What a night…in more ways than one.
The weather has been lovely lately—in the 70s and 80s, with some humidity (but not too bad)—perfect for an outdoor nighttime concert, actually. So we were thinking we would probably be a little too hot at the concert…until we heard the weather forecast: “chance of showers and low 70s.” Well, let me tell you, we would have LOVED low 70s! Yes, it rained all day and was cool bordering on cold. We had to alter our outfits at the last minute (to long sleeves and jeans) but didn’t really worry about coats because it was just “cool.” Well, it was pouring buckets as we drove to the concert—and the temperature was dropping. But we still weren’t that worried. We also knew we had reserved seats in the covered section so the rain wasn’t a big deal.
We stopped to eat since we had budgeted time for that—and ended up at Kazé, a newish Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi bar. While waiting to be seated, we mentioned going to the concert, and the hostess said she loved that pavilion, except it was usually a little windy and cool even in the covered section. It was at that point that we started worrying that we might be cold. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal—Tom had a bulgogi steak hibachi dinner and of course I had sushi! It was REALLY good!
After dinner we decided to stop at Kohls to see if we could find a sweatshirt for me (Tom had his jean jacket left in the car from our DC weekend). We hit on a Clearance rack and found each of us a fleece hoodie for $3.50!! (We also found us each another jacket at 70% off!)
So we get to the pavilion and decide to upgrade to VIP parking since 1) we wanted to be close in case it was raining and 2) we wanted to hopefully be able to get out quickly so we didn’t get stuck in post-concert traffic. So we paid the $20 (yuck) and were directed…to a dirt lot! Yes, the VIP parking was in a dirt/gravel lot—which wouldn’t have been all that bad had it not been wet and muddy and gross. We just couldn’t get over the fact that the VIP parking was so horrible! (Granted, we were just “upgraded VIP” so the actual VIP lot might have been nicer. But still. For $20 I want a paved lot.)
We were there about 20 minutes before the gates opened, and it was definitely getting cooler (so we were glad we had jackets) and were happy it wasn’t raining. Once in the pavilion, we headed to the bathrooms and then our seats. We were on the far left about 10 rows back and had a nice view of the stage. A really nice couple sat down next to us and we enjoyed chatting with them (and I liked her because she brought a lap blanket that she shared!). They were funny and warned us ahead of time that they were spending the night so they could drink beer, so they would be up and down a few times throughout the concert. If they weren’t so nice to begin with, that would have bothered me to no end (see criticisms, below).
Unfortunately, the concert started about 25 minutes late, but at least there was no opening act. And in short, James Taylor is very cool. He sounds great, even if he is getting up there in years. We enjoyed it overall, but I have a few criticisms—of concerts in general and the actual concert:
“Concert standers” irritate me.
I could understand if it was a rock concert or dance music, but it’s James Taylor. A nice easy-going, fairly mellow concert. No need to stand up and dance at your seat. Wave your arms or clap if you must, but please do not stand up. Luckily it didn’t happen TOO often, but we had to stand up on a few occasions just to be able to see, and I didn’t appreciate it.
If you are a renowned artist, play your hits.
Now, understandably, JT has a TON of hits so he couldn’t possibly play them all…but I came to hear James Taylor sing James Taylor songs, not cover songs or songs he just likes. Yes, you still get to hear the lovely JT voice, but I would much rather have heard more of my favorites. I would say about half of the songs were non-JT songs.
Concert-goers who can’t sit still.
I just don’t understand paying good money to see someone in concert, and then spending the entire concert getting up and down (and irritating the people in your row, and everyone behind you that you are blocking) to get food and alcohol. Granted it wasn’t everyone, but still too many people in my opinion. I kinda wanted to say “Why didn’t you just stay at home to drink beer and eat nachos?”
We were watching the clock, of course, knowing we had the 2-hour drive home ahead of us. It was worse for Tom, since he knew he had to get up really early…so we had a little butting of the heads (as usual): He wanted to leave right when the concert was over. I wanted to stay for the encores because we paid a lot of money for those tickets. I could understand why he wanted to leave, and he could understand why I wanted to stay…so we compromised and stayed for one encore and left when the second one started. Someday, we have to go to a concert where we can stay for the whole thing—all the concerts we’ve gone to together we’ve had to leave early for the same reasons.
So we were headed home by 10:30 (got out of the parking lot quickly since we left way before most people) and made it home shortly after midnight.