What a great week!

I’ve had a great last week and it began with Jamie McMurray winning the Brickyard 400. I was happy and that’s all I’ll elaborate on this for now as I want this post to be short!

On Monday, my high school won it’s first ever state baseball game to advance to the semi finals, which they won in an extra inning on Thursday. Moral of the story, they play for their first ever baseball championship today at 2 PM at Principal Park in Des Moines.

Friday was Par Tee 13, our radio station yearly golf outing (the 13th one if you struggle with common sense). Things were pushed back de to early morning rain, but they day was still awesome! I broadcasted live for 4 hours from the clubhouse and witnessed no one win the $10,000 putting challenge. Bummer. The night ended with a DJ playing on the patio and I hung with him (Scott Masching) and learned some things about DJing.

I now lay in bed as I have a busy day ahead and I need to finish this post.

I’m going to cheer on my Kuemper Knights in the 2A Championship game at 2, and be in Newton for the running of the NASCAR Nationwide race at the Iowa Speedway, which will actually be only my second ever NASCAR race seeing live (I went to the same race last year).

Regardless, this week’s already been jam packed, like this post.

There are 17 days until my REO Speedwagon concert and 20 until I move to college. I better enjoy my last month of being a kid because things are going to start changing quickly after that.

Quick, just like this post. I just spent 6 minutes writing this so I hope you enjoyed. Now you deserve to have a great week too!

2010 Emmy nominations: “Outstanding Variety”

The 62nd annual Emmy Awards will be held on August 29 on NBC, hosted by Jimmy Fallon. They announced the nominees today but there’s only one category I cared about.

Conan O’Brien will certainly be up against some tough competition, but I have confidence he can pull out the victory in his surprise appearance in the nominee list.

Here are the nominees for the 2010 Emmy category “VARIETY, MUSIC, OR COMEDY – OUTSTANDING VARIETY, MUSIC, OR COMEDY SERIES”

The Colbert Report
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Real Time With Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live
The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien

Witnessing Jay Leno put up worse ratings than Conan is the most funny thing about Leno and NBC right now. Seeing Conan O’Brien give a victory speech on NBC would be priceless.

Conan O’Brien is headed to the 2010 Emmy’s and Jay Leno isnt!

The 2010 Emmy nominations were released today. The only category that I was even remotely interested in regarded “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” in the “Outstanding Variety” category. Conan and his former “Tonight Show” racked up a total of 4 nominations this year while Jay Leno received zero.

We all know the story of Conan, NBC, and Jay Leno. I took an excerpt from a website I found today that sums things up pretty well.

“One of the most exciting nominations in my opinion went to Conan O’Brien. It is great to see that The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien got nominated whereas Jay Leno’s show didn’t, and with the Awards airing on NBC, I’m very much looking forward to Conan’s acceptance speech. He’s a sure win for Outstanding Variety category.”

With Leno’s ratings now trailing Conan’s short “Tonight Show” tenure’s numbers, this is another score for Team Coco and the new network Conan will work for, TBS, who campaigned to get Conan nominated for his NBC presence on “Tonight.”

I have no idea what he’s up against as I don’t really watch much on TV now that Conan’s on hiatus, but I will certainly be watching the Emmy’s this August (even if they are on NBC) and be cheering from my living room if he pulls through and gives an acceptance speech on his old network.

A win for Conan at this year’s Emmy’s would not only be a great ending to the Conan/NBC saga, but an even better beginning for Conan/TBS as he’ll be sure to go in with lots of momentum.

Four months from today Conan O’Brien’s new TBS show will debut at 11/10c. Will you be watching? I know I will.

Team Coco represent!

Night Ranger and Grand Funk Railroad concert – Shellabration 2010 Pictures!

A few days have passed since I saw Night Ranger and Grand Funk Railroad live in concert for the first time. And my ears have finally stopped ringing. Over five hours of live music packed a whole lot of value into the price of admission. Although I got my tickets for free, this show would have been well worth actually buying tickets for. Each year Fort Dodge, IA hosts a “Shellabration” where they bring a few acts to town for one awesome night of concerts, and those bands this year were Night Ranger and Grand Funk Railroad, with the opener Hell or High Water.

Gates opened at 5 PM and we arrived to the Fort Dodge Soccer fields around that time and got amazing seats, right in front of the stage! Kicking the night off, Hell or High Water took the stage around 5:30 and played some of their original songs as well as some classic covers originally done by Johnny Cash and Jim Morrison. Based out of Fort Dodge itself, the opening act actually sounded really good. They were a bit goofy and “out there”, but there’s nothing wrong with that! Not only are they a solid Iowa band, they are on a mission: “Saving the world one beer at a time.” I would definitely recommend checking out their website for photos and sound clips, along with lots of other cool features.

The second performance of the night was what made me go to “Shellabration 2010” in the first place. Night Ranger.

80s Glam Rock Band, Night Ranger

“Night Ranger” officially began in 1982 after changing it’s original name (Ranger, formed in 1979) due to the country band “The Rangers” claimed copyright infringement. The early 80s lineup of Jack Blades, Kelly Keagy, Brad Gillis, Alan Fitzgerald, and Jeff Watson proved to be the most successful time for the band with three platinum records – Dawn Patrol (’82), Midnight Madness (’83), and Seven Wishes (’85). Night Ranger’s 8 most prominent hits came from these albums – “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me,” “Sing Me Away,” “(You Can Still) Rock In America,” “Sister Christian,” “When You Close Your Eyes,” “Sentimental Street,” “Four In The Morning,” and “Goodbye.” (I recommend checking these songs out on youtube!)

I think that’s enough background info on Night Ranger. How about starting with my Night Ranger concert experience. They took the stage around 7:00 opening with a song I wasn’t and still am not familiar with, but quickly started playing nearly all of the hits listed above as well as several others including “Secret of My Success” and “Eddie’s Coming Out Tonight.” They also performed a few Damn Yankee songs (Jack Blades was one of the Damn Yankee members in 1990 along with Tommy Shaw of Styx, Ted Nugent and Michael Cartellone) “Coming of Age” and “High Enough.”

Click this picture to see all of my 180+ Night Ranger concert pictures

The current lineup of Blades on bass/lead vocals, Keagy on drums/lead vocals, Gillis on guitar, Joel Hoekstra on guitar, and Christian Cullen on keyboards played for a good two hours and proved that they indeed still can rock in America, especially on the night before our great country’s Independence Day!

"The American Band" Grand Funk Railroad

Finally, the headliner of the show, Grand Funk Railroad, took the stage around 9 and performed right up until 11 with their biggest hits “The Locomotion,” “Some Kind Of Wonderful,” and their closing song, “We’re An American Band,” along with many other great songs.

Led by their drummer and founding member Don Brewer, the rest of the GFR lineup included Max Carl on lead vocals, Bruce Kulick on guitar, Tim Cashion on keyboards, and Mel Schacher on bass guitar. Although Brewer and Schacher are the only two remaining original members, Grand Funk still sounded great with amazing harmonies, phenominal guitar and drum solos, and everything else that makes a rock band truly rock.

Click the picture for all of my GFR pictures

All in all, July 3, 2010 was a great night full of rockin’ and rollin’ and I’ve now got just over a month to prepare for my next concert, REO Speedwagon and Pat Benatar (August 17 at the Iowa State Fair). I had a blast seeing Night Ranger and Grand Funk Railroad, but REO Speedwagon is what I’m really excited for. Until next time, Keep. Rocking. In America!

Night Ranger / Grand Funk Railroad Tonight

Tonight is the big night! I’m going to Fort Dodge for “Shellabration 2010” featuring Hell or High Water, Grand Funk Railroad, and Night Ranger. I’ll be sure to post pictures and videos next week, but I’ll also be posting some to my twitter live from the concert tonight, so follow me!