I’ve been more or less obsessed with Michelle Shocked since my Senior year of high school. I can’t pinpoint when or why or even how I became a fan. All I know is that Arkansas Traveler caught my attention and Short, Sharp, Shocked reeled me in. She’s gone through phases, playing with different styles and genres, and I’ve been there at each turn. My musical taste is fairly diverse, so it’s generally an easy transition.
For the fan that I am, I’ve fallen short on seeing her live. It wasn’t always my fault- once I was ill after having my wisdom teeth out, another time my sister was graduating from college. Then she wasn’t touring that much. And once she WAS touring, she wasn’t coming to Atlanta. I have managed to see her twice, once at the Ben & Jerry’s One World One Heart Festival when I was in high school and once right after I moved to Atlanta (so, 10 years ago). But still, it’s not enough.
I literally jumped for joy when I saw that Michelle would be in Atlanta again. I knew that I HAD to be there. I couldn’t find anyone to go with, but that’s never stopped me before. I bought the ticket, arranged my work schedule and waited.
The concert was last night and it was nothing short of magical. If you’re not familiar with Michelle Shocked, go find her on YouTube and enjoy….but know that she sounds even better live. The show was at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, which is an amazing venue. Picture a bar with a small stage in the corner…now picture Michelle Shocked standing there performing alone. No band, no back-up. Just her and a guitar filling the room. Her voice is outstanding. I’ve seen a lot of great vocalists perform, but she’s one of the best. Her voice is powerful and sweet and she didn’t strain or crack once.
What made the show truly great was the happiness that Michelle seemed to have in her heart. She’s in love (and mentioned it several times) and she’s happy and it absolutely shows in her performance. She played a few new songs, but she hit a lot of the old favorites too. And not only did she play them, but she played them with vigor and enthusiasm (something she did NOT do the last time I saw her). She sang, and she encouraged everyone else to sing, and it was just a really good time.
At the end of the show, she gave the standard “Okay, I’ll be in the lobby signing CD’s” and I immediately started planning my exit strategy. I needed to get to work, but I REALLY wanted the chance to get a CD signed and maybe say ‘Hi’. OF COURSE, I didn’t have any cash, so I ran to the ATM, all the while rationalizing that the line would probably go pretty fast anyway. When I got to the table, there were maybe 5 people there and Michelle was just hanging out chatting with people. I talked to the guy selling CD’s for a few minutes about my sick dog and the fairly terrible day I’d had before the concert while I waited in line. The woman 2 people in front of me, who was clearly star-struck, had brought Michelle 2 bars of homemade soap. The next guy was getting a CD signed for his daughter.
When I stepped up, I gave Michelle Shocked a big smile….and Michelle Shocked gave me a big hug. I told her, because it was true, that she’d made my day. We talked about my puppy and how the universe had obviously conspired against me seeing her in concert. I told her that I thought that she was so talented and that I couldn’t wait to see her upcoming project. Then she graciously posed for a picture and gave me another hug.
I saw an amazing show and got two hugs from my hero……yeah, it was a pretty good night.
By the way, I’m part of a group of Writer Mamas from Mothering.com having a Blog Carnival today. Please check out these amazing blogs:
Code Name: Mama
Moo Said the Mama
A Hippie with a Minivan