Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Vacation Part 1 - Cleveland and the Rock Hall

For the love of Pete, I am so sorry to be writing this late!  Hiiiii everyone!  Did you miss me?  I am so glad to be home, we definitely had fun, but the trip was almost a bit of aversion therapy by the end.  We ate crappy, didn't drink enough water and didn't sleep or exercise enough.  I am more than happy to be back on the health train, and if I never look at a wing or a fatty sandwich ever again I will be thrilled!  As you can imagine, I have lots to tell you about our 9 day whirlwind trip back East, so I'm going to be breaking up my posts into probably three chunks so that you don't have to read a wall-o-text.

Obviously the main purpose and biggest excitement of the trip was attending the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (from here on referred to as Rock Hall) induction ceremony in Cleveland.  You guys, it was more amazing than I'd even anticipated, we had SO much fun (although the 2012 ceremony still reigns as my fave).  It was literally the "I laughed, I cried" experience, and something I will cherish for the rest of my life.  If you are a music lover you should try to attend at least one, and one of my planned posts is actually going to be a PSA about what to expect if you go to a ceremony in person.  Be on the lookout for that one, people do need a PSA for real.

So we got to Cleveland on Friday.  I don't understand why people are so snarky about Cleveland, it's a great city and while we've only been there twice, we've had a blast both times.  Tons of good food, things to do and the people are very friendly.  As much as Lebron James makes me roll my eyes, I think it's actually been good for the city so it seems like they are making improvements.  On Friday night we ended up meeting this internet friend of mine.  We've known her for about a year due to our greyhound group on Facebook, and she lives like 10 minutes from our hotel, so we decided to meet for dinner at Great Lakes Brewing Company.  We had a fantastic time and tasted some amazing beers!  As an aside, Portland needs to watch out.  I had some pretty fantastic craft beer while I was back East from up and coming breweries.

Forcing my husband to do selfies in the Cleveland Airport 

Great Lakes was one of the most excellent breweries we experienced
On Saturday morning we got up and went to the Rock Hall museum to check out the exhibits, and since we are members we not only got in free but were able to get in an hour before the public.  Considering my general disdain of crowds, this was pretty fantastic.  We had so much fun touring the museum and were there from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm!  I still feel like we only saw half of everything that's there.  Again if you have never been to the Rock Hall museum you really need to go, it's pretty much the greatest thing ever for music fans.  Afterwards we went to the Warehouse District and had our first of many gut bomb meals, and I had the most delicious sandwich of my life, a corned beef with cole slaw AND french fries on it.  JAY-SUS was it good, but yeah, not exactly health food.  Afterwards we hoofed it back to the hotel to take a nap since we knew the ceremony was going to be long.

Rocking out at the Rock Hall

Me and Prince doing our best guitar faces

A very welcome reminder of why I was so in love with Slash as a young lass
Me continuing to be boy crazy with Jim Morrison

This crazy dude from Pink Floyd's The Wall

Good God, what can I say about the actual ceremony?  In a word, it was magical.  There were definitely times where I wish the magic was sped up (the ceremony was almost 6 hours long), but I saw things that pretty much will never happen again.  Joan Jett crying from the overwhelming standing ovation she got.  Bill Withers singing a few lines of "Lean On Me" after delivering a hilarious acceptance speech.  Tearful, emotional inductions for both Stevie Ray Vaughan and Lou Reed.  And of course seeing the two living Beatles perform....what more can be said?  Watching Paul and Ringo hug then burn the house down with FOUR songs filled me with joy that I can't even describe.

Public Hall where the Cleveland ceremonies are held
Waiting for things to get going!
Paul and Ringo!

Some highlights from the show:

  • Joan Jett opened the show with three songs "Bad Reputation", "Cherry Bomb" and "Crimson and Clover."  She absolutely burned the house down and was totally bad ass.  We're so excited for The Who show we're seeing in the fall because she's the opening act!
  • Jimmie Vaughan gave an absolutely beautiful speech about his brother Stevie Ray.  I mean seriously, by the time he was done I had tears streaming down my face.  Losing him is still clearly a very painful, raw thing for Jimmie.  The set following was pretty incredible, although it took 4 guitarists to replace the great SRV! (Gary Clark Jr, Jimmie V, John Mayer and some other guy with crazy hair whose name I can't remember.)
  • Bill Withers is hilarious and should tour as a comedian.  Seriously, after sitting through some ass numbing speeches, Bill livened the crowd up again with hilarity.  One of the songs they did for his set was "Lean On Me", which was another powerful moment since the whole audience was singing along.  Beautiful.
  • Patti Smith made me cry again over Lou Reed, who I am not even that big a fan of!  She broke down into sobs trying to induct her friend, and it was incredibly moving.  Karen O and Beck both did a fantastic job  with the Lou Reed set
  • I got exposed to a new (to me) artist named Leon Bridges.  Seriously guys, check him out, he sounds exactly like Sam Cooke.  He did the tribute to the 5 Royales, and also paid tribute to Percy Sledge.  Freaking voice of an angel.

There is so much more, but I've got to cut this off or else the post will be 7 pages long.  The ceremony will be available on HBO May 30th, so if you are interested set your DVRs!

Part 2 (hopefully posted tomorrow) will be our Western NY adventures!


  1. Oh I seriously just teared up reading your highlights! Ahhh! So so so awesome that you got to experience this!

    1. You must tape the ceremony on May 30th, it was pretty awesome. I thought about you on the SRV stuff, I broke down like a baby by the end of it. Not to be cheesy, but it really felt like SRV's spirit was there when they were performing his set. It was amazing.

  2. Yay! Welcome back :) Your boy crazy pictures crack me up. The concert sounds incredible - so glad that "some people" didn't ruin the experience for you :)

    1. You know I can't go 5 seconds without being boy crazy! Yeah, when Green Day got inducted I slowly sauntered off for a bathroom break and got hit on my a security guard. Was much better than listening to them. Once I got back to my seat I just quietly Twittered until they were done.

  3. Please tell me you took some video clips!?!?!

    1. Nah, no video clips. For one my phone takes horrible video, and secondly I just feel like HBO is going to have it in HD so I'll be seeing it soon enough. People who film at concerts are a pet peeve of mine. Filming one song is fine, but some people around us were trying to film the whole thing!

  4. Joan Jett seriously rocks. That ceremony sounds so fantastic!