Friday, September 16, 2011

Party At The Grocery Store!

Being the wife of a gigging musician, especially one involved in as many different bands as my husband, there are many opportunities to go see him play. Sadly, I miss most of those due to my own hermit-issues and because I would have to make arrangements for someone to watch our child that late and our primary babysitter is my mother-in-law, who lives forty-five minutes away. Granted, I know she doesn't mind helping out from time to time (thank you super awesome wonderful MIL), but I hate asking her to make the drive out here just to hang out while the kiddo is sleeping and more often than not then have to drive back home ridiculously late (because she usually won't take us up on our offer to spend the night).

For special occasions of course, like the upcoming Holy Moly CD release show, I will definitely try to work things out. Baby Girl has a sleepover at Grandma's in the offing next month, for example. But not all of his gigs are the typical shows at bars or clubs that have no seating and don't start until ten or eleven or midnight.  So for the most part, I find myself looking for gigs at more family-friendly venues and at more reasonable hours to attend. When I can take Baby Girl along it has the added bonuses of her getting to see her daddy play, and it automatically gives me someone to talk to during the show--even if that someone doesn't really talk back (at least not in my language) yet.

Enter Central Market. If you are familiar with the place, you already know it's not your average grocery store. What you may not know is that throughout the spring and summer many of the stores often have live music on their patios in the evening. Usually this is to encourage people to come out for their various special events/cookouts or sponsored by local businesses and whatnot. Given the large number of groups that my husband plays with, he actually ends up playing quite a few Central Market gigs throughout the warm-weather seasons. Not all of them are at the Fort Worth store, but I have been trying to make it a habit to attend those that are, at least for the first set or first few songs, depending on the band's start time. Baby Girl and I head up there after her nap (sometimes ending naptime a little early), and we pick up dinner in the store (they have an excellent cafe area where you can get soup, salads, sandwiches, or many other pre-prepared meals that can be headed in their bay of microwaves and taken out to the patio to eat). Then we eat our meal and jam out to whichever group Hubby is playing with.

I know, I know, catching a show at the grocery store? It sounds crazy. But it is actually a total blast. They've got plenty of seating and if you get there early enough you can snag a seat in shade even. Behind the stage there is a pretty decent playground, too. I used to think that was really poor placement, but then I thought about it a little and realized it is actually perfect. All of the amps and speakers are aiming away from the kiddos, and their jubilant noises are behind the band and so covered up by music. Plus, this is a venue I can usually talk my best friends (Baby Girl's godparents) into visiting as well (like me, they prefer venues where you can actually sit down and shows that don't start technically the next morning). I've been known to take my current knitting or crochet project to these gigs as well (though usually not when I have Baby Girl with me). It's just all around good fun.

Last night Hubby had another one of these gigs, playing with a group he is in called Mills & Co. It was a great show, and the weather was extremely cooperative. Baby Girl danced in her chair for a bit and loved watching her daddy play, as always. I even sat with a whole table full of people I had never met before (other friends of the band) and managed to hold more than one intelligent conversation. I would definitely say a good time was had by all. Then we were all home by a little after seven-thirty and able to spend some quality family time watching The Adventures of Pete & Pete (Baby Girl's birthday present to Hubby earlier this week). A lovely evening all around.

She's been practicing her pouty faces of late.

That's a bit better.

Big ol' carton of fresh fruit for dinner!

Hubby doing his thing.
A man of many basses.

I can definitely think of worse ways to kick off a weekend!

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