Wednesday, April 25, 2007
The Traveling Circus Sees the Light at The Beacon
One of my favorite cities to visit is New York City! The hub bub and crowd of the big city. The traffic and horns beeping. Meeting friends! This was going to be a special trip because I was meeting friends I’d made since becoming a Taylor Hicks fan. My flight was leaving early Friday morning and I had arranged it so I would land at La Guardia around the same time as a friend from Miami. This way we could share a cab into the city.
As we pulled up in front of the Hotel Beacon, the rest of our party was waiting outside. Now how’s that for a welcoming! We hugged and danced around outside and then went inside to register. Well, at least, I was going to try to register! My original reservation was for Thursday night! I forgot to change it and my reservation was cancelled! And that late cancellation fee applied – except the manager took pity on me and didn’t charge me.
After a bit of negotiating, we finally had a room. More like a suite! And at the same price as a regular room! The six of us in our party were about to have a real pajama party! In New York City! Thanks, Mr. Manager! You made our night! And saved my VISA, too!
We settled into our room, decided who was sleeping where, and sat down to chat a bit. A surprise was in store for me! My Miami friend had made me a beautiful scrapbook featuring my blog! I was overwhelmed! And we even had Taylor sign it! What a treasure this will be!
Several in our group had already had lunch while several of us hadn’t. Off we tramped down the sidewalk looking for a place to grab a light lunch. We were planning a big dinner in just a couple of hours. Cosi, a health food type of deli, was chosen. In we went and ordered our sandwiches and drinks. Not bad if I do say so!
As we walked back to the hotel, the meet & greet crowd was gathering at The Beacon Theatre. We walked over to watch what was going on. Taylor was sitting at a table inside the lobby! We stood between the sets of doors and watched as the lucky fans were let inside. After it was over, we went back to the hotel to get ready for dinner and the concert.
We walked around the block looking for a place to dine. Between fish, nut and dairy allergies, we had to find a place everyone could eat. We settled on an Italian restaurant with outside seating. Other fans going to the show were there and joined us. Quite a merry little group!
We basically inhaled our dinner because it was nearly show time when our meals were served! Funds were collected and the bill was paid. Off we ran to nearest flower market to purchase a few bouquets for the man of the hour. A quick trip around the block and we made our entrance into The Beacon.
The Beacon was beautiful with its gold adornments! They are about to remodel the inside. We found our seats, front row! And about a foot from the stage! We were going to be rocking tonight!
Toby Lightman opened. She did her set. Toby is a very talented young lady! Kind of bluesy, kind of country.
Taylor Hicks was about the take the stage and Taylorize the audience! I had dialed in to do the cellcert for the Boogie Board. This was a first for me! Everything was ready. Just waiting for Taylor!
As he took the stage, Taylor Hicks came out waving and singing “Gonna Move”, one of the songs from his self-titled CD. Taylor quickly moved into “Heaven Knows” and “The Maze”. His dancing was non-stop! So full of energy! He moved close to the edge of the stage, teasing those on the front row! Hands were up hoping to be touched. Such a little tease Taylor can be!
With drum stick and cowbell in hand, Taylor beats rhythmically for “Compared to What”, a real audience pleaser! I want that drum stick! Next we get “Wherever I Lay My Hat”. I guess for Taylor, that’s the tour bus for now! We had looked for his bus outside the venue, but it was no where to be found. Hope he knows where it was parked!
We got “Give Me Tonight” and “The Deal”. But for me, the highlight was Taylor Hicks’ own original, “My Friend”, a song he wrote for a friend. It has a nice beat and funky sound. The crowd loved it! He even lunged at the crowd a time or two! What must he have been thinking!
More original music, “The Deal” and “Soul Thing”. Some “Medicated Goo” to soothe the need for a fast beat. Perhaps another lunge at the audience because of the “OMGs” that were heard. Off to “The Right Place” and then “The Runaround”. As Taylor left the stage, he walked from side to side, waving to the audience. No hand grabbing or shaking. I held out my bouquet of purple tulips, but they stayed behind.
The usual encore tease! Dark stage, band leaves and then returns. “Naked in the Jungle”! What an encore! Several tags are intertwined! A little bit of organ action with Brian Less. Taylor makes his way around the edge of the stage a time or two. And then leans downs and takes our bouquets! All three of them! Whee!
Taylor goes behind the curtains, lays down the flowers, and comes back out for a few more shouts of the tags! Some “Speak Out” and “Higher”! We were taken to church! We were totally Taylorized (as if we hadn’t already been!). And then the house lights were on. The show was over. Time to clean the stage and clear the seats.
As we left the theatre discussing the show in excited chatting, we walked to the nearest Starbucks. Hot chocolate, lattes, coffees, whatever our choice. We needed fortification for the night and ended up closing down the Starbucks! We stopped by the buses and Taylor walked out briefly to tell us good-bye and thank us for coming. Such a charmer!
Through the hotel lobby, up the elevator, down the hall, and to our room. Time to review the show, chat some more, and upload pictures. Whee! I took well over 300 shots tonight! Quite a lot of good ones, too! After a bit, we decided sleep was in order. Check out would come soon enough, and most of us were traveling the next day to Jim Thorpe, PA. And we wanted one last meal together before we left.
But as Taylor has been often quoted, “when you’re having fun, sleep can wait.” Too bad, it’s still waiting!
Pictures from The Beacon
Tags: Taylor Hicks, American Idol, Birmingham, Alabama