July was a very long month; with work, travel, grand opening parties, and all things life, it required a conscious push to march hard toward each thing that was ‘next’ on the docket. It was a definite challenge to constantly fire on all cylinders, but it was worth it, and thankfully interrupted by a handful of very memorable and unreasonably perfect summer nights.
While summer nights in Charlottesville all typically equate to the good life, there was one Saturday in particular that stood out from the rest. It had been a pretty full day of MADness (see this post for a more macro level recap) and life-things, so by the time 5pm rolled around, I was ready for a low-key summer cville night and I knew exactly where I wanted to go: the Sarah Bareilles concert at the n’Telos Wireless Pavillion downtown.
It might not necessarily sound like a relaxing night — going to a concert — but one of the most beautiful things about Charlottesville is just how accessible and intimate the entire downtown scene is, concert venues included. You would think that being such a small town with smaller venues might not attract the same caliber of artists, but it’s just the opposite. We are spoiled.
By 5:15 I had convinced Elly and Dar to come with me; at 5:30 I had all of our tickets in hand. By 6pm I had picked them up in the party bus (enjoy the slightly exaggerated mental image) and we were en-route to Bella’s for a little pre-show wine and dinner. It was the perfect prelude to a ladies night out, and I didn’t think it could get much better – but it did.
The weather was perfect. No humidity, low heat, rain AND insect free; a seemingly impossible combination. Add on a box seat upgrade from MAD auto girl herself, Jamie Schwartz, and you’ve got the best of everything right there. Also, she played this song, which might have completed my life.
Fast forward two and a half weeks; skipping over week 1 of work back in Charlotte, all of the adventures in Charleston for the Grand Opening party, CLT work week 2, and say hello to this past Monday which brought the 2nd Installment of Sarah Bareilles into my summer, this time with 3rd row seats at the Uptown Amphitheater at the Music Factory.
Sometimes you just need it; lyrical connection, live music, an escape from the day to day, and a night out with friends. The Charlotte show brought another night of seemingly impossible summer weather: no humidity, low 80’s, and just a general calm in the air that lends itself directly to a state of relaxed euphoria. Tack on 5 people I love, and you’re really gaining momentum.
I’m not sure what it is about this particular artist; if it’s the nostalgic connection some of her songs have to my happiest and most painful memories, or if just the perfect storm of conditions and known songs was enough to peel back every layer of stress and concern that have formed around me, but I seriously considered quitting my life to follow this tour and see if I can find all the answers somewhere between the verses.
Since I had this same feeling at the Delta Rae show in Charlotte just a couple of months back (good thing it was their last tour date), I’m going to chock it up to being a love and connection for music – live music specifically – and am committing to doing a better job of making time for these blissful life escapes. We all need a break from time to time; a recharge, and reconnection, to reflect and process the chaos that came before and will undoubtedly come after.
So, that being said….who’s got any good suggestions for must-see shows?