Mark bought tickets to Jamey Johnson and we went to Richmond on Sunday afternoon. Terrible traffic, I had a fever, we missed the opening act. All-in-all an excellent evening.
We had supper at a great little place I found via google: Balliceaux. The service, the food, the atmosphere and the cleanliness were all excellent. I wish downtown Norfolk had one just like it.
On Sundays, Balliceaux serves Sunday Supper, which is a family style supper for your table. The menu includes meats, local produce and vegan and vegetarian options. The wine list was well-endowed without being overwhelming. The food was hot, delicious and down home, like a Sunday Supper ought to be. The service? Let’s just say Mark left our waitress a 25% tip and if the service is bad his tips reflect it. I wish they were closer!
Once we had eaten, we headed to The National for the concert. Jamey had just come on when we got there, which suited us just fine. The crowd was a bit thin and incredibly sodden. We found a spot on the floor and enjoyed a few numbers which must be from his new album. The drunks kept fighting and flinging beer all over us and the bouncers didn’t do anything effective, so we moved upstairs for a bit.
Jamey was, as I suspect he always is, laid back and laying the house down with his old country ballads and some of his own songs. His voice is true and resonant and the band guys played their asses off, especially the lead guitarist in the ball cap and dark beard along with the steel guitar player. We enjoy our music with as little drama as possible.
But there was a new guy in the band. A new lead guitar, though we couldn’t really tell if he was actually playing anything or not. He danced and Dwight Yokumed all over the stage. It was a bit distracting and kind of robbed the authenticity of the whole deal. I mean, the guy-Jamey-is standing there singing in his he-man, big bear kind of way but off beside him is this weird dude gehopping all over the stage.
I don’t know what it was: the drunken crowd; the lack of applause; the not exactly packed house; too many dates and not enough down time for the guys on stage, but the energy wasn’t there. Of course, I had a fever and wasn’t feeling top of my game, so maybe it was me. I’m pretty sure there was no encore. We took off from lack of hope but if it had been me playing that night? I would have gotten on the bus and never looked back.
Mark and I had a great time, though, just getting to spend some time together. Thanks Eli for the help with your little sis.