Tuesday, July 19, 2011

NY adventuring for Blind Melon at the Hiro Ballroom July 1 2011

We got the bags packed & double checked to make sure I had everything that we'd need on the Friday afternoon. We finally hit the road right about when I wanted to with the mister after gassing up the car & getting the GPS all set.  We stocked up on music and snacks and headed out on I-95.  The mister & I travelled smoothly with light traffic throughout RI and most of Connecticut.  As we were welcomed into that state, about half way through our drive, we took a short pit stop.  We continued onwards and then the traffic got heavy around Stamford- eventually then we saw the sign for New York, the Empire State. As we headed through the city and headed closer to the streets of where I had booked our room I began to get a knot in my stomach and had a gut bad feeling. Then eventually we turned the corner onto the street where the GPS said we had reached our destination- right into the middle of Chinatown.  We pulled up a little further to go park the Jeep into a garage - where they park your car for you! Now mind you we had just been driving for a little over four hours so all of my stuff was scattered about in the front seat and I was pretty unorganized but we both gathered our belongings (and made a quick mental check of what was inside the Jeep) and went to go check into the hotel. As we went up the stairs to the lobby, my stomach was feeling queasy. We checked in- and then headed to the room that was literally the size of a closet.
We dropped our things off in the room and headed out the door to go get on the subway- we both decided that leaving the car would probably be the best thing to do plus after driving for so long, it was a much needed break.  We got on the Metro, switched connections once & got off at the street right at the Hiro. We had been invited to go & meet up with some people before the show for drinks but both the mister decided to just get in line to wait to get in.  We hung around for a little bit & the butterflies in my stomach were starting to intensify.  Then all of a sudden we noticed that the crowd began moving & we got ushered in.  I handed the door guy our tickets & we got our hands stamped- without being carded, and neither did the couple of  melon heads behind us.  Then the group behind them all got stopped and asked to be ID'd.  Myself & the couple behind us said how it is actually nice to be carded from time to time.  We headed in & I noticed the merch table with some shirts & posters & whatnot & also the girlfriend of Travis the lead singer of Melon.  I turned to her & said, "Hey Tara, I'm Tara" and she was like nice to meet you. It was super dark in there- I don't think she realized who I was, nor does she really know me.  So the mister & I plopped ourselves down in front of the left hand side of the stage and waited in anticipation.
The Nico Blues came on the stage and rocked their set & played a bunch of great tunes.  My stomach had begun to do somersaults at this point.  While they were on the stage I see someone whirlwind past us & then realize that it's Travis! A big smile got on my face & couldn't disappear.  Nico Blues broke down their equipment and the stage was empty. A good New Jersey melon head friend, Karen, then showed up & the bunch of us standing together group hugged, such a great moment. All of a sudden CT & Brad come on the stage to tune & set up their pedals. People begin to applaud & scream- Christopher turns "We're just setting up, you can relax." Brad turned, smiled, waved & continued what he was doing.  Christopher tuned his guitars & mandolin for a few and started to put his set list on the floor, he then moved it to his amp- "everyone always steals my list during the shows." Then turned to us (looking right towards mine & the mister's direction) "Ok guys, see you in a little bit."  Time seemed to stand still at this point.  Rogers was the first to hit the stage, then Travis, Glen, Brad, and lastly Christopher.  The vibe of energy that came from the crowd and off from the guys was beyond anything that I've ever felt at any show.

I was snapping away pictures and it felt so amazing to be able to be there & sing along with the songs in person and to hear them live. There are amp issues off & on (dead battery, cord issues, etc). Also Travis was having major wardrobe malfunctions with his zipper as it kept falling down. He mentioned it at one point and fixed it as he noticed but then eventually it fell back down again.  All of a sudden during Drive I got grazed briefly by CT's guitar- I then had to duck him throughout the entirety of the show. I could feel the air off of Christopher & Brad's instruments while they were playing- there's nothing quite like it.  At one point I was just standing there with my mouth open in awe. Travis turned to the audience & asked if anyone had a kazoo- not one person did so then we all just had to sing along the part in Skinned & it came together so amazingly well.  He was like "wow you guys know how to improvise!" When Travis was putting on his guitar & CT was getting out his mandolin, I excitedly knew that it was time for "Change" which they said that they had a special guest for- Danny Clinch to play harmonica with them. I then noticed where he was looking into the audience- 2 people over from us!! He kept laughing when he noticed me ducking CT's guitar off & on. You could tell that Melon was having a great time on the stage, the guys were laughing & hugging each other- there was no tension nor angst or annomosity just 5 guys who love the music that they're playing. Travis turned to the crowd & said how he wished that Shannon could be there to be on the stage (I can't remember his exact words) and that he were in the audience but that it's amazing to be able to carry on the music. Then after that he was like "if I lose my voice I'll just take all of you on tour & have you sing the songs instead!!" No new music though, just all old tunes- although Wishing Well was on the list they skipped over it.  I hope at some point to be able for them to be able to play something off of "FMF" but I guess I'll just have to wait.  When Time was over, they jumped behind the stage for a few minutes and then came back out.  They were rushed to be done at a certain time so they ended up just playing 2 out of the 3 songs that were on the setlist (Mouthful ended up getting canned which is too bad because that would've been great to hear live as well).  The show ended & the lights went up and the guys got together in the middle of the stage with their arms around each other- Brad got the mic & says "Mr. Rogers Stevens, your presence is requested in the middle, immediately" everyone laughed. Then with that all 5 of them bowed. It was pretty great.  Then as each of them left, they shook hands. 
 Glen went over to his drum & grabbed his sticks- he turned to me & said "Here ya go" and gave me his drum stick & then he just chucked the other one and then shook my hand.  CT had thrown his pick off the stage -our friends behind us grabbed that & took the set list attached to CT's amp.  The show was then done & me & Karen headed towards the bathroom.  When we came out there was a lady who put soap in my hand & pointed out the body spray & she put some on me- Love Spell by Victoria Secret- everyone commented on how great I smelled (I decided right then that I would get some more when I got home).  Then I ran into a bunch of other various melon heads and we all headed outside. Then after attempting to find the band outside and some of the people needed a smoke,  we went to go back in- to then find out that there is no re-admittance. Ugh I was so mad! I tried to say I know the band, the bouncer was like "that's nice, you're still not getting in." Hey it was worth a shot. So we all decided to go grab a drink at the bar that was up above the Hiro.  We sat and enjoyed a beverage & the mister & I ordered a pizza which took forever to come.  The rest of the group was taking pictures & hanging outside while we sat at the bar.  There was a mix-up in the kitchen & it finally arrived.  We chatted & hung out & had a grand time (and finally got to eat our pizza).  Although I was a bit bummed that we weren't sitting & chatting with the guys in the band, it certainly was nice having time bonding with these people who have the same love for this amazing group of musicians.  Eventually we said our goodbyes (I said I'd see everyone again in September) & walked Karen back to the garage where her car was parked & hopped back on the subway.  After waiting forever for the right train to come for us, we finally got back to the hotel.  The mister & I watched a big crawly bug scurry past us on the stairs.  We knew that there was no way that we could spend the night there.  Also there were no windows in the room & when we shut the light off it was beyond pitch black, neither one of us would've been able to actually sleep.  So we amicably decided that we would go get back in the car, drive as far as we could on I-95 & then hit up a rest stop on the way home.  When we hit Connecticut we pulled into the rest stop right near where we had stopped on the way there & put the seats back & dozed off for a few hours.  We woke up & saw the sun rise & got back into Attleboro beating the traffic that we probably would have hit if we had stayed in the city like we had originally planned.  We got out, crawled into our comfortable bed & the mister & I decided that we would just sleep the day away. It was quite an adventure and a grand show!!

1 comment:

  1. what a wonderful tale of adventure! I am glad you had such a great time, thanks for writing and sharing it with us!