Jul 20, 2008

What a NIGHT!

Edited to add: This blog post took me over three hours to write because I spent so much time on YouTube watching Ms. McBride sing. What.a.voice.

"So, was it hot?" you ask?

Um, yeah. It was hot.

"Did you almost faint from the heat?" you wonder.

Well, yes. Yes, we did.

"But was it fun?"

Y.E.S. Yes, it was fun.

That BFF of mine? She rocks. And so did Martina. And Jack Ingram. What a show!

Burlene (that's my BFF - I'll have to explain some day why I call her Burlene, especially since her name is really Matilda) and her daughters treated me to one heckuva fun time. We started out by puttin' on the feed bag here. I went with my old standby, a turkey melt and some sweeeeeet tea. De-licious! Thinly sliced deli turkey, some melted provolone cheese and just-made guacamole on wheat bread?? Heaven!

Sorry. Reminiscing there for a moment. Made myself hungry.

Then we motored on the down the highway to the furnace venue and parked our trusty ride. Burlene drives a gangsta car. I felt safe. No one would mess with four women in a gangsta car, especially if one of them is Annie Oakley.

After picking up our tickets at the Will Call window and securing some beverages, we found our seats... right down front. We thought they were on the second row. Turns out they were on the fourth row. Oh, darn. The fourth row was BETTER than the second row! Row two might have been a little too close, and our necks woulda been sore from tiltin' our heads back for three hours. But there we were. Front and center. Oh, yes ma'am. C.E.N.T.E.R. In a word, our seats were perfect. Hot, but perfect.

There were two warm up acts. We missed the first one. The second one, however, was great. Jack Ingram is a homegrown Texas boy. I hafta confess: I wasn't familiar with his music. I typically listen to Christian contemporary stuff and haven't always been a huge fan of country music. However, this guy and his band put on an energetic, entertaining show. Watching them sweat up there made us all feel guilty for even THINKING about how hot we were.

Now being the pragmatic girl I am, with wisdom and forethought decided to take along this little thing. Burlene made some snide comment about my "cute little fan." However, the day AFTER the concert when she had to go to an outdoor birthday party at 4:00 in the afternoon, she said she thought maybe she should borrow that nifty little fan of mine. Ha! It WAS a good idea. During Jack Ingram's set, I did at one point think I would literally melt and ooze right off the hard, blue metal chair I was sitting on and run right down onto the concrete floor only to be mixed with someone's spilt beer. But my trusty little $1.50 fan saved.my.life. Anyone who knows me also knows how much I dislike being hot. Studly Man thought I was plumb crazy to even agree to go to an outdoor concert in July in Texas. But with a fan... eh. I made it.

The panic started toward the end of Jack's set. I realized the batteries in my trusty little fan were overworked and underpaid and just might mount a protest or a labor strike or something equally as horrible. I knew what I had to do. I had to find more batteries.

At intermission, I set out on a quest for batteries and water. The water was easy to find. The batteries? Not so much. I asked 1,234 people if they knew where I might buy some batteries. Each time I was met with one of two expressions. This one or this one. Just as I was about to give up and return to my seat, I spotted a little booth where they sell those light-up-glow-in-the-dark necklaces. I walked over and said in a very weary and defeated tone, "I don't suppose you sell batteries, do you?" The very kind young woman working the booth asked what kind of batteries I needed and how many. I told her. She said, "Well, I don't SELL them, but I have some in my purse." I yelled, "SOLD!" I pulled out some cash, she pulled out some batteries, we exchanged our possessions, and all was right with the world. I wouldn't melt after all.

I got back to my fourth-row-front-and-center seat about three minutes before Martina (we're on a first name basis now) took the stage. I settled in for what turned out to be an incredible distraction from the heat! Can I just say... that girl can S.I.N.G.

She's cute as a button and tiny as a church mouse, and how that big 'ole voice comes out of her, I'll never know. That's a picture from the paper this morning, taken during the concert. What it DOESN'T show is the gorgeous pair of five-inch Christian Louboutin ankle strap shoes she o.w.n.e.d. How she walked on them is a puzzlement to me, but how she danced on them and ran all over that stage in them left my mind plumb boggled.

She did most of her hits. But in addition to those, she covered Bill Withers' "Lean On Me" (that link is actually from the performance I saw two nights ago - video isn't great, but sound is okay), Aretha Franklin's "You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman," Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'," and Pat Benatar's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot." Ya'll... she can sing.

She sang "Anyway." I've heard it a zillion times, but I'm ashamed to say I never knew it was Martina singing it. It has become a great crossover hit on the Christian stations. Awesome song!

And she sang "Concrete Angel" with the video playing behind her. I watched as people all around us wiped the tears that had silently slipped down their cheeks. At the end of the song, the jumbotron screens gave contact information for the child abuse hot line. Martina has done a lot to raise awareness of this horrendous plague that so many children face.

She's gorgeous. She can sing. She has a heart for kids. And she has a new fan.

After the concert we made our way back to the gangsta car and talked about what an amazing show we'd just witnessed. We were entertained and moved, and it was just a perfect evening.


Once we went through the drive-thru at Taco Bell and got crunchy tacos and Strawberry Fruitista Freezes, it was a perfect evening.

Oh, yeah. And she can sing.


Suzanne said...

I had a feeling you'd be posting something like this. I guess you won't be needing a stand in for the next Martina concert...

Glad you had such a great time!

Anonymous said...

Glad you got to go!!! Sounds like it wasn't WASTED on you!!!

DidiLyn said...

That sounds like a perfect evening. Awesome!

Pumita said...

I'm so glad to read you had a terrific time at the concert. I heard her years ago in Nashville, and she is FABULOUS!
Jealous, but happy for you!