state theater marquee

Nickel Creek Awesome-izes Minneapolis for A Magical Night

This post will be a she said/he said take on our recent outing to see Nickel Creek in concert. 

Becky’s Take

Joel and my first date occurred at his house. How stupid was I?  Let me explain, You see, I’ve known of Joel most of my high school career because he was from 3 towns over. Joel and I met in 1998, officially. Our friend, Nicole, was having her senior year band concert, and Joel and I went together. We sat next to each other and didn’t speak, for 3 HOURS.  One would think stuck up, but Joel was just super shy.

In 2007, I read an article Joel wrote for the NDSU Magazine, and I e-mailed him on December 31, 2007.  To be honest, I was so lonely at UND and desperate for a friendship, a connection. Plus, he was super cute in his picture.  He emailed back on January 2, 2008, and we spent days emailing back and forth.  Joel was charming and beautiful, and through his words I knew he was my one. On January 4, we spoke on the phone, and I programmed his number in my phone as “my one.”

On January 5, I arrived at his house for our first date.  You know how it goes, you meet that person that you have been looking for your whole life, and the conversation flows like water.  You are finally complete.

Joel put on his iTunes playlist, and this was my first exposure to Nickel Creek, who broke up only 3 months before Joel and I began our relationship. Joel was in a mourning phase so his playlist had several entire albums of Nickel Creek on it. Now, this blog is personal, but we’re also very private.  I may have been stupid and met, what was a stranger, in his home.  I was smart enough not to shave my legs to make sure our first date was PG. All I will say is that Joel is the best kisser I have ever had.

That first date was talking, kissing, and Nickel Creek.  I cherish that memory in my mind and visit it often.

Nickel Creek saw us through Fargo. Then on September 1, 2010, we attended the Summer of Love Tour in Moorhead, MN. The Summer of Love Tour was Garrison Keillor and Sara Watkins traveling Minnesota throughout the summer performing beautiful love duets.  Joel and I cuddled on a hill, under a tree, near the stage in a blanket.  Eventually, it started to pour and SNOW, but we stayed and huddled under an umbrella.  I cherish that memory in my mind and visit it often.

This was the first time I saw Sara Watkins perform in my life. I fell madly in love with her, and hope one day I could grow up and be her. I own both of her single albums, and her work inspires a married couple to remember how much they love each other.

But, in 2014, Nickel Creek reunited to celebrate their 25 year anniversary with a new album and a tour. On May 11, 2014, Joel and I squished into airplane like seats and cuddled as Nickel Creek made me relive all those cherished moments and created a new one. Sure enough, we left the concert, and the rain poured and poured. Sara Watkins makes the sky cry because her gift is so beautiful.  And to me, Nickel Creek and Sara Watkins will continue to guide us, grow with us,  and help us create cherished memories to come.


Joel’s Take

This winter, particularly before Becky got her new job, we were on a strict “no fun” diet. We were doing so to save up for a used car, but in actuality it sort of just left us breaking even each month.

When you are broke, you see lots of stuff that looks awesome, yet it is out of reach. It’s easier to say you won’t go to something when you plain can’t afford it. However, saying no to things when you can easily adjust the budget to make room is a lot harder – like being a junkie in a room full of cocaine or something.

So we were on our fast, and awesome things kept coming to the cities. Good Wits guests. Mike Birbiglia doing stand up. Etc.

Then I saw that Nickel Creek was getting back together and lost all will power.

Combine that with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings coming to town, and we were done for.

Luckily, Becky got her new job and I got a bonus at work, so we were able to handle it.

My first memory of Nickel Creek was seeing them on Conan O’Brien during grad school (rather late in their run). I remember thinking they were awesome, but I wasn’t much of a music buying person. It was another year or so before I started using iTunes and purchasing songs to help get through the work day at NDSU. They have some great music to write to.

They also have a song from the point of view of a building, so if you know me or my writing, you know I’m a sucker for inanimate narrators.

All this puts my really getting into this band just at the point they disbanded to work on solo projects and at the point I met Becky. It’s fascinating to me how music is tied to the period we got into it regardless of when it was created. Which is why I love writing reviews of art and whatnot with such a highly autobiographical bent.

Becky and I were pretty much introduced to each other with this band as the movie score. And I’m perfectly fine with that. Only problem was we didn’t think we’d ever get to share a concert with the band live.

We’d seen Sarah Watkins when she came to Fargo/Moorhead with Garrison Keillor a few years back during their summer of love tour. Becky and I laid on a blanket at the Trollwood Performing Arts Center, huddled under umbrellas in the streaming summer rain, loving every second of it. We got her CD. Fellas – this CD works like gangbusters with the ladies (pro hint!).

We returned to the State Theater, which is the only bad part of this experience. I can handle that seats are often built for smaller butts than mine, but what really irks me is that 100 years ago, people were apparently half a foot shorter than they are now. The length between my seat and the seat in front of me was about two inches shorter than my femur. So all night I was contorted rather uncomfortably trying to bend the laws of physics with my bones.

Regardless, the concert was amazing. The Secret Sisters were a glorious opening act filled with pure southern charm, beautiful harmonies and adorableness to boot. They also taught us a new term – Murder Ballad. T-Bone Burnett produced their record, he made a label for them even, so you know they got chops, and they prove it song after song. Here’s one.

Then the main attraction came out. The three members of Nickel Creek and an upright bass player. No drums. They didn’t need them. This band combines insane skills with fiddle, guitar and mandolin along with melodious voices that harmonize only as a group that has been performing together since they were 8-year-old kids can do.

There isn’t much to say about the concert itself that can’t be heard in the videos here. They were fantastic. I loved their cover of Hayloft. We’re definitely getting their new album.  We are also purchasing the 2 of the Secret Sisters albums as well. We’ll take our stack of this amazing music and listen to our trip to Itasca this June. These two groups will keep seeing us through amazing memories.

Their energy behind the instruments, their professionalism, all three taking the stage and facing the audience like some sort of firing squad of awesome, just filled the theater with magic. Every song was met with deafening applause – this sold out theater was bursting with love for a band that had been apart for 6+ years. We missed them. Becky and I missed them.

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2 thoughts on “Nickel Creek Awesome-izes Minneapolis for A Magical Night

  1. What a great story! I have never actually heard of Nickel Creek, but I have many, many artists in my playlist that remind me of happy times. It made me smile to read your perspectives on three concert.

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