I would never be able to call any musician or band my absolute favorite…but if I had a gun to my head the first band that would come to mind (and would be pretty much as close to the truth as I could come to answering that question) would be Reckless Kelly.
My first time seeing them was at the dreaded Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. A room where you can’t talk without being rudely “shushed” and where “rocking out” is not on the menu! But it didn’t matter. I loved them about 2 minutes into the set. It doesn’t happen very often with me, to have an instant connection to a band that I have no real prior knowledge of. But it happened that night. I knew off the bat that these guys were the real deal. That they LOVED what they do. That they have a good time with each other. That the lead singer is T-R-O-U-B-L-E! All of this was before I even realized that there were brothers in the band. I am a sucker and a half for bands with brothers in them. Not sure why…but oy! Those Braun genes got some good mojo and I was instantly a fan. That was in 2004.
2005 saw my love for them move into “superfan” world….sort of. They played a show on Feb. 13 here in Nashville at Third and Lindsley. It was two days before “Wicked Twisted Road” was coming out, but I had already procured an advance copy. Micky and the Motorcars (yet ANOTHER Braun brother band) opened and it was a much more rocking, much more “Reckless” show. If there was any question I was hooked…that question was answered when I came out of the ladies room, ran into Cody (whom I had briefly met earlier) and he gave me a hug and asked if I liked the show. Hugs from musicians are pretty much like crack to me. Add to that the fact that he seemed to genuinely be concerned that I enjoyed the show and it was all over. I was Reckless to the core.
The rest of 2005 was amazing. I saw them 9 times in 5 different states. I got to know Cody better and meet the rest of the band. I learned all their songs, even favorite covers. I made friends with other fans. It was great! Becoming a RK fan is like joining a family….it’s pretty amazing.
2006 wasn’t nearly as Reckless a year. I only saw them play once, although it was THE show to be at, the live recording at La Zona Rosa. I was in Austin for a total of 16 hours that trip. I ended up at the infamous “Shed” after the show where I stayed and had one of the best times of my life until about 5:45 AM when I had to go catch my flight home. That year definitely goes into the “quality vs. quantity” world.
2007, in the life of me, opened with a bang. I got a new job, a new dog and an email from Cody that the band was coming through town on the way to a show and inviting me to hang out. They did, I did, a GREAT time was had by all. It wasn’t as wonderful as a show, but time with the Brauns is always good. This brings us to this past weekend. It took them over 2 years, but those boys got themselves back to Nashville to play a show. They were playing the Exit/In, a venue they had played countless times. I got my tickets early, just in case and started counting the days. Once I was able to buy milk that had an expiration date after the date of the show I started getting REALLY excited.
Saturday night arrived and I could hardly contain myself. As we’re waiting in line it was announced that the show is sold out! While a part of me was thrilled and oh so proud, I was concerned about the friend I had with me who didn’t have a ticket. Luckily the guy working the door likes me and he let her in. Then the real excitement began. The opener, Stoney LaRue, was good. He even has the same mouth as the boy who has me twitterpated. But, unfortunately for him, he only represented an obstacle between me and my Reckless boys. His set ended and the torture truly began.
The period of time between the opener and their set was like excruciating foreplay. You’re all hyped up and excited and feeling good, but dammit all to hell, you just want to get down to business. After maybe 40 minutes of this, on walked the band! For lack of a better word, and to keep with the metaphor of sex, the next two hours were like the best sex ever. The best sex ever with LOTS of orgasms! I didn’t care about the drunk girl next to me who looked like she was going to puke at any time. I didn’t care that I was sweating like a crazy person. I didn’t care about anything except those 5 boys on stage and the music they were making. I get completely mesmerized by them.
After the show I got to briefly hang out with Cody before my hunger and tiredness forced me to go home. That time with him was like post-coital snuggling. Lots of smiles and happy talking and praise for performance. Promises that this needs to happen again, sooner rather then later, and lack of desire to leave each others presence.
When I finally woke up on Sunday, I was still smiling. My hair smelled of the smoke from the show and I wasn’t quite ready to get rid of it. I didn’t want to wash the stamp off my hand that had allowed me to drink. I didn’t want to forget any minute of the show. I wanted to live the night all over again.
I feel sorry for people who never feel this way about a band, or anything. An all encompassing thrill derived from watching someone doing what they love and supporting and appreciating every second of it. I feel sorry for people who never know how much a band they loves appreciates them, let alone gets to hear it first hand. Mostly I feel sorry for me because I don’t know when my next Reckless Kelly show is going to be.
Not really, there’s no crying in Reckless-land!
VIVA LA RECKLESS!!!!!