Booking My Flight to Mars Soon (& Rocking Out Meanwhile)

So Thursday night I took another Flight to Mars with Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready and friends from Neumos and I had a blast (and survived re-entry, except maybe my hearing)!

What can I say?  Buzz Aldrin says we need a flight to Mars

OK.  I know Buzz meant a real flight to Mars.  We’ve already got a couple rovers there.  We could do it!

We can’t book flights there yet, or can we?  We’ll see later.

First on to the rock show.  Well, first after getting re-directed after getting disoriented taking the 43 bus that I haven’t taken in a while.  Fortunately my friend George was the driver.  OK.  Don’t depend on me for coordinates for your real flight to Mars!

I made it there before they started letting people in, which turned out to be another hour and a half before the show.  Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  I got close to the stage (and was able to regain my close spot throughout the evening.

Mike came out to do an acoustic with Gary Westlake and Rebecca Young first, including Dead Flowers by the Rolling Stones and a song about getting wasted Neil Young’s wife will no longer let him do.


Gary Westlake was wearing a vintage Flying Burrito Brothers t-shirt at this point. We were to see a lot of Gary that evening, as he’s with Kristen Ward’s band, who was opening, as well being a charter member of the Flight to Mars.


Kristen Ward’s set was next and she really wowed the audience (especially the guys).  Her singing and the band’s playing were even more intense in a small club setting.


Check out Kristen’s music at:

Kristen also designed the posters for the show, which were signed by all the band members and certainly must have sold out early on.

Next it was time for our Flight to MarsFlight to Mars is a UFO cover band.  While Mike is their most famous member, they have a terrific line up. Don’t just take my word for it.  Here’s the Sound Magazine write up before their last Chrohn’s and Colitis benefit show:

Haven’t heard of Flight to Mars? (Sad for you.) Think of your favorite old cheese-rock band—yes, you have one—then add better musicians (North Twin guitarist Tim DiJulio, bassist Gary Westlake, and drummer Kelly Van Camp) and an almost scarily authentic ’80s frontman (Paul Passereli).


Nah, Paul’s not really scary.  He’s really a nice guy.  I’ve almost literally bumped into him at a couple of these shows and he’s always a real gentleman.


They started with Lights Out and kept rocking out the house.  What kind of evening was it?  Well, as Paul pointed out, Mike had his shirt off after the second song (and was up front playing incredible guitar solos to the audience all night).

IMG_3934 (2)

Check out this video from a Chrohn’s and Colitis Foundation fundraiser in 2004 to get an idea of both the band and one of Mike’s epic guitar solos.

Mike did a really epic solo during Rock Bottom.  He’s just exhausted.


That was just the end of the main set, though (at nearly 1 in the morning).  Mike came out to ask how many encore songs the audience wanted – 1 or 2?  As you can see there were a lot of 3’s!


They tried to get all the guests out on stage for the evening out, and had most of the guys for their first encore song, I’m a Loser. Gary now had his shirt off, too.


Perfect song for these scary times with the economy.

You can come to my place and sleep on the couch
Lots of people do it and we won’t leave you out
Hard times out on the Street
Hard times, hard to beat

They even got Kristen and Rebecca out for the finale song.


They played some Lynyrd Skynyrd.  No, not Free Bird (although someone did call it out).  Tuesday’s Gone, which really is a great song to get everyone on stage and go out to. Train, roll on. . .


It was about 1:10 am when things wrapped up.  I really thought I had a couple more minutes then I did to catch my bus, and that I had time to have a glass of the free water they had at the bar. I even bought  a copy of the Real Change homeless newspaper from a vendor on my way out.

I reached the corner of Broadway and Pine and saw my bus had already left the stop in front of the theater and was at the light.  I had to run for it, through a barricade maze for construction, to the catch it at the stop in front of Seattle Central Community College.  That almost did me in. 

I would have died happy, except, except. . .I finally have a fan ticket to Pearl Jam, who are playing Seattle for the first time in years in September!  Not only that, my friend needs me there with my ID for both of us to get in.  I better catch my breath.

When I got to the bus to get on, all exhausted, a guy in fatigues getting off started laughing hysterically and kept saying to the driver, “Be careful, she’ll bite you!”  He seemed to be on something much stronger than the one drink I had earlier in the evening.  Hope he’s not active duty!

So, what about those real flights to Mars?  We don’t have those yet, do we?

Wait, Expedia is booking!  Only $99 round trip!  Not quite as cheap as the $21.50 (including service charges) for the flight with Mike and his friends, but still. . .

Of course, this flight was posted on April Fools Day.  You might want to wait. . . Wait!  You can book a hotel on Mars as well!

Hmm.  I don’t know.  I think I’ll wait for the flight run by Buzz’s buddies at NASA, or maybe I’ll just wait for the next flight from Mike and his friends.  Paul doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who’d take any guff from bad ass aliens.

IMG_3799 (2)

I don’t know, though.  Those activities on Mars on the Expedia website sound mighty enticing!

Maybe after the Pearl Jam concert I’ll look into it. . .


7/27 6 pm update:  I did want to add two more links.

First, there’s more music from Flight to Mars on their MySpace page (including an epic version of Rock Bottom they broke down into two clips):

Second, as usual when I have my camera with me, I took probably too many pictures that night.  They’re up on my Flickr website in their own album:

Photos are downloadable (with some restrictions – not commercial use, attribution, not making major alterations with Photo Shop etc.).  Just click on the photo and then on it’s page the “All Sizes” tab above the photo and choose which size you want, then the Download link on the left side just above the photo (and also probably change the file name to something you’ll recognize). 

Generally if I add my own photos to these posts, there’s a lot more up in their own album on the Flickr site.


5 thoughts on “Booking My Flight to Mars Soon (& Rocking Out Meanwhile)

  1. Thanks, and your comment about the pictures reminded me I wanted to add the link to the photo album from the Flight to Mars show on Flickr to the post. See above!


  2. This is too funny, besides the excellent review of FTM show (which is by far my favorite show on earth) your trip back home sounds exactly word for word my night back from Nemos when I was there to see the posies! Cracked up guy in the bus and all!

    Thank you for making it so vivid, keeps me going till I can get my ass back to Seattle one day, keep rockin!


  3. The Neil Young song was “Too Far Gone.”

    Sorry, I couldn’t remember it at the time I wrote this entry (hopefully not becauxe I was too far gone)!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s