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

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Traveling Circus Keeps the Triple Door Open

The Emerald City, the Rain City, the Gateway to Alaska, the home of the Mariners and Seahawks, the birthplace of Starbucks and UPS, and the location of the Triple Door – Seattle was the place to be to see Taylor Hicks. From around the country, the Traveling Circus flew into town to catch the show, and what a show it was!

The Triple Door was a fantastic venue for an intimate club show. Dinner and drinks before the show, plenty of time to chat with friends and neighbors. The food was what I’d call Asian, served with rice and vegetables cooked with garlic and ginger. My pea pods were exquisite! And those princess prawns – I recommend them! Excellent service from friendly staff as well. But enough about the food!

The place was quite interesting. There are four rows of four half-moon booths that seat four persons each. Behind each row of booths are long tables that seat parties of varying numbers, as well as a row of single-seat tables at the foot of the stage! Tables line the sides so that there is no bad seat anywhere because everyone faces the stage! There’s also seating in the bar area if all you want to do is listen. There was an upper level that could look down on the stage, but appeared to have limited seating.

Since my reservation was for one, the hostess asked if it would be fine to seat me with other guests. Sure, no problem. I was led to my seat at table 6, front row, at the foot of the stage just a little left of center. What a treat because I was seated with other fans I have met during my travels. You might say, there were a lot of members of the Traveling Circus there for Taylor Hicks!

The opening act was Keri Noble, a very talented singer-songwriter from Minneapolis. With just her voice and a keyboard, she entertained the crowd and warmed us up for Taylor. Her music was pleasing to listen to, and I’m sorry to say, I didn’t get one of her albums. She’s the kind of entertainer one would enjoy while curled up in front of a fire with a glass of a nice mellow wine, just listening to her music without the desire to move. Keri was one of the best opening acts I’ve seen Taylor use in quite a while – actually her style and music reminded me of Michael Warren, another Birmingham musician that had the opportunity to open for Taylor during his 2007 Spring Tour.

Following a brief intermission, the house lights grew dimmer and Taylor’s band took the stage before a full house – the show was sold out! After a few warm-up bars, Taylor Hicks took the stage and “The Distance” was the opening song. Wearing the usual gray shirt now covered with a gray vest, black jeans and boots, silver hair glistening, Taylor Hicks owned the stage and would continue to do for the next hour and a half! “The Distance” was a great song to open with, a way to bridge the gap between all people whether at the show or just in the world in general. With a shout out to “Seattle” and grinning ear to ear, Taylor knew he had an audience that was ready to be entertained, to hear him sing and enjoy an evening of good music!

Continuing with his latest album and the first single, “What’s Right is Right” was next. A wonderful song about love in its purest form, performed live, transforms into the memory of the music video that accompanied the single’s release. Taylor sings with heart-felt emotion and passion, leaving the listener knowing that this is the type of love that Taylor is looking for and desires.

From his first album, “Taylor Hicks”, tonight would feature “Heaven Knows” and “The Maze” with lots of other songs tagged within them. “Ain’t it Funky” and “Inner City Blues” found their way into “Heaven Knows” while “That’s Where it’s At” and “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoe” were included with “The Maze”. For over ten minutes Taylor continued without stopping to even gulp a drink of water! Two funky songs with lots of dancing and pure energy!

What Taylor could easily call his own mantra, “Gonna Move” was dedicated to the memory of its writer, Paul Pena. Taylor cracked his own joke about moving, ‘gonna move to where...’! A standard of Taylor’s from his early bar days, is still just as fresh today as it was then. “Old Weakness” was also incorporated into the song before it was over. Also, one of the musicians from “Grease” joined the band for the song, Josh was all I caught. Taylor was going to play his guitar but the guest was using Taylor’s amp, so he had to put his guitar back down and shouted out ‘guitar players’ to get the crowd to laugh!

From the recent album, Bobby Womack’s “Woman’s Gotta Have It” was next. From the first time I heard it live including the recorded version, I find this song is perfect for Taylor’s voice and style. Hopefully, one day we will get to see Elliot Yamin join Taylor on stage to perform it as a duet!

It’s always nice when Taylor performs one of his earlier works, such as “The Deal”. With a big standard guitar, one that almost looks like it might overtake him, Taylor plays his own simple accompaniment to the song.

The bonus track from the Wal-Mart release “Hide Nor Hair” was a crowd pleaser! The young woman sitting with her husband on my left remarked afterwards that “Hide Nor Hair” was her new favorite! It’s been one of mine since the first time I heard Taylor perform it before “The Distance” was officially released! Taylor definitely does Ray Charles proud with his version – I’m sure Ray smiles down on him every time he performs it!

For those who’ve found love and lost it, “I Live on a Battlefield” might bring back those less happy memories. But as Taylor Hicks sings, those memories quickly fade as watching Taylor brings smiles to the faces and hearts of the listeners.

Almost an hour later, the show end with “Seven Mile Breakdown”, almost eight minutes of pure country rock pleasure! Watching Taylor play the guitar during this song made me wonder if his fingers might bleed from the sheer speed with which he played! While this version wasn’t as ‘country’ as the latest single mix is, it’s still a great song performed live, and one that serves Taylor well in his set list.

After a few minutes to catch his breath, Taylor came back for one more song, George Harrison’s, “My Sweet Lord”. I love Taylor’s version which seems faster and maybe a bit jazzier than the original, but definitely a great listen! That is definitely one song I would love to know why it was chosen for the encore (not that it really matters) and one that I look forward to hearing again real soon!

Leaving the stage one last time, the house lights came up and everyone was ushered out the door because the parking lot next door was closing at midnight – not because we would all be turning into pumpkins! Several of us stayed behind to compare notes on the performance, chat with other guests who found Taylor’s performance to be amazing, or just try to figure out where to find some of the many pictures that were taken during the show! For now, the Traveling Circus just needs a little rest before the next adventure, so until then, enjoy the pictures and video that can be found below!

Triple Door Photos

ETA: More fantastic Triple Door pictures courtesy of 4tay

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Anonymous said...

As always, Rags, you took me there with your words. Thanks.

You missed the Space Needle as a Seattle attraction; however. How could you ???!!!!

Have not been able to listen to all your audio but have viewed several vids and, as always, you did yourself and Taylor proud.

A pleasure to be a part of the Traveling Circus, as always.

As always, cath

Anonymous said...

thanks so much for all of your goodies, you always bring TH a little closer to the masses.

Anonymous said...

Mandy, you have done yourself proud in your recaps, videos, and media! Thank you so very much for allowing those of us who did not get to attend, the chance to enjoy it too!


Anonymous said...

OMG Rags-its like I was there--I was so drawn in-like I was the camera on your shoulder--

Taylor looked so fantastic and sounded great as usual-he was having fun--

Thanks SOO much for these vids--some of them came out a bit out of sync-but when its Taylor who cares?
You did a fantastic job as usual. Thanks!!


Anonymous said...

Thx so much Rags for you great interpretation of the night! The video, the pics are amazing! Many thx for sharing!

Kimberly in PA
proud member of NESP

jerseyirish said...

Wow, Thank you for sharing all of this with everyone. Your recap was wonderful, made you feel like you were there right along with you. The pictures are fantastic.


carole said...

Hey Rags, I can't travel, but I can sure be part of the circus.
Thanks for your story. I loved it.
Pictures so clear in my mind, just like I had been there.
Maybe you'll come to FL to see Taylor in Nov. and I can meet you.
That would be fantastic.

Anonymous said...

The videos look so professional----the lighting and sound are fantastic. It looks like you had a perfect seat for viewing. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. You are a wonderful writer and videographer!

crazymomelon said...

mandy, you are the best!
These videos are wonderful, but they made me a little sad that I wasn't there with y'all.
Brian's jazzy sax on WGHI gave me my only quibble with your ot6herwise brilliant recap - please no duet with Elliott! His faux jazz "riffing" would have diminished that performance....imo

Anonymous said...

Crazy, I feel the same way. I don't want to see Elliott duet with Taylor on a Shadow Tour.
I like Elliott, but have never liked his voice.

Gr8fulheart said...

MANDY!!! Please send someone pronto to yank me out of my screen! Those videos, along with your recap taunted me until I decided to join you right there! Jeez~Where is everyone?
Seriously, you really out-did yourself. These are wonderful & as you can tell already ~ We All appreciate your contribution here.
Would have Loved to have been there since it is obvious Everyone had a fabulous time. As for Taylor ~ 'Star Power' as always!
Thank You Muches for sharing those with us♥

RagsQueen said...

As you can see from the videos, the concert was great, and being able to share even a little bit of what I experienced has always been a pleasure!

Many thanks to everyone who has left a comment and even just for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

I'm just now getting around to seeing your videos and I love them!It's like being there all over again!Thanks for sharing them.

KarinP said...

Mandy, I was so happy to see the Google Alert on your blog tonight. Perfect timing for a "Hicks Fix"!

I really enjoyed all of the videos. You have out-done yourself on these. Fantastic quality. You never fail to take us to the concert with your vivid description of the evening's events.

Taylor certainly was entertaining and very animated at times. It added to the enjoyment of watching the videos. Oh, how we miss seeing Taylor on stage. I particularly enjoyed the humour in "My Sweet Lord".

When you really stop and think about it, you have to wonder who enjoyed it more - the concert attendees or Taylor himself. It is easy to see that his heart is still with the music!

Thank You, Mandy so very much for sharing your videos; your pictures and a big thanks to 4Tay for her pictures too!

Anonymous said...

Bravo! Bravisimo!!!! Thank you for bringing the concert to us!
I miss the touring soooo much - this just verified it. LOL!!
Great job! Beautiful pics and video! Loved it all.

Cydter :)

judy said...

Mandy, It was great meeting you at last at the Triple Door. THANK YOU for the videos and audios and pictures. You are amazing!!!
Even though I was there, I have spent the day downloading everything so I can relive the night. What a night it was. Taylor was fantastic and having the media to watch over and over is such a bonus. Hugs, Judy (aka dnjmorton)

Anonymous said...

Great job as usual!! Taylor looks great. Glad you had a great time. Where is the TC headed to next? I forget!


medolark said...

Rags - I knew I could count on you to bring back a fantastic recap. The vids and pics are incredible. I don't know how you do it as I'm so involved in the performance I don't want to take my eyes off the stage. Thankfully, you can do it all. I appreciate you. Ü

tygrlillie said...

Again, I love riding around in your pocket, ma'am. Hope you are well, but I am guessing you are.

Helene said...

thank you.. I always look forward to your recaps along with the beautiful pictures

san said...

You always take us along, Ragsqueen! Your pictures and videos are beautiful and capture the evening for those who couldn't be there.

Thanks for sharing this special time with us in the media. What would we do without the Traveling Circus?!

DreamHrt said...

That was awsume Rags! I am so glad you posted your blog on my site! I cant even begin to tell you how happy your re cap made me! So great to see Tay back in action! What a treat!
Again Thank you!

Some of My Favorite Pictures