So I have this friend that just came out with a new album this year that is awesome. Ok, so we’re not really friends, but we’ve been with him from the beginning. There was even a time that I and two friends traveled 8 hours across the border to see him as an opening act. And this my friends, is that tale.
You know that moment when you hear a song and you can picture events of your life playing out to this song/artist in a cinematic masterpiece? This is how I felt when I discovered Ben Rector’s music.
It all started with an email my friend Bethany received from Ben Rector himself….ok so it was to his whole email distribution list and not to her directly. For those of you who don’t know who Ben Rector is, I encourage you to look him up – incredible talent, moving lyrics, and he wears bowties. What’s not to love? In this email he announced his tour with the band Needtobreathe. This marked the beginning of an amazing journey for 3 Atlantic Canadians to the exotic city of Boston, Massachusetts.
Our group was made up of myself; the driver and probably loudest music enthusiast of the group, Bethany; the navigator and ultimate discoverer of the music that inspired the trip, and Kate; the overnight shifter and therefore backseat sleeper. We were a gallant group.
First stop: the border. The border people didn’t know who Ben Rector or Needtobreathe were and therefore gave us interesting looks. We passed through with flying colors, and were on our way.
The rest of the trip down was relatively uneventful – as sleeping beauty slept in the back, Bethany and I listened to some pre-concert Ben Rector and Needtobreathe, naturally. We also talked about religion, politics, and other light road trip conversations.
We stopped off at our hotel for two nights which was outside of Boston, in a town called Dedham. It was a lovely hotel, with a great bellman named George. He taught us everything we needed to know about the shopping center and most importantly, how to get around a giant city. We were handed loads of pamphlets.
The documentary making had begun and we were off. Boston wasn’t ready for us but we were ready for Boston. Shopping was good. Food was good. Company was better. And then the main event of trip – the Needtobreathe/Ben Rector concert.
We made our way to the Boston House of Blues far too early to be sure we would be first in line. It was there that we saw a tour van. And it was from there that we proceeded to stalk the van, all the while my video camera was recording. I’m pretty sure we caught a glimpse of one of the drummers. What a thrill!
We were finally let into the venue, stood for what seemed like years and then began one of the best concerts I had ever been to. “There’s no pain when your feet start movin’!” Ben was fabulous. And we had severely underestimated Needtobreathe.
A highlight of the day was getting to meet Ben after the show. We gathered around the merchandise table, bought t-shirts intended for Ben to sign. When we finally met him, his bowtie wooed us and we told him how we traveled from Canada to see him. I think he was moved.
So many memories were made in that delightful city, and I’ll post a few more in video form in due time! The main thing I took away from that trip was that wonderful friends and captivating music is a winning combination. And in closing, we put our trust in Mildred, our affectionately named GPS to get us out of the city and on our way home. Someday we will return and it will be just as magnificent.