Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cowboy Junkies Concert in Asheville

Over the past couple of years I've become a big fan of the Canadian alt-country band, The Cowboy Junkies; I have bought several of their albums and a couple of concert videos, and I listen to them all the time. They don't tour much these days, and when they do, they play primarily in the northern United States and Canada, so I didn't figure I'd ever get a chance to see them. Around the end of January I just happened to check their website to see what was going on, and I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that they were playing in Asheville the following weekend, on February 8! I bought my ticket right away and started counting down to the 8th. All seats were general admission, so I wasn't stuck with a nosebleed seat by buying so near the date.

On that Sunday I headed up to Asheville following church and got there around 2:00. My first stop was The Dripolator coffeehouse for a most excellent BLT, home fries, and cup of coffee. Sufficiently fueled, I parked and explored downtown on foot for the duration of the afternoon until close to showtime.

A cool wall mural:

Two beautiful churches across the street from each other:

A group of college-age kids had set up a mat and a music system and were doing some breakdancing; I joined in with a pretty large crowd and enjoyed their incredible action while also enjoying a hot Blenheim ginger ale I'd just picked up at the Mast General Store.

Neat cat sculpture:

The concert was in a cool venue called the Orange Peel.

The concert started at 8:00, and the doors opened at 7:00. Since it was only a couple of blocks from downtown proper, I wandered down around 6:00 to see if anyone was down there yet, and there were about half a dozen folks, so I joined in with them - since all tickets were general admission, it was first-come, first-served. I had a magazine with me, so I read a bit and chatted with the others. More and more people started showing up, and by the time the doors opened, there was quite a lengthy line.

The doors opened, and it was a mad dash to grab seats. I scored one on the front row, third seat from center! I sat between two die-hard fans who'd been to several concerts, and I had an enjoyable time visiting with them before the show started.

The Junkies performed an excellent show; it was surreal seeing them just feet in front of me performing songs that I've grown to love over the last couple of years.

Lead singer Margo Timmins

Her brother Mike, the guitarist and primary songwriter.

Bassist Alan Anton

Mike, Jeff Byrd (mandolin, harmonica), Margo, her brother Pete on drums, and Alan

I got to meet Margo afterward and got her autograph. :-) I got home around 2:00am, slept a few hours, and made it to work on time Monday, slightly groggy, but with enough excitement from the previous night to help me through the day. :-)


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