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Milwaukee
Riverside Theater, August 7, 2009



(Photo courtesy of the Pabst Theater website)

I took many photos at this concert. Unfortunately, my camera was stolen the next day, with all of my photos inside. I never got a chance to upload them. Even so, I have decided that this show deserves a review. Plus, writing about it will keep the memory fresh. So forgive me if I go into a bit more detail than usual. The concert photos on this page are from the Pabst Theater website, and the venue photos are from Google Maps/Streetview.

Milwaukee is about two hours from my home. It was a very easy drive, although I did get lost once! Well, not exactly lost....I always knew where I was, but I couldn't find the proper street to get back on track! As I approached the downtown area, I was surprised by the general lack of traffic. The theater was very easy to find, as was the parking garage directly across the river. Getting to the garage was a different matter, however....this suburban resident is not accustomed to one-way streets!



I arrived at around 4:30. It was raining (as usual), although by the time I got there the rain had pretty much stopped. I took my trusty umbrella, which has accompanied me to every Moodies concert, and waited in the alley by the stage door for the band to arrive. There were four guys already standing there, with albums and Isle of Wight DVDs for the band to sign. The stage door is along the river, and the downtown "riverwalk" is a very pleasant spot.



At about 5:15, the Moodies' bus arrived. A security person placed some gates between us and the stage door. The alley was too skinny for the bus to enter, so it stopped on the street and let everybody off. The band members walked down the alley to the door, accompanied by a few security people. Justin was wearing jeans, a blue T-shirt, a dark blue jacket, and was carrying his little beige travel bag. They didn't acknowledge us or sign anything. I had a feeling this would happen, and while I got plenty of photos, I felt bad for the guys who had been waiting there longer than I had.



After the band went inside, I went to the box office to pick up my ticket, which was left at will-call since I don't live in Wisconsin. Then I had some time to kill. I took some photos of the venue and marquee, did some people-watching, and sat in my car for awhile. Unfortunately, the Borders bookstore across the street was closed.






These Google Streetview photos were taken in 2009. The poster
on the left shows some familiar faces!

Before the show, I bought a tourbook and stopped to talk with Janet, Bonnie, DerWaffle and his daughter. My seat was in the second row, on the aisle, in my usual "right in front of John and the speaker" spot. This made the concert very loud! The couple next to me were very enthusiastic. During the show, the husband saw the nice photos I was getting and asked if I would e-mail him some of the best ones. I said "sure" and he gave me his card. Unfortunately, this card was also stolen, so I was never able to write to him to tell him I had no photos. At one point, I mentioned that I was also seeing the band the next day in Hammond, and he called me a "groupie." I told him that was nothing, and I could tell him some stories!

Justin was wearing a black T-shirt, vest and jeans for the first half, and a light beige T-shirt for the second. John was wearing a black T-shirt and black pants. I do like Justin's vest ensemble....it looks "put together" without being "fussy."

Justin did a weird thing right before Gypsy....John went up to the microphone to start his little "greetings" speech, and Justin deliberately cut him off by launching into the introduction! John backed away with a perplexed and somewhat annoyed expression and started playing the song. It turns out that Justin couldn't hear him talking, and thought it was time to start the song.

The fog machines were working overtime during some of the slower songs. I don't remember there being fog at my previous shows. It did make for interesting lighting effects, such as "heavenly" light rays shining down from behind the band, but it really obscured the view of Bernie, Graeme, Gordy and Paul. At one point, Justin tried to wave it away from his face before announcing the next song.

As usual, Janet and Bonnie came prepared, and were handing out glowsticks to everyone. When The Other Side of Life began and I cracked open my glowstick, the guy next to me asked, "Where did you get that?" I pointed to the other side of the theater. "From some people I know over there," I replied. Hooray for message board friends!

I like the new effects on the screen. Periodically they showed live camera views, and sometimes they swirled around along with the psychedelic graphics. Credits scrolled upwards on the screen at the end of the show. My previous two shows didn't have any background graphics, so I really enjoyed watching them tonight.

The singing was really excellent. Justin's voice sounded strong and wonderful. Gordy and Paul were always smiling. They both look like they really enjoy their jobs! John came sashaying over to my side many times, and Justin also made the trip occasionally. Try as I might, I can never get a good, non-blurry photo of John. It's a different story with Justin, and I got a few good ones when he was right in front of me. I also got eye contact and a little smile!


This was my view, and I think that's my head in the shot!
(Photo courtesy of the Pabst Theater website)

The venue did announce a no-photo policy, but I heard an usher say it only applied to flash photography. I also tried my hand at taking a video, and I know I was in full view of the usher when I did it. The song was Driftwood, and I was pleasantly surprised at how steadily I was able to hold the camera.

At the end, I was able to get up to the stage quickly, thanks to my aisle seat. During Question, Justin stopped to let us sing, which he likes to do from time to time. He put his hand to his ear, and apparently we were lacking in volume, because he smiled, made a cute face and raised his eyebrows, as if to say, "Hmmm...well, that's alright..."

Justin's new "thing" seems to be tossing his pick away really fast at the end of songs. It might land at the edge of the stage, or a lucky person standing at the stage might catch it. I saw him toss it after Question, but I didn't see who got it.

During the bows, Gordy tossed two sticks up to the guy in the balcony, which curved around just to my right. We didn't think the guy would catch them, but he did. He passed out a few more drumsticks, and I almost got one, but the girl next to me got it. It's like scrambling for the bouquet at a wedding reception!

During intermission and after the show, I met and visited with Janet, Bonnie, Gloria, Ann, Melani, Martha, Roma and Lin. I wanted to stay and talk longer, but I had a two-hour drive ahead of me, and no chance to sleep in the next day. What a great time!




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