This is Mat Kearney; he is the main reason we made our recent trip to Emerald Isle. My older kids are big fans – after his live show, I’m a big fan, too. He did a great job.
If you’re not familiar with his music, you can check him out here. You’ve heard his songs on Grey’s Anatomy. He’s good, and if your teenaged daughters are obsessed with him, that’s not a bad thing.
Our entire weekend was a whirlwind, but Saturday was awesome. It rained on us off and on all day long, but by the end of the evening, the skies had cleared and it was amazingly beautiful. I’ve never been to the coast in late September, and I was surprised by the heat. It was like summer. The beach was awesome – and not too crowded. We only spent about two hours by the water – Syd and I ran to the pier and back (two miles, thank you very much) and the kids played in the water for a bit. The remainder of the day we spent at the festival. They closed part of Highway 58 and set up a very nice stage on the shoulder of the road. There was room in the grassy area and on the highway for a pretty awesome street party.
Emerald Isle was ‘born’ as a town fifty years ago, so this was the celebration of the growth and investment of the founding fathers and mothers. It’s a very family-friendly place – none of the craziness of Myrtle Beach and not too much development. They’ve really focused on keeping the area a very calm, family-type environment – and they’ve done a good job.
To celebrate the anniversary, they cleared the Food Lion parking lot and set up vendors. You could get North Carolina style barbecue, bratwurst, hot dogs, soda, DQ blizzards and more. The Budweiser truck was parked by a fenced off area that became the ‘beer garden’. Mostly, folks stayed in the fences and drank their beer, which was nice.
To commemorate the decades since the town began, they had several bands lined up to play music from various styles and eras. It was really cool! We parked our chairs and blankets in the lawn and sat back to enjoy the entertainment!
The first band did some AWESOME sixties and seventies cover tunes! Didn’t catch their names, but we loved the groove..
Paul Miller was a hoot; every time the bands broke down and cleared the stage for the next band, he provided entertainment. Here, he was juggling an apple, a fake arm and a machete. Ouch. He was pretty good!
Wells Fargo set up this terrific replica of Wild Bill Cody’s stagecoach; the kids jumped in and posed. Maybe this will be our Christmas card photo…
Here’s Paul Miller again; this time, he was a magician. Daniel and David got called up to be his “special assistants”! Here, Daniel is doing some sort of bouncing dance before making his brithday card ‘disappear’.
Both boys take a bow!
This guy is part of an 80’s cover band called The Breakfast Club. They were very, very good; the music was fun, especially since they were playing the soundtrack for my high school and college years (and a few years past!). However, as a musician, I was extremely impressed. These guys were goofy, playing silly music, laughing about drinking and partying and carrying on – but they were tight and focused and did a surprisingly good job. Highly recommended, if they show up anywhere near you.
This guy was part of The Breakfast Club – obviously. Great mohawk! Funny – we saw him after the show, without the makeup and with his hair combed out, and he looked like the straightest, most corporate guy you’d ever see…
Raise your hand if you like this shot.
Funny, before I started blogging, I never would have noticed this guy. However, ever since getting to know Julie and Mary, I can’t pass up a cutie like this. I walked right up to this guy’s people and said, “Excuse me, can I take a picture of your dog?”
They said, “Roscoe, sit.” He did.
“Shannon, show everyone your nasty hot dog loaded with huge amounts of red dye #3 and icky preservatives. Say cheese!”
These guys were called The Impressions. They did great covers of Curtis Mayfield tunes and a few other Motown era songs. These guys were classy; dressed alike, danced together, moved like silk. I loved ’em. Great horn section, too.
Here’s Mat again. The kids all stayed right up front for the entire show – nothing between them and the band. Sarah had the camera, and she kept saying, “He looked right at me!” She was proud to know every word of every song – “not just the radio tunes.” She’s a true fan.
I’ve just gotta say that I went up front about half-way through, keeping an eye on the kids and checking out the band a little more closely. He looked right at me, too. Though in my case, he probably thought, “Why is that forty-year old woman up here with all of these teenaged girls?”
‘Cause I’m a mama, dude. Old enough to be YOUR mama, probably. And I’m watching my kids. And I’m digging your band.
And appreciating your…hat….
Sarah caught some awesome photos of the fireworks. We sat on the beach to watch the show. It was impressive. Sarah’s pictures were stunning.
Syd and Sarah; they spent a lot of time together. The gulf between their ages (16 – almost 17 – and 13) seems to be lessening with time. They used to fight and bicker alot. Lately they are finding more common ground, for which I am grateful.
The weekend provided some wonderful family time. We laughed at the irony; when we stopped for dinner on the way down, we all commented about how we sort of missed the long drives we used to make every month to see their dad when he lived in Ohio. It was eight hours there, then eight back. It was excruciatingly exhausting. But we built some good memories.
This weekend ranks up there with the best.