Monday, July 14, 2008

Better Seats Than Jared

I am ashamed to say it's been ten years since I went to a concert. And that that last concert was Garth Brooks. (Don't knock it 'til you've tried it; the man puts on a good show.)

So when my dear friend who happens to be a huge Barenaked Ladies fan told us she had some tickets for their July 12 show at a riverboat casino in Indiana just a couple of hours away, Jason and I decided to tag along. We are more casual fans of BNL; we know and like the well-known songs, and have sentimental college memories attached to "If I Had a Million Dollars" (during an Air Guitar lip-sync contest hosted by his fraternity senior year, a couple of my closest college girlfriends chose to compete with that song and made t-shirts with lewd statements about Jason's physical appearance and reproductive stamina in a effort to sway him as one of the judges; not only did that work, but it earned a soft spot in his heart for that song.) We wanted to see what the big draw for the concerts is among two of our closest friends. And I can sincerely report that it was a helluva good time.

It helps when you see a band you like in a small arena AND HAVE TICKETS IN THE SECOND ROW. Oh, yeah, baby. That was the closest I've ever been to a performer. It is just unbelievably cool to be be close enough to someone whose CD you have bought (or borrowed, in my case) to see their eye color and know how much they sweat while performing.

After we seated ourselves, and I got settled after saying over and over "OhmygodtheseseatsareawesomeIcan'tbelieveI'mthisclosetothestage", Jason leaned in to me.

"Hey, I think that's Jared the Subway guy over there."

And sure enough, there was the Jared. We are so celebrity starved here in Kentuckiananati that all heads turned and the whispers started as this minor celebrity was seated.

That was when my friend leaned over and said,

"We have better seats than Jared!"

And indeed we did. By several rows.

The show was great; there was no band opening for them, and they launched with "One Week" and "Old Apartment." The latter is one of my favorite rock/pop songs, period, so I was psyched. It made up for the fact that the concert was outside and the humidity was roughly 1000% that night.

They did two encores, "If I Had a Million Dollars" being one of them, natch. A guy behind me tried to get them to do "7-8-9" off of their new children's CD Snacktime (which my friend bought for Ainsley, and which provided the soundtrack for our Hilton Head vacation) and I picked up on his chant, and together we got the recognition of Steven. But, alas, they refrained from the kid stuff. Being on casino grounds, it was only 21-and-overs in attendance.

Later we learned that Jared definitively does not stick to the Subway diet these days, in case you were wondering. His post-concert snack of choice was nothing less than a casino buffet. And beer apparently has a prominent place in his post-weight-loss regimen.

Ainsley was jealous that she had to spend the night with Mamaw while Mommy and Daddy got to go see what she calls the "Snacktime People." She is becoming quite the little BNL fan herself.

I had such a good time that I fear I am going to want to start spending money on concerts now. Of course, the bands I really want to see don't bother hitting Cincinnati so I may be able to save myself.

Your turn:

What was the last concert you saw? What has been your favorite concert? Am I the only person in America who loves music but goes ten years between concerts?


Robert K. said...

Deb and I went to see Fiona Apple in October 2006. I think we were only 5 rows back. Two opening acts, the first one a local dude who was hilarious, and some emo dude who practically got booed off the stage. But Fiona was great, and we had a really good time.

But I think the best show we've ever been to was Nine Inch Nails in March 2006. We avoided the mosh pit, but had relatively close seats on stage right. Deb took her camera and got some really great photos, including an amazing one of Trent singing that was her desktop picture for a while. :)

Karen said...

I think the last "real" concert we went to see was U2 in March of 2001. I was very annoyed when I realized that our tickets were behind the stage (someone else bought them for us), but Bono was an excellent showman, and got up on the speakers and sang to us too.

I won't count the zillions of local band shows I've been to see. You see a lot of crap when you're a groupie and/or roadie. :)

dd said...

I would have enjoyed hearing "Old Apartment" live...I like that one, too! And who doesn't love the $1million song?! :-)
I have never been too close to see sweat at a concert, but I will have to agree with Karen that U2 puts on one amazing show. We were in nosebleed at Rupp and I honestly felt like Bono was singing to only me....well, he probably was, you know!
A close second to Bono are the Chili Peppers...and who can't say that Jimmy Buffet is a great time?!

Anonymous said...

I have to chime in with a Jared almost-sighting of my own. Word flew all over the office when he was spotted in Hooters and had to refuse a photo-op with the Hooters Girls. Naturally, the Subway suits own the rights to his mug in promo shots. But I have it from the horse's mouth that he is also knawing on hot wings of late.

As for concerts - *of course* I'm going to say Scott Miller and the Commonwealth - woo hoo! If he's playing Southgate House, that's $15 or so well spent, in my opinion.

Paul Thorn's showmanship is better than Miller's much as I hate to admit it. Better songwriter is debatable but Paul Thorn has it all over Miller when it comes to stage presence. And Paul Thorn makes his way to greater Cincy once or twice a year. You are also likely to spot a certain furry Phi Tau -Centre class of '96 at a Paul Thorn show; he's a big fan.

But hands down, the drop everything and go to the show act is the Red Stick Ramblers - cajun fiddle tunes, western swing, you get the idea. If aren't spending the whole show talking yourself out of taking your sorry left feet out on the dance floor when they're playing, something's wrong with you. Bad wrong.