Friday, July 06, 2007

Welcome To Moe's!

I used to get a Joey Bag of Donuts burrito at Moe's Southwestern Grill, but it has now been replaced with a new favorite: the Chicken Ranch Quesadilla. Sure, it doesn't have a funny name like the rest of Moe's selections, but it's damn tasty. Chicken + Bacon + Cheese + Ranch Dressing = Mmmmmmmm. Or a grilled heart attack waiting to happen.

Moe's in Carmel is a strange place. One of the job requirements must be mandatory tattoos. I've never seen so many tattooed arms in my life, and remember, I've spent a lot of time in Hillsboro. Piercings are not mandatory, but, like Office Space flair, greatly encouraged. It's like a biker bar converted to a chain restaurant and no one bothered to fire the employees. That said, they're probably the friendliest bunch of fast food workers in Carmel. Plus, the Chicken Ranch Quesadilla is damn good.

I like Moe's because they give you chips with your order. Plus their signature salsa is called "El Guapo's Infamous Salsa". Any restaurant that openly embraces The Three Amigos is alright by me.

Did I mention the Chicken Ranch Quesadilla? Because it's good, in case I haven't.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Every Blog You Take

I can cross another band off my list: I saw The Police at the Excel Energy Center in St. Paul Tuesday night. I was too young to catch them the first time around - although I owned (and still own) a copy of Synchronicity on vinyl - and decided they were worth traveling to see since, of course, they weren't coming to Indianapolis. So I rang up my friend Andie who lives in Minneapolis and we made plans to see the show. Yes, tickets were expensive, but it was worth it. The setlist:

Message in a Bottle
Synchronicity II
Walking on the Moon
Voices Inside My Head
When the World is Running Down, You Make the Best of What's Still Around
Don't Stand So Close To Me
Driven To Tears
The Bed's Too Big Without You
Truth Hits Everybody
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
Wrapped Around Your Finger
De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da
Invisible Sun
Walking In Your Footsteps
Can't Stand Losing You

Roxanne

King of Pain
So Lonely
Every Breath You Take

Next To You

As you can see, it was heavy on the hits, but that's to be expected since it's a reunion arena tour. They didn't merely crank out robotic versions of the originals, though; a lot of the songs were arranged differently and reflected how each musician had grown since 1984. While it was nice that they put some effort into it, I do wish they had been at least a little faithful to the original arrangements on some of the tracks. "Synchronicity II", one of their hardest songs, should have been stellar, but an odd intro derailed it for a bit. And songs like "Truth Hits Everybody" and "So Lonely" should crank tempo-wise, but instead they lacked the punk edge they needed to thrive. Now, to be fair, the band might have been reacting to the lame crowd, which decided sit through the entire show rather than get up and enjoy themselves. How can you watch a Police show sitting on your ass?

Andie pointed out something I loved: It was just the three of them onstage, no additional musicians or singers added to beef up the sound. Since their last tour was bloated to the extreme, it was great to see them stripped back down to their basic lineup. This could have been a disaster, since both Stuart Copeland and Andy Summers haven't exactly been in the public eye for the past twenty years. And Sting, whose last album was composed and performed on a lute, doesn't exactly play rock and roll anymore. But not only has everyone kept their chops, they've improved them. Copeland's bitching about their sloppiness in the press aside, I found them to be a tight, cohesive unit.

I also loved Sting's bass. It was beat to hell and looked like it had been with him since 1974. Like the men onstage, it had seen a lot and was there to celebrate it all.

Next concert: Old 97's, The Vogue, Next Monday.