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Who: Sister Hazel
When: January 9, 2009
Where: The House of Blues
1204 Caroline Street
Houston, TX 77002

This show was fun from start to finish! I would like to start by saying that the House of Blues in Houston is one of the coolest places I've ever gone to check out a show. The atmosphere creates a strange intimacy with the band... I mean this in the sense that no matter where you sit or stand during the show you are close enough to the band to feel like they are singing right to you. I am convinced though after seeing this show that Sister Hazel would manage to make you feel that way even if you were sitting across a 15,000 person crowd.

A great band (who call themselves Nello, or nelo... sorry guys, not sure which) warmed up the crowd for Sister Hazel. They did a great job as far as I was concerned. The music was similar enough in genre to Sister Hazel and yet different. The band consists of an acoustic guitar, a rythm guitar, a bass guitar, a saxaphone, and the lead singer. These guys are definitely worth a second listen, in my humble opinion, so I think I'll seek them out again when I am there to pay attention to them. You, however, can find them here:

When Sister Hazel came on stage I missed the first part of the first song because I was busy trying to hustle my butt up to the stage to take pictures. I had some trouble pushing through to get behind the barrier. Once behind the barrier with my photo pass firmly in place I find out that I can't turn off the flash on the disposable camera I brought (it is no loss if it gets broken or lost) so I resolve to tape a cocktail napkin over the flash and hope I don't get booted!

The music is loud and I'm pumped and I'm loving being able to take these pictures! These guys are hams... truly. They love their jobs, and it shows. Every time the audience shows them some love they show it right back. The photos I've taken will be online shortly (software issue), but until then you'll have to take my word that they spend a lot of time smiling!

After they finish up the second song in the set I am startled to see Ken Block's hand coming right for my camera as he is explaining to the audience that most of the photogrophers that they meet have "bad ass" lenses and such... then he holds my sad disposible camera up to the audience and shows them what I'm working with. But wait... then he TAKES A PICTURE of the audience with it!!! NO WAY!!!  Too cool Ken, thanks!  After that I don't think anything could have ruined it for me. My date and I stayed right behind the barrier and watched the show from up close and personal. We clapped to every song and our toes were sore from tapping them by the end of the night.

I have to say that the best part of this whole show for me is the fact that I have always been envious of anyone who can play a guitar with a great level of skill. Sister Hazel is all guitar.  It was interesting to me to be able to stand so close and watch how fast their hands fly! Sister Hazel plays with a great level of skill. A masterful level. I am envious, yes. So are lots of other people, I imagine.

I was a little peeved that my date was denied acess to the aftershow, however. Whatever idiot bouncer they had working the door needs to learn to choose a little more wisely. He was more than willing to let me in, but my date was told that he'd have to wait in the hall. That was not about to happen, so I shit-canned the aftershow. That was the only disappointing point in the whole evening. Otherwise, the show was great, the music was excellent, the atmosphere was comfy to me, and the drinks were strong. Overall, a wonderful experience.


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Sister Hazel photo gallery - DO NOT USE THIS LINK!!!


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