Wednesday, May 30, 2007

An Entertaining Week

Last week was a great week in my entertainment life, with a significant event bracketing the week.

Monday night was the season finale of 24, definitely my favorite show on television. All in all, this season was on the slower side (discounting killing one of my favorite characters and blowing up a nuke in LA all within five minutes of each other) compared to other seasons; but a weak season of 24 is stronger than most other TV shows at their best. The season as a whole lacked much of the central-plot cohesiveness that other seasons had. At times, the subplot became more interesting that the main plot, particularly the events surrounding the President Palmer and Vice-President Daniels. Having more insight into Jack’s family and background was a brilliant move. Bringing Audry back was one of the lower points of the season, but it set up the season cliff-hanger well. The character development throughout the season was excellent this year. My initially reaction to Lennox, Doyle, and to a lesser extent Daniels radically altered at the end of the season. Doyle in particular, shows a lot of promise as a character, but no replacement for Curtis. The portrayal of Jack this season was excellent. The writers greatly expanded the depth of his character not only with his experience in China, but also by gaining an insight into his background and family. Jack’s brokenness at the beginning and the ending of the day was effective. It was interesting to see how much of the season, the final third in particular, was not as centered on Jack.

So, here is my prediction for Day 7. Phillip Bauer is not dead. Shortly after day 6 (people need the chance to get a little sleep, use the bathroom, and recover a little more from their injuries), Phillip Bauer, in conjunction with the Chinese, mount a rescue of Chang and attempt to spirit the component to China. In order to effect this without the government’s notice, another distracting threat is leveled against the country, but somewhere other than LA (how much abuse can a single city undergo). Jack’s whereabouts are kept hidden for the first several hours (did he jump or not), but when it is made public that his father is involved, he will come to save the day.

Friday Chevelle played in Buffalo, and I had the privilege of seeing them for the second time. Opening was the angsty emo band Strata, who was decent. Their recent single Cocaine was definitely their best moment. Finger 11, while a lot harder, lacked energy. Their lead singer, pretty much stayed in the same place, with his wireless mic on the stand the entire set. The second guitarist was drunk, and his guitar didn’t work for about 2 ½ songs, but his absence was not a major loss. That being said, the openers for this show weren’t that bad, better than their openers last time, and a lot better than the other concerts I’ve been to recently.

The last time I saw Chevelle play was one of the last shows they did with their brother Joe on bass. After seeing them this time, getting rid of Joe and adding Dean was one of the best moves they made. The whole band played with more intensity and energy than before, plus Dean actually engaged the crowd (which is nice when you are right in front of him). The improvement in Sam’s drumming was as striking live as it was on Vena Sera, even their older songs were played with a lot more aggression. Despite playing for nearly and hour and 15 minutes, their 15 song set seemed short. Excepting Point #1, they played a good mix of songs from all their albums. Every song they played was awesome, the only disappointment was that they didn’t play an even longer set! All of their new songs played well live, especially Straight Jacket Fashion. Playing Get Some was great- seeing the latest American Idol had been crowned two days before (the song mocks American Idol, for those who don’t know). Their final song, Another Know It All, was a great send off with a lot of energy, and a chance for the band to jam a bit. Plus, at the end of the show, Dean gave me his pick (another reason I like him so much)! All in all, I cannot wait to see Chevelle again.

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