Sharing thoughts about Taylor Hicks and concert travels and other musical musings!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Traveling Circus Joins the Atlanta 'Tabernacle Choir'

After a short night in Nashville, I had to drive back to Memphis. For some reason, the westbound side of the interstate was closed and I had to take a 30 mile detour. Thank goodness for the trucks on the road – I had no idea where I was going!

A quick shower, fast drive to the airport, purse search by security, a wheelchair ride to my gate (2 miles away, or so it seemed!) and I was boarding my plane to Atlanta. First class for a change. A girl could get used to such frivolity! But I had other plans – a nap! The line was around the block, but moved quickly once the doors opened.

I stopped by Taylor’s merchandise stand to pick up one of the new t-shirts. This one said ‘Soul Patrol’ on the front. I also wanted a cap. There was one interesting item for sale – an autographed harmonica that Taylor had played at The Ryman on Thursday night. I asked if the proceeds were going for charity but the vendors didn’t know. The reason I had asked, was because the Red Cross was going to the Birmingham shows and Lazer’s Edge the next two nights raising money for Alabama storm victims.

I walked into the stage area and discovered it was standing room only. There were two balconies that had seats. I asked where the handicapped seating was and security said upstairs. No elevator. A hundred stairs – ok, not that many – but still a lot! I made it to the next level and was given a seat. Front row right over Loren Gold! I was up close and personal! Whooo!

The Greyhounds opened again tonight. I heard someone say that they were part of the ‘gray brigade’ – hint, hint – the color of Taylor’s hair! An Atlanta native friend of the guitarist joined them on stage. Interesting performance. But after 3 weeks of them, I’m ready for a change!

“Goldfinger” starts and The Taylor Hicks Band takes the stage. They do their opening number and Taylor walks on stage as it ends. He waves to the crowd and going into his opening number, “Soul Thing”. The crowd, and I do mean crowd, cheered wildly! Taylor was getting his energy from them, and they fed off Taylor!
Taylor quickly moves into songs from his album such as “Heaven Knows” and “The Maze”. Drumstick and cowbell in hand, Taylor set the beat and rhythm for “Compared to What”, an interesting cover song. It’s back to the album for “Wherever I Lay My Hat”, “Just to Feel That Way” and “Give Me Tonight”. There are lots of phrase repeats that are drawn out and the crowd goes wild.

Sometimes the audience sings along with Taylor! At one point Taylor comments that he has his own “Tabernacle Choir”! Yes, the traveling circus is now the “Tabernacle Choir”! I love it! I can sing off key as usual and Taylor hears a choir!

My new favorite song that rivals “Young Turks” is “Goodbye Stranger”. Even Melanie gets to sing a solo bit. But when Taylor begins to whistle at the end, I hear a chorus of song birds! He can whistle any time – and I’ll come running!

Back to the album and then he ends with “The Runaround”. Taylor bows and waves to the fans, no longer just the crowd, crossing the stage from right to left. He leans across Loren’s keyboard and hits a few high notes. Then Taylor walks around behind the keyboard and pounds the keys! Taylor is playing the keyboard! Taylor is playing the keyboard! I can barely focus my camera, but I manage a blurred Taylor on the keyboard! Whooo! Soul Patrol!

The band does the usual fake out, and then returns. Out comes Taylor! Mike in hand, Taylor starts “Georgia”. The screams, the whoos, the applause is deafening! It this has been a political rally there would have been a riot! Taylor was hawt! Taylor rawked! Taylor nailed it! I will never be the same! And neither will anyone else who was there! “Georgia”! What a show stopped and ending!

And then, Taylor left the stage!

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