HammerFall/Sabaton Concert AAR

I know the blog’s been a bit quiet the last few weeks. Been busy.

Last Saturday, I trekked up to Saint Pete to catch HammerFall and Sabaton in concert.

  1. Jannus Live is not my favorite venue. It’s a fucking outdoor courtyard with no seating where 2K+ people are crammed. If I go back to this place to catch a show, and it’s normal Florida weather, I’m wearing my damn kilt.
  2. At least two people not in line told those of us in line, that this was the longest line they’ve seen for a concert. Not sure if it was a measure of dedication from the fans or lack of heavy-hitters at Jannus, but I’m thinking the former.
  3. I need new concert ear pro. Preferably something discreet, effective, and can be worn for several hours. Particularly when the venue plays intermission music at the same fucking volume as the acts.
  4. HammerFall always does a great show. Not as familiar with the songs from their new album. I will remedy that in the coming week. Especially since it’s a non-podcast week due to the work that needs doing.
  5. It was interesting to see how many of the concert goers were seeing HammerFall for the first time. From the hands I saw from my corner, figure about 80%. This was my second time seeing them in concert. Rumor is that they will be returning next fall. This will be investigated.
  6. Sabaton brought the fucking tank. The big, dual Gatling gun tank for their drummer. Heavy metal concert requires heavy metal. Military history themed heavy metal requires military heavy metal.
  7. Sabaton’s set started with a request for donations to the construction of a WWI memorial in DC. Wasn’t expecting that, but they certainly know their audience.
  8. Sabaton knows how to use their screen to display the “audience participation” parts of their songs.
  9. Lots of songs off the new album. These I haven’t fully ingrained in my head, but enjoyable nonetheless.
  10. Joakim learned a valuable lesson. When the Florida crowd starts singing “Swedish Pagans,” don’t threaten us with singing “YMCA” if we’re “bad.” We’ll just start singing the Village People to call your bluff.
  11. It was Joakim’s birthday. We got to sing “Happy Birthday” to him while he got to wear a pink tiara and try to blow out those relighting candles. If there’s one thing I love about a Sabaton show is that they do not take themselves too seriously, and are not above fan service.
  12. They didn’t bring a kid up onto the stage with them, but they did find a nine-year-old in the front. Whose parents named him Leonidas. No, I don’t know if they’re from Tarpon Springs. (Those is you outside Tampa, google it). This did lead to the crowd doing the Spartan cheer.
  13. It was not a great idea to park on the seventh floor of the garage when the elevator wasn’t available. On the plus side, I may have partially worked off the Kit Kat I ate before the concert.
  14. Still had a great time!

Electoral College Reform

No, I’m not for disbanding the electoral college for the popular vote. However, my concern is for states like California, Illinois, Texas – states where members of the minority party have no real voice in the presidential election.

Rather than the current trend of forcing all the states delegates to vote for whichever candidate wins the popular vote, I’m wondering if a better idea is to break up the states’ electors proportionally.

I can see this being done a couple of ways. First, have the proportion of broken out by who wins the counties. This has the advantage of nullifying the power of the cities over the rural, but we get back to the minority parties in the cities being under-represented. Another option would be to break up the electors based on the over vote proportion. This has the reciprocal issues of giving the cities a lot of clout, but better representing minority parties in those densely populated areas.

Neither system is perfect, however I do think either would help better align the spirit and reason of the electoral college with modern demographics.

Same Word, Different Meanings

I talk to my grandma once a week. On our last conversation, she informed me her church was having a crusade.

Me: “What do you mean by crusade?”

Grandma: “Don’t you know what a crusade is?”

Me: “I know what it means in a historical sense, but I doubt a bunch of Oklahoma Baptists are about to invade the Levant on Sunday night.”

She thought that was highly amusing.

Also, a crusade is a fancy name for a revival.

Friday Quote – H.L. Mencken

I believe that it is better to be free than to be not free, even when the former is dangerous and the latter safe. I believe that the finest qualities of man can flourish only in free air – that progress made under the shadow of the policeman’s club is false progress, and of no permanent value. I believe that any man who takes the liberty of another into his keeping is bound to become a tyrant, and that any man who yields up his liberty, in however slight the measure, is bound to become a slave.

Eighteen Years Later

I’m going to start with a book recommendation. Fall And Rise: The Story of 911 by Mitchell Zukoff. I had to stop the book several times to recover emotionally.

Next election will be the first where people born after 9/11 will be able to vote. I’m beginning to understand how my parents felt when they discussed Kennedy assassination or my grandparents talked about Pearl Harbor.