It’s been a few days since I’ve written!! It’s been a little busy over here on my side of the world. Although I hadn’t sat down and written, in my head I knew what I wanted my next post to be about and that is the Colbie Caillat concert at the Fox Theater in Riverside, CA that I attended on Friday night. Believe it or not, I don’t usually do concerts since it is usually pretty hard for me to get someone to watch my son, but I would definitely go to more if I could. It just so happens that this time, everything worked out and my very dear friend (who bought me the ticket as a belated birthday present) and I had such a wonderful time, well mostly….I will explain later. Anyway, I thought I’d give the play-by-play of this latest adventure.
First of all, it was a nice night to go for a walk so instead of driving, we decided to walk to the theater (as it is very close to where my friend lives). Now, most people might think us crazy for walking around downtown Riverside at night, but there was no incidence of strange men stalking us, thankfully. When we arrived at the Fox Theater, I was pleasantly surprised. I was expecting a rundown theater, paint chipping on the walls, musty smell, and such. But, no, it was very nice inside. The owners did a good job on the remodel and were able to find a nice balance of trying to modernize the theater without losing its old world charm. Another thing that took me by surprise as we entered the doors was how many people turned out. It seems like all the twenty AND 30 somethings n Riverside showed up (with a few teens and over 30s peppered into the crowd). It was a sold out event….congrats Colbie! Anyway, there were a few people dressed up, but the majority were the jeans and a nice shirt type…my kind of people:).
We sat down in our seats located on the balcony not too far back and we were able to see the stage clearly (another plus about the Fox Theater…it’s relatively small, so any seat is a decent one). Pretty soon after entering, the opening act came on stage. It was a young woman(in her 20s probably), holding her guitar in hand and her band of three guys (an electric guitarist, a Djembe player, and a background singer/shaker player). She looked very comfortable up there on the stage…didn’t seem nervous, like she’s been doing this for a while. She began to sing her first song and it reminded me of a little of a cross between Colbie Caillat, India Arie, and Tracy Chapman. I happen to love all three of those ladies, so I liked her immediately. Her songs had a positive message and the music, if I had to categorize it, I’d say was jazzy, neo-soul, with a little blues mixed in. The best song of her set, in my opinion, was called Second Street…I really loved that it was a little more upbeat and painted a picture in your mind of what Second Street (in Long Beach, CA) is like on a sunny, California day. As she finished her set, she made an announcement that she is part of some project that she is part of where people can download her music for free…she’s giving a lot of it away. I thought that is pretty cool. I love when I find people like her who just want to share, they’re trying to get their music out there. Anyway, to check out the free downloads by Lakin, visit her at http://noisetrade.com/lakin and help promote her music if you like what you hear. Also, she has several videos up on youtube. Here is her first official video on youtube, there are some cute kids at the end singing:)…
After Lakin and her band did their set there was a brief intermission where a few guys in black t-shirts came on and off stage, moving this to there, that to the other side, and laying out a few rugs, floor lamps, and oversized pillows on the floor. When they were finished setting up, the stage had the look and ambiance of what I would imagine a den in a nice home in Morocco might have….very warm and cozy. Before Colbie came on, my friend and I decided to go for a little walk downstairs to where the bar was. We were looking to get some water or a snack, but the bar was completely packed. So, we decided to go back to our seats. Soon, with the lights still dim on stage, we saw a petite figure in a white flowy shirt walking out to the stage. It was Colbie. Hardly anyone noticed her at first, I think most people were expecting a big announcement or some kind of special entrance. But, no, she just walked casually out on stage and sat on a chair in the middle, and picked up her guitar. This, by the way, set the tone for the rest of the concert….very laid back, down to earth, casual.
Her band, then, came out (one guy on the keys, two guys on percussion/drums, on other acoustic guitarist and one electric guitarist). I really liked the guy on keys by the end of the night…he added another level to the music with some funk-influenced playing that gave Colbie’s mellow vibe a little spice. She began her first song, The Little Things from her Coco album. I didn’t write down all the songs because I really just wanted to be there, listen, and enjoy myself. I’ll just give a quick list of the ones I know she did. There was the expected songs like Bubbly, Lucky, Realize, and I Do, of course. She also did Like Yesterday, Begin Again, Fallin’ For You, All of You, Before I let You Go, Fearless, Brighter Than the Sun, and I Never Told You and a few more. My favorites, though, were Breakin’ At the Cracks (which was sung as an encore, with only her playing the guitar), and her newest single that is about to come out that she co-wrote with the rapper Common. Ironically, it is titled “Favorite Song”. Here’s where you can find the lyric-only version of it..no official video yet:
It’s not what you would call a “deep” song, but it is fun, gets people moving, and got the audience dancing and singing along and I’m good with that. I actually think it is better live than on the album.
At the end of the concert, Colbie gave a sort of discussion of things that people might want to know about her, which I thought was nice. She shared that she performed her first song at the age of 11 at a school talent show in Malibu,CA where she grew up. It was the Fugees version the Roberta Flack song, “Killing Me Softly”. She didn’t start learning the guitar until she was 19. She auditioned for “American Idol” two times…goes to show you how good that show is at picking talent, but I digress. She loves Hawaii and wants to retire there. She likes to team up with the VHI Save the Music Charity. She shared a bit more, but I don’t remember everything. In fact, I remember most of the concert in broken bits and pieces, not because I wasn’t paying attention, but because of these two women sitting in front of us. If you haven’t guessed, this is where I explain what I said I would explain earlier.
The concert was awesome, Colbie was a true professional…I didn’t hear not ONE single bad note sung and she sounded better live than on album (which is a very rare thing these days). The only hiccup was these two ladies who apparently had too many drinks during intermission. They were standing up, waving their hands wildly, falling over, clapping off beat, and yelling slurred words out during Colbie’s singing. My friend and I looked at each other like “are we going to have to put up with this the entire time?”. We waited for an usher or someone to come and say something to them (because they were LOUD…I am not exaggerating), but nothing. My kind, dear sweet friend wanted to go tell the ushers instead of confronting them directly, but I decided a direct approach might be quicker. So, I kindly tapped one of the ladies on the shoulder and said, “Excuse me, but we can’t see, can you please sit down.” At first, it didn’t seem like she understood the words that were coming out of my mouth. Then, after a looong pause, she said, “Oh, you can’t see? Oh ok” and she sat down. I gave a sigh of relief, thinking that was the end of it. But, no….a few minutes later, she was doing it again, but this time it was during a very soft, unaccompanied song and I could only imagine what Colbie might have been thinking while she was trying to get through her song. Finally, the people around us chimed in and kept telling her to be quiet. After a few more comments from other people in the audience, the ladies finally got the hint and sat down. Sheesh!
Again, despite the intermittent interruption -overall- we had a great time and listened to some great music. I hope that it won’t be too long before I get to another concert!
oh …and today would have been Bob Marley’s 67th Birthday….can you imagine a 67 year old Bob Marley? We still love your music BOB!!!