Sunday, March 15, 2009

5 hours to go... Cayamo, U2, Gaelic Storm and WE ARE CUBS FANS

This seems to be a common thread. With approx 5 or so hours before I reach the full week mark since my last post... I am sitting in my neighborhood Starbucks using the wi-fi internet due to no service at my apartment. My internet has been offline since some storms blew through the area the middle of last week and my awesome provider of RCN is saying that it will possibly be Tuesday before someone comes by to work on it. So here I am like Jack Bauer racing the clock to get my post online before I owe another $20.
I returned to Chicago a week ago from CAYAMO and have still been trying to find the words to describe the trip. Another photographer, John Davisson from POLLSTAR who was on the boat, posted this blog recapping his trip. That is a pretty good start to cover the massive amount of music and experiences that were provided over the week of music and fun. As many of my friends who have been on other Sixthman boats... like the Rock Boat have asked what it was like, was it fun, etc... I respond with a resounding yes. While the idea of being on a boat filled with singer/songwriters may sound like a snooze fest... it was so much more than that. Without question I feel like I saw some of the most unique and intimate shows that I have ever seen. Think of the old MTV show unplugged at its finest... and you will have an idea of what it was like... add to that being able to see the lead singers of bands like Tonic, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Collective Soul, Barenaked Ladies and Sister Hazel among many more. To see them play acoustic, telling the stories behind the songs... awesome. Not only that, but the true experience of a Sixthman cruise is that you also get to know the artists... you see them at the buffett, by the pool or watching other artists they love. As I said last week.... I have one more cruise left for the 2009 season... leaving the 27th of March from Los Angeles... the Mayercraft Carrier with John Mayer, OAR and Guster. There is still time to get on the boat.
This past week, I also had the cool chance to see one of my favorite bands within two blocks of my apartment. Let me clarify actually... I only got to see them paparazzi style... but still an excellent opportunity. The Irish Rock band U2 came to the Metro in Chicago's Wrigleyville neighborhood for a national radio promotion. They were playing DJ for stations around the country for an hour and talking about the music they love. I tried to get into the show through WXRT, the station I photograph for... yet they were told no photography would be allowed inside... even winners who got inside had to turn over their cell phones before entering the venue. This all fueled talk that the band would be playing a short set and demand for tickets went through the roof. A good friend of mine who thought they may be able to get me in... ended up having their tickets sold by their friend for $300. I don't blame them... as it turned out, $300 in the pocket is much better than seeing a bunch of rockstars sitting on a couch talking. Anyway... I stayed outside the Metro with a few friends and waited for the band to emerge. I actually arrived about 20 minutes after the band and found out they had taken time to take pictures and sign autographs for people upon arrival. As the band was leaving, they once again trekked to the line and shook some hands before being whisked away by SUV. I was able to capture a few fun photos.

I also shot the bands Gaelic Storm and Oakhurst at the House of Blues on Friday night and the St. Patrick's Day tradition of dyeing the river green on Saturday. Pictures of both of those coming soon.
This time next week, I will be in Arizona for the Cubs Spring Training... It should be a great trip as I am heading out with The Heckler and I hope to sell some of my book WE ARE CUBS FANS to the faithful who journey west for the kickoff to the baseball season. Let me know if you will be out there and say hello. As someone who attends 50 games a year at Wrigley... I am looking forward to the adventure of seeing the boys in blue gearing up for the season.

Details will be coming soon also about my European adventure I am planning for May. Until then... to steal the Sixthman motto: Live Loud.

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