My (Secret) Girlfriend: Brandi Carlile

18 Oct

Secret to Brandi, that is.  I’m still living, in case you were wondering.  At long last–a blog post.  I took my big (third) anatomy exam on the Articulatory System this morning.  Now, the humiliation of a group paper is on the horizon.  More on that, and group work in general (and how I HATE it and never fair well in it) later.  But now–a week late (I’m so sorry) my concert latest adventure.

Day of the big concert!  And this year I took steps to have a good time–no matter what.  My boss was nice enough to give me a few hours Friday AM off, so I wouldn’t have a dampered evening thinking about the early morning.  And despite MUCH fussing from our receptionist, I refused to feel guilt and took it.  Also contributing to a nice evening:  Our new friend, turned ex-friend, Brenda told us the secret to getting an actual seat at The Knitting Factory–they let you in early if you patronize the attached restaurant.  Not fair, but if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, I say!

On to the day of the concert (nevermind how this post switches tenses–I wrote it the day of, day after, and almost a week later for school reasons).  Anyway, I always take a walk between my classes to burn calories while I study flashcards or study sheets (and stretch my legs in fresh air) so that day I walked downtown during my hour and a half break.  I wanted to scout out the scene so we could really have a plan and enjoy every moment.  Weirdly, the venue’s restaurant didn’t have posted hours.  At all.  Who does that?!  But when I was in the vicinity–guess who had just pulled up?  Yup, Brandi’s tour busses arrived around 10 AM, right when I was meandering by.

Of course I wanted to see something(one) *Brandi* but didn’t want to hang around like a creeper.  I did walk slowly down the sidewalk past the 2 buses, just hoping.  And a window was open!  I was overjoyed, but awkward.  As much as I wanted to see/talk to/ask for an autograph of Brandi, I didn’t want to be that fan–that stops on the sidewalk and leers inside a tour bus that may or may not contain the singer.  So I sort of craned my neck and kept walking 😦  I did see Phil’s(?) back.  I think.  It was a narrow-shouldered male back wearing a blue/periwinkle plaid shirt.  I wish I had the courage/lack of manners to hang around and see more. . .  But again I didn’t want to leer or be a (too much of a) creeper, so I didn’t talk to anyone.  Or stop.

I did go sit on some benches across the street, just hoping Brandi might come out.  Though, as I sat there, I realized I had no idea what I might say to her if she did.  What CAN you say to any celebrity that doesn’t sound trite and hollow?  I don’t actually know her, and there’s nothing I could say that she hasn’t heard a million times.  Plus, she would probably be annoyed and want to do whatever it is she normally does instead of having to stop and cater to fans.  Also, I had no writing utensil,  no paper, or merch (other then my language development flashcards) for her to sign.  So it kinda would have sucked if I had seen her.  But, obviously, I sat there as long as I could hoping to see her.

In the afternoon (after both classes), Cool and I made our way to the restaurant at The Knitting Factory.  Their food is crappy, fried and overpriced, so we just had (expensive) beer.  Mine tasted like straight-up vinagar.  Maybe someone served me someone’s salad dressing by accident?  Anyway, the point is–the only reason for going to such a place is the perk of getting in the concert doors early.  When you spend money, they hand you a letter, then come concert-opening time, they call the letters in order and those people enter first.  Last year, we didn’t know about this, and despite being 4th or 5th in the line outside, when we got inside, there was standing room only.  We were totally confused how such a thing happened.  And standing for so long, in a throng of (rude) people–was not exceptionally cool.  Brandi has outgrown The Knitting Factory.  They really pack people in there, and I’m certain it’s a fire hazard.  Maybe it was even more crowded this year–I’m not sure b/c we didn’t have to walk around so much scouring for any place to rest.

Speaking of fire hazards -I was forced to get Will-Call tickets in order to save $40 on the price.  So unfortunately  I had no tickets in my hand.  Very much a bummer, and for a worrier like me–a distraction.  Which made the prospect of entering early, null and void, because I would have to fight the Will-call line to GET to enter, and by that time I’dd be at the back of some line.  And of course, their computers were down and they unapologetically told people to get out of the halls because we were a fire hazard.  They didn’t know what time we should line up, “Just keep checking every five-ten minutes or so.”  Which means, everyone who had been at their stupid and gross restaurant for hours (in order to get in to the concert early) was going to have to go to the end of the Will-Call line.  It was a lot of drama.  I (several die-hards, then later just everyone) waited at the Will-Call window even though several employees asked me to go back inside the restaurant, because of the unfairness, but then I decided it was douchi to make the poor employees have to regulate me, not to mention get them in trouble for not keeping the area clear.  Though people just gathered in an even smaller space in the restaurant, which was probably a WORSE fire hazard.

So that was annoying to all.  Believe me, Brandi has many devoted fans in all of Washington.  And Spokane was rabid to see her (first).  So it was not my favorite as those situations benefit the pushiest, most aggressive people (not me) and are hardly ever fair, based on timeliness, or ticket/food price.  But eventually the strugglesome venue just had a printed list and did tickets by hand.  And I got the tickets, and we entered with the rest of the letter C’s after giving up all hope of sitting down. . .

But when Cool and I got inside our favorite “Minus the Bear table” right by the bathroom, was free!  Amazingly!!!  I can’t guess how we were lucky enough for that.  Those things NEVER happen to me.  So we DID get our preferred seat after all.  I don’t know how, because it was already really crowded inside.  Two gals asked if they could share our table, and knowing how difficult it was to get a seat (and realizing someone would eventually sit with us anyway) we agreed.  And they were nice, not even annoying a little!

Obviously, Brandi was awesome, the music was great, and we managed to parse together a set-list.  Between phone lists, and texting the rest–I think it’s complete:

Raise Hell


What Can I Say

Throw It All Away

Hard Way Home

Before It Breaks

Hiding My Heart

Looking Out

Again Today

Save Part of Yourself



The Story


Pride & Joy

Wasn’t Me

That Year

I think that’s the set-list.  I couldn’t be certain because the phone was a little faulty, as were my fingers during the concert.  And I am pretty certain 100 is in there somewhere, but that was the point of the peak phone difficulties and some things got erased from the original note containing the list.

Spokonpoton strikes again.  After struggling so much to get tickets, enter the venue, fight for a place to sit/stand–they were talking over Brandi as if she were some unknown bar band.  Super, super annoying.  Why bother going to a concert if you’re going to talk over it?  Just go to the bar if you want alcohol and conversation.  I wanted to listen, but the clamor didn’t subside when she talked, when she sang, or when the band played.  And it wasn’t just me who noticed and was annoyed–I heard a lot of people shushing, and some even yelling shut-ups.  It was–disruptive.  And I can’t say Brandi ever regained half the audience’s (short) attentions once she lost them.  She talked, then played over clamor for the last 3-5 songs.  Made me belligerent.

At the encore, I have to admit–my heart sank a little.  Brandi told the audience she had gotten married last week. . .  Not that I would ever be able to MEET her, let alone anything else.  Besides, she must be a night owl as a musician–and I’m an early bird so it would never work out.  Still–I didn’t even know she was dating anyone.  The news came as quite a shock.  But they are both cute, and I am happy they are happy.

Now, I gear up for Brandi with the Seattle Symphony.  But there are a lot of exams, school projects, and work days in between now and then. . .


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