A Musical Weekend

This weekend was full of musical brilliance!  While I’ve always known how much I loved any kind of live music, this weekend helped me narrow down what I love in concerts 🙂  See ratings below…

Better Than Ezra: 6

Friday night a group of us headed down to Raleigh for the last in their free (!) outdoor concert series, Downtown Live.  Better than Ezra was playing, which meant little to me, but clearly a lot to Lauren.  I recognized the name, but I suppose this is another band that fell victim to my time spent in Japan, as I couldn’t name a single song.  I was assured that I would recognize far more songs than I thought, but alas, I recognized none.  The good news is, that didn’t take away from my enjoyment at all 🙂


The lead singer clearly enjoyed being on stage, which made me enjoy watching.  I love someone with great stage presence, especially when they can joke around and have fun, and these guys sure did.  He sounded a bit off the first couple of songs, but got it together later.  Either way his personality far made up for it.

-1 for the rain (I would take off more, but to be honest I had a rain jacket and a giant umbrella, so I never ended up that wet)

-1 because I didn’t know any of the words (or songs really)

-1 for the back pain.  When I used to return to the classroom after long breaks, the first week back I always had the worst back pain (I swear it’s not a sign of getting old), and that’s exactly what it felt like for the last half.

-1 for the scary crowd surfing.  I had no idea I was such a baby, but as soon as people started crowd surfing I got really scared.  Because of all the rain the crowd wasn’t very dense, and it scared the crap out of me that someone would smack me in the face, or worse that they’d head my way and I’d totally drop them.  Narrowly missed several times but made it out alive.

Overall I enjoyed being introduced to a great new band, and I loved the company so it was definitely a great use of a Saturday night 🙂  Check them out…

Of A Revolution (OAR): 8.5

The next night some fabulous friends of mine hooked me up with tickets to see OAR.  Another band I’ve definitely heard OF, but hadn’t ever really heard any of their music.  Until last night 🙂

We started the evening with a fabulous tailgate (thanks to Claud), which was the best idea ever.  I’ve only tailgated once in my life before (I know, can you believe it?!), and it was for a UNC football game two years ago.  The idea of tailgating for a concert seemed brilliant.  Even better news is that it was a vegetarian tailgate.  Put together Greg’s homemade wheat bread, Rachel’s fabulous taste in cheeses, Bill’s INCREDIBLE guacamole (coming from someone who makes pretty good guac herself!), fruit salad and some brownies to finish it off, this was a pretty satisfying dinner.  Plus, we had Bill’s pick-up, so it truly was a tailgate.

If this is a preview of NC State tailgates to come, I CAN’T WAIT!


On the way in we passed by this porta-bar.  I’m loving it.  What a brilliant idea!  They turned an old pop-up camper into a portable bar that they can easily park in parking lots during tailgates.  It even appeared they were making frozen drinks!  I want to rate it a 10, but I’m not sure what the prices were, so it’s hard to say.  There was also a table set up right there with flip cup goign on.  If they brought that with them, they’re brilliant.  Imagine selling beer at a tailgate with flip cup games going on right there.  They must make a fortune!


We then headed into the concert, which was held at Koka Booth Ampitheatre.  I LOVE THIS PLACE.  I saw the Fray here two years ago, and enjoyed a wine festival on my birthday that year as well with Kim.  It’s outside, surrounded by trees, with space to stand in front, a huge grass lawn to set up blankets and chairs, and a lot of places selling food and quality beer in the back.  Moral of the story= I didn’t have to stand at all.  I couldn’t have been more pleased 🙂

On top of that, the weather was BEAUTIFUL.  We set up our stuff on the lawn, Rachel, Caroline, Claud and Greg headed up front, and BIll and I relaxed in the back.  You could hear the music, see most everything, and even chat, which is unusual for a concert.  Seriously folks, if you’ve never seen a concert here you need to.  Immediately.  Even if you live far away.

The only things I would take points off for would -1 for not being able to sing along to any of the songs (but honestly, loving the fact that I was introduced to an awesome new band), and .5 for having to miss a framily dinner.  Overall though, AWESOME concert.




Seriously my least favorite part of concerts.  In fact, I find them to be RIDICULOUS.  Let’s pretend like we’re done, leave the stage, and then wait backstage for the predetermined amount of time and decide to head back out, regardless of how much clapping or chanting exists, and play some more.

So they’re in one of two situations.  1) Fishing for compliments, by leaving just so they can hear how much they’re wanted, or 2) Looking pathetic when they leave and the audience starts to leave (not their plan), but they clearly still have to come back on, and must feel pretty stupid.

Give up on the ridiculous encore and just play an extra half hour.  Everyone will love you more if you’re just real about how long you’re going to play.



  1. Couldn’t agree more on the encore protocol. I especially hate it at musicals and plays – exactly HOW many times do you have to clap while they bow and the curtains open and shut? Seriously, all I am thinking about is ‘If I leave now, I will totally beat the crowd to the parking lot!’

  2. Janice,….!!!!
    Your touch into the genuine holds fast your authenticity !
    You hit it , my friend, a rope into the alley !!!

    There’s no doubt : write your Voice as you so easily do, and Backwards Planning’s a shoe-in Best Seller !

    semper fi,…snooky

  3. Encores…

    It’s not just about waiting for the crowd to get hyped up… They want the last couple of songs to be memorable and super energized, and at the very end of the show, they have been playing/singing for a LONG time under HOT lights, and possibly other averse conditions… They go back, take a quick breath, get charged back up, and THEN come back out and rock your face off for a couple of songs before hopping on the bus.

  4. I am going to see OAR in St. Augestine (close to our house) on Friday! They must be doing an East coast tour. Glad to hear you enjoyed them!

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