Annapolis, MD

hey guys ....

well, i made the drive in _horrible_ rush hour traffic today from dc to 
annapolis to catch sister hazel and VH .... i must say it was the most 
surreal concert experience i've ever had (beats 55 year old couples making 
out next to me at a stones show) ....

i guess i kinda forgot before we left for the show that it was at the naval 
academy .... which is a military base ...... right as we got into the grounds 
(after being saluted, heh) i realized what an entirely different world this 
place is ..... everyone in uniform, everybody stone cold sober going to a 
rock concert, most people sitting down (except those on the floor) for the 
majority of the show ...... the concession stand made me feel like i was a 
high school football game with old ladies using calculators to tally up your 
order ...... and mixed up with all this is 12-18 year old girls out in FULL 
FORCE. everywhere.

anyway, i ramble .... after getting over the shock of being in a different 
world (actually lasted for a while) we actually saw a pretty good show ....

i haven't seen sister hazel since i lived in florida a few years back, so i 
was really looking forward to hearing them now ..... and they put on a really 
tight show, much more electric than they used to be, but they still had that 
really good southern edge to em, and did a great version of "every little 
thing she does is magic" ..... they played for an hour or so, then we went 
outside to have a smoke (no drinking / smoking / eating inside, weird) .....

VH opened with "it's only me", which, although i was kinda expecting it 
because it opened the last show or two, i thought was an interesting choice 
to pick a song only on LS to open with ....

i don't remember the song order perfectly, but towards the beginning of the 
show paul reed smith (badass guitar maker) came out and jammed with them on 
"shackled" which was TIGHT, paul was getting some crazy sounds out of the 
guitar and really tore it apart ..... then he came back out a few songs later 
and jammed on "wash away", which was nice too, but nothing really that 
different from the normal "jam" they play every night ("my favorite things", 
etc), i was hoping they'd turn that into a jam session, but i think the 
midshipmen might get a bit bored .....

anyway, other than those two gems, they played the _entire_ new album. every 
song. and they also played "candyman" and "japan" ... big surprise ... i was 
DIEING for them to whip out "life in the city" or "fragments" or "on the sea" 
.... or even santa, which they usually always play ..... but to no avail, 
pretty much the same setlist as when i saw them at the recher theatre a year 
ago or so .... and also pretty much the same show, but matt didn't have as 
much control over the audience with a bigger crowd (4k) and it wasn't as 
crowd-participatory, which i usually really like at VH shows .....

also, they played a really really hard rock version of "candyman" .... i know 
they're more electric now, but it really sounded almost metal with matt's 
_heavy_ power chords ....

towards the beginning of the show, matt was saying that they'd play things 
off the new album and the older "independent" albums, "so that everyone will 
be happy" .... it's not really the songs i care about as much though, its 
just the general style .... "candyman" is now metal, weird ....

ok, enough stoned ramblings at close to 5am .... sleeeeeeeep.