Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Food and Creative Love

Last night was long awaited. The anticipation and energy was palpable. The giddiness was seeping out of my every pore and infecting those around me. I was not disappointed. Rusted Root came through for me and replaced my day to day inner turbulence with light and happiness. Simply put, they rocked the house. Jeff and I had dinner at Tir Na NÓg Irish Pub in Raleigh before heading to the concert. They never disappoint either. Check out their menu and you'll see why. Everything I have ever had there is phenomenal. They had a couple of men playing some Irish jigs that really enhanced the atmosphere. You feel like part of a family when you're in there. My only word of warning is that the portions are order accordingly. If you get an appetizer and 2 of you want the same entree, get one order and split it. This is my opinion as I've never been able to finish a dish there. Jeff however, has no problem.

After filling our bellies with excellent Irish food and beer, we walked the few blocks over to the Lincoln Theatre. It doesn't look like much inside or out, but it's clean and has pretty good sound. I was amazed that there was no bathroom stall carvings or graffiti. That's usually a bar/theater staple, you know? There was only a faint smell of smoke which also surprised me. Smoking is limited to the rear of the theater, even though most didn't seem to abide by that. We got great seats on the upper balcony only about 20 feet from the stage. My advise is to get there when the doors open or else you'll have to stand the whole time. The opening band One Flew South came on at 8pm and played for about 45 minutes. They were alright. They were kind of an acoustic, a'cappella, folksy, country, pop fusion band I guess. They had excellent harmony! Their soundboard was small in comparison to Rusted Root and the person operating it didn't seem to be too experienced because for 3 men, 2 guitars and a tambourine without the castanets....they were incredibly loud which made it sound a little distorted at times. Some of the songs were good though and I'll have to check out some of their other stuff to be able to give a full review.

After OFS left the stage, the crowd got antsy for Rusted Root to come out. People were shoving, vying for a better spot to watch the show. Then it happened..Rusted Root took the stage and blew me away. They sounded amazing and had an energy about them that just pulsed through the room, my heart seemingly beating to every beat of the drum. If I remember correctly, they opened with Food and Creative Love. They played some of their older stuff which are favorites to all. Back to the Earth, Martyr, Laugh as the Sun, and Lost in a Crowd were included as well as some new stuff that will be on their album coming out this June. They closed with Send Me On My Way and somehow breathed new life into every song. They never sound the same from one concert to the next and I love that. You never know what to expect.

This was the 2nd time I've seen them and both times just left me wanting more. You can't help but dance when you hear them play. Their music just winds its way inside you leaving you a helpless puppet, dancing...but not remembering when or how it started. You just know you can't stop it and don't really want to. The energy feeds you until everyone there is drunk on the power of the music and is undulating and moving almost as one. This is what it looked like from the balcony in any case. There were a few groups of people who were content to lean against the wall with their eyes closed and absorb the sounds of one of the greatest jam bands in existence.

Their encore included Cat Turned Blue and Ecstasy as well as a cover of Elvis' Suspicious Minds. They blended it all into one long song that had Jeff and I thrashing around the floor dancing like a couple of careless teenagers. I was sad when it was over, but to top off the night, as we were leaving, Liz Berlin was at the souvenir table and we got her to sign the copy of her CD that Jeff bought. I wanted to wait around to see if the other band members came out, but it was 11:30 and Jeff had to get up for work the next day and for all we knew, we'd be sitting there for 2 more hours. Ah well, maybe next time. I had a fabulous night with great food, great music and a great husband. What better way could a girl ask for to celebrate an early 7th anniversary? I can't think of one.