Sunday, January 24, 2016

TV Thoughts - 1/24/16

If it snows two feet in one day, a lot of television gets watched.

WHAT I'M WATCHING

Billions (SHOWTIME)

It seems that everyone working on this show has received or been nominated for an Emmy. With that kind of pedigree, expectations are set super high.

Mix in financial market manipulation in Manhattan, and you've got a lot of explaining to do right from the get go. There's no Margot Robbie in a bathtub, but at least Maggie Siff sports some high-heeled boots.

I've been a fan of the writing of Brian Koppelman and David Levien since Rounders in the late 90's. They're edgy, smart and you know a twist is always coming.

As for the acting, I would watch Giamatti and Lewis read a NYC deli menu (which would actually work on this show). I wonder how Tara left Jax in Charming and ended up with the Manhattan DA plus the gal from Children's Hospital is married to Axe, but I can get past that.

I'm two episodes in and enjoyed the second ep more than the first. The chess board has been set. The show is too smart for its own good at times and relies on cliches that aren't necessary. Just give me Giamatti and Lewis trying to outsmart each other with the DA's wife caught in the middle. The other characters are colorful, but more screen time for them means less for the big three.

Justice department versus hedge fund king with Manhattan as the backdrop - stay focused and I'm on board for Billions.

Angie Tribeca (TBS)

The Naked Gun. Sledge Hammer! I've always been a fan of police satire, the dumber the better.

On the recommendation of my good friend JD Harmeyer who shares my love for Python/Zucker Brothers humor, I checked out this new TBS comedy created by Steve Carrell and his wife Nancy.

This is no Naked Gun, but it is funny. And stupid. A lot of the gags are hit or miss, but it's non-stop absurdist jokes.

Rashida Jones does a fine job in the lead role. Other characters have silly names and are not as funny, with the exception of the canine partner of one of the detectives. That dog is a star.

There are tons of special guest stars and cameos, and I love the spirit of the show. Angie Tribeca is no Frank Drebin, but she holds her own in this first go-round.

WHAT I WATCHED WHILE TWO FEET OF SNOW CAME DOWN

History of the Eagles (SHOWTIME)

RIP Glenn Frey. After watching this documentary a second time, I still can't believe he's gone.

Love or hate the Eagles, this is one excellent rock doc. The footage, interviews and candidness are all there for you to marvel at.

Glenn Frey calling the shots. Don Henley rolling right along. Bernie Leadon wanting to stay mellow. Randy Meisner not wanting to hit that high note. Don Felder getting bounced. Joe Walsh getting sober. Tim B getting his dream job, going on hiatus, then living the dream. And Irving Azoff taking no prisoners.

Oh...and the number one selling album of the century.

And of course it's in two parts - it wouldn't be the Eagles if it wasn't.

The Godfather Saga (HBO)

I stumbled upon Don Corleone multiple times during the week, and no matter what point I entered, I couldn't change the channel.

I wondered if I had seen some of the deleted scenes before, but it really didn't matter. The Corleone family is impossible to turn away from.

And thankfully Godfather III is nowhere near this 7 hour masterpiece. It's must-watch TV. I didn't even realize it was snowing outside.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST

I watched Michigan beat Nebraska in Lincoln and the Penguins top the Canucks at home. That's a good sports day for the Hein house.

It's very strange having a Sunday without the Steelers playing. If only they could have stayed healthy. I like the Pats big and the Panthers not so big today.

Only two weeks until my new book, Fast Food Maniac, becomes available. What a great way to celebrate Groundhog Day.

I'll be doing some book signings in the metro New York area. Come by and say hi. I'm working with DQ and some other places on doing some events. More when things become official.

Word is out to late-night and daytime talk shows, so we'll see who wants me to drop by.

As always, let me know if there's anything out there I should be watching!

Jon

Sunday, January 17, 2016

TV Thoughts - 1/17/16

An old TV favorite, Oscar screeners, being on TV and a printed book - it's been quite a week.

WHAT I'M WATCHING

The Good Wife (CBS)

The creators of the only network drama worth watching have declared this season to be their last (but not the show's). They have the right idea.

The first few seasons of The Good Wife are excellent. Guest stars straight from the Broadway stage or The Wire, shooting in NYC but pretending like it's in Chicago, interweaving politics and law in a more believable way than our current system - they pulled it off with flying colors.

Truly great shows can survive a major character exiting stage left, but it's a tough thing to do. Cheers is a rare exception. On The Good Wife, losing Will (Josh Charles) was a huge blow, but Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) leaving town at the end of last season was the death knell.

What makes The Good Wife special is the delicate balance between Alicia's (Julianna Margulies) battles with the law and her personal life. The cases mattered. Now, they don't. And the "is he going to be her love interest" guessing game has grown tiresome.

And as fantastic as Alan Cumming, Christine Baranski and all the other fine actors are, the writing hasn't kept up after losing those two key characters.

I will hang on until the end, hoping for that Florrick magic to rekindle for an episode or two. But I miss Will, Kalinda, and having a network TV drama that's actually worth tuning in for.

The Big Short

I watched this Oscar screener on my television, so I'm allowed to write about it here.

I liked The Big Short. It's not easy explaining the sub-prime mortgage crisis in two hours, but Margot Robbie in a bubble bath definitely helps.

This is very dry subject matter, but Adam McKay keeps things moving as the inevitable housing crash looms. Christian Bale pulls off a tough role, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt seem like themselves, and Steve Carrell continues his "Tom Hanks comedy to drama transition" as the heart and soul of the film.

It's not going to win Best Picture, but every American should watch this and remind themselves how the banking industry screwed us all not so long ago.

Spotlight

I also got to watch Spotlight on my big screen at home. Typically I'll avoid two hours of depressing tales of children being molested by Boston area priests, but people I trust told me how this movie feels more like All The Presidents Men. I'm glad I listened.

Spotlight is riveting from the get go. Told through the lense of a Boston Globe investigative reporting unit getting the story right, these horrid crimes are part of the tale - but the focus is more on the inner workings of the press and how it's not always so easy to "do the right thing".

All of the actors are excellent (particularly Mark Ruffalo) as we see their characters balance personal struggles and deal with the overwhelming power of the church in Boston.

I haven't seen all of the Oscar nominees yet, but as of now, Spotlight is my Best Picture.

WHERE YOU MIGHT HAVE WATCHED ME


LoudMouths

Chris Carlin, the voice of Rutgers sports and long-time New York City broadcaster, asked me to join him on LoudMouths, a sports TV talk show he hosts on SNY.

I will talk sports with anyone who will listen. Chris and I share the trifecta of love for TV, sports and fast food, so I knew we would be a good match.

I've been on the MLB Network a number of times and talked sports with Rich Eisen, Dan Patrick, Michael Kay and Matthew Berry, but this was an opportunity to co-host a New York sports talk show  - and to do it on back to back nights.

It's easy to talk sports with your buddies, but not as easy when you're talking to a camera as 6th Avenue looms right behind you.

Living the dream in the SNY control room.
I enjoyed every minute of LoudMouths. From prepping in the newsroom as legendary New York sports talk voices passed by to sitting in a suit getting makeup applied right before critiquing the new coach of the Giants. It was fantastic.

Thanks to Chris, Sam, Brad, Jeane, Curt and all the folks at SNY for the opportunity. I hope to be back soon!

LAST BUT NOT LEAST

I finally received a printed copy of Fast Food Maniac and couldn't be more pleased with how the book turned out.

Can you name which places the letters come from?

I had a lot of fun (probably too much fun) writing and researching it, and thankfully the early reviews have been positive.

The book officially comes out on February 2nd, and I will be doing some signings and promotion at the beginning of the month. Thanks for your support.

That's all for now. I need to prepare to watch my battered Steelers give it their best in Mile High country.

Have a great week!

Jon

Sunday, January 10, 2016

TV Thoughts - 1/10/16

Let me start by wishing my wonderful wife, Debbie, a happy birthday. I know she's too good for me, and thanks to all of you for the constant reminders.

I'm still recovering from last night's Steelers victory over the Bengals, so let's get into it:

WHAT I'M WATCHING

Many shows are on the cusp of returning or about to premiere, so I've been doing a little catch up. Not much new to talk about. Sorry.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

I found two eps left over on my DVR, and it reminded me how funny and informative this show is and why it's on my Best TV of 2015 list.

The show format sticks to the basics. A few big news stories, quick video joke which isn't as funny as the rest of the show, main featured topic, another video joke not as funny as the rest of the show, and some type of celebrity bit.

John Oliver is a very funny man who carries the show, and the writing and usage of video during the desk segments are top notch. It's informative, but not preachy (except for the church he created). It's biting but in such a witty way that you don't mind being reminded how dumb you and the rest of the world really is.

The celeb cameo bits are hit or miss, and there's one too many "and now this" segments, but I love TV that moves me. Last Week Tonight makes me laugh out loud and a little bit more aware of what's going on in our world.

Bravo, Mr. Oliver. Hurry back soon.

NFL Football (CBS)

Jim Nantz and Phil Simms trying to condemn the league that pays their bosses bills was fascinating to listen to as the Steelers/Bengals game reached its conclusion. A lot of what we saw was deplorable, and not only on the Cincinnati side of the ball.

Phil might have seemed lost, but I think he was biting his tongue on what he really thought of the thuggery happening on the field.

Nantz was just warming up for Peyton Manning next week.

The NFL needs to make some changes. Fast. Or there will be no one left on the field to play the game.

Tim's Vermeer (STARZ On Demand)

Howard raved about this documentary about an inventor recreating an 18th century painting, and it is fascinating. I know the plot doesn't sound particularly exciting, but watch what Teller (and Penn) did and judge for yourself.

I'VE ALSO CHECKED OUT

The Man in the High Castle (Amazon)

Watched the second episode and didn't like it as much as the first. I'm in for the long haul though. Something tells me we'll get the country back from the Nazis and Japanese occupying it. Fingers crossed.

Undateable (NBC)

Live TV. Bill Lawrence is doing LIVE non talk show network television every Friday night at 8. It can be done, and not just on Saturdays at 1130 on NBC. Well done, Bill.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST

The Chiefs/Texans game made me yearn for the Red Zone. Boring football is one thing, but the ads are just killing me.

I will be on TV this Thursday and Friday at 530pm with Chris Carlin on Loud Mouths which airs on SNY. Can't wait to sound off on some sports with Chris.

My book, Fast Food Maniac, actually printed and is coming out February 2nd. I will be doing some signings and appearances in early February. More details as I get them.

Speaking of books, if you love TV half as much as I do, check out Alan Sepinwall's The Revolution Was Televised. I love his columns, and this book reminds you how good TV can be. Great read.

My daughter studying in London tells me Netflix UK is top notch. Glad she has her priorities straight.

Questions? Comments? Shows I should be watching? Let me know.

Be well,

Jon

Sunday, January 3, 2016

TV Thoughts - 1/3/16

Thanks for your feedback regarding my Best TV of 2015. I'm glad you're enjoying the recommendations.

Many of you missed my nightly TV suggestions, and to be honest, I miss discussing TV on a regular basis. So in 2016, I've decided to post some random thoughts as to what I'm watching.

Like most New Year's resolutions, this post might be the only action I take regarding this in 2016, but hey, you gotta start somewhere.

I will do my best not to spoil anything. No guarantees, because some conclusions are too tempting not to talk about.

WHAT I'M WATCHING

Making A Murderer (NETFLIX)

I started off the year tweeting this:



This must-see documentary series kicks off with a fantastic first ep recounting the ongoing plight of Steven Avery in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin.

You'll be hooked from the get go, and you're inhuman if you're not compelled by his story.

I'm no fan of reality shows, mostly because there's no reality in them (Survivor is my lone exception). Making A Murderer is a "reality show" done right - a documentary about real people dealing with the struggle of the Wisconsin legal system and not looking to see where the next camera is.

It is ten episodes long, and well worth your time.

The Man in the High Castle (AMAZON)

I watched the opening credits of this "what if we lost World War II" story and smiled (not because of the fictional World War II outcome).

The theme song is Edelwiess, and I love the cheesiness of The Sound of Music.

The show's creator is Frank Spotnitz, and I'm a fan of Frank's because he co-wrote an episode of The X-Files entitled "Jump The Shark" with two guys you might have heard of - John Shiban and Vince Gilligan.

I visited The X-Files set and was slated to appear in the episode, but I had to catch a flight back to New York. At least I still have the script.

The truth was out there!
But I digress. Frank always makes good TV, and this Amazon series looks like no exception. Lots of secrets and twists are mixed into the Philip K. Dick story profiling a different kind of America.

I only caught the pilot, but I'm very intrigued.

I'VE ALSO CHECKED OUT

Transparent (AMAZON)

Caught the first two eps of season two with my better half, and those might be the only two that I watch.

The acting remains top notch, but it feels like Transparent is trying way too hard to be different, something it inherently doesn't have to do.

I love Jeffrey Tambor and Judith Light, and if the story focused mostly on them, count me in. But it doesn't - it deals with the trials and tribulations of their three screwed up kids, and frankly, I just don't care as much about them.

We'll probably be back, but there's a lot of other stuff to watch (and not just on Amazon).

Mozart in the Jungle (AMAZON)

Okay, I've been watching a lot of Amazon lately. Thanks to @NikRuckert for this recommendation.

The title sounds pretentious, and I get how life in various Manhattan orchestra pits might not appeal to everyone. I was initially turned off by the premise, but too many people whom I respect told me to tune in.

So I did. And it's funny, very interesting, and Bernadette Peters does not age. I will be watching more of season one with Debbie and we'll see how it goes.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST

Stumbled on to a Mr. Robot marathon on USA. Can't wait for season two of that gem.

It's not New Year's Eve without a late night Honeymooners episode. Good to see Captain Video. Switched to the Twilight Zone marathon on SyFy. Always room for one more, honey.

My daughters are home for winter break and watching Gilmore Girls and Friday Night Lights on Netflix. Solid writing up in Stars Hollow and down in Dillon.

Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can't Lose!

Happy New Year,

Jon

P.S.  If I missed something or you have a recommendation, tweet me @jonhein.

P.P.S. My new book Fast Food Maniac comes out in less than a month. I think you're gonna like it.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Best TV of 2015

"How do you find the time to watch all that TV?"

I hear it at work. I hear it online. I hear it at dinner when my wife and I are out with friends.

I watch quite a bit of television. Not as much as you think, but a lot. And truthfully, I can't keep up with everything anymore.

The major networks make it easy with most of their programming. But the cable networks, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and other outlets have created a great problem for faithful TV watchers...too much of a good thing.

As a result, this annual list has become much more difficult to write.

But since you asked, here are my picks for the best television of 2015.

HAVEN'T FINISHED (OR STARTED) YET

Master of None (NETFLIX)
The Man in the High Castle (AMAZON)
Mozart in the Jungle (AMAZON)
Rectify (SUNDANCE)
Transparent (AMAZON)

I'm behind, but I've heard great things about these new shows.

I loved the first two seasons of Rectify, so I'm anxious to start season number three.

Jeffrey Tambor and Judith Light made season one of Transparent worth watching. I hope the kids become slightly more likable in season two.

HONORABLE MENTION

Veep (HBO)
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (NETFLIX)
Review (COMEDY CENTRAL)

All of these comedies made me laugh out loud and had strong seasons. Definitely worth checking out.

SO LONG, FAREWELL

Parks and Recreation (NBC)
Like The Wire, this show never got the acclaim it deserved. I miss the world of Pawnee and all its inhabitants. Setting the last season in the future was ballsy - and absolutely perfect for this comedic gem. Too bad NBC has given up on comedy.

Justified (FX)
Excellent final season. I miss Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder. Great characters, solid acting, and the writing was pretty darn good. Everything you could ask out of a final season for an underrated show.

Mad Men (AMC)
I'd like to teach the world to sing, but this suffered from splitting the final season in two. Still beautiful to look at, and I'm glad Jon Hamm finally got the Emmy he deserved. We got some closure, but not enough. That's the problem when you have so many great characters to write for. And I will never blame Jay Ferguson for Stan and Peggy...too sappy for me, and Mad Men.

THE TOP TEN

10. Better Call Saul (AMC)
Consider the torch passed. Very difficult to follow Breaking Bad, but I'm glad this universe is still alive. Odenkirk and Banks are fantastic, and Vince Gilligan knows how to handle a series. Pacing is everything, and I believe season two will be even better than season one. Really enjoyed this one.

9. Narcos (NETFLIX)
What. A. Pilot. The interweaving of real footage from the life of Pablo Escobar is one of the many highlights of a great first season. Top notch acting, and if Spanish isn't your native language you better be paying attention. Relive the war on drugs and watch all the money pour into Colombia.

8.  Halt and Catch Fire (AMC)
This took a Parks & Rec-like leap in quality from season one to season two, and I liked the first season. Fun story with plenty of drama packed in. The geek in me loves the 80's story of PC clones and 2400 baud modems, but the actresses keep me coming back for more. Even if you didn't build your own computer, this one is still worth checking out.

7. The Leftovers (HBO)
Some of the best writing on TV happened right here. You're starting with the unexplainable problem of 140 million people disappearing without a trace, and now you scrap your season one location for a different part of the country? This was no Laverne and Shirley move from Milwaukee to LA - Damon Lindelof LOVES TV and knows how to keep things interesting. This show MOVES me, and when it's on its game there's no better drama.

6. Silicon Valley (HBO)
Our third show in a row that destroyed its previous season. Every episode delivered as Pied Piper continued its West Coast struggle. Very funny actors along with some great writing had me rolling every Sunday night.

5.  Game of Thrones (HBO)
Shame if you're not watching the world of Westeros. Shame.

4.  Last Week Tonight (HBO)
The funniest program on television this year, and one of the most thought provoking. John Oliver is incredible. The show is biting, informative and always very funny. Forget The Daily Show - this is the one worth watching.

3. The Americans (FX)
Every season, this cold war drama takes it up another notch. They've done a great job filling plot holes that didn't work and cranking up the family tension and that big Soviet decision. And Keri Russell - to quote a buddy of mine at work, she's my favorite.

2.  Mr. Robot (USA)
This summer surprise reminded me how good TV can be when the audience is kept off balance. I had heard it was Fight Club in a high tech world. My expectations were greatly exceeded. Rami Malek and Christian Slater are excellent, and Sam Esmail deserves some kind of award for creating this universe. I never knew what was coming, and I couldn't wait for more. Easily the best new show of 2015.

1. Fargo (FX)
I remember hearing about season one and thought there's no way I could watch a TV show based on the Coen brothers classic film. Billy Bob and plenty of others proved me wrong. This season was going to be a prequel of sorts with a whole new cast? I knew not to doubt Noah Hawley this time around. Each episode of Fargo felt like a new film. Acting, writing, directing - all top notch. They went way out there with some of the storylines, and I bought it all. This series is something special - and that's why it's at the top of my list this year.

And that's it...if you think I forgot something, let me know. Happy holidays, and here's to a great 2016 in TV and beyond!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Rush Diary - Second Show at the Garden

Following Saturday night's show at Newark, I wasn't sure what to expect at Madison Square Garden on Monday night. My expectations were exceeded once again.


On Sunday morning, I watched my youngest child graduate high school and then drove her up to the sleepaway camp she's working at this summer. Howard was live Monday, which meant a long day ahead filled with fabulous things to come.

Monday, June 29 - New York City, New York

3:40am - Woke up to make the 4:24 train to Penn Station. Packed a change of clothes to crash in the city, a must with Howard live and a late Rush show to take in.

5:45am - Arrive at SiriusXM to prepare for this morning's Stern show. I like getting there before anyone else for some quiet and to get organized. It gets busy once the show starts and doesn't let up all day.

11:15am - Time to host Wrap Up. Stern show fan Britt Daniel from Spoon is sitting in to ponder the plight of Bobo and Nicole Bass. I really do have a great job.

5:00 - I find two of the three who will be joining me tonight, Gary Dell'Abate and Richard Christy. This is Gary's first Rush show, and I'm excited for him because I know what he's about to experience. I went to the last three Rush shows with Richard, who happens to be one of the 50 greatest drummers in the world. He worships Neil, rightfully so.

5:15 - The plan is to meet our fourth, Ralph Cirella, at Will Call at 545. You might have on-air issues with Ralph, but he is one of the best people to hang out with. Trust me. It's nice out, so we walk down 6th Avenue.

5:45 - We arrive and get patted down and searched by the NYPD. MSG is safer than any airport. Ralph is already inside raring to go (and you thought he was going to be late, right?). No way. We get our tickets and passes and stand in line with other meet and greeters.

6:30 - After standing on the side of an empty hallway for a while as MSG staff watched us sweat, we walk upstairs to a large room with a Rush photo backdrop in place. This is where the M&G is happening. My Rush contact pulls us off the line to say hello and to apologize for MSG red tape that must be navigated. No worries.

6:40 - Neil is not coming (no surprise to any Rush fan) but Geddy and Alex are soon to arrive. One group pic each, no cell phones allowed. Everyone complies. The twosome enter and hit their marks as fans and friends gush when their pictures are snapped. I've already decided that I'm standing next to Geddy. 

6:50 - The moment. The four of us approach and I shake Alex's hand thanking him for all of his great guitar licks. Then I turn to Geddy, shake, and tell him how much I loved his MLB appearance with Randy Johnson. I share Geddy's love for baseball and figure that's the smart move. He smiles and says thank you, and then we take the picture. That's it. On to the next group.


7:00 - This hospitality area holds about 50 and there's lots of mixing and mingling. I reconnect with some of the folks I saw Saturday night. Ralph chats it up with John Varvatos. My brother comes in, who happens to be wearing JV stuff. Couldn't have planned it better. As the hour passes, I run into my pal from other night, Michael Moore, and we catch up on our weekends. I remain jealous of his all-access pass, but then again, I'm not Michael Moore. After chatting it up we head to our seats. We are in the front, but this time, directly in front of Geddy.


8:15 - The show starts, and Geddy is at the mic looking right at me. At least it appears that way. I don't want to take a photo. I feel that would be distracting and disrespectful. It doesn't stop everyone else though from snapping away, including Ralph who took some of the shots that follow from his askew "Bat-angle".


There are a few changes from Saturday's set list that I'll highlight here.

8:52 - "One Little Victory" replaces "How It Is", and the band doesn't miss a beat. Nice to get some variety in the second show as we head back in Rush time.


9:05 - After "Animate" and the star-studded "Roll The Bones", I expect "Between The Wheels" or perhaps another chance to see "Losing It", but then p/g arrives with DEW aka "Distant Early Warning". Sweet.



9:10 - I see Johnny Dinklage enter stage left and I know what's coming. The crowd goes crazy for the third-ever live performance of "Losing It". As Johnny does his thing, I notice his mother and girlfriend in the photo area in front of us beaming with pride. Could brother "Tyrion" be nearby? 


9:15 - Time to end the first set with "Subdivisions" as Richard Christy proceeds to drum the entire song on my arm. Definitely a different way to conform or be cast out.


9:25 - Back in the hospitality area for a quick break between sets. It is confirmed that Peter Dinklage is indeed on premises but keeping to himself and his family. I spot band manager Ray Danniels once again and inform him of Richard's drummer ranking. He replies how exciting it is to have #1 and #50 in the same house. I'm also told it's okay to take pics of Geddy. That's a relief. Lots of chat and anticipation for the second set. Other than the second song, I know what's coming. Can't wait.

9:43 - As I mentioned earlier, Ralph Cirella is a lot of fun to hang out with. 


9:45 - Cartman counts it off and "Tom Sawyer" begins. The Garden rocks.

9:50 - I was hoping for "YYZ" next. I got "Red Barchetta". I watch Geddy play the bass solo at the end of the song and harken back to the 80's. Good stuff. Gary tells me he feels unworthy of our front row seats with all these insane Rush fans surrounding him. He is, but I'm glad he's there.


9:55 - "The Spirit of Radio" once again carries the night. This is one of the loudest "concert halls" I've ever cheered in. Fans go crazy as Geddy announces "Jacob's Ladder" which is followed by the "Cygnuses".  No guitar glitch this time in the acoustic opening of "Closer To The Heart".


10:30 - Here come the double-necks. To my right, I spot Peter Dinklage taking it all in and leave him be. I met Johnny in Newark, so I tap him and tell him how great he was tonight. He thanks me, but I don't think he remembers who I am. I don't get to meet his brother, but that's okay. A Lannister always pays his debts.


10:40 - Ralph encourages me to take pics during "2112", but I can't get the lighting right. Thankfully, he does. I've heard "2112" live countless times and still watch in awe as Rush cranks out Parts I, II, IV and VII. 


10:50 - Richard Christy can't stop laughing seeing Mel Sirrup up on the big screen introducing the encore. That makes me smile. Cue "Lakeside Park".


10:54 - "Anthem". "What You're Doing". "Working Man". The crowd can't get enough. I realize this might be the last time I see my favorite power trio on the big stage and give an appreciative cheer.


11:15 - I wish we could hang backstage, but we've got Howard in the morning so it's time to roll. I thank Rich, the band photographer, and tell him to give my best to everyone. And just like that, we are out on 8th Avenue looking for a cab.

Ralph, Gary and Richard all loved the show. What's not to love? 

I feel very lucky to have seen Geddy, Alex and Neil up close on two of the last three nights. I joined them as they traveled back in time with their timeless tunes. 


What a trip. Hope to see them again some time soon.