Thursday, February 24, 2011

Nostalgic night out

I'm prefacing this post by saying that oh my goodness, I am a nerdI know that.  If you didn't, you know now.  As you're reading this post, feel free to refer back to this top paragraph, in case you get confused.  :)

Several months ago I found out that an old favorite singer of mine from childhood, Kathy Mattea, was coming to Denver.  She was going to be playing a mere 12 minutes away from my house.  And I knew I just HAD to go.  My husband wasn't really interested, plus that would have meant finding a sitter, so I just bought the one ticket.

See, here's the thing about me:  I LOVE concerts, and I have no qualms about going to concerts alone.  In fact, I've been to many a show by myself, mostly at the California Mid-State Fair , or sometimes at the local university's performing arts center (also in California).  If I wanted to see someone, and no one else I knew did, I would go on my own.  I figure you go to enjoy the music anyway.  There's nothing like sitting peacefully and hearing your favorite songs live, and you certainly don't need a buddy with you to do that.

I've seen Kathy Mattea in concert several times before, the last time being when I was 15.  So, it's been fourteen years.  I also got to meet her after that particular show.  She was seriously the nicest lady ever.  Super sweet, down to earth, and extremely witty. 

Anyway, the ticketing for the Denver show was general admission, and I wasn't sure how early I needed to get there to score a good seat.  SO, armed with a bunch of coughdrops and a roll of toilet paper for my nose (I have bronchitis, remember), I set out, uh, a bit early.  And let's just say I got there, and no one else was really there, and I got asked if I was there to work the show.  No, I assured the man (who works for the venue, NOT for the artist), I was just there early for the concert (because, let's face it, I'm an idiot). 

This is when he fairly assumed I was some weird groupie or something.  He wanted to know if I liked country music (a very little bit, I told him, but Kathy Mattea is more folk anyway), if I wanted to meet her because HE had just been tidying up the green room blah blah blah (I can wait until after the show, thanks, and I'm not really that impressed with your job), and then he ended by telling me the good thing is I had plenty of time before the show to "get plastered."  (The thought of getting falling-down drunk at a Kathy Mattea show struck me as quite humorous.  Too bad he was serious.)

Finally they started seating people, and I did get a great seat, thank-you-very-much.  And as people started trickling in, I began to look around, and noticed...I am literally the only person here under 55.

That is not an exaggeration.

I'm not joking.

This is not an incidence of me using hyperbole to make a point on my blog.

Without a doubt, every.single.person.there. was a senior citizen.  Except for me.  I guess Kathy's demographic has changed, because back in the day when she was a little more commercialized and mainstream, there was a pretty wide variety of ages at her shows.  Not so much anymore.  Most likely because her latest album, "Coal", was a folk project to bring awareness to the practice of coal mining in Appalachia.  Lots of covers of old folk artists' songs.  Which clearly attract an older set of fans.

I felt like I was on the set of A Mighty Wind.

And let's face it, I'm perpetually stuck in the '90s with the pop-influenced "Love Travels" and "Walking Away a Winner."  Anyway. 

Age be darned, I have to confess that as the lights went down and she came out and strapped on her guitar, I was filled with excitement.  

When she busted out "18 Wheels and a Dozen Roses", and we all got to sing along, I was in heaven.

And when she was taking requests, and a man behind me kept calling out the name of a song that isn't hers, I wanted to crawl in a hole.

***I also spent the entire two-hour show trying not to cough, and discreetly blowing my nose.  My apologies to those sitting around me who will now always associate her music with the scent of cough drops.  I'm well aware that when she sang the song "Black Lung", I could have totally gone onstage and demonstrated.

And afterwards, yes, I went and met her like the true getting-there-two-hours-early groupie that I am, and it was super fun getting to tell her I've loved her music since I was a little kid.  She really is a very friendly, kind person and it felt like I was seeing an old friend again.  I had to ask some people I didn't know to take our picture because, well, I was there by myself.  :) 

So yes, I had a fabulous time, and I have to say that the venue was AMAZING!  She performed in a super old church (over a hundred years old) that was originally a Christian Science church, but now belongs to a nondenominational church who rents it out for shows.  It was just gorgeous inside.

Yep, my night out rocked.  In spite of my bronchitis, and in spite of my uncomfortable shoes, and in spite of the awkward guy who wanted me to get drunk at the concession stand.

Music is timeless.  And next time I'm dragging Kevin along!

(I just tried to find the old picture of Kathy and I, but couldn't.  Darn.  And I may or may not have fallen down in the garage looking for them.  I DID however find photos of me chugging Mountain Dew at the grocery store, stuffing my face with ice cream in Kansas City, and posing with my various 4-H and FFA projects.  I'm thinking I need to do some "blast from the past" posts soon!  That, and I need to work on my balance.)


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