Where was I?
Last Thursday, I got a call from my old boss/buddy JP. He was in town for meetings and wanted to know if I had some spare time to hang out, especially since he brought his guitar. Sadly, I had to decline because Dawn and I were in the process of moving and the apartment was a wreck – not to mention the painting and cleaning we were doing at the new house.
He understood, and I chalked this up as another failed get-together. JP was on his way to Jeff Albert status: failed meetings, etc. Then that afternoon, as the wife and I were driving The Boy to Burleson so he could spend spring break with his friends and time with his dad, I got a text message from JP. To paraphrase, he asked if I was sure that I was busy because he just got VIP passes to SXSW for either Thursday or Friday night. Free food, free drinks, free show all from a VIP tent sponsored by Fuze, Miller Lite, and HEB.
(For the unitiated, SXSW is a yearly music/film showcase in Austin featuring 1600 or so bands including some that I would have really loved to have seen. REM at Stubb’s BBQ would have been great, as would The Lemonheads, Billy Bragg, and The Weakerthans just to name a few.)
I told Dawn that I didn’t feel like I should go because of everything else we had going on. However, she talked me into it. I let JP know, and he told me that he could get a third pass for her if she’d like. I told him to go ahead, even though she had been sick for days. Better safe than sorry, you know?
On Friday, I called JP and we realized that the passes were for an auditorium on the lake on the edge of downtown and the headliner for the night (at the very reasonable time of 8pm) was The BoDeans. I had actually seen them before, way back in 1989, when they opened for U2 in Fort Worth during the Joshua Tree tour. Back then, they only had one “hit” (It’s Only Love) but I became a fan. When they released ‘Home’, I was hooked. After that, they didn’t do a whole lot until, of all things, the TV show Party Of Five brought them back into the spotlight thanks to the theme song of the show (Closer To Free, not to be confused with the Indigo Girls’ Closer To Fine).
When we met up at the park (and, yes, Dawn decided to tough it out thanks in large part to the new BoDeans song that is getting a lot of airplay in Austin on the greatness of KGSR) there were not many people there. We milled about at the HEB booth for a few minutes, picking up some swag in the form of a pen, a bag, and a couple of HEB Rocks! bandanas, before heading to the VIP area. Once there, we realized that we had special seating at stage level just to the left of the stage. We were just a few feet from the band when they hit the stage. And by then, the lawn was packed. Talk about feeling special…
There isn’t a whole lot I can say about the show other than that they were even better than I remembered. They didn’t play a couple of my faves, but they did manage to squeeze in several that I really dig (including Naked and Good Things, which is one of “our” songs). The highlights for me were the new song (Everyday, which can be heard on their website that I link to above) and Fadeaway, which featured a lengthy jam session in the middle.
Finally, Dawn got a ton of great pics and video from the show. If you want to see the entire library of pics and video, then this is your link. Be prepared for a self-portrait from JP as well as lots of cools views. Two bad things, though. First, the video quality got lost in the upload. They look better when played straight from my hard drive. Second, the above-mentioned jam session from Fadeaway could not be included because it is over 100MB. After posting this, I am going to look for other options to get it online because it is pretty effin’ cool.
Thanks, JP, for the invite. Not only was it good to see you, but we had a much-needed blast.
Keep turning ’round, so very hard.