Days 4-6, London/Seattle: Ok, enough flat tires already! Flat tire #2 happened seconds before reaching my Wolverhampton lodging. It may have something to do with my clipping a curb at high speed but that would be pure speculation.
The Wolverhampton show Wednesday night was classic KT. The band was on and the crowd was into it from note #1. I decided to change things up on my end by watching the show from the very back of the venue. Two observations: (1) People who are there to drink and accidentally watch a concert hang out in the back; and (2) it’s really hard to hear clearly KT’s witty banter from so far away. I have nearly bionic hearing (a product of talking to people while wearing earplugs in my law school library) and was still having a hard time, even when the drunks were relatively quiet. Bummer, but a good lesson.
I decided to say goodbye to KT after this show because I didn’t know what to expect in London. While waiting for KT, I met Abii (who posted on this thread a few days ago) and her friend (Jody?). I was immediately impressed when they first thought I worked for the band. I do have that band management look especially in my leather sport coat and Kenneth Cole boots. Or maybe it was the fact that I was the only single male hanging out by the busses! Anyway, Abii has a virtually encyclopedic knowledge of KT. I was humbled in about two minutes of conversation. Great gal.
So I’m the last person to speak with KT and I thank her for a great week. She again told me how much she appreciated the gesture and gave me a KT hug. We laughed, we cried, we became a part of each other! Ok, maybe I exaggerate a bit. I said I was looking forward to my London finale and that I‘d see her in Seattle in a few weeks. I kind of miss her (the music, of couse) already.
Thursday was my day off (thanks KT) so was able to do some work and a bit of sightseeing before going to London. I returned my rental car Thursday night since driving in London seemed a bit silly and parking is a joke. Vital Stats: 750+ miles; 2 flat tires (both mysterious), spilled 1 cup of coffee.
Friday’s show was one to remember. Playing the Hammersmith Apollo is clearly a marker in one’s career. I had a first row center balcony seat so was able to take in the whole experience including very dynamic lighting. The Wolverhampton venue also had serious lighting but the display wasn’t as prominent. At first I didn’t know what to make of KT and the boys rockin’ out under a light show fit for a 1980’s glam band (more exaggeration) but it was fun to watch. Everyone on stage seemed to be having a good time soaking in the lights and the crowd. I’m guessing two things: (1) KT is now playing venues large enough to have professional lighting capability; and (2) using the lights falls under KT’s typical “why not see what happens” approach. I’ll be curious whether it continues beyond this UK/Europe tour. I’ve read KT plans more intimate “keeping it real” gigs in the US so Team America won’t get to see KT and the boys all lit up. Just close your eyes and think Bon Jovi circa 1985.
Leaving the Apollo, I turned around and stared for a minute at the marquee with KT’s name in neon read letters. I thought about the first time I’d come across KT on an Alaska Airlines in-flight video in January 2006. I recalled a Nashville gig later in the year when KT expressed so much excitement and gratitude for the opportunity to play in one of the music world’s holy cities. I remembered taking my work team to the show in Washington, DC as a thank you gift last spring and experiencing KT with my sister and nephews in Dublin last fall.
I’ll likely see many more KT gigs before I reach my limit (Do you remember when Forest Gump just decides to stop running back and forth across the country?) but this was a moment to savor.