Footloose

26 Jul

Yesterday my mom and I drove to Boone to see the Kenny Loggins concert. The drive over was so pretty – lots of green trees, good views of Watauga Lake, and pretty steep mountains. It was a very windy road, but nothing we’re not used to here in Tennessee. We had really great weather, too. It was sunny the whole day, with a nice breeze, but not too hot.

We got to downtown in midafternoon and walked around for a while. Of course we hit up Mast General Store, our favorite place to go in small mountain towns. I got these amazing shoes that are made from recycled rice bags! They are woven and look like Mary Janes. So cute! There were some great little shops in Boone. Artsy, but not quite as hippie-ish as Asheville. There was a great bookstore we found, and a bead store. I didn’t get anything in there; as much interesting stuff as they had, they didn’t have the specific things I’m currently hunting, and nothing that just grabbed my attention enough that I had to have it.

In Mast General, one of the salespeople recommended a great Thai restaurant for us to try for dinner. She made several recommendations (it seems that Boone is full of nothing but terrific restaurants!), but we decided on Thai because we don’t really have anything like it here. Mom and I both got pineapple fried rice, hers with chicken and mine with scallops, which have been my current obsession.

So after a fun day shopping and walking around downtown, and an excellent Thai dinner at Cha Da Thai, we headed over to the concert. I’m not really familiar with a lot of Kenny Loggins music, but I do like what I’ve heard. My mom was really excited; she really likes him but had never seen him in concert before. But I was still pretty pumped to be there. I love concerts as much as the next guy, and I haven’t been to one in a while. Kenny really didn’t disappoint! He played a great show, and a good mix of his older classic songs as well as some new stuff, too. I tend to judge artists by their live shows, much more than records. Records, of course, are great as an artform, because there’s nothing that compares to putting together a spectacular group of songs as a collective unit. But live shows are where you can really tell how talented a person is. How they choose to present their songs live really defines them as an artist. Kenny was great. He used different arrangements of a lot of his stuff, so it wasn’t just the same song you’ve heard a hundred times, played the exact same way. I imagine musicians sometimes get tired of playing their oldest, best songs (no matter HOW good they are), if they don’t change it up a little bit. Gotta always be doing something new!

Anyway, the concert was so good, one of the best I’ve seen. We were sitting near the soundbooth, and we could see the setlist on the control board. After the concert was over I told my mom to go up and ask the sound tech if we could have the set list, for a souvenir. Of couse he said yes! He was only too happy to make our dreams come true. Mom asked him if he traveled with the band, which he did. She also was curious to know if Kenny is really as nice a guy as he seems from the stage. The sound guy said that he was, that he was just the coolest guy and was so much fun. He really did seem like he would be a great person to hang out with – really down to earth.

On our way out of town we stopped at BeansTalk, a really tiny coffee shop run out of an old house. We got some really good coffee for the road as well as some pastries. We headed back over the mountain toward home. We kept the sunroof open the whole time, and no air conditioning, because it was so cool in the mountains we didn’t need it. The stars up there were so beautiful – I could see them traveling along with us by looking straight up out of the sun roof. All in all, a very, very good day.

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