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Munkees In Memphis

Karen Petersen

When Memphis gig had been announced I wasn't sure if I should get too excited or not yet, as previous years this same venue had been booked then cancelled, so I waited with baited breath for confirmation.

I wasn't sure who I'd go with or if I'd go it alone, until my oldest son Don asked if he could go with me. My reaction was quite a stunned reaction thinking to myself, "you WANT to go with me to see Bryan & Keith?" I asked him are you sure? He was adamant about it and I of course was ecstatic that I get to bring him with me. So I immediately booked tickets and hotel, and the anticipation leading up to this was so intense that neither of us could focus on anything but the gig.

We arrived late night Thursday evening about 2 am actually, only to discover the hotel I booked wasn't there anymore, well the building and a different hotel were there just a different name, it took me a few mins and a phone call to discover this, no problem though our reservations were there and all was good. We get checked in and pass out from a very long drive.

The next morning we wake up have breakfast etc and decide to head to Beale Street to scope things out early, being a festival with many bands I wasn't sure how the queing would be, or how things were set up and what not. We get there and there is like NO ONE around but security, we get some basic info and head to our car to drop a few things off, debated on what to go do and see and ended up back at the venue and just started off the quuee , I mean this is my son's first proper concert and all, have to initiate him properly with endless hours of queing he wasn't to thrilled with it but understood if he wanted a good spot he will just hang out with me. We weren't there too long by ourselves when another fan that I had met over the summer last year arrived with her husband, they joined us in the queue and we had a GREAT day together. Not too much long after other fans started arriving and security had to move the quuee about 4 or 5 times to place huge dumpsters in various places and set up the barriers for a well organized entrance into venue, I tell ya this place was the best I have ever seen for organization for entry kudos to them. Anyway we met some super nice people and some rather strange people but hey its MEMPHIS right? This coming from a totally normal sane Troobie hahaha!!Anticipation is building as it gets nearer the time for gates to open, we are all standing and getting more and more nervous and excited , then its GO TIME, we all WALK civilly thru the barricaded rows, get thru checkpoint 1, move onto getting tickets scanned and then a nice easy walk to the front of the stage , HOW COOL IS THAT? I don't think I have ever been able to do that before, it was so intense but so calm at the same time I loved it. We get a perfect spot dead center stage, Donovan is gushing from ear to ear all excited. Don and Tanja's hubby went for a walk to get drinks and food while we held our spots. Tanja and I were not leaving heheh.

We all wait and get excited for the show to begin, and finally it is a local band called "central standards" they did pretty good, not too bad, they seemed to have had a following of fans there cheering for them, they finish up their set and on come another local band called "Augustine" ok so not my cup of tea music wise but a good effort on their part and again they seemed to have a following of fans themselves. Next up was Jason Mraz, now I'm not a huge fan of his, but I do know some of his music and didn't know what to expect from his live performance. I have to say I was quite impressed with him and the performance, but I still wanted him to hurry up so we could see Bryan &Co - not that I am biased or anything mind you! Finally his set finishes and it's time to do set changes and of course it always seems to take forever when you are waiting for them to come on, FINALLY it's show time and all the guys run out on stage YEAHHHHHHH they start off with "So Far So Good" and I must say it is 10 times better LIVE, it was truly brilliant to hear. It took a few mins for Keith to see we were there as we were to his left and the lights were quite blinding for some reason. We get the HI smile from him smile back. After SFSG they go right into "Somebody" and the crowd is going mental for these guys, singing so loud you can barely hear the band haha, being so short on time there wasn't much time for Keith's normal antics and solos but he did a good job of pulling off a few J we love him for that J next was "This Time" and again the crowd just cheering as loud as they could and singing along enjoying every minute of it, Donovan just in awe at it all and taking it all in and watching his mom act a fool ;-) well c'mon its KEITH up there now what did he expect?? Hehe Open Road was up next and I absolutely love this song live and the harmonica bryan plays , not many ppl knew this song of course but they still were all roaring for bryan and guys. 18 til I die is next and man this crowd is just LOUD and all screaming and cheering getting into this song singing it was incredible, bryan teasing Keith with the mic is always fun to watch, telling keith it was his mic or something was funny, always good to see them up there having a FAB time and teasing each other. Meantime mickey it throwing broken drumsticks at Gary and Gary throwing them back to Mickey, like a bunch of lil boys up there hahah but I LOVE IT like I said I LOVE watching them up there having a ball. Can't Stop is next and talk about crowd participation WOW, incredible, just incredible, probably one of the best ones I have seen. Back To You is always a fun song and one of my faves, what with the BTY dance and the Bounce it is just SO MUCH FUN, Gary got quite the giggle out of the BTY dance , his piano was right up front of the stage this time, never seen him that close before on stage so it was nice. When it came time for the "bounce" I had previously told the 20 or so pppl around me to make sure the bounce to get everyone else doin it too, and thankfully they all did there was a mass of ppl bouncing for this it was GREAT, My son thought I had lost it and was trying to hold me down, now is that anyway to treat your mother? HahahSummer of 69, well what can be said about this, it is an anthem everyone knows and if you don't you been under a rock somewhere lol. The crowd sang the first verse so loud Bryan just stood back and took it all in, Keith smiled proudly or was it laughter? Anyway full on rock version of this song is the way to go and they gave it to us full on! Just love watching Keith rock out, he is so emotional about it and it shows! Cuts is next and I thought I had seen it all with Can't Stop and the audience participation, but this just beats all , bryan of course does his usual " is that all ya got" "cmon louder" and we get louder and louder and louder (even my son got into the singing along) until he is quite satisfied with it and this place was just ROARING with the NA NA NA's Incredible!! Next Up is Everything I Do and I think everyone sang along to this song as well, and out came cell phones and lit the place up, I adore this song the keys just and Keith's solo just make this song so incredibly beautiful. I just love watching it live *sigh* Now it is time for When You're Gone and bryan picks a girl named brook from Memphis who repairs furniture for her fathers company. She didn't know all the words but did an extremely good job following bryan's lead, not over confident and she wasn't drunk LOL she had such a good time up there and of course keith loves to do his own lil dance all on his own up there during this song J Heaven is next back to its original version and again like with every song played so far the crowd sang the first verse and bryan says " hey this is my song" in a silly teasing way, bryan goes on to sing and the crowd is just roaring again singing along and once again out came the cell phones lighting up the place, it looks amazing when u look around .

AHHH It's Only Love, was REALLY looking fwd to this because of Keith's Solo in it I just get CRAZY for this one and love it each and everytime, mainly because it is ALWAYS different. Although his solo was cut short , he still managed to get the crowd going mental for it and bryan is stood back watching in amazement, the crowd is cheering for keith and the ppl around me are all in awe at his playing ability , u can hear comments like "DAM HE'S GOOD" things like that. Donovan was quite impressed too was roaring like the rest of us. Told me "wow he's good" hehehe. Next is The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You I love the intro to this cos u just know what's coming and the crowd sang to this as well, I was impressed with so much participation I can imagine how the guys feel, the audience sang loud and when it came time for the YOU YOU YOU bit there was much laughter and joking from bryan and the crowd it was a great response !! The Band all came together at this point and took a bow, I was like NOOOO can't be over not yet , was too short, as is with a full 2 hour set right? They all leave and then a moment later come back on stage for Run To You which ended up being the last song for them for the night, keith running all over the stage and running in place is always amazing to see his energy, and at one point he says to me from stage" Where's Tommy"? I said not Tommy, DON and pointed next to me at him as Donovan kind of TOWERS over me showing Keith how tall he is and they exchanged hellos and gestures and a lil messing around and I think keith said " See You In Vegas" although was hard to make out but anyway it was very cool of him to notice Don and say Hi and all that it made his day to be acknowledged that way, had all the girls around him ENVIOUS , and one lady perhaps late 20's early 30's started to hit on my son askin how old he was and when I told her is is ONLY 15 she said OH SORRY NEVERMIND LOL and this was the end of the song and the band besides bryan all took off . Bryan said his final goodbyes and thanked Memphis and looks at me chucks a plectrum at me but Tanja another fan grabbed it which was cool, I didn't mind her having it J and bryan says "See You In Vegas?" (Like he had to ask right? LOL) HELL YA I say see ya in vegas and that is it show ended much too soon, but overall it was a BRILLIANT SHOW. Keith THANKS for making Don's day he is chuffed to bits STILL J and THANK YOU for an amazing show as always .