This past Sunday I went to a Chris Cornell concert in Detroit. We arrived about 30 minutes before the opening act, which we had no idea who it was. So, when they introduced the band "Juliette and the Licks", I was still clueless. Then, it became quickly evident that this is Juliette Lewis's band. Needless to say, it was a frightening and gut-wrenching experience. I really don't even know how to describe this train wreck. She tries to look like a cross between David Bowie and David Lee Roth and tries to strut around like Mick Jagger. When you add these weak impersonations in with her voice, it's not a good combo.A quick follow up email clarified:
Then, I heard her being interviewed on the radio the next morning, and the DJ made the mistake of asking "How would you describe your sound?" She said that people have compared them to everyone from Aerosmith to Ted Nugent to Henry Rollins to Patti Smith. If she's the intersection of those 4 artists, somebody needs to rework the recipe.
I forgot to mention that I spent most of Juliette Lewis's set waiting for Robert DeNiro to wander onto stage so she could suck his fingers as in Cape Fear.
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In contrast, I had a great time this weekend in sunny, elevated Denver. Luke and Jessica brought Gav and I to a friendly backyard BBQ that slowly turned into a Beckham Madness watch party. We cheered when Becks sat on the bench, adjusting his shoes. We shouted with disdain toward his Galaxy teammates: "What the fuck! Get Beckham in the game! This asshole can't bend it worth a shit!" When the game ended, we remembered that we're American, and soccer can bugger off, and so can Sportcenter's repeating reel of four Beckham "highlights": running into the locker room, running out of the locker room, tripping over a dude and pretending to be injured, and failing to eponymously bend a corner kick.
Earlier that evening, as partygoers attempted to toss beanbags into small holes (Gav was the night's big winner), I made a passing jab at another past-his-prime superstar, former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway. Luke and Jessica quickly glanced around the patio to be sure the other guests hadn't heard my comment. They solemnly explained that Elway could not be mocked in Denver. "It's like if you said something about George Brett in Kansas City, but a thousand times worse," they said. In fact, one of the locals, sitting just a few feet from me, had recently analogized Jay Cutler's succession of Elway to Pope Benedict's replacement of John Paul II.
This fanaticism fed the weekend's running joke -- the pinnacle was late Saturday night, at a bar near Coors field, at a time I'll call "before we took those additional four shots". Gav was pondering what shot he could order after the requisite Tuaca. We imagined a shot named "The Elway" -- Gav postulated that it would contain, "One part effort, and one part heart."
An annoyed bartender confirmed that The Elway did not yet exist.
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Sunday was bracketed by two impressive events, beginning with a superb breakfast of Denver omelettes smothered with green chile sauce, and ending with the best concert experience of my life.
I was prepared for my high expectations to render the concert mediocre, but The Polyphonic Spree did not disappoint. They made me smile, they made me laugh, they cured my hangover, and they rocked my shit for nearly two and a half hours. Did I mention the confetti cannons? I mean, does it LOOK like everyone was having fun?
The concert was so perfect that I considered not attending their upcoming show in Kansas City. It's destined to be a less impressive concert -- they'll be playing an outdoor venue, after performing in Columbia the previous night, and they're due to play Lollapallooza the following afternoon. Still, a half-assed effort from the Spree -- if such efforts exist -- is likely to be more entertaining than most any alternative. At the cost of $19 and a few hours of sleep, I'll embrace the risk.
I invite any Kansas City area readers to join me at the venue August 2.