When you’re near

Despite waking up in Tulsa before the sun was even up, Friday turned out to be a pretty good all-around day. After I locating my car at the airport and making it home, I took a beautifully long nap on my couch. Then, I got up and made myself presentable for the Fiction Family show that I had won free tickets to on the radio several weeks ago. Janice (who was supposed to go to the show with me) had called in sick, so I called in the reserves and basically told Mindy she was going. I’m not sure she was thrilled and am still not quite sure she enjoyed the music, but she went and seemed to have a good time!

Before the show, Mindy and I met our friend Rachel at Fido (coffeehouse across the street from the Belcourt) for a little dinner. I was happy because I got coffee in a white cup and a turkey and brie sandwich. Mindy and Rachel were just happy. I think. I did spot Sean Watkins in line, though, as we were eating, which was super exciting, if only to me.

Then came the show. Mindy and I walked across the street, approached the box office, and I told the guy per instructions when I won the tickets, that I was on the guest list. The guy searched and searched for my name—which I can attest because I saw the list—was not on said list. Then he just gave me two tickets and told me to go in. Mindy said I should claim it was because of my good looks, but I think he was just feeling nice. Whatever the reason, I still got in to the show for free.

Once inside, I kept seeing people who work for the same company I do. I think many of them probably got tickets from the contemporary Christian music publicists who have been pushing the Fiction Family album hard because of Jon Foreman’s affiliation with Switchfoot, and, you know, Jesus. I could have gotten tickets this way, I guess, but since I wasn’t covering the concert for the magazine, it really wouldn’t have been ethical.

Finally the show started. With a guy we didn’t know and no one ever introduced. He never said what his name was. Jon and Sean didn’t either when they came out. I spent a large portion of his set trying to figure out who he was, discover why he was performing while wearing his pea coat, and wondering if his drummer knew he looked like Garth from Wayne’s World. I think it may have been Thad Cockrell, but I’ve never quite figured it out. He did get Nashville’s own Mindy Smith out on stage to sing with him, so I have to give the boy props.

Finally, Fiction Family took the stage. I really enjoyed the show more than I had expected. Usually, I only go to shows that I really want to see and expect greatness. I went into this show not knowing what I was going to get. I got some of Fiction Family’s songs, a performance of “Somebody More Like You” by Sean Watkins, a Nickel Creek song that I wasn’t sure I’d ever get to hear performed live again. Jon Foreman also did a couple of songs from his solo release, including calling his sister up on stage for “Your Love Is Strong.” Sean also sang “Not Sure,” which I’d heard him do as an encore at the last Nickel Creek show I went to and fell head-over-heels in love with immediately.

Some favorite moments:
• Jon Foreman asking for a pick from the crowd. “No, wait, this is Nashville, surely someone has a pick!” When some college guy named Jameson gave him a pick, he commented on how thick it was. Then the whole band stopped what they were doing to look at it. Then Jon tried to play with it, but obviously didn’t much like it. Mindy Smith brought out a new one from backstage and Jon returned the pick to Jameson and gave him props for his “manly” pick.

• Sean’s “heartbreaking bluegrass” song that horrified me and made me laugh at the same time.

• Jon inviting members of the front rows onto the stage to just sit around.

All in all, a good Friday night: good friends, good food, good coffee, and good music.


7 thoughts on “When you’re near”

  1. i have heard some of Thad Cockrell’s stuff and i liked it a lot.

    you should try going to shows at the Belcourt like that more often. just say you’re on the list, and when they don’t find you see if they just give you tickets. if not, just run away when they leave to go find the manager.

    also, the show sounds really good. too bad they hate the South.

  2. I liked him. At first, his mic was really hot and he scared me a bit, but that wasn’t his fault. I thought he had some really nice lyrics and good songs. And Mindy Smith is always a plus.

    If I get arrested trying to scam the Belcourt, I’m totally blaming you.

    The show was really good. It surprises me that they’re not doing more southern shows. It seems like they’d have a big fan base there. . . but they did not ask my opinion, I guess.

    Oh, and I just got reprimanded for a dress code violation. I apparently am trashy.

  3. Apparently, I have now obtained full membership rights as a hoochie mama.
    Aren’t you proud?!
    I am joking. Everyone at work is laughing about this though. I’m trying to get to the laughing point. 🙂

  4. Thanks for the review of the show! At least I now know I missed a cool show up here at The Abbey. Dang… Got any bootleg tapes? 😉 The mystery opening act’s other guitarist seems to have a ZZ Top-esque beard. I think the pea coat and maybe Greek fisherman’s hat is better suited for him.

  5. “I think many of them probably got tickets from the contemporary Christian music publicists who have been pushing the Fiction Family album hard because of Jon Foreman’s affiliation with Switchfoot, and, you know, Jesus.” –You

    I love this sentence.

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