Saturday, December 15, 2007

A Day of Dreams

If I've ever lived a day of dreams, this would be it. Yesterday was my Christmas present from Lily; concert tickets to see Keith Urban.

Lily and I planned to spend the entire day together hanging out and it was everything I'd hoped for and more. We left home about 9am and hit the road, but not before hitting the local Starbucks. Armed with Todd's GPS we were Ottawa bound.

The drive up was uneventful until we hit the heart of Ottawa traffic. It was snowing like crazy, not Raining on Sunday, but snowing on Friday. We drove to the Place D'Orleans mall where I bought a necklace and earrings to match my Christmas dinner outfit and another little present for Todd's oldest daughter. Now, to find something for little daughter. We then hit another mall. In this mall I found a present for Todd, and the best shopping find of the day. Lily and I each got a new coat. It is a mid-calf length black dressy coat. The store was having a sale and these coats were regularly $100.00 each and we bought both coats for $102, with taxes. They are gorgeous and I can't wait to wear mine. Not that I'm dressing up today, let me tell ya. My feet are killing me. I just want to wear my running shoes all day, not that my running shoes are comfortable, but that is for another day.

Our efforts to find other malls went awry since we didn't know the names nor did we have addresses which is always helpful when using a GPS. Onward to Ikea we head at this point, which is right near where we're going to dinner with Todd's niece. Ikea was somewhat of a success. I bought a couple clear glass bowls, a 12 day present for next year for Velda (now I have 3 of a total of 12 presents). I also bought Lily a shoe rack for her room and my vanilla scented tea lights I buy every time I'm there.

Dinner bound we are. This is were I have to tell you, I love Todd's niece. She works for Montana's restaurant, so we meet with her there every chance we get. She is one of the most adorable, genuine people I've ever met. She just adores Lily and Lily in turn, looks up to her. It is really sweet. We sit and chat with Tash for about an hour and half, but departure time approaches much quicker than expected. With hugs and kisses and promises to see each other over the holidays, off Lily and I head to our date with ever gorgeous Keith Urban!

We got to the Scotialbank Place about an hour before the concert is due to start. I was wrong on the start time. The time I thought the concert was to start was really the time the doors opened, so needless to say we were a bit early. It made it much easier to find parking though, so all in all things worked out okay. They always seem to anyway.

If I told Lily 'Thank you' once yesterday, I must have told her 20 times. I think she was about ready to strangle me by the end of the night. The gates finally open and we head to our seats. Our seats were for section 302 Row E Seat # (I forget). We go around the concourse and get to section 302 and there is a sign that says that section is closed because of lighting and sound equipment being hung in our seat area. The woman working this section sends us on to another section, this time 308. There were are told they are giving us new tickets in place of our originals because of the situation with the equipment. The 3 women there pick through their tickets for the best of what is available and we end up in Section 308 Row M seat # ( I forget). There beside us is 2 men and then on the other side is a young guy, and who I would think is his girlfriend. They man beside me introduces himself as Gary. He is there with a friend of his, while their wives are down BACKSTAGE meeting KEITH URBAN! OMG moment. So, we chatter for a little bit and then Gary notices there is a Scotiabank Place employee up behind us talking to some other seat transplants, and he is exchanging tickets with them. The employee is called over to us and Gary talks to him and the employee asks if we're all together, we say yes, him, his friend, Lily, myself and the young couple beside Lily. We are all give ticket upgrades to Section 105 , Section J Seat #15 & 16. These seat numbers I know because I have the tickets in my hands. You wanna talk about an OMG moment!!! We were all just stunned. We were so close it wasn't to be believed. I went to the concession stand and bought the two men a beer to say, 'Thanks'

Not soon enough the concert starts. I'm a fan of Gary Allen, have always liked his music, but I never really followed his career or seen any of his live shows. After last night, I'm a huge fan, not just a fan. Man, can he sing. His stage presence is incredible. He moves well, sings even better and just seems like an all around great performer. He talked a bit about dark times in his personal life and how, Best I Ever Had, helped him through those times, brought tears to my eyes. Knowing the story behind his struggles and to hear him speak of them even vaguely and in such brief terms, was difficult. I had a blast his Alright Guy. It was just a fun tune to hear him perform live. Watching Airplanes was incredible. You'd have thought you were listening to his CD, he sounded so good. He would come out on the extended portion of the stage with this little twinkle in his eye and big grin on his face. He, much like Keith Urban, looks as though he is having a great time with life and his music.

How do I put to words the kind of performance Keith put on? No matter what I say, or how I say it, I will not come close to doing it or him justice. The show starts off with the screen black and then on the screen comes up 59 seconds, and the countdown begins to zero, at which point Keith is standing the middle of the stage with fading light shining only on him while he signs the opening verse of Once In a Lifetime. Where the tempo picks up, the lights come on with a bright flash and there is the rest of his band and we are underway to a show of a lifetime.

There are so many highlights. There was the girl with a sign that read "I'm Rural, but I'll go Urban". This girl and her sign were in our section near the bottom and Keith brought her up on stage. She latched on to him for dear life and who could blame her. She got herself a hug and stole a couple kisses and for a time refused to let go. Keith took it all in stride joking that he had to get back to work, 'okay, honey you gotta let me go now'. What an absolute doll.

The stage was set up in a t-fashion with a round area at the end. Keith and the entire band
came out there to perform a couple songs. One of them, Making Memories of Us. The lighting was dim and the camera was just one Keith with shadows playing on his face. Oh so sexy!

I have to say my favorite song performance of the evening would have to be Raining on Sunday. I've always liked this song and always struggle when asked to choose a favorite song, but no longer. My favorite Keith Urban song is now Raining on Sunday, and that is as much as a result of his live performance as much as from the fact that I would love to live out the song. Oh, to dream....

I'm not a professional concert goer by any means, but I've done enough to know good showmanship and Keith Urban, even the second time around does not fail to impress. I've never seen a show where the performer smiles as much as he does, and it is a genuine smile. This is a man that loves what he does and it shows. He is down on his knees, playing the hell out of that guitar and as much as it is just him and his guitar, you feel a part of it. There is this most adorable grin on his face when the crowd sings back to him, and how he interacts with the fans is awesome. There was a time when he was down on his knee playing, and a guy moved in with a camera and they did a cheek to cheek head shot and Keith just smiles the whole time.

There was a time when Keith came out for an encore and down he sits at the piano and plays White Christmas. OMG it was awesome. Still at the piano, he thanks the crowd for remaining fans and giving him a reason for getting his ass back on the road. As expected, the place goes crazy with screaming and clapping fans. Keith just sits there, again with a smile, but this time with teary eyes. Oh, to be the Kleenex that wipes away those tears. He then says that he is dedicating this next song to his wife, who couldn't be here since she is working, and he plays Got It Right This Time. WOW To have someone love me that way, and sing to me that way. Phew, someone turn down the heat in here.

I made an amazing discovery while at this concert and it's a big one. If I were only able to one performer for the rest of my life, it would be without a doubt Keith Urban! That is saying a lot, and those that have known me awhile will remember my Garth Brooks obsession, so this is huge.

Lily, from the bottom of my heart, I can not tell you enough how much your thoughtfulness and generosity mean to me. I've tried so hard to not show that Christmas is about family and friends more than gifts, but you have to know this is the most thoughtful gift I could have ever received. Thank you, sweetie.

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