I was in my own world, deep in thought when Andy’s words snapped me back to reality. He was pointing at the window of the restaurant I was passing. I followed the direction of his finger and saw him sitting there, right in front of the window. Garrett Dutton. Also known as G Love from G Love and Special Sauce.
Some brides describe their experience walking down the aisle as having “tunnel vision.” You’re walking down the aisle and you spot your soon-to-be husband standing at the front of the church. Suddenly he’s all you see. Everything around you — all sounds, all senses — melt away, and he’s the only other person in the world in that moment. This was my experience on my wedding day. It was so strange and I never thought I would experience it again. But when I saw G Love sitting there, maybe 6 feet from where I stood, I experienced tunnel vision all over again. I just stood there and stared for what seemed like forever (but must have really been about 5 seconds) before he looked up.
“Meghan, WAVE!” Andy’s voice brought me back to reality once again. I must have had the biggest, cheesiest grin on my face when I waved at him. A huge smile of amusement spread across his face as he waved back. And then I skipped off like a schoolgirl.
Not a bad way to start the night. This was G Love and Special Sauce’s last show of their most recent tour and I was pretty pumped. They didn’t make it to Milwaukee or Madison this past fall like they usually do, so the Madison Roots Festival in August was the last time we’d seen them in concert.
Some changes had taken place since the last show we saw. Jimi Jazz, bassist for the Special Sauce, is no longer with the band and has been replaced. I don’t the back story, but if you saw A Year and a Night, the 2007 documentary about the band, you probably aren’t surprised by the change either.
One of the best things about going to a G Love show is seeing Jamie and Amy. Andy went to high school with Jamie. They reconnected when we ran into Jamie and Amy at a G Love show about three years ago. Now it’s pretty much a given that they will be there at every show. Turns out they have similar musical taste and we also see them at John Butler Trio shows. It’s been fun for me to get to know them and Andy loves catching up with Jamie.
Despite the fact that we’re music lovers, Andy and I have never really been the type to stand in the front during a show. Until, that is, I decided that I wanted to stand up front at a recent Brett Dennen concert. The difference in the experience is worth the sore feet, obnoxious teenagers and the occasional shoves. Of the eight G Love concerts I have been to, my decision to stand up front made this by far my best experience.
I learned a few things about myself that night. First, I will completely freeze and stare in awe any time G Love makes eye contact with me while he is singing. I wanted to do something cool — smile coyly or maybe wink. . .I don’t know. All I know is that I did not look cool. Second, I am even less cool when he is hovering over me, singing, dancing or playing his guitar. To have him that close was a bit surreal. He literally dripped sweat on me and I won’t lie — I loved it.
So now that I have represented myself as a crazed stalker, I’ll say a little something about the actual music. I was pretty impressed by the length of the set list. They played a lot from Philadelphonic and some old school tunes like Shootin’ Hoops and Baby’s Got Sauce. The music was great and the energy was amazing, but it wasn’t quite the same without Jimi Jazz.
But with or without Jimi Jazz, we’ll be there every time G Love and the Special Sauce make a stop in Wisconsin. It’s kind of become a fun tradition for us.
“Once you got it you never ever going to leave it alone.” -Baby’s Got Sauce