PT in DC

My trip to see Porcupine Tree in Washington was really fun, although it was tiring due to the schedule. The concert was absolutely incredible, not just the music but the whole experience. There were lights casting beams through the artificial mist, strobes pulsing in time to the drums, video screens adding depth to the music, the crowd was energetic, and there wasn’t a bad seat in the theater (The Anthem). The band started off with a few powerful songs, then eased up a little bit before intermission, then just blew everyone away during the second half. It was nearly a three hour show, and the audience would have stayed for another hour or two, but the singer said the band needed a break after doing New York, Philadelphia, and Washington on consecutive nights.

The next day I stopped at the International Spy Museum, then walked through the US Botanic Garden and past the Capitol on the way back to the train station. The train ride was 10 hours each way, but it’s not as much fun at night when you can’t see the scenery.

I took a few pictures, including one of a guy peeing on a wall in the park two blocks north of the Capitol.

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riding the rails

Tomorrow in the early morning I am taking Amtrak to Washington DC to go to a Porcupine Tree concert. I’m really excited because I wanted to see them in 2009 but missed my chance, then they took a 12-year break. Their style is hard-edged, guitar-based progressive rock with odd time signatures, unconventional chords and song structures, and dark, brooding lyrics. It’s really good music, but not quite feel-good music to dance to (unless you can dance in 11/8 time). I don’t know why the genre appeals to men much more than women, but as I’ve been told by my daughter, it will likely be a sausage-fest. I’m going alone because my wife doesn’t really like their music.

I’m staying overnight in Washington to see a museum or two on Monday, then riding the train back in the evening. I will get home around 2 am Tuesday morning and try to go to work at 7 am. I’ll be doing quite a bit of walking, and I wonder how my sciatica will respond. My leg might fall asleep, which would be rather inconvenient when I’m trying to catch a Metro.

I’m glad the railroad strike was averted, because that would have derailed my plans (pun intended). I would have driven my car and had plenty of time, but I’ve been looking forward to riding the train instead. It’s clean and comfortable, inexpensive, and easy compared to flying. I’m a little concerned about leaving my car for 48 hours at the train station in a sketchy part of a sketchy small town, but hopefully it will be okay.

A sampling of PT songs on YouTube, if you’re interested:
Blackest Eyes, What Happens Now, Halo, Harridan