Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I got FILTERed in Joysey, tastes like Asbury...Park


So it all started with a road trip from Virginia to New Jersey to see Filter at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park...The drive up was fun with me and my sidekick in the MEWZAKmobile. We were followed by a pirate for awhile haha. It was a tractor-trailer with a jolly roger on the front grill.

We made it to our hotel, The Empress. There were a few quirks with our hotel that made our weekend getaway interesting. For one, the pool closed at 8 p.m. I found that dumb because I wanted to go for an evening swim. On the other hand, they had a night club in our hotel that started around 8 p.m. and went on until about 2 a.m. I think. The constant bass drum techno beat became an inside joke for us, and made it impossible to sleep until it was over. They also had colored lights that flashed all around the outside of the hotel haha.

A few quirks about our room were there was no fan in the bathroom and the toilet flushing handle fell off when you flushed, so you had to push it back in every time. The TV only had basic channels and had such poor reception we just turned it back off after a few minutes. Oh and the knobs for hot and cold water on the sink would turn the water on in both directions, so you had to turn them to just the right spot to stop the water. Also our balcony was paired up with the room beside us, with just a railing barrier. So there wasn't much privacy for sitting out there. We laughed about all of these wacky things.

I found it amusing that a Terminator 2 pinball machine was in our hotel lobby when we were going to see Richard Patrick at the club next door. In case you weren't aware, his brother Robert Patrick was the T-1000 liquid metal Terminator.

Our first day there we walked to the downtown area and ate at a very classy restaurant, Old Man Rafferty's. I had shrimp salad in a pita, which was similar to chicken or tuna salad, but with scrumptious shrimp. Then we wandered into Paranormal Books and browsed around in there and ended up getting psychic readings done for fun.

An odd thing we saw was an area of these wooden pillars that resembled a cemetery, but they were decorated like totem poles and such. We asked a nice lady at a visitor info booth on the boardwalk about it. She said they called it The Stump Farm. They thought it was remains from an old building or something that used to be on top of the pillars. And they had traditions of decorating them as a local attraction.

The second day we planned to go on the beach, but the weather suddenly changed to chilly and overcast. So instead we spent the day hanging out on the boardwalk. Another quirk was you had to buy beach tickets to go on the beach. I have never heard of that before. So we never actually walked on the beach itself.

We enjoyed hanging out on the boardwalk. They had some local little shops and eateries. Posh Den was a cool one with lots of exotic decor and jewelry. There was a hand blown glass shop that sold pretty pieces and there was a guy actually in the shop blowing glass when we were there. I wanted to buy a wave or a pumpkin but they were a bit too pricey for me.

Then we checked out Asbury Park Convention Hall, which was an indoor area on the boardwalk. They had couches and beach outlooks, a bar, a cafe, and some more shops. We really enjoyed a record store called Keeping Vinyl Alive. They had records for sale and collectibles made from records, like clocks and bowls. The owners were very friendly and even gave us free champagne because it was their grand opening.

We also spotted some flyers and signs advertising the Filter show at The Stone Pony:

Now the funny part was, when we were taking a break and sitting on one of the boardwalk benches, I decided to check Twitter and Facebook on my Droid. I saw that Mika Fineo had just posted a picture of the boardwalk! So then we got all paranoid and nervous that we might run into the band. Then a little later Richard Patrick checked in at an Italian restaurant, but we didn't know where it was located. So we ended up eating Jersey hot dogs and lemonade at a little stand. The next day we discovered that Italian restaurant was about two doors down from where we ate our hot dogs! So it's kind of funny because we had to JUST miss running into the guys from Filter on the boardwalk.

Then it was time for the main attraction, the Filter concert!

There were two openings bands, Avatar and Bind. I actually met a few other Filter fans that I knew from Facebook, which was cool. Then we saw Rob Patterson mosying around in the outside smoking area. Then it was time for FILTER!

We actually got VERY close to the front of the stage on the right side, which was awesome.

The setlist was:
No Love
Gimme All Your Lovin--ZZ Top cover
The Take
Inevitable Relapse
Drug Boy
Trip Like I Do
Take A Picture
I'm Not the Only One
Best Things
Welcome to the Fold
So I Quit
Hey Man, Nice Shot

They opened with "No Love" and then surprised us with their brand new ZZ Top cover. It was a nice treat to hear that because Richard had just posted a snippet teaser of the song online a few days prior to the show.

Then they blasted us with "The Take," "Inevitable Relapse," and "Drug Boy."

Next was "Jurassitol," which was a crowd fave.

Then during "Trip Like I Do," I had a personal highlight of my own when Phil Buckman made eye contact with me and then reached down to hand me a bass guitar pic! I didn't know what he was doing at first, but he kind of motioned to me and put it in my hand. I was thrilled!

You can't see me, but at 1:30 Phil Buckman hands me his bass guitar pic! 

"Take A Picture" seemed kind of lowkey crammed in the middle of the set to me. I remember it being near the end when I saw them in 2008 and it seemed more dramatic to me. Then they took it back to the early days with "Dose."

After that Phil started playing the bass intro to "Under" and most of the crowd seemed delayed in responding, except for me. That was one of the four top songs I had requested. I haven't found any youtube videos of that one yet, but if any turn up, I'm sure you can hear me "WOO!"ing over everyone else haha.

Then they went into my TOP song request, "I'm Not the Only One." That's a very emotional and personally meaningful song to me and I was so glad they played it! When I saw them in 2008 they played my favorite song, "Skinny," and that was the emotional high point of the show for me. This time they gave me another one with "I'm Not the Only One."

After that they played ANOTHER one of my requests, "Best Things." At that point I actually thought it was funny that they played all of them right in a row. I was quite happy!

The band left the stage but Richard went over and talked to the sound guy and mingled with some fans in the front before the encore. Then they pummeled us with the heavy hitters, "Welcome to the Fold," "So I Quit," and the usual show finale of "Hey Man, Nice Shot." "So I Quit" was my fourth song request, so they played all of the ones I wanted to hear the most!

The performance was full of energy, the place was packed. They had a few sound difficulties at first, but got it worked out in the beginning of the show. Richard Patrick was sporting his highly reflective sunglasses, which I love, and his NASA jacket. As usual for Filter, there was a lot of crowd interaction. Richard was talking and touching hands and got off the stage to wear someone's hat for awhile. Then at the end he said they would be staying to sign autographs, take pictures and meet fans, even though they had to get ready to fly out for Europe. He said they'd sign anything we had, "even a tampon."

That's when the REAL mayhem began...The line formed, wrapping around the inside of The Stone Pony. We tried to get toward the end since we only had to walk a block back to our hotel. I figured if we got at the end we'd have more time to talk to the band and stuff. But a lot of people still got in line after us, so that plan failed. It was quite a wait, but we didn't mind. But when we made it to the front, the security guys were kind of rushing people along. So I got to see Phil and Mika a little bit. I thanked Phil for the guitar pic and I got them to sign a few things. The main thing I wanted was a picture with Richard, but people kept coming up to him and I couldn't jump in there. Then a security guy was trying to make me go but I said I was trying to get a picture. So someone finally stopped in the line so I could jump in there. RP said, "Kristen!" I got my hug and my picture and then we were pretty much escorted away haha. So it was kind of chaotic, but it was still worth every millisecond!

I also slipped RP my little gag gift, which was a bag of popcorn I wrapped up like a present haha. We both love popcorn so I thought it would be funny.

I got them to sign my setlist that I got from the 2008 show I went to in DC at the 9:30 Club. And there's the pic from Phil! And I got my "Trouble with Angels" poster signed.

After the show, we went back to our hotel and then decided we were hungry. But it was 1 a.m. so we were going to get in the car and seek out food. But when we walked down the sidewalk toward the car, we happened upon a little mobile trailer selling food haha. I got some awesome freshly fried chicken wings. So the fact that you can get food on the side of the street after going to a late concert, was one of the perks of Asbury Park.

Then we ate and were TRYING to get some sleep, but the night club was raging downstairs, then there was a crazy thunderstorm with explosive-sounding thunder. It got to the point where we were just laughing at the fact that we couldn't get any sleep because of all the wackiness.

We got up a FEW hours later haha and packed up. Then we made one last visit to the boardwalk and I got a grilled chicken sandwich that was the size of two subs at Metro Grill Cafe. I could only eat half of it haha. Then we headed out...

It was another adventure trying to find a gas station before getting on the highway. We finally found one and didn't realize that in NJ they still have people who pump your gas for you. It was like culture shock haha. Then I went in to use the bathroom and buy us drinks and my panic alarm went off on the car. So I was trying to push the button on my remote from the store to make it stop. So everybody was looking at us, including the guy who pumped our gas. When we left the gas station, we got stuck in a traffic circle. I think we went around the circle three times haha. I was like, "We can't get out of this crazy town!"

Then the drive home was rough. It always seems like the drive home from a trip is longer, with more backed up traffic, and with rain. This time was no exception. The lack of sleep only made it more of a drag. But we rocked out to music on the way home regardless. We cranked up some Mindless Faith when we passed through the Baltimore/DC area for our buddies in that band. (One of them looks a lot like Richard Patrick by the way, which is a whole OTHER story haha. I actually saw him at the Filter show I went to in 2008).

Then toward the end, we tuned into DC101 on the radio and about 3 miles from home, guess what song came on? "Hey Man, Nice Shot." It was a perfect and appropriate ending to our Filter/New Joysey weekend.

My Full Photo Album from Filter at Stone Pony 6/11/11

And some other Filterness:

New Fan Group: Filter-The Troubled Angels

zetalambmary q&a with Richard Patrick

Shure Mic Check: Filter & Saliva Co-headline Tour

Filter and Saliva set to rock Colorado Springs

The Vinyl District: Filter Comes to the Stone Pony