Well y'all, Friday, November 14 was my special night out.
I went to Greensboro to attend the concert of one of my favorite artists, Maxwell.
The show was won-der-ful!
Maxwell sounded a little hoarse but that didn't stop him from bringing the house down.
It had been quite a while since I'd had the pleasure of seeing him in concert, and like his other fans I had been missing him something awful.
We had relocated since I last saw him; several times over the past few years I've wondered if he would ever perform in our new town.
When I found out he had a show planned for November 14 in Greensboro I was torn. On the one hand, I was willing to drive up to 100 miles to hear Maxwell sing. On the other hand, I was wishing he was coming here and concerned that I would make a 75-mile drive to sit in a crappy seat.
In my home town, his tickets would sell out in a few hours. For several shows.
Miraculously, even though I wasn't even aware of his tour until four hours after tickets went on sale for my show, I was able to get an up-close seat.
Thus began a month of escalating excitement and frenzy.
As soon as I bought my ticket I began thinking about what I would wear. I had a general idea because I like to wear black for nighttime outings. Most of my anxiety came with trying to decide on my accessories.
I knew I was gonna make my jewelry but I couldn't decide on the color(s) or style(s). So I made several sets.
The week of the show I decided I wanted to wear real make up. So I got a make-over at Kohl's but didn't like it when I got home. I ended up going to the mall the day before the show to get a M.A.C. make-over at Belk at Northlake Mall. It was absolutely fabulous and I want to shout out to my makeup artiste, Carol. That lady knows her stuff!
(Turns out that she was supposed to go to the concert too but she couldn't coordinate her work schedule well enough so she decided to pass. I'm hoping she goes to his next show. Maybe we can ride together.)
I also got my skirt back from the seamstress the night before the show. She is another miracle worker. I don't know how she measures but she pulled out the tape, got behind me for a half a minute, then put the tape away.
Then I saw her write down three (3) numbers which of course I thought wasn't enough information.
Well maybe it was or maybe she has a great memory because the skirt fit perfectly.
When I went for my "fitting" (the night before the show) I only had to try it on wearing my shoes so M'lady could cut and serge the hem.
(Also amazing was the price she charged me. It was wayyyyy less than what I thought the skirt was worth. When I protested, she said it only took her about an hour. Okay but I was looking at the quality of her work in its totality. I gave her a little extra but I still thought she didn't charge enough for her work.)
Now back to the Pre-Party Pandemonium...
The day of the show was mega hectic around here.
Mr. Bliss and didn't want to get caught in the rush hour traffic on 85 north -- it usually starts around 2 p.m. -- so we had set 1 p.m. as our departure time.
As usual, I was trying to race the clock.
By 11 a.m., I had everything gathered but nothing packed. I also needed to:
- get my grandma.
- get a shower.
- get dressed for the road.
- make sure I had my ticket, the directions to our hotel from home and from our hotel to the venue (I didn't; I had to go back online to print them all).
- I also needed to make a bank run.
Although we left later than planned, my timing is getting better! We were out of here before 1:45.
Traffic was very light, thankfully. Otherwise I might have seen it as a bad omen and been panicky for the whole ride.
Despite the fact that Mr. Bliss wasn't attending the concert, he happily drove the 1.5 hours up to Greensboro. He knows how much I love Maxwell's music!
Not that I needed anything more to hype me up but we listened to Maxwell's CDs for the whole ride.
As many adventures as I've had in my life, this was my first time traveling out of town for a concert. I was happy to make the drive with my hubby but it would have been awesome if I had gone with a group of Maxwell fans.
There was no time for me to rest at the hotel. I had a lot to do before the show and only a few hours to do it in.
Several things involved crocheting and those were the most time-consuming.
I also had to:
- polish my toe- and fingernails.
- figure out how to wear a waist-hugging slip under a hip-hugging skirt.
- write a thank-you letter to Maxwell.
- get a shower.
- remove a gazillion straws from my hair.
- put on my makeup.
- get dressed.
Right when it looked like I had some time to relax, I was once again racing the clock.
Thank you God/Goddess/Universe for the inimitable Mr. Bliss. He helped me get dressed and with my hair.
The end result:
A little after 8 p.m., we were about to walk out. Then I looked at myself in the mirror and began to hyperventilate. I knew I had everything but I felt like I was forgetting something.
All the way to the coliseum (a ten minute drive) I felt teary-eyed. I knew I'd better keep those tears in check though. No runny mascara or tear-streaked foundation for this concert cutie!
The opening act (sorry I can't remember her name) was good. She was very upbeat, had a good voice, and seemed to love what she was doing. Though I had never heard of her or heard her music before, she had me bobbing and nodding along to the beat.
Finally she was done. I felt the tension grow thick. Just like me, everyone was waiting on The Main Attraction.
Lucky me, my southern can was planted in the third row. There was a guy to my right and two ladies sitting to my left. The guy was pretty quiet. Initially I thought he was there with the lady to his right. As the night went on I wasn't so sure.
The two ladies to my left were true fans. We talked while the stagehands changed the set.
Then the lights went out and the screaming began.
Lights shone on the curtains.
The screams got louder. I felt folk straining in their chairs.
The curtains opened and I thought the hall was trembling around me. The screams turned into a loud... I don't know what.
The band was revealed and more screaming ensued.
Then Maxwell came out and the place went wilder still. If screams could tear down walls, we would have been standing in the open air to watch the concert because every wall in that place would have been dust in the wind.
People got up out of their seats and it was on!
I was on my feet and screaming along with the crowd, overjoyed to finally get another in-person listen to the man whose music has stirred my soul for so many years.
I was so excited that now I can't even remember what song he sang first.
My first thought upon seeing him was that he looked so different to me with his new, less-is-more hair. I thought I wouldn't like it but change is good.
He and his band were dressed to the nines, in suits and ties. LaTina (his only female background vocalist) looked beautiful in a peach satin-y gown with an empire bodice.
The two young ladies to my left were just as ecstatic as I was to be at the show. One said it was her first Maxwell show. I was excited at her excitement. LOL
The way Maxwell engages his audience is something to see.
Truthfully it begins before he shows his face. The anticipation right before he comes out, when the lights go off and the audience begins to scream -- it's phenomenal. Then the band starts to play and the screams get even louder.
By the time he comes out, the decibels have reached an unbelievable crescendo.
I watched the crowd to observe their reactions to him (because I'm a people watcher by nature) but for sure, I got my party on.
It looked like folk were having the time of their lives and that increased my joy exponentially. I love to see people enjoy themselves and that night was no exception.
Maxwell, thank you for Greensboro. I can't live without my music and your sexy soul crooning is a part of my life!
Seeing you live and meeting a few new friends (I hope) has been the best night out I've had this year.