Thursday, July 29, 2010

My July Day in Lehi...

Thanksgiving Point in Lehi really wasn't where I expected to be on July 17. I was all set to work for People for Christ ministries for the Know Hope Tour with Mark Stuart and Will McGuiness of Audio Adrenaline and company. I even had cases of water loaded into my car (and which are still sitting in my car as a matter of fact.)

I had been really looking forward to finally meeting Mark having heard a lot about him from an online friend, having seen Audio Adrenaline in concert several times, and reading his facebook entries. I have a lot of respect for him and the work he does with the Hands and Feet Project in Haiti.

Unfortunately, there were not a lot of ticket presales (a common problem here) and the decision was made to cancel the show. I was disappointed to hear it.

On the other hand, I have been following a band called Over It for quite a while now and they had made a few changes and reformed as a band called Runner Runner. They were to open for Secondhand Serenade on July 17 and I was feeling badly about being unable to go. Runner Runner had come once or twice before recently, and the timing wasn't good then either.

So I did the obvious thing, and on hearing about the Know Hope Tour cancellation, I bought a ticket for the Secondhand Serenade show in Lehi. I also bought a ticket to see VOTA on the 18th in Springville. Then I questioned my sanity. Lehi is about 53 miles from my house, and Springville is a little farther down the highway. I figured I was going to be tired by the time the weekend ended.

Thursday night was the James Taylor/Carole King concert, Friday I expected to work, and then be furloughed. (As it turned out, I got a call that I was furloughed Thursday just as I was on my way out the door to work; so I didn't have to work Friday.) Saturday, I expected to leave for Thanksgiving Point early as it was a general admission concert. I had hoped to arrive by about 10 a.m. as I recalled some people arriving early last time Secondhand Serenade played a concert in the Salt Lake City area. As it turned out, I left later than planned and actually arrived at 11:15. When I arrived there was a dad, his two sons, and a girlfriend of one of the sons there already. We were it for a little while. We all had early entry tickets to the show. It would be a long wait, but it was really a beautiful day out and a great day to be outdoors. Last time I was at Thanksgiving Point it was to see Death Cab for Cutie and I had to wait through thunderstorms, and the show as an hour late. LOL The company was interesting, as the dad also has a cooking show, so we talked about that a little, as well as music, etc. It's fun getting to talk to people while waiting; and they kept my spot in line so that I could go to my car, to the restroom or over to take a photo of the sign.

A little bit later on, more people started to arrive. First a couple of gals waiting in the regular line (not early entry), and then a couple of young ladies joined us as well as another small group.

I thought I had come rather prepared camera-wise. I brought a small point and shoot with extra batteries and memory, my larger point and shoot (same), and my pro camera set up. Everything was charged and the memory had plenty of space. I intended to inquire about photography and what was and was not allowed before the show and I was prepared to go with anything from nothing to cell phone pics to point and shoot to pro. I might have left the pro stuff at home if I didn't know a few people involved with the show, so I brought it just in case.

So the day went on, and I probably drove people crazy talking too much. I ate the snack I brought along, put the trash in the car, plugged my phone in the car so that it would be well charged, etc.

I finally was able to ask someone about cameras, and she found out that point and shoots were okay, even my bigger one. So I was happy about that. I never thought to ask about DSLR's as I just didn't expect a pro camera to be allowed unless I saw someone and got a pass. About an hour before the show was to start, I ran into a friend who had a pass and was supposed to do a photo shoot for two of the bands. There was another gal there who was supposed to have a pass to interview Runner Runner for her website. Both of them had trouble getting things squared away and getting in. Neither of them were happy. In the course of conversation, one of the guys happened to seem surprised that I couldn't take my SLR in since he figured the bands were okay with it. So, I waited a little bit and then asked someone about the SLR. It took a while but she checked on it and said it would be okay, just no flash photography. I was totally fine with that. I really did emphasize that I just wanted to know what was okay before the gates opened as it didn't do me any good to pay for an early entry pass and wait all day if I had to go back to my car. Once hearing the good news, I went back to my car and traded out cameras. A little over an hour before the doors were to open, I decided to put the larger point and shoot away and not take in two cameras. I had my keys on a "bracelet" around my wrist, and in the process it fell off my wrist in the car, In other words, I locked my keys in the car. I carry an extra set in my tote, but it was now in the car as well. So I was locked out. I didn't even have my phone, so I had to borrow a phone in order to call someone to come and unlock my car. I was a bit stressed about the doors opening while I was still locked out, but I think God was smiling on me and the tow guy was on the way to tow someone else, my situation was quick and easy and on the way. So, I was able to get my car unlocked in time. Phew!!!

I was a tad frazzled, but safely back in my place in line before the doors opened. :)
One of the gals mentioned that I still had my tote bag (my purse) with me, and I had not planned to take it in, so I thanked her and locked it in the car, being really careful not to repeat the earlier scenario. What I had forgotten is that two of the extra batteries and extra memory were in my tote. I think that is called a Comedy of Errors. I think I could have written the play. But I wasn't aware of that little problem yet. I was beginning to feel relief, and the doors were about to open.

As I approached the table and handed my ticket, I was told I couldn't take my camera in. I wasn't too happy, a bit frazzled, and explained that I had just been told that I could. I asked if I could find my spot on the stage and bring it back. The guy relented. Then I saw the gal that told me it was okay, and she reiterated the fact that I could use it, but if I used flash I'd have to leave. So, I ran for the barricade and found a good spot. I didn't leave.

Again I killed time talking to people around me and waited for the show. I was a little shaky and hoped that would stop before Runner Runner came on stage. About the time Runner Runner was through setting up, I had settled down quite a bit.

Runner Runner's set was a lot of fun. They did a great job on stage, made it fun for everyone, and I know they made a lot of new fans. It was still somewhat light out, although the lighting was interesting and not as easy as I thought it might be.
The first camera battery wasn't fully charged, so I swapped out batteries to find the second that was fully charged wasn't holding a charge. It was then that I remembered where the extra batteries and memory were. So, I'm a bad Girl Scout, and I wasn't so prepared after all. Still, I really enjoyed Runner Runner's performance, and the other photographer with a pass snagged the set list for me. :) (I collect set lists.)

After what seemed an inordinately long set up time, White Tie Affair took the stage.
They hit the ground running. The gals who let me borrow their cell phone to call the auto club earlier, were there to see White Tie Affair, and they let me listen to one of their songs before the concert. I expected to really like them a lot, and I did. The language was a bit much for me at times, but the music was good. Chris (the lead singer) was all over the stage and came off the stage onto the barricade.
I had my camera resting on it and before I could move it he stepped over it. So, I tried to move it really fast so he didn't have to on the way back and smacked myself in the face. I had a little bit of a fat lip. I am soooooo co-ordinated. Then he jumped down before he got there anyway. I had to be a bit judicious with photos since I had little battery power, and not quite enough memory, among other things.
I didn't keep many of the White Tie Affair photos, since they weren't that sharp, and I had to conserve space, but I got a few passable shots.

After White Tie Affair was finished, I waited to see if I could spot a set list that might be available. I watched and waited and asked a stage hand. He actually was kind enough to jump down from the stage and hand it to me. Just as I had it in my hand, the gal next to me grabbed it and yanked hard taking it away. I guess I must have sounded pretty angry and pretty much told her no way and took it back. If I knew she was a huge fan (like that gals that let me borrow the phone) and she really wanted it, she could have asked. As it turns out, she didn't pay for her ticket and was there because her uncle worked for the venue. The security guy got a little on my case about calming down. I guess I sounded really angry, but I felt more incredulous and shocked than angry, really. I'm sure there was a bit of adrenaline involved because of the way she snatched it from my hand. I told him several times I was fine (and he didn't seem to believe me.) I finally explained that I wasn't going to hit anyone or anything, and he said, "You're right because you'd be out of here" or something quite similar to that, which left me feeling kinda weird. He also told me I had a bit of a short fuse. Huh? Was she going to respond to, I'm sorry, but will you please give me back what you just stole from me really nicely? So, I finally told girl who took the setlist from me that I was sorry if I sounded really angry, but I just wanted her to know it wasn't okay. I told her if she had asked I might have even given it to her. So, she said it was okay, and then asked if she could have the paper now. Wrong response. I said, "no." LOL Not too long into the Secondhand's set (or was it just before) she left. I was still not comfortable with that whole thing, but when she left the people around me said unflattering things about her and her behavior. Okay... maybe I have to work on the forgiveness part just a little bit more. LOL I'm getting there. I just didn't like the way I was made to feel awful for not being okay with someone stealing something from me and felt bad if I sounded like I was going to hurt someone because I didn't feel that way. Fortunately, by the time Secondhand Serenade was set up and ready to play, I had settled a bit.

I really did enjoy Secondhand Serenade's performance. It was a bit crowded up front, but mostly calm. I was able to get a few pics, but ran out of battery before it was over with. I wanted to get a few as the couple behind me had asked if about them since they hadn't brought their camera.

The crowd was definitely there for Secondhand Serenade. Everyone was singing along and John seemed to be really happy with the crowd. He was really very personable on stage, and I enjoyed it a great deal. It was my second time seeing Secondhand Serenade, and the atmosphere was a little different, and I the sound was a little better this time, for the most part (except for a few songs where the vocals went a bit low.) After John left the stage, there was a good amount of cheering and calls for more and he came back out for an encore. It was then that I could get an idea of just how many people were there. :) I waited, again, to see if I could spot a set list and was able to finally get one. It was only the second time I'd been able to get a list for all of the bands at a show. (Oh, and I noticed later that the month was listed as 6 instead of 7 on Secondhand's setlist, which was kinda fun and amusing.)

I went back to the merch area and hung about Runner Runner. I spotted Peter, and he didn't realize who I was at first. (Thanks Peter. LOL) It must have been the hat. I looked up and he was like, "Oh, it's you!" Then I talked to Ryan for a little bit, and told him how much I enjoyed the set, and liked the new single. Eventually, I got a few really bad photos with them via my cell phone (actually, they aren't bad for cell phone pics in the dark.) I wished I had my point and shoot with me, but figured I couldn't go get it and re-enter. I ended up buying a few items at the merch table for Runner Runner, chatted some more, went over and had a bad cell photo taken with Chris of White Tie Affair who seemed somewhat awkward around me for some reason, and then back to talk to a the Runner Runner guys. I had my photo taken with James, Runner Runner's drummer at some point, and since I didn't have someone handy to take it for us, he said he'd do it. It only took three tries, which was awesome because it would have taken me at least that many. IT made me feel better. LOL And it was kind of fun. I didn't really think I could delay the inevitable any longer, so I started to leave and realized that people could still come and go from the venue. Instead of leaving, I ran to my car, grabbed my point and shoot and had a photo taken with Nick, John & James of Runner Runner. Peter and Ryan had already left.

Then I psyched myself up to make the long drive home and headed back to my car.

All the way home, I thought about stopping to get something to eat. In fact, my original plan was to stop in Centerville, but then there was a ton of construction and traffic backups in the area. From that point on, there was a running debate in my mind about stopping to eat vs. driving home. In the end, I drove home, fixed myself something to eat and checked out the photos before getting some much needed sleep. Sunday would be another long day

Monday, July 26, 2010

You've Got a Friend...

I couldn't quite see where they came from, but you could hear the crowd erupt into loud cheers and applause as the band, James Taylor and Carole King entered the stage. I barely remember the opening song, except thinking that James voice sounded stunning. What I most remember, is Carole King at the piano and hearing a familiar, favorite tune. "You're so far away, doesn't anybody stay in one place anymore..." I sang along, quietly, so as not to freak out my neighbors. LOL

Song after song gave me chills and brought back memories. James voice was smooth and clear. He seemed such an engaging and endearing person on stage. He gave a little history behind some of the songs, and made me laugh more than once with a funny remark. IT was enjoyable. I tried to to take photos as well as I could and not concentrate on the migraine that had started make itself more and more known and for the most part, I succeeded in not letting it ruin the evening. It was thoroughly enjoyable.

For the most part Carole and James alternated, but also sang a number of tunes together. Mr. Taylor had informed us early on that this was the original band. What a talented group of musicians! I especially got a kick out of Lee Sklar. His long, silvery white hair and beard gave him the appearance of a wizard from a fairy tale, or perhaps he could have been perfectly cast as Gandolf had he been an actor. I tried in vain to get a good photo of him, but this was the best I could do:

Too soon, the first half of the show came to a close, and there was a 15 minute intermission. I took pics of my seat, and tried another photo of myself and again someone offered to take it, so I let her. I took a few photos of the tables behind the barricade (they were quite expensive and way out of my budget, and in part went to a charitable cause.) I played around with the exposure without flash, and then took one with the flash to compare. I wasn't able to use flash during the show, not that it would have worked anyway. Anyway, this sufficiently killed time until the second half of the concert began.

Again, I was enchanted with the music and the performance of James and Carole.
With the exception of two slight bobbles (on one song the soft start up was slow, and on Jazzman - first part sounded a bit like she couldn't hear herself in the monitor), all of the vocals were unbelievably good. Trust me, she can definitely belt out a song!! During several of the songs, Carole pretty much put some of the younger folks to shame with her stage presentation! She had everyone on their feet clapping and singing.

And there were some incredibly sweet moments were it was obvious that there was a definite rapport between Carole and James. If they weren't having a wonderful time and weren't amazingly good friends, then they certainly deserve an academy award. It made the concert that much more enjoyable for me as a member of the audience looking on.

After the concert ended, the place just erupted with applause, standing ovations and such, and they did come back out for an encore. Too soon, it was over. So many songs, and it seemed as though it should have just been beginning. I have to admit, I was pretty tired, though, so it's probably a good thing that it didn't go on all night.

I headed out towards the exit, slowly since I wasn't in a hurry to catch up with the backlog of people on the stairs. I lingered for a short bit near the sound booth to see if I could spot set lists, but didn't see anything. I figured it was a pretty big long shot as I couldn't get too close. The crowd started to thin a little, so I made my way upstairs and then stopped to take a potty break before heading for home.

So why mention a potty break? On the way out the bathroom door, I noticed a gal with a paper in her hand and it looked like it could be a set list. I was bold enough to ask if it was a set list and she showed it to me. So, I asked if she minded if I took a photo and she was gracious enough to consent. I tried twice and the camera decided I didn't need flash and I disagreed with it, so we moved and tried once more. I didn't want to impose any longer, but she was all for it, very patient and extremely nice about the whole thing.

Afterwards, I thanked her and headed for the car, walking slowly, enjoying the perfect temperatures outside and killing time so that I wouldn't have to drive in the after concert traffic. I even took a few silly photos in the parking garage until I saw that traffic had lightened up (suprisingly quickly.) The drive home went smoothly, except for a bit of a traffic hangup due to construction, and I made it home just a little earlier than I would have had I gone to work.

The only downside to the evening is that this is one show I wish I could have gone with someone. It was meant to be shared. If there is another tour like this one ever, I would not hesitate to go again. Who will go with me?

Peace out,

Catching Up is Hard to DO

July has been a busy month. Now when I say it's been busy, it means I had a lot of things to do. It doesn't necessarily mean it has been a productive month.
For instance, I am quite behind on keeping up with my blog. Please don't ask about the house. ;)

Thursday, July 15, I did indeed have the day off work with plans to see James Taylor and Carole King's Troubador show. I have always loved both artists. I did see James Taylor a summer or two ago (the years are beginning to run together anymore), but I had never seen Carole King perform. In my younger days, I am certain I wore out the Tapestry album.

It was nice to have a reserved seat for the show as it meant that I didn't have to leave extra early for a good spot. In fact, I left later than usual even for a show with reserved seating. Usually I leave a little earlier so as not to run into traffic issues. I delayed a bit making sure I had both of my point and shoots in good working order, batteries charged with space on the memory cards. I hoped to get a few passable photos from row 5 as mementos.

When I arrived at the Energy Solutions arena, I saw a parking garage that was a little more convenient and inexpensive than where I usually parked, and the access was really simple. It was next to the light rail station and it was just across the street on a less busy side street. There were a lot of people waiting around but not in any sort of line. I lined up behind two ladies and chatted a bit.
Eventually, I was able to talk to someone with security with cameras and it looked like my larger point and shoot was allowed, so I went back to my car to retrieve it.
Not long after the doors opened. For the first time I had a ticket that was called "Fast tix" or something like that, and they scan your credit card or id (you enter your preference online) and that is your entry. Once my card was scanned, the scanner printed out a cool looking ticket with a photo of the venue and event info.
I loved it as it left me with a memento. I'm overly fond of mementos. ;)

The first order of business was to find a restroom. Unfortunately the first ladies room I saw was closed. Two mens room, and a closed ladies room did not seem like a smart plan to me. I finally decided to find my seat and come back to the bathroom search. So, I headed downstairs, got my wristband and was escorted to my seat. The stage was in the round. Floor 1 was on one side of the round stage, and Floor 2 was on the opposite side. I was seated in Flr. 2. The way the stage was set up was that there were three rows of small tables with two chairs going around the stage and beind the barricade. Row 1 had just a few seats, Row 2, had about 4 seats or so, etc. So, Row 5 didn't seem far back at all, and the way they lined up, my usual issue of too many heads in the way didn't seem to be a problem. In other words, my seat exceeded my expectations! :)

I left my jacket on the back of my seat and headed back upstairs. On the way up, I got directions for the nearest working restroom. There was a huge line. Fortunately, there was another line with far fewer people, and someone came out and
let people know, so I didn't have to wait too long.

After I finished my "business" (too much info? LOL), I headed over to the merch booth. There was quite a crowd already, but I thought I'd see if I could get through it before the show started. I did make it to the front of the line with some time to spare and decided to purchase a really cute white, fitted tee, a cap, a coffee mug and a key chain. Then I headed back to my seat. Yes, I spent way too much!

Once back at my seat, I was killing time by playing around with my camera, taking photos of my seat and attempting a self portrait. Someone offered to take my photo, so I let them. :) Before long, it was time for the show to start.

As I mentioned, the stage was in the round. It was actually a very large stage set up. The stage spun really slowly. On one side low to the ground was a tv screen. Overhead were two screens, on on the right, and one to the left of the stage. Over the stage was a huge round lighting set up and surrounding it in a large "strip" was another screen. Trying to describe it with words alone is a challenge. It was a very nice set up indeed.

Finally it was time for the show to begin.

(end, part 1 so I can take a break to do something productive, and you can too.)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Empty Spaces

This blog title doesn't refer to my head, although right now I am so tired it might as well, but to my blog site lately. I've had so many things I wanted to write about, but alas, just haven't had the gumption to get the thoughts all together cohesively yet.

But the lack of new words on this page doesn't mean I'm gone, just distracted.

Distractions include working full time, swingshift, watching my granddaughter during the day, sleeping once in a while, taking care of the dogs, playing around on facebook, taking photos, and still going to a few concerts here and there. I have three planned (possibly 4) for July, and three are this week.

The first concert I'm heading out to see is James Taylor and Carole King later tonight. I am a fan of both, and I managed to get what looks like a fairly decent seat. I'm excited that I have the day off and I'm ready for one! I was scheduled to work at a concert on Saturday for Audio Adrenaline, but unfortunately it cancelled.
I wanted to see Runner Runner (opening for Secondhand Serenade), so when it cancelled I picked up a ticket for that show. Sunday, I'm making the drive to Springville to see VOTA.

And since I did mention days off, I decided to take a voluntary furlough if it's offered, possibly on Friday. So, I may have a few days off. I'm looking forward to catching up on some needed rest! I really would like to work another week or two more, but if I stay there is a chance I'll be stuck working all summer. Avalyn has been crawling all day and not just rolling, sitting and scooting so I need to do a little more baby proofing around here, and having the time at a decent hour will be helpful.

There will be lots happening in August, and I've been mulling a few topics of importance to me, so things should pick here soon. I'm not sure who cares, but
writing is good for the soul. :)

Hope everyone stays well and has a great summer!