My first concert on the Strip was when I was 14. I think I’ve written about it before, but to briefly recap, I’d sent a letter to a band’s management folks, got a letter back from the singer, an invitation to attend their show at the Roxy and, being underage and sans-license, my mom was awesome enough to take me and my best friend Erin up for our first show.During the last song, we had trouble spotting the singer. He wasn’t on stage, but his voice could be heard. He finally emerged from behind velvet curtains wearing only body paint. And we saw peen. I’ve seen other shows over the years up here, most recently Queensryche at the House of Blues last year. Peen hasn’t been spotted since that fateful evening in 1991. Predictably, they were awesome. None of their shows has ever let me down. Today, I’m up on the Strip again. And at the House of Blues again. Soundcheck is at 4:30, the show starts a couple hours later. Tonight, however, I’m the one playing — and I couldn’t be more stoked to do it with such an awesome group of people. Today I am thankful for our gathering of most excellent musicians, for the fellowship of singers, a tight rhythm section and awesome guitarists, and for the renewal they bring my spirit each time we get together. We’ve been working up to this for about a year, and the day has finally come. Let the battle of the bands begin.