Tour Stop #14, The Depot, Salt Lake City 23rd March 2011
Well though I had been told that Denver was going to be the prettiest city I would visit on this trip, I have to disagree. Yes, it is nice, pretty architecture and some mountains, but they are only on part of the city, and it is hard to see them because of all the buildings. SLC on the other hand has snow-capped mountains all around and you can see them quite often while walking around. Even my flight in was gorgeous so SLC wins hands down in my book.
The city is a huge centre for the Mormon religion so I had to go see Temple Square, their headquarters so to speak. The buildings were lovely as were the grounds and though my tour was a bit more religious in nature than I had expected, I enjoyed what I was shown. I also visited yet another Capital Building but what was nice about this one was not only was it much more colourful inside than Denver (didn’t get to go inside the one in Austin), but it was also set up on a hill which gave me even better views of the mountainous range.
So tonight’s show at the Depot was one of a few that started later – doors at 8pm, show at 9. I arrived around 6:30pm to find about 15 people in line already. Holy cow, I thought, well forget about getting something to eat while in line, I am getting in now. But LOL, as it turned out, this was the line for people wanting tickets… a venue that wasn’t originally selling well ended up selling out… who hoo for the guys! Because of this, I ran out to grab a sandwich to eat in line but once back, the VIPers started coming out and I recognised Pat so waved hello and by the time it was over, I was heading to dinner with him, Roger Erickson and his wife, forumeer Steve, and Eleah and Bob, a sweet couple I met while arriving. We hit Applebees but Steve, Eleah and I all decided to forfeit a sit down meal (that took longer to get than expected) and take ours to go so we could get back to the venue and stake a spot up close (that was the most expensive 3 bites of dinner I have ever had, especially since my first sandwich ended up getting dry after cooling off so threw it out, ha!).
Front row was our reward and eventually the rest of the gang made it up too. I began talking to another nice guy, Brad and Pat was nice enough to let him take the front so I ended up with another singing buddy.
But just like Atlanta, when looking at the stage, I could see that we weren’t going to have Oh Land for an opener. No idea what happened but we were entertained by two older gentlemen – one who sang and the other who played guitar. Joe and Eric was what they called themselves and though they did mostly covers (if not all but 2 songs I didn’t recognise), Joe had an amazing voice so they eventually won the crowd over, even getting us to sing the echo of Peter Gabriel’s ‘In Your Eyes’.
The Depot fits roughly 900 people, a basic layout of floor with a bar in the back and then balcony that goes around. The stage was about average size but I was happy to see that even though they had a barrier to keep us away from the edge about 3 feet, the height was normal this time! ;o)
Even before the band came out, the group of us were all ready; cries of Andy, Paul, Martin and Mal were released multiple times from Steve (I think… never turned around, I was having too much fun) and Eleah has got to have one of the strongest screams I have heard. She definitely got Mr. Mr.M’s attention, tee hee!
When they walked out on stage and started ‘New Babies: New Toys’, it became apparent Mr. C was having some technical difficulties because Baz and Co kept running back and forth to him, working on his connections etc. When the song was over, Mr. M asked if he was ok to go on, Mr. C nodded sweetly and so that is what they did. It took another song to get it all settled but not much later from that correction and something was going on with Mr. M during ‘Radio Waves’. Not quite sure what but he wasn’t getting or hearing what he needed and a number of facial and body gestures to the side of the stage ensued until it got fixed (from our stand point, the only thing I noticed was his voice seemed to drop in volume for that one – no idea why). None of this really dampened things for us though, every song was met with a lot of cheering and even the front of the balcony was up and dancing.
I always look forward to ‘Maid Of Orleans’, not just because the song is mind blowing to see live but also to watch Mr. M and Co’s reactions to the crowd and just like every night on this tour (well and any tour I have seen really,) it made the guys smile from ear to ear! ‘New Holy Ground’, like it is sometimes, was a highlight for me and I heard someone mutter “That song is just amazing” when it was all done… couldn’t agree more!
Once time to start dancing again, So In Love began and it was one of many sing-a-longs that night (gotta say, I had a great bunch of belters with me last night, tee hee! ;o) But like mentioned earlier, it was ‘Sister Marie Says’ that was going to be the touchy song. Mr. M skipped most of its normal intro and instead played the whole “congregation” and “sinners” thing down. Smart move but it was still hilarious to see him singing the second verse and Eleah and I couldn’t help but continually laugh as some of his regular facial expressions for that part still showed.
‘Dreaming’ arrived and the part where Mr. M starts the “Won’t you stay here tonight?”, as usual, had people cheering, as did the next line of making the feelings last. We also cheered like crazy for the “Shall we start this all again?”. But for the first time that I personally have heard, there was a huge “NO” yelled in response to “Would that be just too much to ask”. HA! Of course it really IS too much to ask and we didn’t get a repeat but hey, it was an honest answer ;o)
‘Enola Gay’ was done with great energy and when it was time for the guys to say goodbye, I laughed as Mr. H#2 sprang up from his drums to wave like he was ejected. ‘Walking On The Milky Way’ went quickly and before we knew it, ‘Electricity’ signalled the end of yet another show. Perhaps because the tour is coming to a close, the last week and all, the shows are running past me faster but it was great to see them play to a crowd that loved them and with not only fellow forumeers but as always, new friends.
OK highlight of the night – I’ve been told this is up on YouTube already because her husband said it was uploaded right when they finished – modern technology at work LOL. But near the end of the show, a girl came by and wanted to get in front of Pat. He let her in with a look of ‘OK, whatever’ and she was all giddy and excited so then her sister soon followed and was in front of Eleah. By the start of ‘Electricity’, I heard the first girl say how she really wanted to get up there and I assumed she meant up to the front row/rail so I moved and gestured her over to my spot… hmmm, not sure if that was a good move or not because before I knew it, she was climbing the rail and jumping on stage! She started jumping up and down like “I did it, I did it”, then ran over to Mr. M. Security came but bless Mr. M’s heart, he allowed her to stay on with him so she proceeded to hug and kiss him, then gleefully jump and dance around until the song was over. Mr. M seemed amused and when the song was over and she was leaving, they both thanked each other, HA! (and at least she didn’t stage dive off like the Houston dude!)
So it’s off to LA for the addition of an in store music performance by Mr. M and Mr. H. Goodbye beautiful mountains – Hello congestion, smog and if the forecast is correct, rain. Ah well…
Photos by Lori Tarchala