I am slowing working my way backwards on my adventure reviews, so hopefully the big Taylor Swift review with be myÂ PiÃ¨ce de rÃ©sistance. Like I said, hopefully! Â Until then, let’s talk some Don Williams! This story might not be the most exciting review, but they can’t all be Pulitzer Prize winners can they?
Sometime back in May/June I remember Riddlehoover posting on his Twitter that he had just purchased Don Williams tickets for an October show at the Paramount Theatre in Austin. I immediately texted Ike and told him I knew what I wanted for our wedding anniversary, I wanted to see Don Williams!Â Don has been on my bucket list for a very long time and there was no way I was going to miss this show.
Who doesn’t love Don Williams? I can tell you who…Ike.
Ike really wasn’t feeling this idea, but of course he didn’t tell me until five months later. He really didn’t want to go.
Yes, seriously. He literally said this less than a week before the show:
“Do I really have to go see Don Williams with you?”
So I calmly replied:
“YES YOU HAVE TO FUCKING GO!Â I waited SIX MONTHS to celebrate our 13th year anniversary so put a fucking smile on your face and suck it up for just one night.”
Or something to that effect.
When Sunday rolled around, I was SO super, duper excited about the show. I had never been to the Paramount Theatre before so I had no idea what to wear. Â 89% of the time I wear dresses when we go somewhere because I like to wear my Spanky Pants underneath them to hold in my beer gut, especially if we are going to eat because I don’t want to leave the restaurant looking like I am in my second trimester. I couldn’t find a damn moo-moo that seemed worthy of Don Williams at the Paramount, then I Â remembered the $8.99 dress I bought at Ross about 3 years ago! The Closet Gods really did throw me a bone this time because the dress was cute, comfy, and ironically on the top of the floor pile…plus it matched my redÂ high heels and cute new purse! I love a good red shoe and mine are fabulous.
I mean they WERE fabulous!
Apparently Dewey Cox Ballou used my favorite red Jessica Simpson “Taneala” patent leather cork platform open toed pumps for a fucking chew toy! Damn bad dog! I was milliseconds away from sending him to the bad puppy farm or at least taking him to the pound, but instead I just put on the damned shoes and we took off for Austin.
We hadn’t eaten supper yet because the plan was to eat at one of our favorite places that we used to always go to on payday back in the day. Once upon a time when we were super poor and shacking up in a 600 square foot, $425 a month shanty in Georgetown, we loved to go to La Margarita in Round Rock for mexican food. Yummmmy! Â Well, Ike thought the show started at 7:00 pm, so that didn’t leave us enough time to sit down somewhere and eat. Boo.
Once we were downtown and found a pretty decent parking spot, we walked toward the Paramount Theatre. We were going to have Subway for our romantic dinner but when we walked in the door the Sandwich Artist informed us they were closed.
What frigging Subway closes at 6:00 at night???
I proceeded to throw a crazy woman hissy fit in the middle of the Subway. Â I know, I know…but I was HUNNNNNNNGRY. That and the fact that when I go to shows in Austin where I know I am more than likely going to see people who I have given “mean” nicknames to or posted “mean” things about, I turn into a nervous, anxiety filled train wreck. I am just going to blame this bitch fit on low blood sugar, but we all know the truth.
We ended up finding the world’s worst slice of pizza on the face of the earth across the street from the Paramount…where luckily the football game was playing…she types sarcastically.
Around 15 minutes until 7:00, we made our way over to the theatre and discovered that the show didn’t start until 8:00…and the doors were still locked. Â Ugh. Â Oh well. Â We had an hour to kill, so we just went back to the car to listen to the Howard Stern show on Sirius. Ike has such a tender heart and he will literally give you anything he had if you were in need…but on the way back to the car he became an ATM for every homeless person on Congress Avenue. Â I think the walk to the car must have cost us $20 bucks because he just can’t say no. Bless his heart.
Finally the doors opened and we got to see the Paramount Theatre in all of its glory. Â It really is a beautiful place. If you haven’t been, you really should check it out if you ever get the chance!
(Click HEREÂ to read all about the history and restoration.)
I didn’t bring my camera because I didn’t think I would be able to use it…but thanks to the magic of the internet, I can snatch some pictures and we can just pretend I took them.
The lobby had low ceilings, a concession stand (?) and a bar…plus the cutest little ushers EVER! Â The ushers are all older…retirement age…and dressed in old school uniforms with matching vests and bow ties. Â They were adorable and I wanted to take one home with us so he could walk me from room to room with a little flashlight in my house.
It was crowded because they hadn’t opened the doors to the actual theatre yet, so we made our way over to the bar and literally ran into a couple of college friends we haven’t seen in over 10 years. After we all caught up, Ike got us some drinks and we headed up the stairs to check out the theatre. (It was $17 bucks for a bottle of water and a margarita on the rocks in a little clear Dixie cup! Â It wasn’t even a decent sized red or blue solo cup. That was a little absurd I think, but hey…we were in the big city.)
When we headed into the main room and to go up the stairs to find our seats, I ran right into Mr.Â Rhiddlehoover on his way over to the bar. I immediately turned around and high tailed it up the stairs as fast as my doggie chewed red heels could carry me. Sorry Brandon, but you scare me and since I never know if I’m going to get yelled at in public because it seems to be happening more and more lately, I really try to stay out-of-the-way of the “talent”.
(Sadly that doesn’t seem to work at charity events and CMT parties at the W Hotel.)
Our seats weren’t bad at all…I don’t think there is a bad seat in the whole theatre but we were in the Mezzanine Â Zone E Row L Seats 1-2.
We always try to get the end seats, even when we go to the movies because Ike is a such big boy plus he’s 6’5…and for the first hour of the show no one sat next to me which was great because of my irrational fear of catching Ebola or other nasty cooties from people in public places. (When the lady finally sat down she kept flinging her hair over her shoulder and completely skeezing me out!)
We had only been in our seats 60 seconds when I got the first “Shhhhh” of the evening from Ike when I looked around and got so excited when I saw the theatre boxes. To his horror, I squealed…”LOOK, LOOK! IT’S JUST LIKE ON THE MUPPETS!” apparently a little louder than necessary.
I never claimed to be sophisticated.
Wade Bowen and his guitar player, What’s His Name, opened up the show with about an hour-long acousticÂ set. Wade started the show with “Ghost in the Town”, “Matches” and “Trouble.” Â He got some giggles from the audience when he mentioned he wasn’t used to people sitting quietly and listening to him sing, because most of the people he usually played for were busy trying to get laid. Wade mentioned that opening for Don Williams was on his Bucket List and you could tell he was being sincere because he seemed genuinely honored to be there.
Wade explained that as a songwriter there are certain rules that you have to follow and the first rule is to write songs for your wife that will not only get you out of trouble, but would keep you out of trouble. He said even though he had written lots of those songs, he had never written a song for his kiddos. Wade said he wanted to write a song for his baby boys while they were still young, because when they were 15 and hated him…they couldn’t ever tell him that he didn’t ever write a song about them. That song ended up being “Before These Walls Were Blue.”
(Click HERE to listen to the song around the 9:45 mark.)
Wade also did his new single “Saturday Night” and even gaveÂ Mr.Â Rhiddlehoover a co-writer shout out before singing “One Step Closer”. Around this time an obnoxious lady in the audience screamed Â out “WE LOVE YOU WADE” and he replied, “I love you too Mom.”
Before he finished with “If We Ever Make It Home”, Wade reminded us to never give up on our dreams and said he needed to get off the stage before they got the hook. I hadn’t seen a Wade Bowen show in a very long time and as much as I enjoyed it, it made me a sad.
Nobody ever said following your dreams was going to be easy.
Time for DON!
Don opened the show doing “Good Old Boys Like Me” with a full band including keyboard and two guitar players. He came to the stage, sat on his stool and the second he started to sing I knew it was going to be a great show. His voice hadn’t changed a bit and he sounded exactly like he did on all the records I grew up with .
Don started off by telling the audience that he never has a lot to say, and tonight wouldn’t be any different. And it wasn’t.
His setlist included:
Some Broken Hearts Never Mend
She’s in Love with a Rodeo Man
Back in My Younger Days
She Never Knew Me
Her Perfect Memory
Learn To Let It Go (?)
From Now On
Do I Look Like A Daddy To You?
I’ll Be Needing You
It Must Be Love
I Still Believe in Love
After all those songs…Don got a standing ovation from the audience and it was well deserved. I thought that he was finished at this point, but he wasn’t even close to being done.
Soapbox time. Â I am all about going to a show and hooping and hollering and having a good time. I say enjoy the music, applaud the performances, but in a place like the Paramount…shut the fuck up! Â Don Williams only leaves his house about 3 times a year so do you really think he’s NOT going to sing “Tulsa Time?” Do you have to scream it out 14 times when he is trying to sing and we are trying to listen? It isn’t a KISS concert so stop screaming at him like an idiot, you idiot.
Don introduced the band and shut up most of the screamers when he did “Amanda” and “My Best Friend.” Â I think “My Best Friend” might have been my favorite song on the night because he did it with the house lights up and let the audience sing the chorus.
Before he sang “I Recall A Gypsy Lady” Don did “Lord I Hope This Day is Good” and a small part of me really wanted to see Mr. Â Rhiddlehoover storm the stage, grab the microphone, knock Don off the stool and start singing….but sadly for my sick twisted pleasures , he didn’t.
As an encore Don did “Louisiana Saturday Night” and before the lights came up Ike grabbed my arm and said, “Let’s get out of here before someone recognizes you and tries to punch you” and he drug me out the door before I could even check out the Don Williams merch table. I thought that was pretty funny considering no one ever does…unless I am standing next to a 6’5 300 plus pound redhead!
It was an amazing night of music and I am so glad we could had a chance to experience it in such a beautiful place. If the quality of music from someone “sitting on a stool singing to people in chairs” could have been done any better, I can’t imagine who and where it could have been.