Monday night was the Regeneration Tour at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga. The concert was great fun – Flock of Seagulls (surprisingly competent and enjoyable); ABC (well, really just Martin Fry – though he put on a helluva show; sounded and looked great… but two new songs? You’re pushing your luck just a bit there, Marty…); Belinda Carlisle (sounded good; looked great – though I’m not a fan of the dress over slacks look – especially since her sparkly top was so cute…) and Human League (wow – fantastic; though as the last act of the night, my recollection becomes a bit hazy).
As for the venue – it was superb. High atop a hill in Saratoga, amidst a lovely old winery. Chris and I had dinner at the “Chateau Deck” (shouldn’t it be “La Terrasse du Chateau”?). We were seated just along the rail, with a view of the mansions and vineyards of the mega-rich below us (note to self: buy more Lotto tickets) and the mountains off in the distance. The wait staff is made up of what I assume are local kids – they are all as nice as can be, though not the most polished of servers… But no matter – their gregariousness more than made up for any awkwardness during service. Our waiter, Dawson, was frankly adorable – especially as he informed us before we ordered as to the schedule for the evening’s show, referring to one of the bands as the “Human Project”. Chris mocked him throughout the evening for this gaffe… Though once I sang the refrain to “Don’t You Want Me Baby” (quite well, per me; quite hideously, per Chris), he did recognize the song; and he had heard of the GoGo’s, so was tangentially familiar with Belinda Carlisle.
At any rate, the food was adequate – like dinner at a decently catered wedding… And all things considered, not hideously expensive. The swarms of yellow jackets were somewhat disconcerting, though Dawson provided us with a Bounce dryer sheet – which successfully (and surprisingly) repelled most of the invaders.
After dinner, we ran into our friend Amy and her friend, Amy’s Friend. They’d just bought their tickets the day before and had better seats than ours – talk about a complete outrage! Luckily, however, since the Mountain Winery is a venue that caters to adults, the ushers are quite mellow and tickets are not examined very carefully. So, when the seats next to Amy and Amy’s Friend were still unoccupied after the first act, down we went to join them. Though I should point out that, at 2500 seats, there didn’t seem to be a bad seat in the house… But closer is always better…
The next couple of hours were spent singing along (well, okay, screaming along) with all of our favorite hits of yesteryear. It was great fun – a bunch of forty-somethings (not just us by the way – pretty much the entire audience) shouting “Yippee yi yippee yi aiay!” along with Martin Fry and “Here comes the mirror man” with Phillip Oakley, while we pogoed up and down (praying not to break our brittling hips – which Chris nearly did as he took a bit of a tumble when he somehow became ensnared in his own seat…).
We spent the night just down the hill at the Saratoga Oaks Lodge – convenient, clean, comfortable and reasonably priced. And much nicer than schlepping back to the City that night…
So, I heartily endorse the Mountain Winery. A beautiful setting, an intimate venue and both a crowd and staff made up pretty much entirely of people acting like grown-ups – something one seldom encounters at a concert.