Wednesday, May 9, 2012

take a breath


Last year, I posted about the amazing opportunity we had to see Taylor Swift and Needtobreathe in New York City, at Madison Square Garden. It was an extremely memorable trip, one that we look back on regularly.
At the end of that trip, we realized that Needtobreathe (my favorite band) would also be playing at Liberty University in April!
(If you're just joining us, my husband is attending law school at Liberty and I work in the library there).
Liberty was a stop on their Reckoning tour. The Reckoning is their newest and (in my opinion) best album yet. We started counting down the days to the concert, and joined "The Insiders", which is their specially named fan club. We also were the first to buy tickets and sign up for Priority Access. We were tickets 1 and 2. :)

Priority Access allowed us to enter before the masses, to choose our seats ahead of everyone else! Only a select few were awarded this honor, and we were the first ones to walk in with our floor tickets and claim the front row.

Once the doors officially opened to everyone else, it began to fill up pretty quickly. There was probably about twenty feet from our front row chairs to the stage, if not more. A group of die-hards began lining up at the foot of the stage, as the non-moshing-mosh pit.

We stayed comfy in our seats, since we knew Ben Rector would be up before Needtobreathe.

Neither Dusty or I had ever heard Ben Rector before, and we were so glad we got the opportunity to hear him for the first time live! He was so great.

Check out this band member's rockin' mustache.

For reference, check out Ben Rector's cover of Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody". This was so much fun live. Everyone was so into it. He has a lot of really fun rhythms to his songs, as well as some great piano and occasionally saxophone and other dance-inspiring instruments.
He also rocked some real slow, more acoustic songs. He has a great voice; he's worth checking out!

Once the intermission came up between Ben Rector and Needtobreathe, the stage floor was pretty packed. So we decided to stand up (since sitting now meant zero visibility to the stage), and make our way into the crowds in front of the stage.
I hadn't been this excited since I ran up to the stage to sneak pictures of Plus One performing at the Dodge Theatre when I was 13.

The lights when out, the screaming began, and the stage backdrop began to light up. It was a giant typewriter keyboard, and they slowly began to light up...

Then the first notes of "Oohs and Aahs" began to play.

This is arguably the best concert I've ever been to. It was incredible; they are so great live, and I loved being able to experience it so close. I love that they're a small town band that has worked hard to get where they are, while still maintaining their faith and integrity.

Here are some of my favorite shots from the evening:

Rock and Roll.

Never underestimate the power of Banjo.

Stellar. Harmonica shot.

This guy (Seth) has long flowing hair that wisps in the slightest breeze,
which was impossible to ignore.
 I first heard Needtobreathe from one of my favorite movie soundtracks: P.S. I Love You.
Their featured song on that album is More Time. Bo and Bear took center stage for this concert to perform this song acoustically, and it was magical. For the first time, this song made sense to me.
Before, I always wondered what the subject matter was. Death, love, family.
Bear prefaced it by talking about what a tough world the music industry can be, and how there are lies and struggles before any triumphs. Thus, the core of the song was unveiled.

Bo and Bear Rinehart, brothers extraordinaire.
One of my favorite moments of the concert.

After the concert was over, the crowd screamed forever and ever for an encore.
The band came back out, and arranged in this formation, to sing their song Slumber.

They then broke off before the end of the song, and turned off all amplifying devices, including their mics and instruments. They bridged the song acoustically, and it was absolutely fantastic. Everyone was dead silent, mesmerized.

They really saved the best for last. Their encore was awesome, and included some of their best stuff, even stuff we hadn't heard before. Ben Rector also came out and joined them for the last little bit.

I have only one complaint from the concert, and that was the guy standing behind us.
I had to keep grabbing Dusty's shoulder to keep from screaming at the guy.
One of our favorite things to say around Liberty is, "Oh, undergrad..." in a very judgmental, holier-than-thou tone. Because you see, something strange happens to you (staring around high school age) where you suddenly can't stand students in your general age group that are below you in any way.
Being here at Liberty, but not actually at Liberty, is a difficult place to be. We don't quite belong, and we feel older, better, and more experienced than the undergrad that swarms every possible surface.

They don't use cross walks, they're loud, they're stupid (too harsh?) and they yell things like "I WANT TO HAVE YOUR BABIES" and prolonged "OHMYGOOOOOOOD"s at concerts.

Needless to say, the concert was perfect, save for that one guy who was about to have my fist in his stomach.
Oh and P.S., we grabbed this solid piece of gold.

They made a record, an actual record. It includes two unreleased songs, "Disaster Road" and "Cops". I'm dying to listen to it, and can't wait to go home in June to play it on my record player.

The hubby and I have decided that our next venture will be to follow them around Europe on their tours. I think it sounds like a smart plan....they're going to be in Dublin, Ireland in July. Any takers? :)

In love,


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