So, for Christmas, part of our presents were tickets to see MUSE in Duluth, GA (near Atlanta) - which she, and my sisters would also be coming as well. Oh, flip. Let the planning begin!!! Last weekend, MUSE rocked our socks off and we had one of the greatest little trips ever.
Thursday, Februrary 25, my mom and youngest sister, Lanae, flew out of Minneapolis into Indianapolis to where my other sister, Vanessa, lives. For some strange reason, Vanessa's cellphone wouldn't receive any incoming calls, so even though my mom and Lanae landed, there was no way to reach Vaness, who was looping around at the airport pickup spot. What a nightmare for everyone! My mom and Lanae kept calling me, even though there was nothing I could do all the way in SC! It was a big mess, but luckily they were able to finally connect. The three of them hung out for the evening in Indi and road-tripped down to Greenville, SC early the next morning.
On their way down, they tried to make their 9-10 hour drive go a little bit faster by getting cars to "honk" for whatever reason, and it eventually became a game to see how many honks they could get by the time they got to Greenville.. At one point, when I talked to Lanae on the phone to see how they were coming along, she mentioned to me their little game and that they were at "20-something honks" and so I challenged them to get 50 honks and for every honk over 50, I will shake hands with a random person. Wow.. When they arrived in Greenville, Lanae flies out of the car screaming, "66 HONKS!!! Ha!!! You're dead meat!" Great! It was really just a good cause to help them make the time go faster, right??
Friday, the evening they arrived, was such a nice relaxing night! We made homemade, BBQ Chicken Pizza (one of Justin and my faves!) and rented The Proposal. We laughed and caught up.. It was just a really good night.
The next morning, (Saturday, February 27th) we were able to sleep in a little, but woke up with excitement because of our big day. MUSE was finally here!!!! We rocked out to MUSE and I had fun doing everyone's makeup! We headed out the door and made our way to Duluth, GA (a little ways north of Atlanta). It was only a 2-hour drive to Duluth, and it went so fast because we had MUSE blaring the whole way..
Once we arrived in Duluth, we checked out what time the doors were opening at, drove around for awhile and finally found a good place for lunch... The Arena Tavern. Lunch was super yummy! Incredible burgers and sweet potatoe fries. Mmm!
After lunch, we still had plenty of time, so we headed over to the venue to wait for the doors to open. After waiting for a while in the cold, we finally got inside, found our seats and eventually met up with my mom's friend, Lori! It was really cool, because Lori also loves MUSE and she (like my mom and Lanae) flew down from Minneapolis for the show!! She was staying with her sister for the weekend in Atlanta, and they went to the show together as well. How fun to be able to see her there, even though we wish we could have hung out a little longer!
So we found our seats.. They were decent - not great, but not horrible. The stage was set up with 3 huge towers on it, each appearing to have some sort of covering them. I bet Justin that they would light on fire or something because they looked kind of "smokey" (I turned out to be wrong).
Silversun Pickups opened for MUSE. I don't know much of their stuff, but if I could compare them to anyone, I would say, holy cow, they sound just like Smashing Pumpkins. At first I thought their bassist was a dude wearing a silk dress.. Then I realized it was just a manly looking girl playing the bass. Intereshtiiing!
Before Silversun, Lanae and Vanessa went down to scope out the stage setup and befriended (of course) one of the security guards, Randy. They came back and soon the show began. Just our luck, our seats were located under a well-lit overhang, directly below the upper deck (aka the "nosebleeds"). All of the usher/ticket-checker people were rushing people to their seats, including the 94-year old woman who kept guiding people to walk directly in front of us, through our row, during Silversun's entire performance. Are you kidding me, great-grandma?? Our row is not a walkway for people to pass through! We're trying to watch the flippin' show!! If you can imagine, after the 20th person who tries barging their way, bumbling through, beer in hand, oh NO. NOT gonna happen. Especially not during MUSE. Eventually we started snarling at everyone who rudely clutzed their way through.. How would they think that's OK? People, go find a walkway!
Halfway through Silversun, Lanae leaves and comes back saying, "Hurry! There are enough seats for us all down in the front! Let's go!" So we gladly escape out of our lit up seats, away from great-grandma and the row of walkways and shuffles. We booked it 6 sections over, all the way to the front, right by Mr. Randy Security Man, who said he didn't care if we sat the empty seats. Hmm. Ok!
After Silversun, Lanae kept trying to schmooze with Mr. Randy, hoping get passed down to stand on the floor or possibly get closer seats. I think Ran-Ran didn't really have much power, but would have helped if he wouldn't have gotten in trouble.
So we sit down, nervous and paranoid that the legal seat-owners will appear at any moment. My mom kept saying, "uhh..should I ask the girls next to me about those other open seats?? What about those seats?? What if.." Oh how nerve-wracking! Literally, 30 seconds before MUSE comes on, seat-owners appear and we're out of luck. Are you kidding me?! Who shows up for a concert 30 seconds before it starts?! Ahh! In embarassment, we shuffle our way out of the perfect, unlit, anti-great-grandma guiding seats and make our way up the 300 steps as the lights are going out and MUSE's opening is starting. The crowd is screaming. Adrenaline is rushing, I think even I could hear my mom's heart beating. Oh. My. Gosh.
We made it to the top of the stairs and left Lanae in the dust! The towers lit up and it looked like people were marching up a staircase.. It was so incredible, yet so difficult to describe. It was really cohesive to their "Absolution" Album, with the sillhouettes of bodies and such. Very cool. In one motion, the tower coverings drop all the way down and reveal Matt, Chris and Dom each in the middle of the towers while pounding "Uprising"! Oh. My. Word. We couldn't miss the opening, so we kept watching it from the top of the stairs, plus we had to wait for Lanae, and if possible, maybe look for any other open seats before giving up and heading back to our dreaded seats (compared to the sparkling ones we just came from!).
["Uprising" Live, Filmed by Ppakoe59]
We didn't even get through half of the song before Dragon Woman (an usher) comes storming over to us growling for us all to "LEAVE". Oh c'mon Dragon, have a heart! I told her calmly that we we were leaving, but we were waiting for my little sister. A minute later, Dragon huffed and puffed and demanded that we "MUST LEAVE". Wow, Dragon clearly didn't understand the concept of patience and took her job way too seriously. I reminded her that we were not going to leave without my little sister and replied that she would wait for her (yeah, right). So instead of wasting any more time with Dragon, we quickly escaped her wrath and moved about 15 feet away from her, until we could find Lanae or wait for "Uprising" to finish. Of course Dragon wouldn't fall for that one.. within a minute, she comes firing over to us and started getting all up in in our business - I even tried dancing with her for a minute, and boy she wouldn't have any of it - So we left. UGH!
We made it back to our original seats and it honestly wasn't so bad! The spotlights above our row finally went off, and the show was IN-CRED-I-BLE. The lights, the stage and set up with the towers moving up and down and the energy.. Oh, it is just to impossible to describe.
During the show, they had giant eyeballs drop down from the ceiling! When they popped, red confetti exploded everywhere! It was so different from any show I've ever been too.
These guys are musical geniuses. One of the greatest shows I've ever been to.
After the show, we headed back to Greenville, stopping for milkshakes and apps at Denny's (an after-concert tradition). I'm pretty sure we all fell asleep with smiles on our faces that night.
The next morning we were so exhausted, we slept in and spent the morning with our cameras plugged into the TV so we could all look at our pictures from the trip and MUSE.. Good laughs and memories already! Since my mom, Vanessa and Lanae's birthdays are all in January, Justin and I decided that we wanted to spend Sunday celebrating birthdays! We got ready and headed downtown Greenville to Reedy River and walked around for a little bit. I'm sure my mom and sisters especially enjoyed the weather - which was pretty warm for them coming from Minnesota (and Indiana).
For dinner, we went took them to one of our favorite restaurants in Greenville - Chicora Alley. "Caribbean-Southern" style food, and oh so good.
We shared the chicken nachos covered loaded with their 7 homemade fruit salsas (augh, my favorite!), the roasted red burrito and pork quesadillas... And we were STUFFED. Lanae fussed that I asked for the nachos without jalapenos (can't stand 'em! It's habit!), and asked the waiter for them on the side. So, to make things interesting, I decided to challenge Lanae to a little dare. I dared her to eat her precious jalapenos - 9 (cut up) of them left in a little cup - all at once, with no water for 1 minute. I suppose you could compare this to the Cinnamon Challenge (check out my recent post here). Lanae was a little weary to accept, but after offering to buy her some ice cream afterwards, she accepted.
She did it! Our nice server even brought her some milk! Oh, we laughed so hard as halfway through choking those peppers down, my mom felt pity on her and goes to stand by her for comfort.. Vanessa shouts out, "Oh look at mother hen!!" Maybe you had to be there, but it was pretty hysterical!
We stopped by Spill the Beans for ice cream, but Lanae wasn't feeling up for it, because her mouth was still on fire! I felt kinda bad, but hey -- She didn't have to accept the challenge! We made it home to relax a little bit, before Justin and I pulled out our the candle-lit, raspberry-fudge chocolate cake we had been hiding from them all weekend.. Happy Birthday, girls!!!
We enjoyed the yummy cake and French Silk ice cream before watching Secret Window -- Hello, Johnny Depp! Another great night with my sweet mom and sisters.. The perfect ending to a perfect weekend.
After packing up and exchanging pictures/videos from the weekend, it was bedtime, and the girls had to get up early to hit the road to head back to Indianapolis. My mom and Lanae's flight left out of Indiana later that evening, so it was important to make pretty good time!! Luckily they didn't run into any trouble or traffic (always the story of Justin and my life!) so they made it home good. What a fabulous and oh so a-MUSE-ing weekend.. I wish it could have lasted longer!!
Listen to MUSE!!
[All videos by "Ppakoe59" on YouTube - Thanks!]