Searching for Normalcy

"And finally, above all else, it is about leaving a mark that I existed: I was here. I was hungry. I was defeated. I was happy. I was sad. I was in love. I was afraid. I was hopeful. I had an idea and I had a good purpose and that’s why I made works of art…" – Felix Gonzalez-Torres

everything is wonderful now* March 19, 2009

Filed under: Music — Lulu @ 3:58 pm

Last night was easily the best date night Fanless and I have ever had. Not only did we get to enjoy a truly delicious dinner, but we were also treated to a fantastic performance by one of his favorite rock stars.

As part of the Hard Rock Café’s March on Stage 2009, Everclear founder and frontman, Art Alexakis, performed an acoustic set at the Hard Rock Café in Miami. All of the proceeds from the show benefit Musicians on Call, a “nonprofit organization that brings live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities.  Musicians On Call uses music to promote and complement the healing process for patients, families and caregivers.” Although I wasn’t a huge Everclear fan previously, and Fanless had to do a little bit of convincing to get me to go, I loved the goal of this charity and the fact that they would receive 100% of the profits from the ticket sales.

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Originally, we thought of going just to the show, but then Fanless suggested we make an evening of it and have dinner at the Hard Rock prior to the show. I was a little skeptical as I hadn’t been to the Hard Rock in over ten years, and had no idea what the menu or quality of the food would be like. Turns out I had no reason to worry. Our dinner was absolutely delicious, albeit a little on the pricey side (but that’s not unexpected in a touristy location like Bayside).

I had the Twisted Mac, Chicken and Cheese, and Fanless had the Grilled Hawaiian Chicken with White Cheddar Smashed Potatoes and steamed broccoli. Oh my God… sooo good.

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After dinner, we went downstairs to pick up our tickets for the show, and were escorted to our table. Fanless had purchased VIP tickets, so not only did we get wristbands, we also got these souvenir laminated VIP passes. I felt like a finalist on “Rock of Love”!!

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We were literally just a few feet from the stage.

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(I had a really cute encounter with Art just before he went on stage. I was walking out of the ladies’ room and he was standing outside the mens’ room looking at some memorabilia on the wall. He looked over at me and smiled, so I waved and said "hello.”)

The setting was really intimate and gave you a chance to experience an “up-close and personal” feeling with a major rock star. The show reminded me of an episode of “VH1’s Storytellers”, with Art sharing personal stories and anecdotes – some of which were really hilarious – mixed in with acoustic performances of some of Everclear’s most popular songs, including “I Will Buy You a New Life,” “Father of Mine,” and “Wonderful.”

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My favorite thing about the evening was learning just how autobiographical his songs are! He told the audience the stories behind the songs, all based on his life experiences, and all of a sudden, it wasn’t just a cool, catchy song; it became a glimpse into this man’s personal life, like reading a page out of his private journal.

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Following the performance, which lasted just over an hour, Art sat down at the edge of the stage and did a Q&A session with the audience. I thought that was really cool of him, as he could have very easily been like “Peace out!” and gone on his merry way after the last song.

He answered questions about his personal life and career, and was greeted with a huge round of applause when he mentioned that Everclear is back in the studio working on a new album.

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Afterwards he made it a point to personally meet everyone there, and sign autographs and pose for pictures. He was so very down-to-earth and humble. I guess the perfect word would be charming. I definitely came away from the evening as an Everclear fan.

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Here are a couple of videos I recorded (the quality is not fantastic as they were shot with my digital camera) last night. Enjoy!

“I Will Buy You a New Life”

“Santa Monica”

* From the lyrics to Everclear’s “Wonderful”

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