Throwback Thursday...14 years, 82 concerts, 1 band, countless memories!

12.10.20 09:27 PM Comment(s) By Adrienne Towsen

One of my good friends from residency used to give me recommendations for bands to listen to. He would send me a song or just the band name, and if I liked them, I would go buy a CD. Yep...this is before the time of just downloading the song, asking Alexa to play it, or listening on Spotify...we're talking early 2000s! In 2006, he suggested I listen to a couple of songs by the band Carbon Leaf. I absolutely loved them! I bought my first CD right away and within a week bought another. I would listen to the music non-stop and enjoyed every song. A year later, I saw them in concert for the first time, and it was fabulous. They are from Virginia and tour all over the country but spend a lot of time on the east coast. The first concert I went to was at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia in 2007. (You will hear a lot more about this venue on the blog tomorrow, so be sure to check it out!) Carbon Leaf puts on an amazing show, and they come out to greet fans afterward. I didn't try to meet them the first time or the second time...but the third time was the charm! I went up and said hello and told them how much I enjoyed the show and their music. They were so nice and appreciative. That was just the beginning...

 I continued to go to concerts any time they were nearby, and as time went on I didn't think twice about taking a long drive or even hopping on a plane to see them. It became something my mom and I would do together because she quickly became a fan as well. Many of the venues they play are 21 and over, but not all, and in 2009, we brought my daughters for the first time. They enjoyed the music as well and even at the ages of 9 and 7, they had favorite songs and knew many of the lyrics.  This was likely the result of their mom constantly playing Carbon Leaf CDs in the car and at home! The girls first concert was at a venue which has become special for us as well called Ram's Head on Stage in Annapolis. Carbon leaf does a holiday tour which includes both World Cafe Live and Ram's Head on Stage, and both of these concerts became a tradition for our family.

The more shows we went to, the more we talked with the band, and we started to get to know them. My mom and I (and the girls when possible) made it to most concerts that were within a few hours of where we live. We explored lots of different venues we had never been to before and eventually started traveling farther for a "Carbon Leaf fix" when needed if they had not been touring near us for a while. We enjoyed each show more than the last. Carbon Leaf has a huge catalog of music so even shows on consecutive nights usually have different set lists. Their talent is incredible, and they are an equally wonderful group of guys. The more we got to know them, the more we wanted to go to shows. Live music is so great, and when you feel a connection to the band it is even more fun to see them perform. A few years ago we flew to Texas over a long weekend and didn't tell them we were coming. They had a show in Dallas and then another in Austin. At the first show in Dallas, we were up front near the stage and it was so cool to see the reaction of the different band members one by one as they noticed us in the audience. We then rented a car and drove to Austin for the second show and flew home from there. We had not been to those cities before so we did some sightseeing as well. We have been on many little adventures over the years related to Carbon Leaf concerts and have made so many wonderful memories along the way.

Both of my girls play guitar and took lessons for years at home. The first photo below shows a pre-concert trip on stage for the girls which was followed by special guitar lessons with Terry and Carter. They did this more than once and it was such a cool opportunity. I have also worked the merchandise booth for the band on a few occasions which was fun especially during a two day festival they hosted in Virginia a couple of years in a row (third photo below). 

I could go on and on...and on about how wonderful these guys are, how amazing their music is and how much they mean to my family. This little trip down memory lane concludes with the photo below which was the last time we saw the band live back in Dec of 2019 at Ram's Head on Stage. They have literally watched my daughters grow up and have been such a big part of our lives for the past 14 years. We have not been able to see them yet this year but luckily their music, live streams, videos and occasional emails and messages have kept us connected. I suppose the term "groupie" might come to mind when I say I have seen 82 Carbon Leaf concerts, but I prefer "fan who became a friend".  Stay tuned for tomorrow's "fun Friday" post when I will share a very special tradition with the band...the concert/party! We have two different versions of this...check it out tomorrow and give the band a listen too!๐Ÿ๐Ÿงก

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