Sherry's Rockapella Trip Report

January 27, 2005

Napa Valley Opera House--Napa, CA

 

I had a bad half-week at work, so I was very happy that I had already scheduled a couple of days away. After checking my departure time about a dozen times, I made my way to the Burbank airport. Weird smell in there, like something electrical had overheated. The security guy said that it was just musty from all the rain, but I don't think he was smelling the same thing. They had big fans all over the place to dry it out, so maybe a fan was overheating. Whatever. I picked up my Star Wars edition of Vanity Fair (Wow--what a cover!) and waited to board the plane. The plane ride itself was a little bumpy due to the rain making another trip down to So Cal. I was annoyed by the guy sitting in front of me because he didn't remember what drink he ordered, and therefore didn't expect his water to taste like club soda. Then he acted as if he had originally ordered water. Dude, if you had gotten off your cell phone before they closed the doors & took 3 more calls, then you'd know what you ordered. He also pushed his seat way back into my knees. Didn't help that the turbulence made me a little nauseous.

Anyway, Jenn had really good timing and was arriving to pick me up just as I was picking up my bag from the carousel. We were unable to eat at a Filipino food place (Lumpia House), because they were closed, so we ate at McDonald's in Dublin. Do you think that they named the place "Dublin" because of all of the rolling hills? We made our way up to Napa and checked into the Marriott.

Due to Jenn's many work-related travels, she was upgraded to a beautiful suite in the Concierge section. Ohmigosh! It actually had French doors that opened into the bedroom! I mean, they opened and closed and everything! We had some fancy complimentary wine and cheese, and watched "The Village." Red is a bad color. Just remember that. We shared some food from room service as we got psyched out by the movie, then we got dolled up for the boys.

It had already begun to rain, which was annoying, but we made our way to the Napa Valley Opera House in time for the concert. They had a big lobby where many people were congregating and drinking wine. Since we had already had our wine at the hotel and the show was about to start, we walked upstairs to the theatre, saw Pella fan Jeff and said hi, then went to our seats. Front row, baby! YEAH!

The show started about 10 minutes late because people took their time to go upstairs to the theater. The venue is gorgeous, by the way. Scott mentioned later that he learned that the Opera House wasn't used for a 90-year period, and marveled that this gorgeous space was left idle for such a long time.

The lights finally dimmed, and Rockapella started their show with "Tonight." All of them, except Jeff, wore striped shirts under their jackets. Hmmm...looks like they must have been in a hurry, though. Scott, iron your pants, babe. Actually, just take them off and I'll iron them for you.

Ahem. Anyway, I waved to Kevin and he smiled. During "Moments of You," I smiled at John, Jeff and George when they looked at me, and got some kind of smile back from each. Scott didn't see me. Maybe he was ignoring me because of the pants thing. No, wait, I don't think I had said that out loud.

Then Scott talked about the different voices in the band. Any drum sound you hear is Jeff. "That's his face, that's his mouth, his dental thingie." It's a retainer making all those sounds? WOW! :) OK, so that built up the chords for "Off My Mind." George caught my eye, pointed to me, and from then on proceeded to melt me with that voice and intense stare. it was so hot at that point that Jenn could feel the heat, too. I said, "Oh. My. God." when I realized that he was still singing to me and walked over to our side. All eyes were on him and me and I thought I'd die from the excitement. I blew him a kiss and fanned myself when he was done. This finally caught Scott's attention and he came over to sing to me, too. S W O O O O N!!! Two gorgeous guys singing to me...M. E. L. T. !!! Is it hot in here or what?

They sang "Summertime Blues" while I tried to calm down. Scott ended the piece by saying in a geeky voice, "Cash Money, Cash Money!" I don't remember Jeff sitting out during "Stand By Me" before, but he did tonight, and went backstage. John's awesome. Kev and George sent some stage love my way. More smiles!

During "use Me," when Scot sang, "You wish you was in my shoes," Kev and John looked enviously at Scott's shoes. Cute. Scott motioned for the audience to clap and noted, "Yeah, we've got rhythm here!" Good for us!

Kevin told us that he was fighting sickness...(Awwww....) and now knows "how some of the contenders in American Idol feel... It's like your sword, and it's gone." Poor Kevin. They sang "Have Faith" and Scott sang, "Give him some Faith and some Tylenol Cold & Flu, baby." OK, this had me almost hysterical, because I always thought the lyrics sounded like, "Time, won't you take a little Tylenol..." Afterward, Scott said, "Kevin has the most beautiful voice ever born of a male and we all get to shine a little bit. Thank you, Kevin."

Scott then informed us that his mother's record collection was his first introduction to music, and he'd play the Mills Brothers over and over. They then sang the Mills-esque "Up A Lazy River." While they were seated, I noticed that Scott's socks perfectly matched his black w/ blue pin-striped shirt.

He talked about growing up in Indiana: "Picture me and my cornfields...I'd only seen New York on TV..." and how he wanted to see all these things for himself. He sang "Jenny Come Away," much to Jenn's delight. YAY! They sang her song! During "Rock the Boat," George looked at me when he said, "Do it till you're satisfied." Oh my goodness! More meltage!

At intermission, we went to the lobby and Phil stopped me and said hi. Apparently, he remembered my name right up until that moment. That's OK, Phil. Thanks for trying!

Most of the guys (not Scott) came back from intermission with their jackets off, striped shirts showing prominently now. They sang "It's A Small World." Scott talked about working at Disney on the hot pavement, 15 shows a day, in polyester. He talked about their various gigs, stating "We'll work for chump change," and talked about working on a street corner for quarters, and annoying a Chinese waitress by paying for their food in quarters. They sang the Folgers' "Rockin' Morning" theme, followed by "Here Comes the Sun." After "Long Cool Woman," Scott informed us, "I've got a bruise on my butt." <Insert Sherry's thoughts about healing him here.>

When John jumped off the stage to choose someone from the audience, Scott looked over when I pointed to Jenn, and smiled, because at the same time, Jenn was shaking her head and motioning "no." They sang "My Girl" to Shannon, whom happened to be a nurse. Kevin introduced the guys and George said, "Hi, baby," which didn't help Kevin at all. Kevin asked Shannon for some medical advice, and she recommended gargling with salt. They sang "Ain't Too Proud to Beg," and she had lots of fun.

After "People Change," George showed off his range by singing a bit of "I Will Always Love You." During his monologue, I could hear Scott rustling his bag of potato chips backstage, maybe because I was in the front row, since Wendy later said that she didn't hear it. George said to the women in the audience, "When you're at home late at night, do you want your man coming in, sounding like a girl...or do you want the bed to RUMBLE?" Yeah, baby, rumble me! They then sang "Papa Was A Rolling Stone."

For their first encore, they sang "Shambala" and Carmen. For their second encore, they sang "Up On The Roof/Wonderful World" off mic. During "Keep On Smilin'," Scott mentioned the vineyards and sang, "Too busy drinking wine anyway." Vocal Percussion magic phrase of the evening was "Stompin' Grapes."

Nice show, guys! If only Kevin had been feeling better, they probably would have treated us to a little bit more. I only heard a few strained notes from him, but otherwise, he seemed to at least be able to hear and blend with the other guys despite the illness.

In the lobby, we waited for the Meet 'n' Greet, and I was greeted by Ross! Ooh! He and MJ were there! I hadn't seen them since July, and was very surprised to see them back in CA. Apparently, they were there for the week. I miss seeing them and hanging out with them at the Nor Cal shows.

At the Meet 'n' Greet line, Jenn decided to keep in the Napa theme, and asked each guy to name their favorite grape. Scott asked if Zinfandel was a grape, and wrote that down. George chose one of my faves, Muscat, and one said Grape Crush (John, I think). I think that Kevin was the one that wrote the "Fruit of the Loom" grapes, and Jeff chose some brand of grape soda that they don't have out here. Phil said that he's only really liked communion wine because it's sweet. I need to get these guys to drink more wine. That is, if it's OK for them to drink it.

I teased Scott that he was the last guy to notice me and he said, "It was the beginning of the show!" No, it was the 3rd song, and only because George serenaded me, hello. Just kidding, honey. While I talked to Scott, he said that they'd be in Pasadena in December. Yay! A Christmas show in MY neck of the non-woods? AAAAAAHHHHH!!! Ahem. I told him that it would be too long from now, but he'd see me before that. He asked when, and I told him that I'd be visiting my aunt in Arkansas this March. He said that the Wiltern date felt too "rushed" for him, so they're trying for another date.

I said hi to George and said thank you for the song. He said, "I gave you some love tonight, yeah. Some GOOOD love!" Oh, make me blush, why don't you? so I giggled and thanked him again, while Jenn mentioned the heat that she had felt at that moment in the concert.

John thanked me when I told him how much he was fitting in with the rest of the guys. I then told him to just stay away from the ailing Kevin. Poor Kevin. He said that he was drinking tea with lemon, and I told him to add honey and also prescribed Thera-flu, since that always helps me when I need to feel better overnight.

While Jeff was trying to figure out the name of his obscure grape soda, I scolded him for being so difficult. he shot me a look and I told him that I was giving him a hard time. He responded with a loud "You are SUCH a WENCH!" I laughed and he got up out of his chair, walked around the table and around the others in line, and gave me a huge hug and said, "Hi, I saw you there in the front row!" Oh, the smile on my face!

We then waited patiently to take pictures with them. When it was our time, George called over to me and said, "Come over here, sweetie." OK! (If I ever say to any of you that I don't think George likes me, please remind me of this day and tell me I'm crazy).

We said goodbye to MJ and Ross --oh, and the guys, too-- then went next door with Wendy & Jeff to get some dessert. The guy inside was just locking the door, so we asked if he knew of any places that were still open, and he suggested an Applebee's and an IHOP. When we got there, the Applebee's grill was closed, and the IHOP, to our amazement, was closed as well. WHAT? IHOP? CLOSED?! So Jenn called the hotel and mentioned to the concierge that she saw the closed IHOP and almost had a heart attack, leaving all of us, including the concierge, in stitches. He told us about a Denny's farther down the street. Jeff went first and passed it (it wasn't on the main road), and Jenn tried to catch up with them. Of course, we were in Napa, which isn't well lit, and the rain was pouring down the hardest at that point. Once we caught up to them, I had to push the window down to motion to Jeff, soaking myself in the process. We did finally get back to Denny's which had some strange pricing issues, but we were happy to be warm and eating food. Mmm...breakfast.

We parted ways and Jenn and I went back to the hotel and slept nicely in our rooms.

The next day, Jenn and I went shopping at the outlet mall, then she treated me to a yummy birthday lunch at the Culinary Institute of America. Thanks, Jenn! We stopped off at the Coppola winery and I bought some chocolate wine sauce, and drove back to her home-away-from-home in Mountain View. We ate dinner at Sizzler, confusing our stomachs, which were still VERY content with the CIA lunch. See Jenn's blog for more info on that awesome lunch.

After dinner, Jenn insisted on bringing me to Starbuck's, so that I could taste a Chantico. Mmmm....chocolate syrup heaven! They serve it in a 4 oz cup, and you really should only have one because it's really rich. Don't get me wrong, I finished the whole thing and was very, very sad when it was gone. I've just been told that having more than one makes your body form a revolution against you. Be warned, friends.

We took our flight home from San Jose in the morning...well, afternoon. Our flight was delayed because our plane was fogged in at Boise. While we were waiting, Jenn bought me a Chantico. Have I told you that she's evil? ;) Our flight was OK, despite the annoying guy in front of Jenn. Back to reality now...the Days of Wine and Pella shall return another day...

--Sherry

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