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Tonight, after dinner at Tallgrass, Mary and I saw Michael Bublé in concert on his To Be Loved tour at the Tulsa BOK Center.


I got tickets when they first went on sale. The seats were straight on just a few rows off the floor but still quite a distance from the stage.


Earlier today an opportunity presented itself to pick up some floor seats, dead center, just a handful of rows from the stage, for a bargain price.


I gave my original tickets to a co-worker and waited to surprise Mary with her new Bublé-sweat-catching seats.


Mary got suspicious as we walked past the entryway to the section of our original seats.


Once we got passed the floor ushers, Mary knew something was up.


Her surprise turned to joy as we walked up closer and closer to the stage.


During the concert Bublé sang a couple of songs from a second stage at the opposite end of the arena. He walked right by us, just arms distance away. I had to quickly decide whether to try and high-five him or take some crappy pics. I went with the latter.


Mary is the big Bublé fan so I went in with no particular expectations, which is always a good thing.


I must say, the man can sing. The concert was awesome.


Bublé sang his last song a cappella to a mostly silent area.


According to Wikipedia, Bublé's setlist for the night was:

1. Fever
2. Haven't Met You Yet
3. Try a Little Tenderness
4. You Make Me Feel So Young
5. Moondance
6. Come Dance with Me
7. Feeling Good
8. Instrumental (Team Buble)
9. I've Got the World on a String
10. Everything
11. That's All
12. Close Your Eyes
13. How Can You Mend a Broken Heart
14. Home
15. Get Lucky
16. Who's Lovin' You (performed with Naturally 7)
17. I Want You Back" (performed with Naturally 7)
18. To Love Somebody" (performed with Naturally 7)
19. All You Need is Love
20. Burning Love
21. It's a Beautiful Day

22. Cry Me a River
23. Save the Last Dance for Me
24. A Song for You
Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |
May 4 2013

Piano Recital 2013


After a chilly morning at the baseball fields, the boys had their piano recital today. Will played State Fair and Flying Carpet.


Drew did a great job too especially considering his right hand was frozen numb earlier in the day. Drew played Wind in the Bamboo Tree and Storms on Saturn.


Will received a trophy for the Most Songs Memorized out of all of the students. He memorized 34 songs! Great job Will.


Drew and Will with their awesome piano teacher Miss Sara.

Will and Drew's Piano Recital 2013 video.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

First, a little history. It's October, 1982, I'm a junior in high school. My favorite group, The Who, is playing just 15 miles down the road at the Rosemont Horizon, now the Allstate Arena. It is The Who's "farewell" tour, as in they were breaking up, never to tour again. Amazingly, in an occurrence more rare than any alignment of planets, I have tickets, a girlfriend and a ride. My dad was traveling at the time, so I asked my mom if I could go. The answer was, "No." It was a school night. My disappointment and downright anger took far longer to subside than I care to admit.

I swore at the time that if The Who ever toured again, I'd go see them no matter what. I thought it was an empty promise since they were breaking up. However, when The Who's The Kids Are Alright reunion tour came along, nothing could stop me from going to see them at Alpine Valley, Wisconsin, in July 1989. Flash forward to the present, nearly a quarter century later, and The Who are here in Tulsa on their Quadrophenia and More tour. Once again, I got tickets, a girlfriend and a ride. School night be dammed, Mary and I went to see The Who tonight!


Roger Daltrey has had problems with his voice including surgery as recently as December, 2010. However, there were no signs of any trouble tonight as he sounded as good and powerful as he ever has. Notice he started out, shirt buttoned, wearing a jacket.


Pete Townshend wore a simple, plain, white t-shirt. Neither performer exhibited the athletic moves of their youths, but you would never guess within a decade or two that Townshend is 67 and Daltry is 68. (I was amazed when I looked up their ages.)


Pete Townshend's brother, Simon Townshend, played guitar and contributed to the vocals.


Zak Starkey played drums as he has played consistently for The Who since 1996. He is also the son of Beatles drummer Ringo Starr.


The Who's original member and bass guitarist, John Entwistle, died in 2002. The Who seamlessly incorporated some terrific base strumming of Entwistle into the concert.


The other original member of The Who was the legendary drummer, Keith Moon, who died in 1978. The Who wonderfully incorporated some of his drumming and vocals into the show.


Daltrey has lost the coat.


It was a unique backdrop on the screens for Love, Reign o'er Me.


There were no lasers or pyrotechnics. Nothing to distract from the performance. The screens and lighting provided a great deal of variety that nicely complemented the music without ever taking over the show.


Roger Daltrey.


Pete Townshend.


Pete Townshend and the Union Jack.


Roger Daltrey and the classic cover to the 1979 rockumentary The Kids Are Alright and soundtrack of the same name.


Daltrey on vocals of the all time classic Baba O'Riley (teenage wasteland).


Initially 30 minutes long, The Who played the more well known "high points" edited version of Townshend's classic Baba O'Riley which appeared on the 1971 Who's Next album.


Townshend in mid-execution of his classic full arm circle swing playing style for the finale of Baba O'Riley.


Daltrey finishing up the show on a slow note.


It was an amazing concert.


Townshend and Daltery, two remarkable rock-and-roll legends.


During the show a guy in front of me held up his lighter...for The Who...still my favorite band. And, most importantly, thanks Mary for making this Valentine's Day extra special.



I was so excited about the concert (and up so late doing the post), I forgot all about the opening act; Vintage Trouble. They were pretty good which, for me, is saying a lot since I don't generally like anything I didn't originally hear in the 70s. I would best describe them as a mix of rock, jazz, blues and soul.


The best part...this was me at work the next day!

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

021-tamta-music-festival.pngDrew and Will both participated in this year's TAMTA (Tulsa Accredited Music Teachers Association) Music Festival today. They each performed a solo alone in a room for a judge for which they were scored based solely on their own performance (i.e., it wasn't a competition...although they obviously would have both won first place if it had been). Drew played "Things that Go Bump in the Night" and Will played "Halloween Witch."


Will playing his solo for the judge. (I had to take the photo through a little glass window.) Unfortunately, they were running way early and I took Will to the restroom and missed Drew playing but Mama said he did great.


Our proud piano players. All their hard work really paid off as their performances were outstanding. The judges were also terrific giving each boy plenty of praise and constructive criticism. Great job Drew and Will!

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |
May 19 2012

Piano Recital 2012


Will, age 5, just started playing piano this past January and today was his very first recital. He played "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and "Old MacDonald." Notice his big smile in the video below when he bows!


Drew, age 8, is an old pro having played piano for 2 1/2 years now. This is his third recital and he played "Hymn Medley" (O Worship the King, Crown Him with many Crowns) and "Joyful Bells." Drew also won a Piano Excellence Award trophy given out to the top 3 students (he was #2). Drew's 2010 recital and 2011 recital.

Will and Drew performing at the Hope Worship Center conveniently near our house.


The boys and their terrific piano teacher Miss Sara. We couldn't be more pleased with all the work she has done with the boys. Thank you Miss Sara and congratulations Will and Drew on your wonderful recitals.

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Drew participated in the TAMTA (Tulsa Accredited Music Teachers Association) Music Festival today performing a non-competitive judged piano solo entitled Monster March.


Drew was critiqued in 11 areas with a rating of 1 (highest) to 5 (lowest). He scored a 1 in ever category except one in which he scored a 2. The critique concluded with the remarks:

Good strong touch + curved fingers. Great ff at the end! Good performance! Very musical. Keep up the good work!


As with everything we do, it was a family affair, and Drew's brothers Will and Landon (and Aunt Donelda) were there to support Drew...even if we weren't allowed into the performance room. Great job Drew, we are all very proud of you and all your hard work.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |


I had in my mind an image of Drew playing the piano with his hands all a blur. So, I put the camera on a tripod and set the shutter to stay open for a couple of seconds.


The pictures came out pretty good and, in hindsight, exactly as one would suspect. But, I'm not sure its the best that can be done. I'll have to think about what I can do different next time.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |


Drew had his second piano recital today. The recital was at a church where the piano was located in a slightly sunken part of the stage which allowed me to take this awesome photo looking down at Drew.


Drew has been playing piano for 1 year and 4 months. He played Pyramid Power and The Mysterious Violin.

Drew really rocked the house with the tempo change on his first song. All of Drew's hard work and dedication payed off for a flawless performance. (Vimeo version after the jump.)

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

By now, Landon has watched Drew practice piano for almost a year, probably close to 300 times. He very much loves to play piano with Drew and by himself. Lately, Landon has developed a shoulder shimmy move that he does to music. When we saw him doing it while he was playing the piano, we had to grab the camera. (Vimeo version after the jump.)

Posted by Don | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0) |

This weekend we had our first really crazy kids' activities weekend: four t-ball games, one piano recital, one soccer practice and an outdoor celebratory church mass...and that just involved two of the three munchkins. I'm sure we're in for far worse once all three are going full steam.

Drew is six years old and has been taking piano lessons for just 4 months. This is his first piano recital and he played perfectly from memory Old McDonald and the Dinosaur Song.

After the entire recital was over, Drew changed into his t-ball uniform and we headed to the ball field for Drew's third game of the weekend. We got there just in time to throw on a batting helmet, grab a bat and nail a base hit as the last batter in the lineup in the top of the first inning.

Vimeo version after the jump.

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Whenever Drew practices the piano, Landon scurries down the hall to watch, listen and, lately, to join in playing.


Drew just keeps on playing, not bothered the least by his little duet playing friend.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |


Drew is six years old and has been taking piano for just seven weeks. Here he is playing two songs during practice today.

After the jump the Vimeo version of the same video. (I've switched from showing the YouTube version after the jump because Vimeo now requires viewers to go to their site to see the HD version of a video which I think is annoying and, so, their demotion to the second page.)

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |


Drew had his very first piano lesson today. We think we found a really good teacher. Drew is excited about playing and very serious about practicing. It is so wonderful to hear him playing and since I'm writing about this after-the-fact, I can say how surprising it is that he is progressing so fast. Hopefully he'll have fond memories of learning to play.

The musical notes in the photograph are not photoshoped. They are the result of some Christmas lights hanging in the background and a note shaped filter which creates the bokeh effect of the same shape. I used the same technique with a star shaped filter in my New Year's Eve photos of the boys.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |


Drew was at school when our new piano was delivered so Will had first crack at breaking it in. Despite being the wild one of the two, our full-of-energy three year-old Will surprised us all by sitting down at the piano and gently stroking the keys in the most amazing manner.


We don't know if its from watching other people play or what, but it's totally out of character for the little guy. We weren't thinking about starting Will out with lessons for another year or so, but if his demeanor in front of the ivory continues, we just might have to get him started sooner.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

Today we welcomed a new addition to our family, a brand new Steinway & Sons Essex Empire Studio upright piano in Sapele Mahogany, model number EUP-123FL.


We had the perfect spot just calling out for an upright piano to make its home.


The Sepele Mahogany finish is absolutely beautiful and goes really well with the rest of our furniture.


Neither Mary nor I ever learned to play, but we really wanted to get a piano for the boys to learn to play.


We first started looking for a piano two years ago and after a lot of research and many trips to various piano stores we finally decided on this one as having the most bang for the buck, quality and beauty in both looks and sound.


EUP-123 internals.


The mechanics are fascinating to watch.


It's as beautiful inside as it is out! We can't wait to learn how to play it. Maybe even Daddy will take some lessons.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |


Thanks to my best friend Harry, I got to see The Police in concert in Chicago at the Rosemont Horizon (Allstate Arena to you non-traditionalists) last weekend. We went with Harry's nephew-in-law and JR's girlfriend Lisa. The seats were great, just three rows or so up from the floor seats and, thankfully, that allowed us to sit down during the whole performance...yes, I'm old.

The Police, of course, consists of bassist/lead vocalist Sting (Gordon Sumner), guitarist Andy Summers, and drummer Stewart Copeland. The opening act was Elvis Costello which was a perfect appetizer to the rock legend main course. Although, his sound technician appeared to have sacrificed quality for volume. There were a lot of times when the music was distorted and various cords resulted ear pain.


The Police Reunion Tour during 2007-2008, marks the 30th anniversary of their beginnings and is anticipated to possibly be the fifth highest grossing tour ever. The Chicago concert was part of their third North American Leg. There were approximately 14,000 in attendance. It was a great performance. We all really enjoyed the huge hi-definition screen behind the stage which really made you feel much closer to the action.


During the concert, Sting said that the Rosemont Horizon was the last place where the band had played together on tour as "The Police" in 1986. However, I think he may have misspoken, as the Rosemont Horizon was the second-to-last place The Police played on their 1986 Conspiracy of Hope Tour. On June 13, 1986, they performed at the Rosemont Horizon, followed by a June 15th, sold out, all day, outdoor, mutli-artist, performance at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The video is a montage of clips from a few songs towards the end of the concert (Roxanne is really blurry). As best as I can gather from the internet, with verification from my own memory/pics/vids, the following are the songs played during the concert:

Main Set
Bring on the Night
Message in a Bottle
Demolition Man
Walking on the Moon
Voices Inside My Head-When The World Is Running Down
Don't Stand So Close to Me
Driven To Tears
Hole In My Life
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
Wrapped Around Your Finger
De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da
Invisible Sun
Can't Stand Losing You/Reggatta De Blanc

Encore I
King of Pain
So Lonely
Every Breath You Take

Encore II
Next To You

Click "Continue reading" to see a whole bunch more photos that, along with the video, should give you a good idea of what the concert was like.




















Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |
May 27 2006

Patriotic Music


I love 70's music...classic rock that is, not disco. Unfortunately, while the music is incredible, all too often the actual words make me want to wretch like a bulimic after a visit to the all you can eat pizza buffet. Take John Lennon's Imagine for example, an incredibly beautiful song to listen to but don't stop to think about the lyrics:

Imagine there's no Heaven
Nothing like starting off with a full dose of ipecac.

Imagine there's no countries
Nice, if your country is a cesspool, but I'm kind of fond of my country.

Nothing to kill or die for
I'd kill and die for my family...poor Julian.

And no religion too
I sense a theme.

Imagine no possessions
What a freaking commie.

Or, any song by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young or nearly every other artist in my CD collection are all awesome to listen to but are some combination of ridiculous and insulting if you read the lyrics. And don't get me started on today's music...with only a few exceptions, I can't even tell what the lyrics are...if they still call them lyrics. I've wondered aloud so many times...why can't there be a decent rock band that plays true quality music?

436-right-brothers-2.gifMy wait is over, I have found The Right Brothers. Somewhere, I came across their single Bush Was Right and thought, one hit wonder, until I surfed over to their website and listened to some clips from their two albums and within fifteen minutes, I had ordered their Capitalist Edition, a collection of their two self-titled albums and the Bush Was Right single.

For the last few weeks, I've listened to no other music in my car. The band rocks, their music is awesome and if you think you might enjoy song like "Wake Up, America," "Tolerate This," "I Want My Country Back" and "Freedom Is Not Free," then you will likely love The Right Brothers.


Posted by Don | Comments (3) | TrackBacks (0) |

263pavarottifarewell.jpgLast night we attended Luciano Pavarotti's Farewell Tour performance at the Tulsa Mabee Center. Even for a non-opera fan like myself, I must say that it was absolutely amazing!

264pavarottiticket.jpgThe program consisted of eleven songs, an intermission and ten more songs followed by three encores. The main program included eleven Pavarotti solos, two duets with Cynthia Lawrence, six Lawrence solos and two of the Tulsa City Orchestra* by itself. Several of the evening's performances were immediately recognizable, many were vaguely familiar and all were incredibly performed.266pavarottisign.jpg

Tulsa was the first of just three American cities on Pavarotti's forty-city Farewell Tour around the world after which he will permanently retire. From here he will go to the Hollywood Bowl in Hollywood, California, and then the Office Depot Center in Sunrise, Florida.

265pavarottiopenarms.jpg[*Interestingly, the program credited the "Tulsa City Orchestra" but that phrase does not appear on any internet search engine. The well known Tulsa Philharmonic, Oklahoma's last full-time orchestra, ceased operations on September 12, 2002, due to financial problems which have similarly plagued orchestras around the country.]

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Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song will never be the same for me. I have to admit that I didn't know all the words until now...except now the song is about Viking kittens, which I'm not sure is what Zoso had in mind. (click the pic)


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