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Keller Williams’ Summer Tour Diary
The Big Top Chatauqua
The Big Top Chatauqua gig was at the base of a ski hill under a hot, Big Top tent that holds 800 people sitting. Yes, it, too, was hot-as-balls. Eventually, everyone in the audience was fanning themselves. This was the first time I had ever heard of the place. The McCourys have been there at least six times, as it is quite famous in the bluegrass community. Everyone has played there: Willie, Haggard, Hartford, as well as countless others. The venue hosts five shows a week in the summer. This was definitely a gig where people had come to see The McCourys and I was the outsider. This excited me. There were small posses of freaks smattered around, as well as a few individuals skipping outside of the tent. I even met some folks who made the same drive as I did from Rothbury. The gig’s new song for the day was the theme to The Andy Griffith Show. We opened with it as a tribute to the bluegrass fan and actor who just recently left us the day before. We tightened up the song “Wicked” by Cage the Elephant with the special Travelin’ Mc’s vocal treatment. They gave it this dark, minor key gospel harmony that really made my hair stand up on end. It was a seated show with folks being really quiet. (I also had my earphones cranked so, there’s that.)
It makes me so proud to be a part of such a solid vocal harmony that it elevated me to levitation right there onstage. Luckily, no one noticed or else I would have to do it on command, which defeats the purpose of levitation. (At least in my mind.) The first set was all about the sweat. A little puddle of sweat drops that had dripped from under my left elbow was on the stage. My arms and ankles glistened. The second set was cooler and much more realistic, temp-wise. No heat can stop me from having fun with The Travelin’ Mc’s. Heat is a luxury problem. I truly look forward to my next gig with them, which is tomorrow in Deadwood, S.D. Let the levitation continue!