Zack Hexum, Jesse Ruben and Ryan Cabrera in Bloomington..

Below you will find the recap, and quite the lengthy one, of my trip to see Zack Hexum play in Bloomington, Indiana on January 26, 2009. Please do not repost or resend said pictures without my permission. Thanks.. and enjoy..

So, I decided to rent a car because it was a long drive and the white death (snow) was headed this way. I didn't want to get stuck and never get home. Being on this side of that storm now, it was a great decision. We (myself, Steph, and Meli) got to Bloomington, Indiana around 6:30pm. We grabbed something to eat, changed clothes and got all saxxified (that's 1). When we got to the Bluebird, we were told doors didn't open until 8. This was a problem for me because I was under the impression that Zack went on at 8. So, we walked across the street and chilled out at a local bar for a bit. It was about 7:30pm at this point. Once we were able to get in to The Bluebird, we noticed that it was starting to spit ice from the sky. This.... is not a good sign. Especially when you consider the drive that was to be made in a few hours. Do you know how much snow and ice can accumulate in 4 hours???? A lot..

Slowly the place started to get more and more full, which delighted me to no end because that is more exposure for Zack. So the 3 of us are sitting there waiting to see Zack come in and there he came. I don't think he really believed we were coming, but he was certainly happy that we did. He came over and gave out hugs and met the new "blood" in the group (Stephanie, yes another We gave him a fair amount of sweets in a gift bag to keep them going strong on the road. He asked if we had any requests and we told him what we would like to hear, but finished it up by saying he could play whatever he wanted because as long as he was singing, it could be anything. He blushed a little I think and said he needed to make the rounds, rest his voice and get some water before the show. With that, we temporarily parted ways.

I never spotted Ryan Cabrera before the show, but I now know that I saw Jesse Ruben about a million times. Had I known who he was before hand, I would've done my best to talk his ear off. He went on first. HE IS AMAZING! He was having a good time. He said he didn't want to leave because we (the venue) were awesome. The whole crowd was giving him some serious love. I could not WAIT to meet him and I definitely could not wait to see how people were going to react to Zack.

Next up, Zack. He looked so saxxy (that's 2) in his striped sweater and shirt. His hair has gotten really long. It's cute in a messy sorta way. Anyway, the set list was::

Done Him Wrong
How Many Times (dedicated to his friends from Cincinnati)
Work of Art
Princess of Darkness
She's Gone
Sun Still Shines (my personal favorite song)
Met A Girl

I was pleasantly surprised to hear him do Work of Art. I can tell you that it was HANDS DOWN.. the best vocal he has ever done on that song to date. Seriously, made me get all teary-eyed. There aren't words strong enough, in any language, to describe it. Personally, I think it was even better than the studio version. The whole set was awesome. We made tons of noise of course. :)

While we were waiting for Ryan and Zack to play, I went up and talked with Jesse and bought his CD (SERIOUSLY.. one of the most amazing CD's ever. There's not one song that I skip). We talked about Zack and how far we had traveled. His response was something like, "Oh, so you're a part of the Cincinnati crew?!". I blushed (yes, I do that occasionally) and said yes. I told him I wanted to make sure we all got photos with him afterwards and he said that'd be awesome.

Next up, Ryan Cabrera. I honestly didn't know what to think of the guy because I had never really heard him sing, much less sing live. To be honest, I wasn't there for him. I was there for Zack. Much to my delight, Ryan knocked my socks off. He is an amazing performer and incredibly funny. When you put him and Zack on stage together, it is just nonstop entertainment (music + comedy + saxxiness [that's 3] = a fantastical good time). They did a cover of Paul Simon's song 'You Can Call Me Al'.... I thought I had died and gone to Heaven. It was SO good. Anyway, in the middle of said song, Ryan got distracted by something on the rafter above his head. After the song he called Zack over to look at it and Zack found it mildly amusing as well. Ryan then explained what was so funny. It was a bumper sticker. I won't say what it said (because it is not user friendly), but I will tell you that it was not only true, but very funny.

They continued to play and at one point Ryan auctioned off Zack. Starting bid was a nickel. Well, of course, from then on out people were tossing their change and even some dollar bills on the stage. We were half tempted to go up and offer 20's (because we know Zack wouldn't take them) just because it was funny.

The show had ended and so began the wait to meet and greet our entertainers for the night. It was roughly a half hour or 45 minutes later when we finally got the chance to talk to Zack. We told him he was awesome, of course. Then we told him what we had been discussing whilst he was playing. We decided that he was "bringing saxxy back". Yes, we actually said that to him. He thought that was awesome and laughed. Then we showed him a picture of one of our "regular's" (Michele) new baby and he was so cute looking at the photo. Then we did the photo thing. Poor Steph. She looked terrified in her photo with Zack. I told her not to feel bad. That it took me almost 3 years to get 2 good pics with him and I have seen him MANY times in 3 years. We talked for a little before he was pulled away again. Then we patiently waited our turn with Ryan Cabrera. While we were waiting, Zack got Ryan's attention and told him that we drove 3 hours from Cincinnati to be there. He said no way and that it was awesome.

We finally got to Ryan and we each took our turn getting our photos with him and making small talk. I was the last up and I said, "I just want you to know, that I have a Grand on Zack." He was like, "Really?" I said, "Really". He was like WOOH! and turned to Zack. He was like, "Someone is bidding $1000 for you" or something like that. Zack asked who. Ryan pointed to me and Zack just laughed and said, "Oh her? Yeah, she doesn't mess around". He either said that, or "she doesn't count" but I am 97% sure it was the first comment.

Right in the middle of all that, we heard some guy jump up on stage and start singing one of Ryan's songs (it was also Karaoke night). Everyone went absolutely nuts, including Ryan, who hi-fived Zack and proceeded to run down to the front of the stage and start jumping around like he was that guy's biggest fan. It was REALLY cute. The guy was pretty good actually. Then the guy got nervous and started messing up. Think about it, how often do you get to sing an artists song while the artist is not only THERE to hear you, but also within 3 feet of you?? So, Ryan did the most humane thing he could and he got on stage and finished the song WITH the guy. It was awesome!!

Then he came back and got attacked again before I could get him to sign a poster for my friend Michele, that I totally ganked off a door. While he was dealing with his fans, we went over and talked with Jesse Ruben for a little bit. Got pictures and what not. He is super cute and really easy to talk to. I told him he needed to play in Cincinnati sometime. He said he had never been there before. I told him to get with Zack and get his contact for Cincinnati and that I fully expected him to play here soon.

Then he got distracted by someone and we went over and huddled with Zack for a little bit. We talked about a lot, actually. I told him he needed to get back to Cincinnati and that I needed to get back to LA. He agreed with me there and then told the other 2 that they needed to come out as well. I think that made Steph blush (which isn't hard to I asked him and Jesse to sign the concert poster and they willingly did so. Well, I had to threaten Jesse because he apparently thought that I was only there for Cabrera. Silly boy! A few minutes later, Jesse asked if I got Ryan to sign it and I told him no because he kept getting attacked and I didn't want to be rude and interrupt. He asked me if I was Jewish (he is) and I said "no, why?" He said (in a thick New England accent), "Oh I only have to drive 3 hours home, sure, no problem, I can wait another 4 to have you sign something". I just laughed and told him that it was no big deal and that I didn't want to be rude. Then someone came up and was rude and interrupted us talking...again. What'cha gonna do....::shrug::

We waited 15 or 20 minutes more and then decided to call it quits on waiting on Cabrera to sign the poster. It was snowing like CRAZY outside and there was at least 4 inches on the ground already and we had one heckuva drive back. So, we went over and said goodbye to Zack, which I NEVER like to do. It makes me sad because I never know when I am going to see him again. Anyway, he hugged us (I swear, his hugs can cure cancer!!) and thanked us once again for coming to the show and told us to be safe driving home. We promised we would and then turned to say goodbye to Jesse. He too dealt out some amazing hugs and asked if we finally got Ryan to sign the poster. I said no, but it was ok because we really need to leave. He held my face in his hands and told me something his family always says (which I now cannot remember and that upsets me). Then he said he'd take care of it. Sure enough, he literally dragged us over to where Ryan was standing in a crowd of females and Jesse physically pulled Ryan out of the crowd and asked him to sign something. Ryan said, "Oh, I thought we already did this. I'm sorry." I said, "No, we just took pictures. It's ok. You were busy." He signed the poster (and added another apology or 2) and then gave each of us a hug and asked if we were driving back tonight. We told him yes and he told us to be safe.

I asked Meli and Steph to go get the car because it was slippery outside and I was wearing the Death Heels. They were kind enough to do so. While I was waiting, I watched as Cabrera came out of the restroom only to be LITERALLY yelled at by some females. They were pulling him in every direction. I just looked at him and patted my heart when he looked back at me. It was my way of kinda saying that I was sorry that he had to deal with that crap. He just shrugged. Like he knew he had to deal with it, whether he liked it or not. He was far more polite than I expected. Far more polite than I would have been. Jesse came over a few minutes after that and we talked for a moment before I said goodbye to him once more (sigh). Then it was off to get out in the snow...

After that, we headed back to Cincinnati. The 3 hour trip there was nothing compared to the SEVEN (yes 7) hour trip home. It was well worth every moment spent in the car in both directions. I will travel for them like that any time.. any day...




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