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The drive into Hartford was... well, a typical drive into Hartford around rush hour. Stop and go traffic, constantly. Brake lights everywhere... the andreline from being on edge during the chaotic traffic was adding onto the excitement built up from my entire day just thinking about that night.
I was going to see Willy Moon. Live.
I had checked out the opening bands online already, and was looking forward to one of them. An indie rock and roll group from only a few towns away that had already been on a few tours of their own. They had quite the fan gathering at the tavern that night. Their lead singer even looked remarkably like Willy, and at first glance I mistook the two as the same person. Whoops! Josh and I were seated at the tavern until it was time to take care of our tickets. It was fun watching everyone set up. We even caught some of the opening bands grubbing away.
The first group on really caught no one's attention, and the crowd continued to mingle and drink and spend time with the second act. I blame a very poor sound system.
The second act was PHENOMENAL, as far as local bands go. I really enjoyed their stage presence, and they even did a cover of one of my favorite Tom Petty songs. It was around now I was starting to think maybe I was the only one that actually came to see Willy Moon perform. I voiced my concerns on twitter, and lo and behold, Andrea answered my calls! More on this later. Move Out West, the band rocking the stage at that time, are a good rock and roll meets modern pop kind of band. They had a nice sound, and I could see them making it big one day. Fingers crossed, I saw them speaking with a talent scout. After their act, Josh and I went outside for some fresh air and were able to watch them interact with their clearly abundant following. They're very laid back and joked around with their fans like one would their close friends. It was nice to see.
By the time we got back inside, I had gotten a text from Willy Moon's tour manager, and was granted access to meet Willy after the show. (!!!) The filler music switched from modern classics two a fun, fresh 50s sound. I don't think people were anticipating this, and I overheard a few people asking around about "who this Willy guy is". I kept my mouth shut. I wanted them to find out how amazing this guy was for themselves. I watched as his band began their set up, and quickly moved to the stage to get a good view of the show. I ended up smack dab in front of the drums, it was definitely a great view. At this point his drummer climbed the stage, followed by the guitarist, and Willy Moon shortly made his entrance. He certainly upholds his classy image. In all black and gray, he looked like he stepped straight out of an old romance film, and he was ready to make all the women swoon. (And he did.) The couple standing next to us were really into the music, and from what I could tell of the crowd behind us, they were, as well. He had a great set list and I had so much fun singing along.
During Railroad, he had his own drum stick and was beating on the drums along with his drummer, and at the end of the song the drumstick rolled off the stage and right to my feet! I was able to pick it up and hold onto it for the rest of the night, and was even given permission to keep it. When he went into Yeah Yeah I could hear some of the crowd singing along to the chorus. The iPod commercial it features in surely reached out to some of these people. The last song of the night was My Girl, and right as he was about to start into it, someone in the audience called out, "Who are you?!" Willy smiled graciously at the crowd, held the mic up and replied, "I'm Willy. It's nice to meet you." He handled himself very well.
Waiting after the show for Willy to relax and cool off a bit, I noticed that his EPs were selling like crazy. Of course, I had to get my hands on one, too, and gladly handed my money over for the purchase of one. He had signed them all before the show, WILLY MOON right across the moon decorating the front cover. Soon after the second stack of EPs was sold, Josh and I were invited to see Willy. The bouncer was furious, wondering who cleared us to go through. I don't think he was too thrilled with us, and he kept giving me attitude as I was waiting. Upstairs, Willy came over. Josh and I introduced ourselves to him and his tour manager as he signed more EPs. I let him know I was a rec'er, I heard about him through Cherrytree and it was such an honor to meet him. I complimented the show (it really was top notch) and as women downstairs were catcalling up to him, I told him I was so proud he was getting recognized. He took a photo with me, and even personaly signed his EP CD, writing my name and everything.
It was such a great night, and worth being out past midnight.