I don’t normally do crazybusy weeks so well. After a solid week of busyness, it’s nice and almost surreal to actually loaf around at home and read and check things off the proverbial to-do list. So, a little blog, to clear my head.

(warning…. this stopped being “a little blog” very quickly. It’s uber-long and I apologize for inflicting so much text all at once, but I need to ramble and be done with it. cool?)

Basically, I went to three concerts in 5 days. No law says we can’t have Music Monday on a Saturday, right? Of course not. And every one was pretty rad in its own way, so I kind of had to share. A brief overview of why I still can’t hear this week:

April 22 – Florida Music Festival… and Anberlin! I’ve made no secret of my ongoing borderline fangirly love for these guys. By my estimation, this was my sixth Anberlin show (eighth if you count Anchor & Braille/Stephen Christian solo shows) and every single one since that first time at Cornerstone FL in 2005 has had some special memory attached to it. I’m pretty sure that this one tops.

See, my dear friend Lindsay just might be a slightly bigger fan than I am. We didn’t know each other then, but we attended the same show in 2005 and became fans, and when we met a couple years later, it was our mutual fanlove that bonded us.

With that old-school fanlove comes the angst that they never play their breakout first single “Readyfuels” anymore. Yeah, it’s old, but show the Orlando faithful some love, guys! She even has the opening notes tattooed on her foot.

Sooooo… Lindsay made friendly signs. And we claimed our front row spots. And at some point, she gives me this panicked look and starts saying something that sounds like, “ohmygodohmygod Stephen read my signs!!!” I missed it, but she said he kind of looked at her, motioned for her to hold the signs higher, read them and said, “Unbelievable.”

That in itself is pretty awesome. But then encore time came along and it got even better…

Needless to say, we were very happy old school fangirls, and my video is so shaky because it was midnight and I was jumping up and down and screaming every word. It’s really special when you can do that. Anberlin, you really have made your city proud. =)

April 24 – New Traditions Jazz Ensemble. Actually, it was a dance, but I count this as a concert too, because the band was so incredibly awesome. I hadn’t been dancing in almost six months, so being out on the floor again felt so good. The full big band made it even better. Oddly enough, it was the biggest crowd I think I’ve ever seen at Whirl & Twirl, yet a lot of my regular dancer friends weren’t there. :(

April 26 – The Ettes & The Dead Weather. I’ll be honest… I wasn’t sure I wanted to pull another late night, or follow the awesomeness of Anberlin so soon. But well… this is a Jack White band. And Lindsay told me I’d hate myself forever if I didn’t go see Jack “the god of modern music” White.

Yes. Yes I would have.

Firstly, The Ettes are freakin’ awesome. I mean, they have a chick drummer! (who had huuuuuge curly hair and was so much fun to watch) And a chick lead singer/guitarist! Annnnnd said chick lead singer/guitarist is from Orlando! Score! They’re kind of a garage punk/60’s beat/Blondie/Yeah Yeah Yeah’s-ish hybrid of sounds. I was way impressed.

And The Dead Weather… um… wow. I’m not sure what planet any of these people are from, but they were incredible. The frontwoman Allison Mosshart was mesmerizing to watch, occasionally so much thought she might be insane. And even though everyone was totally there for Jack White, he never seemed to upstage the rest of his band, actually spending most of the time in the background drumming. Kind of nice, actually. But oh, when he played the guitar, you knew it was what the crowd lived for.

Everything about this show was spot on. The sound was great (which, unfortunately, my inner sound geek hasn’t been able to say for the past few shows I’ve been to), and the lighting really set the atmosphere… kind of a spooky Southern gothic graveyard feel.

Downside? Too many annoying drunks. Seriously, why would you pay good money to see an amazing band and then be totally plastered before they take the stage? What’s the fun in that? I never wanted to kidney punch so many obnoxious people in my life. (/rant)

It took a few days, but I think the magnitude of this show finally sunk in. Definitely one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen. Though let’s be honest… the “Readyfuels” moment is still the high of the week. :)

So now… I can rest. After so much loud music, I’m surprised my voice and hearing weren’t shot. But I have to say, this crazybusy week really did re-confirm my love for live music, for a great rock show, for jumping in the crowd singing every song or letting it move me across a dance floor. And come June, I get the chance to check Imogen Heap off the ol’ bucket list. (A list I should probably actually write down at some point.) Yay!

So far, 2010 has been a very good year for live music. :)

Unrelated note… back to writing, because crazybusy = slacker. A review of Sandra McCracken’s In Feast or Fallow is up at JFH, so far my best pick of the year. And coming Monday, there will be an interview with author Jason Boyett and a review of his new book O Me of Little Faith.

Please come back for that! If only for his super-creative answer to the infamous superpower question.

Happy Weekend!

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