Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Smoke on the Water - T Minus 2 days and Counting

Just a few days now until one of the most anticipated events of the young 2010 barbecue competition season! I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for Friday to get here. Of course, I still have a lot of things left on my to do list before heading out in the wee hours Friday morning.

This winter has seemed extremely longer and colder than past years. I suppose part of that is because of I have been waiting for March 19th to get here just like a kid waiting for Christmas day to arrive. The cold, overcast gloom is finally going to give way to the start of our barbecue season. Surely sunny, warm days are on the horizon?

This contest will mark the furthest we have traveled to compete. That being said, I need to narrow down what I can take to only the essentials. In the past, I have found myself loading items I never touch at a contest (for my first contest I took three barbecue cookbooks - which I never touched!). I will say over the past year I have worked to reduce what I haul to a contest quite a bit. I've found that cluttering up your work area with non-essential items just doesn't make sense. I got so tired of tripping over plastic containers full of things I never touch but thought necessary. Experience is a great teacher and we're all working a little smarter these days.

My goal is to have everything loaded early Thursday evening. Leave Kansas City very early Friday morning and meet up with Darrin and Corey on the highway around Harrisonville, MO. We are shooting for an arrival time around 11 a.m. at the contest site. That will give us time to get set-up and have a little down time before we start our prep work. Brant and his entourage are flying in from Florida so we expect him on site about 5:30 p.m.

There will 228 teams competing for $100k in prize money. The list of teams is like a who's who on the bbq circuit. A good finish here would say a lot about our team. We will really need to be on top of our game to have a shot at a top 40 finish in any category. Regardless of the outcome, it is still very valuable experience for us and another learning opportunity as we "rub" elbows with some of the elite cooks in the country.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Eric Clapton

I was fortunate enough the other night to see Eric Clapton perform at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. This was the first time that I had the chance to see him perform after missing out on opportunities to see him in the 80's and 90's. I liken the whole experience to being in church as you sit and wonder in awe at his guitar playing. Age has not diminished his guitar or vocal skills. Watching him close his eyes and become completely immersed in his playing was truly magical.

He played 15 songs in all. His is set ranged from the blues song "Going Down Slow" to rock standards like "I Shot the Sheriff." Acoustic versions of "Layla" and "Driftin' Blues" were a big hit with the audience. Of course, "Wonderful Tonight" and "Cocaine" closed out the set. He then came back out and played "Crossroads" for the encore which capped a great show.

There were a couple the things I enjoyed about the show. One of which was that EC came out and played through the first 14 songs with no breaks. Also there was no patronizing the audience or preaching from the stage.

Roger Daltrey opened the show and proved he still has the energy and voice to perform. Windmilling the microphone like from days of old, he sang several Who hits and deferred to Pete Townsend's brother Simon to sing "Goin' Mobile." He told the audience the last time he had opened for someone was back in the early 1960's for The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

The amount of rock and roll history and talent displayed on stage that night was amazing!

BACK TO BBQ: We are getting geared up for Smoke On The Water down in Little Rock on March 19th. More updates to follow......