My Howard Jones concert experience, part 2 {photos}

This is the second entry of two about my Howard Jones concert experience. This one is for the photos


I was there ridiculously early. And by ridiculously early, I mean 3 hours before the doors even opened. I sat on a bench in front of the bike shop next door


There is a Chinese restaurant down the street, and one of their fortune cookie slips was blown over in front of the theater.

The inside of the theater. It was really cute. I would definitely go back in the future. Hell. If I lived in Minneapolis, I would love to work here.

I chatted with this wonderful couple while standing outside in line (for over an hour before the doors opened).


You can’t see them very well, but this couple right here were the exact same couple I sat next to when I went to the Thomas Dolby concert back in April. They even remembered I had told them (in April) that I was from Iowa. The woman had a laugh and told me they were working on their bucket list


Since the show was general admission, as soon as the doors opened, I shot straight for front and center and stayed there.  My camera only has 3x zoom, so this shot isn’t much of an exaggeration in regards to proximity.

For his first set, he played his second album, Dream into Action, in its entirety



I really cannot think of any other 57 year old men that can actually pull off sparkly gold trousers.

Seriously. Sparkly gold trousers.


I loved the colors in this shot. I also thought his hair looked like a little blue candle flame.  It was really adorable.


I borrowed a lyric from the song “Hide and Seek” for this little edit.


Howard Jones has a lovely face, and I think he’s aged exceptionally well.


I think this was one of my best pictures of the night. It’s one of my favorites, anyway.


I just really like his hair, okay?


Howard Jones is my new style icon. I just… ugh. The perfection of this outfit is immense. Sparkly gold trousers, a jean colored jacket, a shirt with a trippy dia de los muertos skull design, and a peace sign necklace… this is, on tumblr, what we would affectionately refer to as “outfit porn”.


I really liked how the blue lights hit him in this photo

Now, during one song (I can’t remember which it was. It might have been Specialty, or Bounce Right Back), for a couple lines, he sang right to me, making eye contact the whole time.  I also got to touch his hand briefly. I will touch more on this later but the stupid drunk fans who have to stick their hand out every time he comes round to the front of the stage annoy me. Especially the douche behind me was who held onto Howard’s hand and half fell on me, shoving me into the stage. First of all, that could be dangerous because if you pull too hard he could get yanked right off stage, and secondly, if it was some frail, skinny woman you’d rammed into, she could have been hurt.

Anyway. On with the show.


This was the outfit he wore during his second set, when he performed his first album, Human’s Lib, in its entirety.  That outfit was badass. His tie had a skull on it. I honestly think he could pull off full fledged bondage pants. I feel like I must once again mention how adorable his little pointy hairdo is.


While he did actually play the song “Specialty”, which I borrowed a lyric from, that was during his first set, when he was in the more hippie-ish outfit. I like this so much I think I’m going to get a print of it and get a frame for it. The font is called “i am online with u” and can be found for free on


I loved how the blue lights looked in contrast with the red/pink. I tweaked the color balance towards blue a tiny bit, just to bring out what was already there.


For his encore, he played “New Song”… with a keytar.

Which I loved because he came right up front of the stage. I did use my camera’s pitiful 3x zoom, but he was still literally so close I could have reached out and touched him.

I just wish I had been a little bit taller so my perspective would have been better. But then I’d have pissed off the short people behind me.



After the concert, I bought an autographed dvd, then I went outside because I had hoped to catch him out there. My reasoning was that, at the Dolby concert (though it was at a completely different venue) that he wouldn’t come back out afterwards, so I waited outside for a while.

I considered just calling my cab, but I’m glad I waited. Someone from inside told myself and this old man standing out there that Howard was inside signing autographs and stuff, and told us to get in there because the line was getting shorter.

Thank god for that random messenger in the black tee shirt with the giant red triangle on it.

I practically burst in the doors and got in line. It was actually a pretty short line.

When I got to the front, I showed Howard two drawings I’d done.

and this one.

I told him I’d like to let him have one of these, and he said “If you can bear to part with one, they’re beautiful” and I pretty much could have melted into a puddle right there at his feet.

He chose the Revolution of the Heart one. I asked him if he would please autograph the other drawing for me.

I did feel a little awkward and fangirly when I told him I’d been listening to the Revolution of the Heart album for like a week straight, when I told him that his music had lots of wonderful advice in it, and that Cross that Line had been my favorite album in college. I didn’t let that bother me too much because I figured… this guy’s first album came out 2 years before I was born. He’s been at this a while and I’m sure he’s seen people far more awkward than me. Not counting the girl in the crowd that kept shouting “HOWARD, YOU’RE FABULOUS”. And these other couple fans that pissed me off.

They were around an hour or two before the doors opened, and they caught Howard going inside before the show to do soundchecks, and they got a few autographs. And after the show I saw them in the line to get stuff autographed and their attitude and whole aura just bothered me.

Howard Jones is a musician. He’s not a little autograph printing press. You do not need to have every fucking Howard Jones record you own autographed.

I honestly didn’t understand. People like you are only going to piss the musicians off. They don’t need a bunch of asshole fans just shoving memorabilia in their face to be signed, like you don’t care about him as a person at all.

Sometimes music fans can be little leeches, just constantly being needy little fucking blood sucking parasites, taking and taking and taking and never thinking of it.

The thing is, the musician doesn’t owe you a damn thing. Musicians like Howard are the ones busting their asses on stage several times a week for months on end, and all you can think of is how else you can be a greedy little motherfucker? No.

They’ve given you their music and a kick ass show, they literally owe you nothing else. They’re being nice, staying back and signing autographs for and talking to people, when they could be hurrying up and getting their asses on the road so they can sleep on the tour bus or whatever, but no.


Sorry. I did get off onto a bit of a tangent there. I did (and still do) want to write a separate blog entry about how fans sometimes feel disproportionately entitled to be little leeches who just take and take and take and forget that these musicians are real people, not a host for their parasitic bullshit.

And I was doing so well with trying not to swear, but when I get mad, my profanity deflector shields are pretty weak or simply refuse to work at all.

All in all, it was an amazing experience.  I would love to see him in concert again. Perhaps we’ll be lucky enough to get a new album from him. I’m not sure.

I don’t think he’s got any plans to retire, but one never knows. I’m just glad I made the decision to go to this concert because this is the first and will be the only tour where he will play his first two albums live.








My Howard Jones concert experience, part 1 {my texts and notes}

On June 26th, 2012, I got to see Howard Jones in concert. This is the first of 2 entries. This is a list of texts I sent, and notes I saved on my phone, written throughout the day. The next entry will be some pictures from the trip, as well as some more maybe… in depth descriptions of stuff. And my current musing on the subject, all that jazz.

The bits with the asterisks are text messages I sent people. The other stuff is from the notes on my phone.

*7:14am- Wow, some guy waiting to get on the bus is a cranky mofo.

7:36am- First fiasco of the day. Dude almost grabbed the little folder with my concert ticket inside. He then grumped about it. Still awaiting bus arrival. Hope fellow passengers are more sufficiently caffeinated than that grumpy old man. CBS morning show is on tv in bus station. Nothing exciting from what I can see. Sound is drowned out by vending machine hums and two large video game thingers. Although the menards jingle was in fact loud enough to hear. Stupid ads anyway. Butt is sufficiently vacuumed into seat in bus station. The seats are either perfectly shaped or my butt is large. A bit of both, probably.

*7:56am- Everyone on this bus is like, asleep.

8:00am-Bus is eerily quiet. Kind of full. Seated next to stranger. Oh well. Everyone is like sleeping. Bus driver is a sassy black man. Hopefully after layover I can manage two seats to myself. Probably not, but oh well. View is really nice, not taking pictures because I don’t want the mennonite lady to think I’m taking a picture of her. Different lady was woken suddenly, the look on her face was priceless. Omg. Thankfully I didn’t laugh but it was hard.

*8:22am- Pictures of food on billboards is an evil, evil thing.

8:40-layover almost done. Ate part of a sandwich. And some string cheese. Baby on board will not stop crying. White out mountain dew is delicious. Is it kosher to eat chipotle chicken wraps at 8:45 in the morning?

*9:30am- We just passed that adult bookstore in Owatonna lmao.

9:55- Bored. It’s overcast which is a bit crap bc the forecasts said sunny and shit. Didn’t bring an umbrella. If it comes to that I suppose I can buy a cheap one.

*9:59am- I saw a Japanese restaurant called “Hana”. I thought it said “Haha” and I was like, lol, that’s a funny name for a restaurant.

*10:26am-Why do they call it HOM furniture? God damn that annoys me. It’s spelled HOME, idiots.

10:35-Just leaving Burnsville. Not too much longer now. People are talking more now, thank god. It was like a funeral in here earlier. I wonder where other people are going. Lady next to me is headed for Detroit, won’t get there until tomorrow morning. There is another baby crying. Watch the first one start back up
10:40am- There is a cute little blonde boy that keeps looking around, standing up in his seat and whatnot. It’s the cutest thing ever.

*10:43am- There are Jimmy Johns restaurants everywhere. Jesus.
*10:45am- An airplane just flew like right over the bus.

*11:22am- Two men drinking out of a flask of vodka in bright daylight. Oookay then.

*11:27am- Already passed a gay bar.

*12:17pm- Gave up trying to find my way on foot. I will just call a cab when I’m ready, goddamn.

*12:23pm- Going to a giant Barnes & Noble store.

*12:29pm- Doctor Who dvds. I will be leaving here without them, sadly.

*12:35pm- Oh shit, I found the Alton Brown cookbooks.

*12:49pm- Passion iced tea and a shortbread cookie shaped like a strawberry-omg.

[Between me eating that cookie and the next text, I stumbled upon a cute little candy store, and even though I was getting irritated and impatient because I didn’t know where I was, I just had to go inside]

*12:57- I just bought a half pound of candy fruit slices, JFC that candy store had everything.
*1:02: I walked in and actually said “Holy shit” under my breath. Small place but candy as far as the eye could see.

*1:27- Pigeons are bigger up close than I imagined.

1:29pm- I am now aimlessly wandering around Minneapolis. I will call a cab when I’m ready, which I am super nervous about because I hate calling people and I’ve never called a cab before. I’m sure that will be fine. I need to find something to do to kill time, my feet and back are killing me. Seen lots of interesting people. I think I’m going to get up and walk around some more.

*2:29- I think my face is sunburnt already.
*2:31- A dude with like 2 foot long dreadlocks just rode past on a bicycle.
*2:34- Just passed a frat house with a la-z-boy on the front porch.

2:36pm- In a cab. Sherlock has ruined cabs for me. Driver is an old old man wearing a cap.

*2:41- Holy shit I found a store full of bongs.

*2:58-Just spotted a passing long haired, bearded man with a guitar on his back. I love this town.
*2:59- (I was sitting in a diner) The music in here reminds me of a spongebob quote: “First you must acquire a taste for freeform jazz”.

3:18- Killing time in diner. After I finish my soda I’m going on a quest to find a bathroom. I may explore some more since doors don’t open until 7.

*3:21-Hot long haired man spotted going past outside. I actually said ‘holy shit’ out loud.

*3:28-What kind of shitty CVS pharmacy doesn’t have a bathroom?
*3:33- Frozen yogurt place, hell fucking yeah.

3:51- Just bought frozen yogurt from a cute little place just so I could use their customer only bathroom. Not that I didn’t want frozen yogurt. I had peanut butter and chocolate flavors, and they were so damn good. I’m now sitting on a bench next door to the Varsity theatre. 3 hours left to wait. If my patience holds out, I’m planning on sitting here until like, 5 something. May explore a tiny bit more before then. Dunno. Passed a bar called “Library”. Oh, what won’t college kids do?
Potheard just bought a new bong at the shop across the street. Found that a little amusing. I have come to the conclusion that Jimmy Johns restaurants are everywhere. Thought about going there and then I was like, fuck that, I didn’t come all the way to Minneapolis to eat at a chain restaurant that’s got a location across the street from where I work.

*4:09- Hippie man with three swimsuit clad little girls sitting on bench next to me. It’s really amusing. He’s nice.
*4:13-They’re all talking about skateboards.
*4:39-Do you ever wonder if people that are allergic to bees can eat honey?

4:42- I think they’re doing soundchecks in the theatre now. That’s a bit exciting. I’m bored out of my mind. I mean I’m excited but holy damn, I am not a patient woman, so things like this are trying

5:02-Pretty sure I’ve either spotted a worker or the first other concert goer. He keeps taking pictures of the theatre sign. Hopefully he crops me out in case I’m making a derpy face.

5:48- They’re doing sound checks and from what I hear his voice still sounds great, still hitting high notes and whatnot. There is one couple here (waiting outside with me).

*5:10- Holy shitttt I see him (Howard Jones, caught a glimpse of him quick as he was going in the theatre for soundchecks and such. These two or three men were like getting him to autograph shit which I found a little… eh, idk, too forward. It’s like, don’t come to enjoy the music or anything, but shove all your merch in front of him to sign like he’s a fucking autograph printing press).
*5:13-man in a kilt. Day made.

*5:52- They’re sound checking “What is Love” right now.

*7:09- They have a keytar. I want a keytar.

7:12pm- Standing at front of the stage, waiting for shit to go down. This is a really nice place, I’d come here again.

*9:25- half time. During one of the songs for several lines of it he stood straight in front of me and sang right to me. I was like, ‘Oh fuck thank god I knew the words to that part’.
*11:09- Bought an autographed dvd.

*11:20- forgot to mention, also shook his hand when he was on stage.
*11:26- Turns out people really do yell “TAXI!” at incoming taxis like in the movies.

*11:37- I just gave Howard Jones one of my drawings which he described as beautiful. Holy fucking shitballs.
*11:40- He also signed another of my drawings. I can die happy now.
*11:43- This is going to sound weird but he smelled really good (I’m not kidding, he smelled like rose water or something).

*11:58pm- The irony of a “Bike, walk, move” ad on the side of a bus… lol.
12:18am- Waiting at the bus station. The concert was orgasmic. During one of the songs, for a few longs, he sang right to me (Thankfully I knew the words, lol). I also shook his hand (while he was on stage). Then afterwards, I met him. He called my artwork beautiful, and I gave him one of my drawings. He signed another that I kept. I am still freaking out. I may try to catch the return bus at 5am. If not it’s going to be a long 12 hours. I should remember to say, my cab driver here was a chatty Indian man, stark contrast to my first cab driver, an old white man who didn’t say a single word. 12:35am- an egg muffin sandwich from a vending machine is fucking delicious. Jamie Oliver and Alton Brown would cry if they knew. I’ll make a recipe from one of their cookbooks to make up for it.
*12:39am (I was waiting in the bus station) Nancy Grace is on tv bitching. Shut the fuck up, woman. Nobody gives a shit. 12:55am- Fried. I’ve been awake for 20 hours straight and most of it on my feet. Fun but holy shit am I tired. Thinking of putting myself in a corner and trying to sleep but that probably won’t happen. In that case, Mountain Dew to the rescue.
1:24am- Station is closed, myself and like 7 other people have to wait outside. There goes the sleep idea. What the hell, it’s part of the adventure.
3:54- Abandoned sleep attempt. This is making me want to hand out pillows and blankets to all the homeless people. I must have gotten a tiny bit of sleep because I feel better but thank god I bought that mountain dew before the station closed. 4:04- shouldn’t have looked at the nutrition facts for that bag of potato skins I just ate. As you can tell, I’ve got stellar eating habits. Mountain dew, potato skins, candy fruit slices, and I actually have a somewhat crushed bag of doritos I haven’t opened. Thank fuck I did all that walking around/dancing. It might just even out. Phone flashed low battery warning so I’m going to wrap this up. Jesus I’m long winded. Good thing I’m fat for insulation, it’s like nice out but far too cold for my taste. Holy watermelon candy fruit slice batman. Oh yeah. I was wrapping this up. Shit
4:26am- Hit critical mass of tired, currently grooving to Honky Cat by Elton John. Ps: thank fuck for mountain dew. And mp3 players. Look up who invented mp3 shit. Could be interesting. In half an hour I’ll have been awake for 24 hours.

{And that’s where the notes stopped because my phone died}

Howard Jones concert in 7 days.

Hey guys. I know it’s been a while (over 2 months) since I’ve updated here, but given how rarely anyone reads these, I don’t really feel bad. Nobody is probably missing anything.

However, I have had this blog since what, 2006? So I would like to continue to use it once in a while.

I’ve not really been doing much, other than working, and swearing like a sailor. It’s still only part time work, but standing for just four hours at a time can be incredibly hard on my back. I’m still contemplating going back in to the chiropractor and setting up monthly visits, and a payment plan for that (which they let people do) but for now I suppose I’m getting by in that regard.

Anyhoo, in seven days, I will be attending a Howard Jones concert in Minneapolis.

While I was standing in line to get into the Thomas Dolby concert back in April, someone was going around handing out little fliers for a Howard Jones concert. I shrugged and thought little of it. I figured I wouldn’t be able to swing it since I’d already blown a huge amount of money on the Dolby concert.

Little over a month ago, I was looking at the flier (which is on nice cardstock, and just a little larger than an average postcard), and ran some numbers in my head, and figured I would be able to afford to go

The ticket cost 30 bucks, and the round trip bus ticket was like, 74. Now, I’m poor, have bills to pay, toiletries to buy, and food to help pay for, so this concert may seem a little frivolous, and in a way I suppose it is.

I think of it like this. I will have the rest of my life to pay off debt. I will not have the rest of my life to see people like this in concert. I expect at least one more album (and thusly, tour) out of Thomas Dolby, but for some of these other artists I like, I honestly don’t know how much longer they’ll be performing.

That is one of two really shitty things about liking music that is 30-40+ years old.  The other being that I get to slowly watch all my favorite musicians get old and subsequently die. That’s not a problem fans of today’s music generally have.

At this concert, I am going to want to be there so ridiculously early I can’t stand it. I haven’t called upon my friend Phoebe for this one, so I won’t be staying there. I’m honestly not sure what I’m going to be doing exactly.

My bus leaves here at 7:45 in the morning, so I will get to Minneapolis just before 11am.  I have in my phone the number of a cab service that operates in Minneapolis, so I figure that after I’ve eaten some lunch and explored a little, I can call a cab and have them drop me off at the Varsity theatre, which is where this concert is at. I am not lying when I say I want to be at the theatre probably 2 hours before the doors open. Maybe even more.

It sounds a little bit excessive, but after my Dolby concert experience, I do not want to be towards the end of the line.

It’s general admission, but I’m not sure if there will be chairs set up (as there were with the Dolby concert).  Whether or not there are chairs, after entry I will be making a beeline for front and center, and I will not move a muscle until the music starts playing, in which case I will grooving of course.

The wait for this concert was not nearly as torturous as the wait for the Dolby concert. Mainly because I bought my ticket for the Dolby concert in like, January, and the concert wasn’t until April. I didn’t buy the ticket for the Howard Jones concert until about a month ago, so I haven’t had as long to wait. And, for a little while, it was on the back burner. It was always on my mind, but I essentially forgot about it for a little while, only starting to get really excited a couple days ago.

It’s going to be a lot of fun, mainly because there are some unknowns. I don’t know what I’m going to do before or after the concert. After the concert I may just call a cab to take me back to the bus station, and I’ll just kill time and let me see if they’ll let me take the bus that leaves at 5:45 in the morning on the 27th, instead of the 12:30pm one my return ticket is for. I don’t know.

Anyway, this is already a little longer than I planned it being, so I’m going to run off and do other internet things, maybe make a shave ice, whatever. See you later