The acoustic adventure continued this year with the 2011 Kihncert which was held at the Shoreline in Mountain View. I have graced all but one of the Kihncerts and I forget what year that was. For some reason I get a thrill from seeing groups I have been listening to since I was a teen. This is a strange concept, in particular, seeing a band over the course of 35-37 years multiple times. This night I get to see two bands I have never seen before. Yes and Kansas. Styx I have already had the pleasure of seeing but I am a Dennis DeYoung fan and their show is not oriented towards his musical standards. I can always depend upon Greg Kihn to begin the show and torture me severely in ways the military has never dreamed off.
Greg has lived hard over the years and his voice reflects the gazillion cigarettes he has smoked. He sounds like Louis â€œSatchmoâ€ Armstrong but without the great voice. Year after year we are subjected to him as the first act even though some beg, some plead and some commit suicide. One year he thought he would do well as the headlining act at the end of the show. When he came on stage, even the crickets had left the area and could not be heard. It is difficult to describe exactly what he sounds like but I guess it would be the sound a gnu makes when it is being eaten alive by 4 lions. I had to wear protective ear plugs but that still did not prevent the cracking and splintering of the lenses in the frames of my glasses.
His son Rye is an excellent guitarist and at this time in Gregâ€™s life he should turn over the reins to him and stand there and just move and strum a guitar or himself. I think that would be more entertaining. You think he would get a clue when four people stand up in the front row and set themselves ablaze. He must liken this to people using lighters to indicate they wish to hear more. I turned to my companion and asked what that sound was, which was so very similar to drawing one’s fingernails across a chalk board. She said it was Greg singing the chorus to one of his songs. There was an entire section of dogs which were holding up protest signs threatening him with a cease and desist order. I found a convenient trash can and plunged my head into it in an attempt to drown out the noise. I found I had to share it was a disgruntled raccoon until the end of the set. Kihn is NOT eco-friendly.
The crowds have really aged. When 10% of the people are using walkers and another 10% are lying on the ground screeching, â€œHELP, I CANâ€™T GET UP!â€ you know the crowd has aged. I was attempting to walk behind a person utilizing a walker who had on a shirt that said â€œCaution, I break for slow moving snails.â€ This did get entertaining later in the evening when two people with walkers challenged each other to a dual to see who could traverse a 5 yard dash more quickly. Charles â€œStueyâ€ Wingydorng traveled the distance in 6 minutes 48 seconds. As a gauge of comparison, this is about the length of time it takes a photon of light takes to travel from the Sun to the Earth.
Women are wearing the same fashion of clothing with the exception that now their breast are sagging to their waists and their nipples were hanging outside of their tie-dyed shirts. Anyone standing next to one of the these women dancing can be pummeled mercilessly into unconsciousness. I saw one gentleman just walk into the facility and I had to be taken out on a stretcher. He was shirtless and frightened three children and was pelted with paper cups knocking him over. Talk about fragile. You know how much a crowd has aged when you are observing two security guys doing their jobs and they NEVER give a second glance at ANY woman.
As always, the preponderance of the crowd run back and forth to obtain booze and drink it and forget they are at a concert. The people to the right and left of me went to obtain beer and never returned the rest of the evening. They stood in line until they obtained their beer and went to the end of the line and drank their beer until they could get another beer at the beginning of the line and infinitum. The facility has a designated area for inebriated dancing. I sometimes wonder where their minds have gone to as they flail and fall on their asses. I think what we need is an elderly mosh pit with walker access and self-usable defibrillator paddles.
The first act after Kihn was Kansas. Someone next to me turned suddenly with a confused look on his face and said he was in the wrong state and stood up and left. It is amazing how many glial cells ceasing to exist cause the majority of people to listen to an intro of a song and still have no clue what it is even when the lyrics start. There are always at least a dozen people so stoned that no matter who is on stage They’ll be screaming â€œFREE BIRD!â€ I had never seen Kansas and have been listening to them since the 1970s and they were very good. They did my favorite Kansas song â€œHe Knewâ€. I wish I could say that about any politician. With that in mind the song would be renamed â€œWeâ€™re Screwed!â€
Yes was next to hit the stage and they concentrated on their first recordings. They were tight for a band that has been together 44 plus years. Jon Anderson sounded particularly good until I got a glimpse of him on the big screen and saw it was NOT Jon. Later I found out it was a singer from a Yes cover band taking his place. I was wondering why he was saying so many fruity things. He acted like a gay flower child from the 60s but had missed it by 20 years. I guess just taking drugs qualifies you. His name was Benoit David. I think he should be beaten just for the name.
Styx was the headliner and we did not stay due to the fact I had already seen Â½ set of theirs just a year ago and that was enough. It was time to catch the ferryman, Charon for a ride to the car. Unfortunately I had no Gold Greek coins. I notice an anomaly as we were leaving never before witnessed in all my years of going to concerts. There were 50-70 men waiting outside the menâ€™s bathroom to use it and outside the womenâ€™s bathroom zilch, no women! Two of us decided to do the old switcheroo and use the womenâ€™s for a change. We were set upon and beaten savagely and tossed out. Maybe yelling â€œSurpriseâ€ and using my camera had something to do with, I will never know.
So after an hour and 40 minute drive home with aching asses and legs from sitting in chairs leaning downhill (How do cows do it?), I fell into bed and was out like a light. That night I dreamed of Greg Kihn singing â€œFree Birdâ€ I awoke to stabbing pains in my right ear.