Andy and I love music. In fact, it’s one of the things that brought us together. Back when we were friends and living in the Chicago area, one of our first road trips together was to Summerfest to see Jack Johnson and Ben Harper. Since then we have seen a lot of shows together. This entry is way overdue because two concerts we went to this summer were especially exciting and worthy of some blogging.
The first was the Madison Roots Festival on August 2. I have never been so excited for a show — three of our favorite artists in one place in an outdoor venue. Just when I thought the day couldn’t get any better we realized that we were able to watch the musicians hanging out “backstage” from where we were standing. The picture to the left is John Butler Trio bassist Shannon Birchall hanging out “backstage” while Tristan Prettyman played. The highlight for Andy was when he got to see his favorite member of JBT, drummer Michael Barker walking around backstage. As Barker scanned the crowd, Andy (the tallest guy in the crowd) happened to catch his eye and gave him the peace sign. Consistent with his super happy on-stage presence, Barker gave Andy a huge grin and a peace sign back. We thought it was so awesome. We’re nerds.
I was pretty much in heaven the whole day. It was our second time seeing Tristan Prettyman and she sounded great. In my opinion, Tristan sounds best when she is live and even better when she is performing by herself with just her guitar. I have a huge girl crush on her.
It was our fourth time seeing John Butler Trio and my only complaints are that I wish they could have played longer and I would have liked to have heard more songs off of Sunrise Over Sea — mostly Peaches and Cream and What You Want. JB usually gets the crowd involved with Peaches and Cream — the first time we saw them in concert they played it. The crowd was so into it and the sound was amazing. A favorite moment at every JBT show is when JB performs Ocean. It’s mesmerizing to watch and hear live and I get the sense that he loves toplay it even more than we love to hear it.
And last but not least, G Love and Special Sauce. . .have I mentioned that Garrett Dutton is the one man I would probably break my marital vows for? He’s on my “list.” I think this was show #7 for me and Andy has lost count since his first show in 1999. Obviously we keep going for a reason. If you have never checked them out, do it! They have been around since the early 90s so it’s about time, yo!
Everyone already knows I squeal like a schoolgirl every time I see GLaSS and I always have a great time. But considering the fact that Superhero Brother just came out, it was a bummer that they did not play Wiggle Worm. I was ready to sink that ship, shake those hips!
I thought I just might die when Tristan joined G Love on the stage to perform Beautiful, one of my favorite songs. The finale was sweet — Tristan’s drummer, JBT and GLaSS all came together on stage to sing Sympathy for the Devil. Tell me, baby what’s my name. . .
Well, anyway, I had the time of my life.
Then a few weeks later Milwaukee Irish Fest rolls around. We try to make it to German Fest (to give props to Andy’s people) and Irish Fest (to celebrate my people) every year if we can. This year my dad and his wife Mary came up and I was pretty pumped to go. Even better, my favorite Irish band was going to play on Saturday nght. Fantastic! So of course I come down with the world’s worst cold (probably a sinus infection) and on Friday night I could barely drag myself out of bed to get some water and soup. You would think that a ridiculous amount of sleep would cure me, but oh no — not with this cold. Saturday I pulled myself together and we headed down to Irish Fest. Despite breaking into cold sweats at the drop of a hat and sneezing every tenth step I was pretty glad to be there. I only thought I was going to pass out once. Good times.
After enjoying some delicious reuben sandwiches, we settle in to see the band I had been looking forward to, Solas. I first saw Solas in Marquette, MI. It was probably 1997 or 1998. My mom took me and we both had an awesome time. She bought their CD and I pretty much wore it out. At Irish Fest they put on a great performance complete with an Irish dancer. It’s not possible to sit still when you see this band. If you don’t find yourself dancing in your seat (as I am known to do) you will at least notice your foot spontaneously tapping to the beat. The night ended with the opportunity to meet the band. I had them sign my Irish Fest T-shirt which is next to impossible, even with a Sharpie. I am going to omit the photo Andy took of me with the band because not only did I feel like death warmed over, I looked it.
So that’s it. August was a month of musical bliss. The next concert on our schedule is Jason Mraz in November at The Rave. Concert booyah!