Thursday, June 14, 2012

It's a Quarter After One...

...and I just got home.  Well, not really.  I got home from seeing Lady Antebellum at about one this morning, so I'll go with a little literary license on this one.  Then I got up and was off and running by about 6:45.

All worth it.  Oh no, I haven't become some big country music fan, but hey, why not enjoy?  Why not try something outside of the comfort zone?

You might once recall that I saw Lady Antebellum a lifetime ago (well, it feels like that anyway).  Charles, Hillary, and Dave were charming, attractive, talented people, with a great band behind them.  Not much has changed, except for the venue, and a slick, polished show.

Ah, but this was more than just Lady A.  A nice act called Thompson Square opened the show with a short set that had some energy, and big, inflatable lips that looked like boxing gloves and other appendages (just let it go there, friends).  The always cool Kris and Lori went backstage to do a meet and greet along with fellow concert-goers Stacy and Terri.  Shanna and Sabrina joined us later on (I really need a program to know all of these names sometimes).

Following the blowup lips we got Hootie and the Nofish.  Or just Darius Rucker.  Now, to be sure, I would rather never - ever - hear any Hootie and the Blowfish songs again in my life, having gotten my fill back in the 90's (and, trust me, grocery stores play that stuff because it's so sugary-sweet easy to play...which means one can easily get sick of it again). be fair...I dug hearing Rucker perform a couple of Hootie hits (including a few lines of "Let Her Cry" during the Lady A main set).

But Rucker also chose to end his set with a dedication to the "children of the 80's".  I was psyched.  Lisa was psyched.  Then we heard just one note, and immediately looked at each other and said, in unison: "Purple Rain?"

Me and the Yoga Rock Goddess, as I called her (thanks, Kris, for taking the photo).

Both of the opening acts were fine.  I could have stayed in the parking lot just as easily.  But all good.  Live music is nice.

Bethel Woods (near the site of Woodstock) is a very good place to see a show.  It has that same vibe as any amphitheater with it's lawn section, and comfy covered area.  Our seats were at the very back, in the corner, and if I could make any complaint, it would be that some of the video screens were obstructed.  Such is life.

Oh, and getting out of there is rough.  You get only a mild idea of what it was like to leave Woodstock in 1969! But still, if you don't leave before the end of the show, or move briskly to your vehicle, you are well-advised to stay in the parking lot for a while.

Lady A's set opened with some thumping dance tunes that involved showing the crowd on the video screens, which got people into their seats and fired up (I just sit and laugh - that's just me).  But the house lights dimmed and a video showed the band prepping for the show - nice touch, I thought.  Hillary putting on her makeup (and trademark six-inch heels), Dave tuning his guitar, Charles finding the perfectly too-tight shirt to wear.  Ah, such problems.  Such vanity.

They hit the stage and brought the hits with them.  I still haven't listened to their latest album, Own the Night, but I am familiar with this song, which they performed about midway through the set.

I admit to being a softy, and their songs - their lyrics - strike a nice chord.  As usual, their band was great, and the voices of Hillary, Charles, and the uber-talented Dave blended perfectly.

Of course, having seen them in Central Park in 2010, it felt like I was visiting old friends.  That's how Lady Antebellum connects with their fans.  They came out onto a stage well back into the crowd to do "I Run to You", spent a chunk of the show shaking hands, implored fans to come closer to the stage, and even pulled an adorable girl onstage to sing "American Honey" (and she did sing it!).

I even liked the touch of bringing to the opening acts back onstage for a rousing sing along that included "Black Water" by the Doobie Brothers.  And again, we see how, it's country music, but don't kid yourself.  There's a fine line before it becomes pop, or even rock, as Lady A kicked it up with a rousing version of Aerosmiths' "Sweet Emotion."

Of course, the show ended with "Need You Now."  How could it not?  They rearranged the tune a little bit, but it is still a pretty good song.

So did I walk out of there saying it was the best concert I've ever been to?  Well, no - Huey Lewis, 1987, Madison Square Garden...Bruce Springsteen, 1999, Meadowlands Arena...Paul McCartney, 2009, Citi Field are the Holy Trinity for me, but it was a good show.  Good music.  Great people to be with.  Great atmosphere.  Great food.  Lots and lots of fun on a beautiful night (I can't stress that enough).

It's worth being tired today.

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