After hearing Chris Thile and the rest of Nickel Creek at High Sierra, I was pumped for this House of Blues, Sunset Strip show. With three other newly devoted Creek fans, I scrunched into a tiny black volvo and braved the long and perilous journey along the LA freeways from Claremont.
Wait, let's start earlier. Skip the next paragraph if you want to hear about the actual show...
So one of my fellow show-goers had also accompanied me to High Sierra, were he promptly fell head over heels for Sarah Watkins, the first moment he saw/heard her and her violin rockin the grandstand. Thus, in the faint hopes of catching her eye and winning her heart at the House of Blues Show, he prepared for the occasion by gelling his hair into 7 inch long spikes in every direction...
So we get to the show (late! cause that bastard took so freakin long with his hair) in the middle of "Somebody More Like You." The pit was packed, but we managed to slip down the ramp to the area around the steps on the left side of the stage and had a good view of Chris and Sean most of the time. Sarah kept stepping a little out of view behind the wings (from my perspective) but we just kept jockeying for slightly better positions and it was great. They covered Randy Newman's "Short People" as well as Britney's "Toxic," this being the Summer of Acoustic Music after all... "Anthony," one of my fav's as a ukulele player was also heard.
Now here's the good part. Remember my friend? Just as the show's winding down, Chris starts thanking the audience and the *sterling* crew, etc, and he annouces that the next one is the last song, and the start to play it, and he says "Oh, yeah and one more thing....This one goes out to the guy with the hair! I don't think anyone with that hair has ever heard a song like this, ever." And the sterling crew shined a huge spotlight right on my friend. There wasn't an eye there that didn't turn to him. That's when he became..."That Guy." (Don't feel sorry for him by the way, folks. This man loves attention. He was drunk on it. Why do you think he chose that hair?)
But the night wasn't over yet. After the show ended and the band left the stage, we were slow to leave. I had brought a set of 8"x10" photos from High Sierra that I had made over the previous couple weeks (black and white gelatin silver prints, for any photobuffs out there). I was hoping to get a couple really good images of Chris and Sarah signed and give the rest to the band. (Tangent: I know its not nice to play favorites, but I didn't have any really good shots of Marc and Sean or even a solid group shot to get signed. Oh well. Also, Chris and Sarah are just sexier. Especially Chris. He puts the ass in newgrass. Sorry Sean and Marc.)
Anyways, We overheard a crewmember saying that it might be possible to meet the band to get autographs or whatnot if you hung around the bus or the building long enough. Being silly devoted newb fans (and summer research students with no where to go but back to studying at school) we decided to give it a go. We sat in front of that big white bus for...Idunno how long. But it just so happened that we were also sitting next to the exit of the venue's parking lot. "We," meaning me and my friends and our spikey-headed companion, "That Guy." I swear in at least one out of every two cars, the passenger suddenly sat up and pointed directly at my friend like "It's him! It's....That Guy!" as they drove away...
So we were just about to give up when finally Marc Chetz (sp?) comes strolling down the sidewalk. Somehow I found the courage to say hello thank him for a great show and handed him my little folder of pictures for the band. Sweet. One mission accomplished.
We waited at least another hour before sighting the rest of the band at the back door of the venue. I didn't even have to try very hard to get their attention, because I had the secret weapon: "That Guy." As soon as Chris and Sarah spotted him they started apologizing for the spotlight! I don't remember what his reply was. I think he might have been swooning or struck dumb or something from actually being spoken to by Sarah.
So once more I mustered my courage and approached, trying not to be too much of a bothersome fan. In some order or another, I gave the band profuse thanks for stopping in LA, expressed my amazement at their music that night and back at high sierra, held onto Chris Thile's handshake for as long as I dared, and got my pics signed. Simply an awesome night.