The Travelling Concertgoer: San Francisco Photostream

Walking from the BART station to see the Rolling Stones at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA on May 5, 2013

Walking from the BART station to see the Rolling Stones at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA on May 5, 2013

I’m not sure about you, but I haven’t met anyone in my life who has said they don’t enjoy music. Most find a genre they like and the majority are pretty passionate about music in some form or another. Whether they’re a musician or just a lover of the lyrics, beats and rhythms that make up the variety of songs out there in the universe, there is literally something for everyone.

I’m one of those passionate ones. I find artists I love all the time and I remain a devoted fan throughout the majority of an artist or band’s career. The genres of music I listen to run the gambit. Everything from top 40 to rap to folk to country can probably be found in my playlist, so I’m lucky that I live in a city that has become one of the major stops on many a concert tour. However, there are still some artists that don’t quite make it to my city, let alone my country because they either haven’t managed to crack the North American market to the point that it’s worth their time to tour here extensively or they’re such bloody legends that they know people will follow them instead. I’ve travelled to New York and Montreal to see Kylie Minogue, Toronto to see U2, London, England to see Girls Aloud and this coming December to New York once again to see P!nk. But, just earlier this month, I booked a whirlwind trip to San Francisco to see the Rolling Stones.

Prior to the Rolling Stones announcing their 50 and Counting tour, they were still one of the bands on my musical bucket list, if you will. I admit when I was younger I wasn’t much of a fan. I never really listened to them much and wasn’t necessarily inclined to, but after about a year of working full-time at my first “real” job after graduating from university, in an effort to create a regularly occurring social event for my friends and I, I decided to start a movie club. One month, in 2008, we chose to see Shine A Light, a documentary about the Rolling Stones that was directed by Martin Scorsese. I went in excited to see it because it was a documentary about one of the world’s biggest bands seen through the eyes of one of the best filmmakers and I wasn’t disappointed. That was the day I fell in love with their music and the characters that make up this long lasting group that, despite the pitfalls that rock and roll has brought to others, has stayed together with its original lineup for half a century.

Last year when the Rolling Stones announced their November/December shows in London and New York I thought my chance was finally here. The last time they had come to Edmonton, AB was back in 1997, so I wasn’t holding my breath that they’d grace my hometown with their presence, but maybe they’d come to Vancouver? Well, it was a long wait before they officially announced cities and dates for 2013 and while the west coast of Canada didn’t make the cut, San Francisco did.

I was more than determined to see them. With Mick, Keith, Ronnie and Charlie between the ages of 65 and 71, this could very well be the last time they’ll perform on a tour like this and I couldn’t miss out. And, I wouldn’t call it fate exactly, but I do think it was by luck that I happened to come across the band’s $85 link on their website the morning the tickets for San Francisco went on sale. The catch with those tickets is that you could only purchase them in pairs and you wouldn’t know where your seats would be until you arrived at the venue and picked them up. That was perfectly fine with me! A chance to see the Rolling Stones at half the price of even their lowest priced tickets in the main sale meant I couldn’t go wrong.

The concert was superb. I loved seeing the crazy array of people at the venue. The audience was having such a great time, dancing like there was no tomorrow and Mick Jagger literally is more energetic at his age than I am right now. They played many of their hits, but with their extensive catalog, I missed hearing songs like Wild Horses or Ruby Tuesday. I can understand why people follow them around from city to city on their tours. They are notorious for changing up their sets every show, so they’re never exactly the same, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll hear your favourite song.

This is their set list from Oakland, CA on May 5:

  1. “Get Off Of My Cloud”
  2. “It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll (But I Like It)”
  3. “Live With Me”
  4. “Paint It Black”
  5. “Gimme Shelter”
  6. “Little Red Rooster” (with Tom Waits)
  7. “Dead Flowers”
  8. “Emotional Rescue”
  9. “All Down The Line”
  10. “Doom and Gloom”
  11. “One More Shot”
  12. “Honky Tonk Women”
  13. “Before They Make Me Run”
  14. “Happy”
  15. “Midnight Rambler” (with Mick Taylor)
  16. “Miss You”
  17. “Start Me Up”
  18. “Tumbling Dice”
  19. “Brown Sugar”
  20. “Sympathy for the Devil”

Encore

  1. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”
  2. “Jumping Jack Flash”
  3. “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”

Even after a 2 and a half hour show, I still wished it was longer. But, alas, I can now say that I have seen the Rolling Stones live. The experience was certainly worth the trip, and though they’re the reason why I booked a vacation to San Francisco, I do try to make the most of my time in the cities I visit.

Over my three days in the home of the Golden Gate Bridge, I visited the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero and perused the stalls at the weekly farmer’s market, walked the streets of Chinatown, shopped around Union Square, ate at Tadish in the Financial District (apparently the oldest seafood restaurant in San Francisco) and at Bask SF (only a year old), walked up Lombard Street, followed Columbus Avenue from California Street past North Beach and all the way down to Hyde Street Pier and then down to Pier 39 to see the seals. I regret the shoes I brought with me because I thought those flats would kill me by the end of the trip, but I made it and it was fantastic.

Another trip and plenty to document it! As my friend said, she knew I must have just returned home and finally gotten Wi-Fi because I started Instagraming one photo after another to share with everyone. She also asked me how long I was there for, and when I replied that I was only there for three days, she was pretty amazed at how much I managed to do in such a short time span.

San Francisco through my eyes is here for you to view. Hopefully it inspires you to visit, too. Maybe for a show, maybe not. Either way, it’s worth seeing and with many things within walking distance of one another, you can cover a lot more ground than you think.

My All-Time Favourite Rom-Com

With Valentine’s Day 2013 about a week and a half behind us, the occasion got me thinking about my favourite romantic comedies. There are plenty I’ve enjoyed over the years, including: Bridesmaids (some may question this one, but it really is one), Crazy, Stupid, Love.The Proposal, Love Actually, Two Weeks Notice, Notting Hill, Pretty Woman and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Despite all of those, which bring me happiness in different ways, I am inclined to say that my all-time favourite rom-com is not listed above. In fact, I would say that my favourite would have to be When Harry Met Sally. Back in 1989, I think it pushed the bounds of a romantic comedy a little bit – something Bridesmaids decided to take way further in 2011. However, it’s not the famous Meg Ryan (who was beautiful back then) diner orgasm scene or the classic New Year’s Eve proclamation of love at the end (it gets me everytime) that really sticks with me. What I look forward to the most is the old couple at the beginning telling the story of how they met, and then at the end of the movie, Harry and Sally recalling how they fell in love.

When Harry Met Sally - Harry and Sally couch scene

When Harry Met Sally – Harry and Sally couch scene

I’m always intrigued by how people meet their significant others. Some stories are a little mundane maybe, but when people think back, it probably means the world to them. In Cougar Town‘s most recent episode, Flirting with Time, the couples all discussed how they came to know one another, recalling a number of meet cute situations.

Cougar Town - Grayson & Jules meet cute

Cougar Town – Grayson & Jules meet cute

I hope that one day I’ll have a great story of my own to tell, but until then, I’d really like it if you could share yours. I’d also love it if you could take a moment to tell me your favourite rom-com and why.

Remember, everyone deserves to be loved. No matter who you are, love is all around.

Photo sources: TVequals.com and thelocalq.com

Movie Monday Recommendation!

Well, I was not planning on writing another post so soon, but after attending a prescreening of Safety Not Guaranteed tonight I felt that I had to recommend it to everyone.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie about a writer and two interns answering a classified ad about a man seeking a companion for time travel. Produced by the makers of Little Miss Sunshine (a favourite of mine), I went in with high hopes and it did not disappoint.

The script was superb, funny and heartfelt the whole way through (hence the 2012 Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the Sundance Film Festival). The film was cast perfectly, in my opinion. Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation) is captivating in her deadpan humour type way, Mark Duplass (Humpday and The League) as the time traveler makes me believe without question that it’s a possibility rather than an impossibility, Jake M. Johnson (New Girl) as the writer seeking his past love is a great juxtaposition to the overly mature interns he heads out on the road with, and Karan Soni (a relative newcomer) plays nerdy virgin with a crush very well.

My only complaint? I wish the movie didn’t end. It left me with questions, left me wanting to know more of the story, about what happens after. There won’t be a sequel to provide me with that closure and I can live with that. I would happily watch this film again in a heartbeat, fully aware of the outcome.

It is currently playing in limited release in larger cities, so if you’ve yet to see it at a theatre near you, watch for it and be sure to check it out the second you get a chance!

If you’ve been lucky enough to have seen it already, let us know what you thought about it.  If you still need to go, come back and expound upon it after! I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Marrying the Themes of This Blog

Film, meet Fashion. Fashion, meet Food. Food, meet Photography. Photography, meet Film. Let’s all get married. I now pronounce you Marie Antoinette, directed by Sofia Coppola.

For my first post , I was looking for a way to start off with something that encompassed all four of my main interests. The 2006 film, Marie Antoinette, seems able to fulfill all the aspects I am looking for.

I remember this movie quite distinctly. When it was released in theatres, my friends and I went as a group. As we exited after the show, my friends were initially quiet, eventually stating they found it slow and a little hard to sit through. Overall, it wasn’t what they expected.

While I agreed it was a slow story, I didn’t mind. I appreciated that the film’s slowness probably mirrored what life was like for a privileged aristocrat. Not only did they live a life that was pretty repetitive, but the boredom that Marie Antoinette felt in her marriage comes through in Sofia Coppola’s purposeful directorial style. My appreciation of the overall story was further enhanced by the costumes and imagery throughout the movie. The clothes were detailed and beautiful, and, in my mind, immediately worthy of an Oscar, or at least an Academy Award nomination for costume design. Coppola made sure that the film had such a sumptuous feel to it. Filming the movie at the Palace of Versailles, creating a set filled with feasts for the eyes as well as the stomach (food plays a big role in many scenes) and ensuring extras were decked out in regalia as fine as those worn by the main cast made it special.

In addition, the music used as the soundtrack brought a modern element to the movie. The fact that it was a period piece did not deter Coppola from including new wave and post-punk artists to help bring her vision to an audience. That’s what made the whole production seem fresh and new.

Stills and Photos from Marie Antoinette:

As per the quote, “let them have cake,” often attributed to Marie Antoinette, I leave you with a recipe:

I hope that you enjoyed this post. Please remember, feedback is always welcome!