Flyers' Skate Zone | Atlantic City, NJ

I: drumz > Bring It Back Home > Jessica*, St. Augustine, Rise, Moth
II: Akimbo, Gone, Blue Eyed Son, Bodhittsava*, Timmy Tucker > Brent Black, Time
III: Captain America, Jam > Head > Recreational Chemistry, Plane Crash
E: Fire

* First time played.
**With Kirk Juhas of freebeerandchicken on keyboards for the whole show.

Disclaimer This review will be filled with inside jokes and bits of nonsense :-)
I went into this night, looking to party hard, and that I did. Some could say, a little too hard, for the sake of my review. However, it is what it is, an attempt for me to sift through my seratonin soaked memory (or lack thereof) and write down a legible account of what transpired. Whew!

I awoke just around 8:30 a.m. to a powerful beam of sunlight in my face, which was slicing it's way through the curtains like a jedi's lightsaber through a hatchway, of a Trade Federation Starship. A wild, swirling, juxtaposed, jumble of thoughts raced through my head. A combination of the dream I was just having, and all the unresolved worries from the night before. I sat up and immediately wondered if I would be going to tonights show at all. A couple of nights back, Lisa came down sick with some bug, and was feverish and achy. With it only being 8:30, I didn't want to wake her this early so I did not call, but the suspense was killing me, and I had to fight the urge for several hours, until I did call. To save the reader unneeded stress, I'll skip ahead and let you all know that she did indeed make a miraculous recovery, it was in time to attend the show, and she even managed to shake that lovely heart shaped booty of hers, quite a bit, for having such a low energy level at a show.

...flash back to my room...

While trying to keep my mind occupied, and pass the time, I played a bunch of Phish, to honor the four fellows from VT, who were not going to be playing this NYE. A few choice selections from Slip, Stitch & Pass, and Hampton Comes Alive made for a surreal morning. While I slithered around to some kick ass porno funk, I gathered the appropriate toys and talismans I would need for a successful show.

As time went on, things began to come together, perfectly! Sort of like finding that last missing piece of a Jigsaw Puzzle you have been working on for months, that had been keeping you from finishing the puzzle. Around 6:00, after a little mental elevation, Chris, Amber, Lisa and I made our way to meet Sean and Mary Ann @ Mary Ann's apartment. The ride was smooth, and the roads surprisingly good, even though we had about 8 - 10 inches of snow fall on Saturday.

Aside from this being my first NYE show of any kind, I knew the night would be different, because for a change I was the one running late instead of Sean! :-) Once at Scary Man's, we relaxed for a bit, and got in the holiday spirit with a few Snapshots and some Hour's De Vour's, or however you fancy shmancy people spell it.

Finally it was time to get to the venue. This was the first ever Musical concert at The Skate Zone, and it showed, but I'll get to that later on. Using some nifty modern technology, namely a Car and the Atlantic City Expressway, we made our way to the city that is not only home to, but leads, the whole East Coast with it's special blend of Excess, Sin, Homelessness and Debauchery. Oh yeah, there are also Casinos there!

With it being so cold, we were not even trying to look for a lot scene, and with all modesty, I knew the only scene worth catching was the one in a 10 ft radius of wherever I was!!!!

(Words of wisdom, from 29 revolutions around the sun and over 200 plus concerts)

"The Scene..........., is What and Where YOU make it!")

My first thought when we pulled into the parking lot was "Please let me step through a space time vortex, and wind up in Atlanta, with my girl, and right tickets". Knowing this wasn't going to happen, I made one last mental barrier to block out were I really wanted to be, and began to allow the Syzlack to take over. It appeared that no plowing was done to the lot's, so we picked a couple of spots and hoped they were actually spots. After a bit of recon, we determined that the doors still were not open, and with the cold, we sat in the cars and just smiled at each other through the windows.

Using another convenience of modern technology, a Cell Phone, I placed a call to the venue and inquired as to when they would be opening the doors and letting us in, the nice lady on the other end, informed me that "Right Now" was the answer to my question. (a side note, I never in a million years ever thought I would be using a Cell Phone to find out when the doors open to a venue, when I was parked about 25 ft. from the same venue. Convenience or curse?)

With the word being go, our crew readied ourselves for the rush to the venue doors. Leaving our jacket behind, and relying on heavy sweaters, we made the dash to the front, only to find a mob of over 1000 people trying to do the same thing we were. In a couple of seconds we went from having all the space in the world to it being a lawn of humanity. It was so packed it reminded me of hippies rushing the door to a moe. show..... Oh wait..... Sorry!

This is were The Flyers Skate Zone dropped the ball. The tickets say 8:00. Just 8:00, not 8:00 doors, or 8:00 show time, just 8:00. Am I wrong, or should a venue open their doors at least an hour before show time? I think so.

There was such an unnecessary bottleneck at the front door, I could have cried. With only three security guards searching people, and one of them being a female to check other females, everything was held up until full checks were done. I can understand the need for security, but I noticed nothing getting thrown out, or confiscated. Not my camera, not my bottle of water, and not my immense bag of candy. Did anyone have anything taken from them? I would like to know. Now remember, this was all being done, in front of a triple set of double doors, but, they were funneling everything into the middle set of doors, except for will call, which was to the right, but there was not even a sign to indicating it.

All the while some Tool Box of a supervisor stood there running his mouth, taking out his frustration from an unhappy marriage no doubt, out on us. Some of my favorite things that came out of his mouth, were:

"The show's not starting until everyone is in" or
"Make sure you check him" or
"That's enough, make them wait"

Even worse than it being packed, and cold, with a slow moving line, some Happy Hour Hero, decided to show everyone what he was hiding in his stomach. Ralph was his name I believe, and he was two people in front of me, so I had to derail the Mammoth train made up of everyone who was following me like I was the lead blocker, and head for cleaner parts of the freak garden. I figured it would be best to pass it on back to watch out for the Stomach Custard on the ground.

So here I am......... Still waiting in line, yes....... The line for the show. The line was so bad, that even now after the show, I am writing this review from that line. That's how long the line was. You know what? I'm being generous even calling it a line. It was not the sort of line I was taught to make in gym class.

Aside from the lack of preparation and smiles, another part of the problem was the fans themselves. Yes you! Now look, I love to do recreational chemistry as much as the next fellow, and sometimes I purposely push myself to excess, often leaving parts or all of my head behind at shows. But stop getting so screwed up before hand that you throw up in line, or can't even stop bugging out to the people around you, that you forget to step forward. I saw pockets of people who were just chatting away, not even bothering to move and inch when it was given. Idiots....... It was cold out. The fun is supposed to be inside the venue. Stop running your mouth, take a few steps forward. Pay attention to the person in front of you. When they move forward again, you do the same. It's a simple process called walking, that we do everyday, but somehow you freaks seems to forget how to do it properly as soon as you take a little E or Sweetbreath, and show up to a show! Now you can say, I have a bad attitude or whatever you like, but I'll only reply like my good friend Sean often does, "Oh Yeah, that's nice!" with all the sarcasm in the world, and mean it!

What does all this mean?

For the first time in my life, I missed the start of a concert, from something other than my own choice of doing it.

Thank you Flyers Skate Zone, and any moe. fans who answer to the name idiot, for making me late.

I could hear the sound of Drums starting from outside and thinking they would never let the show start, with this many people still outside. It had to be an opener, or house music, but as I finally made it to the front door, and was about enter, the first notes of Jessica burst out from the enclosed ice rink. Oh, the agony! It was moe. and they were on............. Okay, just relax........Don't Panic........ Just open the Hitchhikers Guide to the .......No that's another book. Okay, I'll try it again. Finally, I'm in, Lisa's in, and so are Chris and Amber. Where's Sean and Hairy Fan? Not looking good, they were separated from us outside and with Sean's choice of Will Call for his tickets(bet he'll never do that again), they had to switch lines and come in through the right door.

With all the negativity behind us, and the whole crew together and inside, this is were the night truly began for me. We found a nice spot, center stage, all the way in the back. Plenty of room for dancing and getting crazy, but the sound was a little tinty for me. It did get better later on, as I'm sure the sound man did his best to dial in the sweetness, in the acoustical nightmare of a venue.

Glowsticks, Glitter, Balloons and Beads, swirling bodies lost on waves of sound. Spinning, swirling silhouettes of beautiful people rush by me. Good old fashioned, kick-ass Americana music, like Jessica can get you really dancing, and this worked for me big time. It was all I needed to forget the fact that I missed the first two songs of the show.

St. Augustine, was very nice and I found myself bounding around like a monkey. This being only my second show, I am still very naive when it comes to song names or whether or not particular versions are above or below par. So I'll say, the first set, was good on the ears and had me dancing away. With Moth being Lisa's song of choice, we had a nice moment during it, were we embraced and just swirled to our own little world filled with moths. If I may say so, this was a top-notch performance of this song, and about halfway through the jam segment, I forgot what song was being played, always a plus for me, when that happens.

My little magical moment happened during the 1st set break, when I became aware that the house music for the set was the latest Strangefolk album, "A Great Long While". This had me dancing around as if the set had not ever ended, and the looks on the faces of the people who were shuffling off to the bathroom or concessions, were priceless.

With only one note played, Sean called the next tune, Akimbo, and the second set was off to a fast start. After what felt like an eternity, it was time for the second set break, and for us to get ready to cheer in the new year. This second set, was full of trippy, trance inducing ambient jams, all contained in songs I have never heard before. with the exception of Timmy Tucker. I danced the hardest during this set, and it seemed the rest of the crowd, was more energized as well.

A large balloon drop was visible to the eye, hanging up in the rafters, like a hundred eyeballs peering down at you. The seconds ticked by, as hands on the clock moved forward. A year of moments and memories made, compressed into a final 10 second countdown. The balloons, filled with air from last year, were dropped, and with the true millennium here, I grabbed my girlfriend, and forgot, for the length of our kiss

Where I was!

The third set began and ended before I could register it on my brain, and the only thing that sticks out is the monster of a Plane Crash and the encore of Fire.

Well, seeing as how this review slowly disintegrated into mindless rambling, I will at least leave you with one coherent thought.

The night was enjoyable. I spent my first NYE, at a live concert, and enjoyed it enough to want to do it again. moe. played for over four hours, and I danced for about 3-3/4 of them. moe. was good. I will go see them again, and I hope it's soon.

Have a great new year,
Ron "Big Woolly Mammoth" Crowell
JamBase Show Reviewer / Comedian

[Published on: 1/5/01]

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