Jul 7, 2008

Seattle (Day 1 - Acoustic Alchemy) - シアトル (1日目、アコースティック・アルケミー)

I got up about 7:30 this morning because I was coming down to Seattle for a bit of holiday. It's the first time I am staying in Seattle any more than two nights.

The Amtrak thruway bus service that I got on was packed. But again, it reminded me that the amount is still not enough for Amtrak to justify running more than one train service a day.

A weird Indian chap, who was jiggling his knees compulsively and kept talking to himself, sat next me, which was unfortunate. But I decided to ignore his attempts to talk to me and kept it to myself. Unfriendly bastard I am.

The ride down to Seattle was pleasant, and the driver was trying the best he can to inform us about all the scenery as there were quite a few tourists on board. I was very surprised how quickly we finished the immigration process considering the amount of people passing through in one go! This meant that we arrived in Seattle 30mins earlier than expected. Woohoo!

But I ended up wasting the 30mins advantage. The bus information I got from Google Map was all horribly wrong, and I couldn't find a right bus. So I decided to go back to the Seattle train station, but then look at the queue for taxi! When I arrived, there was no one waiting for taxi. I ended up waiting for a cab for 15mins. I should have just got one in the first place. Muppet.

As soon as I arrived at The Moore Hotel, I realised that I made an excellent decision, although I landed on this hotel by sheer accident. This hotel is not quite as glamorous as Hilton or whatever, but it is ideally located right in the middle of downtown Seattle, very economic compared with other hotels in the same area, and has very friendly and helpful staff. They were very helpful and gladly gave me some useful info and also arranged a tour for me for tomorrow.

Once administrative work's finished, time for shopping! Everything is definitely cheaper here in Seattle than in Vancouver, and less sales tax is also a bonus. I went straight to my favorite cloth shop American Eagle. Look at the amount of stuff on sale! I ended up buying five T-shirts (unfortunately no jeans), and also bought Teruko a few tops that she might like. Fingers crossed!

Today's main event, however, was Acoustic Alchemy at Jazz Alley.

Unfortunately, Rob and Ruthie couldn't make it due to unfortunate circumstances. This meant that I was going to the show on my own. It didn't bother me, though, because I waited for Acoustic Alchemy for 9 years! Funny that I'm seeing their show in the US while I had 9 years to see them while living in the UK.

The show was excellent! The show I saw was not only their last one in Seattle but also the last of their whole tour. So they said they are a bit sad, but were in a very high spirit. their They played a lot of newer songs, just like every musician would, but also played some of their "classic" including some from my favorite album 'The Beautiful Game'. Their talk was also great. I like British humour (I lived in the UK for far too long), so it was just fun listening to them.

The band performed for almost two hours, but, just like any shows that I have been recently, time went so so quickly. I am really glad I traveled from Vancouver to see them!

Good news! The band was going to sign autographs! I went straight to the band manager after the show, grabbed a few CDs that I don't have, and waited in the queue for autographs. Then I found out there were quite a few people who also traveled from different parts of North America. I saw a few people from Vancouver, and even some from San Francisco! It goes to show what kind of achievements that Acoustic Alchemy has made by now. The band members were really friendly and down to earth. They seemed also pleased to talk to me because I have a British accent and, obviously, told them that I used to live in the UK for many years (and never went to their show!) The band leader (who is an Arsenal fan unfortunately) said to me 'with no disrespect, but Japanese fans are a bit too reserved or polite, so it's hard to see if they are enjoying the music sometimes', which is exactly what I said to Teruko when we saw Matt Dusk in Tokyo. I really liked his frankness, which can be hard to see from musician's mouth sometimes. As we said goodbye, I asked them to come back to Japan, and they asked me to pester Bluenote. :-)

I am blogging in the hotel lobby as their wireless connection doesn't reach my 7th floor, but I have to go to bed soon... The Mt Rainier tour that I am taking starts at 7:00AM!







まったく偶然見つけたThe Moore Hotel、着いてすぐにここにしてよかった~、と思った。このホテルはヒルトンとかのようなホテルとは比べ物にならないけど、シアトルダウンタウンの中心に位置してて、同じエリアのホテルと比べてかなり格安、そして何より従業員がフレンドリーで親切なこと。とっても親切なスタッフが役に立つ情報をいくつか教えてくれた上、明日参加するツアーのアレンジも嫌な顔せずにやってくれた。


なんと言っても今日のメインイベントは、Jazz Alleyでのアコースティック・アルケミー


いや~ぁ、コンサートはよかった!僕が見に行ったショーは、バンドのシアトルでの最後のコンサートどころか、ツアー全体の最後のショー。ということで、ツアーが終わってしまうのは寂しい、とメンバーが言ってたものの、かなりのパフォーマンスを見せてくれた。どのミュージシャンでもやるように、比較的新しい曲を結構演奏してたけど、中には僕のお気に入りのアルバム'The Beautiful Game'からの数曲も含めて、彼らの有名な曲も聞けた。トークもなかなか面白かった。やっぱり僕はイギリス人のユーモアセンスが大好きだから(イギリスに長く住みすぎた)、話を聞いてるだけで楽しかった。




1 comment:

Anonymous said...

わーい☆アメグルギフト 楽しみにしてまーすっ!ありがとね!