Haven't been to USCB for a few years, so imagine my response to my welcome back souvenir - a 48 dollar parking ticket. In less enlightened times, that's extortion. It's the classic cop behind the billboard speed trap updated. Here's what appears to have happened: So the minimum wage uniform guy at the front gate isn't there at night - and now the school has a double dip income spike by saving this invisible man's pittance of a salary + all the new surprises in the form of outrageous parking fines. I didn't see any signs - no one said anything to me and where I parked - less than a block from Campbell Hall - no one came or went, so I didn't take anyone's spot. For the privilege, that's 48 bucks which translates to me and UCSB (Unconscionable Car Shakedown Bummer) becoming complete strangers for the forseeable future.
How was Black Joe? He raged - channeling Otis Redding, Hound Dog Taylor, Bobby 'Blue' Bland and James Brown - with lots of fuzzed out guitars and a raging horn section for emphasis. Too bad that about the only students there were working. Lewis dropped the f-bomb a few times, other than that, pretty much every word was indecipherable. Good thing he rocked - playing tunes off his two albums. You need his last one, "Scandalous." If more blues was like this, there'd be way more blues fans. And if there were more signage, there would be happier writers - good thing Mac's had a fresh batch of Bean, Rice and Green Chile Burritos on a brief stop to break up the whining on the return trip.
Two days later, Saturday night, it rained a bit on the way north to the Santa Barbara County Bowl to see Snow Patrol. Feeling lazier than usual - after a hard day of watching the Sooners destroy Kansas in football - it was foggy but dry as we took the shuttle to the top of the hill where I quickly realized that I had been misinformed as to the start times.
I was eager to see Lissie - a rock star on the rise out of Ojai, a lady that certainly has connections. She played Coachella, tours all over the world, and now, there she was with a relative home game opening for the Irish/Scottish rock stars in Snow Patrol. We took our seats, just as Lissie belted out "Yeah, yeah, yeah!" and skedaddled, her set complete.
After our brief MBW (Basic Monotonous Wait) Snow Patrol strolled out - all six of them, fronted by dynamite singer Gary Lightbody.
It became obvious quickly that here was a bunch of pros that played impeccably with perfectly happening harmonies - in short, they've done this sort of thing before. Lightbody bantered with the crowd, including some folks in front who didn't seem to mind that they had postponed their trip to Korea for the show. He spent a lot of time, convincing the crowd that needed little convincing to become the boring chorus. Then during the fairly tame acoustic interlude, Lightbody invited Lissie out to join in as those two created some powerhouse harmonies. Always worth the drive for Snow Patrol but not a 35 dollar t-shirt. Hey, I don't live in Santa Barbara.