either print a bar code or have the generic looking tickets mailed to your house. The night of the show, you pay another $10-$20 to park and then walk about 4 blocks to the arena. The menu choices have changed, but so have the prices. You can get a $4 hot dog or even more expensive burgers, BBQ, etc. Wait, what is that – BEER & LIQUOR!!!! With no crotches or socks involved. Yes, you pay for it, but it is available. You can see clearly because smokers have to go over the river & through the woods & hang about 3 blocks to reach the smoking area outside. You already know what the band is playing because you have checked the band’s website, clicked on the tour button, and saw the set list for all the stops prior to your city. You also notice something else – there are kids. I mean middle and elementary school kids. This is ROCK & ROLL, not Yanni @ TPAC!! You admit to yourself that probably the folks on stage may be getting Medicare currently or within 5 years.

Anyway, you get the picture. Yes, it is different, more expensive, and in some aspects, not as fun. But as Billy Joel says “It’s still rock and roll to me.” Also, don’t forget that if it’s too loud, you are too old.

Zach, a rock & rolling Tennessee Squire


Inside Zach’s iPod – Vol. 3

music musings, beaverdamusa.comI figured the public is clamoring for another installment of “Inside Zach’s iPod (IZI)”; or I have writer’s block – you be the judge.

To refresh your memory, I currently have 4,077 songs on my iPod and the drill is that I hit shuffle and write about the first five songs that come up.  It is also an observation of how my mind skips around (SQUIRREL!).  I can’t skip songs unless they have popped up before on IZI.

  • Snowblind – Styx.  This Paradise Theater deep cut features both James Young and Tommy Shaw on vocals.  In typical Styx fashion, this song starts out slowly and then kicks into a rockin’ tune by the end.  Saw them perform this one live on the Paradise Theater tour.
  • Love Her and Lose Me – Heidi Newfield.  This comes from Heidi’s solo debut album after Trick Pony’s first break-up.  I received this album as a promo from a record company friend and immediately liked it.  Heidi has one of those voices best described as sultry.  She participated in a couple of JDRF golf tourneys, so that moved her to the “like” column for me.
  • Black on Black II – Heart.  This is a rockin’ Heart tune from Desire Walks On.  I remember they opened with this song the last time I saw them (Wildhorse Saloon).  As usual, Ann voice is very powerful. Speaking of Ann, she is performing a solo mini tour with only seven stops; one of which is the City Winery in Nashville.  She plans on performing a variety of blues and rock songs that she “…enjoys singing”.  I bought tickets and look forward to the show.
  • Ragged Heart – Jaime Kyle.  This tune from her debut album The Passionate Kind (1992) received some local air time here in Nashville.  I first heard her in an interview on KDF around the release of the CD and have seen her several times since then and consider her a friend.  She achieved popularity with later releases in Europe and also songwriting success with Wild One (Faith Hill) and Stranded (Heart).
  • All in How You Say It – Tommy Shaw.  From Tommy’s 1998 solo album 7 Deadly Zins, this song kind of has a smooth and cool vibe to it.  The 7 Deadly Zins album is a nice piece of work.  It is like Tommy invited several friends (Nugent, Allison Kraus, Kevin Cronin, Jack Blades and Michael Cartellone) over and said “hey, come sing on my solo CD”.  Yes, there was one song that Jack, Tommy, Ted, and Michael played on; so you could kind of make the stretch that it was a Damn Yankees song if you closed your eyes real tight.  I saw Tommy on this tour in Knoxville at Thompson Boiling Arena.  He had the first slot in a tour that boasted Tommy, Peter Frampton, and Lynyrd Skynyrd.  Ironically, Cartellone played with Shaw on that tour and within a year, he was installed as Skynyrd’s drummer -where he is still today.

Well, that closes another peek inside my iPod, as well as my mind.  Hope you visit again soon.  Also, if your area is like Nashville has been lately, the key word is HYDRATE.

Zach – sweating while musing

Top 5… Make that My Top 7 Concerts

music musings, beaverdamusa.comA song came on the other day while mowing and it caused me to think about seeing that artist in concert.  I told myself (I do that while mowing) that it was definitely a top five concert.  I went “Ah Ha!” – not because I ran over a stump, but because I had my next Musing topic.  I started accumulating them in my mind and quickly got to seven.  The thought of going on until I got to ten ended because I was finished mowing, so I kept it at seven.  So in no particular order, here are my top seven concerts of all time –

  • Jimmy Buffett (A.O. Smith benefit) – A.O. Smith school in Nashville provides musical instruments to underprivileged children.  This fundraiser was held at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville.  Jimmy had his acoustic guitar and a band of two – former Coral Reefer Josh Leo on guitar and the great Mac McAnally on piano and guitar.  The opening number was Mac’s “It’s My Job” for which Buffett walked out, sat on the edge of the stage (barefooted) and proceeded to sing.  The rest of the night was a trip acoustically through his hits and other deep cuts.
  • Styx with the Nashville Symphony – I recently blogged about this show (Styx with the Nashville Symphony), so I won’t go into great detail.  This show was really a once-in-a-lifetime deal.  I really wish I had a recording of this show.
  • Van Halen – Atlanta (September 2004) – This was the last show Sammy Hagar played with Van Halen and based on recent media mudslinging, it will be the last.  If you have been around me or read my blogs, you know I am a Sammy fan, so I was disappointed when he left the band in 1996.  He rejoined the band in 2004 for a tour which provided me a chance to see him and the band together one more time.  Ironically, they closed the show with one of my favorites – When It’s Love.
  • Moody Blues – Edwin Warner Park (circa 1993).  Back in the day, there was a fundraiser in Edwin Warner Park (Nashville) which featured a couple of days of hot air balloon rides, food, and hot air balloon races.  On the closing night, an outdoor concert was put on in the park.  My girlfriend at the time (now wife) worked at a local bank and volunteered at the event for the bank, so I tagged along like a good boyfriend.  The show that night was the Moody Blues with the Nashville Symphony.  We stayed for the show thinking “why not – it’s free?”   The combination of the symphony, the Moody Blues, and the cool evening under the stars proved to be a great environment.  Maybe it was the surprise factor, but anyway, it was a great show.  This was my first “rock” concert pairing with a symphony.
  • Styx – Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium (circa 1981) – My friend Joe bought tickets to this show on the Paradise Theatre tour for my birthday.  We were able to get to the show early and stand down front at the stage.  We were about two people back from the stage which gave us a great view of the stage.  The show opened with A.D. 1928 (slow, short piano introduction) and then Rockin’ The Paradise kicked in with flashpots and lights that I swear took some off the top of my head (maybe that’s what happened).
  • Stevie Nicks – Starwood Amphitheatre (circa 2000) – Lori & I had tickets to this show and a co-worker also had tickets but couldn’t go, so she asked me to sell her tickets if I could.  When we got to the venue, we noticed her seats were on the third row!  Needless to say I didn’t have any takers on trying to sell her tickets.  Maybe the fact that I stood in front of a speaker and whispered “who needs two?” had something to do with it.  Anyway, about halfway through the show, we got to go to the front of the stage and even got to shake Stevie’s hand (sigh).  As always, that lady delivered.
  • Van Halen – Memphis Coliseum (1985) – This was the first tour with Sammy as the lead singer and the second stop on the tour.  The volume was out of sight so much that my ears rang for two days.  There was a raw energy between the band members and they were having a blast.  If you have ever seen the video of that tour – Live Without A Net, you know Sammy climbs upon the catwalk and swings off it as well as stands on top of its railing.  Well, in Memphis, Eddie did the same thing.  Funny thing was that a week or two later when we saw them in Nashville, Eddie didn’t follow Sammy up there – my hunch was that Val (wife at the time) had something to do with that.  The only other time I saw that type of energy was when I saw them on the opening night of a tour in Atlanta.  While there were bumps in the show, it was a natural feeling without any polish.

Well, I am sure there are others that could challenge these if I thought long enough.  Thanks for reading and hope you have a safe Fourth of July.

Zach, Musing in Music City (home of the largest fireworks display)


Rod, VH and more Inside Zach’s iPod

music musings, beaverdamusa.comWell, after a week in which we had mid-60’s temperature and snow within 36 hours, it is time to escape into the recesses of my mind.  Yep – it is time for Inside Zach’s iPod (Vol 2).  My iPod currently holds 3,994 songs ranging from easy listening to country to hard rock and I love hitting random shuffle on it.  To refresh your memory of how the game is played:

  • iPod is set to shuffle.
  • I will write about the first five songs that play.
  • I am not allowed to skip a song, unless it was previously included in a previous blog or is a repeat.

So you aren’t waiting any longer than you have to, here we go:

  • I’m O.K. (Styx) – this is from the Pieces of Eight album.  Pretty much a deep cut from that classic album.  Ironic that this comes on, considering I just say Styx with the Nashville Symphony.  Sadly, the first copy I had of this song was on the trusty 8-track.
  • Pleasure Dome (Van Halen) – a classic cut from the Unlawful Carnal Knowledge album.  Love the way this songs takes off after the short guitar intro.  Alex Van Halen beats the hell out of the skins on this one.  I remember seeing this tour – Alex did a drum solo right after and I was thinking what a beast he was to do that after this rocking song.  This also falls into the classification of a good “windows down, jams up” song.
  • Big Life (Night Ranger) – title song from the Big Life album.  Typical Night Ranger song with vocal harmonies and an anthem feel.  This song takes me back several years ago when I used to travel a lot for business.  Back then, we didn’t have iPods.  We had the trusty Walkman which played cassettes and had a radio.  The only problem with it – you chose your cassette and had to stick with it for the flight unless you wanted to try and keep up with multiple cassettes as you sat like sardines.  Well, I got real acquainted with this album one day on a flight from Seattle to Atlanta.  Probably cycled through it about three or four times.
  • I Don’t Want to Talk About It (Rod Stewart) – From an album entitled “If We Fall in Love Tonight”. Basically, it is a collection of love songs sung by Rod Stewart.  This was a Valentine’s present to my wife a few years ago and I downloaded it to the iPod. A great belly-rubbin’ (redneck for slow dancing) song.
  • In God’s Shadow (John Waite) – from the obscure Temple Bar album.  I have been a John Waite fan since his days with the Babys.  Waite has had a very durable career – from his solo stuff to Bad English; he doesn’t disappoint in my book. Having seen him a couple of times live hasn’t diminished my respect for him.  A great entertainer and this song has always been catchy to me.  This also falls into the aforementioned windows down classification.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed this segment into the scary recesses of my mind.  Until next time, I will be lost in my iPod.


Styx, Symphony: Harder than Waiting for Christmas

music musings, beaverdamusa.comBack in August, I wrote about purchasing tickets for Styx performing with the Nashville Symphony (Click here to read).  When I purchased the tickets, February 20 seemed so far away.  The week of the show presented the Nashville area with freezing rain, sleet, and snow.  Area schools were out for two weeks.  Getting to the show became a concern because I live in one of those “back road” areas.  After all the months of waiting, I couldn’t believe that I may not be able to get to the show.

styx, nashville symphony, zach clayton,

Styx performs with the Nashville Symphony. (Photo: Zach Clayton)

At this point, I must give kudos to the Nashville Symphony.  Styx was scheduled to play Thursday  – Saturday.  The Symphony allowed us to switch tickets from Friday to Saturday night and we even got better tickets!  Due to the weather, they allowed patrons to switch if tickets were available or “bank” their dollars for another Symphony show before the end of May.  They didn’t have to do that, but they did.  Thanks!  I was glad that we switched because the orchestra was not able to make it for the Friday show due to the weather.  Whew!

I had advance warning that the show was awesome from a buddy that went to the Thursday show.  It was so good that he got tickets to the Saturday show and went with us!  His tickets were on the second row (vs. our tickets on about the 15th row) and I got to watch the show from there after intermission.  He indicated that the band added a song for the Saturday show which I think is so cool.

styx, tommy shaw, zach clayton,

Styx frontman Tommy Shaw (Photo Zach Clayton)

The Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville is a great venue which features comfortable seats, an intimate setting, and acoustics that are out of this world.  The show started right on time without an opening band.  The older I get, the more I appreciate that!  Liza Grossman conducted the symphony and did an outstanding job!  She previously conducted the Cleveland Youth Symphony for a Styx show that was televised about three years ago.

In short, the show was great.  They played a lot of older songs which lent themselves to the orchestra accompaniment.  They sound as strong as ever.  While many singers their age or younger show their age in their vocal chops, Tommy Shaw doesn’t.  The high note at the end of Man in the Wilderness was hit and held by him just like the album.  The band brought out Chuck Panozzo, original bassist, to play on a couple of songs.  Chuck had to semi-retire due to health issues several years ago, but is able to play on a couple of songs each night.  Lawrence Gowan seems to have lost the “new guy” label and seems very comfortable in his shoes as the replacement for Dennis DeYoung.

I truly consider myself lucky that I got to see this show with the Symphony.  So lucky that we even splurged and bought the autographed Hatch Show Print done for the shows.  Should this ever happen again, I would definitely encourage you to go to the show – I will be there.

A cultured muser,


P.S.  Here is the set-list:

  • The Grand Illusion
  • Too Much Time on My Hands
  • Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)
  • Lady
  • Boat on the River
  • Lorelei
  • Man in the Wilderness
  • Castle Walls –This was the song they added for Saturday and it was wicked with the symphony.
  • Light Up
  • I Am the Walrus (The Beatles cover)
  • Suite Madame Blue  – A jamming song that sounded wonderful with the symphony.


  • Miss America
  • Lights
  • Crystal Ball – my favorite Styx song and probably the best with the symphony.
  • Pieces of Eight
  • Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)
  • Come Sail Away


  • Rockin’ the Paradise – surprised they played this one, but glad they did!
  • Renegade

The Root Word is “Class”

musings 250_edited-1Remember way back in English class when we learned about root words?  The fact that several words can be tied back to a single word?  Well, the root word for this column is “class”.  Over the last few weeks, I purchased tickets to three separate shows coming up in the next few months.  On the surface, they don’t look like the other, but the root word is class for all three.

Loretta Lynnclassic county.  Loretta is one of the female pioneers and legends of country music and is headlining the Ryman for the first time.  Of course, she played the Ryman when it was the home of the Grand Ole Opry – before the “new” Opry house was built 40 years ago.  Though I grew up 10 minutes from her home in Hurricane Mills and went to school with her daughters, I have never seen her perform.  This lady is a touring machine, still playing several shows a year.  I am really looking forward to seeing her.

Styxclassical music.  Styx is performing with the Nashville Symphony in February at the Schermerhorn Symphony center.  I have always loved listening to classic rock with an orchestra.  Whether it was the Moody Blues or Lynyrd Skynyrd with the symphony, the same ole songs are refreshed.  Skynyrd’s Tuesday’s Gone is incredible with strings and horns.  I saw a TV special where Styx performed with the Cleveland Youth Orchestra and was completely blown away.  Lady  or Crystal Ball promises to be a treat.

Bret Michaelsclass act.  Bret is playing the Franklin Theatre in September.  The Franklin Theatre is where I saw Mac McAnally and is a very cool place for a show.  I use the word class with Bret for a reason.  My youngest son was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes (T1D) 14 years ago when he was just 18 months old.  Bret was also diagnosed with T1D when he was six and has been an advocate and fundraiser for T1D agencies throughout the years.  I had the occasion to meet Bret a few years ago during a soundcheck.  I told him about Kyle and we chatted about Kyle, Bret’s T1D, and a little bit about music.  He was a very nice, down-to-earth guy and we wound up chatting about our respective diabetes worlds.

If you have read my columns for any length of time, you have seen that my taste in music is varied, and my recent concert ticket purchases could be Exhibit A.  I will let you know how these shows go, until then “stay classy San Diego”. Finest Craft Beers from America’s Best Micro Breweries- 728x90 banner