Friday, May 16, 2014

Elbow at the 9:30 Club

I love the U.K. band Elbow. I use their music all of the time when I write. 
When I want to rock out, I put on Grounds for Divorce. 
On Fridays when the weather is nice, I roll down my car windows and crank up One Day Like This while I drive home from work. 
Their music weaves little threads into my soul. They are one of my favorite bands ever, and they do not tour in the United States often, so as soon as they announced U.S. tour dates, I excitedly began counting down the days until I could rock out and sing “there’s a hole in my neighborhood down which of late I cannot help but fall…” with a crowded room filled with fellow Elbow fans.  

The band was making a stop in Philadelphia, but they were playing at The Electric Factory, which is our least favorite Philadelphia concert venue.  We saw Elbow a few years ago at the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. and loved the venue, so we decided to trek to D.C. once again.  

Using our trusty friend Priceline, we booked a room at The Courtyard Marriott in Crystal City Virginia. 

The best part about the hotel, aside from the reasonable price, was that it was within walking distance of the Metro.
After checking in, we had a light lunch at a café around the corner. Then we took a lovely walk past shops, restaurants, and cafes to the Metro station.  While we were trying to figure out how to purchase passes, a very nice woman walked up to us and explained that she and her husband had purchased all day Metro passes. They were done using them and asked if we perhaps would like to have them. The passes were good for unlimited rides until midnight. Score! My cousin and I used the free passes while the boys used regular purchased passes. We hopped on the yellow line and road it to the U-street section of the city.

 We purposely arrived early so we could walk around for a bit. The weather was perfect.

We ate at Ben's Chili Bowl on our last trip

A picture for Vanessa
We met up with some friends at Zenebech Injera, an Ethiopian restaurant. 

Our meal was very yummy.

 I especially liked the yellow split peas and the Kitfo. It was also incredibly cheap. Dinner for two that included two drinks (mango nectar), a shared appetizer, and a platter of Ethiopian delights only cost us $20.

Once our meal was consumed, we took a brief walk to the 9:30 Club.  

If you are really into music and/or concerts, I recommend going to the 9:30 club at least once.  It doesn't look like much from the outside, but once inside, the vibe is really cool.
Since we stood in the balcony the last time we were there, we opted to mingle with crowd on the floor this time. 
This was Elbow’s first stop on the tour and Guy, the band’s front man, laughed that he didn't anticipate how scary the giant stone angel, used as the stage backdrop, would be. 
After he said that, several members of the audience yelled,

      “Don’t Blink!”

Guy, didn't know what that meant, proving that not all Brits are Doctor Who Fans (there's a song called The Night Will Always Win, that always makes me think of Amy and Rory. They played it at the concert with the angel behind them. I kind of geeked out).

The concert was amazing! 

 Usually when you go to a concert, you are happy if the band plays a couple of your favorites. 

Elbow opened with Charge and I was like

"Wow, I love this song!"
Next they played Bones of You, and I was like

"This is one of my absolute favorites!" 

Then Fly Boy Blue/Lunette was the next song and I was all, 
"This one is great!"  

When I saw the mirror ball hanging above the stage, I turned to my husband and said, 

"I bet they’re going to play Mirror Ball at some point,"
and I was right.

A lot of the awesomeness of the concert must be attributed to Guy.  He’s great at interacting with the audience and getting everyone involved.  He has a fantastic contagious energy that he gladly shares with the fans. He often shouted,
“Cheers everyone,” throughout the night. 

The crowd, including myself, went wild when Grounds for Divorce started. I was in full rock out mode.

While we were clapping and waiting for the encore I turned to my husband and said,

“I hope they do One Day Like This.”

When they came back out they went into Lippy Kids (which always reminds me of my childhood Blenheim crew hanging out on the corner of Highland and Cummings Ave) and then they played One Day Like This. It was magical with everyone waving their arms in the air, singing the chorus in unison.
There was such an awe-inspiring vibe and soul quenching vitality to the entire evening.

We made it back to Crystal City at 11:57 pm, with three minutes to spare before our free Metro passes expired. Once in our hotel room I plopped my head down on my pillow with the words

"So throw those curtains wide, one day like this a year would see me right ….." singing me off to sleep

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