Lady Jane and I took in a great little concert at the Botanical Gardens again last night. Webb Wilder and the Beatnecks were simply awesome in the middle of a garden in the middle of downtown in Fort Wayne. It was another in the Roots Concert Series put on by the FW parks and rec department. I was glad to see them bring in some Nashville rock, and would be more than happy to see some more.
I was not overly familiar with Webb's music beforehand, but I knew he had done some work with my friend Jason Ringenberg, and I've heard his name bandied about in different places, so I was looking forward to it. Before we left I bought a t-shirt (and I rarely, if ever, buy overpriced t-shirts).
The evening started out like most Friday nights: I waited for Jane to get home from work, then we went out to eat (our Friday night date). At the restaurant we saw some friends that we first met when we lived in Findlay. The husband and I graduated from seminary together, and his wife used to work at our denominational headquarters. They said something to me that I thought really strange, though it could actually be rather significant to who I am. She said, "It's nice to see a pastor out on a Friday night." I didn't really know how to respond to that, because I am 'out' just about every Friday night; and, really, many other nights too. Am I not supposed to be out? I don't know, I just thought that was an odd thing to say. But as Jane and I discussed it, I guess maybe that is my unique contribution in the kingdom - I feel just as comfortable in a bar or at a concert as I do at a church potluck (actually, potlucks make me quite uncomfortable). Anyway, after I chatted with them, I did go up to the bar because several of our friends were there. So we jawed with them awhile, and then headed downtown.
We arrived a little early for the 9 pm show, so we drove around and tried to find a legal/free parking spot. We actually found a good place right across from the entrance. We will have to remember that.
As far as the concert... there wasn't quite as big of a crowd as the last time we were there, but it was pretty hot, and there was a Tincaps game next door again. We found some good seats and just sat and talked before the music started. Then some guy opened solo on an acoustic guitar (I can't remember his name). I really liked the sound of his guitar.
Webb was out talking to people before he played - which I always think is a classy gesture. I introduced myself. I thought I should since I'd written on his Facebook page. He was super nice and down to earth - just like I thought he would be.
The band started about 9, and it truly was both rock and roll straight up for the next 2 hours. I really like seeing professionals who know how to put on a good show. There wasn't a lot of chit-chat between songs, yet just enough rapport with the audience to make us feel loved. I was quite impressed with Webb's guitar-playing too, and he was backed by a sturdy bass and drummer to create a nice big sound. They even played right through the fireworks after the baseball game next door. It made me want a telecaster again.
Anyway, we stuck around for the whole show because it was such a nice night. After they were done playing, Webb and his bassist just walked over to their merch table and sold stuff and chatted with folks. No rock-star ego's here. We waited around and talked to Webb again. I asked him about Jason and he had nothing but kind words to say about the nicest man I know. It would appear they are both class acts. So I bought a t-shirt, and we made our way back to the country.
By the way, we also ran into Tom S. at the show. We chatted with him for a bit. Seems we see him at a lot of concerts, but we rarely talk. Not sure why. He seems like a nice guy and we had a good time.
When we got home we sat outside and looked for falling meteors. We only saw a couple, then headed off to bed. It was a good day.