Friday started like a pretty normal day off work. I slept in, got up and lounged on the couch with the puppies for a couple hours...then it hit me.........I get to see Ekoostik Hookah tonight!! That's when I started getting all giggly like a little girl!!! I get so excited about these shows.....I honestly can't think of anything I'd rather do in my spare time besides watch and hear live music...that's it. If I can do that every spare minute for the rest of my life, I'll die happy.
At about 6:30, people started showing up at my house. We had seven or eight people meeting there to follow us to Lafayette for the show. Ryan and I had bought a case and a half of beer for the occasion, so a few friends started working on those for us. I was the designated driver, so I encouraged them to all get sauced before we left. They all left plenty of beer for the after party though.
A couple of my good friends who happen to also be my neighbors, were tagging along to see E.H. for the first time. I was very happy with their responses to the band. Bobby Blue, who lives in the old school house in West Middleton, went along, and had the time of his life. It was awesome to see him with that big open mouthed smile on his face dancing front and center with me. I think some of the guys in the band thought he was my Dad. Actually, he reminds me a lot of Dad. So, it was very special to have him there with us. It's interesting that Bobby's last name is "blue," because he's a musician who dearly loves the blues. I have gotten to know Bobby pretty well over the last few years, and he has become somewhat of a father figure to me, so it was great to spend what I consider some good quality time with him.
We also met up with several other friends when we got to the show....so many people in fact, that I can't even remember who all was there. One of my friends who I've met because of the band, Kelly Jo, came down from Michigan for the weekend to join us. We also made plans for our friends from Indy, Matt, Dave, Kelly (our fellow blogger) and their friend Ryan to come stay with us Friday night.
The band was on fire. It was an awesome show. I wish they would have started earlier so the "early birds" like Jen and Chad could've made it through the whole show. (Did you stay for any of the 2nd set?) I understand that it's really hard sometimes when you work the day shift to make it all the way through those late shows....but that second set was rockin'!!!! They covered "Hush" by Deep Purple, which is one of my favorite bands, so I was exstatic when that started!! I danced until I thought I'd float away in my own sweat. My hair was literally drenched by the time the show ended....but I got a lot of exercise that way :-)
After the show, we stuck around for a few minutes, because I had a picture of Steve Sweney (the guitarist) that I wanted him to sign. It's a really cool photo that ryan took when we went to Atlanta to see them this past fall. His guitar looks like it's on fire, and there's red smoke rolling up towards his head. The guitar is very blurry with movement, but his face is perfectly focused....it's one of about three pictures on that roll of film that actually turned out. The rest were completely blurry....I don't know how it happened, but it's one of the coolest photos of Sweney I've ever seen.
You guys know I'm not exactly shy, but when it comes to talking to Sweney, I get all clammed up sometimes. I don't know why he is so intimidating for me, but he is. He's actually the only member of the band that I feel that way about.
So, I'm standing at the back of the stage with this picture and a black sharpie in my hand, and Dave, the keyboardist, sees me, and waves me backstage......YES!!!!!!! I'm in!!!!!!
I got a hug and talked to Dave about the show for awhile, and then he asked what I was holding. I showed him the picture and asked him if he thought it would be OK to go ask Sweney to sign it. I was really nervous, and I said something like "will you do it for me?" Dave just smiled and laughed and said "why, are you scared?" I said, "Yes, Sweney scares me," then Dave really started laughing at me. He told me not to be scared and that Sweney was "just a big pussycat" and I should go do it myself, so I went for it. I felt a little awkward because I was walking up to him while he was in the middle of a conversation with John Mullins about a song they had done that night. It sounded like he was possibly correcting something that John had done wrong. It didn't sound like he was upset, but I just felt like it wasn't a real good time to interrupt. So, I stood silently, holding my photo and my pen and leaned up against a wall. Finally, Steve and John looked up at me and John said "hey! It's our little party girl." I loved hearing that, because there's a song they do called "Party Girl." Kelly Jo had aksed me if they ever called me that. At that point, I didn't know that they did, but I guess the answer to that is yes!!
Sweney noticed I was holding something, and I just kind of handed it to him. When he saw it, his eyes lit up. I told him when we took it, and asked if he would sign it for us. Of course, he did, and he even asked me if I could get another copy for him. All of a sudden, I wasn't scared anymore. I started rattling off all kinds of silly stuff then....I was like "well sure...what do ya want....an 8x10, a 4x6, whatever you need Sweney....I'll get it to ya tomorrow!!!" He was happy to hear that we were traveling all the way to Columbus to see them again the next night, and thanked me for being a loyal fan, and even mentioned something about how he appreciates it when Ryan and I are in front of him because he doesn't "have a bunch of drunks falling on his equipment." That made me feel really good. I may knock something over because I'm dancing like a fool, but it's never because I'm drunk!!!!
So, that whole episode of going backstage and talking to Sweney made the night a huge success in my eyes. Of course, once I was back there, I talked to the rest of the band. I had already stopped and talked to Eric (my favorite drummer EVER) before the show, but I hadn't gotten my post show hug from him, so I took advantage of that right away too.
After I got done talking to the band, we headed home for the after party. Most of that case and a half of beer was still waiting on us!! Ryan had to meet us at the venue, because he had to work Friday, so he drove seperately, and didn't have anything to drink since he was driving.......needlees to say, he was very happy to get a nice cold one when he got home. There were seven of us heading to Columbus, Ohio on Saturday, and all of us stayed together at my house Friday night. We stayed up discussing the setlist, the solos, and how excited we were for Saturday's show!! Kelly Jo was especially excited that they played "Ridgeway Sky" because she has requested that at the last few shows she's gone to....they finally played it!!!! That became a big topic for the night, because it's the first time they've played it with the new lead singer. Apparently, they hadn't been playing it because he didn't know it yet. So, we were there for the debut of that song with John Mullins. Kelly Jo kept saying "I'm gonna die!!!! They're playing Ridgeway Sky!!!!!" She was a very happy girl!!!
I think it was probably about 5:00 AM by the time we all decided to go to bed. I went to bed with a big smile on my face knowing that I was getting up to do it all over again.
We got up and hung out at my house for awhile. It took awhile for everyone to get moving, but once we were all cleaned up and ready, we headed to El Arriero's for lunch and then hit the road to Columbus. I did make one stop at CVS to get copies of that photo that Sweney wanted. It was about a four hour drive. Kelly Jo rode with Ryan and me, and the rest of the gang rode together in another vehicle. At one point on the way, Dave almost rear-ended me. He squeeled his brakes so hard that I thought for sure I was hit...so that turned into big conversation, and some teasing of eachother as we drove along.
The trip seemed like it only took about 4 minutes instead of four hours. we talked and sang and acted silly all the way there. The doors opened at 8:00 PM, and we pulled up at about 8:15...perfect timing.
The venue where they played in Columbu s is called The Newport. It's an older venue with really high ceilings, and really cool architechture. It's kind of a pain to see them in Ohio on a college campus, because the people from Ohio think the band belongs to them!!! We always have to fight for a spot in the front....but believe me, that's where I was all night long!!
Once again, I shook my booty 'til I thought it was gonna fall off. I didn't even take my camera in Saturday night, because I didn't want to dance with it stuck around my neck, and I don't trust the people in Ohio like I trust the people in Lafayette, so I wasn't chancing setting it down anywhere. I think that may be the first time I have ever made it through an entire show without taking pictures, but I knew Kelly had her camera, and she has already posted some pictures from Saturday night on her blog.
I was very happy to hear the song "Party Girl" after John referring to me as their party girl the night before.......I kind of felt like maybe they played it for me and Kelly Jo. We were front and center the entire show, and besides a couple drunken a**holes, the crowd up there wasn't too bad. There was one drunk guy in particular that kept pushing on us girls. Finally, after he put his hands on Kelly, her husband, Dave, stepped in. All he had to do was give him a little shoulder, and he hit the floor.....it was hilarious....and we didn't see him the rest of the night!!! I always hate it when those people end up next to me, but that's the price I pay to be right up front sometimes. Ryan knows to watch for those guys, and he jumps in at least once every show it seems. He's my bodyguard!!!!
Kelly, Kelly Jo, Dave, Matt, Ryan, and the other Ryan spent most of the night bouncing off of one another as we danced the night away. Although the venue is not my favorite, i love to see them play there, because I know the band likes it. You can tell. Their energy is always about ten times the amount when they're at The Newport. They've been playing there for about 16 years, so I'm sure there's certain sense of comfort there.
When the show was over, I was hoping to find Sweney so I could give him that photo. I never saw him personally, but I gave it to Eric to give to him. Hopefully he got it!!
We actually headed out of there pretty quickly after the show was over. The drive home wasn't bad at all. I was really dreading it beforehand, but Ryan and Kelly Jo stayed awake with me most of the way. The moon was full and beautiful, so that kept me going too!!!
When we finally pulled into the drive at about 7:00 AM Sunday morning, I was still excited. I didn't feel at all tired......but believe me, I felt it Monday. We got a little sleep before we woke up to wish Kelly Jo a safe trip home. Then, being the crazy kids we are, we decided to drive back down to Indy to visit some friends who had been at Friday's show, but not Saturday's. We neede to let them know that they should've gone.....yeah, we rubbed it in their faces a little. All in all, it was one of the best weekends I've had in a long time. Even though it tore me up physically, I would and will be doing it again the first chance I get.
........Only one more week until I drive to Michigan to see them....YEAH HOOOOKAAAAHHH!!!!!
This is a pretty good action shot of kelly Jo...my friend from Michigan...
Me and Aunt Cindy.....
Then we have Steve Sweney tearing up his guitar!!! And Dave on keys...he's the one who told me the Sweney was just a big pussycat...
Jen and Chad hung out at the bar with Michelle and Ryan Gilbert most of the night, but I did get to dance with Jen a lot the first set....fun stuff!!!!!
I thought this was a pretty good picture of Cliffy...yes, I call him Cliffy to his face sometimes. he's like the nicest guy in the world. He's got a soft, sweet smile that makes everyone feel comfortable aroun him.....not to mention he's a bad a** bass player :-)
This is Dave and our fellow blogger Kelly...just hanging out after the show at my house.....