When I was in college, I loved the Counting Crows. I remember seeing the video for Round Here and just, well, just, I don’t know. I described how I felt about the band to the trio of my new TX friends, R., B. and S., as being the soundtrack to my formative years. And that is true. Adam Duritz’s voice elicits something inside of me. Of course, yes, I have a crush on him. I know what you are thinking, seriously? that hair? but it is his lyrics mostly, not the way he looks. And I know that for these public people, we make up their story. The story that most appeals to us. And perhaps that is true here but song lyrics are like poetry and can be just as soul baring as far as I’m concerned.
When I found out that the band was touring over the summer (and not coming to Hawaii, of course), I decided to go and see them. I decided to go and see them in a big way as a present to myself for my big birthday. I had not seen them since I’ve lived in HI, and that is more than 13 years. The NY tour dates did not coincide with the time that I would be there. It was then I decided to go see them someplace that I have never been. I tried for the west coast but the timing did not work. But there it was, the last tour date, outside of Dallas, Texas. And I took the plunge. I bought the ticket. And not just any ticket but a VIP ticket. It cost so much money that I really don’t want to talk about it. But I decided that if I was going to fly all the way to somewhere, I was going to make it worth my while. The package that I got included a bunch of schwag, to be able to sit through part of the sound check, a “meet and greet” with the band and a front row seat.
And tonight was the show. Since all of Texas is under construction, I had a hard time finding this place despite the fact that it was literally five minutes from the hotel. I can’t lie. I seriously felt like I might throw up before the meet and greet. I can tell you when I got close enough to see the band the guy having his picture taken was trying to get them to do a shaka with him (they did not – like the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders). He was there with his wife. When he came by the table to pick up his things, I asked if they were from Hawaii. And, of course they were. It turns out they are from the Big Island, in the military and had driven up from San Antonio. We chatted off and on when we saw each other. Island connections. Always turn up.
Then after my photo, when my heart was still pounding in my chest (I stood next to and spoke to Adam Duritz – there will be evidence shortly – no cell phone photos allowed), S. approached me with a handful of food and started chatting with me. And there I was then, setting up shop with him and his newly made buddies, R. and B. B. has purple hair and is a psychologist (I think I’ve got that right) R. has dimples and sells cookware. And we chatted like we had known each other forever. It was nice to chat with people. I haven’t done much of that over the past few days since I am traveling alone. It was nice. Nice to connect with real people that live in Texas. Once again, busting my Pee-Wee Herman Texas stereotype. In a really good way.
Matchbox Twenty was supposed to play first but Adam Duritz was not feeling great (he told me during the pictures and he mentioned trying to not throw up on stage) so the Counting Crows played first. Much to my surprise and delight. And there I was. Right there. Right in the front. It was kind of crazy. And magical and they opened with Round Here. It was not my first “meant to be” moment here in TX. There was the pastor of the Episcopal Church I visited this morning who asked if we had met before and told me that her husband was vacationing in HI. She was not the only person to say that I reminded them of someone.
And the set by the band was great and I totally dug out when they were pau. I felt guilty, but not guilty enough to stay to watch Matchbox Twenty (I know, they would have been great). I had been at venue since 3:00 and once they scanned our tickets we really couldn’t leave despite the fact that the VIP doings were over by like five. Plus, and I know that this makes me sound like an old fart, but I didn’t want to get stuck in all the post-concert traffic especially since I had almost gotten lost with no traffic while I was coming. I ran into S. as I was making my great escape but failed to see R. and B. (insert sad emoji here – but if you are reading, see message below). So I left and on the way out chatted with a security guard, a police officer and a parking attendant. And I got in my rental and got back to the hotel with no problem. In fact, I am becoming familiar with the area around my hotel. And tonight was a complete success. It was over the top. Just like I have come to expect from Texas, in a really good way.
Message to all three concert folk – if you’d like, provide me contact information through the comments section of the blog I don’t think that it will post automatically if you are a new user (I have to approve the comment). But, don’t put anything dreadfully sensitive, just in case (insert happy emoji here).