Thursday, May 15, 2008

Free Joe Satriani Ticket

this isn't a pre scheduled blog post. i got back in late this evening with my ears ringing. a friend gave me a free ticket to go and see Joe Satriani at the Glasgow concert hall. it was a pretty great seat as well, up in the balcony facing the stage.

the reason why i was lucky enough to receive the ticket: i don't like football. rangers were playing a team down in Manchester for the uefa cup. it's called the beautiful game, but seeing a ball going into a net doesn't excite me. the ticket owner wanted to watch the game, so offered it to my brother (and possibly a few others) but he wanted to watch the game as well. the ticket eventually found it's way to me, and liking music more than footie, i duly accepted.

the ushers looked as though they had incandescent bulbs in their flashlights as they showed people to their seats. the light was quite warm, not as white as many led torches.

Satriani was on top form bouncing about, you wouldn't think he's 51! he played some new things unheard before by my ears, but also a good number of older crowd pleasing favourites. prior to this show, the last time i saw him live was 15 years ago at the playhouse in Edinburgh, back when he had hair.

someone's uploaded a clip to youtube already just a few hours after the concert. this is from the very end of the night when, for an encore they played a crowd chant and then summer song:

the supporting act was Paul Gilbert accompanied by a chap on bass, and a lady on keyboard (and electronic cowbell). i never knew who he was until looking him up on wiki. he is very talented but the songs he played didn't really appeal to me. Gilbert seems to be classed as a 'shredder.'

Shred guitar, a unique style of electric guitar playing that focuses on quickly executing advanced techniques to increase the speed of the playing, often being utilized in the above-mentioned neo-classical metal
i must be getting older, when faster doesn't necessary =better. playing at speed can be impressive but if it isn't surrounded by a song, i don't see the point. you can witness thousands of SRV versus malmsteen arguments on youtube. i preferred Satriani's former supporting act, Adrian Legg, whose style was quite different.

anyway i digress. apparently i'm not the only one with ringing in my ears. Gilbert, like many musicians, suffers from tinnitus, which explains the huge uncool headphones. he was also dressed quite 'unrocky.' just wearing light jeans and a t-shirt, minus the headphones and you could mistake him for someone who wandered off the street. Joe was dressed down in a black t, and jeans, but his red trainers matched his red guitar when he first came on stage.

highlight of the evening? probably a toss up between always with me, always with you and cool#9.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Too Much Light

on friday i went to the opticians to have an eye checkup. he wanted a good look inside so dilated my pupils by putting some drops in them. this stung for about 10 seconds. your natural reaction is to shut your eyes tight, but the optician said you have to blink to let the air at your eyes and the stinging soon stops. you then have that "pitch black" look.

he made me stick my face in another machine testing my visual field where i had to press a button every time a little white dot flashed. the left eye performed less well as i am partially blind due to getting whacked by a ball some years back.

he dilated the pupils to have a "good look around in there". the eye hasn't got any worse and the scar tissue has stayed put. he is going to get a camera from the NHS pretty soon, and said i can come back in 6 months time to see what the inside of my own eye looks like. pretty cool. these photos were taken by my brother after i made it home.

i say after i made it home, because getting home was difficult. if you go through the same procedure, remember to take sunglasses with you. after stepping out of the optician's there was so much light! i had to nearly close my eyes all the way home, looking through slits. once home i felt like i could see in the dark! no need for a flashlight. viewing things up close and far aways was a problem though. things were only in focus within a certain depth of Bulbgirl and i went to the cinema.

seeing some mindless colourful eye candy like street racer seemed like a good idea; blurry kaleidoscopic visuals on a large screen sounded like just the thing. outside again on our way to the cinema we met my sister. i couldn't see her but Bulbgirl could. she was waving at me and wondered why i wasn't waving back. up close she thought that the enlarged peepers were a little bit freaky, another bonus to doing this.

street racer had started by the time we got to the cinema in Glasgow, so we saw street kings starring keanu reeves instead. my vision was pretty much back to normal by the end of the movie. if you want long term night vision you could go for a surgical shine job like Riddick in pitch black, or stick with a flashlight.