Friday, December 11, 2009

Da Boyz in Boston, and Other Yumminess

Rockapella in Boston -- Day 1
Berklee Performance Center
Saturday, October 3, 2009

"The Faintest Ink is Mightier than the Strongest Memory"

I can't remember where on this trip I got the above quote, but isn't it lovely? It's especially poignant today as I write this trip report more than 2 months after the event actually happened.

I woke up from my comfortable bed and took my time getting ready. Cindy had kindly scheduled her flight to arrive in the afternoon at Logan, which allowed me plenty of time to drive back to Boston. I checked Cindy's flight status ( a good idea, as she was going to land earlier than originally scheduled) and pre-programmed Helen so as to minimize the screaming fits in the car. I looked outside at my not-really-beautiful view of the city of Hartford, and saw that it was raining, as per the forecast. It was a light rain, though, and I didn't have that bad of a drive back to Boston.

I stopped at a rest area for a few minutes for a pit stop and to make sure that Helen was still talking to me. She was, and once the rain calmed down a bit, I got back on the road. At one of the toll plazas, I went to the EZ Pass line, and the light said "Low Bal" for my transponder, so I didn't go through those lines again, for fear that I'd get stopped and would have to go to traffic court in Massachusetts. Helen wanted me to take some weird way that looked on the map to go straight into the bay. I decided to follow my printed instructions instead and she continued to yell at me. I got there just fine without her, thankyouverymuch. I parked in the cell phone lot and waited for Cindy's call. When she called, the two of us were confused about where she was actually standing, as I drove over to Terminal A and couldn't find her. She was APPARENTLY at a different section of the Terminal A pickup spaces. They really need to do something about that. When I finally found Cindy, I introduced her to Helen, and we made our way to the hotel. At the toll gate, the guy there happened to see Cindy's Genesis shirt and made a comment. The exchange was completely hilarious to me, not because I agree with either one of them, but because we never asked for his opinion, and Cindy was clearly miffed. It was the curse of Helen, I'm sure. You're just not allowed to be completely happy when she's in the car.

Since I had a real live navigator in the car, I wanted to stop listening to Helen, and preferred to listen to Cindy instead. She, however, had directions to the Best Western, where we originally had our reservations, and not the Radisson, where we were actually staying. Luckily for the two of us, I had the printed directions and Helen to help us. We parked the car and took our luggage in for check-in. Boston must be one of those old places that doesn't need to worry about ADA laws, because there were a couple of stairs to take to get to the front desk. No ramp. Kind of a pain, people, when we have luggage. Anyway, I realized that I hadn't brought in my ticket for the parking structure, and was advised to just bring it in later, and they gave me a pass that was good until 6pm of our check-out day. We went up to our room, and I placed my toiletries on the right side of the sink, telling Cindy that it would be my side. She was confused because she's not used to staying with people who claim sides. I just figured it was polite so that people wouldn't be all over each other's stuff. She's been married too long and shares everything with hubby, I guess. While Cindy took a shower, I decided to deal with the parking pass, since I had also left my phone in the car. I went to the structure, got to the car, and realized that I didn't have my damn car key. I mean, how did I expect to get the ticket out of the car? DUH! So I went back to the room to get the car key and properly dealt with the situation. The whole thing took about 10 minutes because it was check-in time and the elevators were full,and the parking structure elevator wasn't exactly quick. Cindy came out of the shower and wondered why it sounded like I left twice. Well, because I did. Craziness. I got in touch with Pamela, and she agreed to meet us for dinner. I had seen a sign in my multiple times to the parking elevator that advertised for Rustic Kitchen, so I figured I could offer that as a dining option. *Some* good had to come from all of that exercise to the car!

We got ready for the show and went downstairs and across the driveway to Rustic Kitchen for dinner. I had been wanting some Clam Chowder because we were in Boston, and didn't think that I'd be able to get it there since it was an Italian restaurant. They did have it on special, though, and I ordered some of that, which came with bread sticks that looked like chopsticks. I also ordered a Red Wine Sangria and a Strawberry Salad with Goat Cheese and Shrimp. All of it was quite tasty. Cindy enjoyed her Swordfish with Lobster Mashed Potatoes and Broccolini, and Pamela enjoyed her Caesar salad in Parmesan Shell with Steak. They also had the Clam Chowder, and we all agreed that it was delicious and clammy. The restaurant itself had an alcove that is the site of "The Cooking Show" that airs in Boston. We could see the kitchen and chairs for the set, and I wished that I could watch it actually happen, so I could taste the food. Cindy has a review of the restaurant here.

Cindy & Sher at Rustic Kitchen

We took a taxi to the Berklee Performance Center, and got there in time, thanks to the driver's knowledge of the city. Cindy & I were seated in the first row of seats after the break in the Orchestra section. It was really dark where we were seated, so my notes from that evening might be lost in translation, but here goes...

Tonight: Scott said that he was a player from the Red Sox. Since I don't follow baseball, I didn't know who he was talking about. There was a really long pause before the final "Tonight".

4U4Now4Life: My notes say something about a "party in (something)". Kevin went to get some water during the song. There is a new Vocal Percussion section before the "gunpowder" verse.

Scott said that the Red Sox are in the playoffs down the street, and he likes coming to Boston because of the weather. Jeff's first Rockapella concert was on the Berklee stage, and he is an alumnus of Berklee, so Jeff knew that night 15 years ago that he was doing the right thing. Awww, cool!

Scott said that JT is the Rumble Neath Fenway, as they did the roll-up for Zip. There was a little bit of extra George in there when Kevin kind of lost one of his words. That's our Kevin!

Got to Get You Into My Life: There's Ross, running around the theater, taking pictures! Hi, Ross!

Stand By Me

Use Me: Scott was hanging the microphone above him. We got the Beat in Beantown! I don't know why, but Scott hit John on the head.

Kevin then said that at this time of year, there are a lot of people from the Boston area in Florida, due to the weather. He told his story about going to Hooters on the way to the family reunion. Then he said that at the family reunion, there are people thy don't know all that well. They were talking about the trip. Kevin went to get a drink, and the girls said, "We went to Hooters!" Kevin came back to the table and the women were like, "Hooters, huh?" So it was a good trip, they had good chicken wings. Kevin said then that "at the beach, all the New England men can wear their, you know, their trousers." Trousers?! He's so funny.

Under the Boardwalk: "You can smell the Hooter's Wings and French Fries they sell..." Oh, Kevin, I'm going to miss your stories, as well as this: "You in your Speedo, oh yes, I remember it well."

Tell Me What You Want
Scott sarcastically talked about the Bostonians spending time at Berklee, the inexpensive public school..

California Sad-Eyed Girl
Scott said that they found Kevin "when he was playing Jesus, Joseph, the Baby Mary, and Tiny Tim. Did I leave anything out?"
Kevin: "Annie"
Scott: "Isn't that what you're leaving us for?"
Kevin: "They're doing the 50th anniversary with Annie."
Scott: "Broadway is nice, but with Rockapella, Hooters whenever you want. No questions asked."

Kevin said that Scott's been in Rockapella for "17? 18 years?"
Scott: "Seventy."
Kevin: "Seventy. Since the 40s."

Paper Doll: Scott said that this is "what we sounded like when we first started in the 30s."
I love the way that JT and Geo look at each other during their wicked part. Their rhythm section is like no other.

Rock the Boat: John was ON FIRE! JT, too.

Prior to becoming this original legendary a cappella group that we've become...
Jingle Medley: For Al the Weatherman, Scott blew on his pitch pipe twice...pause..."How does this song go?"

John asked us, "Do you want to hear some more music?" He asked again. "No? Good night."

My Girl: Jessica
Kevin regarding Scott: "Did he just make you touch his nipple?" (Sherry screams inside..or was that aloud?). He then riffed on Jessica's boyfriend, who was taking video. "You let him film you after 6 months?!" We don't meet people everywhere who really like Penn State, which is why we don't do this song that much."
"Oh, Jessica, smile you're on YouTube. Oh, Jessica, Jessica, Penn State Woman. That's it." -- I'm going to miss Kevin's songs.

Ain't Too Proud to Beg
Jessica patted John on the head, and then hit Scott accidentally.

Have Faith
Yay! I love that extended jam session, and hearing Kevin sing my line one last time: "You ain't makin' music when you know what note is next." (sniff!)

Geo said that he was Whitney Houston's stunt double.
Papa Was A Rolling Stone
Seriously, John was on FIRE! Even on the VP!

Where in the World is Carmen SanDiego?

Scott: "Kevin is wanted in Florida for Under Age Hooters. He's opening a Hooter's dance hall."

Zombie Jamboree
Kevin stopped as usual, and Scott was still grunting: "Grrr...grrr...grrr". He was behind Kevin at the time and asked Kev, "What's wrong, ZombieKev?"
Kevin: "Please don't make that sound when you're in back of me."
Scott: "I have so few opportunities left, I feel the truth can be said."
HILARIOUS. Even the "Back to Back" was just hysterical because of that. Probably one of the funniest Zombies EVER.

Up On The Roof/What A Wonderful World -- off mic
Scott does a great woodblock sound.

After the show, I talked to MJ and Ross, and asked him for the pics from my evening as Pretty Woman for a little project I want to do for Kevin. Does it surprise you that I could supply him with the actual date? Pamela saw my shoes, and loved them, and this is why she's my new best friend. We took some pictures of each other in the upstairs lobby while we waited for the line to diminish a bit.

Pamela lovin' my shoes

While in the line for Meet and Greet, we met Robin from Northern CA, and told her we'd see her in Malibu. Ross saw that I was taking video of Cindy requesting that Kevin sign the book that he "wrote", and took my camera from me, so that he could capture the moment for me. If you've never heard me babbling through a Meet & Greet, here's your opportunity.

Interpretation: Cindy gave Kevin the Ron Jeremy book to sign, and he remembered a little bit. Jeff was like, "You soo have to sign that!" I retold the story so they'd remember. Jeff asked me if it was worth the long trip. I said, "Of course, especially to see you on YOUR stage!" and he gave me a big hug. I then told John that he was on fire.

We somehow hailed a cab after some difficulty, and went back to the hotel. We were still too wired to sleep, so we asked the doorman for some advice on where to go. Pamela ended up having a crush on the Bostonian Russian Doorman, whom told us to try Finale, as it was only 2 blocks away.

Well, that was the best dang advice we took on this trip! Finale is appropriately open for the late hours, and we had a little time to wait and get more hungry. I ordered a 2008 Michele Chieclo Moscato D'Asti "Nivole" from Piedmont, Italy. I love Moscato, and this one was a sparkling one, which I had never tried before. It was delicious. It being a dessert wine, it went perfect with our Retro Chocolate Plate. The Milk Chocolate Banana Pyramid with cinnamon-spiced banana cream was my favorite. The Sensational S'more with Finale Graham Crackers made me not want another regular s'more again. The Peanut Butter & Jelly Truffles and Chocolate Pretzels were delightful. Then there was the Chocolate Florentine with the Malted Milk Ball Gelato: yum! We enjoyed the Mini-Whoopie Pies, which are a Bostonian thang. The Molten Chocolate Cake was, for Pamela, "orgasmic". We had also added a Boston Cream with Vanilla Gelato, which Cindy loved. I decided that I wanted to lick the Banana Chocolate Pyramid thing off of someone. Cindy guessed exactly who I was thinking of. (Well, at least one of them). :) "A good friend is one who knows who you're licking stuff off of," according to Pamela. All of the innuendo took Pamela and me into a conversation about watching Rockapella's ... pants, which took Cindy by surprise, but she didn't object to the conversation or anything. A party of 4 people sat next to us, and I tried to tell them what we ordered so that they'd stop staring, but they just kept staring. Um, lady. I'm trying to be friendly here. Cindy's review of Finale can be found here.

Anyway, we had a marvelous time. Pamela's doorman wasn't there when we returned, unfortunately. We walked her to her car and she showed us where she had changed her clothes for the evening, and bid her a safe drive home.

Finale was a perfect end to a wonderful day. Thank you to Cindy, Pamela and Rockapella for the great time. Especially for the Zombies that only y'all can be.

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