Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

My trip to Charlotte

Posted July 30, 2012

How did your weekend go? Any grand adventures? Please share.

I cashed in on a Father's Day gift and took the train to Charlotte for an Alison Krauss and Union Station concert at the NC Music Factory Amphitheatre. It was absolutely fabulous! The concert tickets were a gift from my son Will who works in Charlotte for a small film company. We will be talking about this evening for years to come. Will prefers rock over bluegrass but the sheer enormity of talent in this legendary band simply blew him away. He called Alison's performance the finest vocal work he has ever witnessed in a concert and he has been to quite a few. It didn't hurt to have fourth row seats.

The emotional power of the concert reminded me of the first time I heard Nightnoise at Charlotte's Spirit Square venue. If a band can make me cry then I know the music is marvelous. Like with the Celtic fusion Nightnoise years ago, tears were streaming down my face as Alison and Union Station closed out the concert in a semi-circle around one warm omni-directional tube microphone. Their encore was an unplugged medley of ballads that totally captivated this intimate crowd on a warm summer evening.

My only complaint about the concert was the two talkative women sitting behind me. They chattered non-stop during the opening act - Angel Snow. Finally, I turned around and said "I really would like to listen to the music. Thank you." It amazes me how disrespectful people can be at a concert - not only by taking away from the listening pleasure of the audience but also by thumbing their noses at the talent on stage.

Speaking of disrespectful I must mention the Party of Seven and the Mimosa Express. On the trip down a group of seven family members got on the NC Honeybee train in Durham and pretty much imposed their party on an entire train car.  They brought their Tropicana orange juice and a little something extra. The more they drank the louder they got. It was obviously a birthday celebration. I love a good laugh but it got to be ridiculous as they acted like they owned the train and were entitled to make as much noise as they wanted. I wish the train crew would have said something. 

The return trip was peaceful and pleasant. I love a good train ride. You can read, relax and roll on to your destination in comfort. You get to enjoy a different series of landscapes than the ones you see on the highway. The total cost of my round trip journey from Cary to Charlotte and back was $54. That's hard to beat.


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  • bleslie Aug 1, 2012

    Believe me - commercial carpet - it was way too loud. Everyone around me agreed. Eyes were rolling right and left.

  • Raleigh Rocks 1 Jul 31, 2012

    All due respect, if you want privacy drive yourself! Taking the train lets folks party without driving. I am sure if they were out of control the train personnel would have called them down. Maybe you could have used a bit of OJ too!

  • davidgnews Jul 30, 2012

    Kudos in getting the motorheads quiet. You didn't pay to come and hear them! Maybe the train will find a way to enforce "courtesy," something that seems to be vanishing (unfortunately) from our society.

  • wdwbmw Jul 30, 2012

    I commend you for politely asking the women behind you to let you hear the music. Once when I was teaching, we were having a program at school that the kids had worked very hard for. There were people who were behind a couple of other teachers and me and were talking loudly. When I turned and asked them nicely to not talk any more, you would have thought that I had demanded all their money or something. Some people have no regard for anyone other than themselves.

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