Aug 14, 2011

A Love Affair

At fourteen I fell in love.

It was early 2002. The world was gathering in Salt Lake City, and he came with it. He was 21, with unruly curls, expressive eyes, and the voice of an angel. It was love at first listen.

From that time on, I was hooked. Our moments together were short and far between, but sweet and special. His name?

Josh Groban.

I loved him in a time and place where “Mormon housewives” were considered his fanbase. But they just didn’t know him like I did.

His first tour to Utah was in 2004, and the tickets sold out in 10 minutes—leaving me without. I was determined the next time he came, I would have tickets to his show.

That was in 2007, during his Awake tour. I dragged my brother to Salt Lake with me. It was amazing. The voice, the energy.

Fast forward to yesterday. Probably one of the best days of my life so far! My mom offered to go with me to the concert this time. I was a little anxious, hoping that she would enjoy it.

We got up to Salt Lake at about 7:15, and waited in line to get in. There was some confusion because ESA did something really different with tickets. They have these things called “Flash Seats.” Basically, you buy the tickets online with a credit card, and when you get there, the ushers swipe your card and print off your seat information. Well, we weren’t sure at first if you were supposed to go to Will Call or what, but after asking about 4 different people, we (and the people in line behind us) figured it out and got in.

Because I was willing (and able) to spend a little more money this year, we had much better seats. Last time Josh came, we sat up high in the nosebleeds, but this year we were on the right side of the stage about 21 rows up. Someday, I will make it onto the floor seats. I don’t know how much they cost or how you get them, but someday, I will be there.

The opening act was a pianist named Elew. Amazing!! He didn’t use a bench, just spread his legs to support himself. He would put his hand inside the piano and pluck strings, or whatever. There was one song that sounded like there were drums being played because of how he was playing. I can’t even tell you how amazing this guy was. I don’t even think listening to his CD would really give you the full affect.

Elew played for 30 minutes, then we waited for another 30 minutes as the roadies set up the stage and all that.

Then his band came out. The only thing I can compare this to is an overture, like in a musical. We were all watching the main stage, and almost missed Josh coming out near the back to the floor stage. The first song he played was one that I’m pretty sure I had never heard before.

Then he played another and then he talked. The thing that I don’t think people know about Josh Groban is how funny he is. He sings these beautiful, classical-like songs in different language, but he’s actually really funny. And he has so much energy. It’s just a good show that he puts on.

The band (Josh called them his “Groband”) played “Live or Let Die,” which was awesome, and then Josh came out and played the drums. What can I say, he’s a multitalented guy. Then he did something else that was a little different. Before the show they gave out this number that you could text to ask Josh a question, then they picked a few and he answered them. They put a light on the section and had the person stand up. He only answered three, but they were pretty funny. The last one asked Josh if he could play some of Kanye West’s Tweets (I guess he did this on one of those late night talk shows I don’t watch). That was pretty entertaining.

I just loved being at the concert. Feeling the music vibrate in your chest, and seeing the songs you love performed live. There is something about it. Especially when songs mean something to you. When Josh performed “Higher Window,” I almost cried, because I was really paying attention to what the words meant to me.

He ended with inviting four people onto the stage with him. He wanted a couple that had been together for a long time, a single girl, and then Ethan, this little boy that Josh had talked to earlier in the show. Ethan was so cute! The bodyguard lifted him onto the stage and he ran straight back to the band and high fived every single one of them. Then Josh got these blow up couches for his guests to sit on, brought some water and milk. (Seriously. They brought out an entire gallon of milk.) The couple had been together for 39 years and it was the girl’s birthday. Josh sang happy birthday to her!

Then he sang a song about cheating. Haha. But it was “Broken Vow” which is beautiful.

He sang two encore songs, one by Neil Diamond called “Play Me,” and then “You Raise Me Up.”

Then I bought a t-shirt and Mom and I got on the train to go home. The train was packed! I was pressed up against this random old guy. The first stop after we get on, the train stopped really fast and everyone was thrown forward with a unison “whoa!”

We finally got home at one in the morning, tired, but even more in love than I already was.

Thanks Mom for going with me! I loved being able to share something I love with you. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

(I was going to put videos up, but I’m still trying to figure that out. I will do it later, I guess.)

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