Woohoo!

Jun. 22nd, 2007 11:39 am
sharan: (John Wetton)
I just got 3rd row center tickets for the last of 3 Asia shows I'm planning on going to (at the Cerritos Center. I already got tickets to the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills and the Cobazon show). After the amazing show last time I decided to go to as many shows as I could this time. There are also shows in San Diego and San Juan Capistrano, but those might be a little too much/too far.

Those are all at the end of August, but the end of July is looking even busier! I'm going to see Rush at the Hollywood Bowl on July 23rd, Dream Theater at the Gibson Amphitheater on July 27, and Symphony X at House of Blues Sunset Strip on July 31st. I held off on the Anaheim House of Blues Symphony X show on the 30th because I figured it might be too much, and it's just as well since now it looks like after the Dream Theater show we're heading to Las Vegas for Classic Gaming Expo and then my roommate wants to have a real vacation and go to some shows and the Grand Canyon, and we may stay there until Monday night. Oh, and then Thursday (August 2) I fly out to NY for my cousin's wedding, and I'll be there until the 11th. By that point I'll probably be ready to pass out from exhaustion;).

All these concerts will really help with Rockers Online, which I plan on working on more this summer (I did some minor changes to it already).

Wow!

May. 10th, 2007 11:35 am
sharan: (John Wetton)
Have I died and gone to heaven?;) Not only is this exactly what I've wanted since I first discovered Guitar Hero, but THEY HAVE ASIA ON IT!!!!!!! Woohoo! Heat of the Moment of course, but at least it IS Asia.

http://www.1pstart.com/guitar-hero-rock-the-80s-announced-tracks-revealed/

Oh, and Guitar Hero 2 for the XBox 360 came today from Red Octane (actually yesterday but I got it out of the manager's office this morning). That goes with the Xbox 360 Elite Amazon sent me on Tuesday:).

What a way to celebrate finals being over (as of Tuesday)!
sharan: (John Wetton)
O.K. This was such big news (if you happen to be a fan of the original Asia like I am, anyway) I had to post it somewhere:

http://www.originalasia.com/

The tour news might affect my plans to head out to the Northeast this summer and follow them around on tour for a week, but the studio news is huge! I can't wait for that one!
sharan: (Default)
http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/news/2007-03-09-delp-obit_N.htm

And they were just talking today in a panel on "Is Jimi Hendrix a Good Level Designer?" about how "More Than a Feeling" is one of the most popular songs in Guitar Hero. I even starting learning it for real guitar because it's so much fun to play on Guitar Hero.

I actually saw them once on their Walk On tour. I guess they're not going to be touring again anytime soon.
sharan: (Default)
Thursday night was my last final, so the semester's all over with. The one that was tonight turned out to be a mistake, and was actually last Wednesday. At least now I don't have to worry about being late for the ISI holiday party tonight.

This weekend I actually had time to do some cleaning up and managed to find the power supply for my laptop! That's a relief, since I just bought this one a few weeks ago when my old one died and it wasn't cheap, and I was worried I might have left it on campus and need to buy another one. I also actually managed to practice guitar just because I felt like it, which is good, since I won't be taking a guitar class next semester and I really do want to stick to it! Knowing how lousy I am at getting around to things like that I'm glad I'm actually doing it. I did some things from class, and then since I can play whatever I want now I spent some time practicing "Heat of the Moment" and then switched to finally learning the beginning of "More Than A Feeling" (that song is so much fun on Guitar Hero I just had to learn it for real guitar!:))

I also finished a book Friday night (Laurell K. Hamilton's "Strange Candy") so all in all it was a constructive weekend. Although some side-work I was waiting on got delayed so I couldn't work on it, but at least that wasn't my fault.

BTW, in case anyone's been wondering, the party sometime in October which became the one sometime in November, is now going to happen sometime next year, but we still don't have a date for it. My roommate just hasn't been in the mood to plan a party. It'll happen eventually, though!:)
sharan: (Default)
I just posted this review on Rockers Online and decided to repost it here:

Tonight I went to see Asia, the original lineup, playing at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, CA. This show was a dream come true for me. I've been a huge Asia/John Wetton fan since the first time I heard "Only Time Will Tell" back in 1982 and it blew me away. I saw them live once in 1983 at the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium back in NY (with Chris De Burgh opening for them). But then John Wetton, who is my favorite singer, left and Geoff Downes continued the band with John Payne, whose singing I never really liked and who I never really thought fit the band's sound (I apologize to those of you who actually like him). I honestly tried to get into the new band, but other than maybe Aqua and the Archiva cds I just couldn't get into them at all, and I finally gave up after Arena and stopped buying them entirely. There was still John Wetton's great solo career, and I was lucky enough to see him live several times over the past few years, but I always dreamed of the original lineup of Asia getting back together. This year, for the 25th anniversary of the band, it finally happened!

I had been hoping to make the Long Beach show on Wednesday, but homework got in the way (Damn you, Maya!). But I already had my tickets for this show and wouldn't miss it for everything! So a friend ([livejournal.com profile] chythar) and I headed up there early, and got there shortly before the doors opened, only to find an already long line waiting to get in. The Canyon Club is a dinner theater, and we had the reserved dinner tickets, so we got to sit and have an overpriced dinner before the show, but it gave us decent seats where we could actually sit and enjoy the show. I'd heard a few days earlier that the show was close to being a sellout, and after seeing how many people were there in the standing room behind us I suspect it probably did sell out. It was a huge crowd, far more than I'd seen at any of the John Wetton solo shows I'd been to.

The band came on stage, and it took some of the beginning of the first song for them to get warmed up, but they quickly hit their stride and, once they did....WOW! They were incredible! The playing was so tight you'd think they actually had been playing together for the full 25 years! The band played for about an hour, then took a 15 minute break and came back for another set. They started with songs from the Asia CD, and said they'd be playing the full album, plus songs from previous bands. The first of those they played was Yes' "Roundabout", and I'd seen Yes with Dream Theater at the Gibson Amphitheater on a recent tour and Asia totally blew Yes away (then again Dream Theater totally blew them away that night too. Maybe it was just an off-night but Yes did not put on a great show). They also played songs from Emerson, Lake and Palmer ("Fanfare for the Common Man"), King Crimson ("In the Court of the Crimson King"), and one big surprise, The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star" - not just Geoff Downes doing it as a keyboard solo like he's done in the past, but the full band did the entire song, with John Wetton singing through a megaphone at the beginning. Geoff even got all dressed up in a silver jacket and sunglasses like it was a Buggles video.

After the first set I was wondering if they were going to play anything from Alpha or Astra, but they started the 2nd set with acoustic versions of "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes" and "Don't Cry" from Alpha. They never did play anything from Astra, but I guess that's because Steve Howe wasn't in the band at the time. They had the expected keyboard and guitar solos, and Carl Palmer did an amazing drum solo during "The Heat Goes On". After they left the stage for the second time, they came back for an encore with another surprise, the B-side to the "Heat of the Moment" single, "Ride Easy". After that they finished the show with "Heat of the Moment" itself. I had actually spent some time earlier in the day figuring that one out on guitar for a Beginning Pop/Rock Guitar class I'm taking, and I was pleased to see that I seemed to have gotten it pretty much right!

The response from the audience was great from the very beginning. Every single song got a standing ovation from those of us seated in the dining area. The band seemed to be really enjoying the response. John Wetton looked especially happy, and had a big grin on his face after seeing the response to the first song, and made comments on the great reception they got. It was good to see the band enjoying themselves so much, and I only hope that with such a strong response at the shows they'll decide to continue with this lineup in the future!

After the show Carl Palmer and Geoff Downes were there to sign merchandise (the line for that was out the door). Unfortunately John Wetton wasn't there, but someone behind me said they heard he had a cold. But I at least got 2 of their autographs, and got to tell them what an incredible show it was and that I hope there will be many more to come! All in all, it was an amazing show, and definitely one of the best concerts I've ever been to.

BTW, I got some not too great pictures with my cell phone like the ones above, so I'll be adding more pictures to the Asia page.
sharan: (Rockers Online)
Last night I posted a review of Jack's First Show (which [livejournal.com profile] chythar and I went to Saturday night) to Rockers Online.
sharan: (Rockers Online)
*whew!* Another week is just about done. My parents were in town until Wednesday morning, and between that and being up late every night they were here because I wanted to get some work done on Rockers Online it was a crazy week. But it's just about over and it looks like my goal of actually launching things this weekend are pretty much on track. I have 3 bands pretty much ready to go live in the new format, and I'm hoping to get at least 1 or 2 more ready before it launches.

It definitely needs to be this weekend, because there's only 1 week left until classes start, and next weekend is the Def Leppard/Journey show. It's hard to believe classes are coming up so fast! The insanity has already started! At the beginning of this week I managed to get myself into the MIDI class I really wanted to take (if I do want to go into game audio like I'm considering it'll really help, and my adviser said he can work with it for my degree), and no more than 5 minutes after registering I found out another class I really wanted, AI for Video Games, was canceled because only 3 people registered for it.:( Of course that meant I had to drop the regular AI class too (I'm not taking one without the other) and I've spent all week juggling and re-juggling my schedule to try to come up with something that works. I think I'm close now, but I'm registered for another class, Pipelines for Games and Interactives, that only has 5 people registered for it now, so that might be canceled, too. (believe me, the lack of enthusiasm for the classes for my new major has me a little worried. I guess they all want to go out and get boring web jobs after they graduate.) The good news is, if that IS canceled I'll be able to arrange my schedule so I only have classes on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. I'd have 2 full days to work, and 4 whole days to prepare for the next week of classes. I really like that idea! I'm half tempted to drop the class now for that, but I'll at least wait and give it a chance to be offered. Even with it that means my only class on Thursdays isn't until 5.

The great thing about the no class on Thursdays is, it'll make a few things much easier: no driving up to USC for the day during Worldcon, and I won't have to worry about the Asia Long Beach show (on a Wednesday night, so I can see them twice - I already got tickets for the Canyon Club show), or the Stratovarius show at House of Blues on Wednesday, October 4th (the day before Queensryche show at the Gibson Amphitheater I already ordered fan club tickets to, so it'll be a busy week!).

Well, I'm pretty much done here (I was waiting for things to get pushed live) so I'm going to head home so I can spend the weekend getting Rockers Online launched (and other things I want to get out of the way before classes start)!
sharan: (Rockers Online)
Well, that was a busy (and hot) weekend. I was hoping to finish up the Mailing List administration pages for Rockers Online done and maybe one of the others (FTP, Mailing Lists, Newsgroups, and Online Chats). Instead I finished ALL of those! Woohoo! Now I just need to finish the code to display everything on the band/artist pages and figure out how I'm going to handle the affiliate links in the database, and start adding bands! Then this can finally go live.

And I did all this even considering [livejournal.com profile] chythar came over Saturday for an all-day Dungeon Siege 2 marathon.

In other news, [livejournal.com profile] chythar and I also managed to get tickets to this show. I'd heard Def Leppard and Journey were touring together but was annoyed when I didn't see any dates listed around here, so when [livejournal.com profile] chythar told me about it on Friday I was definitely interested in going:). And thanks to Google we were actually able to get halfway decent seats in the Internet presale, since by the time the tickets went on sale to the general public there was really nothing left but lawn tickets!

At Lunacon

Mar. 18th, 2006 12:02 am
sharan: (Default)
Well, I did finally make it. I was going to try to convince my mother to just let me borrow her car but then I took one look at the real time traffic conditions online and it looked awful.:( So I took the LIRR to NJ Transit, and it wasn't actually THAT bad. The worst part was waiting around in the cold for about 1/2 hour for the hotel shuttle! Because of that my plans didn't turn out exactly as I'd hoped. You see, by some weird, bizarre coincidence, I found out last week that John Wetton was doing shows here this weekend. Yes, John Wetton, my absolute favorite singer, who VERY rarely does any shows in the U.S.! And not only that, tonight the show was literally 1 mile from the hotel Lunacon is in! Tomorrow night it's at the Knitting Factory in NYC, and I'll be meeting an old friend there and then probably staying with her in Queens and going home from there (I need to call her tomorrow to confirm everything). So as soon as I got to the hotel I had to rush over to find a taxi to the show (fortunately one of the people who works for the hotel was nice enough to give me a ride, and told me to call the hotel to get a ride back. As it turns out, I didn't need to do that.

Well, I was going to wait and write a big review of both shows and the Dream Theater show last Friday I never got around to reviewing, but what the Hell:). I might as well write a quick review of this one while I'm still thinking about it! Because of the hotel shuttle delay I missed the beginning and the meet and greet with John Wetton. Fortunately I was able to meet him later on, anyway. The show was at the Bergen County School of Rock East, which is something I REALLY wish they'd had when I was a kid! Most of the show was the kids from the school performing, alone or with John Wetton, and I have to say the kids were pretty amazing! And rather than hearing all the newest hits, these kids were playing old music you'd think most kids their age would consider their parents music! But they obviously loved it! Even the shirts some of them were wearing were for bands like AC DC and Motley Crue. There was one kid who looked really young to me (I'm not a good judge of age but I was thinking he didn't look older than 12 or 13) who was an incredible guitar player! He was very fast. We may have the next Yngwie Malmsteen or something similar here:). The others were also great!

I guess taking guitar classes now is really affecting me, since I really found myself paying attention to how people were playing, and I really enjoyed the show, even during song I'm normally not that into. With John Wetton, they played an interesting mix of his older bands' music, 2 Asia songs ("Without You", which was pretty amazing, and of course "Heat of the Moment"), and not a single solo song. Normally it's the Asia and solo music that I prefer, but tonight I enjoyed it all! John Wetton himself was in much better shape than the last time I saw him, and put on a great show!

During the show I ran into a few people I'd met at previous John Wetton shows, and I would up hanging out with them (and they later gave me a ride back to the hotel). I also got to get John Wetton's autograph and a picture taken with him after the show, and got to talk to him for a few minutes, which was really nice! He's definitely a really nice guy! I told him how much I'm looking forward to the Asia reunion that's coming up! I told him I'd probably be at the Knitting Factory show tomorrow night too.

Well, even though it's only 12:23 L.A. time, I suppose I should get to sleep so I don't sleep through the entire con tomorrow and have to leave for the concert! I did come here to go to Lunacon after all! I did get to see a couple of people in the hotel lobby after I got back at least.
sharan: (Default)
I just got back from seeing the band Sonata Arctica at the Key Club. I was really annoyed that I missed Stratovarius there a few months ago, so when I found out about this show last week (I really need to keep up on the music news better or I'm going to wind up missing these things!) I knew I had to go. Sonata Arctica are one of the best progressive metal bands from Europe, and this was the first chance I've had to see them live! No one else seemed to want to go so I decided to drive up to Hollywood myself, and I'm glad I did. Thanks to Yahoo Maps I found a great way to get there (Wow. Friday night driving up to Sunset in Hollywood and NO traffic??? Nice!). I didn't even leave the house until 10 since I didn't feel like sitting through any opening acts I'd never heard of, but I made it in plenty of time to see Sonata Arctica. I even got to hit the merchandise table downstairs and was really sorry I hadn't taken more cash out on the way! I could easily have dropped $100+ there on cool shirts/sweatshirts/necklaces. As it was I had to settle for one T-shirt, a very nice tie-dyed blue shirt with a wolf on it (which the singer later turned out to be wearing). It's probably for the best since I do need to save money!

The band put on an amazing show! This was their first show in L.A., as they mentioned several times, and they seemed to be having a great time! They played a great mix of music from all their albums, and the audience seemed really into them. In fact when they left the stage the first time I was actually surprised by how may people were yelling for them to come back! Very few people left, which is pretty amazing for L.A., where sometimes I think people have never HEARD of encores! We would NEVER let a band leave the stage that easily back in NY! Too many people here are just in too much of a hurry to leave so they can get back to their cell phone conversations:P. Well, it was NOTHING like that at this show! The crowd really seemed to want them back, and the band were happy to come back! For an encore, they played a medley of songs they had never played live before, followed by 2 other songs, followed by a few scattered bits of other music (including a little "Smoke on the Water", which had me thinking of Guitar Hero, a GREAT game I recently got hooked on).

The band seemed as reluctant to leave the stage as the audience was to have them leave. The keyboardist signed a few autographs for people up front, and the entire band took multiple bows. After the crowd finally left I headed outside. There were still a lot of people standing out there waiting for the band to come out, but I had a long week and hadn't thought to bring any cds along to get autographed, so I decided to just head home.

I also forget just how great exercise concerts are;). Anyone who's seen me at a concert knows I don't exactly just stand there. I once had a guy at a Dream Theater concert back on the East Coast try to tell me it wasn't a disco;).

Well, now I have the Dream Theater concert March 10th to look forward to! (I already got tickets, and [livejournal.com profile] chythar is going with me.) And now I should go repost this on Rockers Online, which could badly use some new content!
sharan: (Rockers Online)
I need to remember to put music on when I'm really having trouble waking up. It really does help. And damn, this new Shadow Gallery CD is good! It's the sequel to their concept album Tyranny, which is a great album, so I was looking forward to this one! I shouldn't have waited so long to get it, but I'm still amazed at how fast it got here. I ordered the 2-cd version from Action Records in the U.K. (through GEMM) and they e-mailed that it was shipped on August 11th and it showed up on August 14th! And it was only a few days after I ordered it that they e-mailed that it was shipped, so it wasn't just them putting off letting me know it was shipped, either.

I might go back and retake that last quiz sometime when I'm more awake and my brain is awake enough to think about the answers more. Some of those questions really would depend on parts of the situation they didn't mention, though. Oh, well. It's probably not worth it.

I'm going to use one of the new icons I uploaded for this one. I figured if I have a permenent account now I should have more than 2 of them:).
sharan: (Default)
It's going to be a LONG week. [livejournal.com profile] chythar and I trekked all the way down to Irvine yesterday to go to Gigantour (please excuse the godawful, poorly designed, all-Flash website). If Symphony X wasn't there I would never have gone (Irvine is NOT Los Angeles. It's an hour south of here! More if you hit traffic, but we got lucky). If I hadn't bought the tickets in advance I might still not have gone since I had so much Calculus work to do. But I knew no matter how much I resented the lost time I'd wind up enjoying it, so I went.

I hope to eventually do a more complete review here or on Rockers Online later, although given my current schedule I can't even guarantee I'll get to it:(. But the short form is: Symphony X were great (and as usual really nice guys!). I wasn't expecting to get a chance to talk to them again at such a big place, but I did. In fact before they went on I saw Michael Romeo behind the stage and waved, and he got Russell Allen who waved to me. I think they picked up a bunch of new fans at the show. The autographing line for them after their set was REALLY long! Dream Theater were also great (the highlight of the show had to be "Home" which they played just before they left the stage before their encore ("Pull Me Under"). I was starting to wonder when they were going to play anything from "Scenes from a Memory" when they started that, which is one of my favorites from that album! Everyone else I could have easily passed on, which I pretty much figured. I would have left early but [livejournal.com profile] chythar wanted to see Megadeth, and since I'd never heard them before I figured I should at least see what the big deal was. I only wish it were still light out them since if I could have seen I would have been studying when they were on. Instead I settled for playing games on my N-Gage QD and Clie. No, I wasn't that impressed, although there were moments when they sounded pretty good. I think a lot of it is the vocals, since that can make or break a band for me. I prefer singers with great voices, like Russell Allen, James LaBrie, John Wetton, Joe Lynn Turner, Dan Huff, etc.

The show ended at 10:30 so I was home before midnight, but I still didn't get to bed until 1am. I even fell back asleep for an hour this morning, but I'm still exhausted. I'm going to be drinking a lot of Dr. Pepper this week, since I have no way of catching up on the lost sleep, and since I'm probably going to get the usual 5-6 hours sleep a night it's only going to get worse.

Oh, and they didn't seem to care about cameras at the show, but guess what they had a problem with? Aleve:P I carry some around in my pocketbook all the time, and they gave me a hard time. I didn't want to go back to the car and risk going through again and someone noticing the camera on my Sony Clie and complaining about THAT, so they taped it up and put my name on it and said I could get it on my way out. So I asked on the way out and they said "Oh, that's probably in First Aid" which was all the way back down through the crowd by the stage, and I was already at the exit. It must be a scam to get free supplies for their first aid booth, since I knew I couldn't make Chythar wait while I went all the way back. I'm really annoyed since I'm not anywhere near a supermarket or drug store anymore, so getting a replacement is going to be a huge pain with my schedule:(. And when I need Aleve I REALLY need it!

And no, I didn't get my math homework done:(. I guess I know what I'm doing during lunch today (if I can stay awake long enough). I missed a BBQ Saturday to stay home and study but it wasn't enough. Only 3 weeks left in this class and I SERIOUSLY can't wait for it to finally be over!

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