"To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield"
- Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1833

"live deep and suck out all the marrow of life"
- Henry David Thoreau, 1845

"Some guys, they just give up living
And start dying little by little, piece by piece
Some guys come home from work and wash up,
And go racin' in the streets."
- Bruce Springsteen, 1977

"...to the heart, there's no time for you to waste.
You won't find your precious answers now
by staying in one place."
- Frank Turner, 2009

"The best things in life aren't things.
They're living and breathing."
- Michael Franti , 2011

"I owned every second that this world could give,
I saw so many places, the things that I did"
- Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, 2014

All written content and photos by Rob Fulfer unless otherwise indicated.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Running Away with "The Circus"

The musical circus came to town tonight and set up shop in the historic Ryman Auditorium. It was time for the SOLD OUT Saturday Night Rebel Rockers Traveling Circus & Medicine Show. The three "ring"leaders (pictured below from left to right) - hey, so that's where that word came from - were veteran island-groove rocker, Michael Franti; lead singer of Counting Crows, Adam Duritz; and one of our personal favs, Dan Layus of Augustana. This unique format of concert forgoes the normal routine of opening bands performing their sets followed by featured artists. Instead these wonderfully diverse bands mingled in various combinations throughout the show including all members of all three bands (that's eighteen musicians - playing at the same time on the Ryman stage (photo below). These jam sessions definitely resembled a three-ring circus with great performances from one end of the stage to the other leaving the spectators constantly scanning the scene trying to take it all in and not miss a thing. These complete-ensemble performances included an opening number of Van Morrison's quite appropriate "Caravan." All three bands also did their own "mini-sets" throughout the evening. and since we are biased due to our love for Augustana, we voted theirs the best including the accapella version of "Sweet and Low" which sounded amazing in the pitch-perfect acoustics of The Ryman. We both like and appreciate Counting Crows and they did not disappoint with great performances especially by frontman, Duritz. Michael Franti and his band, Spearhead, were a real surprise to us since we had not seen them before and only recently heard of them despite the fact they have been around for over 20 years. They made the most of their first visit to the Ryman and amazingly, Nashville itself, with high-energy performances including their recent first Top 40 hit, "Say Hey (I Love You)." The show lasted over three hours with a brief (but very appreciated) intermission between the two "acts." We sat in the balcony almost dead center with a great view of the stage, but it was a bit warm with the summer temps and the wall to wall bodies. We met our friends, Emily and David, for the show, and we were lucky to sell two more tickets at face-value that we had to a nice couple after our friend, Carolyn (the doctor) had a last-minute emergency and couldn't make it. Too bad, she's missed a great night under The Ryman Big Top. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmJQDiliOYE

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