We went to our last show at Wolf Trap this season and I think the highlight of the year. Of course an eddie from ohio show for us isn’t just about the music, it’s the people, too.
I rushed home from work to change and we made it to Janice and Stuart’s a little after 5:30. Some more friends showed and we piled in their van for the trip (Janice knew some back roads I didn’t, we’ll try those next summer). We got to the front gates around 6:10, and chatted while we waited the 20 minutes for them to open. We split into tarp runners and cooler carriers, and quickly secured a large space – there were 12 of us to start. Jill had packed us a nice spread – deli sandwich, grapes, nectarines, cole slaw, tomatoes with mozarella and basil, and a slice of carrot cake. Sharon and Forrest showed up with sushi about an hour later, and hung out with us through the opener’s set. Sharon found an old coworker, and Jill found our friend Colleen in the meantime. We headed down to our seats with minutes to spare before they came on.
Jill called the first two songs precisely, but there were some surprises in the set. The return of “Irish Dream” and “Eddie’s Concubine” was nice, and “Jerusalem” was timely, but the best was the return of the “I Know You Rider” medley. Mike was in fine form, possibly spurred on by the announcement he’s getting married this Sunday (at one point he let the band know they were invited). Joe was sitting in the balcony and was not able to make it downstairs to do “the Joe” during “The Three Fine Daughters Of Farmer Brown”, so after it was over, they found him upstairs with a spotlight and had him do it. Julie forgot the lyrics to part of “The Three Fine Daughters Of Farmer Brown” and “Eddie’s Concubine” (but the latter song mostly due to Mike’s antics). They finished off the main set with “Old Dominion” to the usual enthusiasm (and the only time everyone got out of their seats for a song), and encored with “Walk Humbly, Son”.
I think the highlight for me was the intro to “Great Day” – it really captures the essence of the band:
JULIE: We’ve been singing this song a lot, and the message of this song has
become real important to me, more so in the past year. The message is
pretty clear, it’s not too hard. It’s – uh – it’s really clear, it’s so
clear I forgot it.
ROBBIE: I thought you were getting all choked up.
JULIE: No, no. I got it. The message, the message is…
ROBBIE: Oh, it’s really gonna work now. Quiet everybody, Julie’s got
something sensitive to say. Starting with – go.
JULIE: The message is: keep the faith, believe in yourself and celebrate
life. (APPLAUSE) And uh – y’know, I have the first part down pretty good;
keep the faith and be strong. It’s the celebrate life part that I have
trouble with. And it’s not so much the celebrate life, but more sort of
the living in the moment, trying to appreciate the here and the now. What
I’ve learned – what I’ve realized, even more so in the past year, even very
recently, is that life is precious, and life is short, and life is so much
better when you can appreciate each day for just the day, and you can
appreciate moments like this, and you can appreciate this beautiful night.
(APPLAUSE) And I challenge everybody to keep that in the forefront of
their mind. I would be remiss if I did not send this out to the people who
are here tonight that were brought into my life through bad circumstances
but are part of my life. And I’m very very grateful they are part of my
life, so this song, “Great Day”, can go out to all the folks from the
Virginia Hospital Center who are here tonight. From the bottom of my
heart, thank you so much. (APPLAUSE)