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Taylor Hicks Fans Taying it Forward One Soul At A Time

Seven Mile Breakdown

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Taylor Hicks Holds A Revival In Chicago

In response to Taylor’s Angel’s request to highlight various fan sites of Taylor Hicks, we received the following submission from the Sarasota Soul Patrol! It is one of their favorite posts of the year and was written by “soulthinggirl”. It is with her permission that we share this wonderfully funny recap of one of the best performances by Taylor Hicks of his 2007 tour. We hope that you enjoy reliving this memorable night!

It's 3:30 in the morning and I feel as though I died and went to Heaven tonight… or last night, or whenever it was. I don't know what's up, down or sideways right now. By the way, who am I? I'm barely vertical as I sit here with my head leaning ever so closely to the keyboard. If you see the same letter being typed over and over and over again, it's because I fell over and smacked the keyboard! I can't believe I'm sitting here typing right now. But I can't help myself. My head is on overload from everything I took in tonight. I can't shut it off. I'm trying. Help!! MOMMY!

Tonight, I went to the Chicago House of Blues in Chicago and watched a revival at its finest, followed quickly by mass murder. Taylor's evil twin once again emerged and one by one picked his victims out of the crowd and killed them. Then, he cremated them. And all this was before he even parted the waters. Okay, am I getting a little carried away here? No, no, I don't think I am!

Now, let’s take this from the beginning. I leave work at noon and start the drive by myself to the House of Blues. An hour after I started the trip, I get off on Lake Shore Drive, make a couple of turns, and merge onto Dearborn Street. May I humbly add that I am quite proud of myself (is that an oxymoron or just moron?) that I managed my way around the one way, wrong way, get outta my way, you must be from the suburbs, OMG that bus almost hit me, turn back idiot, that cab's on my rear, don't turn here unless you want to die, it's all over, typical street pattern of Chicago! But then, there it is! Right in front of me is a bee-yu-ti-ful big sign looming overhead at the corner....

Now that I made the first hurdle and found the venue, I have to figure out the parking. I knew the House Of Blues has valet parking and being by myself in the big bad city, I wanted a parking garage as close to the place as possible. I look directly up as I approach the HOB and see what looks like a giant sized, cemented over, corkscrew shape piece of macaroni jutting up into the sky with giant sized stationary matchbox cars that looked like they had been squeezed inside of it. I think to myself, “Do I have to drive my way up into that monstrosity in this little tiny Hyundai with the putt-putt engine?". Help!! MOMMY!!! I'm hoping to myself that this could be where the valet comes in as the “pasta garage” is directly across from the side of the House of Blues, separated only by a small street that is clearly used for the cars to come in and out of the garage onto Dearborn Street.

I pull my car up and around and a very nice man comes over and confirms with me that it's the HOB valet parking garage and he will park the car. Joy! Rapture! I wanted to give him a great big hug but, wisely, I just gave him the keys and left him with the car.

After waiting in line for 4 hours, finally, about 6:00 the doors flew open and insanity ensued. After a mad scramble to stake our place, my friends that I had met in line and I ended up about four people deep on the right side of the stage. At this point it really starts to hit me… I'm really here and this is about to happen. I must've done something right somehow, somewhere, sometime in my life to be here now. This is some gift!

As we waited for Michael Warren to make his opening act appearance, the crowd got bigger and squishier and closer as the people poured in. By the end of the evening I could have sworn I married the Elvis look-alike next to me. Help!! MOMMY!!! Yes, I actually had an Elvis look-alike next to me. I have to give the guy credit for his attempt to impersonate the King with his 6'3" big-boned and stocky frame, complete with ducktail hair and bushy sideburns. I didn't ask him if he was an impersonator. I wanted to, but I was too “skeered”. Actually, I was afraid he might say he was Elvis, he was alive and he was coming out of hiding to see his heir apparent- Mr. Taylor Hicks! This guy was hilarious during the concert! He kept raising his beer-filled plastic glass up to Taylor in a salute when he came to our side. With the guy towering over the crowd, I knew Taylor saw him, and a couple of times Taylor looked at me as if he wanted to say, "Are you actually with this guy?"! It was all I could do to keep myself from yelling, "No, Taylor! I swear, I never saw this guy before in my life!”

Yes, I digressed! But remember it is 3:30 in the morning…

When Michael Warren’s set was over, the band strolled onto the stage, sat down, strapped on and got down as Soulfinger began! And right on cue, Taylor appeared! The screams from the crowd were deafening. He was in fine fashion, overflowing with the music as it poured out of him. He had his wonderful "Soul Patrol" guitar strap over his shoulder with that beautiful guitar hooked to it. Taylor did a short tease of Want Ads in between Rough God Goes Riding and Let's Get it On. He introduced The Maze, but the music for Give Me Tonight started playing! Taylor turned around to the band and gave a slight laugh. I don't know if he was trying to confuse the band since he had already sung The Maze previously or if he had gotten confused and realized his mistake and laughed. Either way, it was funny! I loved Give Me Tonight live because he made it bluesy sounding, added a rock 'n roll touch to it, and turned it quite funky. It really rocked! During Dance to the Music, Taylor tagged onto it a couple of lines of Ride Sally Ride. Also, starting out Dance to the Music, he yelled out the infamous beginning of it, "All The Squares Can Go Home!” In the middle of Dance to the Music he sang to the tune of the song, "I thought you might like to hear my organ" and sat down at Brian's organ and played. That was awesome!

Taylor then went into a wonderful version of Just to Feel That Way. He was very emotional with the song, and his eyes were closed as if to channel the muses. On the song Compared to What Taylor went nuts on the cowbell, banging the stick at warp speed. During The Right Place, Taylor played with one line slightly and changed it up to sing it as, "That old country back door is open". It was just beautiful. Taylor sure knows how to wail out a plea.

During The Runaround, Taylor went over to a table on stage with all his harmonicas on it and got busy looking them over, eyes darting back and forth briskly as if he was at the deli trying to figure out what to bring home for dinner. He quickly found the one he wanted and came back to the front of the stage and went into his bad self on the blues harp. The harp screamed and Taylor brought home his point. Of course he did his spin cycle, top twirling, make it go round in circles dance, which we all couldn't get enough of.

Taylor left the stage to screams, cheers and applause, drenched and happy. Yet, he wasn’t finished. The kill had taken place at this point but not the cremation. That was saved for last. To the crowd screaming for an encore, Taylor came back out and completed the evil deed. As soon as the notes sounded for Sweet Home Chicago, people went crazy. I could actually feel the floor bounce slightly below me. Even the floor was under the influence of “the woo”. I cheered, my new friends screamed, the crowd cried, the balcony swayed, and “Mr. Swivel Hips Wannabe” next to me raised his cup high in salute as Taylor grinned out at us and ripped into Sweet Home Chicago. He tore the place apart and slammed us all into the furnace. Off stage, Taylor is a pussycat, but on stage a tiger. Don’t ya just love him for it?

Just when you thought the concert had reached its peak, who joins Taylor and the band on Sweet Home Chicago but one of Taylor's idols, Keb Mo! Taylor introduced him as a mentor who had helped him as a struggling musician in Alabama. Keb Mo promptly played the guitar and not just anybody's guitar - he had Taylor's strapped on complete with the "Soul Patrol" strap tightly draped over his shoulder. Talk about an "I'm making a wreath with Martha" moment! With Taylor doing blues harp and Keb Mo playing off of him with the guitar, Chicago was sweet home all the way. On Thursday night at 329 N. Dearborn Street, for just a little while, all was right with the world!

Like a speeding train, the concert went by way too fast and Taylor, Keb Mo and the band took their bows and then took their leave. It was now time for the crowd to exit. Still floating on cloud nine, we all were quickly brought back down to reality as we started being herded out. Now I know how cows feel when it's time to be herded off the farm and to their fates. Every cow for itself and then some! My friends and I somehow got separated during the cattle call. Already under the influence of the “woo”, I wandered around aimlessly inside and outside, by the parking pasta noodle, down the sidewalk, and past the tour buses.
Fortunately, I had given my new friends my cell phone number earlier, because my phone rang and on the other end they were excitedly yelling into the phone, "We're at a bar called Buddy Guy's!! Taylor's gonna be here! Get in a cab and get over here!". I have to laugh now thinking of what I must have looked like between my zombie walk and then my cell phone wakeup call. Here I am in the middle of Chicago somewhere, 10:30 at night, hopping into a cab by myself, not even knowing where Buddy Guy's is and doing all this based on info handed over to me by people I had known less than a day!
But it was all good. I got to Buddy Guy's, walked in, paid the cover charge and spotted my new friends sitting at a table. There was an empty chair sitting beside them with my name written all over it!
Well, sure enough, Taylor showed up about a half hour later, slyly walking in with his obligatory toboggan slapped on his head to cover that tell-tale hair. He was accompanied by a crowd of friends who were all seated at a long table in a chained off seating area (doh!) straight across from the side of the stage. They spent the remainder of the evening reveling, absorbing, witnessing and sometimes partaking in one of the greatest jam concerts I have ever seen. I still can't believe what I saw.

It seems as though every time I snuck a peek at Taylor, he had this big ol' giddy school boy grin on his face, at times a look of pure joy, just a regular Joe, in his element, hangin' out with his buddies, just chillin' and taking in the incredible sweet soul blues music pouring from the stage. He was in the zone. One time I caught a glimpse of him while one of the guest musicians was going to town on a blues harp, making him one with it. Taylor's head was leaned over almost to his shoulder, his face tightened in deep concentration, but yet softly taut as he just seemed to study this man and his music. I actually turned away because I felt I was intruding into an area so private, so sacred, it was none of my business.
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But the coolest part was the fact that Buddy Guy himself was there as well as Keb Mo! They all jammed and fed off each other’s energy. Taylor was so into the scene that, he held that guitar like he was married to it, closed his eyes, gritted his teeth, and just went to town on it. It was an amazing site for sure. He let us in to his world so deeply that we felt like he had invited us over to his house and then gave us the most precious of all surprise gifts… his soul.
If the House of Blues was the cremation, Buddy Guy's blew our remains away. To call it a treat would be grossly understating the matter. To call it a sacred ceremony would be much closer to the truth but still doesn't do it justice. A baptism in music is just about there but to be honest, there are no proper words to describe what took place that night. The rest of the world outside faded away as we all partied down with Taylor, Buddy Guy, Keb Mo and the gang inside our little happy bubble called Buddy Guy's Legends.
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The good times continued until past 1:00 A.M. Buddy Guy sang a few more times before the evening came to its inevitable conclusion and we all danced in the clouds and reveled in the magic of the dream to which we were privileged.
I have many images of Taylor that will be with me forever. But one image of Taylor at Buddy Guy's sticks in my mind. Buddy ended his last song with the place happily drowning with him in the blues and when the final note of the song sounded, we all applauded and cheered and showed our appreciation for Buddy sharing his soul with us. Taylor however took it one step further. At this point, alone at his table, he shot out of his chair like a bullet, stood and yelled, whistled, cheered, stretched his arms out and applauded wildly for his idol and new friend, Buddy Guy. Standing alone slightly silhouetted in shadow but yet standing out and shining bright like a beacon, Taylor knew darn well the whole place noticed and was staring at him but it wasn't going to hold him back. Taylor was reveling in the world of Buddy Guy and he wanted to show - and share - his pure joy and appreciation. It didn't take long for the rest of us to jump up and join him in a standing ovation for Buddy. You see, when Taylor Hicks stands, it's no longer an option but a demand. His respect for Buddy was overwhelming and wonderful.
As I drove back home with the crisp waters of Lake Michigan outside my window glistening in the moonlight like waves of aluminum with the harbor lights reflecting and bouncing off them, giving one the impression that somewhere out there a grand waltz of invisible angels was taking place, I thought about the prior events of the evening and what an incredible gift I had been given- to be allowed to be a part of something so special and so glorious that it would be a unthinkable to chalk it up to just another event and cast it aside to simple history.
I thought about how all of us at Legends were treated to great music by so many incredible artists, how we had been taken into a different realm, a different time, a different place. I thought about how discovering the true roots of music had not just changed my life for the better musically but personally, how I've made new friends, how it's made me reconnect with myself. I only wish more people could experience what a happy place the blues can take you to.
I have been baptized by the blues, the river is warm and the current is fine. I dove in and I'm never looking back. Come on in everybody, the water's fine. Hallelujah!

Taylor’s Angels thanks the Sarasota Soul Patrol for sharing one of their finest posts! If you would like more information on this group, you may go to their site at

Edited by Tina (DidNotExpectThat)

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tishlp said...

Oh gosh, I remember when soulthinggirl posted that recap. We all felt like we had been baptized in that blues river right along with her.

Anonymous said...

What a review! The best!!

tif said...

I loved that night, best Taylor concert next to Workplay.

I happend to have filmed the video posted of Sweet Home Chicago.. I love the performance and watch it regularly. He was having such a great time on stage with Keb!!

Thanks for bring back wonderful memories!!

Taylor's Angels said...

Great recap!!! Thanks for sharing it with us!
TIF-- Thank YOU for the wonderful video-- I've watched it over and over b/c it's one of my favorites!!!

DidNotExpectThat said...

Many thanks to the Sarasota Soul Patrol for sharing this with us. For those who were there, you witnessed a wonderful night that you will always remember. For those of us who were not there, this recap brought it to life!