One way we have always filled this need is by seeing the bands we love perform live. There is something so completely satisfying about going to concerts, watching the musicians you love on stage before you. Of course, some bands do this better than others. For those bands, we tend to go the extra mile, making sure to see them a few times year; maybe traveling a bit of a distance if they aren't playing nearby. To us, this way of seeing shows has always been a little out of the norm, but not too terribly crazy.
Then came The Lone Bellow. Since our discovery of them, we find that we keep asking ourselves, "What has happened to us?" Are we really going to hire a babysitter so we can go stand in line in the freezing cold for a couple of hours before the show starts? Yes, of course! Are we really going to re-arrange an entire day to drive two hours to see them perform in a casino? Absolutely! Are we really going to stick by this 4-hour-rule we've created for ourselves? Yes, and in fact, we are actually soon to be breaking that rule by traveling to Atlanta (just Bobbie) and Philadelphia to see them! Did we actually start a website for them? Again, WHAT has happened to us? We don't know the answer to that. We have stopped trying to figure it out, fairly convinced that there just may not be an answer.
When we go to see The Lone Bellow in concert, we inevitably end up talking to other fans. It's so much fun to talk about how many times you've seen the band and what some of your favorite moments were. And often the conversations turn to other non Lone Bellow shows you've seen, and it's fun to learn where your musical tastes overlap with other fans'. Often, though not always, people are surprised to learn that we have traveled to see the band. Or they are surprised to hear the number of shows we have attended. They usually say things like, "Oh, so you are really big fans!" We agree that we are, and now we often let them know about this blog. So far no one has run away from us in fear, although we think that might be the appropriate response.
Recently, at the show in Portland, Maine, we were chatting with fans after the show. A very nice couple asked us if we would mind taking their picture with the band. They asked us the typical post-show questions, and when we revealed that not only had we traveled from Boston, but would be following them to Burlington the next night, the woman of the couple playfully teased, "Oh, so you're the 'g' word." The "g" word being "groupie."
It's not as if we haven't heard that word before, mostly used in jest by friends as we set off for another concert. We have always shrugged it off, admitting that we may be a little crazy (OK, maybe a lot crazy), but we're certainly not that! We are boring and socially awkward. We can barely stay up past midnight. No way are we really "the 'g' word!" But it did make us wonder if a stranger was making this observation, might there be some truth to it? We have vehemently denied being groupies because the, uh, "traditional" definition of the word (ahem), we most definitely ARE NOT. But we cannot deny that we do go to some extreme lengths to see The Lone Bellow live. It's not normal, we know. But there is some inexplicable thing that happens to us at each show, and we know we will never be able to get enough of it. We feel so incredibly fortunate to be able to see the band as often as we do, and we will continue to do so for as long as we are able. And maybe that does make us "the 'g' word," but we think we can live with that.