November 4th and 5th had come and gone. In case the significance of those dates escapes you, they were the dates of the two Utah concerts on Mae's final tour. On November 4, I was privileged to be at the Electric Theater in St. George and be a part of that experience. It was a long drive, but I made it in pretty good time and checked into my room at the Best Western, once I discovered at which of the two Best Westerns I had reserved a room.
Once I was checked in, it was only a short walk to the venue. I arrived insanely early. Face it, what else was I planning to do anyway? So I walked over to the venue and waited for a little bit before I decided to go next door to a small thrift store run by the local pregancy care center. I found two pair of jeans for my granddaughter and stuck them in my bag.
Then I went back and waited a little more.
And I took a few pics here and there to kill time:
At some point (the time frame escapes me), Mae arrived. I went next door and grabbed something to eat, and then got nervous because it took quite a while, and I couldn't see if anyone else was showing up. I was nervous for nothing. I am frequently nervous for nothing so I guess that makes me a slow learner. I sat down and ate my food. It was a French Dip with some really unusual cole slaw that was quite delicious. After a while, a young couple showed up and then they left again to get something to eat. At some point, Mark came out and said "hello" and chatted really briefly. I was there to hear sound check, and for most of it the doors were open. I took photos of things to kill time, and listened to dave sing one line out of the song "Bloom" over and over, occasionally changing a few words in a humorous fashion. He sang the rest of the song once or twice, so it felt like I was getting a bonus. I wish I could recall what he said. People did eventually start to arrive for the show, but most came pretty close to door time. John Allred was the opener, and I was looking forward to hearing him play again. During set up I talked to Trenton a good long while about camera-related issues, mostly. John sang and played, and I thoroughly enjoyed his set. I talked to a few people in line who had mainly come just to see John, though most liked Mae.
I had looked forward to hearing Windsor Drive who was to play next, having only just listened to a song or two once or twice, but they had to cancel out due to a death in the drummer's family. Terrible Things followed John, and I absolutely loved their set which was energetic and fun - but then I really like Fred Mascherino so that was no surprise, and I was able to snag the set list.
Then, it was time for Mae. I watched them tape the set list to the stage and vowed to keep my eye on it. I collect set lists. Mae's set lists have often been rather elusive for me. I am pretty sure that Mae played all of the songs I most wanted to hear with the exception of A Memory, The Melody. The venue was small and intimate and so was the concert. No one was pushing, or shoving, but people were engaged and singing every word. I almost felt guilty snagging the set list between the last song and the encore, but the encore wasn't on the list, so I went ahead. The encore was amazing. A good group of us in the front were chanting for The Fisherman song, and they played it. I think it was on their set list for the end all along, but we didn't know that at the time nor did I really care. It was just incredible to hear it all live.
The show ended and I talked to Fred, and purchased his cd. I talked to John and some of the band. I talked to Jacob, then to Dave, and pretty much everyone in Mae at least once, had photos taken, and signed Jacob's book. Then I eventually wandered back to the hotel room taking photos along the way. A few turned out. Some didn't. So the 4th had come to an end. But it wasn't over yet. I had plans to get up early and make the drive back to The Avalon in Salt Lake City for the second (and last) Utah stop on Mae's Goodbye Goodnight tour.
Morning came too early, but I wasn't sleeping anyway. I was up before my cell alarm even went off. I got cleaned up and dressed and went over to get a little of the complimentary breakfast. Then I loaded up my car, and headed down the road. I had a gift for Jacob (cloud photos) and which needed a three part frame. I hadn't found one at my local Wal Mart. I mentioned it to Dave the night before and he suggested I try Michaels. I had no idea where between St. George and Salt Lake I would spot a Michaels. I did see a Kohl's on the way, however, and thought perhaps I could stop there on the way out. I pulled off the exit and into Kohl's lot only to see that it was next door to Robert's. Robert's is a craft store, rather similar to Michael's.
I parked and went inside and looked for a frame. A sales associate helped me to find what I needed and then mentioned that one of the frames was actually on sale for 1/2 off. It had to be providence. I purchased the frame and headed for Salt Lake.
I think I arrived at The Avalon somewhere between 2 and 2:30 p.m. I put Jacob's gift together. Mae arrived very shortly after. I saw Jacob and said "hello", and I really wanted to give him his gift, but he was on the phone. I think he was on the phone the entire time. It ended up back in the car -- waiting. I was hungry by then so I finally went across the street to get something to eat. I spied a place that was something of a cross between Greek/Italian food. I ordered a sandwich, and then noticed they had a Rooibos/Cranberry drink and decided to give it a try. It was pretty good. I went back across the street and ate my food. I walked around, took pics of the marquee, tried to catch Jacob when he wasn't on the phone (to no avail) and waited for someone else to arrive.
A few did. I heard sound check again. I heard Bloom many times over the course of 2 days. I had an extra ticket I had promised to someone and occasionally I would text him to find out when he was coming. Eventually people arrived, and the doors opened. He still wasn't there, so I was able to get people to hold my spot long enough to leave the ticket at the entrance for him. I think it was then that I was able to pick up the Mae cd and a Bloom tee for a friend, but it could have been later.
This time around Windsor Drive was able to play the show, albeit with a substitute drummer (who was actually very good.) I really loved finally getting to hear them play, although I had some issues with their smoke machine. It was aimed straight at my face and a few times it made breathing difficult as I'm mildly allergic. You know it's bad when someone next to you complains about it as well. However, I liked them enough to determine then and there to pick up their cd's. I tried for the set list, but the gal next to me got it. She let me take a photo while Terrible Things set up.
Again I loved hearing Terrible Things play. Fred is also a lot of fun onstage. I even remembered a few of the words here and there - very few, but for me that's pretty good. LOL The crowd was starting to pull in closer in anticipation for Mae.
There was a lot of energy in the room, and it was growing every minute. I was able to get the set list for Terrible Things again.
It seemed an eternity waiting for Mae to set up, but I knew it would be over far too soon, they would pack up and I might not see them again. The lights went down and the crowd started chanting for Mae. Just a few more minutes and the took the stage. The audience went crazy. Song after song, people knew every word. People applauded, cheered, jumped, danced and created an incredible amount of energy. It was a rare time where everything seemed so connected -- the band and their fans.
Sadly, it came to an end (as all good things do) and the concert was over. The guys decided to stick around and meet everyone and people lined up. I went over to Windsor Drive's merch table, purchased their ep's and had a photo taken. They seemed like very nice guys. I saw Miss Corey and we chatted a few minutes. I was trying to figure out a way to get my gift for Jacob out of the car as reentry was not an option for me. Corey went out to my car and retrieved it for me, which I thought was very sweet. :)
I stopped at Mae's merch table and decided I really wanted the hoodie, so I asked to have one held until I could run down to the ATM. Then, gift in hand, I took my place towards the end of the line. Not long after I got in line, I was interviewed for the DVD. I was a little caught off guard, and I'm sure I sounded pretty lame. LOL Who knows if it will even make the cut anyway. ;) After a while, I came close to the end of the line and gave someone my camera to snap a photo for me. Rob smiled and said, "It's Melanie Ta" which made me laugh since that is just my online screen name on Facebook and Mae's community site. I had given Tyler some Hershey's kisses for Rob, and I asked him if Tyler gave him his kisses. Tyler proceeded to give him something other than chocolate kisses. I still don't know if he ever got them. There were hugs, and then I gave Jacob his gift. He seemed to really like it. :) That made my day. It was hard to tear myself away, but I did and then stopped to take a photo on the way out of people signing Jacob's book.
Then, I literally RAN to the bank a block or two away, used the drive up atm to get enough cash for a hoodie and ran back to the venue. I went to the alley where they were all loading up and chatted a bit until I was able to get someone to get me a hoodie. Success! Then I said my goodbyes again and got into my car. It was very late by that time. I was very tired, but happy and satisfied. It was bittersweet, in a way, but I wouldn't have been anywhere else.
Thanks Mae, for the memories. I will miss you.
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