Soulful in Seattle… Baby Duck Checks In

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Images and Text
by Baby Duck

I love it when something turns out better than I expect. Call it being pessimistic or whatever, but I worried that Taylor would be exhausted and burned-out by the time of the last concert of his 12-week tour, and I’d be treated to a unenthusiastic performance. I could not have been more wrong. Putting it mildly, the Taylor Hicks concert in Seattle on Saturday night was pure delight.

Monkbot-on-a-Stick accompanied me and DH. We left three hours early for the commute, taking the ferry to the Emerald city. I didn’t realize until the picture above was taken that I bear a striking resemblance to Bamaborntxbred. Chalk it up to Monkbot Sistahood.

We got to Seattle in plenty of time to find parking (another thing I worried needlessly about) and waited a few minutes in The Moore Theater lobby before the doors opened.

The Moore is a great venue, refurbished from the early 1900s, and accommodates about 1,400. The acoustics and view from our seats were great.

MOS came out from under my jacket once we found our seats. I wasn’t sure what Security (the guy looking down on us as we milled around in the lobby) might think of the whole stick thing, so I figured he was safer tucked away until we entered. Squeebee and Mr. Squeebee figured out who we were because of MOS, and came over from their seats a row ahead of us to introduce themselves. (Kinda nice to attend a concert in person and not just your head, huh Squeebee?) Then as the theater filled, MOS and I made our way down toward the front to meet KimLoree, and Carissa from TOSP. MOS was very interested in getting Taylor’s autograph, and had me ask Kim how best to go about it. She knew where the busses were, and thought Taylor would come out to sign autographs for those waiting around after the concert. I knew we’d be departing for the long, late-night commute home as soon as the show ended, so MOS decided he’d look for Kim afterwards rather than leave with us.

Now about the concert: I can’t give a detailed account, because pretty much my mind was blown and many of the particulars are lost in the haze from the blast. I found trying to take pictures to be a distraction from the experience. So once the music started, I only got a couple of video clips.

Here’s some highlights that I came away with:

  • From the first moment Taylor entered the stage, he was obviously at ease. There was no sign of nerves or tension. I suppose this should be a given, but for someone like me who is timid and stage-frightened, it was impressive. He opened with “Soul Thing,” was energetic and invested, yet at the same time looked as comfortable as if he were taking a walk in the park:
  • The energy from the stage never abated.
  • Taylor interacted a lot with the crowd. This was different than I had expected based on other accounts I read. He was engaging during his performances and when the house lights would go up at the end of a number, he and the band would be looking out into the audience. MOS would be waving frantically, doing his best to represent the monkbots. I’m believing that he was noticed.
  • I chatted with a number of people who knew of Taylor through American Idol, and that’s why they were at the concert. Their conduit to his music was the TV, not the computer. I was happy for them that he sang “Do I Make You Proud” at the end.
  • It is not that easy to explain in very few words what a Monkbot is, or a Monkbot-on-a-Stick. A lot of people came up to me to ask about him, and I found myself floundering around for a simple explanation. I thought if I mentioned Gray Charles’ Monkey vs. Robot post, they’d make the connection. See point above. Not all of Taylor’s fans are part of the cyber-community.
  • “Give Me Tonight” was exactly as I thought it should be, which is different than the album version. It was not pop. It was raw, powerful, unadulterated passion. Pulsating bass, drums, and vocals.
  • “Hold on to Your Love” was incredible. The closest recorded version I’ve heard previously is from Nashville.
  • After “HOTYL,” I thought it couldn’t get any better. Wrong. “Long Train Running” blew. me. away.
  • As much as I like the high-energy, jamming, southern rock that Taylor is so good at, there is something vitally captivating about his ballads. The encore was like a communal intake of breath:

So not only was I wrong to be concerned that the final concert might have lost some of it’s luster, I’m thinking that Seattle may have been treated to the best. Way cool. 🙂

Baby Duck, thanks for the wonderful write-up!

On a side note…I know we’ve probably all seen by now that Gray has posted an ABBA video over at “Dancing Monkey Productions.” Hmmm…methinks he doth misseth us and all the shenanigans more than he thought he would. 😉

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40 Responses to “Soulful in Seattle… Baby Duck Checks In”

  1. Hatson Says:

    Baby Duck, Loved your write up. I have just returned from Prtland tonight. My daughter and I were at the Friday night concert. Sounds like a different playlist but just as wonderful. Of course at the Crystal Palace we stood for three hours and this monkbot is no spring chicken. I of course took monkbot on a stick and Everyone asked about it. I shoulld have practiced my response!! A funny thing happened when someone nearby(Dinah as it turned out) saw monkbot and shouted “It’s Monkbot from Shelley’s!!Tons of people turned around and it was like the scene in Crocodile Dundee when everyone in the subway station was trying to pass on our message to each other. I am standing there holding Monkbot shouting I am Hatson…………… Crazy but fun! We got to chat a moment at the end of the concert. My daughter and I were about 20 feet from the stage. It was soooo much better than the AI concert. He sang is heart out for us. The band was so great also. I was surprise that there was no opening act, but happy. It was great to see how many people knew his songs from Under The Radar!. I can’t think of many performers who could inspire me to stand for over three hours, but Taylor made it worth it. The perfect Mother’s Day week-end for me.

  2. Dinah Says:

    Hatson—
    I am here to testify to your noble representation of all that is “Monkbot”. I had considered taking him as my companion also but the 3 grandau’s were newbies to the TH experience and I was somewhat afraid I might lose my ride! I shouldn’t have worried. They are converted.
    I put my report up at TOSP.
    Write if you get work and hang by your thumbs.
    (Bob and Ray’s signoff—oh, you’re too young to remember!)

  3. Connie8 Says:

    I was there in Portland! I saw your Monkbot on a Stick and tried to explain it to my friend. Of course no one could hear anything. I was so excited to see you sticking that thing up in the crowd. What fun! The concert left me breathless, exhausted, and deaf, but happy happy happy!

  4. jenfera Says:

    Great write up, baby duck! And I love the video of The Fall. Great sound quality on that one! Thanks for sharing.

  5. baby duck Says:

    Sorry about the video quality, but good enough sound on “The Fall” that I thought it was worth sharing. Especially to get the sense of the crowd reaction. This was a house full of crazed, screaming fans just moments before. When the stage crew brought the stool out, I was mentally cringing, thinking of all the audience noise that ruined “My Home’s In Alabama” at a previous concert. But the hush that fell was as much taking us to church as any the double-time number.

    After “The Fall” the rest of the band came out for the encore of DIMYP/Dancing Queen. I’m sorry to say that I didn’t put it together at the time. So the connection to the All About Abba video didn’t occur to me until yesterday. It just seemed really funny at the time because of the antics, But it also seemed like a big disconnect between the two songs, which would have made more sense if I’d related it to the Abba video. Melanie took the lead singing DQ. Taylor’s dancing was at it’s finest. They were having a ball, and the crowd loved it. Then it segued back to DIMYP.

    Shelley, I think you’re right. Gray can’t lose the connection with us/Taylor as easily as pulling the plug on the website. There were other references during the concert that made sense in the gc.com context. Remember Taylor mentioning on gc that he was listening to Paul Simon’s “Something So Right”? Well, he sang some of the lyrics!

  6. leejolem Says:

    Baby Duck, you have inspired me and shamed me–we went to our concert 3 weeks ago and have not submitted our write up, so I will give a quick recap of MBOS’ adventures in Columbus.
    1.MBOS, Leejolem and HC4s saw a silver haired gent signing autographs outside of the fence in front of the bus around 2:30pm. (we were just casually strolling along and I saw him bent over talking to a girl in a wheelchair). All 3 of us were struck dumb, literally.
    2.We gave TH the Monkbot cap and he started to sign it–I said (in a high squeaky voice)-“no Taylor, that’s for you”. He said “thanks”. HC4S had the camera but was too awestruck to click the shutter. No monkbot recognition from Taylor at this point. TH is a pretty quiet, serious, intense dude at times.
    3. Got autograph on and pic of Brian Gallagher w/MBOS. He was cute and sweet.
    4.Got pic of Taylor’s best buddy, Bill, with MBOS. I had handed Bill our other gifts for Taylor (we had hand painted a salad plate and soup bowl for him–we are corny, I know it) outside of the gate. He came out around an hour later and videotaped HC4S, MBOS and me. He said he gave the gifts to Taylor. He wanted to know if the MBOS had a name, and I said “I guess it’s Brian Gallagher Monkbot” (since he had autographed mbos). Bill was soooo friendly, and is obviously enjoying this whole journey. We lerve Bill!!
    5.No official M&G won by us–but that’s ok. We had been close enough to touch him.
    6.Concert was unbelievable!!!!!!!!!!! So much energy. HOTYL was amazing. Pink Floyd tag hawt!! JTFTW didn’t disappoint. The Right Place to die for. Not a lot of small talk w/audience, but TH full of energy. Played harp, tambourine, keyboard, guitar, cowbell! (yes, lots of cowbell).
    7.met lots of great GC and SP buddies–WVTaylorfan, Coder, BTM (Tami), Soulpatrolsteph (I think), Melissa, etc… I czan’t remember everybody’s name. I agree w/baby duck–we got lots of questions about MBOS–it was too funny. One lady asked if we were going to be the only idiots holding a monkey on a stick, and I proudly said yes.
    8.After the concert we waited at the gate and Taylor came out. I didn’t want to be pushy , but Bill saw the MBOS, and put it in front of Taylor and said “Sign the monkbot on a stick , sign the monkbot on a stick”. It was the last thing he signed. As he signed he got a little smile on his face–we had monkbot recognition!!!!!!!!! It was very exciting. We love Taylor, but at that moment we might have loved Bill a little more.

    Sorry so long–don’t mean to steal Baby Duck’s thunder, I just thought I’d add to the MBOS post.

    Vive le Monkbot!!!!!

  7. leejolem Says:

    BD, it sounds like his final concert was a great one! I can’t believe he sang The Fall, Dancing Queen and DIMYP. I hope he continues this tradition throughout his summer concerts. HC4S and I got in line at 2:30am this Saturday for tix to his Elkhart Co Fair concert in July. If you can believe it we were the 9th in line (tix went on sale at 8am). It was such a fun adventure. We ended up with seats 25 and 26 in the…….1st row. Yeehaw!!!!!! MBOS better get ready for some elephant ears, fried veggies and the ferris wheel.
    Thanks for sharing your experience so promptly , and inspiring me!!!!!

  8. KimLoree Says:

    Hi all. Good job on your recap baby duck. It was very nice to meet you.
    It was truly an amazing concert. I was standing maybe four feet from him during “The Fall”. I can’t describe how that felt.
    I immediately got the “Dancing Queen” connection and laughed so hard that I cried.
    I was close enough to the stage to see every movement and expression throughout the concert and I tell ya….he was on fire. He was in a delightful mood….smiling, laughing, chasing band members around the stage, sexy dancing with Melanie. It was a joy to watch.
    Oh…and MOS is resting up at my house, after staying up so late Saturday night to meet the band. His only complaint about the evening is that he can’t seem to get the song “Dancing Queen” out of his head. He introduced himself to the band members as they exited the theatre and politely requested autographs from each one. He managed to get one from everyone in the band, except for Loren. And…oh yes, he did get an autograph from one Mr. Taylor Hicks himself. MOS says he’s ready to go home, so I need to know where to send him. He was a delightful guest.

  9. Squeebee Says:

    Great recap, Baby Duck! It was so nice to meet a real-life fellow MB….and such a sweet one, at that! Guys, I had a blast at the concert. Taylor was in good form, and very playful. I am thankful that we were treated to such a great show. When DIMYP started up, I was sure he was gong to segue into the Weird Al version, but when the music for Dancing Queen started up, I was killing myself laughing! I was trying to explain the whole thing to my husband, so he didn’t think I was crazy(er), but it was too loud!

    Mr. Squee is now a fan, as a knew he would be after seeing a live show. *waves at Mr. Squee* He has a lot of catching up to do to figure out the whole “Monkbot” thing, but he’s a smart cookie!

  10. jenfera Says:

    Squeebers, I am jellis that you converted Mr. Squee! I’d have to get Mr. Hicks to perform a live show in my backyard, I think, to convert Mr. Jen. Mr. Jen refuses to attend a show elsewhere!

    I’m glad you guys had such a great show!

  11. KimLoree Says:

    jenfera, I feel your pain. Maybe we could get Mr. Hicks to perform live at the Superbowl or maybe a Nascar race…and buy Mr. Jen and Mr. KimLoree tickets.

  12. brc Says:

    Thanks for the recap. So glad you all had such great Taylor experiences. Sounds like MBOS was very busy 🙂

    Shelley I’m not finding the link to Gray’s Dancing Queen video. When I click on your link I just get the archives page with the links to the two TH sites. Can anyone direct me to the right place?

  13. KimLoree Says:

    brc, I think Gray took it back down. At least I didn’t find it either. But the link is also in baby duck’s post up above (All About Abba).

  14. brc Says:

    KimLoree I had seen the All About Abba video before. But on the day before that fateful day that Gray was forced to shut down he had indicated that he might have actual video of Taylor and the band playing Dancing Queen that he was going to share with us.

    Did Gray post THAT video and I missed it?????

  15. texan Says:

    that duck looks like a monkey! 🙂

  16. ruhappytoseeme Says:

    wow that second video sounds like hes singing right into the mic of your camera! wow awsome thank you sooo much! sounds like you had a awsome time (altho I cant imagbine anyone not having a awsome time, even the guy who got his feet run over at the penns peak concert waiting for taylor to come out had a awsome time hehhe (was his fault for not moving when they said everyone move we have to move the van LOL) I cant seem to find the video over at grays 😦 guess he did take it down, got real excited (that cant be normal behavior lol) hearing he posted something over there LOL

  17. KimLoree Says:

    brc, I don’t know. I wasn’t able to get back to my computer yesterday, so I missed it. I just figured it was the All About Abba one.

  18. brc Says:

    KimLoree and ruhappytoseeme… IT’S BACK UP!

    It’s not rehearsal footage, it’s footage from DIMYP/Dancing Queen from Seattle!

    If this doesn’t make you smile, nothing will 🙂

  19. Claire Says:

    Dammit Gray, ya keep getting sucked back in!!

    Excellent. Very fun video. Real end-of-term feel about the performance. I kept waiting for the shaving foam and silly string to make an appearance!!

  20. ruhappytoseeme Says:

    brc thank you for telling me and OMG wow loved it do you know if gray charles made it? it has a share and I want to credit the right person

  21. KimLoree Says:

    Thanks brc, I saw it on Monkbot earlier. Ohhhh….what you guys missed. Off to work on the recap soon (I wrote half of it on the plane, but need to type it up). I have been reading the threads inside. I laughed until I cried (all over again), while reading the cellcert threads. Long before the encore, the Boogiers were predicting (joking) about DIMYP and Dancing Queen for the encore songs. Then…when they realized that he actually sang them….that was freaking hilarious.

  22. KimLoree Says:

    ruhappytoseeme, baby duck made the video. I met her at the concert.

  23. KimLoree Says:

    Oops…I’m obviously still delirious from the concert. I thought I was posting on the main page at the Boogie. So my comment doesn’t make much sense here.

  24. leejolem Says:

    KimLoree is Taylorized and delirious!!!

  25. brc Says:

    I thought wildrosegirl76 made the video? Maybe there are multiple videos. I know she made one and posted it on the Boogie but I couldn’t download it ’cause it was too large. So I assumed Gray had posted the same one.

  26. Mr. Reality Says:

    Why is everyone enabling Baby Duck by responding to the post-concert musings? The critical concern this week is the network upfronts which will reveal what television shows are returning and what new programs will be launched! This blog is completely off point! I am petitioning its immediate removal from “the Internets” by imploring the National Security Council to intercede, as I consider this a threat to democracy in general.

  27. brc Says:

    Mr. Reality… does this mean you’re not going to watch Taylor on the Tonight Show this evening?

  28. texastaylorfan Says:

    Great recap! What a great ending to this first tour!

  29. Quossum Says:

    Baby duck–Great writeup, and what a GREAT experience! Sounds like Taylor saved the best for last.

    Mr. Reality–What televsion shows are returning??? I love Heroes…but it’s moving soooooooo slllllooooowwwwwlly…

    –Q

  30. Hickstyeria Says:

    Squeebee, so you made it along with Baby Duck to the Seattle concert – I’m so happy for you and if I’d been able to, I would love to have been with you. Sounds like a really great concert and what is so thrilling is that many of Taylor’s fans are being vindicated in their long-held belief regarding his talents. It’s especially rewarding to have sceptics converted, particularly among the men friends since many seem reluctant to give Taylor a real listen. I think this should henceforth be known as the ‘Monkbot Effect’….

  31. leejolem Says:

    “monkbot effect”–good one Hickstyeria!

    After watching The Fall and the DIMYP/Dancing Queen videos I realize what was missing at the Columbus concert–1.an acoustic moment with just Taylor and a stool
    & 2.fun/silly not rehearsed or performed multiple times Taylor.
    I hope he continues those trends in his summer concerts. Thank you bd for The Fall, and thanks to GC for DIMYP/DQ. They were priceless.

  32. leejolem Says:

    “monkbot effect”–good one Hickstyeria!

    After watching The Fall and DIMYP/DQ vids I realize the only 2 things missing at the Columbus concert (btw, thanks bd and gc):
    1.an acoustic song or 2 with just Taylor and a stool and possibly a guitar
    2.playful, spontaneous, silly Taylor.
    I hope he continues this new trend in his summer concerts!

  33. ruhappytoseeme Says:

    thanks, I gave baby duck credit (i noticed it says on the video gray charles , I gave baby duck the credit , hope I got that right) any way that was awsome, wish he had done that at penns peak, but then I was with my fiancee and oh never mind… im a monkbot not a robot sighssssssssssss LOL sorry haha but looked like he was having a blast along with the other band members 🙂 I hope he comes back to penns peak or maybe wilkess barre (altho penns peak was nicer) I cant wait to see leno tonight, I heard the top 3 from ai were going to be on also ? is that correct anyone know? (id rather see taylor but hey a whole hour of music would be nice too 🙂 )

  34. double d Says:

    Baby Duck, Squee, KimLorre and Leejolem….thanks for the wannerfull recaps of your experiences. Seattle sure looked worth it Squee. Had I been there, I’d have given it one of my “power whistles”.

    Love it. Oh, and Mr. Reality, I have it on good authority that Lost and 24 are going bu-bye. AI will live to fight another day….likely with a re-vamped audition process and The Office will reign supreme for the forseeable future.

  35. double d Says:

    Oops. Thanks to Hatson, Dinah and Connie8, too, for the Portland “experience” and sharing the love of MBOS. You guys RAWK.

  36. jenfera Says:

    FYI – Scrubs and Friday Night Lights have both already been renewed! If you haven’t been watching Friday Night Lights, they are re-running the whole series Sundays this summer. It is truly one of the best shows on television. If I had to choose and could only ever watch one network show, it would be this one. I would even give up AI. Seriously! It’s that good. All of the episodes are available for viewing for free right now on nbc.com too.

  37. baby duck Says:

    I’ve been at work and just got home…

    Just for the record, the only videos that are mine are the two posted at the top in my Seattle concert recap: Soul Thing and The Fall. Or if you want to get technical, The Fall was filmed by Mr. Baby Duck. The DIMYP/DQ on graycharles/Dancing Monkey Productions is not mine. I have video of it, but it is so bad that I would not post it. I’m glad to see that it’s up so everyone can see for themselves. It defied words.

  38. debra belanger Says:

    ok so who do I give credit for that awsom e video, I want to make sure I always give credit to the person lol , it says gray charles so Ill put that back up till someone tells me otherwise (and if the owner of the video wants to email me they can to tell me its them, I feel bad if I am crediting the wrong person, my email is this name at yahoo. com 🙂 ) I think its my fav video of all, he was having so much fun 🙂 had me laughing and almost turning robotic, but luckily I have u guys to keep me balanced hahahaha

  39. ruhappytoseeme Says:

    oh crap, well that was me up there^^^^ the name I am using now is my email, up there was my real name, thats what I get for using robo form hahah, I mean I dont care if people know my real name its just that I am known all over as ruhappytoseeme so I try to keep the same name everywhere so people know who I am, oh well, blonde moment

  40. ruhappytoseeme Says:

    ok so the post disapeared any way, hmmmm cant give out email addys on here? if not I said who do I give credit to for the video? graycharles? thanks

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