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Taylor Hicks on Tour: Date Night at Highline Ballroom

This post kindly provided by Candy/skeeter226 and supplemented by photos from Louise/4tay


It was with great anticipation and excitement that I looked forward to the July 25, 2010 Taylor Hicks concert at Highline Ballroom. Out-of-state friends were arriving on July 24 to travel with me to New York City the next day.

On the morning of the 24th I read on Twitter that @TaylorRHicks and @NaughtyNiceRob were running a contest.  The prize: a date with Popeater columnist Rob Shuter and the chance to meet Taylor Hicks after the Highline Ballroom show.  The contest question: “Is Taylor Hicks left handed or right handed?”  I tweeted my answer, and then left to meet friends who had flown in that day. En route I received this tweet from Rob Shuter: “@skeeter226 would you be my date at Highline tomorrow night?”  I answered:  “HELL YES” and it was a total whirlwind after that.

Now reality was beginning to sink in; I started to feel a little queasy and had to pull over to the side of the road.  My phone was going crazy with tweets and phone calls from friends who congratulated me on winning the contest.  It was crazy!

I’ve met Taylor several times and he is as down to earth as they come; he always makes you feel comfortable right away. It was Rob Shuter that had my stomach in knots.  I spent a sleepless night tossing and turning, wondering what this date would be like.  I have to thank my good friends for soothing my nerves before the big event; it wasn’t easy!

I was to meet Rob outside the Highline at 8pm.  I asked a friend to come with me to snap a few pictures and to keep me from freaking out! Rob came rushing up the street at 8 o’clock sharp saying KA’NDEE!! just the way my mother does (she is British also).  He gave me a big hug; we took a few pictures, and then made our way inside. I was totally comfortable with Rob from that first moment.  It turns out there was no reason to be worried or nervous about meeting him or spending the evening with him.

Rob grabbed me by the hand and on the way to our seats stopped to tell several people that I was his date. We paused at the table where my son was sitting for some quick introductions. Our table was in the second row at the end to the right of the stage. I gathered up my courage and asked Rob if he would mind sitting at the table where I had planned to join my friends. These good people had secured 3 tables in the front row center. When I showed Rob where we’d be sitting, he said: “Of course! You ladies have a better table than I do!”

As we settled into our seats and ordered drinks, we discovered that we had arrived just in time for the opening act, Javier Colon. I really enjoyed Javier’s acoustic set.  He has a wonderful personality and is a very talented artist. My favorite songs from Javier included a soulful “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” and “Use Me”.  I am sorry I didn’t get to meet him after the show, and hope he’ll open for Taylor again in the future.

Finally the time came for Taylor Hicks to hit the stage.  If there is anything better than seeing Taylor perform live, it’s to see the show with someone who has never had this experience before.  My friends and I tried to prepare Rob for what he was about to see, but as I have said many times, there is no explaining a Taylor Hicks show.  You just have to see it for yourself.  Taylor did not disappoint;  he burst onto the stage with “Not Fade Away/Runaround”, and it just got better from there.  Taylor’s band is fantastic and they were tight that night!  One comment from Rob:  “Taylor is NOTHING like this when we are out for drinks!”  He really seemed to be impressed, especially with Taylor’s guitar and harmonica playing.  I had the best time just listening to his comments during the show.  My favorite performances from Taylor Hicks that night were “Ain’t Gonna Hurt Nobody”, “Hold On To Your Love” and the encore performance of “Bulletproof”.  Simply fantastic!

Judy Katz took this picture; I'm short, and so she chopped off our heads to get everyone in, but I still love this picture!

After the show Rob introduced me to some of Taylor’s “people” and there were photos taken.  I really enjoyed listening to Taylor and Rob talk about the show backstage!  Taylor’s publicist Judy Katz was there and she was such a sweetheart.  She was very calm among all of the craziness and kept everything running smoothly.  I also enjoyed a good fifteen minutes talking to saxophone player Jeff Lopez backstage, and that was another one of the very special times that night.  Jeff is extremely talented and always a joy to see; I felt so lucky to have been able to spend so much time with him.  All of Taylor’s band members take the time to talk with the fans and I really appreciate that.

The Highline Ballroom show was just the beginning of a fantastic tour, and I can’t wait for September when Taylor Hicks and his band come back to the northeast.  Taylor Hicks and his band LIVE makes me “FEEL SO GOOD DOWN IN MY BONES” and THAT’S what it’s all about!”

Huge thanks to Rob Shuter, Taylor Hicks, and Judy Katz for making this a magical night that I will never forget!! You’re a “doll” Rob!!!..CHEERS!!!!

For more on Taylor Hicks, visit

Follow Rob Shuter on Popeater at

20 Comments Post a comment
  1. Franky Long #

    Great adventure Candy – thanks for sharing with us!! Love the Pics!

    August 26, 2010
  2. Jemrah1 #

    Oh my Gosh!! What a great experience!! It sounds like a date of a lifetime!!

    August 26, 2010
  3. Mac #

    Love hearing details of the date straight from skeeter’s mouth! I loved watching Rob that night. He was all smiles, dancing in his seat, dancing at the bar. He looked like he had a great time!! How could he not? 🙂

    August 26, 2010
  4. jerseyirish #

    Skeeter, Great recap, loved your pics, could really feel your excitment meeting Rob. He just seems like a real likeable guy, so glad you won the contest, what a great memory!!


    August 26, 2010
  5. Louise #

    Awwwwwww……..Rob is a sweetheart! From the second he entered the venue, he was like a friend you’ve known for a long time.
    How wonderful for you Candy to have this once in a lifetime memory. We were all so happy for you and what joy to share the night with you and Rob! Rob seeing Taylor for the first time live was a real eye opener!

    Love how your sandwiched between the two men of the hour in the photo by Judy. A real beauty!

    August 26, 2010
  6. WBOB #

    wow..what an awesome night for you…congrats.

    August 26, 2010
  7. Pat P #

    Hey Candee: I was at the Highline Ballroom. I spoke with you at my table before you met Rob and you were a nervous wreck but all turned out well. I loved your story and your pictures (I have a pic of me and Taylor from that nite that is cut off like that lol). I also have a pic with Rob that is hilarious but I have not posted yet…we’ll see. One last comment…great fans deserve good things…very happy for you…cheers!!

    August 26, 2010
  8. carole #

    SQUEEEEEEEEEEE…So happy for you Candy. Thanks for sharing your date with the rest of us.
    Wish I could have been there to join in with all the fun. One day……
    Thanks for THN on tap for posting this so we can enjoy all the fun too.
    Great pictures Louise.
    Love reading this.

    August 26, 2010
  9. TMW #

    Sounds like you had a blast!!! Great pictures too.

    August 26, 2010
  10. mond105 #

    Candy what a wonderful night for you. Love the pictures and love your recap. You did a great job. So glad you had such a great time and thanks to Rob for being so nice.

    August 26, 2010
  11. juliegr #

    What an exciting happening! Bet you were walking on clouds for days afterwards. 😀

    August 26, 2010
  12. Skeeter #

    Thanks everyone! 😉 I could have written 20 pages and still not have been able to say how FANTASTIC this night was!! But I did the best I could.

    Rob Shuter is handsome, funny and EXTREMELY charming. I can totally see why he is so successful in his career, and wish him nothing but the BEST!

    Thinking about all of this again, just has me grinning from ear to ear!

    Many thanks to THN for posting the story, and Louise for the pictures!! 😉


    **Yes..sandwiched between Taylor Hicks and Rob Shuter was well…YOU KNOW!! lol**

    August 26, 2010
  13. Fantastic Skeeter!!!! So glad you finally got the photo’s…….Can’t wait till I see you again…

    August 26, 2010
  14. Skeeter #

    Thanks Susie! Looking very forward to seeing you again also!

    I NEVER got the photos that the photographer promised me, but THANKS to Louise and Judy Katz there are still pictures! 😉


    August 26, 2010
  15. Angels941 #

    Hi skeeker! I enjoyed reading your recap. I, too, would have been a bundle of nerves.Those are nice pictures. It was wonderful meeting you at the concert.

    August 26, 2010
  16. tishtx #

    Aww, that is just the best story ever!! Thanks for sharing your exciting night with us Candy. You are a special person. 🙂

    August 26, 2010
  17. Skeeter #

    Thanks Pat! yes…I remember..believe it or NOT!!. and I was wreck for sure!! 😉 THANKS for putting up with me! I was a babbling FOOL! Would LOVE to see your pictures from that night…the MORE heads cut off the was just FUN, FUN, FUN! and Rob was a real “DREAMBOAT”! (How ya’ like that Carole?) Do they “say” that anymore? Thats what comes to mind when I think about him! Instead of “NaughtyNiceRob” his name should be: “MR PERSONALITY”!

    So HAPPY for Taylor that his opening night was so successful!

    WIN/WIN all around!

    August 26, 2010
  18. Felicia #

    What a great story – Sounds like a lot of fun!!!

    Certainly a night I’m sure you’ll never forget!

    Thanks for posting, I enjoyed the recap 🙂

    August 27, 2010
  19. alma #

    What a Great Story! just Too cool.The pics are precious and I truly appreciate sharing your experience with us all!!!

    August 27, 2010
  20. crazymomelon #

    So, I FINALLY get to read this recap! Thanks for sharing the story, Candy. Sounds like you had a blast. Would love to meet Rob – sounds like another keeper.

    August 30, 2010

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