Karsten and I were just about to go out for dinner when my coworker K called. He said they had two extra tickets to see Carole King tonight at the Ryman Auditorium, if we were interested. Now, I’m not a huge fan of Carole King, although I appreciate the level of success she’s attained as a songwriter, but the key to my enthusiastic acceptance was going to the Ryman. I’d never been to the Ryman, and I wasn’t going to pass up a chance to go for free.
So. Not only did we go tonight to see Carole King at the Ryman, we also got to go backstage thanks to a friend of a friend of my coworkers’ having catered backstage. The view from our seats was already pretty good, but from the cafeteria on the top floor of the backstage area, you could look down on the stage and see her playing the piano. We wandered around a bit more and saw various dressing rooms. And I took special delight in the view of the Gaylord Entertainment Center through one of the church-like windows of the Ryman.
And finally we found the stage entrance itself, and could see Carole from the wings (her head is just barely visible in the center above the piano). Also on stage with her is someone whose name escapes me on the left, and Gary Burr is on the right, sitting on the sofa.
As for the show itself, it was OK. I was kind of marveling at how cheeseball a lot of her stuff has been. Karsten summed it up by leaning across to my coworker and saying “I’m kind of disappointed because I thought the Muppets were going to be here.”
Still, it was free (sort of — I bought a round of drinks for everyone that came to $71, I kid you not. But that still doesn’t compare to the value of the two $85 tickets we were given for nothing) and it was a blast to go backstage.