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Closer To Free

April 21, 2008 - Cindy Votruba
Back in March, I called the Washington Pavilion to get a ticket to the upcoming BoDeans concert on April 19. The guy on the phone asked me how good of a ticket I wanted. I’m like, whatever is the best you can get me. “How about front row, in the orchestra pit?” Sure. Needless to say, I was pumped.

April just flew on by, and before I knew it I was on the road to Sioux Falls. I was staying at the Country Inn and Suites downtown, which was just six blocks from Washington Pavilion, so I was able to walk there. And since Saturday was such a beautiful day, it was perfect.

Around quarter to 7 p.m., I’m getting ready to go, and my left contact had decided to go somewhere into the recesses of my eye socket. I can’t find the thing. Sigh. So I take out my other contact, put on my glasses and try to get a-movin’ as I still had to walk to the Pavilion.

I get there, head to the BoDeans merchandise table, and started pawing through the t-shirts. I also wanted to get a copy of the latest CD, “Still.” Both were $20. A little much for the CD, but that was OK. Until I removed the plastic from the CD. The jewel case started to disintegrate into my hand. So I go back up to the table, but the folks running it wouldn’t let me exchange the CD. Guess I’ll have to get a new jewel case at Last Stop CD Shop.

The concert was supposed to start at 7:30 p.m. A few minutes before that, I was practically the only one in the three rows of the orchestra pit, with the exception of a couple of people. OK, where is everybody? Still mingling around the lobby area sipping beer? I guess it was OK as the BoDeans weren’t going on right away. Taking the stage was the opening band, which I later find out was a Sioux Falls-based band called Smoke and Mirrors. They looked like they were having fun on the stage, but I was ready to see the BoDeans.

After the stage was set, instruments and sound were checked and I was finally joined by the rest of the orchestra pit crowd, we were all waiting in anticipation for the reason most of us were here, to see the rocking band from Milwaukee. Sitting to my right was a grizzled fellow who told me how the last time he saw the BoDeans was at Vermillion 14 years ago and how he’s seen a few great concerts at the Pavilion, including Patty Larkin and Elvis Costello. From the looks of him, I’d never have him pegged for an Elvis Costello fan. On my left, was a couple. The woman was really pumped to see the BoDeans. She said they had gone to a BoDeans show in Denver, but it was rained out.

Around 8:45 p.m., the BoDeans started the show with “Hey Pretty Girl.” Then came one of their famous “sing-a-long” songs, “Idaho.” Everyone was on their feet. The guy next to me did a little dance in place thing with his hands in his pockets. Some sort of forward rotation movement. Don’t know what to call it though. BoDeans fans always know what to do when a sing-a-long song comes up. They know what line to sing and can identify that song by just the first few bars.

I had along my Christmas present, a little Sony 7.2 megapixels Cyber-shot camera. C’mon it’s the BoDeans, and I’m up front, might as well take advantage. Wasn’t too sure if I was allowed to take flash photos in the Great Hall, so I waited until I saw a flash pop. A white blast went off. OK, it’s safe to take photos. I managed to get several good shots, some of which I’ll put in this blog below. Not bad for a little camera. I even got a little video of Sam Llanas singing “Naked.” Wish I had gotten more video though.

The BoDeans played until after 10 p.m. Sam even came over to the other side of the stage, so I was able to get a couple of great photos of him up close. One of the encores was Llanas and Kurt Neumann, two acoustic guitars, no microphones, unplugged, doing “Only Love.” You could hear a pin drop (well except for this one person who let out a “woo!” before the song was performed and Llanas had asked for complete silence). It was cool!!!


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