Brandi Carlile!

Last night I got a bit of an early Valentine’s Day surprise.

SCOTT’S ABILITY TO GIVE CLUES: 2

It actually turned out not to be a surprise due to this low rating.  I’ll give him two points because I’ll remain open to the idea that with my exceptional intelligence it’s a bit harder to surprise.  However, the clue was still super easy to figure out, meaning I’ve been looking forward to this concert for about two months now 🙂

MISSING MY CAMERA CORD: 1

It’s gotta be around somewhere (plus 1), which means hopefully I’ll get it back soon.  But this means that all the pictures I took last night won’t be able to be posted until I do.  Luckily someone else at the concert has already posted a video on YouTube I will be including 🙂

In the meantime, if anyone has seen my black and red pencil case with a ton of pens, highlighters, and cords for different electronics, let me know!  (Did I just give away what a huge dork I really am?  Oh well.)

OPENING ACT: 10!!!!

As we were waiting in line outside waiting to get in, I reviewed my ‘list’ of concerts, that you may recall from this post.  The beauty of ‘The List’ is that you only put artists on it that you are willing to pay any amount to go see.  If they come to you, you MUST go see them.  As a result, the list stays fairly short, saving money for when someone on ‘the list’ arrives.  My list has looked about the same for years (in no particular order):

  • Bryan Adams (check!)
  • Indigo Girls (saw them when I was about 12, but would pay any amount to see them again)
  • Dixie Chicks (saw them senior year of HS)
  • Jewel (sophomore year of college)
  • David Gray (this past New Years)
  • Elvis Presley (still holding my breath for this one)
  • Brandi Carlile (newest addition, added on about two years ago)

As you can see, the list is getting shorter as I’ve seen almost everyone on it.  This is what we were discussing, and I mentioned that I’d really like to see the Indigo Girls again…

You can imagine my surprise when out walked Amy Ray on the stage.  I knew the opener was Amy Ray, and I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this, but despite how often I listen to the Indigo Girls I didn’t know either of their names.  So she walks out, opens her mouth, and Scott and I kind of look at each other and go ‘Isn’t she an Indigo Girl????’  I almost didn’t believe it at first, because I’m notoriously bad at actually recognizing singers by sound only, but luckily in this case we had the look to go with it.

There was no doubt.  Our opener was half the Indigo Girls.  And SHE WAS INCREDIBLE.  Her voice, her energy, her personality, her band, everything.  I loved her.  Could not possibly have been more pleasantly surprised by an opener.

Now on to the main event.  I feel the need to break this into several different ratings…

BREAK BETWEEN OPENER AND MAIN ACT: 2

It took about 45 minutes between acts, and it started a bit late.  I know this is usually the case with concerts, but it’s made worse when you’re standing 😦  After 3 hours of being on your feet it gets a bit uncomfortable.  Luckily I had a big tall guy to lean on which made it a bit nicer 🙂

FIRST NUMBER: 10!

It started with just their cellist playing, which was beautiful.  Then the band came out and circled around one microphone, and with nothing but the cello sang an incredibly beautiful song.  Also showed off their insane talent.  Brandi’s voice is nothing like I’ve ever heard, with incredible range and beautiful sound.  Plus distinctively unique.  ANd the band can clearly do more than just rock out on the guitar, bass and drums.  Great way to start.

REST OF THE SHOW: 9

It started off strong, and continued that way throughout.  One thing I love about concerts is when 1) the band is having as much fun as you are, and 2) they talk to you throughout.  That way you’re not just listening to their record, but you’re actually hanging out with them for a night.  She was so incredibly gracious, humble and chatty, we got exactly that.  Reminded me a lot of the Bryan Adams concert but in a smaller venue, which made it even more personal.

At one point they went totally unplugged, moved to the front of the stage, played two guitars, and a tambourine and just sang.  Everyone was almost completely silent so we could hear them and it was so beautiful.  Plus, completely different from what you’ll hear on the album.  Truly wonderful.

-1 due to all the tall people standing in front of us (not including the tall guy standing with me).  I wish I could have seen more of the action 😦

Check out some highlights here, including several duets with Amy Ray.

I first fell in love with Brandi when listening to Pandora in my classroom one night after school my second year of teaching. ‘The Story’ came on randomly, and I immediately fell in love with what I heard.  Minutes later I logged on to iTunes and bought the full album by the same name.

Every Sunday that year I drove two hours each way to Chapel Hill to climb, and listened to this album almost every week.  To this day it still brings back strong memories and feelings from that year, and I must admit it was surreal listening to them last night as I now live in Chapel Hill and so many things have changed.

Life is good.

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