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!
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 www.taylorhicks.com
Follow Rob Shuter on Popeater at http://www.popeater.com/bloggers/rob-shuter/