I went north a day early and chilled in Kent for a day, before heading up the Pittsburgh way. Danni and I left on I-76 east towards Youngstown about 4pm or so on Friday, and with the helpfully detailed directions via Smitty, we arrived at the beehive around sound check time where i sat and talked shop with Chopp for a while. on to Mr. Bill to see what was all entailing in his world. he was lax as usual, aside the fact he was dealing with a sound system that looked like something straight from the early 50's or so. it created more hiss than a 20th generation analog cassette that had been taped on something that hadn't been cleaned or demagged in over 100 uses. i thought to myself that this might be an interesting evening. we had a couple of hours to burn before show time so we sat around and played backgammon and euchre with Dave and Eric until it approached the supposed 9:30 start time. the venue itself was a little odd for me, as the soundboard was on the under 21 side and the only thing between me and a view of the stage was a 10 foot high diagonal metal fence. the atmosphere and energy in the room was something i thought was pretty intense. as for the structural lay-out of the place, everything was awesome except that fence. it's an old movie theater and has, what i thought, were very good acoustics. the lights dropped and the the place got dark. thanks to the Wobblee himself, we had a somewhat synchronized light display. he did the best with what we had to work with. amazingly enough, although the hiss was pretty bad when it was dead quiet, Ol' Bill must have twirled his magic fingers, because it sounded good. from minute one I thought the mix was perfect. They opened the show with one of my all-time favorite ed tunes, springtime again. the energy started out intense and just escalated. i kept looking at the time and the songs they had played and through the first five tunes, they had been playing almost an hour. from the opener, Dave took the mic and laid down a really thick utopia, followed by Roller Coaster. i now have a new appreciation for that song. the crossfire of instruments in the heat of the rhythm unloaded the most cocky version of surround i have ever heard. at one point all instruments were in complete synchronized jam so intensely that they almost became one. as soon as they did, they brought it back down with the bow we wow woump. hands down boys. Dave lightened the load for a little bit, while the mellowness of the beginning stages of so they say took place. as for the second half of this tune, just like jack the ripper. i love hearing ed sing the fi fi and her red knitted sweater song. one of my favorite cover tunes. lady vanilla followed up before Dave took on the acoustic guitar to finish up the set. it had been 45 shows since Dave last played sure cure for the blues. he had chopper all freaked out, cuz the last time before that that Dave had played it, was also 45 shows apart. just coincidence? i think so. music closed the set and the boys paused for a 25 minute intermission. The lights dropped once more and the boys goofily twanged their instruments before Clifford teed off with John Henry. from there, the insanity intensified with a crazily mind-blowing schwa. every time they play this song, it makes me want to jump onstage and start screaming SCHWA!!! the urge hasn't yet overcome the cognitive, so my insanity stops there. i really dug the daffodils. absolutely one of my favorite songs. that beginning guitar riff does something to set my groove right. this blended really well into Hush, a tune I hadn't heard in a long while. ed mellowed the rage with a splendid version of pass the cider. he has a way of making even the mellowest of songs intense. then he made the intensist of tunes more intense, when they busted into lax. that reggae-ish type jam in the middle of the tune is pretty wild. Dave got on acoustic guitar and they kicked down an awesome rendition of silver train that segued into the ever so foot stopping hodown song, Keepin' Time. Ed polished off the close of the set with the back to back Alexander jams. man was Sweney on fire. hanging out with Eric earlier, he was remembering the specifics of the encore, so i pretty much guessed it was coming. this tune too, i hadn't heard in a while either, so it was nice. they jammed for about three total hours, and worth every second of it. off for Kent that night, and with a few things left undetailed in our directions, we were lost from the get go. Pittsburgh is a tricky city to get around in and if you're not familiar, you end up, you guessed it, lost. somehow we ended up on I-279 southbound, needing it northbound. after crossing the river, we decided to get out the map. it turned out that if we went a little further, we'd hit I-79 northbound. so off we went, not being able to keep going on I-279 southbound towards I-79. instead, we were on I-279 northbound going back into the city. oh well, that we did and eventually pulled into kent around 4:30AM. it was a rainy night and her windshield wipers were blurry in the rain. talk about hypnotizing. it made it for a long drive back that night.