My apologies for leaving you all hanging about Sunday. Our day wasn’t really that big of a deal it’s just that I was writing my post on Sunday morning and therefore I couldn’t tell you about all the fun stuff we planned to do on Sunday since, well, we hadn’t actually done it yet. And I knew I’d be getting home too late to finish up the post for my standard 6am publication, so I chose this little extension option. One of the beauties of having your own blog is controlling what you post and when you post. Amen.
Enough with the explanations and excuses, here’s the scoop. One of Dale’s Christmas presents this year was tickets to go see Kathy Mattea. (I got him tickets last year, too, and I was sure I blogged about it but I just read through my archives for January and February of 2012 and there’s no mention of it so I guess not. Anyway.) As you may have surmised, Sunday was the day of the concert. The show was in Rockport so we started out in the early afternoon and headed north through Boston and then east towards the shore.
We had a late lunch at Woodman’s of Essex. They are famous for inventing the fried clam and whether you believe that legend or not, their fried clams are fantastic. The shrimp and scallops aren’t bad either and the chowder is damn fine, too.
It was a short and scenic drive from Woodman’s to the Shalin Liu Performance Center. And let me just tell you, this music hall is an impressive one. The front is on the quaint main street of Rockport and the back overlooks the Atlantic Ocean.
We took the opportunity to take a few pictures up on the 3rd floor before the concert – there was champagne and Ipswich Ale and that made us both quite happy. As you can see, it is a gor-geous setting.
The performance hall is stunning and it is small. Very very small and our seats were about 15 feet from the stage. I took this photo before the show and that’s without a zoom. Pretty good, I’d say. The acoustics are amazing in there, too. The walls are all wood and stone and the voices and instruments just echo through the space.
Kathy Mattea performed many of her well known songs, including my personal favorite, Goin Gone. She also performed many songs off her newest album, Calling Me Home, and they are wonderful – folk-y and bluegrass-y and all about coal mining in West Virginia. She’s a very personable performer, telling stories between songs, encouraging the audience to sing along and she truly seems completely nonplussed by her talent and fame. And I haven’t even mentioned how beautiful she is.
We hung around in the lobby after the show to meet her, as we did last year, and it was well worth the wait. Dale wasn’t quite as tongue tied this time and he actually managed to put together a cohesive sentence or two – he’s quite smitten by her – and she laughed and talked to us and said she hoped she’d see us again. She’s just so darned nice and you can’t help but like her when you see her and talk to her.
I love that a Christmas present for Dale turned out to be a wonderful day for both of us.