The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly*

The Good
Blues Traveler and the Encore Circle. We went to see Blues Traveler Thursday at Wolf Trap. The donation level I’m at gives me two passes to the Encore Circle (Wolf Trap’s VIP club) at one show. It’s a nice place, mostly a big tent with a number of overhead fans going, plus a small indoors extension (with air conditioning coming outside and the nicest bathrooms at Wolf Trap). They had a nice spread inside (crackers and cheese, watercress and baby spinach with a balsamic vinagrette, and peanut chicken and pasta), and we sat outside at one of the tables. We got a free drink; Jill had a glass of red and I had a Heineken Dark (2nd time I’ve had it – still pretty tasty). It was a nice chill out kind of place, different than our normal Wolf Trap experience of picnicking on the lawn, but fun.

The Bad
Walking around with a broken toe. Ow.
At least we got a ride to and from the parking lot.

The Ugly
We went for most of opener Virginia Coalition’s set. As we were leaving to go back to the Encore Circle (we decided we needed to try their frozen drinks – Jill had a margarita and I had a mango daiquiri) three hardcore Blues Traveler fans sat down in front of us, but I didn’t give it a second thought. As we returned to our seats, I still wasn’t thinking of it (only that the guy in the middle could have been John Popper’s evil twin – he was a big guy with the hat and the mutton chops, but had a goatee), but when the band walked on stage, they stood up and danced, looking like they’d never stop. Ordinarily I wouldn’t have a problem standing, but wasn’t planning on it with the toe thing, and Jill couldn’t really see around them when they were sitting. So we moved down several seats as our row was sparsely populated around us. That wasn’t an option for people behind us, and they were yelling.

Now this is a subject I’m torn on. When you buy a ticket to a rock concert, you have to be prepared for the possibility of standing through the headliner. At places like Nissan Pavilion and MCI Center, if people in front are standing, it’s a domino effect that means everyone else will too. But when only 5-10% of the crowd is, that’s when it’s tricky. People must have complained, because ushers came over to ask them to sit down. The thing is, other people were dancing, too, but they weren’t admonished (although these guys were the only ones in the center of the orchestra doing it). They were told several times to sit down, and mostly did. The weird part came when they had some big bouncer-type dudes come and ask them to leave, after they’d been sitting for a couple songs. We were shocked at that, as they’d done what they were told (and there was that whole no one else being told to sit down thing). It turned they were asking them to go to the aisles and dance and were allowed to get closer to the stage. They looked like they were having a better time, so that was cool, but the whole thing was disturbing and cut into our enjoyment of the concert. Although we would have been miserable had we been forced to continue to sit behind them. I don’t know what an ideal policy would be. Jill couldn’t get back into the concert and waited for me in the Encore Circle (they also had Starbucks) ’til I was ready to go.

*”The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly” is an instrumental from their CD Four (why do I put in references only I’ll get?)