Ray LaMontagne

Last night’s Ray LaMontagne show leads me on a hilarious and exciting adventure of the “yesman” variety.

With my date canceling only an hour before the show, as I’m enjoying happy hour with my friend, John, I have limited time and resources to line up a new concert mate. Unfortunately, my drinking buddy has serious plans for sleep already lined up and the few other folks I can think of last minute are also preoccupied. So I enjoy a final pre-show drink with Mel and Nichole, who have 2 seats on the floor, before I head over to the venue to begin my short lived ticket-selling career.

“If you’re reselling tickets, you must be outside the marquee.” Really? I’m not sure I want to compete with big, silent man selling “$60 for front row” with a sign, so I crouch towards the opposite side of the street. This isn’t too tricky, except suddenly I’m aware of who I don’t want to sit next to. On my 4th day of non-smoking, I bum a cigarette from two girls and it works. I’m suddenly relaxed and a gentleman promises me he’ll buy the ticket … his friend wants one for his girlfriend. Plus, he’s friends with the drummer, so this can be my “in” to an after show party. (They still happen, right?)

“Oh, that’s ok.” I hear myself say after he finally gets a hold of his friend and his friend says he already has a ticket. I find myself looking for the creepy looking guy who wanted the ticket for $22 while I was on hold with the drummer’s friend. Ridiculous!

Ready to eat the cost of the extra ticket, I slink back to the lines near the front doors where I hear a defeated “now if only I could find myself a ticket.” Score! Before I know it, I’m trading my 2 orchestra tickets for 1 seat on the floor. I even ask for an extra $5, after the transaction is complete, so I can get a drink and balance out the 2-for-1 trade. Not only does the trader give me $5, but the gentleman I’m about to sit next to offers to buy me a drink over at the Heathman. What the heck. I don’t even know who’s opening.

It’s at the bar when I realize I’m intoxicated. It’s been so long since I’ve enjoyed conversating with a stranger, so I’m keen on talking and trying my best to ask questions and listen. (Two pats on the back for remembering to ask his name.) But it’s a little difficult. I’m not particularly attracted to this man, though I find myself analyzing his athletic build (solid), his smile (has all his teeth) and his financial situation (buying me wine, top-notch sounding job, house on skyline).

Back at the venue, I offer to buy my new date a glass of wine, so I don’t come across as one of those girls who goes around getting free drinks. And I stock up on chocolate, which has never and likely will never, taste as good as it does while drowning in Ray’s soul. The accoustics in these left-front seats are amazing and I remember how rewarding life becomes when I live in the moment. And the next hour it’s impossible to live anywhere else but in the sound. (Maybe Ray’s eyes. Sometimes I close my eyes and imagine it.)

This is the second time I leave the Schnitz high from the music. Luckily, my friend Mel spots me, or I don’t know how I’d make it back to earth in time to find my car or a ride home.