Last night my dear friend Fallon and I made the long haul up 400 to the new(ish) Verizon Wireless Amphitheater at Encore Park to see Ryan Adams & the Cardinals. I love going to new venues and checking out their operations. I can't help but view everything with a bit of a critical eye since being in the venue biz myself.
Getting off 400, no problem. Finding will call, no signage. Finding the correct parking lot, way to far away and no signage. Well, that is until you get in the parking lot and then it's excessive. Walk to the venue, respectable. It seems longer since you have to drive all over creation to even find the parking lot, but it really is a short walk. Bag checkers & ushers, eh. Decent I guess, less than enthusiastic but efficient. We didn't check out the concession or restroom areas, but they seemed well placed inside the venue and there appeared to be plenty of choices available. The seating in the orchestra section was great!! The acoustics were wonderful, in my opinion some of the best in an outdoor venue that I've heard. It was really difficult for people who arrived after the show started to find their seats due to the low lighting under the canopy. The ushers had flashlights, but folks still looked confused. Overall the venue was very nice. I would recommend going to a concert there, just allow some extra time to figure out the parking debacle.
The show started great. They played some of my favorite Ryan Adams songs and lots of the new stuff coming out on soon. Ryan was apparently feeling a little under the weather and had to end the show early. :( That was a bummer, but it couldn't be helped I guess. He was great live while he played though!!
On a quick side note .... The Cheesecake Factory is celebrating its 30th Anniversary. They have a crazy tasty treat to celebrate the occasion. If you happen to go there I would HIGHLY recommend getting a slice of the anniversary cheesecake ... two layers of original cheesecake and two layers of creamy chocolate fudge cake filled with chocolate cream and finished with crunchy pearls of chocolate. GOODNESS!!