Sunday, May 21, 2006

In Flames!

In a distinct change of style, I shall present myself today in a random scattered assortment of facts. Nobody seems to like my factual tech-heavy style, so I present you with storytime goodness.

Yes, last Thursday, myself and my best friend said a hearty "Screw it all!" to any sense and reason, and after a commute down from Vancouver to Seattle, myself and him motored all the way to Spokane for the Washington date for the In Flames concert, opened by American metal act Nevermore, and Sweedish sensation Evergrey..

Now Spokane isn't just a quick hop out of Seattle, like Renton is to Kirkland, or even Squamish is to Vancouver. It's 280 miles of pure high-speed motoring. Streets and Trips predicts 4h10m. Of course, what Streets and Trips doesn't tell you, is how unpleasant the interior of the state can be in 34 degree C weather can be.

Interesting factoid: my Scion tC can reach speeds of 200kph in a straight line on a highway. With standard unleaded gasoline. Not that I tried of course, that would be illegal. Of course. Moving right along.

It's wierd - we expect Spokane has some sort of noise laws. By the time we were in the bar (maybe 7:20pm), we had already MISSED Evergrey. I can't believe this! FOUR HOURS IN THE CAR, AND EVERGREY ONLY PLAYS FIVE SONGS, ALL BEFORE I ARRIVED! Such a horrific turn of events won't be soon forgotten. Nevermore (a passable act if one enjoys the American style metal) plays a similarly short set. Following up is some unknown, a band called Throwdown out of California. Nothing to get excited about. In Flames make it in around 9:30pm, about the time most doors are opening for real concerts. Except for some mixing issues, an amazing show, covering many tunes I like. Some off the new Come Clarity. Some old ones. Cloud Connected, one of my favourites. But, by 10:30pm, zero encores later, it's all over.

WTF? Four hours driving, and we're done by 10:30pm? What sort of crap is this? So, debating whether it's worth heading home or not, we wander Spokane. We find a bar called "Jamie'z" or something like that. Amazing. Wood everything, with a massive bar, and an impressive array of beers on tap (not just local, which is strange for an American bar, I find). Many pints, and some whiskey later, we're pleasantly pleased at our situation. If anyone is passing through Spokane, stop for a pint.

A greet out to the young lady we met, a "world travelling" "lawyer" we ran into at the bar, who pilfered our chicken wings, and served as great amusement for a short while as she discussed her exploits of "manhandling random French people" who gave her flak for being American. (note, the quotes should indicate how much I believe each element of her story). Way to justify a stereotype. Doubly amusing was her "friends" who literally bolted when she turned her back for a second. A true *LOL* moment, costing us only some wings (incidentally, some of the best damned chicken wings I've ever had! Another vote for Jamie'z!)

Random drunken quote: The white men said "Whoh", and the natives said "whoh"... and then Monahan said "whoh.... I'm dead!"

We made it home the next day, despite traffic, and a short excursion to Arby's (mmmm beef) in under 4 hours, including Seattle traffic.

Spokane is a cool place - despite expectations, it is indeed a bona fide city, skyscrapers, panhandlers, and traffic. In fact, it reminded me a lot of Denver. It's worth a visit if you're ever feel the need to head towards Idaho.

Likewise, In Flames is worth seeing. They, as expected, are loud, crunchy, and heavy beyond imagination.

The new Evergrey CD, Monday Morning Apocalypse, very very good. True to the best elements of their style, while not going off on too many religious folktale sidetracks like the Inner Circle. One day, I'll hear them play live.

The point of this post: Metal and booze with good friends makes for good times. That's pretty much it.

Carry on.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Best friend Dan here. I'll take responsibility for the mentioned 'drunken quote'. I thought I was being quite lucid and philosophical!

Like Mike said, great car trip, we made good time - decent terrain too, so you're not staring at the same thing for four hours.

The concert was great and disappointing at the same time. Dissapointing due to the short sets of all involved bands, missing Evergrey, and everything being done by 10:30 pm; indeed, most concerts in other cities I've been in don't even *start* 'til 10:00 pm. Still, the experience was great due to the exceptionally high quality performances of the bands we did see. Was it worth the four hour drive? Yes. In Flames does not come all the way over from Sweden often, they're something special. If you like death metal with melody and purpose, there is no better band.

Spokane was actually a nice city. Dare I say it, I could likely actually enjoy living there. It has everything a major city does, but on a smaller scale - less of the bad and the good you could say, but enough of each to make you feel like you're not in the middle of boon-fuck nowhere, as I had assumed Spokane would feel like. I wouldn't have minded a few days of exploring, I'm sure it would have been worth it.

Jamie'z bar truly was an 'upper class' drinking establishment - I have seldom seen such a huge selection of high quality domestic liqour and beer. Really. It was that large and diverse. Amazing place, and gorgeously appointed in dark rosewood.

... and like... whoa... Monahan is dead.