For those wondering, this is what I had been planning on writing about yesterday. It's now official. I'm gonna go see the One And Only Taylor Hicks in concert on March 24th in Sioux City, IA. Sweetie and I had been looking at possibly going to one of the Kansas City concerts, but the tickets (BEFORE taxes and Ticketmaster's portion of your arm and leg) were $55...which we just couldn't financially justify. The Sioux City tix are only $36.50, though...as it is, my parents (I love you, Mom and Dad!) sponsored the cost of one ticket as an early birthday present and Sweetie (I love you, Sweetie!) sponsored the cost of the other again as an early birthday present to me.
So look for us at the Orpheum in Sioux City, Main Floor Left Center, Row E. I'll be the one with the goofy, dopey grin on my face, and Sweetie will be the slightly embarrassed one trying to act as though she's kind of there with the idiot next to her (which would be me), but not really all that much.
I know, dear readers, that there are a number of you right now shaking your heads and thinking "Oh, poor sweet misguided LutheranHusker, why oh why did you give in to the American Idol machine?" Well, let me tell you, if you are uninitiated with the musical phenomenon that is Taylor Hicks, you're in for a surprise, because ladies and gents, this guy is the Anti-Idol. The man eats, sleeps, breathes, and probably even poops music (don't ask me how that last one would work). He grew up playing his harmonica and singing in smoky bars from age 16 on, and his influences are along the lines of Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, Otis Redding, and Joe Cocker...not your typical teeny-bopper Idol. He's said from the beginning that his dream is to basically live on a tourbus, play a bunch of shows, stopping occasionally to record more stuff, then to hop back on the bus again...he's backing it up so far on his first post-Idol solo tour, with 55 concert dates scheduled so far over the course of the next 90 days.
God created the man with a gift for live concerts.
Suffice it to say that March 24th can't come soon enough.
During the American Idol tour last summer, Taylor had a habit of playing the AI concert, then leaving the arena and heading to a local club to do a "real" concert with "real" music. His old "pre-Idol" band, Little Memphis Blues Orchestra, followed him to a few cities and he'd play with them...I can't even imagine doing the Idol concert from say 7 until 10 then heading to a club and playing from 11 until 1 or 2...then crawling on to a bus and doing it all again. But when you've got it in your blood, instead of sapping your energy, it's what gives you life.
The church has a semi-fancy word for it that we're as the church beginning to rediscover...it's called vocation. From the Latin vocatio, it means your calling. What is your calling? It's not just to describe pastor-type folks in the church, and it's also not just to describe what you do from 9 to 5. You wanna see someone who's living out their vocation, their calling, as a musician? Check out this clip of Taylor and Little Memphis Blues Orchestra covering Joe Cocker's Feelin' Alright. Great stuff...
Looking for something genius but more low-key? Try a stripped-down version of Georgia On My Mind...just Taylor, his guitar and harmonica, and Billy Earl McClelland on solo guitar:
Georgia On My Mind