Back in September walking through my neighborhood, I put on KCRW on my phone and started to listen to their very eclectic collection of music. Then this one song came on that really caught my attention but I had no idea who the artist was. I found out that it was “All or Nothin'” by Nikki Lane. I went back home to Spotify to check out more of her music. I was hooked. I don’t even listen to country. But her sound was so good that I just was so caught up in it. Now two months after that, I found myself at The Troubadour to catch her perform live. It was a great decision.
What was really cool about it was leading up to the show, I started to tweet out my excitement about seeing her perform. She would favorite my tweets. And she would remember me too. You’ll find out what I mean later in this post.
It was a pouring, rainy day. I got to The Troubadour at around 7PM and stood in line in the rain (no umbrella) just to make sure I got a spot at the front of the stage. I had been to The Troubadour before, so I knew what I was getting into and I knew getting that front of the stage spot was very important. Once I got in, saw the merchandise table but knew I would get that later. My hope was to meet Pete Molinari (I missed my chance) and Nikki Lane (I met her) during the show, get their autograph.
Before the show began, they played Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album over the speakers. Great album. I was singing along with the entire thing. Because I was one of the early people to come through the door, I got a free pass to go to the VIP lounge upstairs. It’s just an open lounge with a bar. I saw Nikki taking some photos with a guitar in that area. I went up there to check it out and we just passed each other by. Oh well, I thought, I’d see her later in the night. I went back downstairs to my spot in front of the stage.
Then Pete Molinari came to the stage. I didn’t even know anything about him until I found out he was performing tonight. A couple weeks leading up to the show, I gave his music a listen on Spotify and I really dug it. He was phenomenal on stage. My best comparison is that he’s a British guy who sounds like Bob Dylan. But even that wasn’t fair because he was really unique in his own way. But what really sold me on how awesome he was was when he covered a song by a band from his native homeland. Sold!
Then he would ask Nikki Lane to join him on stage to sing a couple songs. I had a fanboy moment as Nikki came on stage with some of that high-class hillbilly outfit. So awesome. They even shared a joke about how Nikki one time wore a dress and Pete said she looked like a million pounds. Hahaha, oh yeah, he’s British. Pounds don’t mean weight over there.
Then when her band was ready to go after the break, I was all into it. I’m pretty sure people could see me bouncing around and singing along with the songs. Her sound is great live. There is a genuine amazing authenticity to her music when performed live. During the show she would joke around and I thought that was cool. Like, she’s the kind of person you’d love to be friends with because you don’t want to be on her bad side. Even the entire band did shots with her in between songs. Who does that? They do.
At one point during the show, as the set was wrapping up, she asked the crowd if there was a song they would like to hear. Like the excited fan that I am, I yelled out “Gone, Gone Gone” to be performed. “Hey, I remember you from Twitter today!” she replied looking at me. Yup! She remembers. And her performance of that song was so sweet. That’s pretty awesome she took my request for the song.
One of the songs she did during the show that I really liked was “700,000 Rednecks.” That song, she explained, was a product of her bad estimation of the population of her hometown of Greenville, South Carolina. She then said that if there were 700,000 rednecks out there that did become fans of her, she would be super famous. I think so too. Even for me, a Chinese guy living in California, I can dig being part of the 700,000 rednecks. The song, which I heard for the first time a few days prior, is one of my favorite songs from her already. I had to record a video of it.
After her set, I went over to the merchandise table to grab some goodies. I even picked up this awesome shirt that I wanted to get when I saw the different options she had on her site. I even picked up Pete’s CD. I dig his sound. Shortly thereafter, I got to meet Nikki at the merchandise area. Let me say that even though she’s a total badass, she is also a sweetheart. She was so happy to see me and thanked me for being so supportive of her music. She signed my copy of her CD and told me that she hopes to see me again whenever she comes back through California. Oh you know I am going to be there.
Jamestown Revival, the final act of the night, came up on last. I actually didn’t get a chance to listen much of their music before the concert. They were still rather new to me but I still liked what they got. They have a strong following and I dig their sound.
What I like about these kinds of concerts in not so big mega venues is the opportunity to be real close to the stage and meet the artists before or during the show. A growing number of my favorite artists today are the ones I do get to meet at shows and they are genuinely nice. This was no different with Nikki. She made me feel like I meant a lot and was real appreciative of me being a fan. Plus she’s just cool all around, so that’s awesome. I’m a fan for life.
I do hope to get to see her at a show soon again. It really was so fun.