December 06, 2012

[wanna-be] rockstar diaries // birthday edition

Look who's 36! That's right, I said it, I admitted it, and I'm owning it! 36 and Proud! Just don't tell my newly forming wrinkles or they might get the wrong idea! My birthday weekend was epic, but so as not to bore you I've put it in bullet form, so enjoy!!! For all those that sent wishes here, on Facebook, twitter etc THANK YOU SO SO MUCH!!!

For those of you who commented "wear the glasses" I got this response after leaving for the night, so I didn't wear them. I felt strange sporting "FAKIES" when I wear real glasses.

The Wanna-Be Rockstar Diaries
  • Birthday being on a Saturday is already a great start for a B-Day Weekend! 
  • Mike go the a hilarious card, because in our house we don't do sappy. Well we do, but not often. Card promised drinks, cover charge and a fun time in Nashville for the weekend ahead! 
  • Mike's mom called to wish me a happy birthday and sang to me over the phone! I loved it! My mom used to do the same thing for me every year. 
  • SEC Championship Football game was the day's entertainment. Georgia vs. Alabama, ROLL TIDE! 
  • Dinner was smoked pork butt, and lots of good sides made by Mike's parents.
  • Mike's mom made me a Coconut Cake for my birthday (my favorite) - my wish was one that wasn't wasted! 
  • My wish came true - Alabama beat Georgia in the SEC Championship, securing another SEC title AND moving on to the National Championship game against Notre Dame! And yes, I did make a wish on my only birthday candle for that win. Dedication, y'all! 
  • Cleaned up, dressed up and ready to rock Mike and I hitched a ride with some old friends to head out for a night on the town to see a few friends' bands play. 
  • Friends are so good to me, and to us, they payed our cover charge for the gig and purchased drinks for our birthdays (Mike's is on the 8th, we usually celebrate together). 
  • Awesome bands to rock the night way to for my birthday made it all the more special. An Abstract Theory (Mike's classmate from HS is the drummer), The Authority which played a ton of great 70's, 80's and 90's covers. And our dear friend [who was also one of our groomsmen] N's band Jolly Roger melted our faces with the power of METAL!
  • I have a new found respect for rockstars that play day in and day out. I used to think, it can't be THAT loud, why do they need ear plugs.... I found out why Saturday night. My ears were ringing and felt swollen, I couldn't hear and honestly felt dizzy due to the deafening sound. Ok maybe a few of the drinks and shots had something to do with it but I blame my inner ear for my side step, totally.
  • Jolly Roger's set list included METAL greats like Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Ozzy, and may others. My ears may have been bleeding but I totally enjoyed it, and was able to hear them give me a birthday shout out right before they played War Pigs, which is one of my favorite songs they play. (Set List and Lead Singer aka our pal N below - click to enlarge)

  • Rockin' night, home safe and sound due to N's wifey T giving us a ride home and in bed by 2 am. Feels like I'm 20 something again.
  • Woke-up without a hangover. SCORE! Maybe turning 36 isn't so bad after all.
  • Realized that statement was slightly false after getting ready and hitting the road to Nashville and feeling the need for a serious nap, only 3 hours after waking.
  • Heading to Nashvegas to see THE WHO in concert for OUR birthdays - epic!
  • Dozed off half way to Nashville. I hate being the person that falls asleep on the driver, but I needed it. I woke not necessarily refreshed but felt a bit better.
  • Nashville was bumping for a Sunday afternoon when we arrived in town. I assume it was because of the concert and probably the Titans game that was in session.
  • Seeing a mob of disappointed Titan fans coming down off the bridge in downtown after the game. Sorry fans of TN, I just don't like the Titans.
  • Getting a tasty rueben at the Brewhouse downtown in Nashville and some much needed water for my dehydration issue.
  • Walking around downtown taking in all the sights - getting a much needed workout, it's been too long. Hitting up all the different parts of the city that Mike didn't frequent and did frequent when he lived there and listening to his stories from that time in his life. This is the 3rd time we've been to Nashville together. All three visits have been for something specific (visits w/ friends etc) so maybe sometime in the near future the two of us can go there, stay the night downtown and really, truly enjoy it for all it is. I have yet to really sit in a honky tonk for an evening.
  • We had tons of time to spare between lunch and the concert so we hit up the Frist Center for some art and culture. I really enjoyed the installation by Carrie Mae Weems. It was moving and a bit eye opening.
  • We had just enough time to spare before the concert to take a breather and wait outside the arena before the show started. Taking in the night sky, the Christmas lights all around the city and the sound of music bellowing out of every bar. It was a moment of peace in the city. For me at least.
  • We caught the last 5 minutes of the Steelers vs. the Ravens game while in the lobby at the arena. Surrounded by a few people in front of the TV it took me a few moments to realize I was actually surrounded by people rooting FOR the Steelers. That doesn't happen often. But I was excited. I made jokes with a few of them, and we cheered together. I didn't get to watch the whole game but being tied 20/20 at the final moments of the game and having the Steelers win it by only a field goal was pretty amazing. Cherry on top of a birthday weekend for sure!!! 
Nashville should be the City That Never Sleeps • via my instgram

THE WHO // 12.2.12 
I wanted to do this in bullet form as to not lose your interest before getting to this part. There was a lot from my birthday to take in, but I will say this. The show was AMAZING! If you've never seen The Who and want to, I say DO IT. Eat ramen noodles for weeks if you have to, in order to afford tickets, you won't be disappointed.

Mike had purchased Pearl Jam tickets for us for our anniversary so when we discovered The Who was coming to town, I knew I would have to get them for us, for our birthdays. As Mike described this concert to one of the other fans there, it was his White Whale. He's been wanting to see them for ages. As I believe I stated before, I've heard The Who live before - in 1976. My mother was pregnant at the time, and in the 2nd row and apparently I was rocking out in the womb, kicking to the beat of the music. Obviously I have no memory of this, but I like the thought of being somewhat present at The Who show in the 70's.

We walked around the arena about 2 times in circles casing out the food and the drinks. We settled on some Gatorade since we were still feeling dried out, and later some Diet Pepsi (gag, I hate Pepsi) and some "Gas Station" style pizza from one of the venders to fill us up before the show.

When they finally opened the upper level to patrons we headed up to our seats that were in Section 336. I would have loved to get closer seats but with so much happening at the end of this year that will require money, I got the closest most affordable seats that were left. The upper level, it wouldn't be great but we would be THERE!

At the top of the steps there were ushers asking us what our section was, and then directing us to a table. The man said we'd be issued new seats. Immediate panic... NEW SEATS? Better ones? Or crappier ones? WTF I paid good money for these tickets .. I deserve... OH... wait... when the woman handed us our new tickets... they read Section 104. WHAT? UPGRADE? HELL YEAH!!!!

Happy as a lark I followed Mike down the steps to our new level seats... we were in section 104, row H and we were off to the right side of the stage. SCORE!!! And other than a family that drove me absolutely bonkers because they couldn't stay in their seats the entire wait for the show, it was perfect! We were the first 2 seats in that row.

If you have never heard of this band - google them. Trust me you will love them. If you enjoy music that sounds and feels like classic soul and early rock, you'll love them. If you miss James Brown, or Otis Redding - you will be obsessed with their lead singer. They had so much heart and great stage presence. I mean they were opening for The Who!!! And they killed it and eventually a crowd that was once sitting was standing and dancing with them by the time they got to their last 4 songs. What I thought was doubly cool was that after the show, they were going to be playing across the street at Tootsies at 12:00 midnight. If ONLY we didn't have to head home after the show I would have gone in a heartbeat to hear more by them.

Mike's favorite Who album is Quadrophenia. He was recently excited to find it on vinyl while picking at a local antique store. He'd been searching for it for some time, and this one was in great condition. He didn't hesitate to bring it home. I myself, am fan of The Who, but I don't have the history with the band like Mike does. I can recall my father listening to them from time to time, and of course thanks to CIS shows we all know their most popular tunes, but I've always been a huge fan of Tommy. Maybe it's my roots of loving all things rock-opera/musical. I was obsessed with Sgt. Peppers as a kid. Tommy's music really drew me in. I only recently watched the movie with Mike and all I could say at the end was "THE EFF?" It made no true sense to me, but I still loved the music and the imagery. And maybe much like Sgt. Peppers if I had just done some LSD it might have made it more understandable. To be fair, I watched Sgt. Peppers a while back as an adult and I thought the same thing... "THE EFF IS THIS ALL ABOUT?!?!?" The music, clearly.

The lights dimmed, and the crowd went crazy as the last surviving members of The Who and their band took the stage. I tugged on Mike's shirt sleeve and said what I always say, "They're RIGHT there!!!" I always get a rush knowing I'm in the SAME room, even though it's HUGE and I paid money to be there, with someone I idolize. I didn't cry when Pete and Roger took the stage [like I did when I saw AC/DC], but I was grinning from ear to ear.

The band was bigger than normal, with extra guitars, brass instruments, keyboards and pianos. I didn't realize until about half way through that they were playing the entire Quadrophenia album as intended. Every excerpt, every cut to, every note as you would hear it on the album was played as if you were in the middle of a broadway show, or listening to a symphony. It finally clicked for me after about the 4th song.

Each musical number was backed by graphics on three screens above their heads, and one behind them. Historical moments not just for the band but also in US and world history. It really hit me how much other countries pay attention to what happens here in the United States, and often times how little I know about what is happening over seas. I only know what the news tells me, for some reason it feels like The Who, and people involved in their stage show dug deeper.

It's hard for me to remember exactly what images, went with what songs but it was all, extremely moving. Between reliving the golden years with Keith Moon & John Entwistle through photos and video that they played during key points in songs to historical moments in our history as a country. There were great moments when they played a bass solo by John on the big screen, and moments when they would play a drum solo by Keith as well as moments when he took the mic during shows to sing. I looked down and you could see both Pete and Roger turned toward the screens to watch these moments. Smaller screens revealed footage of their faces reacting to this video and they smiled, laughed and you could tell they truly felt lucky to have done all they have, with these people.

Half way through one of the songs there was footage, ranging from the Vietnam War up until current times today, highlighting wars, and struggle the US has had like 9-11, Hurricane Katrina, and many others. At this point, I lost it. Welled up and tears were streaming down my face. I can't describe to you how moving it was to hear their voices with these images. Part way through the Union Jack flag, morphed into the US flag and the fan cheered. It was truly moving.

For the last song of the set, the lights dimmed, and slowly an image of what looked like rain on the screens started to light up [upon further focus I realized it was video of waves, turned on it's side made to look like sparkling rain]. The band started to play the opening notes of "Love Reign O'er Me" and the crowd went nuts. For most of the set, most of the crowd, ourselves included were sitting. To be fair most of the crowd was much older than me, with a mix of youth and 20 somethings but it was almost as if you were at a symphony show, as I said before. Sitting didn't seem strange at all. Once this song started though, EVERYONE was on their feet. It was the finale and you didn't want to miss a moment of it.
The Who is Magic • via my instagram
I welled up again - maybe it was all the footage I just watched, or because I've always felt moved when I heard this song but tears came quickly. It was, amazing. I couldn't believe after all these years, they still had it. And I was SO thankful!

Once finished - the band addressed the audience for the first time. I found it odd during the performance that they never said anything between songs - but then I realized it was like a play, or a show, not a concert and that was their full intention. Pete took time to talk to the crowd, and make jokes and explain Rogers vision for this show and how he wanted to present it, and how the band of talented musicians, including Pete's brother pulled it off and brought it to life.

It was so great to see their personality, to see them talking, chatting and joking with one another on stage. Roger took time to compliment Nashville on the Ryman Auditorium and how the town was so lucky to have a building with so much soul. I could have swore that they stated that the band had NEVER played Nashville, but don't quote me on that - they did however thank us for a well received welcome and appreciation for their evening.

To thank us, they started in to the set to play ... AND MORE of their evening. They played many key hits from over the years. I was so happy they decided to include Pinball Wizard, because it's one of my favorites. I would have loved to hear them also sing Tommy. The entire band ended the night with "Won't Get Fooled Again" and I"m happy to say that the entire night Roger hit EVERY note, just as he would have back in the day, it was amazing!!!!

The Who • via Mike's Instagram
The entire band gave a bow and waved goodnight leaving only Roger and Pete on the stage to talk with the audience one last night. As the screams of adoration died down Pete pulled out his acoustic guitar and Roger walked to the front of the stage with a cup of tea. Only spotlights remained at this time. There was no flash, no sparkle from the lights. Only spotlights and big screens to see them up close. Pete started in with Tea and Theatre. Just the two of them, the original members to close out the night with a moving song. I welled up again. Yes, rock makes me cry people.

Will you have some tea 
At the theatre with me? 
We did it all 
Didn't we? 

Jumped every wall 
Unravelled codes 

Wired all the roads 
So seamlessly 
We made it work 
But one of us failed 
That makes it so sad 
A great dream derailed
One of us - gone 
One of us - mad 
One of us - me 
All of us sad 
All of us sad 

Lean on my shoulder now 
This story is done
 It's getting colder now 
A thousand songs
Still smoulder now 
We play them as one 
We're older now 
All of us sad 
All of us free 
Before we walk from this stage 
Two of us 

Will you have some tea 
Will you have some tea 
At the theatre with me


It was beautiful, perfect and epic to close with this song, just the two of them. I left with excitement, warm fuzzes and not a single ounce of disappointment.

I was so happy to have the chance to gift this to my husband, Mike for his birthday. And it was a gift to myself too. Every time we share music together, it's awesome. And I'm happy I gave him the chance to catch his musical White Whale.

So there you have it, after a long ride home, my birthday weekend was over. We went to bed at 2 am, woke up for work the next day and worked like zombies. But I wouldn't change a sleepless second for anything. 36 has started with a bag and I intend to enjoy every moment of it!
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Devon said...

What an epic way to celebrate 36! Happy birthday Kelly! I hope this year brings you many great gifts and surprises. I'm happy I've been able to get to know you. Cheers!

ps you make 36 look good!

Melody said...


Second of all, I was just telling Nate yesterday about how you
saw the Who and how I was
jealous and how I couldn't wait to hear what the
set list was.
I knew they were playing Quadrophenia (one of my top 5 album picks and one of the top two albums that changed my life)
but I wasn't sure if
they'd play it all or
just do like a greatest hits version.
I'm SO glad they're being true to the record, but honestly I wouldn't expect less from Pete and Roger. :)

PS- I don't know why the formatting is all weird. The internet apologizes.

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