7 Days Sandy Beaches Cruises

This past week, we took an adventure with my Brother-in-law and his girlfriend on the Nieuw Amersterdam, a Holland America ship, as a private charter through Sandy Beaches Cruises. Since I’ve worked for Princess, we have not been back out to sea and this was an excellent way to go about getting our sea legs back. Seven days in the Caribbean with three ports and more bands and musicians that I can count on my fingers and toes. I was grateful to be a part of the experience.

Watching our family on thier first voyage was a treat and a true pleasure. Lucky for us everyone seemed to adapt to the ship life style pretty quickly and by day two knew their way around bow to stern, port to starbird. No situations of sea sickness or stir craziness being stuck on board.

Musical acts featured through Star Vista Entertainment included many groups we’ve enjoyed watching over the years during our travels to Austin, Nashville and New Orleans, Marcia Ball, The Mavericks, Carolyn Wonderland, Shinyribs (who reminds me of our Put-in-Bay friend, Mike Mad Dog Adams), Red Youg, Marc Broussard, The McCrary Sisters, The California Honeycrops, Seth Walker, Jonnell Mosser, Lee Roy Parnell, and a few new to me groups like Brennen Leigh, Jon Cleary, Reverend Peyton and Mike Zito. The headlining band, Delbert McLinton, unfortunately due to health reasons had to pull out of the cruise, but sent plenty of other great acts to ensure guests had alot of entertainment to choose from. To my great surprise, the Band of Heathens and the War & Treaty were welcome additions and recent discoveries thanks to programs like CBS Sunday Mornings.

On the first day, after finding our life boat (number 12) and watching a movie about safety during an emergency, we found the Lido deck with the midship pool, New York Pizza, the Dive-In hamburger/hot dog bar and of course the main buffet. (This week we will not be eating any of that junk food as we go back to our pescatarian mediterranean diets.)

We hit the aft pool for the sail away party, and it waws nothing like our previous life at sea. No line dances created by cruise staff, no jewelery expert trying to sell jewels, no art gallery expert trying to sell us a painting from Park West, just some spa girls standing by their entrance trying to get you to by a package and the bartenders selling drink packages. Nothing invasive, just making sure we were aware of what was available.

We ate in the dining room on three separate occasions. This is included in the price of the cruise, along with the buffet and snack bars. Pretty much a three course meal with a variety of options depending on the meal. There were several crusie ship classics that I remember eating during my crew years. Lasagna, Rigatoni with Sausage, Barramundi (a mild white fish), smoked pepercorn crusted duck breast, French Onion Soup, Eggplant Parmesean, you get the drift. Comfort food, and also a few healther choices for those folks looking to actually keep their figures the same while away from home. I did try to pick my battles wisely and not eat dessert every day.

On board the Holland America Ships, they also offer several up-charged dining experinces. These are also three course meal experiences, plus optional “sides”. In one, the Pinnacle Grill, our waiter informed us that if we wanted an additional starter or main, we would pay another upcharge at $7 per item requested. (This was not our experience on Princess, so I was a bit shocked when he informed us of this.) I didn’t need anything else outside of my appetizer, which wasn’t memorable, or the scallops that were my main course. Overall, the meal was pleasureable and I’d say worth trying if you want an affordable steakhouse experience that isn’t on land. Our second out of pocket dining experience was on the third sea day at their Asian/Thai inspired restaurant called Tamarind. (Side bar, I love to eat Tamarind and drink it as a soda.) I loved this entire experience. Loads of vegetarian and tofu options, plus my favorite style of cooking is Thai, especially their spicey curries. We ate Chinese style ribs, sushi, Tom Ka Gai coconut soup, Dan Dan Noodles (with tofu), oyster mushrooms, and Jake had Cashew Baramundi in Red Thai curry. We were in a hurry to get to some other music, and our waitress worked the flow as best she could. Totally worth the up charge and we all decided we would have gone back if the crusie were a few days longer.

From an entertainment perspective, we ran from the front (bow) to the back (aft) of the ship about every 60 minutes to hear someone else trying to also hit all the smaller venues on deck 2 along the way. There was no way we could see all of the entertainers. I “think” that’s a good problem… except I know I missed some great musicians along the way.

Sandy Beaches Blues Cruise

Overview of events we attended January 15-22, 2023

Embarkation day:

Sail away party – aft pool (covered) open deck

9pm Marsha Ball – Mainstage Theater

Great set great band… will not miss her (I hope)

11pm Mavericks when the band started, the microphones didn’t work in the PA when they came out… and then the volume was way too loud.

Sea day:

Mike Lito, aft pool, classic Texas blues rock and a couple cool covers of Eric Clapton and Led Zeppelin

Nice voice & playing- covered In the Presence of the Lord & A Zep tune.

Red Young on piano in the Crews Nest deck 11 bar

The War & Treaty – who knew this couple was from Albion. Great soulful r&b compositions and passionate singing.

Shinyribs – this guy is alot like our Put-In-Bay friend, Mike Mad Dog Adams, tells funny stories, sings quirky melodies and is an over all fun good time experience.

Open jam – Every night, late night, some of the musicians showed up for a jam session inside the Crows Nest.

Day 3 Costa Maya

Ashore to Solumar beach restaurant- throw back fish by the sea from our old cruising days.

Marsha Ball – Second time in the Mainstage Theater seeing her and equally as fun. Wish the sound engineer could have found the frequency squeeling in her monitors. It was annoying for us in the audience, I can only imagine what she thought.

Band of Heathens – Pool deck aft, wow, just wow. Great harmonies, great lead singing by both guys with very different vocal tonalities. Highly recommend their album and their music.

Carolyn Wonderland – Her name was on the marquis in Austin every time we visited and I know why. Her guitar playing is akin to Stevie Ray and her voice is alot like Janis. Soulful blues rock and an enjoyable listening experience. If I am ever back in Austin, I will not miss seeing her.

Day 4 Cozumel

Mavericks – by the aft no pool for sail away. Packed house with loads of singing along and dancing happening. Super fun Latino influenced rock, if you don’t know them, you should. (We couldn’t hear Eddie’s guitar in the mix on any of the solos.)

Mcrary Sisters in the Main Stage theater, again, they were great but the sound was just way too loud and had to go back to the room. Even with my ear plugs in, my ears were ringing.

Asleep at the Wheel – we watched the live broadcast feed in the stateroom, after four days of running, I was just too tired and needed to put up my feet.

Day 5 sea day

John Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen, New Orleans piano and a tight freakin band. Again with the sound engineer, WTF with the high end and the ringing kick drum and monitor feedback, every performance, all week long. The Mainstage Theater sound was not up to the snuff for the performers. 

Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Funny as it’s a three piece with only guitar for melody…. He uses his thumb to play the bass… only one note there, but no loops. His wife plays washboard and along with the drummer they sing the back ups. Pretty folk-country, funny and quirky.

McCarthy sisters – Gospel R&B vocal quartet, one of their siblings passed and so they are now using her daugther as a replacement voice. Loveyly blended harmonies and inspirational versions of Amazing Grace and other classic songs.

Songwriter session private performance for VIP guests in the Main Stage Theater (with a free glass of wine)

Songwriters included, Gary Nicholson, James Pennybaker, Lee Roy Parnell, Adam Hood. These guys all have a very country blues sound akin to Texas roots music, enjoyed hearing their stories of writing with, knowing and meeting Delbert.

Sea Day 6

Raoul Malo of the Mavericks VIP solo acoustic performance. He sang all kinds of old crooner songs including Stardust, La Vie En Rose,

Friends of Delbert Keepers of the Flame – group of the entertainers with Delberts band backing them all singing a variety of his songs, featured Mike Zito, Leeroy Parnell, Jimmy Hall, Jonell Mosser, and a few others.

Songwriters Session with Jon Cleary, Lee Roy Parnell and Adam Hood

Another set of Carolyn Wonderland by the pool.

Half Moon Cay, Holland America’s private Bahamas Island

Last night party with the Mavericks and friends playing a variety of music and featuring many of the musicians on board. A raucous event that really was disorganized, but fun to hear.

Les Miserables at the Fisher Theater

Thursday, January 5, 2023, Jake went to his first production of Les Miserables, the adaptation of the Victor Hugo novel. It was my second time seeing it live. The first time was in the 1990’s. Thank you to my high school choir director for being so brave by taking a group of us down state from Alpena to see this show. We sat in the nose bleeds, but I’ll never forget it. And last night, we sat in row I, center on the main floor. What a different perspective, and still totally amazing.

Fantastic singing. I really just go to hear Jean Valjean. I mean that is a really intense tenor part and the male falsetto full voiced high notes are something else to experience.

I’ve listened to all the soundtracks, from the original, to yes, even the film version. I can sing every line, however, last night I did not. The lady next to me cried when Fontaine died, so did I, and so did Jake. The cast is excellent and I cannot rave about it enough. If you have a chance before they leave town, please go.

I mentioned our seats, but I did not really talk about the Fisher building or theater. Go a little early, and look around. There are several shops inside and they often are open before the shows. Be sure to look up while standing in the overall building hallways and entrance areas to see some really intricate mosaic tile work. There are a couple nice spots where the mosaic is on floor 1 so you can use it as a selfie/photo backdrop. Closer to the theater entrance there are often posters of the current show and future broadway shows coming, another excellent photo opportunity.

Once inside the actual theater, head to the left and down the stairs near the restrooms there is a small bar with seats… there are also two very small private ticketed entry clubs. I highly recommend those as well. They always have one or two booths set up with swag and merchandise in their spacious main lobby and there are some bars there as well. The seats in the theater are pretty comfortable and overall spacious enough. There are plenty of side exits as well so make the most of the lovely listening environment. Please don’t crunch your snacks and thank you for not talking or whispering during the show.

Before the show we went across the street to Cuisine. Lovely flat rate three course meal with plenty of options for all palates. They had a nice risotto for vegetarians, but I decided on the duck and had a meat day. Jake ate the Dover Sole. I recommend going to dinner there as the service and food were both top notch. Super cute place set in a house in the neighborhood that feels real old school Detroit. Nice and interesting wine list, be sure to ask your server as they are quite knowledgeable and sometimes have ones that are not listed. We will be back there for sure.

Henry Kapono / Johnny Valentine the Royal Kona Resort Kailua Big Island Hawaii

So while we were on the Big Island we spent a bit more time in Kailua / Kona down by the ocean and also in town in search of live music. Since the pandemic regulations relaxed a lot of people are reopened for business and the tourists are back out for fun in the sun. While we were out with Captain Steve on SeaQuest snorkeling down to the Captain Cook Monument, he mentioned checking out the Royal Kona Resort’s entertainment offering. He also said, arrive early so that you actually get a seat/table. Great advice.

First Thursday we went to see my favorite Hawaiian Folk singer, Henry Kapono. He’s written several hit songs and also has a great repertoire of fun local music by other prominent Hawaiian songwriters. My favorite, Good Night & Good morning, along with Island Style and Friends are some of the songs in his show that are great to sing along to and a lot of the audience knows the words, so take a listen to him before you go.

Second Thursday, we saw Johnny Valentine and his son. They perform a variety of classic rock covers and a few of the popular Hawaiian songs as well. Overall, their show seemed most like any other guitar cover band experience anywhere. Nice singing and playing though and a very enjoyable performance. I’d recommend going if you’ve not been.

The coolest part of hearing Henry, besides singing along, was actually checking out his very interesting slimline guitar. At the time, we didn’t know quite what he was playing. Turns out it was a Sydow Guitar, made of carbon fiber. There will be more to come on the Sydow Guitar, because we now have a couple of them to mess around with and a nice partnership developing with the brand.

The Royal Kona Resort sits right on the bay with the cruise ship tender in view when they are in town. They have a bar/restaurant that is open air that overlooks the ocean and offers a variety of fish, hamburgers and other bar-type Hawaiian inspired cuisine.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. at the Music Hall (Detroit)

I was excited to think about a retrospective of Aretha Franklin‘s life and career and to see it in her hometown of Detroit. We all love and respect her so much no matter her pitfalls or things she did in her life that people may not have a greed with. She left a legacy of wonderful music, passionate performances, And a legacy that cannot be denied. She is one of our icons for both women, black women, mothers, singers, activists, civil rights leaders, and a national treasure.

There certainly are enough recordings out there of her throughout her career where this group of people could have certainly checked themselves at the door. It was well produced, beautiful visuals, slick small stage set up with the band.

They band kicked right into the show because Aretha was a musician. Excellent storytelling, the singers did a wonderful job. I was less interested in hearing them cover “Try a Little Tenderness” as I really didn’t think that Otis Redding had a place there in the story other than just context of what great soul music there was during that time. However all of the other songs they chose tugged at my heart and I enjoyed them. I really wish the band would’ve spent a little bit more time relaxing their tempos because I don’t believe any of the versions that Aretha did live or recorded were quite as fast as these performances were that day. Now I work in the entertainment business, and I know that there are indeed some times where are you trying to meet a time limit for your performance and you need to push the tempo, but this was fast… so fast it lost some of the groove.

Really did enjoy the show though… I promise.

Lizzo at LCA – It’s about damn time!

Ok, for those of you living under a rock, there is this amazing woman changing the face of entertainment one single, one record, one action at a time. It’s obvious why people love her, she is preaching one hell of an amazing set of self love. Her songs speak to everyone about some real world situations, Blame it on the Juice is the catchiest number. And every woman I know does a hair toss and checks her nails.

The concert was an estrogen boost of positivity. There were men there, yes, Jake was our chaperone. But, we ladies really needed a boost and a way to connect. Lizzo is giving us that. In the show, she acknowledged all kinds of women in the audience by pointing out their clothing colors, their hair, reading their signs out to the rest of the people. Really pretty amazing to watch and by the end, there was no way you couldn’t fall madly in love with her.

I’ve seen a bunch of angry men comment that Lizzo is gross, fat, ugly and a bunch of other shit that dudes say to try to sqash women. Well, forget that crap right now. Wear what you like, dress so you feel good and happy. You want 100 feet of extensions, you do you, wanna shave that hair right off, Lizzo’s got your back.

At one point, there was a large group half way up the back and their signs said “Abortion is Healthcare”. Lizzo did not back off from that message either. Loud and proud, this wasn’t about killing babies, this is about women being able to make a decision with their doctors about their own bodies. No wonder men are upset by her, she’s got the mic and she’s using it to empower women everywhere.

See that situation where she used the flute recently. We need more attention and accessibility to arts and music in our culture. It’s one of the ways people can express their anger without needing to lash out violently to others. What’s so wrong with that.

Her dancers were of all sizes and shapes and killing it. What set up that image anyway that every one needs to be tall, thin and blonde (coming from a tall thin blonde woman, I think it’s a load of crap). Watching them work so hard, dance so much and never miss a beat or even look like they were tired or out of breath. Loved them so much.

And, here’s a link to her playlist from setlist.fm

Full disclosure, I am a philanthropist of the arts, music and culture and am self funding the concerts and trips we attend. If you would like to donate to my cause, please venmo me @melissabehring

Panic at the Disco, Marina (and the Diamonds) at Little Ceasars Arena

Oh, the freaking singing last night. Both of these acts feature power house singers. Thank you to my music students for picking such great acts to emulate. Over the last few years, several of my voice/music students have brought a variety of songs by both Panic at the Disco and Marina and the Diamonds to my studio. It’s been an enlightening experience helping them navigate through these interesting lyrics and soaring melodies. A friend who joined us at the show last night mentioned that both artists really seemed to be more operatic in their approach to singing versus a typical pop rock band. I completely agree.

Marina’s most popular song, “How to Be a Heartbreaker“, was covered by a student during my second year of mentoring at the Detroit School of Rock and Pop Music in Royal Oak. It has a catchy toe-tapping beat and some lyrics that provide the “rules” for dating. She paraded around the stage in some ridiculous silver platform shoes and a hot pink feathery dress. Cute to look at but always makes me wonder who encourages that style and did she pick those shoes herself. I’ve seen so many young singers on the highest of heels that makes me wonder if ladies have any clue what really happens. I wore 4 inch platforms and heals for years and years and even out at sea, but now, I’m over that. Give me a pair of tennis shoes or ballerina flats any day.

After Marina, the man, Brandon Urie and the current line up backing him as the band for Panic at the Disco took the stage. Super great round runway creating a central bowl experience that reminded me of the U2 How to dismantle and atomic bomb tour. The band made full use of the runways and Brandon came out at the very beginning from under the stage singing on the big screens and popped up in the middle of that runway. (Great use of a timeless surprise stage tactic.) His voice, man, off the charts. He can sing so freaking high… and the notes are powerful and strong there’s little way to tell the difference between his falsetto, middle voice, other than the higher note’s frequencies. Tons of great songs in his catalogue. You can start at the beginning and find a song called “Death of a Bachelor“, or skip ahead to his latest hit “Viva Los Vengeance“. Most of my students were covering the middle record material and I really can’t find a tune I don’t like by the guy. It’s like he sat down and went, musical theater, let’s hang out with some rock and roll… and write better songs than the Who did in Tommy. And every song from him has an underlying storyline worth paying attention to.

If you want more details about the set list, please go to setlist.fm.

Full disclosure, I am a philanthropist of the arts, music and culture and am self funding the concerts and trips we attend. If you would like to donate to my cause, please venmo me @melissabehring

Sammy Hagar & George Thoroughgood at Pine Knob

My Grandma always says, “If you can’t say anything nice about someone, best not say anything at all.” I agree, except, I really have to say something about the crowd at this performance. I’ve been waiting, because I wanted to stew on what made me so angry and decide if I even want to write about it. But, here I am, in Oregon, miles away from Pine Knob and I think that it feels like a nice release.

We went to the Knob late as I had to teach until 6pm. In the lounge, we had a nice meal with our friend Chad and a couple glasses of wine. When George took the stage, we decided to go for a walk to our seats. It was busy and fun, but we ended up walking the property instead of sitting down. Pine Knob is a beautiful park and has a nice scenic loop around the venue. Yes, I know everyone goes to a show to see the act, but the woodsy scenery really is a beautiful place to take a walk, hold hands and relax. (We did not hold hands with Chad.)

After George, there was a brief intermission and then the headliner, Sammy Hagar. So cool, Jason Bonham on drums, I mean the son of Led Zepplin’s John Bonham himself. And he actually was the saving grace of the entire night. The crowd, I’m sorry, but not sorry, what a bunch of assholes. Pushing and aggressive men all the bunch. To top it all off, just wasted, hammered and completely embarrassing. The man in the row behind me was so wrecked, he whipped out his dick and took a piss right at the seats. I can’t believe that he would have done that if he were sober, but then again, I really don’t know anymore about people. Especially people in large groups.

So, Sammy, honestly, I don’t need one more asshole man yelling “I want some pu$$y”. How about a little sensitivity training? Grow up. Then, Michael Anthony proceeds to rip on the electronic car market. Does he know what we do in Detroit? We make cars, design cars and are currently creating some of the most affordable electric vehicles in the world. But hey, you do you and just bite the hand that feeds you. The crowd booed him. I can’t tell though if it was in agreement with the EV complaint, or if it was actually because the audience makes these cars and we know it’s the future.

Sad to say, that will be my last Hagar show. I’m over the entire entitlement white men have in this world, and when they drink it’s even worse… so, thanks for the memories. (No, I did not buy a t-shirt.)

Alicia Keys at Freedom Hill Amphitheater (Michigan Lottery)

Freedom Hill is the smaller outdoor park in Sterling Heights, or maybe that’s Utica out there in the Metro Detroit Suburbs. It’s off Big Beaver, aka 16 mile road and they have a large gravel parking area behind the venue that wraps around for acres. Of course, we have to park our cars somewhere. Interesting situation about this show is we had some VIP parking and lounge access attached out our seats. Row DDD section 200, which happens to be about four rows off the front of the stage. 

Alicia Keys, apologies to the opener, I rarely miss them, but last night we had family from Florida with us and it was more important to visit than listen to a new band. Anyway, about Alicia Keys, that women some folks know from the Voice television program, then there are the rest of us. Back in the middle late 1990’s, Clive Davis introduced us to a new woman on vocals and piano who had some soulful intentions that would remind me of Aretha Franklin.

Ten records after Songs in A Minor and we’re all still singing along. Her melodies are soaring the words are uplifting anthems that are key to our survival. When she sings about New York’s concrete jungle streets, you are there walking them with her. Everyone knew when she broke “Fallin’” that we were also falling in and out of love with her lover too. So many women knew what she meant, we were going to be there through the end. 

I remember watching her on tv with less make up and thought damn, that shit is brave. Everyone thinks we all need to be fully clowned up in order to be beautiful and there she was on internationally syndicated television with a light coating of foundation and mascara. I’m sure that in the dressing room there was more preparation for her face than I am eluding to, but when she was on camera against her peers and the other singers on the show, she looked fresh and dewy. Last night, same thing fresh dewy face with enough Swarovski crystals in her hair and on her trench coat to make all the girls jealous. She shined bright like a diamond, but that’s a whole different singer.

I really enjoyed the show. Fourth row is a bad ass place to sit, we really loved being so close. Except for the damn volume, I sound like an old person, but those big speakers are like being in an abusive relationship. The subwoofers pump your chest and the treble beats in your ears. If you are not bringing ear plugs to any show, you are doing permanent hearing damage. I believe if you are hearing sounds over 110 decibels, for longer than 10 or 15 minutes, you are doing irreparable damage. Since we go to so many performances, both ones that we put on and by other famous artists with more powerful sound systems, I a huge proponent of plugging up your shit. For cheap plugs, consider these, but if you go as frequently as we do, you might want to invest in something more for listening to music.

As always, you can check out a more respected writer like Gary Graff (but I think he was at Pine Knob for Alice In Chains last night), and the song list from each performers show is out at Setlist.fm. I hope that you, dear reader, find some time to listen to some live music this summer while it’s still nice weather.

Thundercat, the Strokes & the Red Hot Chili Peppers at Comerica Park

This is the first large stadium show I’ve been to since before the Pandemic. To be honest, we usually don’t go to the biggest shows anymore as we’ve seen the acts in other venues or just don’t want to deal with the crowds. This event was a blast and totally worth being around so many other folks… and believe me, there were alot of people there.

There were 8 sections on the Comerica Park field, plus a pit area, then behind us on all sides (except the Detroit Athletic Club facing center field). I mean they had each section full, plus the entire upper deck also looked pack. Our seats were on the main floor, aka the middle of the baseball field. Section DD, row 13, seats 34 & 35. Our neighbors met us down there for the fun.

The opener, Thundercat, something else on the bass, jazz and funk sounds. It was a serious on slaught of notes from the minute he took the stage. I’m not sure how many people were into him or even paid attention. But I was riveted. I first heard him on NPR Tiny Desk with Mac Miller (RIP). I really didn’t know what the big deal was when Mac introduced him, except to say the quality of the songs he was working on with Mac were of another earthly plane. Then I started digging into his other music and found it to have a smooth silky high falsetto voice and a fast undulating bass that had a feeling of the old funk disco. I recommend checking out his songs like Funny Thing and Them Changes which he performed on Steven Colbert with Jon Batiste. I’ll be looking out to hear him again in the future, just hopefully not in such a big space.

The second act was the Strokes, featuing Julian Casablancas on lead vocals and other players that are all his childhood friends. Super cool to think that he collected musicians along his life journey that would eventually lead to his super famous grammy award winning band I’m never quite sure how this band got to be so popular as it’s a bit ‘Last Night’ sounding to me over their entire music catalog. I did enjoy hearing them. We stayed on the main floor for the first 4 songs, but the volume was intense and I needed to pee, so we hit the lounge, aka the Tiger Den.

Just at the last two numbers, we headed back down to our “seats”. I use the term seats lightly, cause really, there wasn’t any sitting happening. Honestly, how could ya? When the music started to indicate RHCP (Red Hot Chili Peppers) were taking the stage, it was pretty electric. Everyone was out of their seats and breathing in anticipation. For those of you not from Michigan/Detroit, Chad Smith, the drummer is somewhat of an icon in our area. The local boy with a really popular Detroit band (Toby Redd), takes off to Los Angeles, connects with another Michigan boy, Anthony Kiedis, from Grand Rapids and makes one of the most popular bands of the 1990’s and beyond.

Seriously, these guys not only created great hits like “Give it Away“, “Under the Bridge“, and “By the Way“, but they survived the 90’s.

Think about how many of their grunge peers from the 90’s have already left this plane and moved on to the next. Kurt Cobain (Nirvana), Shannon Hoon (Blind Melon), Chris Cornell (Soundgarden), and Andrew Patrick Wood (Mother Love Bone), are those major players of the 1990’s grunge sound to have passed on.

These are some of the most iconic acts of their time.


Now maybe the RHCP’s would say they aren’t that kind of band (grunge, alternative, etc). But they are from that era and for me, they speak to my inner Doc Martin Flannel wearing self.

You can check out their playlist on Setlist.fm if you’re intereseted in hearing which songs you missed out on. I’m just glad we went and equally as glad we made it home safe. Never know these days with what’s going on in the world.

Thank you #RHCP for a great night feeling young, safe, loved and musical… Forever grateful. #luckylife

Cheap Trick & Rod Stewart at Pine Knob Music Theater

Cheap Trick & Rod Stewart at Pine Knob. So many great songs, where to start. Oh, with arguably the “greatest live rock n roll band” as they introduced themselves. Robin Zander single handed saved my faith in an aging rock singer. His pipes were on, his son is in the band also and covered “the one high note” at the end of the flame. But seriously, I couldn’t stay seated. Dance and rock that’s what we did from the start of the show at 7:30 until the bitter end. Of course, Cheap Trick played the favorites, Surrender, I Want You to Want Me, but I really lost my shit over Dream Police. You know there are just some tunes that really get ya… well, they are in my head.

Rod the Mod, he is a historian of global and American culture. Last time we saw him was the American Songbook tour (he’s a Scottish man who understands the value of our music & it’s greater contribution to everyone’s culture everywhere.) He had a fun group… seriously felt like a Princess Cruises revue of Rod. Six talented women playing instruments, dancing & singing flanked him at all times and a great guitars & rhythm section too. (Did I mention harp?) How about the nods to his Celtic heritage and the dancing… soccer balls and acoustic stripped down front on the stage connecting with the audience… or the fact that every song was a huge hit. So fun, so glad we went. Thanks Rod!