Mission accomplished!

Today has been about the luckiest day ever for me. I should have bought a lottery ticket but the luckiness of the whole day wasn't evident until just recently.

I left early for the Elvis Costello concert tonight and got up to Dayton around 6. There I met a woman who was also waiting to get an autograph. We had a great conversation and it really made the time fly. It was good that we had fun talking, though, because we weren't getting any autographs. We did get to pet Emmylou Harris' dog but that's a long story without much of a payoff. Just believe me when I say I met her dog.

Right before 8 I headed in for the concert. It's good I did, too, because the show started promptly and there was no opening act. Elvis just came onstage and tore through half a dozen classics before anyone knew what hit them.

Now here's a good part. I thought I had tickets in the pavilion area but not particularly close. I was just happy to be there so it didn't worry me. When I tried to find my seat, however, I was totally confused. I had to ask an usher who told me that my seats weren't way back here, they were in the ninth row - dead center. I think the ninth row is about perfect for an EC show. You're close enough to see all the wacky facial expressions but far enough away to be safe from the showers of spit that he rains down on the audience. That dude is a spitter.

Jeff arrived a little late and found that I was already in my happy place. I just had a huge grin on my face as Elvis went through his set. There aren't many places I'd rather be in this world than an Elvis Costello concert.

After the first few songs, Elvis introduced Emmylou. She was great to see and her guitarist guy was awesome but the whole show started to take a little bit more of a turn for the country than I would have preferred. It also doesn't help that I'm not very familiar with her work. They did play a lot of old covers and some bluegrassy stuff, though, so I didn't feel totally out of my element. Those kinds of songs tap deep into some sort of early childhood musical background I have and sound comfortingly familiar. Overall it was nice, I just wish it had rocked a little more and twanged a little less.

After the show I made my second attempt at an autograph. Jeff and I hung out near the stage until they kicked us out. Outside we found a group of people standing on a corner near Elvis' bus. Jeff hung out with me for awhile but he is driving up to New York tonight so he had to leave. Just a few minutes later, the man himself appeared.

Elvis was super nice and signed autographs for everyone. Some people just wanted to talk or shake his hand and he was cool with that, too. I'm sure it helped that the crowd was very polite and kept thanking him for taking the time to do this. I finally got my chance and handed him my iPod. He said "What's this?" and I explained how my iPod had one of his lyrics engraved on the back. His wingman turned on a flashlight so he could read it. He seemed pretty impressed and said "They never told me they could do that." Too bad Elvis, too bad.

So my iPod was the envy of the autograph crowd and I stood around listening to him answer questions and talk about his wife's Christmas album. There were good vibes all around. The whole thing was over very quickly and even now it's starting to seem like a blur. The concert ended at 11 and I was in my car by 11:40. This guy is all about promptness.

So here's what my iPod looks like now. I will treasure it forever.

Finally, I have a few more thoughts about the concert. The show started at 8 and ran until 11 with only one short encore break. It was amazing. Not wonder the guy's throat has been giving him problems. I don't think I've ever been to a show where the headliner did a three hour set. He had this little spray bottle of stuff that he kept shooting into the back of his throat. It looked uncomfortable. He sounded great, though.

Favorite songs: "American Without Tears" "Uncomplicated" and "Waiting for the End of the World"

Unsurprising fact: Elvis also played both "Pump It Up" and "What's So Funny ('bout Peace, Love and Understanding)" It figures.

So what else made my day so lucky? I went to get my plates renewed and figured it would be packed since it was the end of the month. I walked in and was helped immediately. The whole process took five minutes. I should have known that that was a sign of good things to come!


Kelly said...

Did you take some Felix Felicis? Or maybe that magic bug finally kicked in ...

I'm glad you finally got your autograph! Sounds like a great time!

Mungo Mungus said...

I dunno...that doesn't even look like it says Elvis at all...are you sure it's really his autograph? And where did they engrave that thing...China or somethin?

Anonymous said...

Elvis is notorious for his illegible autograph.

Melissa said...

Isn't it nice to have things just work out? I guess it wouldn't be so special is things went smoothly every day. I am so excited that I somehow thought of you, freakanomics, and blogs all in the same day.

I just created my first html hyperlink ever and I am feeling pretty super geeky! I am lucky to have a friend that understands such small, but monumental feats.