I was having trouble sleeping on the 30th, so I went online and was playing around and just randomly went to their web page and saw a concert for Sanibel, Florida. I looked it up on Google Maps and realized that it’s a little over an hour north of us and that it was on a night that we could manage to go. So I quickly bought tickets for myself and my parents, feeling very excited that I was going to get to a concert.
We left early because we weren’t sure where the concert hall was, and Sanibel is an island connected to the mainland by a causeway, and we weren’t sure if there would be accidents, road closures, or other problems. Everything ended up fine, except for one wrong turn because they don’t have any streetlights on Sanibel, so we missed one turn. Still got there plenty early, got my father dropped off, and went on up to pick up the tickets.
Joey was sitting out on the porch with friends, so I sort of snuck up and said hi to him before the show. So they knew I was there. Joey had to go in and eat, so I spoke with his friends for a bit and then went to get my tickets. They opened the doors early and it turned out to be open seating, so we went right to the front row and sat to the Slim side of the stage. There were a bunch of plush armadillos lined up along the front of the stage, their campfire, and some plush Woody toys. Also on the stage was “Too Jaws”, who I haven’t seen in years.
The show started a little late and had the usual “commercials” before the introduction for the guys. This was show 6782, and it was also Joey’s anniversary.
How the Yodel was Born
Don’t Fence me In
Land Beyond the Sun
Rawhide (no bowling)
Woody’s Round-up Medley
For the Birds
Back in the Saddle Again
I’ve Cooked Everything
Clarinet Polka without the Clarinet
Arms of my Love
Yellow Rose of Texas
Along the Navajo Trail
All Hat No Cattle poem
Ghost Riders in the Sky
Tumbling Tumbleweeds (unplugged)
This show was one of the best I’ve seen in a while. They were all on-point and fine form. Woody did a little jig, Sidemeat came out and was really entertaining. My face actually hurt from laughing so much. Let me see; during the introduction to the Woody’s Round-Up Medley, Slim really got Doug with a mental image when they were talking about the “I remember rap tour”. Slim said, “Momma fell face first into the fishing tackle box” and I think the mental image is what really got to Doug. I know I was having trouble breathing at that point from laughing so hard.
I really think we had a lot of first time concert goers in the audience. Either that or the routine has changed a little since the last time they were there. The energy was just there for the whole show. I do know the couple sitting directly behind us were at their first concert. They asked me where I got my jacket (my Riders jean jacket) and I told it was from the Merc, but I thought that it wasn’t made any more. We passed some time before the show talking with them. The woman was super-excited to be at the show because she grew up with cowboy music and they were finally able to get to a Riders’ show. I told her that she was going to have a blast, and she did.
I know I’m going to be leaving stuff out here. Joey did a brief tribute to his wife and family, which was really sweet. When they did For the Birds, the venue had a screen down so they could play the animation. That was the first time either of my parents had seen that and Mum was really laughing hard the whole time. I’m going to find the video for her to see with the sound from the birds, which was missing last night, so she can get the feel for the whole thing.
When Sidemeat was out, he fell asleep twice during Back in the Saddle Again, and then got lost leaving the stage. Joey asked him why he wasn’t using the present they got him for Christmas. It’s a GPS; a Geezer Positioning System. When Sidemeat was setting up for Reincarnation, I was the only one that immediately raised my hand. Mum followed me like two seconds later, and I think we might be the only two that did raise their hands. Side focused in on me and did the “nice to see you again” routine. He added in “I’ve been waiting all day for that, thank you”. I’m not sure I got that part of the joke, but whatever. Might not have even been a joke.
Other random things. During Yellow Rose of Texas, both Slim and Doug did the “Woah!” bit and did it really kinda loud, so it almost drowned Joey out. Then they both started laughing. They talked about their new tribute album for Roy Rogers and did a number of songs off of it. During requests, someone actually requested Happy Trails. I couldn’t believe that one. Slim, of course, did Surfin’ USA. No one really knew what to make of their doing every request. I was just giggling because it’s so hard to pick out songs when they do that, but it’s so much fun at the same time. Another person requested Never Drink Downstream from the Herd. That got Slim to laugh a little, but he knew which song they wanted. There was no Circus Train during Cattle Call, which I was really hoping for. I love it when they do Circus Train.
When they came up to take their bow, Doug pointed at me and said hi, and so did Slim. This was before their encore, which was acoustic. I haven’t seen them do that in a while either, and I always think the songs sound better without the mikes involved. I might be biased though. J
The advice given at the end of Happy Trails
Woody: Never take a sleeping pill and a laxative at the same time
Joey: Trust your neighbors, but brand your cattle
Doug: Always drink upstream from the herd
Slim: May the horse be with you
When the concert was over, there was a general mass exodus of people that wanted to get home quickly. I dug out my father’s walking stick and we waited for a bit before heading out onto the porch where the Merc and table for autographs was set up. Mum looked at the back of my jacket (which I had autographed at a Cyberpal gathering back in 99, so it also had Texas Bix Bender’s autograph on there – and Mum WASHED it.) to see if I should have them sign it again. I don’t really see the point because she’s just going to wash it again. Plus, I won’t ever have a chance for another autograph from Texas Bix. Mum left to take my father to the car so he could sit down and nap a little if he wanted while I waited to get pictures. The table was sort of swarmed at the beginning, so I just stayed to the back where I wouldn’t be in the way. So it was a bit of a surprise when there was a break in the crowd and Doug looked up, saw me, and said “Alexandra, good to see you”. So I went up to talk with him for a bit.
I’d told them at the last concert that we were going to be moving, and Slim and Joey both commented that they’d been trying to remember where they saw me last. It’s been a little over a year and I’ve got a haircut, so I’m as amazed as always that they recognize me. Grins Sweethearts, all of them. The crowd finally thinned out enough that I was able to get pictures and talk with them for a bit. Mum even got a hug from Joey, because she’s heard me talk about what good hugs he gives. Doug told me that he’s going to be back down here in Florida sometime in February with the other group he plays with, but didn’t have the exact date in his head. I told him that it would have to be on a Saturday if I was going to be able to see him again because I work day shift at the hospital and have to be there at 0545 for my shift start at 0600. So I was up way past my bedtime for the concert. It was so totally worth it though.
The drive home was a lot quicker because of how late it was, and we got home just before midnight. I headed straight to bed, still smiling from the concert, because I was beyond exhausted. Fortunately, I’d told my lieutenant that I wasn’t available for coverage this weekend because of the concert. I’m very lucky in my lieutenant at work. J So, that was the concert, and I’m still smiling. Probably will be for a while.