THE GRUENE HALL IS FAMOUS. Almost every country music star or hopeful has played there at some time in their career. The place is old and storied. History is loaded onto that stage.
We are going to see Raul Malo... who used to be the lead singer of the Mavericks. I'm not sure they really ever broke up, but he's been soloing for a few years now. Think a Roy Orbison voice coming from sort of a Hispanic? Jack Black... that's the idea. Somewhere long ago in these Blog archives are some phone shots from the last concert at Antone's, here in Austin.
There's "standing only," and I expect we'll be behind many cowboy hats and raised beer bottles, so it's a listen more than a look see. If allowed, I'll try the phone camera. I don't want to bring my DSLR with a long lens only to have the lens fogged by the collective sweat of ranch hands out for a party, and their wimmin.
Last concert we stood for 5 hours. But we were touching the stage. This time, not so close!
Wish I had cowboy boots... but you know, you are what you are, and I, and the rest of the whole dang (!) world will have to live with that. I only hope the yuppie arrow over my head is dimly lit.
The picture above is facing a weekend daytime artist playing from the other end of the room.
I was thinking how cool it would be to put Terri on my shoulders - after all - she has Raul sing to her in her car quite often. But the ambulance ride would be hot and noisy, I think. And probably not covered.
Frankly, I don't know what to expect... except a cool joint full of standees and loud music around the voice of perhaps the best singer out there today. Yeah, he's that good.
Above: I actually got a thrill out of standing on the same stage where all those famous people stood. None looked as dorky as I do.
Some thoughts for self:
Don't call anyone "pard."
Don't ask big guy to remove cowboy hat.
Don't ask for a can of longneck.
Don't look at another man's woman. And if caught, think fast. Don't try to joke. "She looks like my mother!" is not funny. "Nice rack" is a bad evening in two words.
Don't call anyone "amigo," "hombre" or "muchacho."
"El Banyo" is not a tropical drink.
Don't ask for a Black Russian. Explain to Terri this could be a bad request.
When whistling approval, be careful not to shoot spit into the neck of Marlboro Man in front of me.
------------------------------ The very next day --------------------------------
It wasn't at all what I expected (or they said it would be, i.e.: most of the people were seated and it was a sellout! Only about a half dozen cowboy hats in the room. MANY wimmin - Raul has that certain something I believe.
They loved him and he was as good as the last time we saw him do virtually the same show.
Phone shot is blurred by lack of light. MANY phones lit up all night as people took pictures! Almost immediately upon walking in, some guy started talking to us - he was 65, obviously retired, drives around the country in an RV to play golf. "LOVES EVERY DAY OF HIS LIFE!" Talk about friendly! I told him we were brothers of the white beard. His goal is to play an 85 round when he's 85.
Well, that's my take on this area - friendly people. It's a good place to be!
The Gruene Hall is the coolest spot on earth too. Like being in a movie (it was: Urban Cowboy). Good sound, good sight lines, nice people, a perfect night --- perfect temperature (both side walls open to screens.)