The BEST WEEK EVER: VIP Tickets, Wine, Wine, and more…Wine
So what exactly makes something the best week ever? The opportunity to visit with friends, have a bit of a laugh, dance the night away, pull an epic prank, win a prize you really wanted, or to see one of your favorite bands perform? How about ALL of that? And not just one of your favorite bands. All THREE of your favorite bands. Yes, people. This really happened. In the span of a week I saw all three of my favorite bands perform and spent time with countless friends, some I hadn’t seen for years. So what if the shows were in three different states, not one of which I live in, and I logged 2,478+ miles on the road to accomplish this. It was still the BEST WEEK EVER and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
September 12 – As most of my epic trips start, it involved a drive to Nashville and Laura’s house. It’s roughly a 4.5 – 5 hour drive, but at this point I do it so often that I don’t even notice it anymore. This trip was special though because 1. I had a car load of Laura’s favorite pizza, Imo’s, which you can only get in St. Louis, and it was driving my diet deprived senses mad and B. I was hauling ass to get there in time for us to pick Kimmie up at the airport. That’s right. I said Kimmie. As in, I live in Montana and the flights are so expensive I will never make it out of this state without a second mortgage on the house Kimmie. But this was a can’t miss trip so her new husband, the awesome Chad, made sure she had a ticket and was on her way to us.
This day was fairly uneventful and we mostly spent hours talking and visiting, until about 1:30 am when we went to blow up the air mattress and realized my hubs forgot to pack the air compressor with the mattress. What to do? Well…for us this involves a trip to Walmart in the middle of the night. You’d think we’d make a quick in and out, but no. We spent at least an hour roaming around the store looking at a ton of crap we neither want or need. Get home, blow up the air bed and crash only to wake up the next morning to find out it somehow got a hole in it and deflated almost immediately so Kimmie spent the night in the recliner.
September 13 – Not a clue what we did during the day here except get ready for concert no. 1. That’s right, kiddies. The Dunwells, Delta Spirit, and The Wallflowers were performing at Live on the Green and we had VIP tickets. Why do you need VIP tickets to a free concert series you ask? Great question. Free alcohol, free food, and side stage access. Well…not really side stage, it was actually a sectioned off area in front of the stage, but still. We would have spent the amount of the ticket on dinner and drinks anyway so it made perfect sense to us. At the time.
So inchyways… we kitted up and headed downtown to meet up with Jennifer and see the show. On the way in, we ran across The Dunwells tour manager, Jody. So what is the first thing he asks me? “What happened to you in Louisville? Why did you leave so fast?” Of course Laura starts laughing her ass off. I calmly reply, “long story” and leave it at that. For those that haven’t read this previous blog post yet, I ran away from Dave Hanson like a scared little bitch.
We catch the guys at the side of the stage and give Jonny a bottle of gin for his birthday. He’s delighted and surprised we knew he liked gin and asked how we found out. Dude, we are ninja like that. Of course we know. And we don’t ever tell. Ok, well obviously we do cause we blog the craziest/ stupidest shit, but whatevs. Not this time. We talked for a few minutes to all except Dave Hanson, who has evidently decided to avoid me like the plague, then moseyed off to find our free wine, food and wait for the show.
The Dunwells were the openers for the evening and once they took the stage at about 6:20 we headed up to the reserved section at the front of the stage. It was Kimmie’s first time seeing them live and I was excited to be introducing yet another friend to their amazing music. The sound mix seemed to be a little off at this show with Joe’s vocals down too low, but it didn’t seem to detract from the crowd’s enjoyment. I kept turning around to check out how the audience was reacting to them and they seemed to be going down a storm. Hands down the cutest thing ever though was a little girl, about 3 years old, in the VIP section with us. Her mother told us it was her first concert and she was dancing like there was no tomorrow. I moved aside so she could come up to the railing in front with us and she tried to climb the barrier several times to get to the stage. We were standing right in front of Rob and he had a huge grin on his face as he watched her. Wish I had a picture of that. It was priceless.
Afterward, we went to the merch table to get photos with the guys and have my copy of the re-released version of Blind Sighted Faith signed. As before, Dave Hanson avoided us. My plague is apparently bubonic. It was sheer craziness over there so we took off as soon as we could back to the VIP tent, our table, and our free wine. This is where it starts to get sketchy…
One of the things that Live on the Green implemented this year was a limit on the free alcohol. By chatting up a few veteran VIP’ers, we found out that last year there was a huge problem with people in the VIP area handing off free alcohol to the poor, huddled masses in the general section so this year they institued a token system. Each person received 5 tokens for free beer or wine, then after that it was a cash bar. Five tokens is more than enough, right? Well…it was for me. I even somehow lost one and only used 4. But Laura snagged Kimmie’s tokens since she wasn’t drinking, and eight or nine tokens in she was lit like a christmas tree. OK, so were me and Jennifer but it doesn’t take nearly as much to get us hammered. The problem with wine? It doesn’t just make you drunk. It make you euphoric. Not a good combination for us when there is a camera involved.
All of this would have been fine, except Dave Hanson came into the VIP area and Laura decided it was time to talk. Her opening line? “So what did you do to make my girl run away from you in Louisville?” His reply, “I have no idea. I thought I smelled bad or something.” After this convo, and a few chuckles at my expense, Laura decides to call me over. Feeling no fear cause hey – I was happy as a clam at this point with my wine in hand, I wandered over. Dave Hanson literally stops dead with a shocked look on his face, then TAKES OFF RUNNING. Let me repeat this… HE TAKES OFF RUNNING AWAY FROM ME!!! I’d call him a complete ass, but by then we were all laughing too hard. He came back, gave me a hug, and I was finally able to explain why I was such an idiot. All is forgiven and we can now laugh at the Louisville episode. So there is one bonus to being drunk. It seems I can open my mouth and speak to boys. Kind of like Raj from The Big Bang Theory. In reverse. And for those who doubt that I actually talked to him? Proof —>
Oh…but we are still not done. Oh no. A little while later Rob Clayton decides to stroll over. Laura grabs him and asks for another picture because she didn’t like the one taken at the merch tent. Rob’s a good guy so he agrees. You know how two girls have to take 80 pictures before there is one that they will both agree looks good? Yeah, well Laura and Rob together are just as bad. He said he looked crazy in every picture and she tells him of course he does, but that’s all right - he just needs to smile. He said he doesn’t look good smiling and I tell him that’s crap because I saw him smiling at that little girl dancing and it was an amazing smile. We went round and round on these damn pictures (not that I can say anything. I’m just as bad).
Finally, we called a halt to the pictures and were able to talk a little bit. I told him I was really impressed with his bass playing. If y’all don’t know by now, Laura and I have a thing for bass players. We love watching them. They always have crazy moves or expressions on their faces. This was the first show I was actually in front of Rob and his fingers were FLYING on “Follow The Road”. It was brilliant.
After a bit, he excused himself to get a beer before they hit the road as they were staying about three hours away that night. He was probably very happy to escape. Regardless, we love Rob. At some point in the evening, and our drunken conversations, he ended up getting a nickname. I think it was Jennifer who said he was Mongoose Hot, then Laura said no, he was Mongoose Cool. I have no idea why, or even what in the hell it’s supposed to mean, but he is now our Mongoose. Yeah. We just shouldn’t be allowed to drink wine anymore.
So after that it was all fairly normal for us. Made some new friends, shot some video, took a few pictures – some that will never see the light of day, and made it home safe with Kimmie as our designated driver. The next morning was not so good. If this cautionary tale of embarassing oneself in public is not enough of a reason to avoid wine and stick to our dear old friend, vodka, here’s my facebook post from the next morning: Not gonna say I have a hangover but there’s a definite headache-y quality to this morning’s activities. Which mainly involve not moving for a while.
Btw…Laura has no idea where she got this flower. I do, cause I’m ninja like that, but I’m not telling this one either.
So tune in next time as I continue the story of the BEST WEEK EVER! Another road trip. More concerts. More drinks. A lot more pictures. And an epic one-up on a long running joke.