Toto at Chateau Saint Michelle

(First, I’m doing better at making the T in Saint silent when talking about Chateau Saint Michelle. I get it right half the time.)

We went to a misty concert at Chateau Saint Michelle back on June 17th. When you’re a member of the CSM wine club, you get tickets to a special summer concert. They provide a choice of two, and this year it was Toto and Brandi Carlile.

Well, we ended up choosing both by getting Toto for ‘free’ and paying a very affordable rate for Ms. Carlile.

But before this decision, as a further demonstration of my age, I was thinking hard about Toto. I was pretty sure I remembered them as the band that did “Rosanna” but I was fuzzy beyond that. Fortunately, their web site has a video that touches on all their hits to jog your memory.

“Oh, they did that song? Sure I know that one. I haven’t heard it in a long, long time, but I know that one.”

So first of all, we enjoyed the wine being provided for the members. If you’re local to the Eastside / Seattle area and love wine, you should be a member. I absolutely loved the Malbec from the barrel tasting. I can’t wait until it’s released.

Right before Toto started, the folks sitting next to us won the Willows Lodge retreat giveaway. I’m pretty sure this is the second year in a row that someone next to us has one a big raffle item. We must be good luck.

Toto started (ooo, and now with Leland Sklar), and given that they have a bunch of new music, played probably about ten songs straight of rocking stuff I’d never heard. We happened to be hanging out up front (and protected from the rain from the overhanging stage design) when they played “Rosanna.” Nice.

And we ran into Alex Rector.

We wandered back to our blanket and hung out until they played “Africa” – their so-long-and-farewell song – and then hoofed it for the Subaru.

It’s the first time in a while that I’ve been to a concert where, well, I wasn’t a big fan of the band I was just there to hang out and have fun. Mission accomplished.

The Police at Key Arena in Seattle

Well, I’m a bit late sharing this, but I was lucky enough to go to the 2nd “The Police” show in Seattle on June 7th.

Here’s a flickr site search with a number of results:

It was a fantastic show: tight, well run, and highly energetic. And I had a pretty good seat, too. Sting would talk to the audience here-and-there, but either my ears are shot or his mic was tuned more for singing than talking because I couldn’t make out a single echoey word he was saying.

Sting’s son was the opening act and I got to see maybe three of his songs near the end of the set. Main thing that impressed me: he got up high on one of the amps and jumped down. Do that, pops!

The audience was really revved up and did a good job singing along (surprise!). My only grief was, having had done a team hike to Rattlesnake Ledge that day, aching feet that stood in disbelief that everyone in the audience wanted to stand for two hours straight during the concert. Well, also that Eastside and Seattle traffic is such a nightmare that it took well over an hour-and-a-half in my stickshift to get to Key Area from Redmond. My left leg was begging for mercy.

But it was worth it!

(Except for the part thinking about the Synchronicity album released back in the summer I graduated from high school… 1983 and that was… twenty-four years ago… o… m… g… I’m old. When did that happen?)

Eric the Blackberry Slayer

Another Sisyphean endeavor:

Blackberries-and-Bella 007

How to prove, during the late summer, that you’re new to the Northwest: “Oooo, blackberries! How wonderfully special! Let’s go get some!”

I turned my back on one small patch of blackberries and before you knew it, the patch was crawling up a small tree just beyond our fenced back yard and engulfing it. I spent a good chunk of Saturday hacking back the invader and yanking it out of the tree.

I’ve pushed the patch back to a thatched wall between my neighbor and myself. I’m too pooped to go on right now. Luckily, very little blood was spilt.