A few weeks ago, I was happy to find out Anna Nalick was headed back to do another show at the House of Blues in Cleveland on July 31st. As usual with concerts I must go to, I got my tickets right away.
Last week, I decided to start work on a little project I had been pondering for a while. It was an idea inspired by the firefly story Anna shared with the crowd last time I saw her. After a few days work, my piece of cyber art was finished and I was surprisingly pleased with it. I was amazed at how quickly I finished it and how good it turned out.
The unexpected flooding events of the last few days threw a wrench into things, as I wasn't sure what state things would be in on concert day. Mom and I decided a little break from the chaos was necessary and we had to go.
We got a really late start and headed for Kinko's to print out my artwork to give Anna. It was 8:15 when we left for Kinko's and venue doors opened at 7:30. The print job was done and we aimed downtown.
We reached the House of Blues just before 9:30. Even though we were running late, the timing was pretty uncanny, as soon as I got into the lobby, I heard Luis on guitar playing the first notes of Citadel, the first song of the set.
Sadly, I completely missed the opening act, Eliot Morris.
Despite sitting in the very back, I had a surprisingly good view. Anna and the boys sounded great. I'm happy to say my only disappointment from the last show was resolved when they played Forever Love (Digame). She introduced it by telling how it was written after she was in a car accident and had the thought that she wasn't gonna go until someone told her they'd love her forever.
Anna also told stories of marathon viewings of Entourage on the bus, getting the cold shoulder from actor Jared Leto earlier in the day, and an embarrassing mess up while playing on a local news broadcast that morning.
They went on to play the rest of the tracks from Wreck of the Day as she pranced around the stage with her bare feet, including Drink Me and More Than Melody from the recent reissue of her debut album. She also sang the absolutely beautiful song, Home.
Towards the end of the song, Bleed, Anna introduces the band and they all slip in their solos as their names are called. I cracked up during drummer Ronny Crawford's solo as his movements were strikingly similar to everyone's favorite drumming muppet, Animal.
My personal highlight of the show was the Guitar vs Voice showdown between Luis and Anna. Imagine Dueling Banjos, minus the banjos and hillbillies. Luis would play a riff and Anna would sing the notes back at him. It was pretty funny, Luis kept playing ridiculously high notes knowing there was no possible way Anna could hit them.
To my delight Anna announced she'd be signing autographs in the lobby after the show. They ended the night with Satellite and left the stage.
While waiting in line to meet Anna again, Mom and I ended up befriending a really cool security guy, Andre. We all chatted for a nice little while until the line started to move.
Before I knew it, I was face to face with Anna yet again. "Hello again!" she said, to my surprise. I can't imagine how she remembers people with the massive amounts of people she must see on a daily basis in her line of work.
We talked for a little bit and I gave her the picture I made. I had a copy of my own I asked her to sign and she asked me to sign her copy. I must say, it felt strange signing something for a pop star as she autographed something for me. A good kind of strange. I also gave her a copy of the photograph of us from the last time she was in town and she signed mine.
Before I left, I asked if I could get a picture with her, but she said it was up to the club and they said no. I'm guessing it was because the line was so long and they wanted to keep things moving. We agreed "maybe next time" and said our see-you-laters.
Mom and I went to a chair a few feet away to sort everything before heading outside. As Mom was going through her purse, I noticed Anna leaning out from behind the table, trying to get my attention. I guess she saw the end of the autograph line was near and told me if I waited a couple minutes, we could get a picture together. Folks, the lady's a total sweetheart.
While waiting, I bought myself a copy of Eliot Morris' CD (which is great!) and he kindly signed for me.
A few minutes later, as promised, she came over and posed for a picture with me.
We chatted briefly, saying our thank-yous and more see-you-laters. Mom commented how beautiful Anna's voice is, to which she quickly and cutely replied "The better to sing for you with, my dears."
While at the autograph table, I also gave Anna the address to this site. So, Anna, if you find your way here, thank you for your kindness, the music, and a wonderful night.