Saturday, March 30, 2013


DISCLAIMER: This post is real heavy on the videos. I went a bit YouTube-happy which may mean they don't show properly on a mobile device or the post will take forever to load. 

As I mentioned in that last post, it's been a very busy week. After shaking my boum boum at La Boum Brunch (I swear I'll never write that again) over the weekend, I ventured out on a Tuesday night (*gasp*) with friends Anna and Rachel to get our country fix in the form of a Gloriana concert at the 9:30 Club.

I have to admit, I only knew about three Gloriana songs at the time I bought my tickets, but I liked those three songs, tickets were cheap, and it had been a long time since I'd been to a concert. It was an impulse buy on a Sunday night last month but, by the time the concert rolled around, I was very excited. 

I binge-listened to Gloriana songs on Spotify all day Tuesday which gave a break to the Beyonce, JT, and Lumineers I had on heavy rotation. If nothing else, I wanted to be able to sway to the right beat and maybe even sing along every other word.

Anna, Rachel and I decided to meet at the 9:30 Club and grab a bite to eat beforehand. I, of course, was late because I have this condition called "Metro Disorientation" which means that, no matter what, I will always emerge from the underground Metro stop and walk the wrong direction. Always. After walking four blocks out of my way, I realized that I hadn't seen a single cowboy hat or pair of boots (aside from my own). Completely normal for this area, but not normal for the night of a country concert.There were no fellas in slightly-too-tight Levis in sight. Those are the tell-tale signs of a country concert.  If you aren't sure whether or not you are at a country concert, here's how you know:
  • Boots
  • Belt buckles
  • Cowboy hats
  • Woo girls
For some reason, I find the Woo Girls are plentiful at country concerts, more so than at any other genre (aside from boy bands, natch.) You know the Woo Girls. Either you saw the phenomenon explained on How I Met Your Mother (below) or you've encountered them yourself. We all have. At times, ladies, we've all probably been them. Then we realized how irritating they are and, hopefully, reined it in. 

I'm not sure why I always encounter them at country venues but I think it's because hats and boots are very woo-inducing accessories. You get excited - I get it. I went to my fair share of pop concerts when I was younger (Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync, 98 Degrees....basically if 4-5 guys were on a stage dancing, I saw it) and you've never heard "woooooos" like that before. But, in those cases, the wooos are age-appropriate. I have no problem with squealing teenagers at a concert. My annoyance is when those woo girls grow up and enhance their woos with alcohol, meaning they woo but also bump into you and think it's adorably hilarious. Or worse, they woo throughout the concert in your ear. No good comes from a drunk woo girl. 

Fortunately, the woo girls were minimally present at the Gloriana concert and I only had to encounter them in the bathroom (that's where they have their woo girl meetings pre-concert). I knew they were woo girls because they said things like, "I told him, she is such a skank. And he was like, I know. And then we did shots and it was like, the best night and he is totally a cool guy. By the way, I love your new skirt you stupid bitch." Ummm, worst friend ever? Why do girls call each other "stupid bitch" like it's cute and clever. You know what's cute? Puppies. Call your friend a puppy. 

Holy smokes, now I'm way off topic. 

Ok, so I finally got reoriented with where I needed to go - which means I started saying the alphabet to myself to figure out how to get to V Street - and found my friends. I got a delicious vegetarian wrap and a beer. (Because nothing goes better with beer than alfalfa sprouts.)

At that point, it was game time. You know what I'm talking about. I had to start my slow ascent to the front of the stage. Because that is what I do. We knew nothing about the opening act but, having been to country concerts before, we were playing the odds that he would be an attractive singer-songwriter type. 

We were right. 

Canaan Smith opened the show and was fantastic. He sang solo and acoustic and was far better live than in the song I tried to download the next day. 

We were impressed and debated even going to meet him when he said he'd be "signing merch" in the back after his set. But I was ready for Gloriana to take the stage and decided to stay put - after all, I'd been their biggest fan for almost 48 hours now! Fortunately, the woo girl at the front of the stage was crushing hard on Canaan and left to go profess her love. This was my chance to claim a spot at the front. Victory was mine!

Unfortunately, victory meant I was sandwiched between two older gentlemen who each appeared to have come to the concert solo. One of them took reeeeally close-up photos of the faces of each member of Gloriana. (Dear Gloriana, if you go missing, I think THAT GUY did it.) Anna and Rachel were directly behind me, trying to push the couple blocking their path out of the way. I offered to switch spots with them throughout the concert but I think they saw the pride I take in being in the front. 

Being in the front means you get to steal glances at the set list - which is great if you have a working knowledge of the band's repertoire and can identify the songs based on the keywords that appear on the set list. I could not. So, to me it just looked like a vocabulary test sitting on the stage. 

Gloriana was AMAZING. Seriously, so good live. I'd venture to say that they also sounded just as good - if not better- than on the radio. That's always how I evaluate a concert. 

Could I have stayed home with a not-six-dollar Bud Light, listened to $1.29 downloads and had just as good an experience? 

This time, no, I couldn't. (For Bob Dylan, yes.) The music sounded great, the vocals were spot-on and the banter was enjoyable. Plus, they sang this song about me called "Carolina Rose" which is my new favorite. Ok, so maybe it's not about me per se, but they kept looking at me while they sang which is kiiiiind of the same. Like, now they know that the song is about me - they just didn't know at the time when they wrote it. Moment of clarity. Boom. 

Gloriana said that we were the best crowd ever (Come on, guys, we know you say that to all the crowds. You're such a tease.) and so rather than do the whole "we're pretending the concert is over so you'll keep cheering and then we'll come out and do an encore even though we're planning the encore all along" charade, they just told us they would go ahead and do it. I like a band that cuts to the chase. I wanted an encore but it was also way past my bedtime on a Tuesday. As everyone's favorite eye witness Sweet Brown says, "Ain't nobody got time for that." 

The encore was the perfect way to end the show - a cover of the Lumineers' hit "Ho Hey" which I could sing along to - not just because I know the song but also because the chorus is two words so even I couldn't mess it up. 

Moral of this story is, if Gloriana is playing in your town, you should go. Also, if you have the chance to stand at the front of the stage, do it. Even if it means standing between two potential serial killers. (If you know for a fact they are serial killers, then that is another story. DON'T DO IT.) Lastly,don't be a woo girl. 

And now, for your viewing pleasure, a bit more Gloriana. 

Carolina Rose:

Wild at Heart:
(This one features a fourth member who Rachel and Anna informed me quit the band via Twitter.)

Can't Shake You:

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