Jeff Mangum Pt 2: The 40 Watt (340th new thing).

November 26, 2012 § 1 Comment

On Day Three Hundred Forty Patrick and I drove to Athens, GA to see Jeff Mangum play at the 40 Watt. While this was not the first time watching Mangum’s live performance (see Day 330), it was the first time seeing him in Athens. And I drank a super high gravity 11% alcohol beer.

Once we’d arrived and checked in to the glamorous Holiday Inn, Patrick, our friend Mark, and I cleaned up and headed out for some grub. On the way out we noticed a few groups of family football fans gathered around the TVs in the lounge downstairs. Day Three Hundred Forty will also be memorialized as the day Whitney Houston died (cue minute of silence with “I Will Always Love You” softly playing in the background).

We headed out on the college town and after stopping for a quick bite at a trendy looking taco place headed into a craft beer bar/restaurant. It was super crowded. With the show down the road coupled with a frigid Friday night in Athens, people and thick coats lined the bar, the booths, and flowed into any open space. I ordered the highest gravity beer that I’d ever drank: an 11% alcoholic brew. I could definitely taste the kick, and it began a long conversation in the back of my mind about whether high gravity beer was any better than regular gravity beer. I guess it depends on your beer drinking aim.

After we’d warmed up significantly, I layered back on my sweater, gloves, scarf, and big puffy down coat to head to the venue. “Andrew, Scott and Laura” from Elf Power were the opening act. They should have re-arranged their name order to Laura Scott and Andrew. Or just dropped Andrew altogether, simply because I’ve always wanted to see my name on a giant marquee.

The 40 Watt holds about two hundred fewer people than Atlanta’s Variety Playhouse, where I had seen Jeff Mangum play ten days earlier. I was curious to see how different the audience would be, especially since Athens is the hometown of Neutral Milk Hotel. I wasn’t disappointed.

The crowd moved as one throughout the entire show, falling silent between songs and singing along loudly when prompted. I joined in. I think part of the difference between the Atlanta and Athens shows for me had to do with my position in the audience and the preparations beforehand. In Atlanta, I had rushed straight from work and missed the build up of the opener. However, I also believe that the college town enjoyed a sort of homecoming atmosphere. It may well have been the 11% beer that loosened me up, too. Either way, it was a great show, and I can’t wait to head to Charleston in January to complete my trifecta of Jeff Mangum shows (buy your tickets here).

Bobby Dodd (235th new thing).

January 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

On Day Two Hundred Thirty-Five I joined Patrick, his parents, Mark, and Jeff to see the Clemson football team play Georgia Tech at Bobby Dodd stadium. Clemson had been performing exceptionally well so far in the season, so the entire group was excited about the prospect of another win. Except it didn’t happen.

After a brief tailgate at the house (is that even considered a tailgate?), which included some yummy deviled eggs not made with an Eggie, the group carpooled over to Midtown and headed into the stadium. I had lived across the street from the complex my freshman year of college, in the Georgia State dorms, but that was as close as I had come to actually stepping foot inside its walls. Bobby Dodd was quite small compared to previous college football arenas I had seen (Death Valley at Clemson being the only one). We sat high above the endzone, and although the action was far away, we were afforded nice skyline views of Atlanta.

The game isn’t really worth talking about, with Clemson’s loss and all. At this point I have all but given up on rooting for sports teams. My record of attending games and leaving pleased is abysmal at best.

One thing Patrick always notes, annoyed, about Tech fans is their lack of enthusiasm throughout the game, only really standing up to cheer when the Budweiser song comes on at the end of the third quarter. Then they all leap to their feet and bounce up and down to the music, chanting loudly along with the final “Budweiser” chorus. I thought the fans were nice enough, but their flashing scoreboard was enough to send even the most seasoned video game player into an epileptic fit. And it was pretty crappy to see it continuing to flash as the visiting team started making a play toward the crazy lights. Surely it was distracting.

Although we all walked out saddened in our orange and purple, I had an enjoyable evening and day. The weather was that perfect crisp fall cool that screams for college football. I hope to return to see a game at Bobby Dodd someday (in two years when the two teams meet again on that field, if I’m allowed), and maybe next time the score will reflect in Patrick and all the other Clemson fans’ favor.

Sixty-Seven. A Fleet Foxes Show.

June 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

On Day Sixty-Seven I went to the Tabernacle to see Fleet Foxes, something I had never done before (is there some kind of theme to this blog??). Beards covered the faces of more than half the male audience members (I should have counted them). I felt bad for the ones without facial hair, but they were more the fratty, I’m-here-because-my girlfriend-bought-the-tickets type.

The show was pretty cool, and the band sounded terrific.  I was also able to see our friend Mark who now lives in Hilton Head and hang out with our kickballing, margarita drinking, Turner Field photo-taking pal Laura Warner during the headliner’s performance. Pretty sweet.

VIP what?

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