2.21.09 Brandi Carlile with Louisville Symphony

We arrived on Friday afternoon to Louisville, found our hotel and then Gretchen joined me on an adventure to find a liquor store to purchase two bottles bourbon for one of the doctors I work with. It’s a kind we can’t get back in Oregon. He offered to pay for my bottle and shipping if I could find it. We were able to find the bourbon, but unfortunately, not in the year we had thought would be the best. Recently, Louisville had an ice storm and it messed up the delivery schedules so they were out of almost everything. We went to another liquor store and found the 10 year Van Winkle Bourbon we had been looking for. We packed it up in a box surrounded by bubble wrap and packing peanuts and set off to the UPS Store to send it. It’s kind of illegal to ship alcohol to yourself, so when the guy asked me what was in the box, I said, “Do I really need to tell you or can I just say it’s a gift?”. He said, “You can tell me whatever you want, I don’t need to know, but they ask for you to write it down and you can put that it’s a ‘gift’ if you want to.” I wrote down it was a “gift”, paid for the shipping and we headed back to the hotel.

By the time we headed back to the hotel, Lisa had woken from her nap and we were ready to head downtown. Laura from the AgainToday Forum had called me earlier and we were planning to meet her and her friend, Laurie for dinner later. Linda from Sweden was supposed to arrive by Greyhound from Nashville at 5:30 p.m. but her bus was running late. I sent her a text to see where she was. Her bus had just arrived and we were right around the corner so we swung by and picked her up. We met Laura and Laurie at Ramsi’s on Bardstown Road for dinner. This place was so much fun. They had all different kinds of food and I had the Pad Thai with chicken. It was so good! After dinner we headed over to the Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen for dessert. I had the Chocolate Chess Pie and it was amazing!

We had to go pick Brenna up from the airport and managed to completely circumnavigate the Louisville Airport before finding our way into the terminal area. Apparently, FedEx and UPS have major hubs at the airport. We know this now. ☺ We picked up Brenna and made our way back to the hotel. We had planned to go out but we were all tired from flying all day.

Saturday morning, we had reservations at Anne’s Paradise Café, a local restaurant that is quite famous. We were not disappointed. The food was amazing, the service was fast and efficient and the company was exceptional. We had about 20 plus for breakfast, all of them from the AgainToday online fan forum for Brandi Carlile. I knew the majority of people, but met some new faces and really enjoyed getting to know everyone. The best story from this part of the day was when I inquired about the coffee. It was so tasty, I had to know what kind it was. Well, Gretchen, Brenna and I had been talking about it because we agreed it was really good coffee. We jokingly said it was probably Folgers or Yuban or some other kind of grocery store coffee. I asked the waitress about the coffee and sure enough, it was a generic coffee from the restaurant distributor. They grind the beans fresh, which is probably why it was so tasty! We had a good laugh about that.

After breakfast, we headed to the Seelbach Hotel for a tour by Mr. Larry Johnson. He was running a bit late, so we had time to hang out in the lobby and chit chat with one another. We also met more AgainToday people (aka ATers) and socialized more. The tour of the Seelbach was amazing. It has quite the history, including gangsters, prohibition, ghosts and crazy music stars destroying things. The tour went a little long, but it was worth it. Next time in Louisville, I am going to stay there for sure.

Rachel’s friend, Kelsey Montanez, played at a local coffee shop after the tour was finished. There were about 10 of us who made the trek over, had an espresso and listened to her rock out. It was awesome. I’m really excited, because she is going to do a house show at my place sometime this summer.

We went back to the hotel to get ready for the show, take a nap and just chill out before dinner. Dinner was booked at the Bluegrass Brewing Company aka BBC. It was great. I had a half-pint of Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout and a shot of 12 year Van Winkles Bourbon to start with. I ordered the Bison Burger with a side of cole slaw. The burger was good, but the cole slaw was really unique. It had broccoli in it and was really tasty. We had over 25 people for dinner. It was great.

We were a little late to the show because the waitress took a while to get our separate bills together. Sondre Lerche was okay. I just wasn’t that into his music but would consider seeing him sometime in Portland. I was sitting in the first level balcony, to the left of the stage. My seat was next to this stuffy German lady and there was a seat open next to her. After Sondre Lerche’s set, I asked her if the seat next to her was taken and it wasn’t, so I moved over there because it had a better view of the orchestra and I assumed the acoustics would be better. I promptly got all my recording hear together and set it up so I could record the audio with my new H2 Zoom and the video with my Canon HV30. Unfortunately for me, the red lights on the H2 Zoom (the duct tape I used didn’t cover the lights well enough) alerted the security to my videotaping and they confiscated my camera. I didn’t have my wits about me to take the tape out, so they recorded over my tape. Bastards. Aside from one or two songs on the H2 Zoom, my audio recording came out perfect.

As for the concert, it was amazing! This setup with the Louisville Orchestra is what I wished the Seattle Symphony show would have been like. It was an acoustic set, with just Brandi, Tim, Phil and Josh, all backed by the Louisville Orchestra. Although I love Daxx, the drums were just a little overwhelming at the Seattle Symphony show. Since I was up in the balcony, I could hear all of the songs.

The energy of Brandi and the band was equal to her recent show in Bellingham, WA. She was just on fire. The crowd was completely receptive to her and the orchestra. You could just sense the excitement, awe and respect in the crowd. The version of Pride and Joy they played was the best I have heard yet. I’m hoping this is somewhat close to what they plan to have on the new album, minus the orchestra, of course….though it might be cool to have that version on there as a bonus track! As usual, it seems like the time goes too fast and the set isn’t long enough, but overall, I just tried to lose myself in the music. It was so beautiful, at times it brought tears to my eyes. I had a smile on my face I just couldn’t get rid of.

60 Years On (Brandi solo with Orchestra)
Fall Apart Again
Dreams (No Orchestra)
What Can I Say (No Orchestra)
Pride & Joy
Oh Dear (No Orchestra)
Folsom (with a bit of Jackson thrown in for good measure, No Orchestra)
The Story

Brandi signed after the show, but most of us ATers hung back so we could have some time with Brandi and not get rushed like everyone else was. Kelsey and Andie took turns on Andie’s guitar playing songs they had written and whatnot. It was pretty cool. Kelsey was asked for her contact information a few times. Luckily, she had business cards she could hand out.

We waited until the line was mostly done and then we got in line to talk to Brandi. She signed my ticket stub and I got a picture of her with Linda. I also asked if we could get an AgainToday group picture and she said “Sure!”. We were able to do that and got most of everybody who was there that wanted to be in the picture. Tim, Phil and Josh all came out, too and we were able to chat with them a bit, too.

I was really amped up after the show and really wanted to go out, but everyone was tired so we headed back to the hotel, where I listened to some of the audio I captured while a pillow fight was going on next to me! All in all, a good night.

I am really happy to have met some of the ATers from the east coast and Midwest. It was great meeting everyone and I’m looking forward to seeing many of them in the future at more concerts.