Tour Stop #12 – Granada Theatre, Dallas 20th March 2011
Well, one final gig in the state of Texas and more warm weather. LOL, I should report my search for cheap summer clothes mentioned in last blog was accomplished and none too soon as I was wearing the Capri’s today!
Actually got into Dallas about 11pm the night prior to the gig (gotta say it was a bit exhilarating doing a 4 hour drive at night… ..way cool full moon!) so I was able to see how lovely the skyline was lit up though sadly no photo ops. But it was a moment of nature that started my gig day. I stopped at the Dallas Arboretum and was loving the smells of the flowers! There were tulips as far as the eyes could see, hydrangeas hanging from overhead rails, small waterfalls and a lot of people getting great family and/or children pictures with beautiful backdrops. Spring has definitely sprung here!
Eventually ended up downtown and though it’s no Chicago, the skyline was pretty in the daylight too. I didn’t have much time before I had to go to the venue to meet forumeer Tom (though we never met up) but wandered around a bit to get a feel of the city. There was a definite feel of religion, (the mall was closed… after all, it was Sunday) and sweetly displayed in their “Thanksgiving Corner” but I couldn’t help but remember Nicky’s words on the way to MI of concerns how Sister Marie Says would go down. Well, it wouldn’t be long and I would find out.
Upon arriving to the venue at 4pm, I was lucky to find a parking spot in front of an apartment complex… .and a realtor sign for none other than Oh Land Properties, HA! A few of the VIPers were already there taking pictures of the venue and marquee sign showing OMD. Soon Stephan and Irene hopped out of a cab and we started to visit, me reporting Austin activities to Stephan and he translating to Irene (LOL, “you are talking too fast”) As the 4:30pm package time drew closer I heard my name called and saw Diane and Janine, two girls from Kansas City that I had met in Chicago, coming up to me. Whoo hoo, more familiar faces! Well eventually the package holders were told that the Dallas traffic had kept the band from getting in until now so they were running a bit late… finally took people in at 5:15pm and said they would have to skip the meet and greet, OMG! By this time I had ended up with Keekie (hope I spelled that right) as her husband Ron had VIP but she was like me, a regular ticketer. Diane and Janine went in (gold) and Stephan and Irene had gone for some food so Keekie and I looked at each other with surprise. We sat down and chatted but were feeling bad for Ron as he really wanted to meet the guys. Listened while NB:NT was performed and other muffled songs and then one by one the golders came out… but VIP stayed in. As it turned out, Dallas was like Chicago in that no pictures were allowed in order to move things along but the meet/greet itself still took place, phew!
Per Diane and Janine, the stage was really tall “It’s going to come up to your head” and when the doors opened for everyone, though I had asked them to hold me a spot down front, I was thinking I was going to end up hanging with Keekie and Ron who were choosing to go to the first level. Got up front, saw they weren’t kidding (ok, stage came up to my eye level but still… wow!) and moved to the area being saved for me up a bit. The theatre itself really was nice… 4 levels off the floor and each were very short in depth so as to still allow a great view (ours was only 15-20 feet from stage edge). I’ve gotta say it felt weird to choose NOT to be in the front row but I had a birds eye view from where I stood, plus figured since the band wouldn’t see me, I could sneak some videos of the songs that I see as virtually impossible to sit still for (no idea how people can ignore the call for “bad dancing”) especially when up front. I also found it fun to watch the side screens that were showing live FB comments about the show… modern technology at work.
It was wonderful to see Oh Land back with the band. Again, no offence to Scars on 45 as they did a good job but having Oh Land again made things feel “normal”. Not sure why but they cut their set short a song and I also noticed they were missing their infamous balloons (then again with everything that happened during SXSW I wouldn’t be surprised if they popped during one of a number of Oh Land’s performances!).
When they were done, more FB comments showed up, this time many commenting on how good Oh Land were, I concur.
By this time I had started chatting to Scott, the guy standing to my left. I apologised in advance if I stepped on him during my dancing and jumping and soon I heard someone lean in and apologise to ME if they step on me “I’ll try not to. I tend to jump up and down straight so… ” Well whoo hoo, a bouncing partner! Algis had come from South America to see this show… dang! When OMD came out and ‘New Babies: New Toys’ started, I just knew this was going to be good.! ‘Messages’ got done and the crowds cheering was so loud, it was hard to hear Mr. M and Mr. H talking! ‘Tesla Girls’ got a strong No, No, No and by the time ‘(Forever) Live And Die’ came up, the crowd was more than ready for Mr. H.! Mr. M joked by saying “Paul… ” “Andy… .” “It’s time for you to come out now. Paul’s going to be doing the dancing”. Mr. H laughed and said “Ah, no… .but I will do the singing” and yes he did! Scott was in Heaven as he LOVED that song. I gotta say, where Algis was my bouncing partner, Scott was my singing partner. We totally had the words and hand/body gestures down pat, tee hee!
So soon it was time for ‘Joan Of Arc’ and ‘Maid Of Orleans’ and as usual, it was remarkable but as it turned out, so was the crowd reaction. The chanting started and we just wouldn’t shut up. The band looked sincerely floored! They kept thanking us and looking at each other like “OMG!”
Diane was tonight’s lucky recipient of Mr. M’s water bottle during ‘Talking Loud And Clear’ and then it was back to “non stop dancing”, no problem! Any wonders for ‘Sister Marie Says’ went out the door as the crowd really got into it and ‘Dreaming’ was one of the strongest sing-a-longs I have heard yet! Mr. M took his earpiece out a number of times during the show but with that one we got a “You sound brilliant!” ‘Locomotion’ saw Mr. M and Mr. H giving their adorable smiley hand shake but then Mr. M got in front of Mr. H, turned to face him and shook his toosh at the crowd! I missed some of it as I had just grabbed the handshake on camera and was changing my setting, (LOL looking up to that!) but phew, caught the last bit on camera ;o)
I lost track at how many times OMD chanting started, I think 4 (and proud to say it was usually in my corner thanks in part to a guy really into them, one “OMD” and we all jumped right in) but by the time ‘Enola Gay’ began there was just no stopping the crowd! The energy and excitement was undeniable and as the guys walked off, a constant chanting ensued all the way until they came back for the encore (whoo hoo, one of the songs I grabbed and purposely kept recording. Can’t WAIT to get that up on YouTube!) Everyone was bopping back and forth singing “Hey hey hey” for ‘Walking On The Milky Way’ and ‘Electricity’ was just that, electrifying! When the guys finally walked off after a TON of thank yours, laughs, clapping back to us, waves, kisses, and promises that they “WILL come back” I turned to my male buddies and saw they were as ecstatic as me. Keekie and Ron were thrilled too, Keekie letting out an amazed “OMG!” What a way to end their Texas visit!!!
So, highlight of the night… well, the show, like I said, was the best so far but what happened after the show was sweet! The plan was to go and wait for the band as Diane and Janine had brought some goodies for Mr. M, Keekie and Ron wanted another chance to say “Hi” and get some pics since not allowed for VIP, the guys wanted to meet them and get pics/autographs (Algis had letters to give them too) and I had some stuff for friends to try and get signed. We all went outside, headed to the back where the bus was and, coming around the corner, were met by a large group of fans that had already started waiting. Wow! I have waited outside for 4 of the shows thus far but none even came close to the amount of people now waiting. I would guess at least 35 and I feared the guys wouldn’t get near enough. Ron and Keekie figured the same and left, Diane and Janine ran to the car to get the stuff so I waited with the guys and soon Mr. H came out. I think he was a bit overwhelmed and surprised by the crowd but thrilled too it seemed. One by one people came up to him with requests and I must say, I was really happy to see how organized and fair the crowd was, much better than early tour experiences. I had decided to wait on my stuff since I had 6 more shows (wow, only 6 left) but as Algis said (and Scott agreed) “I’m like a teenage girl right now”. They both SO wanted to meet the guys so we waited and eventually Algis was able to get up to Mr. H and give him his letters, thanking him for coming. Pics taken, then Scotts turn. I had to laugh as I thought “God, now I know what Helen meant when, last year after Glasgow show, she said highlight for her was seeing me finally meet the guys… it was the same with these two for me!”
Mr. M came out shortly after and of course the crowd started yelling out his name. We were waiting when I saw Mr. C over by the bus talking to Stephan and Irene. I ran over, gave him a hug and, oops, thought my camera strap was around my wrist but nope, whoosh went my camera across the parking lot! Well Algis got to meet him too, then he asked me if I was still having fun (how could I NOT be?) and we talked of the crowd. I went to say something along the lines of how the crowd fuelled the band on but instead it came out “you guys were HOT tonight!” Mr. C gave me a look that was a mix of bashful, amused and surprised and I realised I blundered so said “I mean on fire! You guys were on fire tonight!” (insert blushing face here). Ah well, at least I blundered with a compliment ;o)
When done sticking my foot in my mouth, I got back to Mr. M to get pics for Scott and Algis… except darn, the drop in the parking lot had made my poor camera jam and not open. Luckily Scott whipped out his iPhone and we got one there but poor Algis still needed his. Luckily I eventually got it going and not only did he got his picture, but Scott got another one too. The two of them were just elated and I was thrilled for them! (should mention, after some girlish back and forth debate of should I shouldn’t I, decided to ask for a pic myself and, well, three really is a charm as this one came out great!).
Finally the crowd thinned out (gosh, must have been 30 minutes from the time the guys came out, bless their hearts!) and Diane and Janine gave Mr. M his goodie bag. Tea for his throat, some home made HoM necklaces but the main prize… .a custom made T-shirt: “McCluskey School of Dance, Est. 1978” with windmills on it. He laughed his “arse” off, it was great! What a wonderful night in SO many ways and for SO many fans, myself included! Austin may have left some sour spots on the band but I think Dallas helped to cover them up… definitely a way to go out on a high!!!
So I’m off to Denver now having to say goodbye to the sunshine car and hop a plane. But I’ve been told it’s a lovely city so looking forward to it!
Photos by Lori Tarchala