the music men and their talking banjos

Okay, I've been wanting to write about Wednesday night since it happened but haven't had the time too with work, and football games (argh), and work. Wednesday night I was fortunate enough to go to a concert in Tulsa to see one of my favorite bands, Guster. Now I haven't been to a show in way too long. The last shows I saw were The Jayhawks at the now defunct Dave's and NickelCreek a week later. I think that was about a year ago which is just ridiculous. I've known about the concert for a few months and desperately wanted to go. I never get my hopes up about shows because they require two things that aren't always in abundence-money and time. I had recruited Keogh to go and he was trying to recruit a few people himself. We had a few maybe's but that was about it.
As a side note, Two weeks ago I was on ITunes and I happened to download the free song for free song Tuesdays and I fell in love with it. Virginia bought me an Itunes gift card so I downloaded the whole album and I was just blown away. The name of the band is Rogue Wave. I said they were a mixture of Elliot Smith and Badly Drawn Boy which I think is true. Keogh said they were a mixture of The Beta Band and The Jayhawks, which I would also agree with. Anyways, I went to their web page to see if they were playing anywhere remotely near NW Arkansas. They only had three tour dates posted on their web page, two in California and one in...Tulsa. They were opening up for guster! I knew I had to go.
We recruited Kara from the flying burrito who was a huge guster fan whose boyfriend didn't want to go. Keogh called the box office on tuesday and got us tickets (which I always recomend due to the fact that you don't have to pay the extra fees they alway tack on when you purchase over the internet). The three of us left from fayetteville around 4:30 and headed to Tulsa. I always forget how close Tulsa is to fayetteville. We made it there in a little over an hour and half thanks to Kara's Pike Pass and the 75 mph speed limit. The drive was fun. we listened to Guster and Rogue Wave on the way down. We talked about how we first heard Guster and our favorite songs and etc. I realized that Guster's Lost and Gone forever was one of the last albums that I had memorized all the words too.
This show wasn't just another concert for me. It was an attempt to reconnect with certain parts of myself that I had kind of abandoned after coming out of depression a few years back. Music has always been such a big part of my life but I kind of distanced myself from it because it reminded me too much of painful memories from my past or about stages of my life that I had grown out of and avoided for fear of reverting back to them. It's like I had a tumor removed but in the process I also had part of my heart taken out. And now that I'm healed I want the rest of my heart back.
We arrived at Cain's ballroom 6:45. The opening guy before the opening band didn't go on till 8 so we walked to Mexicali Cafe to get something to eat. I guess it was like Tex-Mex except that it was Mexican and Californian food? The salsa was good but the rest of the food was about a six and a little overpriced. We saw some friends from Fayetteville there who were going to the show and then went back to Cain's Ballroom. It a very cool venue. It kind of had the feel of a high school gym with the stage at one end. There were giant pictures of country legends, like Hank Williams, all around the wall. The opening guy was still singing and he was awful so we went to the side bar and hung out there with Jordan Greenwall and one of Kara's friends from OK until it was time for Rogue Wave to play. They went on around 8:40 and they were awesome!!! Obviously very few people in the crowd had heard of them but our little group had and we had a blast. They were the best opening act I had ever seen. It was so much fun to get to see them after just hearing about them a few weeks before. The funny thing was they had been at Mexicali while we were there. I just didn't know it was them because I had never seen them before. They played for just under an hour, then it was time for guster. We had a pretty good spot about 40-50 feet from the stage just to the right. I was still on a high from seeing Rogue Wave and then guster came out and started playing.
It was magical. For the next two hours I was in a state of bliss. I can't begin to describe what it was like to just be there and let myself get swallowed up in the moment. The crowd was into it which got the band even more into it. It was their first time to play in Oklahoma and they said it was the best state debut they had ever done. They played my old favorites as well as my new ones. I'd look over to keogh and we'd just start smiling and singing all the words and dancing and it was so much fun. Even though it wasn't a Christian band it was a spiritual moment for me. I thanked God for music and the ways he had used it in my life.
The band announced that they didn't want to go through the B.S. that is the encore so they asked if it was alright to just keep playing instead of walking off then coming back on. The crowd loved it and they played 3 more songs. Then for the final song they did something very special. They came to the front of the stage with their instruments and sang "Jesus on the Radio" completely unplugged, no mics or anything. The crowd sang along in a hushed whisper. it was beautiful.


Jason 14/9/04 11:25 AM  

sounds like a great time. I know the feeling of being totally involved in the music at a live show. Its a beautiful thing.

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