A lot has happened …

It has been quite a while since I have posted anything, but I finally decided it was time to get writing again. A lot has occurred since the last time I posted (including the selling of our old home, the purchase of our new home, moving, and booking a return trip to Iceland!), so I decided to use this post to quickly illuminate the last couple months.

Moving: The move was successful, though it was a lot of work! We sold the house in North Leominster after completing a ton of work, including getting some plumbing repaired, replacing an electrical panel, and having asbestos removed from the basement. We closed on the house on June 27 and spent a few days between my parents’ house in Gardner and my brother’s house in Fitchburg. On June 30, we signed the papers for our new home in west Leominster.

The new home is incredible. It is located on a dead-end with just five other homes. We have frontage on two streets and a large, wooded lot. The open concept of the home is perfect for us, and we have a great basement which will also serve as a home gym (eventually). It was a great find and we are looking forward to making it our own. We have already purchased a new shed (slowly being built), new furniture, and a new patio set, and we have started to remove some trees to create a nice trail area behind our house. We both love it, Cam loves it, and we know the baby on the way will love it too!

Weezer: Dayna, Cam, and I, along with our friend Victoria, attended the Weezer/Panic at the Disco! Show at Great Woods (yes, I know it’s the Xfinity Center, but I find that name annoying). I had won tickets on 92.9 a few weeks before, and we bought a couple tickets so Cam and Victoria could attend. Cam loves Weezer, and had a great time at a Weezer show at the Basilica Block Party in Minneapolis last summer.

First of all, getting into the parking lot there is just as atrocious as ever. The traffic headed in was brutal. You would think after thirty years or so of operation, they could figure something out, but not yet. Anyway, we arrived about 7 p.m/, grabbed our tickets from 92.9 and headed in. We grabbed some horribly overpriced and undercooked food and headed for the seats. The original plan was to just all go to the 92.9 seats since they were under the roof and thunderstorms were forecast, but the area was being guarded heavily by ushers so we decided to head to section 9 and the general admission seats. These are actually pretty cool seats, as you can sit wherever you want and the view is quite solid.

To this point, the rain had held off, but the winds were picking up and the sky looked ominous. After a short break, Panic at the Disco! came on stage to the sounds of screaming teenage girls. Admittedly, my knowledge of Panic! Is limited, however, I did enjoy their set. Frontman Brandon Urie knows how to utilize the stage and interact with the crowd (though his between-songs monologues were usually aimed at the lowest common denominator. Urie is the only remaining original member of the band, which released its fifth studio album, Death of a Bachelor, in January 2016. The touring band of bassist Dallon Weekes, guitarist Kenneth Harris and drummer Dan Pawlovich. Weekes, who has been with the band since the third studio album, and Pawlovich form a tight rhythm section, while Harris was solid on the guitar. The band sounded great throughout the set, allowing Urie to focus on entertaining the crowd with his lyrics and backflips.

Highlights of the 75-minute, 18-song set included the first single off Bachelor, “Hallelujah”, “Miss Jackson”, “Crazy=Genius”, the band’s breakout single “I Write Sins not Tragedies”, and the closer, “Victorious.”  The most interesting choice was a cover of Queen’s classic, “Bohemian Rhapsody.”The band pulled it off, as they hit every not instrumentally. Though it was a valiant effort by Urie, he just didn’t have the vocal range to pull off what Freddie Mercury could do, though it did get the crowd pretty pumped up.

Weezer, on tour in support of its 10th album (a self-titled CD known to fans as the “White Album”), sounded great as always. Rivers Cuomo seems to be on top of his game these days – lyrically, vocally and instrumentally. Bandmates Patrick Wilson (drums), Brian Bell (guitar, keyboards), and Scott Shriner (bass, keyboards) are always tight.

Weezer kicked off its 17-song, 90-minute set with “California Kids”, a track off the new album. From there, the band dug into its history with rocking versions of “Hash Pipe”, “My Name is Jonas”, and “If You’re Wondering if I Want You To (I Want You To)”. New and old were alternated for the next four songs, with the highlights being “Beverly Hills” and “Perfect Situation”. One of the highlights of the show for me came next, when the band played a five-song medley which included terrific versions of “Dope Nose”, “Back to the Shack” and one of my all-time favorites, “Surf Wax America”.

Throughout the set, the band seemed energized, happy, and positive. Even Cuomo seemed to be enjoying himself, which does not always seem to be the case.

Because traffic getting out of the Xfinity Center is even more hellish than getting in, we decided to start our walk out after “Undone”, just as the opening notes of “King of the World” started to play. We heard “Island in the Sun” during our walk, but missed “Say it Ain’t So” as well as the encores of “El Scorcho” and “Buddy Holly”. Our strategy paid huge dividends, however, as we escaped the parking area in under 10 minutes – certainly a record for me at that venue.

Despite the rain, it was a solid night of music. We all had a great time, which to me, is the ultimate factor in whether the concert was a success.





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