Rode with Trisa up to Anaheim on . . . hm. Tuesday, yes. That's it. And to the slightly difficult to find House of Blues, Downtown Disney location. Downtown Disney is essentially part of Disneyland, only it doesn't cost as much to get in, and it's heavier on merchandise and restaurants, lighter on rides and fake houses. The irony was not lost on me that there was a place called the House of Blues located in the Happiest Place on Earth.
Of course, the House of Blues was about anything but the blues as Trisa and I discovered in its restaurant area which, although it featured embossed portraits of Billie Holliday and Odis Redding on its ceiling, so charmingly treated us to an atmosphere soaked with the sounds of Liz Phair and similar tooth-rotting pop monotones. I had mashed potatoes, Trisa had Caesar salad, and our meal was about twenty dollars.
Waiting by the fountain outside, we spotted Zoe on the balcony taking pictures of perhaps the area behind us or perhaps (if I may indulge me vain little heart) of our beautiful selves. Probably it wasn't the giant green flower(?) in the fountain.
The Rasputina band members are too accessible for my shy nature, a fact I was confronted with at the merch table where Trisa chatted idly with Jonathon about the opening bands.
Ah, yes, the opening bands. First was a group I didn't catch the name of who may, if they play their cards right, have a decent future writing soundtracks to soap operas or Highlander knock-offs (hey, it's an honest buck, and there's no shame in it. Remember that, whoever you are, Opening Band, if you're reading. I may be mocking you, but there is wisdom in my words. Hell, soap opera soundtracks may be further than I ever get in my chosen field). The second act was a cute little Canuck named Sarah Slean, who sat down all alone with her keyboard and good clothes, and proceeded to do an exceedingly embarrassing Tori Amos impression. Anyone who's seen Tori Amos live knows that the lady has a range of very distinctive mannerisms--the piano bench straddle, the thrown-back head orgasm thing, the occasional cute little key plucking. Miss Slean had almost every detail down pat and, even though her voice was different from Tori's, she used it the same way. It was like watching Tori Amos after a corporation had gotten hold of her and outlined all the things that'd frightened them, and convinced her not to do those things anymore. It was Tori without ingenuity or daring. But I felt kind of bad for her, all the same. She seemed like a sweet kid, and there's something so horribly vulnerable about a pretty young girl going onstage in front of hundreds of people, spreading her legs, singing dull, derivative songs, and preaching wince-inducing philosophies between songs about how "joy is the only thing that can save the world!"
So then Rasputina came on and were brilliant. Trisa and I had a great view from the balcony--we even had stools to sit on. Great sets seem a lot shorter when you get to sit down through them.
The show at San Diego, that we saw the next day, was less fun, featured a drunk jackass harassing Trisa, and this entry's gone on too long for me to waste space talking about the experience.
Although when the fellow in the front row with the pineapple shaped head moved aside now and then, I had an excellent view of Melora. So it was definitely not a wasted experience.
Both performances featured the oft-requested "Barracuda" cover and a number of exuberantly heavy songs from their new album, Frustration Plantation.
(oh! I oughta mention one opening band at the San Diego show, Ilya, was actually pretty good. Yes! I liked an opening act! Nice, emotional, atmospheric, hard stuff.)