Cigarettes and Housework
Sunrise (with Pete Townshend)
Just Breathe (with Pete Townshend)
Review by Lauren from Boulder
It was GREAT to hang out with the gang at the hotel for a coupla hours of sharing stories, looking at pictures, giving each other most awesome Who gifts, and getting ready for the show.
Then it was off to Barnes and Noble. Stef had the good rental car karma and had ended up with a Ford Escape SUV with Sirius in it for the price of a midsize. All Who, all the time. Gotta love it.
Eddie, bless his heart, folded up in the "back back." While in transit, I checked in by phone with Illegal Name Guy (Chris) and John Davisson from FL. John tipped us off that they were giving out wrist bands with numbers for the M&G. We were going to stop first at the nearby Hard Rock to complete Eddie's beer glass collection and to grab a snack, but we regrouped and headed directly to B&N post haste, snagging the excellent street parking spot.
You had to buy a Pete or Rachel item to get a wristband. This kind of sucked, as everyone had already bought EVERYTHING, at least once. Blessedly, someone mentioned the Mojo, and before you knew it, we had ransacked their supply. (Bummer to add the travel weight, but we all were going to buy it anyway, and we were happy to support B&N for putting on these events.)
I saw my friend Steve when we got there, but after a brief hello, we moved on, as he was in the middle of working. We got our magazines and wristbands. Then we started checking out the space. Unlike Seattle, which was very well set up for this kind of event, this place was not. Don't get me wrong. The staff was great. But the physical setup was poorly conceived. They had roped off the performance area and a walkway. Behind that was standing room only, with only about 4-6' of room, backed by a stairway. Hopefully someone got a good picture.
Long story short for us - I negotiated for us to go get out of their way for the next hour and be able to come back and be a sitting, VIP front row. (Thank you Steve!)
While I was bummed to not get to meet the Who/Pete/Rachel fans there, I joined in search of food and Eddie's Hard Rock schwag. When we came back, we simply walked in front of the now packed crowd. At first people were (understandably) prepared to get pissed off as we walked right into the roped off area in front of them. But when we sat down on the ground so that we weren't blocking anyone's view, it was all good. We made friends with our neighbors and waited for the festivities to begin.
There were two little kids who came and sat with us. I knew their names at the time, but I can't remember them now. The boy, a six year old, was wearing a homemade Who shirt and carrying a kid sized Red Strat toy. According to his parents, he was already an obsessed Who fan. He'll most certainly remember this forever.
Rachel came out first and told Steve that he should be the one to introduce her. Steve did an excellent job in the role, once people let him know that without the mic, he had to shout.
The performance itself was really great. Rachel did Cigarettes and Housework, then Pete joined her for Sunrise (!!!), he stayed on for Just Breathe, and then she finished alone with Shine. All four songs were fabulous. I was sorry to not hear Imperfection again, but Sunrise was a most excellent exchange.
Both Pete and Rachel chatted a bit, but they kept it PG out of consideration for the kids. When Pete first came out, he commented on recognizing some of us scummy people. Smart ass Pete humour, of course, followed by "I don't mean you. And I don't mean you." It was good natured.
Pete did a really lovely job of congratulating Rachel for receiving some Independent Song of the Year award for Just Breathe.
At another point, he started talking about the night before, and he couldn't remember where they had been (Omaha), which the audience found amusing. We laughed. Pete didn't seem to get that it was funny. Oh, well.
Rachel said some interesting stuff, too, but after a Who2 show, 2 M&Gs, and an ITA show, I just don't remember. Maybe someone can help me out.
Afterwards, they had people line up in numerical order. Pete asked that there only be one autograph per person, as he had a show tonight. While that was going on, the little boy bolted up to Pete with his little guitar. It was so sweet. Pete took one look at him and commented to us (me, and whichever ones of "us" were next to me at the moment) on how much he looked like the young Tommy in the movie. He was right. It was startling.
We just hung out of the way and waited for our numbers to come up. I had a chance to introduce both P & R to my wife, Karen. We got a group picture with Pete and Rachel. Hopefully it turned out well. Rachel signed an ITA sticker for me. I got my nephew's Denver ticket signed for him by Pete (with Karen's turn) and my '96 Fillmore poster with my turn. Those '96 club shows with just Pete and Jon Carin were great! I could go for some more of those.
As a side note, I really do hate asking people for autographs. It really shifts the nature of the interaction. Until this tour, the only thing I've asked Pete to sign over the years is my license plate. But at the same time, I do dig having the cool collectibles, and this is certainly an appropriate setting. In Seattle, I got my '99 House of Blues (www.unclecharlieart.com) poster signed - Pete was the last, as I already had John, Zak, Rabbit, and Roger. There are a few other things I'd like signed - especially a coupla items that John has already signed. Maybe there'll be an appropriate time next year.
Had a nice chat with Mikey.
William Snyder was there and did a double take when he saw Erica ("fish out of water") in a cold climate. Needless to say, he was no longer suprised to see the rest of us.
If the adventure ended there, it would've been worth the trip. Fortunately, there was a Who2 show and an Attic Jam yet to come.
Finally, thank you, Rachel, for making this all possible. The real Who fans know that you're the best thing that could possibly have happened in our world. And thank you Pete. And thank you Steve.