Monday, September 13, 2010

Tonic Concert - Again!

Yes, I went to another Tonic concert... the one in Atlanta just wasn't enough, not when I could go to another free concert in Nashville! As with the last concert post, this is just a long string of photos, so feel free to skip it if Tonic doesn't interest you. ;) The girls didn't go with me to this show - nor did Chris; I went alone, isn't that lame? - so this post is only concert photos, not even any fun ones of the kids. So, you have been warned!

The show was in downtown Nashville on the town green (or the public square; it seems to go by both names) as part of a free Thursday night concert series called "Live on the Green." I put the girls to bed at Gran and Grandad's house (well, Gran and Grandad mostly put them to bed at the girls' request!) and then, a few hours later, I left for the show. Yes, a few HOURS later. Tonic wasn't scheduled to go on until 9:30 - and that is Central time, not Eastern, so it was like 10:30 to me. I stopped at Rite-Aid to get some new batteries for my camera and then headed into downtown Nashville, armed with my trusty Googlemaps directions, my GPS, and the description from Chris's dad of the location, which I then looked at on Google's satellite maps. And what a cool parking deck they have!! It is UNDER the green. You drive down into the ground to park. Very efficient idea.

It started sprinkling as I drove into Nashville. Oh well, I thought. At the parking deck, I waited to pay for several minutes as each car seemed to stay at the pay booth for a long time. When I finally pulled up and handed the guy three dollars (because the website said that it would cost $3 to park), he said, "Somebody with cash, finally! And I don't even have to make change!" Apparently everybody else was paying with their credit cards...

So, up the elevator to the top, and I wandered in to find a spot. I was approaching the stage area at nearly 9:00, but it was already somewhat crowded. I did end up with a view along the front, although I was not right smack in front, where I would have liked to be! So, these photos were all quite dim because my flash isn't quite powerful enough, and I had to enhance them with fill light and such so they would be somewhat clear. You can see a better view of any of them by clicking on each photo.

Here is Jeff, the lead guitarist, who apparently has some issue with his guitar that needed attending to. He laid it down on the stage and squatted down to fiddle with it. He had several guitars on stage in a rack - the roadie guy, who is in the background, always turns them all on as the show is starting before the band takes the stage, which makes a delightfully loud and obnoxious sound. Jeff was the one furthest away from me, so this is one of the dimmest photos.

Group shot: Jeff, Emerson (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), Dan (bass guitar). Looks like Emerson's guitar needed some adjustment as well.

The setlist for the night (I wrote it down - I know, lame again):
Open Up Your Eyes
Take Me as I Am
Bigger Than Both
Future Says Run
Top Falls Down
You Wanted More
I Want it to Be
Release Me
Wicked Soldier
Come Rest Your Head
Precious Little Bird
If You Could Only See
Casual Affair

No encore... before starting Casual Affair, Emerson said something like, "Thanks for having us tonight, it's been great," and then after that song, he said, "We're just gonna do this last one now so you can all get home," and they played Irish. I must say, it is much more fun when there is an encore like they did in Atlanta, but it certainly was getting late. They started the show at 9:15 Central and it ended just a bit after 10:30 (a bit after 11:30 to me!). I was a bit surprised that they didn't play Soldier's Daughter - they did that one in Atlanta. But hey, they played seventeen songs in an hour and twenty minutes - that's a lot! My favorite songs for them to play live are Mountain, Casual Affair, and Come Rest Your Head - they do such a great job playing those!!

Shot of the whole stage... Kevin Murphy drummed for them, but he remains hidden behind all the equipment in most shots.

I liked the composition of this one with Dan, the bassist, appearing in the little gap there.

Emerson wore a tie tonight, as you can see... I think he's singing Take Me as I Am here.

Singing only here, no hands on the guitar

Dan does his thing on the bass

Here's a glimpse of Kevin playing the drums... funny little tidbit from the show: at one point there was a long guitar riff thing going on between Jeff and Dan, and just as I looked around and thought, "Hmm, where is Emerson? He's gone!" he reappeared back on stage, cigarette in one hand, beer in the other. Kevin apparently indicated that he was thirsty, so Emerson stepped up on the platform where the drums were set up, leaned over, and poured some of the beer into Kevin's mouth - and he didn't miss a beat (literally!). It was a talented little display of teamwork, ha ha.

I like that in this group shot, you can see that the roadie is giving somebody on the board a big thumbs down sign... either he thinks what they are doing stinks, or he's asking them to turn something down!

Happy Emerson
(you can see that the camera liked giving him redeye in several shots...)

Lots of Emerson singing...

group shot

So maybe Emerson said something funny to Jeff here...

Captured lots of different expressions from Jeff...
I love watching the two of them playing right next to each other... very interesting to watch. Emerson always has his eyes on Jeff at the beginning of this song (Mountain), I assume to make sure they are playing the detailed guitar intro in synch with each other.

Emerson takes a turn with Dan now

All three together

"Mountain!" Dan does the backup vocals for this song. They do an incredible job with this song live - just beautiful. If you want to hear for yourself, go listen to this live clip of them performing the song earlier this year.

Happy Emerson again :)

Mad-looking Emerson... yeah, I hate that cigarette too, buddy. :(
Okay, so he's not really making that face at his cigarette, most likely. Chris's mom and I had a discussion about smoking the next day on the way to the apple orchard (prompted by my telling about the lady who was right next to me at the concert and lit up right there where she was inches away from strangers and blew smoke everywhere rather than stepping away from the crowd). Chris's mom was talking about a relative who has tried everything to quit smoking and cannot break the habit... the drug can seriously have a hold on one's body, and that is so sad to me that people prone to addictive-type things like smoking are basically killing themselves and can't physically make themselves stop, even the ones who really want to stop. And Emerson's got a great voice - I hate to see him do something that might mess it up, on top of how bad it is for his body... Sorry, rambling here about a depressing subject, so I'll move on now.

Another peekaboo shot from behind the speakers... or amps, whatever those big black box things are. ;)

I love the different expressions on each face here... another interesting look from Jeff, and Emerson looking all serious. Except he had undone his tie at this point, or it undid itself, so not business-like serious. ;)

Singing his heart out

I love the look on his face here for some reason!

Jeff and Em jamming again

Silly and serious again... as I said, just really fun to watch the two of them playing side by side!

My favorite group shot - the last one I took of all three of them

And there goes the tie... it's not gonna stay around his shoulders any longer!

So, at the end of the show, it was announced that Tonic was going to be at the "after party" at the Hard Rock Cafe a couple blocks away... they were going to play another set, I think, in something referred to as "the reverb room." Wow, that sounded cool... but I didn't go. Logic won out. It was already nearly midnight for me, I had driven four hours earlier in the day and would be driving four hours back home the next day, and I knew I'd be up at 7:00 with the girls, getting them ready to go to the apple orchard (another trip of 40 minutes there and 40 minutes back). I would love to hear about it from somebody who went so I can live vicariously through them. ;) I really considered going... but really, wouldn't it be even lamer to go to the Hard Rock Cafe than it already was to go to a concert alone? If Chris was there with me, I would have dragged him there to make a date out of it! Maybe one day... ah, yes, one day, if I am at a place in my life where I can do something like this again, that is. I know right now I am at a good stage to do this kind of thing since I don't have a baby currently, and I'm not quite too old yet, ha ha, even though Chris teased me about "returning to teenage life" for a night.

So, after the show, it had begun to drizzle a bit. I hung around and checked my email on my phone, waiting to see if the band might come down for autographs or anything. There wasn't a group of people hanging on the police fence waiting for them (like in ATL), except one girl who was begging the security guy to ask Jeff to come down for a photo... and what a nice guy, he obliged, even though this girl was practically all over him for the picture which her boyfriend (I assume) was taking - ick. Jeff had his arm around her shoulder but his hand held out away in a fist, kind of stiff, like he was trying not to get too close, hee hee. So, I didn't want to look that desperately obsessed, and I didn't go hang on the fence or anything. ;) The rain was starting to pick up, so they were all staying up under cover anyway, and likely needing to get to the Hard Rock soon.

So I made my way to the elevators, and I just want to say now how safe I felt here in a big city downtown area - what a nice area! The concert itself was well set up, with security in prominent locations across the green. And people are friendly... a man who was working at the hot dog stand was closing up and got on the elevator at the same time as I did, and he started commenting about the nice evening (even though it was raining - it was cool and fallish-feeling, which was great!), and he asked me if I'd had a hot dog. I told him, no, I'd eaten before coming to the show, and he responded, "Well, we'll get you next week, then!" I said I would love to have a hot dog next week, but I lived out of town, and he asked where... just a nice, friendly conversation. The elevator had buttons on it for P, P1, P2, and P3 (and maybe P4 too?), and I assumed I was parked on P1 - but the button wouldn't stay lit, and the elevator passed that floor. I figured out that I was on P2, don't know why P1 didn't work... but wouldn't you know it, the nice hot dog man drove past me as I was getting in my car and he rolled down the window and said, "Oh, glad to see you found it! have a nice night!" So friendly - that's the South, even in a larger city! :)

So, I crawled into bed at about 1:15 Eastern... and drank lots of coffee the next day for the drive back home! Starbucks "Anniversary" blend is really good, by the way!

Thanks to Tonic for another fabulous performance... maybe Chattanooga's next? Birmingham? Huntsville? Or back to the ATL?

And I leave you with a sideways, soundless video of Emerson singing part of Come Rest Your Head. What is the point, you may ask? Hmm... I guess because I wasn't supposed to take video at this concert and was secretly retaliating and using the lame video option on my digital camera because I had not brought the camcorder so I could follow the Live on the Green rules. And because he does a great job performing this song, along with Casual Affair (no video of that ne, sorry - didn't want to run out of space on my memory card!). If you have a laptop, it helps to turn it sideways... ;)

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