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.