OH. MY. GOSH.
Taylor, you were my first. I waited through six seasons of American Idol for someone like you – someone who could make me say, “WHOA! I LOVE this voice!” – someone who could make me just not WAIT to see them in their own concert… and you were the one and last Friday night was the night.
House of Blues, Dallas, Texas. What a terrific place for concerts; it’s new, it’s not too big, not too small, and the accoustics are outstanding. We (hubby and I invited another couple) arrived shortly before 7, and after a quick search of our purses, and the whole-body wand treatment that we all got, they trapped this lovely paper bracelet around our wrists and waved us through to stand in line or wait in the bar or restaurant. (care to guess which we chose?) Yep! Taylor wasn’t supposed to start until 8 and there was no opening act, so we had plenty of time to have a drink and eat a bite in the HOB Restaurant before finding our seats.
ALL of the reserved seating is in the balcony; the floor is General Admission, Standing Room Only, and since we entered the venue from the HOB restaurant instead of the outside doors, I didn’t get a chance to see how crowded the floor was, but looking around after we were seated in the balcony, I saw almost no empty seats anywhere.
There are three sections in the balcony – Left Side, Center, and Right Side.
There are only two “Box Seat” areas – on the Left Side, and on the Right Side.
The Center Section has no box seats; instead the first row is aligned with the
first row of the Box Seats. THAT is the part that I find weird! I see NO advantage to paying $30 more per seat for Box Seats, other than the fact that
those seats swivel, and the rest do not. (makes me glad now that there were none available when we purchased ours) The cocktail waiters and waitresses served everyone in the balcony – in their seats. I had already been told there are no bad seats at the HOB”, and found it to be true, as we were in the third row of the Center section and could see everything and everyone on stage, as well as their expressions, perfectly.
TAYLOR, THE BAND, AND THE MUSIC:
OH. MY. GOSH. I cannot tell you how absolutely, utterly awesome every song was! I thought I loved almost every song on the album, but that was before seeing Taylor and his band live and hearing those same songs ramped up several notches. I didn’t recognize his opening song (something about wanting to “kiss you, but you’re too tall”), but it set the stage for a really lively and fun show, and the audience didn’t need much to get into Taylor Hicks – he had us with the first note.
Of course there were lots of mentions of Da’lis, Texas, which in turn prompted the overhead lights to come on every time, with much applause
from the audience.
Couple of notes: At no time throughout the entire concert did
Taylor or anyone EVER hawk his album! (Is this normal?) At one time, in appreciation of the sax player, someone threw a huge pair of white granny panties on the stage. (the sax player never came forward when he was in the spotlight again!) Taylor carefully stepped over the panties, and then kicked them off the side of the stage.
Every single one of the band was outstanding, absolutely OUTSTANDING! And they ALL had the spotlight several times. I think most of them have been touring with Taylor all along? I don’t remember the base player, but he must have been taking dancing lessons from Taylor. He did a LOT of hopping up and down and just a lot of Taylor Moves!
They performed every song on the album EXCEPT for “Dream Myself
Awake”, “Places I’ve Been”, and “Hell of a Day” (the bonus track from WalMart). “Give Me Tonight” was a big shocker to me – it was their second song of the night, and SOOOOOO much better than on the album I almost didn’t recognize it! I don’t know how they can segue in and out of so many songs so seamlessly, but “The Maze” seemed to be the one that meshed with several of the others. Taylor played the guitar on almost every song and of course blew us away with the harmonica on many of them.
Once again he encouraged the audience to participate in the beginning of “The Right Place”, even laying the mike down on the floor facing those standing at the front. “Young Turks was a crowd pleaser, and “Medicated Goo” seemed endless – the sheer energy of that song is
exhausting! Taylor sang several of his originals: “Heart and Soul”, “Soul Thing”, “The Deal”, and another one he wrote that I’ve never heard before: “My Friend”. It was so pretty. I hope we hear it again, maybe on his next album?
All in all, it was the single best concert I’ve ever attended, and though
our friends were never huge Taylor fans, they came away with a new appreciation of his many talents, not the least of which was his voice. I understand his concerts keep getting better, and as we were“taking the long way home” Sunday night, I couldn’t help thinking that Taylor Hicks was so worth the wait.