July 10th, 2015
Black Mountain, NC
Well this was a night of couple firsts…
First time with the new line-up
First time not being up front…
On the way to the show, as Liz and I were in the back seat, happily conversing about the joys and advantages of living inside my bubble, suddenly this feeling washed over me and, just then, I knew…. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, as I could feel the energy slowly begin to build; it was going be one of those epic, everything falling right into place, kind of adventures!!
See, when I originally purchased my tickets back in April, it was going to be Gregg, Geoff, Julie, and I going to the show. As July 10th was fast approaching, so many of my Mofro Family were announcing they were going to be in attendance! First of awl, my dear, sweet friend Elizabeth contacted me to say she was gonna be heading my way for the show…a few texts and a phone call later, boom! Liz is hanging at my home for the weekend!! Tears of Joy! Then I come to find out that Misty will be there! Next thing I know Ashley is coming and then Eva!! But wait there is more….I run into Tracy, and her husband Dan whom I had not seen in few years, it was great to see him!! Ran into Riverbend Mom, and Taylor (the sweet gal I met backstage at the Chattanooga show).
We arrive to the venue and get inside to find our resting spot for the show and set up our chairs. This is a no re-entry venue, so I am unable to go back outside to find the bus to deliver my saturated Maker’s Mark Cake & soaked in a Buttered Maker’s Caramel Glaze. Elizabeth convinces me I can just walk up to the pass through, between the fence and their bus, to gain entrance. Tracy makes the trek with me, and Liz was correct; as I was able to just walk up to the dude masking as a security guard and let him know my what my intentions were. And viola….we're in. Just as Chris was returning my text as how to meet up, he looks up and welcomes us with open arms and he takes us on in.
I so enjoy bringing Our Boys vittles of awl sorts. I hate to admit it, but it is kind of a selfish act on my part, as I receive such joy doing so. I just can’t imagine being on the road and traveling all over the world, what, some 10+ months a year. So I can only wonder how comforting it must feel to have a bit of home cooking on the road. It is also my way of thanking Our Boys for what their music brings to my life!
We hung out with JJ, Chris, Marcus and Anthony for some time. Marcus is going to fit right in, as he is just as down to Earth as the rest of them. This was also the first time I met Romey, JJ’s son. He seems to be as incredibly genuine as his Dad.
Someone was pouring a bit of Maker's, and it was at then that I mentioned the Maker's Mark Cake.... It didn’t take long before JJ carved himself a slice of that cake. It brought such unspoken happiness to my heart when I saw the look on JJ’s face as he took a bite of my cake. You see, I made two of them, one for them and one for us and I had not yet even sampled, so since this was a first time recipe; I was quite nervous. JJ was to be the initial critic. And as every chef desires that validation…..I felt I definitely received mine. Ha, about everyone that walked pass, JJ would encourage them to sample. The cake was delivered as a "Birthday" cake, along with a birthday card with the names of all of the members of M*O*F*R*O, both on and off the stage. Not too much, later Aaron escorts Eva onto the bus to join us.
We conversed about quite a variety of topics, and time just seems to vaporize, as we didn’t realize that nearly 2 hours had passed by the time we made our exit. My favorite conversation, without a doubt, was when JJ and I were talking about raising chickens. We were swapping stories, both of our different styles of chicken coops and varieties of birds. He broke out his ipad and he showed us pictures of his chickens and his coop.
His birds are beautiful! Elizabeth would have loved to have seen them! I loved the story about how one of the peacocks that visits, left an egg and JJ took it to one of his hens. He wasn't sure if they would sit on it, but she must have been a broody hen, as she sat on the peacock egg til the baby bird hatched. It was then, that I replied, "when the peacock hatched, did he (the new hatched peacock) think he was a chicken?!!", He said no, lol!
I was fortunate enough to be able to see everyone on the bus (except Colin and Terrance). I got pictures with most of them, but I felt awkward asking EVERYONE for a photo.......... As we were sitting there talking about the wonders of cedar oil (I'm def gonna check this stuff out; the stories JJ told about the many uses, from insect repellent to odor remover from carpets) I see this backpack sitting there with the embroidery of "JJ Grey & Mofro" on it, and pulled out my camera, took a quick pic and put my camera away. JJ glanced in my direction, I smiled and replied.... "Evidence". He smiled.
One by one, Trube, Dennis, and then Todd came out to say hello.
Soon we were excusing ourselves and headed back to our gang. I had a hankering to get a Nitro Stout with a shot of Raspberry Lambic and a bit to eat. Great venue with great beers! And the food trucks, wow! I had the Pork Belly BLT with goat cheese.....get out!
I was ready ......... Our Boys brought it, and the energy of the audience was electrifying!! Anyone could see that JJ was in his happy place tonight, it showed, tenfold. The setlist was a great mix of songs from across all the albums! It was a shorter than usual setlist, due to the fact that it was an outdoor venue, I'm guessing. There were 16 songs on the setlist, and The Sun Is Shining Down was cut. The crowd was incredibly responsive and there was such an energy that kept building throughout the show. I got some video of Lochloosa, that song, for as many times as I have seen it played, N.E.V.E.R. gets old.
AC took over percussion in, I believe, 2007. He brought so much to this band, both on and off stage. I will miss his unbelievable talent, smiling face, interaction with the fans, his smile, his enthusiasm, but most of all, I will miss his hugs. I wish him only true happiness, and knowing Mr. Cole, he will find it. He always does....everywhere he goes.
I only saw Jeff with the band once, and didn't have the opportunity to get to know him, but just the same, I wish him the best.
OK, Marcus and Terrance............. wow! Who would have thought that these two were new to the band, I swear that they sounded pretty dang tight tonight. The absence of sax, so I thought, would be lacking. But I am hear to tell you that Marcus and Dennis filled the sound of Horns to the brim!!! They were fantastic! And Terrence didn't miss a beat (haha, accidental pun)!!! He brought a funky, soul infused, rhythm to the sound of Our Boys. More pleased I could not be.
The concert takes on a whole different feel for me when I am not upfront. Even though it was different, it was such an incredible experience. To be set back and able to see everything was fantastic! But I dew miss the intimacy of being up front. So, I did get up and into the crowd a few times to do my version of dancing, lol, as it is not easy to try to sit through a Mofro experience. Eva, Julie, and I ventured to the front to be with Elizabeth and Misty for the final 3 songs. Yep, totally different!!
I wanted to say how absolutely wonderful it was to see my M*O*F*R*O Gals tonight! I always say, to make it a perfect experience, one needs the perfect blend of Mofro Music & My M*O*F*R*O Family!!
Aaron presented me with a setlist after the show and Chris informed me that I was pronouncing his last name wrong and corrected me (kindly of course) saying that is how his Daddy would want it!
☺ Til my next 'Fro fix ...............