Lucky One is the title of Raul Malo's newest album, but it's also describes the way I feel after attending his concert in Gruene, Texas this past weekend. I met up with two of my closest girlfriends from college there for a Girls Only weekend that would include tubing, shopping, eating, and the concert on Saturday night.
I wasn't familiar with Raul or his music, but Holly planned our trip around him and his band being in town that weekend to perform at the Gruene Hall. She said they were her favorite band and that we wouldn't be disappointed. If Holly liked them I was in, so I packed my bags and headed out of town late Friday afternoon and arrived in Gruene 4 hours later. Holly & Sherri had arrived earlier in the afternoon, and had already checked into the bed & breakfast where we would be staying for the weekend.
Gruene isn't a big town, but what would the chances be that we would end up staying in the same B&B as Raul? On top of that, what would the chances be that we would end up in the room next door to him, or that we would get to meet him and his band? I don't know, but that's exactly what happened! Sherri, being the outgoing girl that she is, took the opportunity to strike up a conversation with Raul as he was walking past our room the morning of the concert. He was so down-to-earth and friendly. She joked with him that she had seen him leave the night before to head over to the Friday night concert, and said that she wanted to know what it felt like to be escorted over to the show. He invited us to walk over with him that night!
We listened as he played his guitar and sang on his porch prior to the concert, and then got to walk over to Gruene Hall with him and the band for the concert. The hall was packed when we arrived and the concert goers were pumped as could be heard through their shouts, whistles, and claps. It was standing room only, and a bit warm with all of those bodies crammed in so close to one another, but it was also FANTASTIC.
Raul plays the guitar really well, has a killer smile when onstage, and his voice is SUPERB. I was blown away by his vocals and by how very talented all of his band members were. It was a weekend that won't soon be forgotten.