Friday, August 14, 2009

Life is a JMC song

{I'll give you fair warning - this post is long, photo heavy, and has nothing to do with scrapping - so if you aren't interested in reading about my OTHER obsession, feel free to pass it up, and check back next time!}

Today.. ok.. well, yesterday LOL, Rhi and I drove around St. Louis to Sauget, IL, where Jason was doing a free concert at the GCS Ballpark to help celebrate Shop and Save's 50th birthday. The local radio station WIL 92.3 was also having school supply donation drive - and if you brought school supplies, you would receive tickets for a chance at a meet and greet with Jason.

Well, we ended up leaving later than originally planned, because we had to stop at the laundromat to wash our JMC shirts before leaving {we had a very unfortunate issue with our water heater. VERY unfortunate, because it means there will be no Branson concert for me {Insert mad face here} Anyway. } We got our school supplies {we actually got pencil boxes and filled them with pencils, crayons, pens, erasers and pencil sharpeners}. Picked up my check from work, ran to the bank, got some snacks, and got on the road. It was almost 4 when we left. I wasn't TOO worried, because I knew that Jason wouldn't start singing before 7:30.. figured I had plenty of time.

Did I mention I'm not a St. Louis rush hour traffic kind of person?

Most of the trip down was fabulous and we made good time. We went down 61 to 40 to 270 which turned into 255, which would actually take us where we needed to go. We were actually kind of laughing while we were on 40... cos this is what the road looked like:

{And, again, before you yell at me, at no point was the camera up at my face - the only thing that ever obstructed my view of the road is that annnoying smear of dead bug blood on my windshield that you can see in the photo below}

Oh, all those POOR POOR people trying to get home.. they were all going in the wrong direction {See, they should have been going to see Jason instead!}. We started seeing signs for 270 - 6 more miles... yeah, ok. Then we split off from the main road - if you're going to Chicago stay left and breeze on through. If you need to go south, towards Memphis, get in the right hand lane, and stop before you hit the semi-parked cars in front of you. Holy freaking cow. My WORST traffic nightmare. I worry about getting hit, about hitting someone else if I have to try to change lanes, about my car overheating, about being stuck all the way to the left and needing to get off at the next exit {or vice versa - that happens sometimes in St. Louis}.

And what kept running through my head? Waitin' in the Country.

Five o' clock smokestacks 15th, check's fat
Hacked off, backed up
Hurry up and wait on the interstate
Irate, tailgate tight
Yeah, nothin' but brake lights
High rise concrete, painted up city street
Fed up, red tape, add another lane
Make it more insane, more strain
Starbucksed up
Man, I know where I'm pointin' my truck

{Ok, so it was after 6, on the 13th, and I had a Red Bull instead of a Starbucks... CLOSE ENOUGH!}

{Incidentally, the other bit of lyrics that makes me smile is part of Where I'm From:

"Where the quarterback dates the homecoming queen
The truck's a Ford and the tractor's green
And Amazing Grace is what we sing"

Where, again, my truck is a Chevy, and my Ford tractor is blue... but I drive a green Ford car, so that has to count for something, right? Right??}

This picture was actually taken after things got moving again - at one point, I started laughing hysterically, because the sign with the speed limit said 40, and when I looked at my speedometer, it said 0. Yeah. Without the 4. Talk about white knuckle.. I don't know exactly how long it took - long enough for me to start worrying about my car overheating. But everything was fine, and we finally got to moving again. {Have I mentioned how much I love my car? Yeah, I call it a little Ford POS sometimes, but really, it is GREAT! and gets better mileage than some of the newer cars!}

We crossed over the Mississippi via these really cool bridges. Rhi was like "we're crossing AGAIN!" cos we went over to get to Quincy, then back to get to Hannibal, and now again??

I didn't realize how close we were going to be to the Arch - ok, so it wasn't that close, really, do you know how tall that thing is?? But there it is - This photo was taken in the GCS Ballpark parking lot. We arrived just after 7pm.. plenty of time..

Here's Rhi at the entrance. Kinda weird to have a concert at a ball field, but kinda nice too, especially if you don't want to be in the standing area - the seating was fabulous! Since outside food and drink weren't allowed, they asked us what we had in the bag. Just school supplies. So we dropped them off with the radio station staff, who very apologetically said "We were giving tickets, but they actually already drew for the meet and greet..." No biggie, I said, we were running late, and it was a great cause..

Surprisingly, despite how late we got there, we were still able to get pretty close to the front. Like only 2 people between us and the stage close. Eventually we were able to get a little bit closer, but that's later.

Stopped at the merchandise stand - got a new t-shirt, and bought new hats for Rhi and me. Said hello and grinned, but it was busy, so we didn't hang around long.

When Jason came onstage, he made a point of thanking the radio station, because, as he said, without them playing his music, they wouldn't be around for a concert. The first song, again, was Anywhere USA. Good song to start with. I wrote down the playlist again - it was a bit different from the last 2 shows - which I think is great. Especially since I've been to 3 shows this year - it's much more fun when they are different! {Oh, and LOOK, Tim has his shades on again!}. Jason saw us again - Rhi and I waved at him, and he grinned and waved back.
Guess the old mike stand has gone bye bye - he had a new one this time. I miss the leopard print.
Got a great picture of Richie, the "new" guitarist, this time. {I say "new" because he wasn't with Jason for last year's tour}. He's from Queensland, Australia, and he is awesome.

A fairly decent picture of Jason and Shaun, the bass player.
Rhi, of course, was worried that she wouldn't be able to touch Jason this time. But there was a very nice lady in front of us {I wish I had caught her name} that helped out a little - the picture is crummy, but it was the best I could get. On the other side in front of us was the family we had seen at Carlinville with the little girl.. and of course, Jason flirted with her again. She is such a doll.
Didn't have the camera ready for this little trick.. but he tossed the microphone in the air, caught it with his foot, and kicked it back up into his hand. It was really cool.
Yeah, no fun here LOL.

Then the Fight happened. Yikes. Jason had started singing Happened on a Saturday Night, after commenting on Honky Tonks and beer, which were part of the inspiration for this song. I don't know exactly what happened {because Rhi and I didn't notice until people were getting pushed into us}, but apparently some jerk decided to rush the stage and wasn't paying attention to the kids that were up there - the guys in front of him tried to stop him, and he started throwing punches. SERIOUSLY. Jason saw what was going on and stopped singing. The band couldn't really see what was going on, and stopped when Jason motioned for them to stop. Not only did Jason stop the show, he pointed the guy out and made sure security took him away. He was seriously TICKED. {This is the MAD JASON photo}
He was SOOO Not Happy. He even made a comment {and I'm probably paraphrasing, cos this happened HOURS ago}, that this was a family venue, and we were here to have a good time, and there was no room for this kind of S*(&. {Yeah, I blinked too.}

Then he asked us if we wanted to have a good time, and started up the song again, pretty much right where he left off. Kudos to you Jason. I thought you handled that quite well! And Rhi was happy too, because this time, he even did the "Hey Larry, I found your tooth!" comment at the end {that's her favorite part of the song}.

I took this photo right after he finished Alyssa Lies. I think it turned out pretty good - one of the better photos from later in the evening.

Something cool he did at this show, was to take requests from the audience - he joked that if anyone wanted to write a request on a $20 bill, they'd sing it, and if they couldn't figure out who the $20 belonged to, they'd make sure it went to a good cause, like the Thirsty Band fund - and I'll be darned if people didn't start holding up 20 dollar bills!! {And NO he didn't actually take ANY of them!}
Sometimes, when taking pictures, you just get lucky. One of the things I do once it gets dark, is just take pictures when the lighting is good, and with how quick Jason moves sometimes, you just don't know what you're going to end up with. And since my camera will take pictures continuously {that word always looks funny to me}, I can get some pretty good sequences.. sometimes. {LOL especially when he's doing the Honky Tonk Friends "I like the dances they dance" bit} This picture was taken during Waitin' in the Country. LOL Love that song.
Something else that was different at this show - after the break, Jason and Tim came back, and he sang Hurry Home with only Tim as backup. It was FABULOUS. Not really acoustic, since they used the speakers, but as close as you could get. He made an announcement that it had gotten into the top 40 (YAY!). And everyone was singing along. It was awesome.
He sang Take It On the Run again too.. only this time it was the Cousin It version... he had me laughing so hard that the people standing next to me kept looking at me to see if I was ok. LOL But it was FUNNY.
This is actually one of my favorite pictures from the night - I just think the lighting turned out really well. Especially for a picture taken late in the show. Nice sharp image.

And remember what I said about sometimes getting lucky? This is one of the last pictures I took. The one just before it, where the green light is actually behind Jason, didn't turn out nearly as well. The one after, once the lighting had changed again, also did not turn out so well. This one, well I think it's great. And it's one of my favorites of the night.
He didn't jump out into the crowd this time {not that I blame him after the Fight!} but he did sign autographs. He signed Rhi's hat, taking my Sharpie to do so.. and kept it long enough to sign another hat and a CD for someone else. And then {and this is just one more reason to love this man} he made sure to get the Sharpie back to me. Yeah. I know. It's just a Sharpie. But I thought it was cool that he was so thoughtful - some people would have just kept it, or thrown it out into the crowd. And he made sure I got it back. I said Thank You, but I'm not sure he heard me. But he did smile, so maybe he did.
We hung around for a bit after the show, because I hate trying to leave when everybody else does {especially at night}, and we kinda hoped that Jason would come back out, but knowing he has to be in Branson tomorrow, pretty much figured he wouldn't. We watched them break down the stage for a bit, then we stopped by the merchandise table again and talked with Joel {Yep, I remembered to ask him his name this time!} We talked with another lady about t-shirts and concerts, and Rhi and I wished them well in Branson.
On the way out, we saw this car, which Rhi called the Red Bumblebee {yeah *I* know it's a Dodge!} and we thought it would be cool to get a picture.

Drove home a different way, because Rhi wanted to go THROUGH St. Louis to see the Arch closer. WHY OH WHY did I listen to her?! I had forgotten how much I HATED driving downtown! That said - the Arch was way cool at night. Rhi said take a picture, so, since I couldn't stop on the interstate, I held the camera in the general direction of the window and the Arch and hoped for the best. This is what I got:

Kind of an interesting little light study.. oh, and the tiny squiggle at the bottom is the arch - when I can look at it closer in the Windows Photo Gallery, you can actually see a little red squiggle from the light on top of the arch.
We got home late - almost 1am, but it was so worth it to go. I really wish I could make it to Branson, but maybe next time. I hope he has a couple of shows out here next year.


CraftyRia said...

Nice photos! You got some really good shots!

Dria said...

Sounds like a lot of fun! I think I will start calling you a JMC groupie (LOL). Too bad about the water heater though.

PattiM said...

Sounds like you both had an awesome time...Glad you made it there in time. BTW... I've actually been in the arch, scary. But don't ask me what it was like other than that cause it was so long ago... We traveled alot when I was younger..


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