"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.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Takin' the TRAIN to Memphis

We took a quick overnight trip to Memphis to once again catch our favorite band, Train, perform. This was our 11th time seeing them which is definitely the most we have seen any performer live. We stayed at the Beale Street Hampton Suites where we could hear live blues music right from hotel room balcony drifting down the famous boulevard. Ashlee stays here a lot for work and it's a great location for downtown Memphis activities. We walked up Beale Street for dinner and settled in to the BB King's Blues Cafe. Dinner was good and our elevated window seats offered a great view of Beale Street as the house band jammed away.
After dinner we ambled on down to the end of Beale Street to the beautiful and historic Orpheum Theatre. This majestic venue is quite large and our "grand tier" seats were a perfect vantage point overlooking the stage. Opening for Train, and another reason for us to want to make the trip, was NeedtoBreathe, a young, new band out of South Carolina that we have been wanting to see for a while. We planned on seeing them on the opening night of Bonnaroo back in June, but the snarled traffic getting into the place (see previous blog) made us miss their show. Their sound engineering was little off at the start of their short set, but improved toward the end. We look forward to seeing them again in November with a headlining show back at The Ryman in Nashville where hopefully the sound will be much improved.
Train took the stage next (photo below) and were amazing as usual. No matter how many times we see them the show is always a little different and surprising. Lead singer, Pat Monahan, never disappoints in terms of onstage energy and soaring vocals. The most humorous and memorable part of the show was Pat explaining that the video of their big hit of the summer "Hey, Soul Sister" is now being played on Country Music Television which was kind of strange to them, but since it was a fact why not finish the song they were currently playing - "She's On Fire"- in a country fashion. So Pat donned a cowboy hat and the band twanged up the number in a corny fashion of bad country music. Funny stuff, but you probably had to be there to really appreciate it. The crowd was enthusiastic and as is similar to the one show we have seen in Austin, Texas, (yep, it was Train) and the dozens of shows in Nashville, you always seem to get a great effort from performers who know they are performing in a "music town" with real music lovers in the audience. We called it a night after the show since it was a Monday and didn't dabble too much in Beale Street tomfoolery. Been there, done that.
Before heading back the next day, we Magellen-ed our way over to Uncle Lou's Famous Fried Chicken for lunch. This Memphis hole-in-the-wall that located in not-the-greatest-part of town has been featured on The Food Network's Diners, Drive-In and Dives and it deserves all the praise it gets. The food was outstanding. Some of the best fried chicken we've ever had. And the "Sweet Spicy Love" sauce makes it even better. The service was beyond good and everyone couldn't have been friendlier. We met Uncle Lou himself, a big bear of a man who was as nice as he could be despite being a Dallas Cowboys fan...BOO!! He made a point to stop by every table and thank his customers for coming by and dining with them. We will definitely be back here when we return next month for another Grace Potter & the Nocturnals show.

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