Mystery Date

On August 16, 2008, in Craft Beer, Family and Friends, Food, Music, by Mark Ranes
Eric, Becky and Brenda at the Concord Pavillion

Eric, Becky and Brenda at the Concord Pavillion

Our good friends Eric and Becky took us on a Mystery Date yesterday.  Basically, you just get in the car (you don’t know where you are going) and give up all control to the person in charge of the Mystery Date.  Those of you who know me know that giving up all control kills me:)  The Summer of Music was to expand, unbeknown to me!  We headed west right after work and started our adventure at the Macaroni Grill in Pleasanton. I had a really nice plate of Veal Marsala.  Neither Brenda or I had been to a Macaroni Grill before and we were both really impressed.  Decent prices and great food.

Next we headed over to Concord to the Concord Pavilion (it’s now called Sleep Train Pavilion, but I’ll always call it the Concord Pavilion – I hate the commercial sponsorship of stadiums and arenas!) to see a show.  It opened with Joe Cocker, who can still kick ass, and was closely followed by a couple hours of the Steve Miller Band.

The Steve Miller Band at the Concord Pavillion

The Steve Miller Band at the Concord Pavilion

Both acts were really good, and they both still play very tightly – just like thirty years ago!  Unfortunately, we had some late twenty-somethings sitting two rows in front of us that stood and danced, drank and smoked pot for most of the show, blocking our view.  They were pretty much the only people in our section who stood throughout the whole show, and unluckily for us were right in front of us.  Karma came through about two thirds of the way through Steve Miller’s set when one of the guys basically passed out and had to be carried out by all his dancing buddies.  They didn’t return. 🙂

I had a couple of really large Black Diamond Amber Ales.  Good stuff!

Stephen and I are off to Raley Field, in Sacramento, next Monday to see The Dave Matthews Band.  We’ll be kicking off the evening with dinner and ales at Rubicon Brewing Company.  I’ll have a Hop Sauce, thank you!  Yum!

Summer of Music

On July 12, 2008, in Music, Travel, by Mark Ranes

Paul Thorn at Rancho NicasioTomorrow we kick off our summer music tour.  We are heading up to Marin county to see Paul Thorn at Rancho Nicasio.  The show is a part of their BBQ on the Lawn series of events and thankfully I reserved tickets several months back, as the show is now sold out.  Here’s a great video clip you can enjoy from Paul’s web site (be patient and give the video clip time to load:).  Our friends, Eric and Becky, as well as the DawBoy, will join us for the show and an overnight at our friend’s cabin in Inverness.

Brenda and I will be going back to The Fillmore, in San Francisco, to see UB40 and Maxi Priest, on August 5th.  We really enjoyed the Fillmore earlier this fall when we saw Jimmy Buffett there.  There is no seating as The Fillmore is an old historic dance hall.  We saw UB40, with Keb’ Mo’, at the Ironstone Vineyards amphitheater last summer and they put on a really great show.  The surprise of the show was, Keb’ Mo’, though as I’d never heard his delta blues music before.  Great stuff!

Later in August, Stephen and I will be heading up to Raley Field in Sacramento to see Dave Matthews, on the 25th.  We plan on starting the evening off with a stop at Rubicon Brewing Company for dinner and ales.

Finally, Brad and John will join me at Shoreline Amphitheater for this year’s Jimmy Buffett concert on October 21.  Neither of these guys have seen Buffett live before, so they are in for a real treat!

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