by Dawn Shaw
I felt like part of a drug deal, standing on a street corner waiting for the drop, arms crossed impatiently, constantly glancing at my watch, trying to suppress my worrying mind which kept shouting at me “what if she doesn’t show?”
I discovered Carbon Leaf via their song “The Boxer,” which was being played on 103.7 KMTT The Mountain in Seattle. My husband Ian and I were intrigued enough by the song that we purchased Echo Echo and loved it. I must have heard about Carbon Leaf’s appearance during the Zoo Tunes concert series on the radio well after tickets went on sale. I was not as well-connected back then, so it was not uncommon for events to come and go without my even being aware of them. After I heard about the show, I lumbered onto my dial-up internet to see if I could find tickets. Alas, the show seemed to be sold out, so for me at the time the next logical place to go was eBay. I found a pair of tickets and went for them. I confess I paid scalper prices, but until then I had only ever gone to big name concerts for which ticket prices have risen to extremes. I figured I was doing all right to get a pair of tickets to a band I wanted to see for what I might normally pay for one ticket to a big name act. So I bid until I won and I paid the seller. It may be that I was a sucker, but if my ignorance cost me it’s all water under the bridge now.
We had a week or so until the show so the seller and I figured there would be plenty of time to send tickets regular mail. They only had to traverse Puget Sound. So I waited. And waited. The day of the show approached and still no tickets. I was starting to panic. I contacted the seller, and thankfully she informed me that she had another pair so if the ones she’d mailed didn’t arrive on time we could arrange a meeting. They didn’t. So the day of the show, we still had no tickets, but we’d been able to arrange a time and a place to meet so she could provide us with the replacements. We’d gone into the city car-free, bussing up from the ferry terminal to our designated meeting place in the University District. We’d catch another bus to the Zoo from there. (We’re not that ambitious anymore- we drive practically everywhere.) So I stood there waiting for the delivery, my stomach tying in knots, hoping that after all this we wouldn’t go home empty-handed. But true to her word the seller made the drop, and we arrived at the Zoo in plenty of time. People were walking around the grounds selling Carbon Leaf’s new CD Indian Summer for $10 and I couldn’t pass that up. Since the only songs we’d heard were from Echo Echo, most of the material played was new to us. “Raise the Roof” and “Home” stood out from the set list. Though not love at first sight, it was nonetheless the beginning of a long term relationship that started off slow, got more intense, then settled back to a nice comfortable level. We now have all of Carbon Leaf’s CDs and use their shows as a great excuse to take a vacation or visit friends and relatives in different parts of the country.
The tickets the seller had mailed to us? They arrived two weeks after the show. At her request, I mailed them back to her, and she received them the next day. These stubs are the ones we picked up from her the day of the show. Under the Wire.