Last year Emma and I decided we wanted to try hard to see James Taylor live in 2009. When his tour was announced, we were a little bummed that there were no east coast stops, or Michigan stops. I was willing to plan a visit to Michigan around a concert date, and if he had an east coast date then Emma could try to come out for that (though her schedule isn’t as flexible during the school year since she’s a teacher). The two closest stops were Indiana and Milwaukee. Milwaukee seemed like the most fun (and it’s a place I’ve always wanted to visit). Plus, Milwaukee’s date was on a Saturday, and Indiana’s was on a Tuesday night.
Having decided on Milwaukee, I was determined to get us good seats. I didn’t want us to drive 4.5 to 5 hours to sit in the balcony. Luckily, the presale was for Citibank credit card holders, and I have a Citibank card. I bought the tickets the second the presale started, and got us 3rd row seats! :) We were super excited.
So we set out that Saturday morning, very early, to get to Milwaukee with time to explore before the show. We had our favorite bagels (Bruegger’s – which Emma and I both adore and don’t live near a location anymore), and went book shopping, sightseeing, etc. We had an excellent dinner at a place called Capone’s.
We got to our seats at the Milwaukee Theatre about 7:58. I sat back and relaxed, and then noticed something very weird. Every single seat was filled. Normally people trickle into concerts during the first hour, to avoid being bored during the opening act. I’ve never been one to subscribe to that, since I’ve seen many excellent opening acts, some of whom went on to become famous themselves (most notably Andrew Bird). People who came late to the Flight of the Conchords show at Radio City missed a fantastic stand up routine by Kristen Schaal. But usually that’s how it is – the house doesn’t fill up until the “real” show starts. I began to wonder if these people knew something I didn’t, and sure enough – they did. James Taylor doesn’t need an opening act. He and his band came right out, and they played two full sets, with an intermission in-between. It was spectacular. He played almost all of my favorite songs, including: Up on the Roof, Your Smiling Face, You Can Close Your Eyes, How Sweet it is to be Loved by You, Fire and Rain, Hound Dog, You’ve Got a Friend, and Sweet Baby James.
People kept hollering for certain songs, and James was very funny and gracious – and ended up holding up the giant, two sided set list and showing it to us to promise that we’d get to the favorites.
He also signed autographs almost the entire length of the intermission – what a guy. Emma and I felt like the only people in the orchestra section who had never been to a James Taylor concert before. Fortunately, we won’t have to feel that way next time we see him, and we can’t wait. We’re definitely planning on seeing him again – it was a fantastic show.
Here are more photos:
Here are all my photos from the show: http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=james%20taylor&w=58887120%40N00