Thursday, July 11, 2013

Requests are for karaoke bars

After our fabulous trip to Charleston, we decided to top off our vacation with a jaunt to Madison to see Andrew McMahon. We left Milwaukee around 2:30pm and set up shop outside the Majestic at about 4:15pm. We ended up standing in line with a cute girl we met at the Milwaukee show, Katherine, and her friend, Dani. Doors opened at 6:35pm and we scored spots right at the sage! The Majestic is a tiny venue, so we were especially excited! Andy's opening act was Allen Stone, a self-proclaimed "hippie with soul." We're pretty sure he was on something during his set, there were all sorts of crazy dancing (with impressive hip action) and flailing limbs. His vocal range was all over the place, which made for some interesting Mariah-Carey like moments. He made us side-step together and wave our arms and throw our troubles away. He was energetic, soulful, and crazy enough to make it all work. It was a fun way to start the night!

Since we were on the side of the stage where most of the people and equipment moved through, we saw Mr. McMahon several times backstage between sets while the band was setting up. He finished his drink and made his way to the stage around 9:15pm. One of the setlists was tapes to the stage right by us, so we knew what was coming up.

The Mixed Tape (no introduction, no wave, no nothing, just immediate jamming)
Straw Dog (there was semi-moshing and it was kind of weird)
Learn to Dance (I totally led the crowd claps at the beginning and end)
Amy, I (I love everything about this song)
The Resolution (I thought the girls behind me were going to explode)
The Astronaut (most of the song was answering texts from my mom and only kind of singing along, oops)
Catching Cold (he walked around the stage and then jumped into the crowd and everyone went nuts)
I Woke Up In A Car (Daniel rocked out the whole time)
Holiday from Real* (People ask if there are any songs I want to be remembered for. I usually tell them this one. It's kinda like the anthem of my 20s)
Watch the Sky (there was lots of jumping and arm waving from everyone)
Synesthesia (you can tell how much he enjoys performing this song, I think it'll be a setlist staple)
Bloodshot (Andrew showed off his dance moves, which involved a lot of booty shaking and piano stomping)
Cavanaugh Park* (I got lost one day and ended up at this park. After that I spent a lot of time here. Nothing really happened, it's kind of a [expletive] park, I just like the name. Sorry if that ruins the song for anyone)
Dark Blue (...and then the water reached the...Midwest!)
Bruised (surprisingly chill, the last song in the regular setlist)
Swim (acoustic) (just the man and his piano. It was powerful. People were crying)
Konstantine* (the loudest people singing along at the Milwaukee didn't know the words very well and it was super distracting. This time was much better!)
La La Lie (SO. MUCH. ENERGY. Also a harmonica solo and piano jumpkick)
* = this song has a naughty word or two, listen at your own risk
(I'm not responsible for the video quality, wrong lyrics, etc. I just tried to find the best audio)

In between the end of the set and the encore, several people started shouting out songs they wanted to hear. When Andrew walked back on stage, he looked out and said, "Are you guys chanting Konstantine? You know requests are for karaoke bars, right?" Konstantine was already on the list though, so everyone got to hear it anyway.

The marquee

The setlist

Starting things off right with The Mixed Tape

One of Andrew's many funny singing faces

Hanging out on the piano

I like the picture of a picture

Eyeing where to jump during Catching Cold

Bloodshot booty shaking


La La Lie harmonica solo

The progression of flying Andy at the end of La La Lie

Even though it was late and we had to drive back, I still wanted to go say hi to Andrew. We found the bus around the corner and waited in line for about 20 minutes, which was must more preferable to the 45 minutes we waited after the Milwaukee show. When it was my turn, I handed my purse to Daniel and had the following conversation...

Me: Hi, I'm Jenn.
AM: Nice to meet you!
Me: I really liked your show tonight!
AM: Thanks for coming out!
Me: Can I hug you?
AM: Of course!
Me: And is it okay if I get a picture?
AM: Absolutely!
Me: Thank you so much!
AM: It was a pleasure to meet you, Jenn. Take care.

Brilliant. Maybe one day I'll say something witty.

Yay hugs!

We're both married, but wouldn't we be beautiful together?

I was totally on a concert buzz afterwards, the drive home was nothing! Running on 4 hours of sleep the next day was less than fun though. Still sad I missed Andy at Summerfest, but maybe he'll come back next year! And hopefully tour around the Midwest a lot in the meantime :)



Daniel took (and totally rocked) Step 1 on June 15, so we celebrated with a little trip to Charleston, SC, aka one of my favorite places ever. Since I'm rooting for a residency in the Southeast, I want to show Daniel how awesome the area is every chance I get! We flew from O'Hare to Charlotte on a Thursday and drove down to Charleston from there. I did one of those "it's a really good price but you won't find out the brand/company until after you pay" things on Hotwire and we were partnered up with Hertz. I don't have anything against Hertz, but I was a little disappointed they didn't upgrade our car when they saw how tall Daniel is. We usually reserve a compact because they're the cheapest, and other car companies have done the whole "Well, let me see what else we have available" slick move and gotten us an economy car instead. The Hertz guy offered to upgrade us, but not without paying up. It wasn't a huge deal, but it would've made Daniel more comfortable and (obviously) more likely to pick Emory or UNC for residency.

When we got our car, I called Jordan to ask her about some good radio stations in the area. Turns out she and Jillian were in Charlotte picking up her wedding dress! Daniel was craving Bojangles', so we met up in Waxhaw. It was so great to see them and we stayed a lot longer than we intended to, oops :)


Daniel very much enjoyed his biscuits!

We made the drive to Charleston after our stop at Bojangles'. My coworker told me about this website,, where you can rent houses or apartments instead of staying in a hotel. Daniel and I booked this cute place and it was fantastic! On the way down, we stopped in Orangeburg, SC for seriously delicious milkshakes from Cook-Out. It was nice to have a little taste of home!

Can you tell it was a long day for both of us?

We were tired of traveling (why is that? You sit on a plane or in a car and it wipes you out!) so we picked up wings from The Kickin' Chicken and spent the evening cheering on the Spurs in Game 7. Daniel went to bed grumpy because the Heat won, so I wanted to make sure Friday was extra special. We spent the morning at the Confederate Museum, and it was pretty cool. We looked at Civil War-era medical tools (um, no thank you) and also met another visitor who lived in Brookfield for 25 years before moving to NC.

Pregame show and wings

Can we just take a second and admire how picturesque Charleston is? Doesn't it look like Daniel's standing in front of a painting?

After the Museum, we went to lunch at Dave's, a little hole-in-the-wall place that got great reviews on Yelp. We got our food to go and ate at the house while waiting for Dad and Jacob to arrive. When they got there, we turned around and headed out to Fort Sumter. The ferry only goes out to the Fort a few times a day, so we checked out the Clamagore and USS Yorktown in the meantime. We rode over to Fort Sumter and learned about the battles fought and the people involved, I also tried not to think about how much the boat was rocking. We had almost an hour at the Fort, so there was plenty of time to check out all the cool things there.

Lunch from Dave's (it was tastier than it looks)

The Clamagore. If you aren't claustrophobic, 20 minutes in there will do the trick

Hanging out in a fighter jet on the Yorktown, no big deal

Fort Sumter from atop the ferry

Proof that it's a National Monument

A whole bunch of flags

What all the flags mean

After Fort Sumter we drove downtown for dinner. We walked up and down Bay Street before settling on the Noisy Oyster. We sat at a table right by the open windows and people watched while we ate. Daniel and Dad shared a seafood steampot, earning Daniel the #1 son-in-law spot (at the time though, he was still the only son-in-law, but still pretty high accolades coming from my dad). Afterwards, we walked all over Market Street, Meeting Street, and King Street. We checked out the old Citadel, the fire station, and some pretty gardens. Then it got dark and creepy and suddenly everyone was drunk and I was ready to get out of there!

Food from the Noisy Oyster

On Saturday we spent the morning at Folly Beach. Jacob surfed, Dad hiked to the pier and back, Daniel searched for shells, and I (successfully!) worked on my tan. We stopped at Publix on the way back and picked up some frozen pizzas and snacks for lunch, then we watched Sky High and cycled through the bathroom and got ready for the afternoon. We drove to Rainbow Row and took some pictures, then we went to Waterfront Park, home of the giant pineapple fountain! After that we walked down to White Point Garden and decided we wanted ice cream, so we went to the Haagen-Dazs on Market Street. Dad and Jacob left after that, and Daniel and I were tired from walking so much, so we spent the night finishing the Publix snacks and watching Pitch Perfect (Daniel confessed it was much funnier than he thought it would be!).

These aren't that great, I promise it's gorgeous in real life!

Take 1

Take 2

Ladies, he's single

Hazy ice cream afternoon

We left on Sunday morning and made one last stop at Market Street. I bought a spoon for Janey's collection and my very own bottle of Gator Sauce. We also checked out the MUSC campus and I secretly scoped out places to meet up for lunch with Daniel when he matches there!

I was impressed with the communal veggie garden!

Maybe we'll take another picture like this in a couple of years!

Then we drove back through Columbia and stopped at the temple there. Once we made it to Charlotte, we took a quick trip to Crayton Drive and the speedway.

This is exactly what the Raleigh and Minneapolis temples look like too

Our old house

Daniel didn't understand my excitement

We got to the airport super early, so we walked around all the terminals before heading to our gate. I found a Jamba Juice!

Strawberry Surf Rider 4 lyfe

Our flight was fine and our car was parked where we left it and even though we were tired when we got back to Milwaukee, it was a good tired. Luckily I took the next day off, so we were able to sleep in some.

Overall, it was a great trip! If you ever get the chance to go to Charleston, SC, DO IT! It's amazing and wonderful and everyone will want to come visit you. We can't wait to go back!