How “New” Music Changed Me

I was born in the 70s so I grew up listening to music mostly from the 80s and 90s.  When I moved back to New Jersey in 1999 and started mingling with people who were older than myself, I started to REALLY have an appreciation for 1960-1980 rock and roll music.  In fact, to ME it was NEW music!  I may have heard some of the songs before, but never really paid much attention since I was stuck in my own 80’s glam/R&B world.  To this day, when those oldies but goodies come on the radio, they bring me back to the local bars (okay, there were OTHER places too…not just the bar…I think?)

All of my life I’ve been a fan of many different types of music and as I’ve gotten older (not old, just older), I’ve come to appreciate classic rock so much more than I thought I ever would!  Not only because of the musicianship but it brings me back to a time in my life where I changed for the better.  A time when I was lost and confused but found my way.  When decisions had to be made.  When growing up had to happen.  When I had to depend on myself.  When I FOUND myself.  Who would have thought that “new” music could save me? Or was it that little town called South Amboy and the people? Either way, I will be forever grateful.

I’ve posted a few videos below of songs that make me feel good and bring me back to one of the greatest times of my life.

What genre of music had you not been a fan of that you took a liking to years later?


Sidebar:  There are many others that bring back the “fuzzies” but these are the ones that stand out the most at this moment.

Brandy – Looking Glass

Someone Saved My Life Tonight – Elton John

Hungry Heart – Bruce Springsteen

Big Shot – Billy Joel

Paradise by the Dashboard Light – Meatloaf

Boston – Piece of Mind


Sammy Hagar & The Circle in St. Augustine

Ron and I had been looking forward to seeing Sammy Hagar for months and then Hurricane Irma came through our area and the original date of September 20th changed to November 11th.  In the long run, it worked out better because we didn’t have to take time off from work since the rescheduled concert landed on a Saturday.  We were so happy that they postponed the date and did not cancel it!

Since St. Augustine is about an hour and a half from our house, we decided to get a hotel at the Hampton Inn (We are Hampton Inn freaks) on A1A and make a weekend out of it.  We’ve never been to this particular hotel or seen beach side in St. Augustine.  Every time we visit, we stay in the Historic District (I’ll be there in a few weeks for their tour of lights..stay tuned for that blog in about a month or so).

We arrived at the hotel around 1pm and I walked in to see if we could check in early.  They said they would take our phone number and call us if the room opens up before check in time and gave us a parking pass.  We were able to park at our hotel and walk across the street to a place called Sunset Grille.  Ron and I both had the mahi tacos that were absolutely delicious.  Along with the tacos, they serve beans and rice on the side that were very tasty.  We ordered a few beers and sat outside since the weather was not humid or buggy.   When we were finished eating we hadn’t gotten a call to check into the hotel so decided to go to the bar area of the restaurant to watch the UCF game and have a few more beers.  We made small talk with people at the bar and the staff were professional and kind.  I would definitely recommend a trip to Sunset Grille if you are in the area.

After lunch we walked over to the hotel since it was getting close to check in time.  When we went up to our room we noticed we had a balcony view (it wasn’t of the ocean, but we had a balcony!).   When we checked out on Sunday the woman behind the counter  asked how our stay was.  I said, “It was great!  Didn’t realize that I booked a balcony room”.  She said, “You didn’t, we upgraded you.”  SCORE!!!  Thank you Hampton Inn!

It was nice to have a view of the American flag on Veteran’s Day.

On to the concert…..

This was the first time either one of us had been to the St. Augustine Amphitheater.  I knew that it was a smaller venue and that it was outside with an awning that covered most of the seats and I LOVE these kind of places!  They are not as crowded.  They are big but not TOO big where you can get lost.  AND it’s a much more intimate setting.  Sometimes arenas can be so overwhelming and annoying.

When I book tickets for concerts I ALWAYS book the premiere parking.  ALWAYS! They run between $20-$40 and worth every penny!  When we got there we were about 8 cars away from the main entrance.  Again, WORTH….EVERY….PENNY!

Collective Soul opened up for Sammy Hagar & The Circle and I really enjoyed them.  I remembered some of their songs from back in the day and other songs I forgot they sang like “Better Now”.  That was a sweet surprise.  I haven’t heard that song in ages!  They are a good solid band and they mentioned that they were in the process of recording a new album.

Collective Soul

Sammy Hagar & The Circle consists of Sammy Hagar (of course), Michael Anthony (bass player from Van Halen), Jason Bonham (his father was none other than the late John Bonham from a little ole band called LED ZEPPELIN) and Vic Johnson (he played with The BusBoys and Sammy Hagar and the Waboritas).  Their set list consisted of Van Halen tunes, Sammy’s solo career songs and Montrose songs.  One of my favorite songs is “Poundcake” and whoa….was it AMAZING live!  Chills!  Some of the other tunes they played were “Right Now”, “Dreams”, “I Can’t Drive 55”, “Best of Both Worlds”,  “When Its Love”, “Heavy Metal” and a few Montrose songs that were before my time.  Ron knew them though!  Ha!  They ended the night with a cover of “Rock and Roll” by Led Zeppelin that rocked the place!

Sammy Hagar & The Circle


It was definitely a great concert and to think that Sammy just turned 70 is CRAZY to me!  He has more energy than a 30 year old!

Till next time….


Guns N’ Roses, New Jersey and Great Friends, Perfect Together!

I just got back from an awesome trip to see my dear friends in North Jersey and my favorite band, Guns N’ Roses in NYC!  When my friend Heather told me that GNR were planning on coming to Madison Square Garden, I didn’t even have to think about it, I said, “I’m booking my flight as soon as you get the tickets!”







My plane arrived around 9pm on Friday night and Heather and Sean came to pick me up at the airport.  It was so nice to see them and when I walked outside and took a breath of the New Jersey air, all I could think to myself was, “I love and miss this place so much!”.  I literally couldn’t stop smiling and this trip couldn’t have come at a better time since I’ve been feeling an overload of emotions lately and just needed a break.


Heather runs the Kristy Fund and she needed some help with collecting Skel-A-Mingo’s from people’s lawns around her town (please visit her website about the Skel-A-Mingo haunting’s that she organizes during October and other fundraisers that she has going on all through the year in memory of her dear friend, Kristy). It was great to be with her during haunting season so I could meet the Mingo’s and help out a little.

For dinner we had the best pizza in New Jersey at V&J Pizza.  This place blows all the competition away!  I love me some Delio’s in South Amboy but V&J Pizza is my all time favorite pizza!  I mean, look at the picture below!  My mouth is watering just looking at it!  It’s a masterpiece!!!!


That night Heather and Sean invited some of their friends over and we hung out by the fire drinking beers and laughing.  The weather was perfect and I got to meet some really cool peeps!


Before I start talking about the concert, I have to mention the plain bagel with scallion cream cheese that I had for breakfast and the awesome Italian sub for lunch from King’s Kid Deli in Pequannock.  As you probably already know from some of my other posts, it’s all about the food when I come to New Jersey.   I try to eat as much as I can then come home and starve myself. Ha!

At around 3:30pm we left for NYC to see Guns N’ Roses.  The concert started at 7:30pm but we wanted to get into the city early so we could have some food and drinks at Stout which was down the street from The Garden. We shared delicious chicken fingers and an artichoke, spinach and cheese dip to DIE for!








I have to give a HUGE shout out to Heather for the tickets she got for the 7 of us!  We had amazing seats in the first row on the 2nd level.  We had TV’s in front of us, extra leg space and a sill to hold things (like my beer!).








Now onto the concert..OUT OF THIS WORLD!  I think they had one of the best openings I’ve ever seen!  The build up to the opening song was a train on the screen with each place they have played so far.  When it got to MSG it stopped, everyone started screaming and they started playing “It’s So Easy”!  I think I had chills! They played many of my favorites including one from the Chinese Democracy album called “Better” (This was when the original GNR band broke up and Axl toured as GNR with other musicians).  They belted out one song after the other like “You Could Be Mine”, “Welcome to the Jungle”, “Don’t Cry”, “Estranged”, “Mr. Brownstone”, “Night Train” and ended with “Paradise City”.  They definitely did not disappoint and Slash has to be one of the best guitar players on the planet (although I already knew this before the concert).  I was in awe watching him!  He just didn’t stop and I couldn’t stop watching with my jaw hanging!  He’s one of those guitar players that is so good that the guitar is like an extension of his body.  It’s meant to be there and he knows it so well that he doesn’t even have to THINK about it.  He’s so natural and his sound is so distinct that when you hear him play, you KNOW it’s him.  He’s in a league of his own that’s for sure! As for Axl and Duff, Axl seemed to be struggling a little with his voice at times but that happens when you’re touring for 2 years straight!  However, it didn’t change that fact that he is Axl “Fking” Rose!!!!  Duff has always been a great bass player and seeing him and Slash playing together again was just epic to experience!  I don’t know what else to say about this concert except, yes, I got to see GNR “In This Lifetime!”


Recoup, food, recoup some more, Skel-A-Mingo’s, food, recoup….you get the drill.


I woke up and looked at my phone to see what the weather was outside and when I looked, I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me.  It’s 35 degrees!?!?!  Whoa!  A little chilly but I was excited that I would be able to experience cold and crisp air before I went back to humidity hell! Yes, it’s still humid in Florida in October.  Just shoot me!

My flight was scheduled to leave at 10:50am.  I like to get to the airport about 2 hours ahead of time only because you never know what the security line is going to look like.  Heather and I left with plenty of time to spare until we didn’t have any time because of all the traffic!  What the hell are people doing on the road at 8:00am?  Shouldn’t they be at work already?  Needless to say, my anxiety level was at 1000 (although I wouldn’t have minded missing my flight and staying in NJ a few more days!).  We finally got to the airport and I did the hug, kiss, tuck and roll out of the car and made it to security with only 4 people in front of me.  Props to Heather for her amazing driving skills (I was a little scared, I’m not gonna lie) and her calmness during my almost meltdown…ha !  Love you!

In the end, I had a wonderful time in my home state with my awesome friends and a little GNR to make it a perfect trifecta!



Heather and Sean’s front yard graveyard



The Killian Clan

Hazel was my morning creeper

Below are some videos from my trip.  My goal was to make a YouTube video but some of my videos didn’t come out so great.  Guess I’ll stick with blogging for a while until I can pull my YouTube game together!  Feel free to enjoy the ones that DID come out decent.





View of Daytona Beach on my way to New Jersey





Stout in NYC





Don’t Cry




The AMAZING Slash!






Till next time…



Hall & Oates w/Tears for Fears at the Amway Center in Orlando

19149143_10155047245708122_1661554247980274764_nThe last time I saw Hall & Oates was in the late 90s with my friend Lydia and my mother. My mom was so excited to see them because she was a huge fan.  Not only did she get to see one of her favorite bands, but she also found a pick that Daryl Hall had thrown out into the audience!   It fell on the floor after he threw it and she was looking all over for it.  I told her, “you’re never going to find it, it’s too dark” and boy did I eat those words!  A glare of light shined from the stage and she found it!  She picked it up and I’ll never forget how happy she was that night  After she passed away, I found it while going through her things and now it’s with me.

Before the concert we went to Wahlburger’s in Downtown Orlando and this was my first time there.  I didn’t have a burger because I didn’t want it laying in my stomach through the whole concert but I had a chicken caesar salad that was great!  I would definitely go back.

*Note – If you plan on seeing Hall & Oates and Tears for Fears, beware that there are some set list spoilers below*

On to Tears for Fears……

THEY WERE AWESOME!  Not just awesome, but,  CAPS, BOLD and UNDERLINED  awesome!  I had this certain expectation of what I thought they were going to sound like and they sounded 10 times better than I thought they were going to sound!  Lets face it, they haven’t been around for a while so you never really know what you’re going to get. Well, what a show!  They opened with my favorite song “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” and sang favorites like “Mad World”, “Head Over Heels” and “Shout”!!!!  They did a cover of “Creep” by Radiohead that was amazing!  They looked great, their voices were on point and the band sounded like they did back in the 80s!  Pleasantly surprised and very impressed!

Tears for Fears
Tears for Fears

On to Hall & Oates…..

I went to the concert with a group of lovely ladies who had never seen Hall & Oates live. When I saw them back in the 90s, they had played at House of Blues in Orlando which is a much smaller venue than the Amway Center.  It was nice to be in an intimate setting with them and I wondered if seeing them this time in an arena setting would make it a less enjoyable experience for me.  What I realized was that it wasn’t less enjoyable, it was just different.  It’s been about 20 years since I saw them so of course things aren’t going to sound the same so I had to keep that in mind when going to this concert.  **Sidenote** If I remember correctly, back in 1997 they were promoting a new album called Marigold Sky which, by the way, was a VERY underrated album.  If you’ve never heard of it, go and get it!  You won’t be disappointed.

Now back to the review…..Hall & Oates still have it!  They opened up with “Family Man” and played most of the classics like “Maneater”, “Private Eyes”, “Family Man”, “Out of Touch” and ended with “You Make My Dreams Come True”!  I would have liked to have heard “Adult Education” and “Method of Modern Love” but I’ve heard them play those songs before so it was okay I guess…. ;).   Daryl sounded great although at times I felt like he had too much echo and the background music was so loud that it sometime overshadowed his voice.  As for John, he can still play the guitar like no one’s business, voice was great and in wonderful shape! Their sax player was AWESOME (we called him the white Clarence Clemmons.  Ha!) and the band as a whole are great musicians.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself and would recommend seeing them if they come to your city!

Till next time….keep making “your dreams come true!”  Ok, corny!

Daryl Hall & John Oates
Hall & Oates Bound
Some pretty awesome ladies!

Stevie Nicks and The Pretenders concert 11/4/16

The Pretenders

On 11/4/16 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida I had the pleasure of seeing one of my idols perform for the second time. I had seen Stevie Nicks when she toured with Fleetwood Mac on May 17, 2003 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ when I lived up there and they were great so I was really looking forward to seeing her solo.  The Pretenders opened for her and I had never seen them live before.  My husband is a huge fan of Chrissy Hynde and had seen The Pretenders in concert many years ago.  He told me she was really good and he was right.  Thoroughly enjoyed her set and didn’t realize how many songs that I knew!  She came out later on when Stevie was on stage and sang Stop Dragging My Heart Around with her.

Stevie has this presence on stage that is like no other and owns the stage as soon as she steps on it.  Her hand jestures, her dancing, her raspy voice, her outfits and her flowing hair mesmerize you. You don’t want to look away because you don’t want to miss anything.  I think my favorite song that she performs live has got to be Gold Dust Woman.  I was never a really big fan of the song on record but when you see her perform it, it’s amazing!  If you haven’t seen it, go on YouTube and find a live performance of it. Unbelievable!  She played most of my favorites and some songs I had never heard before. She also gave a background of when and how some of the songs were written and told some interesting stories.  I highly recommend seeing her while she’s on tour this year. Well worth it!

*Please excuse my crappy pictures.  I didn’t realize how bad they were until I got home.  You get the “picture” though (see what I did there?). Also, my stupid phone kept telling me that my storage was full so I had to delete pictures and probably deleted the good ones.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!*


Stevie Nicks


View From Our Seats
Introducing the band