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Tuesday, July 15, 2008
So... The Kihncert...
...I know, a week later and I've not had anything else to show for it in this blog. Running a summer camp for your own two kids is a bit of a challenge and does take up quite a bit of time. So much so that the time spent looking for a new job has been eaten away at as well.

I have significantly higher respect than I had before for teachers. Lesson plans and the daily schedule take much longer to plan than I thought when you're attempting to keep your students/campers engaged and happy.

Anyway, back to last Sunday. A very warm day in which we all escaped sunburn not because of sitting in shade (there was none) or slathering on sunscreen (we didn't) but because we went and wore jeans and other long pants in the sun. I know, it was hot but it was worth it when the sun went down.

We took the light rail and walked the rest of the way to the park where the festivities were. We'd missed the first band, whose name (ZeBop) I did not recognize until the end of the event when they mentioned they did Santana covers. That bummed me out a little bit but not enough to ruin the day.

Evolution, a Journey tribute band, took the stage a little while after we got there and they did a pretty good job. Granted, the lead singer could use a little work on his image because a slight pot-bellied, 50ish+ guy in an electric blue shirt shot with silver sparklies is a little jarring. That aside, he was an excellent voice double for the original lead of Journey.

A, the very much a Journey fan, was critical of the first two songs they did and then started getting into it after multiple reminders that songs performed live are not going to be perfect to the originals. And if they are, where's the fun in that? She gave them a couple of thumbs up for various songs and overall enjoyed them.

Starship was up next and they did OK with their revisiting of the 80s. They also did a step back in time with a quite good vocalist who performed 'White Rabbit' and 'Somebody to Love'. It's when that former tune came up that B recognized who they were and started singing along.

There was quite a break in the action as they set up for the next set, and people were coming and going throughout. So we moved our blanket to a clearer spot (away from the cigarette smokers, thank goodness) and waited for Night Ranger.

And waited.

And waited some more.

Equipment and mic problems had them going on about 45 minutes later than originally planned. Even so, it was a wonderful and energetic set when it got started. All the usual favorites were dragged out, and Jack Blades had a great time laughing it up on stage. A kept asking me why I was so excited, who were these guys. I brought up 'Sister Christian', 'Four in the Morning', 'When You Close Your Eyes'. No reaction until I hit on it - 'Secret of My Success'. That got her. Her eyes lit up and she bounced hoping that they'd do it. And they did.

And all was right with the world. We left DH and B behind to head up closer to the stage during the encore which thrilled A to no end, and she wanted to go up closer. The way they had their speakers up had me step back and say 'No, let's not yet'. But she cajoled me into staying up there for the entire last band set, The Greg Kihn Band.

Now, Kihn is a favorite since he's also a local DJ - thus, the Kihncert (put on by his local radio station and is always a fundraiser for charity). We were skeptical at how he would do, following a set like Night Ranger's. That was some serious rocking going on.

He came on and was subdued. He looked like his best friend had died. There were references to a health scare he had recently, and a dedication of the show to an unnamed individual. A and I were confused, as was B who joined us for at the front of the stage. It was a good set, nowhere near as energetic as Night Ranger but everyone seemed to have a great time up there. Ry Kihn (Greg's son) really can pull those solos out - an extremely talented young man.

Because they went on stage so late, the police shut the show down at 9:30, so there was no encore. Bummer.

Anyway, yesterday I found out why the band was so subdued. A young lady who was a friend of the station and someone they had done fundraisers for finally succumbed after a long battle with cancer the night before the concert. That would explain it all. That makes it understandable, and the set was still enjoyable.

Now, as promised, below you'll find A's take on the show.