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June 22, 2012     Post-Gazette
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Page 10 POST-GAZETTE, JUNE 22, 2012 Fact reviewing the best ' !  ftting the rest RASCAL FLATTS Proves "Changed" is Good! (Comcast Center - Saturday 6/16) Country music superstars Rascal Flatts kicked off their 'Changed Tour 2012' this past week, with stops in Hartford, ConnecticuL and most recently at WKLB's 19 th Country Music Festival on Saturday night. Their show at the Comcast Center in Mansfield drew a huge crowd that was truly ready to rock and enjoy a true country hoedown. With a supporting cast that included Little Big Town, the Eli Young Band, and Eden's Edge, the stage was set. Currently enjoying the success of their latest #1 hit, "Banjo," culled from their eighth album titled 'Changed,' the group stepped up on stage to prove that 'Changed' is good. Proof is in the fact that this group has taken some risks, recently switching record labels (signing with Big Machine Records), and joining a new management com- pany, both major changes after ten years of being on board with their previous associations. Encompassing a span of close to four hours, country music fans were able to revel in a heavy dose of pleasure that was capped off nicely by Gary LeVox, Joe Don Rooney and Jay DeMarcus. The trio provided all the ingredients for a lengthy "Summer Night" with their seemingly endless list of hit songs. The tone for the evening was set with the opening strains of "Banjo," picking up the pace with "Bob That Head," and drove the crowd wild via "Fast Cars and Freedom." Audience participation was worked into the show, as the group gave the appearance that they were taking requests from the audience and then performing a medley of song favorites. The night air was filled with charted 'winners' as, "Here Comes Goodbye," the catchy "Mayberry," the sizzling "I Melt," plus "Every Day," "Stand," the questioning "Why Wait," the romantic "Bless The Broken Road," and the fast-paced "Life Is a Highway." Switching emotions, Flatts lowered the deci- bels with "Feels Like Today," and they were off again with "I Won't Let Go," the supportive crowd helped out with the chorus of one of their favorites, "Summer Nights," and included the audience in the hook-laden "Me and My Gang." Throwing in some of their new songs from their album 'Changed,' with their second single "Come Wake Me Up" ready to climb the charts, it was a potpourri of country gems. In a night filled with surprises, one of them was the early departure of a good portion of the crowd, with still a good 20 minutes or so left in the show. Whether it was to beat the traffic, or the fact that the volume of the speakers appeared to be set so high, that the sound sometimes became muffled, regardless, it is rare to see a crowd departing any concert early. Despite the latter, the audience appeared to enjoy Rascal Flatts performance, and the chance to sing along to their hits, plus the high-fives the group frequently shared with their fans in the stage pit area. Little Big Town warmed up the stage for Rascal Flatts, and provided the excitement needed, with 40+ minutes worth of their tight-harmonies that always satisfy. The group hit home runs with the audience on the strength of the raucous "Little White Church," their current hit "Pontoon," and mixing in past chart-toppers as, "Bring It on Home." "A Little More You," and a countrified version of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way," just the right sound to get the crowd ready to join in for the explosive closer, their #I hit, "Boondocks." Rounding out the show's lineup were the Eli Young Band (Republic Nashville) who brought on the applause, deliver- ing their #1 hit "Crazy Girl," and their latest single "Even If It Breaks Your Heart." The night's opening act was Big Machine Records' Edens Edge comprised of lead vocalist Hannah Blaylock, Dean Berner and Cherrill Green. They earned a huge welcome as well, showering the audience with their charted songs, "Amen" and "Too Good To Be True." For the 19 th consecutive year, country radio's WKLB has scored big with their monster Country Music Festival, allowing every fan in the audience to become a 'live' part of the country music ,scere -. at least for,a, night! ,,,:. :,_,oc The time has come, the walrus said, TO TALK OF MANY THINGS of shoes and ships and sealing wax of cabbages and kings by Sal Giarratani ISN'T GOOD NEWS A GOOD NEWS STORY TOO? On June 7, I was over at Franklin Field in Dorchester by Talbot and Blue Hill Av- enue. It was a big deal. Over 400 kids, parents, families and friends showed up for the 12 th Annual Respect Awards being given out to players in the Metro Lacrosse program which keeps children moti- vated and out of trouble. Sev- eral years ago not far from this event, I passed by a mur- der scene late at night. Cruisers and flashing blue lights were everywhere. The media was eating it all up. This is news. How- ever, when a program or pro- grams that are positive and helps kids grow up healthy and safe, that's not news? Sadly the media was once again AWOL because this was news that was worth re- peating on-air. "PEOPLE DON'T ALWAYS KNOW" WHEN THEY'VE BEEN VICTIMIZED Bob Sanders, director of the Boston office of the Equal Employment Opportu- nity Commission is defend- ing his staff tactic of hunting for victims to represent even when no one had filed a complaint. He called this strategy "commission-initi- ated investigations." He be- lieves, according to a Boston Herald story, that applicants and employees may not even recognized being discrimi- nated by their employer or perspective employer. Dave Andelman from the Restaurant and Business Alliance called the recent targeting of the Marylou's Coffee chain "outrageous." "Imagine if the framers of the Constitution knew," said Andelman, "that federal agents would show up from Washington to Massachu- setts for the supposed crime of hiring pretty girls to pour your tea. The framers would take bayonets to each of their throats." Sanders, by the way, has led the Boston EEOC office since 1993 which might mean it is time for some new blood with seemingly less aggressive behavior issues at this agency. Dave Tuerck from the Beacon Hill Insti- tute simply said, "The EEOC should butt out." Short and to the point! AUTOMATED EXTERNAL DEFIBRILLATORS (AED) IN POLICE CRUISERS? The Boston City Council's Committee on Government Operations recently held a public hearing to deliberate an ordinance by City Coun- cilor Charles Yancey man- dating use of AEDs in police cruisers. Yancey says he wants to make sure when police arrive before fire and EMTs that they can be equipped with the tools to save lives. He stated that of- ten police arrive at medical emergency calls first. I would tend to disagree with that statement. Usually Boston Fire is almost always first on the scene. Council President Stephen J Mqh,y qo-spqIlsored .t,.s city legislation and hoped the financial component for this equipment could come from a Homeland Security grant. Yancey tried to get this ordi- nance passed once before in 2009. I wonder what the Boston Police Department thinks about such an ordinance? How often would police use AEDs and is there really a need to have one in every cruiser? Where does Police Commissioner Ed Davis stand on this issue? Where does the Boston Fire Depart- ment stand on this too? WE SHOULD .RECOGNIZE THE FLAG OF SOUTH VIETNAM AS THAT COUNTRY'S OFFICIAL FLAG IN AMERICA Recently, in Dorchester, City Councilors Charles Yancey and Frank Baker cel- ebrated Vietnamese Heri- tage and Freedom Day with members of Boston's Viet- namese community. Viet- nam in 1954 was divided be- tween North and South after almost 100 years of French rule. In 1975 the South was overrun by the North creat- ing Communist Vietnam. Vietnamese Americans have been lobbying city and state governments across the country to make the former flag of South Vietnam, the flag of Vietnamese Americans and many com- munities have done so. Many Vietnamese fled Vietnam after Saigon fell and started coming here in 1975, Dorchester's Fields Corner area has a large and thriv- ing Vietnamese community. In this country today there are nearly two million Viet- namese who call America their home. This community has done quite well in their adopted country and is proud to call themselves Americans today. RAY FLYNN SAYS NO TO CASINOS Recently, Ray Flynn joined up with East Boston oppo- nents of a proposed Suffolk Downs casino and said he sees no good reason for East Boston to host a casino. Join- ing the protest at Maverick MBTA Station, Flyrm says he believes there is a better use for the Suffolk Downs site where developers have pro- posed a $41 billion casino. Ray's opposition now puts him at odds with current Mayor Tom Menino. CAPUANO SUPPORTS BUNKER HILL DAY AS A NATIONAL HOLIDAY U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano told over 300 folks inside Charlestown new K of C Hall at the 27 th Annual Bunker Hill Associates pre-parade breakfast on June I0 that he supports the idea of making Boston's Bunker Hill Day a national holiday for the role this battle played in our bid for freedom from British rule. While the American militia lost the day, it was the beginning of a winning fight for freedom. Capuano said he would not file legis- lation on Capitol Hill until he can ignite a homegrown grqundsweU of sqppgrl., IL will now be up to Townies to start this ball rolling. NEIL DIAMOND IN CONCERT ON JUNE 23 Legendary singer Neil Diamond will be playing at TD Garden on Saturday, June 23. Tickets are avail- able at box office, you can also charge by phone at 800- 745-3000. By the way, I was thinking about how much Neff Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" has played in Red Sox Nation. I was shopping at Hannaford's in North Quincy. I stopped for my coffee and muffin before getting my cart. Next to me were four store managers talking about the store. Then, Neff Diamond starting playing inside the supermarket and the four guys quickly changed their conversation to Josh Beckett and the Red Sox. Who says subliminal messaging doesn't work? Do you think these managers for no good reason just switched their topic of discussion? CASINO SUPPORTERS HELD COMMUNITY MEETING JUNE 12, 2012 The Friends of Suffolk Downs held its first East Bos- ton Community meeting at East Boston High School in a packed auditorium. A few weeks back, I attended a meeting by The No East Bos- ton Casino group at Sacred Heart Church. Suffolk Downs has been an employer, neigh- bor and destination in the East Boston/Revere area. They are hoping to build a world-class casino resort here. This was their first community meeting. I am still undecided and inter- ested in finding out more de- tails from both sides of this proposed casino site. I am still unsure of where I stand on this issue. I need more facts and so do most resi- dents. We all should attend meetings from both sides before making up our minds. My major concern remains traffic flow and this one is a big concern for Eastie folks. BOSTON LATINO TV ACCESS AWARDS 2012 The 2012 Boston Latino TV Access Awards will be held at the Royale Nightclub, located at 279 Tremont Street in Downtown Boston on Thurs- day, June 28. For more infor- mation on this event, go to bostonlatinotv.com. I went last year when the event was held at UMass Boston and had a great time. EASTIE BANQUET OF CHAMPIONS The East Boston Athletic Board's 62 "a Annual Banquet of Champions will be held on Monday, June 25 at 6:00 pm. For further information, please call Joe Plagenza at (617) 642-0145. 11 th ANNUAL CONSALVO FAMILY COOKOUT It's time for City Councilor Rob Consalvo's 1 ] th Annual Consalvo Family Cookout. This year it will be held on Thursday, June 28 at the Sunset Bocce Club in Readville starting at 5:30 pm and lasting until 8:30 pm. For more information, go to www.robc, qalva.9om .  ,.',.,