Talk to me for any length of time and you will know that a favorite topic of mine is food and beverage, especially when it involves travel or my home city of Nashville.
And that leads me to my travels in Belgium. I have been to Bruges (twice now), Brussels, and on my most recent trip, Antwerp. I know there are major sites like churches and museums (that I can’t really remember), but Belgium isn’t really too famous for those, at least in my book. They are famous for diamonds and lace, and at my age, neither of which I care to buy. The NATO Headquarters is in Brussels. Audrey Hepburn is Belgian. And how could we forget the Muscles From Brussels- Jean -Claude Van Damme? Also, a Belgian.
But, my favorite thing about Belgium has to be the food. So, Esther and I spent pretty much the entire day in Antwerp walking around and eating. IT WAS GLORIOUS! Waffles with chocolate and whipped cream. Belgian chocolates bought from two different chocolate shops. French Fries. Beer. Pretty much my favorite way to see a city- walking around and eating.
So around 5 in the evening, Esther and I decided we needed to head to the venue. We knew what time the doors opened and we got to the venue about 30 minutes before that time. We weren’t too concerned about where we would be standing for this show because our plan was to wait for the Amsterdam show to get to the venue since it would be her hometown show. When we get to the venue, there was a small crowd, but nothing too large. There were about 6 sets of double doors. In my limited concert going experience in Europe, if it is a GA show they open all of the doors at the same time, or at least within seconds of each other. So when I saw everyone crammed to the right leaving the last two sets of door with no one in front of them, I decided that was going to be my place for the next 20 or so minutes. Esther ran into some people she knew and I stood there waiting. So a few minutes before doors I can see the venue staff getting ready to open the doors. The crowd is still mostly to the right and there are a few more people by me now. The venue staff start to come to the doors and they decide to open one door.
AND ONLY MY DOOR.
That’s right folks, they opened one door to start with and they chose mine. I am guessing because I looked the most sane and least likely to trample someone if they opened it. So, when I realize what is happening I can’t believe it. I am in the venue and take off for the arena. Flashbacks of Lucca, Italy were flying through my head where we had been some of the first ones in and only to get in and they had let 200 people in before the general public. So when I walked in and saw NO ONE in the venue I could not have been happier. I walked, who am I kidding, I ran to front row center where Esther and I would stand for the rest of the night.
What felt like minutes later, Esther finally runs into the venue and joins me up front. We can not believe our luck. I go buy posters for the both of us while she holds down are spot. We chat with the people around us. There were the Dutch guys beside us and a crazy American who carried a pillowcase “sign” for Carter that he brought to all the shows he went to. He proceeded to show me his drum stick collection picture on his blackberry. I have a very good suspicion that this guy is single and at the age of 40 something might still live at home with his mom. I hope he will be able to survive when DMB takes the year off from touring.
So Alberta Cross, the opening band is now one of my favorites. I actually made an effort to listen to their music before the show, so I was prepared. During DMB Esther and I just had so much fun singing along and grooving to the music. Both of our favorite songs were played, hers is #41, mine is Two Step. I am pretty sure Stefan and Carter even smiled at us too. Basically it was a pretty awesome way to go to a show that we would have been perfectly fine standing in the back for.
During the encore song All Along the Watchtower, Dave was back lit. That back light happened to shine right on Esther and I. Carter looked directly at me smiled. I smiled back and pointed at him. He pointed at his drum stick and I shook my head yes. He smiled some more. At the end of the show he came right to me and handed me a drum stick. I pointed at Esther and he handed her one too! It was pretty awesome if I do say so myself.