In August I traveled to Dallas to see a Traveling Wilbury and his Electric Light Orchestra.
As it should be, ELO’s full sound filled the huge American Airlines Center arena. The light show was the most extravagant and spectacular that I’ve seen; as it should be for a band called the ‘Electric Light Orchestra’. There was no bad seat in the house. There was no empty seat in the house, either.
My seat was in the nosebleed section, which was fine for ELO’s show only because their sound and lights filled the arena spectacularly, as I knew they would. The songs were all familiar. The entire concert was a big, fun sing-a-long with the band and 20,000+ of their biggest fans.
Me-made concert outfit (partly):
I’d packed my fun green reflective bicycling dress to wear to the concert.
But as I was getting ready for the show, practical considerations won out. I was going to have to walk 1/2 mile from my lodging to the TRE transit shuttle that drops off at the concert arena. I didn’t want to make that trek both ways in a dress with wedge sandals; the return trip in the dark. So, I opted for a pair of knee-length shorts, flat sandals, and this comfortable floral blouse that I recently made and wrote about last week.
The blouse has just one reflective bit… the button in the back. So, anyone sitting behind me who tried to take a flash picture, may have gotten my button reflection instead of the stage. But who in the nosebleed section uses flash at a concert? Probably no one.
As for the concert, it was a lovely, lovely night. Everything was perfect. (Except for the guy sitting next to me, who had pulled up an ELO set list on his phone, and kept announcing what song was coming up next. Grrr.) But this guy below sure didn’t bother me. The crowd all around me was really into the show, which made it that much more fun.
For the best sampling of Jeff Lynne’s current ELO live show, I recommend the “Wembley or Bust” live CD-DVD set. I ordered it after I got home, and am quite glad I did.
Travel and lodging
The drive to Dallas for me is a straight 6-hour shot down through the middle of Oklahoma, all on Interstate-35. It’s a boring and crowded highway. There was a lot of rain in the forecast too, which I didn’t relish driving in. My solution was to drive to Oklahoma City and then take the Amtrak ‘Heartland Flyer’ the rest of the way. Turns out it is a scenic, relaxing train ride.
The night of the concert, I stayed at a hostel in Irving. This was my first-ever stay at a hostel in the US. I booked the hostel through Hostelworld. The girls’ room in the hostel slept 6. When I checked in, the three bottom bunks had already been spoken for. So this was my view from the top. 🙂
I enjoyed chatting with several fellow hostel guests, who were all passing through the DFW area for their own various reasons. I loved the hostel stay, better than a sterile, isolating hotel room. The hostel was an easy walk to and from the commuter train station, where the TRE train took me straight to the concert venue–the American Airlines Center arena.
The next day, I took the TRE back to Fort Worth, where after an afternoon of sightseeing, I boarded Amtrak for the trip back to OKC.
Here’s the ‘Heartland Flyer’ arriving in Ft. Worth to take us back to OKC.
My departing view of Ft. Worth.
Once the train was on its way, the cafe car opened.
For dinner, I ordered the spicy Buffalo chicken tenders and wine. It hit the spot. Each time I see this picture, I want that meal again.
Amtrak was also an excellent choice for the return trip, because the weather got severe as we progressed toward OKC. Strong storms, heavy rains, tornado warnings and a massive area of flash flood warnings even caused all area trains to be ordered to shut down on the track to wait for a bad cell to pass.
Our train arrived at the OKC station about 2 hours late, which meant I would be driving the rest of the way home after midnight, through flash flood warnings all the way. Instead, I did a very adult thing (for me), and got a value-priced room in OKC for the night. The storms had wreaked havoc with street lights in town. It was a dark and eerie quiet drive from the Amtrak station to the hotel.
The hotel I chose is a huge once-fabulous sprawling complex. As I was waiting my turn to check in, the old maintenance man told me stories about famous athletes and performers who had stayed there back in the day. He and the hotel were absolutely charming. The hotel lobby hints at its grand past.
The hallway leading to my room revealed that the hotel hadn’t fared so well during the storms. They’d taken on some water. Bags of concrete had been used as sandbags, doors were propped open for drying out, and carpet had been pulled and piled in the hallway. I didn’t care because I was so tired. I felt bad for the hotel.
My room was nice and comfortable for the price, but when I ventured over to the door that opens out to the courtyard, I discovered the carpet along that outside wall was wet and squishy. I didn’t care. I was tired, and I wasn’t going to need to go out that door anyway.
In the bathroom was a relic from its past as a luxury hotel–the toilet telephone. It still works.
The next morning, I got up well-rested, and drove home. There were places on the interstate where flood water had obviously been up on the road. Staying in OKC had been the right thing to do.
Now, back to the Traveling Wilburys for a moment:
A fellow music lover told me that the Wilburys had intended to keep getting together to make music from time to time, and to possibly add new members. So I’m thinking, should Jeff Lynne and Bob Dylan convene the next generation of Wilburys? Who should the new band members be? Should their music follow the same style and formula as the original Wilburys? The departed original members can’t be replaced or mimicked. But do it right and their spirit will be there with the new guys. I have a few ideas of who should join Jeff and Bob and make some new Traveling Wilburys music. I’ve grouped them in threes, to keep the band at five members:
- Robert Plant
- Gillian Welch
- An Avett brother
- Lindsey Buckingham
- Dhani Harrison
- Carlene Carter
Most of these are really huge stars, so why would they want to do it? Well, you don’t get much bigger than Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and a Beatle, so the standard has been set.