Thank you, Jack Daniel’s!

Those are 4 words I truly never expected to string together in this lifetime.  But I do owe them some serious thanks, and the why follows.

I don’t know how I missed the fact that Ghostland Observatory was supposed to play ACL Live on Saturday night, but I did.  And by the time I found out, and went looking for a ticket, they were sold out. Not surprising, given you could measure the time period between my looking and their playing in hours or days equally easily.  Much to my surprise, though, the kind folks at Jack Daniel’s (one of the bar sponsors at the Moody Theater) added a second show on Friday night (thus making it the first show…) so that those of us who live under a media rock could still get tickets. Thank you #1.

I noticed in passing that the first 300 attendees would get tickets to a free afterparty hosted by Jack Daniel’s at the Moody, but since doors were set to open at 6:30, and the show to start at 8 (meaning Ghostland to start closer to 9), I just couldn’t picture standing around for hours outside the W (and then sitting around for hours in the theater) to ensure my getting in on that special event.  I chose instead to have a quick dinner with a friend at Enoteca and walk downtown.  I got to “Dallas” (that’s what a friend and I call the 2nd Street District) a little before 7, so I went to Jo’s Coffee and read the Chronicle and enjoyed a pre-show mimosa, arriving at the theater closer to 7:30.  Much to my surprise, when they scanned my ticket, they gestured over to a table on the side and told me I could still get a pass to the afterparty if I wanted.  I nipped over, and got the 298th VIP wristband.  Will wonders never cease?  Thank you #2.

The other 2 times I have seen Ghostland were at ACL fest and Stubb’s, and both times I got shoved around a lot as a lone female in the standing room section, so I was really happy to be in a venue with a seat, even if I didn’t plan on lots of sitting. It safeguarded my personal space bubble.  I went and found my seat – I opted for the highest level, balcony, way over on the side, so I could be in the front row – and it was a great spot! Close to the stage, no one’s big head could be in my way… I hung out listening to their hipster DJ and watching the lights and the people standing around on the floor for about an hour. 2 funny things – security very intently confiscated a few glow necklaces (no idea why), but when they caught a guy smoking an enormous joint, they just gestured at him to stub it out on the floor and kind of grinned in a bemused manner. Maybe enough fumes wafted over that they didn’t mind too much.

The show was amazing, as they always are.  Some people sat, but most of us stood up and danced the whole time near our seats.  And you have to love the lasers.  I’d previously only seen Aaron (lead singer) in an all white get-up with his long black hair in braids and clean-shaven, so it was kind of funny to see him decked out in a black tee, black jeans, black Converse, with his hair loose and a beard a growin’.

After the show, they made everyone leave except all of us “VIPs”, and we passed through to the afterparty. It was held on the balcony level, so all the people who paid more money for closer seats had to stand in line to get in, while those of us in the far away sections (not too far, it is a small venue) just waltzed straight into the party lounge.  Did I mention they gave everyone 2 free drink tickets? I don’t even like Jack Daniel’s cocktails, but hey – it’s the thought that counts, right? Thank you #3.

I only stayed for 45 minutes or so – there’s only so long you can people-watch at a hip afterparty when you’re by yourself and wearing your Friday work clothes.  But I did have my two drinks, and I did somehow wind up chatting with a Jack Daniel’s swag girl as she walked by, thus winding up with a free t-shirt.  No plans to wear it in public, but the cotton is super soft, and it will be a lovely nightshirt. Thank you #4.

I left the party and walked to Congress and nabbed one of the last buses home, reminding me why I am so happy to live where I do.  Walked there and home for $1.  No parking headache, no taxi fare.  All in all, a great evening.

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