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Aug.11, Asheville, NC

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Yeah...it had to be Angela's shirt....AND I read that Clay said something about the bug disappearing into a black hole? And then Angela said something or gave him a look or something to indicate she was interpreting his remark differently from what he might have intended it?

Bwah! Those three are so freaking funny...they should take it on the road...

Wait! I already am!

:imgtongue: :lmaosmiley-1: :cryingwlaughter:

I CMSU! G'night, all! :F_05BL17blowkiss:

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I never recap, well rarely, so I always try to sneak back in like I never left. I'm going to try to recap a bit, but maybe not linear-like.

I've been to five concerts this tour--Asheville, Cary, and the NY 3fer. I think this might be my favorite tour so far, although the current or most recent is always my favorite.

I especially loved Asheville, Canandaigua, and Chautauqua, but all were wonderful. Having a good seat was a major factor in my preferences. I loved all of them in terms of singing and banter, really--each one had special funny/poignant/amazing moments. I loved his shirts in Canandaigua and Cary best. The hair seemed fine, still kind of Beatlesque. Maybe not my favorite, but not that bad.

I'll start with Asheville and go backwards. I went with a new Clay friend, Barbara, whom I met initially on the OFC and then in a WalMart looking for AIW when I had recently moved from PA. We chatted, and I found out she didn't even have a single copy, so I gave her the one in my pocketbook, since the store had none. It wasn't til later that I realized she was someone I had PMed with at the OFC before, hoping to meet her when I moved. That's the Clay fandom for ya. The OFC is her only board. She's been a Clay fan for a long time, but is newer to the message boards and intense board fandom than most of us. Among her friends and family, though, she's always been thought of as intense. When I went to the Christmas concert with her and the friends she usually goes with, I think they thought I was pretty scary. To them Clay's the guy they go to see in concert when he's in town or nearby, and whose albums they buy. Catch him on TV whenever they can. Been doing it since the beginning. Were P-I-S-S-E-D when they couldn't get tickets to Dort-narena at all.

She and I have been getting together at my place or hers to watch clack and moan (you know how it is) since that time, and have had dinners together, but hadn't been on a real concert adventure together before. We got along really well on this trip, got to know each other better as people (you know how that is too), had a wonderful time. I saw Lisa & Co. lots, also Divayenta, playbiller and Fear, sassafras, cha cha trusty, and many more. Almost forgot institches, whom I've never met, but recognized immediately. Kewl!! The package was really a nice deal, and the whole event made a pleasant vacation weekend. Those Biltmore people were not fools. I do think they're learning that it can be intense having hoards of fans appear, especially us, but they and the town made some good money that weekend. The people at the Crowne Plaza were very welcoming, if somewhat exhausted.

Getting around in Asheville and in and out of the Biltmore House was interesting to say the least, and not the highlight of the trip, but we did it. It wasn't what I expected at all, in that the town surrounding the house is kind of industrial and strip mall-y--the House is really downtown, not out in some remote area. We got to the concert after it was supposed to have started, but it hadn't. There was a long line of us. That road out after the buslines seemed even more interminable. In the daytime, the land is gorgeous. The House was hot inside, but interesting, and there was some stuff there I really wanted to see more closely, some Chinese and Japanese art, especially the figures on the mantel in the 2nd floor Oak sitting room, and the celedon vases there too. But I digress.

First half we were on row M, off to the right side. Not bad seats, we could see Clay. I had binoculars. During the intermission, when I came back from smoking, Barbara came and dragged me off to these seats on the fourth row that were behind her OFC friend and had been unoccupied for the first half, so we got to see the second half really well. Those were right next to Quiana's family. A CVer behind me told me that when the concert began Chamberlain reached out his arms to Clay. If true, awwwwwww. Quiana did mention that night that he responded more to Clay's voice than hers. I wonder if Clay sings to him a lot. I was good and didn't stare, and I gave them their space, but we all smiled and agreed that he hangs the moon. He has such a joy about him, and was so obviously loved and protected by the people he was with. He's really still a baby--what, a year old now?--still small and mostly cradled in someone's arms all the time. He was getting a lot of attention at the intermission and handling it well, but wasn't that into it. He never cried or got unhappy once during the concert that I was aware of, although most of the time my attention was on Clay. He fell asleep by the end, was out like a log when I saw him at the end of the concert. He and Quiana's family were like this sweet, sweet presence that, as I look back at the concerts, stands out for me. Her friends were just a few rows back, and they were all smiley too. Lots and lots and lots of LOVE all around.

To me, Asheville was the best of the concerts. It's become surrounded by that Aiken fog for the moment, so I can't tell you why exactly. It was a combination of things. The venue was gorgeous, and had a sort of a spell to it. Very gothic and romantic. He was in top form, really on his game. Clay can make me laugh so hard tears are streaming, and he did so that night.

I don't think that kind of talent can easily be contained. The irrepressibility is at the heart of it. It can be honed, and I think he's been honing and directing it for some time now. I love that way he makes me laugh, and that devilish spirit of his.

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