Tuesday, April 12, 2011

To fill my soul

I spent my weekend in Cleveland with my husband and some of our closest friends.  To say it was wonderful would be an understatement.  We had an absolute blast.  I wrote an earlier post about my love for live music, and how it fills a place in my soul like no other.  Well, this weekend we had our fill. 

First, The Beachland Ballroom.  What a wonderful place to see a band or three.  The atmosphere in there was wonderful.  I felt as though I'd stepped into my iPhone's hipstamatic app, with the lighting, decor, and stage.  It was awesome. 

The opening act was from my hometown, Akron, Ohio.  Roger Hoover was a taste of the great show to come.  I have been to many concerts in my life, but this was the first one where I was stomping my feet from the first opener to the last.  As soon as Hoover started playing, my hips started swaying, fingers snapping, and feet moving.  I began down a road of four hours of non-stop dancing.  (and as soon as I get y'all a link for his music, I promise I'll send it your way-it is SO worth it!)  Sadly, I didn't get a photo of him playing, but the next time we go see him live, I promise I'll get you one.  

Shovels & Rope 
After a short wait, Shovels & Rope took the stage.  I had no idea what we were in for, as I have not seen them, nor heard an album.  Little did I know that by the end of their set I would be dripping in sweat from dancing like a fool and frantically searching my iPhone's iTunes app for albums to download.  The energy between Cary Ann & Michael (they're a husband/wife duo) was electric.  Later on, my husband and I talked about how this must have been what it was like to see Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash perform on stage together, so palpable was the sexual tension between them.  It simply draws you in to their show.  Then the voices they have; holy hell.  I could listen for hours upon hours.  Truly, they are a force that I'm certain will be one to reckon with on the greater music scene before we can blink.  I'm just feeling lucky enough to have witnessed them in a small venue like Beachland, because I believe they'll be bigger than big with voices and a performance like the one I witnessed.  Go and download their album, Shovels & Rope I promise you won't be sorry! 

Hayes & Cary Ann performing "Another Like You 

After a performance like Shovels & Rope, I was on the edge of my seat (well not seat literally-as it was SRO) for Hayes Carll to take the stage.  It wasn't long-the stage crews moved faster than any I've seen at concerts I've been to!  When the tall Hayes took the center stage position, flanked by his band, we were in for a two-hour ride that was filled to the brim with his Texas-singer/songwriter voice booming while the guitar strings were moving the crowd from swilling beer to swaying and dancing.  His set was filled with songs from every album.  I heard some of my old favorites (Beaumont from Trouble In Mind) and new ones I adore on his new album (Another Like You/Bye Bye Baby from Kmag Yoyo (& Other American Stories).  At one point, he called out to the crowd that he'd not expected us to be there, let alone to know the music quite so well...so feel free to make requests.  A flurry of titles began to rise forth behind me.  I've never seen such a joyful playing of music and interplay between band and crowd as I did that night.  I was a fan before, but now I will make it a point to see each of these bands whenever I can.  

The night ended at 12:30 for us...a sweaty, feet aching, beer fueled, totally enjoyed night.  For now, my live-music loving soul has been satiated.  For now.  But soon enough I'll need to seek out the next live show.  Hopefully I can snag one of these bands as they come close to us again.  Thanks to all for a spectacular show!
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