Lee Brice (Happy Birthday Cassie)

Lee Brice (Happy Birthday Cassie)

This concert was not originally on our list because it’s in the middle of the week and we are not staying in Portland this week so that would mean driving out and right back. I hate to drive. However, this is my cousin’s favorite country artist and it coincided with her birthday perfectly. So I decided it would make a great surprise for her birthday. I kidnapped her around 9:30 am. We stopped and got some picnic food for later in the evening and then drove to the zoo. She was so shocked and surprised that she was going to get to see Lee Brice she was shaking and there were tears in her eyes. That’s all I needed. It was totally worth the drive just for that. We set our chairs, 4th pair in line, and then we left and got lunch.

I took her to PF Changs for lunch since she hadn’t been there before. She had a good time and really enjoyed her experience.  They were awesome to us actually, our bill was $28.80, but they took off $10 because it was her first time, then they bought her a dessert, banana egg rolls something or rather (DELISH!), then they gave her a $10 gift card, and gave me a $10 coupon for bringing her. They ended up giving us more money that we even spent. I left after paying $8.80! WHAAAT! Who wants me to take them to PF Changs for their birthday lunch?? LOL

About the venue: This one was back at the zoo. Not much more to say EXCEPT that I had been surfing face book while we were sitting in our chairs enjoying a glass of wine and 98.7’s B-Dub posted about having meet and greets to give away. I jumped up out of my seat and went to find them. Turns out that he wasn’t even at the zoo yet and when he got there he said that he was gonna do a game to give em away. But before he got there DJ Ashley called him and told him about us, how we were the first ones to come looking and it was Cassie’s birthday, etc. So he made a call and one of the people he had promised meet and greet’s to wasn’t able to show so he just gave em to us! ARE YOU SERIOUS??? We get to meet LEE BRICE?! YES! It was right before the concert started and it was short but he hugged me and I couldn’t even spit out my name… he said “Hi Darlin’, I’m Lee Brice” and all I could say was “I’m so excited”. He chuckled, and said “yes, but what’s your name?” Ahhh! They took a picture, we weren’t allowed to take our own, and now I’m waiting for them to be uploaded to their website. He also signed my ticket! Makes me wish I had a guitar or something cause they said he’d sign whatever we wanted. My cousin was so cute she was beside herself, she could barely make her self walk up to him. Star struck! I’m so happy she had such a good birthday. And it just couldn’t get any better than meeting her favorite country artist.

About the music: He was a fantastic performer. We were standing up close near the stage for the whole thing. He spent lots of time making eye contact and singing his heart out. He must have been hot cause he was dripping sweat like crazy. He paid homage to the  soldiers, police and firefighters. That place was full of “Crazy Girls”. There were a few songs where I swear the sound of the crazy girls (us included) singing drowned out his voice on the mic! He also has a fantastic drummer. The guitarists and what not were great but his drummer was really awesome. He did a solo before Lee came back onstage for his encore and he really rocked it for a good long time. After the encore, Lee did come to the edge of the stage and sign a bunch of things. He is super fast with his signature! Some of the fans were so “crazed” that they were really rude to anyone around them. They didn’t even care if they were stepping on you, climbing over you, etc. didn’t matter. But it was totally worth it, I got a guitar pick, a signed ticket, a picture (hopefully), and best of all, A HUG! Dang he is cute!.

There was an opening act. It was called Aces Up. They really thought they were better than they were. They weren’t horrible, but I was a little surprised at their confidence. In my experience so far the opening acts come off as humble and grateful for the opportunity to play along side the headliners. These guys were demanding equal space in the merch booth… really? Equal to Lee Brice? YEAH RIGHT! Hahaha!

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Opening Act- Aces Up. Mediocre at best.

Opening Act- Aces Up. Mediocre at best.

Opening Act- Aces Up. Mediocre at best.

Opening Act- Aces Up. Mediocre at best.

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Blue Oyster Cult

Blue Oyster Cult

Devin has seen this band before but it was new to the kids and I. His uncle John and our friend Paul came down for this one too. The kids were super excited for this one because it was at a fair and they knew that would mean fun for them. Devin and Averie got their picture in the Corvallis Gazette, Averie on his shoulders. So cute! I really really love how the kids are starting to really enjoy the concerts though. They are starting to ask about seeing the person who sings this song or that song. I didn’t even know about concerts when I was young, we were far too poor. I have decided that concert going is it’s own little culture, and I’m so happy to be able to introduce my children to it.

About the venue: It was at a great fair, what else do you need to know?? LOL Just kidding. So there was no reserved seating at all. Basically there was an area that was fenced off, but it was totally open to anyone. If you had a tall chair, you had to be outside the fence. If you had a short chair you could be inside towards the back… there were chalk lines, then next area forward was for blankets only, and then standing in the the front.  The security guards were making sure that people behind the standing area were not standing which I guess was nice for the people who wanted to sit.  The area inside the fence was opened at 5:30 and there was just a small line. There was an opening band which Uncle John said was good but we were too busy riding rides. BOC came on at 8:30pm.

About the music: Ok, another one that I didn’t realize the type of crowd that this group would draw. Overall it was totally fine, normal people, but there was a group of die hard BOC fans. They were mostly guys, and they knew every single word coming out of those guys mouths… even their poetic babble before the songs. Don’t get me wrong, I knew about 4 of their songs and I had a great time. But sometimes there is more fun for me when I’m poeple watching. I was near the front and I ended walking away with 3 guitar picks. I caught one, and then the stage hands afterward threw two more to my kids. Ethan got the set list. Too cute. One of Averie’s new favorite songs is “Burning for you”. Overall, it was a great concert for the price of fair admission and the venue was pretty good.

Note: The fairs website said that there was camping right next to the fair and tent sites were on a first come first serve basis. THIS IS NOT TRUE! At least not during the fair. During the fair they only allow 4-H families to camp. We did find a decent KOA about 8 miles away. Bonus: They had a pool, kids loved that.

My hubs and daughter made the newspaper!

My hubs and daughter made the newspaper!

 

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Super Diamond

Super Diamond

I was really looking forward to this concert. We have actually seen Super Diamond before at The Crystal Ballroom. I love Neil Diamond’s music and these guys are just really great performers. Devin’s mom and friend Paul joined us and the kids were there too. It was a really good time.

About the venue: This concert was at the Bridgeport Village shopping center. I went early because I had no idea what to expect. Basically they set up a bunch of chairs and since it was free as soon as the chairs were set up you could claim a spot. I didn’t leave the area once I got us a spot but I suppose I could have. A lot of people laid towels over the chairs to save them, they have obviously been there before. They sold beer, wine, and mixed drinks around the area.  In the future, I won’t bother getting chairs or going early to this venue (unless I want to shop of course) because it was much more fun to just be standing up in front of the stage.

About the music: Since I was there so early I got to watch Super Diamond set up and sound check. It really was like a personal concert. I chatted with the drummer a little bit and I was able to get my hands on a signed guitar pick (signed by bass player Matt)! Awesome. They of course performed beautifully. Even though, the Surreal Neil was obviously suffering from a sore throat as evidenced by his constant spraying his throat. I felt bad for him but it certainly didn’t show in his performance. They were all very interactive with the crowd and we had a great time. Averie got a picture with the Surreal Neil and I got my picture with the oh so cute guitar player! We will continue to see this band for sure.

They had a local afterschool program called “school of rock” there to open for Super Diamond. They were kids 8-18 and they weren’t too bad. One in particular was a young kid (maybe 12) and he was an unassuming looking kid with a polo shirt buttoned all the way up. Then he opened his mouth and this deep sound came out that you just weren’t expecting. Not too shabby.

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LeAnn Rimes and Tyler Stenson

LeAnn Rimes and Tyler Stenson

I was really looking forward to this concert even though Devin wouldn’t go at all. So I invited a friend and we had a ladies night!  This was not a sold out concert and I thought it was strange. LeAnn Rimes is a pretty big name. Apparently there was some scandal about her taking someone’s husband or some such… however, I am not up on all the drama and really don’t care. I like a good chunk of her music and that’s all I care about. :)

About the venue: This was at the zoo again. Again, first in line! I really enjoyed being able to show my friend how we do concerts! This is the first concert I’ve been to where there’s been so much  room on the concert lawn. It was strange to see everyone sort of stretched out.

About the music: This was a really fun concert for me. I love me some country music. We went up to the front of the stage and enjoyed an up close view. She was really relaxed and chatting with the crowd. She sang her heart out. My favorite part was when someone yelled out “what’s your  favorite song?” She replies “Dave Mathews, Crash into Me” And then the ask her to sing it, and she totally does. She has someone bring her a phone with the lyrics and the guitarists and drummer pow wow for a few to get it together and then she totally sings it. It was a little rough but for just pulling it off on the fly like that, I was impressed. She shook our hands so many times… she played with the bubbles that someone kept blowing at her. It felt really intimate and personal. It was nearly as good as just hanging out with her. LOL I got a guitar pick from her bass player Joey. It was just a standard blue one, but I know where it came from! LOVE IT!

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Randy Newman

Randy Newman

My first response when the hubby wanted to go see Randy Newman, was “Who?”. Then he explained who he was, what he sings and even played some of his songs for me. Ok, other than the Disney/Pixar songs, I’m still scratching my head a bit. Although, that short people song is pretty funny, if you ignore the incredible bias going on. But hey, some of these concerts are ones I picked so I’ll play along. :)

About the venue: For the first time so far, NOT a sold out show. The only real difference is that you have a little more breathing room on the lawn. :)  I love that you can put your chairs down in line and actually go enjoy the zoo too. Took the kids first thing in the morning and we had a great time! Plus, we were first in line again. People (staff) are starting to recognize me… LOL

About the music: OK, so the first major difference is the smaller crowd. Second major difference is that the only thing on the stage is a huge (amazingly beautiful) piano. For some reason it hadn’t clicked before that this was gonna be a piano concert. For a guy who is getting up there in years, he is still a wonderful piano player. He was very talkative, and mostly hilarious. Some of what he says you kinda have to ignore if the bias type comments bother you. Everyone sat through the whole concert which I totally expected and it was a relaxing change of pace actually. We had a really great time, even the kids enjoyed it. They didn’t know any of the songs except the Toy Story song but I think that they are really enjoying the atmosphere.

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Gretchen Wilson

Gretchen Wilson

So I didn’t realize that you could buy tickets early to the concerts at Dukes. I searched all over the website and all I could find was that it was it $25 cover. So when I went online to find out what time Gretchen comes on stage there was a big SOLD OUT over her picture. Imagine my surprise. So I emailed the manager and expressed my frustration. He assured me that I would be notified if any tickets should become available. I had mentally crossed this one off the list. Then about a week later he emails me and tells me that he may have a solution, that he was going on vacation but to call him back on the 19th. Of course I set my alarm and did just that. After a bit of phone tag we finally spoke. He said that if I didn’t mind standing that he would put me on his list. I asked him what the cost would be and he mentioned something about the $25 so I was prepared for that. We  get there and we are on the VIP list, a quick stamp on the wrist and NO COVER. Heck yeah!

About the venue: Dukes is a country bar that I have never been to before. I didn’t find the stage exceptionally large or anything but there was lots of friendly people. I don’t  smoke but it did have a nice patio. The drinks are mid-high priced but I was expecting that. They had some local cover band playing when we got there. It was pretty packed already at 7:30 and most people seemed to enjoy the cover band. personally I thought they were a bit squeaky, but they had a decent fiddle player. It was pretty crowded and really hard to get a spot on the dance floor. You had to be a bit ruthless taking up whatever empty space you can find. It was super hot and I was wet with sweat… so was everyone else. Of course as soon as Gretchen came on stage none of that seemed to matter much.

About the music: Gretchen felt like a real person having an amazing time putting on a show for all of us. You felt like she could be your friend. She was chatty and beaming. She really knew how to rock the house too. When she sang Redneck Woman you could visibly see the energy level rise on the dance floor. Even when you didn’t think it could get any higher. She tossed out t-shirts and guitar picks. She laughed and managed to connect with the majority of the crowd. I didn’t know her brother could sing but he was pretty good during the duet that they sang together.  About 2/3 of the way through the show the guitar player looks out at the crowd and I swear he was looking at me, he threw a guitar pick directly at me and I briefly caught it in my hand. It did hit the floor and some how I managed to recover it. I was pretty excited. I would absolutely see her again although I hope she’s in a different venue.

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2013 Seaside Adventure

2013 Seaside Adventure

We headed to the beach for the weekend. Probably our only chance given our crazy concert schedule. We stayed at the Thousand Trails campground which is back behind the outlet mall. It’s an ok campground. It seemed like it was in a wet sink hole or something. It rained in the mornings. It was kinda nice cause they did “bring your own fork” smores one night, and then an ice cream social the next night. There was also a really nice pool and a hot tub and showers. If we were in an RV (more protected from the rain/mist) this place would have been stellar. No beach access of course but it’s not that far of a drive.

We bought a stunt kite and had a really great time. We went to Seaside one day, shopping in cannon beach the 2nd day, drove to Arcadia and then hug point looking for sun, didn’t find it so we drove back north to Gear hart and played in the sand and watched the cars get stuck. We flew our kite some more but the most fun was watching these dumb people ignore the signs that say 4 wheel drive only, and every one of them got themselves stuck. It was really nuts. There was a guy waiting up there to pull people out for a $20 tip. I really could have stayed all day watching these people get their cars stuck. The last day we saw a small sun break and decided to go back to the beach in Seaside before we headed back to Portland. So glad we did. The sun finally came out and we even got a sun burn. The kids played in the sand, we attempted to fly the kite but there wasn’t much wind, we walked the beach, and really just enjoyed ourselves.

Mishaps: Ethan and Averie both (despite our directions) didn’t bring any pants, and Averie didn’t bring a sweater, even though she was wearing it moments before we loaded into the car. So we had to stop and buy pants and a cheap sweatshirt.

Other than that, we enjoyed our time and we got a super cool kite!DSC03695 DSC03665 DSC03676 DSC03680 DSC03686 DSC03691

These pics are from Seaside beach on the first day!

 

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These are from the campground.

 

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This is from the second day- so weird that I didn’t take many pics. Wish I would have taken some of the stuck cars.

 

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This was our last day in Seaside and it turned out to be beautiful.

 

 

Weird Al Yankovic

Weird Al Yankovic

Counting Crows and The Wallflowers

Counting Crows and The Wallflowers

This was a concert we were really looking forward to. We love a lot of the music between these two bands. I wish we could have afforded to bring the kids or at least Averie because “the parking lot song” as she likes to call it, or “Big Yellow Taxi” as I believe it is called is one of her favorites. No idea why, but she just loves it.

About the venue: This was our first time seeing a concert at Maryhill Winery. It was pretty awesome. We did not get reserved seating for this one (not till Willie) so it was general admission. We didn’t know what to expect for a line so we got there at 2, concert started at 6. We were definitely the first ones in line. Well technically there were two other groups before us but there were 4 lines. It was a looong hot wait. For this concert it was not necessary to get there that early. They opened the gates at 4 but we found what we thought were perfect seats and there were still open spaces next to us and in front of us for at least 30-45 minutes. And there really aren’t bad seats here as the lawn is terraced. The next best thing is that it’s a WINERY, hello! Great wine! If I wasn’t allergic to red wine we’d join the club. Another cool thing was that right behind the sound booth is vacant because no one can see over/through it whilst sitting down. This space became the dance floor and oh boy did it get used. By us too! Overall we really enjoyed the venue and really look forward to the next concert here. My only complaint was that they didn’t sell reisling down on the lawn so in order to get it, we had to hike up the big hill to the tasting room and buy it there. But really that’s not bad considering how I needed to work of all the cheese and salami we ate while we were waiting. :)

About the music: We really enjoyed the music. I had a hard time deciding which band I liked better. They were both really good. They both played for about an hour and 50 minutes with about a 20 minute break in between for equipment swap so we really got our monies worth. There were several songs by both bands that made the whole crowd stand but overall it was sitting and standing mixed. There is NO CHANCE at getting near the stage with general admission here. So, no guitar pic for me here. Oh well, :) One bummer is that they didn’t play Mr. Jones and one other hit song that I can’t remember the name of. I’ll come back and edit this as soon as I remember. Other than that I had a wonderful time!

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Kenny Loggins (And Never 2 Late)

Kenny Loggins (And Never 2 Late)

We went and saw Kenny Loggins at the Marion Co. fair in Salem, OR. Of course the benefit of going to a concert at a fair is that you get to go to the fair! We were really excited to see Kenny because our wedding song is a Loggins and Messina song. It’s Danny’s Song. My favorite thing he said during the concert “I’ve never played in front of a hot dog stand before, but it’s making me hungry!” LOL

About the venue: Ok, we had no idea what to expect. We bought $40 tickets to see Kenny here and we got to be second row. It was AMAZING to be that close. I got some really amazing pictures and the excitement level was way up there. I do not regret having bought the tickets given who it was we were seeing. We were on wooden benches that numbered about 45 seats across and there were about 40 rows I guess, with 4 ft chain link fence all the way around. HOWEVER, if you do not feel the need to be that close there is plenty of seating around the fence for free, or actually the cost of the fair. So I will know in the future, that if it’s not someone we want to see up close and personal, then we can literally go for the cost of fair admission. It’s not a huge fair and we didn’t ride any rides but we walked through and looked at animals and ate food that was really bad for us. LOL They did have this really awesome kids zone thing that my kids would not have left, I guarentee it. It was a bunch of different blow up features, plus these huge clear balls that you could get inside and roll around on the water, giant bungee jumpers, zip line, and mechanical bull riding. I really wish we had the kids with us. LOL!

About the music: OH MAN! Let me tell you, Kenny’s still got it! My only thing was that he played our song FIRST and I just wasn’t ready for it. Don’t ask me what I needed to be ready, but I just felt… not ready. He had his new group, Blue Sky Riders with him and they played a few of their songs. They were pretty good actually. Not that I’m surprised with Kenny in the lead. After that he went on to sing his heart out. That guy has a falsetto (I’m sure I spelled that wrong) that doesn’t quit. I really enjoyed myself from beginning to end. At the end of the concert the guy next to me took his mom’s record up and Kenny signed it. Then he went back up and got me a guitar pic. SWEET! I would definitely see him again if he comes to town. It was a really great show.

BONUS: The band that opened for Kenny Loggins was called Never 2 Late and the base player was my high school basketball coach. So fun to see him play in his band and they were pretty good. They rocked a lot of great covers. I facebooked him later and begged for a guitar pick from them too. He sent it. I got me a little collection going. Wahoo! Wish I had thought of it earlier. LOLDSC03318 DSC03325 DSC03328 DSC03346 DSC03348 DSC03364 DSC03368 DSC03380