At Girls Just Wanna Weekend 3 Brandi Carlile & Co. jumpstart 4,000 + hearts over 4 days in Mexico

At Girls Just Wanna Weekend 3 Brandi Carlile & Co. jumpstart 4,000 + hearts over 4 days in Mexico

Know t

his: Several days have handed since I miserably scraped the ice off my automotive on the bus station after midnight on a Saturday night time. I had taken a bus from Boston’s Logan Airport again house to Maine and froze to dying, underneath dressed, as arctic air constricted my lungs which had been respiratory a lot simpler simply hours earlier than whereas in MEXICO.

Know this: I’m nonetheless making an attempt to wrap my head round what I simply skilled over 5 picture-perfect days which included 4 holy-shit-are-you-kidding-me afternoons and nights of music.

Know this: Every celebration I ever attend for the remainder of my life won’t high the Friday night time scorching tub pool celebration starring Brandi Carlile and Holly and Jess from Lucius. FFS, I didn’t even go within the pool, however I used to be there till after 2 a.m. and what occurred in Mexico ain’t stayin’ in Mexico. It’s simply too good to not share. Just ask my buddy Hilary who was on the receiving finish of Carlile pouring tequila proper into her mouth.

And know this: Brandi Carlile herself mentioned the phrase “epic” doesn’t do the pageant justice and he or she is in fact fully proper about that. So let’s ditch that phrase IMMEDIATELY AND FOREVER.

Perhaps the phrase that does do Girls Just Wanna Weekend 3 justice has but to be invented? I’m gonna suppose on that.

In the meantime, let me let you know all about my expertise that passed off between Feb. 1 and 5, 2022 on the Maya Riviera Hard Rock resort close to Cancun, Mexico.

And let me be clear: I’m sharing this for just a few causes. First off, DUH, it merely MUST be documented. It should.

But it’s greater than that. It is my hope that you just’ll stroll away from having learn this sense just a few embers sparking in your stomach. A starvation pang. A thirst.

It is my hope that you just’ll need to plan your personal music journey. As of this writing, it has not been introduced if there shall be a Girls Just Wanna Weekend pageant subsequent yr however that doesn’t matter, discover one thing else to get enthusiastic about and to obsess over and depend the times down for. It is usually a present in your personal metropolis or a multi-day pageant midway ’around the world. Whatever it’s. Find it.

It can be my hope that you just’ll have restored religion in kindness and generosity. For it was these two issues that made the journey potential for me. With about two weeks earlier than the beginning of the pageant, I gently put it out to the universe that possibly there could be a method for me to attend. And look, I’m not claiming for a break up second that I don’t dwell a reasonably privileged life as a result of I most definitely do. I simply accomplish that on a journalist’s finances.

In truth, I used to be lucky to have the ability to swing a visit to the primary Girls Just Wanna Weekend in 2019. Never in one million years did I feel I’d ever be capable of go once more.

Two ladies I didn’t know named Karen and Sheila reached out to me and made that miracle occur. For a few causes they had been unable to attend and offered me their package deal for a fraction of the fee. I’ll always remember this. Ever. EVER.

And that’s the factor about Brandi Carlile followers. We would give one another the goddamn shirts off our backs in the event that they had been wanted. And her followers, often known as The Bramily, are the definition of grace and kindheartedness. At this pageant, a brand new world is created and it’s known as the Brandi Bubble. I didn’t invent this time period, it invented itself just a few years in the past and nobody ever desires to go away it.

Imagine if Carlile is Santa and he or she swoops down onto the Island of Misfit Toys (an analogy she loves) holding a gold microphone in a single hand and a bottle of tequila within the different. And she’s received two elves with guitars named Tim and Phil. Imagine if, as a substitute of loading us all up on her sleigh she as a substitute joins us and performs songs all night time lengthy.

But that’s not all. A bunch of different sleighs begin touchdown on this island and what to our questioning eyes ought to seem however a shit ton of jaw-dropping-I-am-gonna-die-right-here-right-now higher stage artists.

And HELLO, it’s a tropical paradise on the ocean of the Mexican Caribbean. And there’s seashores and gigantic swimming pools and big quantities of meals and drinks. And the large Iguanas don’t thoughts for those who {photograph} them as a result of they’re gonna absorb the solar and inform everybody to loosen up AND SO IS SHERYL CROW BECAUSE SHE’S THERE TOO!

I do know…I do know.. Reel it in, Aimsel. But that’s the factor, I can’t reel it in. I gained’t.

Here’s the lineup of artists who carried out. Read it after which inform me once more that I ought to reel it the eff in.

I’ll listing them so as of look (At the Hard Rock Maine Stage and Beach Stage. Note: There was additionally a second location at Unico Resort the place daytime performances passed off as a part of Girls Just Wanna Weekend).

Margo Price (Main Stage)

Brandi Carlile (Main Stage)

Celisse (Beach Stage)

Allison Russell (Beach Stage)

YOLA (Main Stage)

Tanya Tucker (Main Stage)

Brandi & Friends (and omg, emphasis on the chums) (Main Stage)

Katie Pruitt (Beach Stage)

Brandi-Oke (Beach Stage). This was followers singing Brandi songs with Brandi and the band

Lucius (Main Stage)

Sheryl Crow (Main Stage)

Amythyst Kiah (Beach Stage)

KT Tunstall (Main Stage)

Indigo Girls (Main Stage)

Ladies of the 80’s (Main Stage) {this featured just about everybody on the above listing taking part in 80s gems}

Now then, I’ve received just a few ideas to share on these performances however first, a aspect be aware: I missed a number of the seashore exhibits as a result of I used to be obsessively and crazily holding my spot up towards the railing proper up entrance on all 4 days. Some days this vigil began at round 2 p.m. and on Friday morning it began at round 9 a.m. due to a few hardcore Indigo Girls followers who I spotted upon searching on the stage from my balcony weren’t messing round. These are my folks. So I grabbed my stuff and joined them. I like being up entrance, I benefit from the present a lot extra from this spot and I’m prepared to go to nice lengths to be there. What’s so beautiful about my fellow “rail riders” at this pageant is that we had one another’s backs, received one another meals and drinks and minded the spots throughout rest room and bathe breaks. It was well worth the sunburn (oops) sore toes and again and seashore stage FOMO. Zero regrets. Only pleasure.

And particular shout out to my squad of Hilary, Michelle, Angie, Dayna, Marian and Stephanie. WE CRUSHED IT.

Tuesday night time opened with a welcoming toast from Brandi and a ritual involving two locals and a conch shell and incense. This magic occurred within the picture pit space and it was spellbinding. A blessing of types that set the tone for the following 4 days: Healing, love and redemption. And a lot greater than that.

Then it was off to the motherfuckin’ races with Margo Price and her crackerjack band. Price introduced the fireplace and the twang as a result of OF COURSE SHE DID and together with about ten originals she destroyed us along with her tackle Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me.” The unbelievable photographer and videographer Shauna Ireland captured it and you may watch it HERE. YEAH MARGO!

Next up was a set from ringmaster and queen bee Carlile and her holy shit hallelujah band. BCB kicked it off with the Joni Mitchell-inspired “You and Me on the Rock” from the newest album “In These Silent Days” and I feel all of us sighed in aid that, by some means, we had all made it there and had been seeing certainly one of our favourite artists do her factor and do it higher than most. “Fulton County Jane” was subsequent after which, OMG, “Dying Day” from the 2009 album “Give Up The Ghost.” A couple of songs later we had been hit with a doubleshot of covers; Joni’s “Woodstock” and Elton John’s “Rocketman.” I’ve heard these earlier than however there was one thing further particular about listening to them on this setting, with the ocean behind the stage and I’m guessing round 4,000 followers figuring out that we had been all so, so fortunate to be there.

Margo Price at Girls Just Wanna Weekend 2.1.22 Photo by Aimsel Ponti

The 16-song set ended with the one-two punch of “Hold Out Your Hand” and one other “Silent” observe, “This Time Tomorrow.”

Brandi Carlile at Girls Just Wanna Weekend on 2.1.22. Photo by Aimsel Ponti


I made my method again to my room, stuffed the jacuzzi tub (when in Rome, y’all) and soaked in disbelief as I listened to the glad post-show chatter down within the courtyard.

WEDNESDAY was my one heavy ingesting day. I’ve at all times been a light-weight with regards to booze however, effectively, I kinda let unfastened on this explicit day and it started at 8 a.m. with a Bloody Mary at breakfast. Fast ahead to midday on the Heaven pool the place I used to be registered for the Lip Sync contest. I moseyed on as much as that bar and order two Johnny Walker Black Label scotchs as a result of, ya know, liquid braveness. Then, about 5 minutes earlier than I used to be on account of go on, I ordered another.

Microphone (not on OBV) in hand, I did my factor for 90 seconds with “Under Pressure” by Queen & David Bowie which is amongst my favourite all-time songs. No joke, it was an out of physique expertise freed from insecurity and self-doubt. I beloved each second.

Aimsel in lip-sync motion on 2.2.22. Photo by Hilary Cox

Post lip-sync, effectively TBH, I’m not fully certain the place I wound up, probably on the rail space for a bit nevertheless it’s a little bit of a blur. I do know that I made a tactical error by lacking Celisse’s seashore set. SHE IS AMAZING. Like I can’t even superb…Trust me on this. Thankfully although I noticed her throughout the very subsequent efficiency.

I did nonetheless make it to the seashore stage in time for Allison Russell.

Know this: Allison Russell’s “Outside Child” was my FAVORITE ALBUM of 2021. I’m not alone on this. In truth, Russell was nominated for THREE Grammy Awards! “Outside Child” is up for Americana Album of the Year. The tune “Nightflyer” is up for American Roots Song and American Roots Performance. Fun truth: Yola can be up for Best American Roots Song for “Diamond Studded Shoes” and greatest Americana Album for “I Stand for Myself.” I can’t cheer loud sufficient to specific my happiness over this.

Allison Russell at Girls Just Wanna Weekend. 2.2.22. Photo by Aimsel Ponti

ALSO: SIGNAL BOOST: Allison shall be on the State Theatre in Portland, Maine on March 9. Come grasp with me and my buddies! She’ll even be at The Sinclair in Cambridge, MA on March 8.

And whereas I’m at it, Yola shall be at in Boston on Sept. 21. Just sayin’

ANYWAY… again to Allison’s set in Mexico.

She and her band performed a number of tracks from “Outside Child” together with “My-Brasil,” “Persephone” (Carlile’s 16-year-old niece Caroline, performed banjo on this one!)” “The Runner” and “Nightflyer” throughout which she was joined by Brandi Carlile and Celisse. Sister Strings had been additionally on stage with Russell. The solar was out, the day was magnificent and Allison Russell held the entire world in her fingers and in her coronary heart for that hour.

Allison Russell at Girls Just Wanna Weekend on 2.2.22. Photo by Aimsel Ponti

Know this: A couple of hours and once more two days later Allison Russell’s star would shine in a method that took my breath away..thrice. But maintain that thought as I proceed with the remainder of Wednesday.

Allison Russell and Brandi Carlile are all smiles at Girls Just Wanna Weekend on 2.2.22. Photo by Aimsel Ponti

In the post-glow of Allison’s set, I repaired again to my railing spot the place I re-joined a few of my squad as we eagerly awaited Yola. Sometime in there I downed a chilly Corona in about three sips and some hours later I noticed a lady stroll by holding a scrumptious wanting cocktail which she advised me was a Sea Breeze. I ended up having two of them. When Yola took the stage at 7:45 I used to be FEELING GOOD. Not lampshade on my head good however shut. Without a care on the planet I readied myself for the British GODDESS to begin her efficiency. Brandi launched her saying “Right now, I don’t suppose you’re prepared for what’s about to hit you. Her album ‘I Stand for Myself’ has been an absolute lightning bolt this yr. She has been working so exhausting. She is totally unimaginable…” Yola lived as much as this and began the night time off with “Faraway Look.”

Yola at Girls Just Wanna Weekend on 2.2.22. Photo by Hilary Cox

Four days earlier than “Stand for Myself” was launched on July 30. Some buddies and I had been lucky to attain tickets to her album launch present at a tiny venue in Newport, Rhode Island. It was a Newport Folk Festival adjoining efficiency and I’m nonetheless carrying with me a sense of semi disbelief. Celisse, who was one of many shock stars of Newport, was on stage with Yola for the present.

Months later, right here I used to be in freakin’ Mexico seeing her once more, this time with a whole understanding of how each rattling tune on “Stand for Myself” is 14 karat gold. “Diamond Studded Shoes” is a banger to finish all bangers. “Be My Friend” has backing vocals from Carlile on it so OF COURSE Carlile got here on stage and sang it along with her buddy. Glorious!

Yola first got here to my consideration in 2019 for 2 causes: Her debut album “Walk Through Fire” and her mic drop second with The Highwomen throughout their first dwell efficiency at Newport Folk Festival. She dipped into the “Walk” album in Mexico with “Faraway Look” and her cowl of Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” I heard somebody within the crowd say to another person “I feel I like YOLA’s model higher than Elton’s.” Girlfriend, to you I say: SAMESIES! Yola sings the shit out of it and it’s an entire different factor.

After a set-ending “I Stand For Myself” with Celisse, Yola wasn’t accomplished with us as a result of she had one other cowl up her sleeve and as soon as I spotted what it was, I LOST MY MIND. First off all, I used to be three seconds years outdated once I realized that the tune was co-written by Michael McDonald AND Kenny Loggins.

So yeah, Yola sang “What a Fool Believes” by The Doobie Brothers and echoes of ALL OF US singing “she… had a spot in his life/He… by no means made her suppose twice” are nonetheless crashing ’spherical these vicious waves behind that stage. This was the encore to finish all encores. I imply my god. What is life?

When Yola ended her set I made an government and sensible determination for myself. I gave up my spectacular spot and loved the remainder of the present from my balcony. This was a MASSIVE perk of lucking out with a live performance courtyard room with a faneffintastic view of the stage. I floated out and in of my room whereas the legendary Tanya Tucker did her factor and the nostalgia ran deep as I stood on the market singing together with “Delta Dawn.” God love this girl.

Wednesday night time ended with the Brandi & Friends set and I anticipated my FOMO for not being proper up entrance to kick it at any second. It by no means did. The sound was chic from my balcony and the set began with “Hold Out Your Hand” adopted by Tanya Tucker becoming a member of BC for “That Wasn’t Me.” On “You and Me on the Rock” from “In These Silent Days,” Holly and Jess from Lucius are on backing vocals and so it solely made sense for them to affix Carlile and Co. on stage for the tune which was all of the extra sensational dwell.

And then, holy shit, Katie Pruitt sang “Turpentine” with Carlile after which Margo Price dueted along with her on Dolly Parton’s “Nine to Five.” I used to be just about leaping up and down at this level. Sisters with Strings accompanied the band on “Dreams” after which Caroline and Jay from Smalltown Strings received their activate stage adopted by Brandi and her candy daughter Evangeline singing Joni’s “Both Sides Now” collectively. Every coronary heart in that courtyard melted. Celisse was up subsequent to play “Raise Hell” with the band and that too was a to die for second. Still in dying throes, we had been handled to a pair of Highwomen tunes. The namesake observe and “Crowded Table” which was the sing-a-long heard ’around the world.

Then. Somehow. It received even higher. Because Indigo Girls Amy Ray and Emily Saliers sang “Cannonball” with Brandi and Allison Russell dueted on the only Brandi recorded with Alicia Keys known as “A Beautiful Noise.” Voices rang out on that heat Mexican night time and I’ll always remember listening to them. Carlile additionally killed us with “Party of One.” It was all fully unreal.


Thursday was the day many people had been residing for. LUCIUS BABY! It’s been a minute since their final album and the brand new one, “Second Nature” shall be out on April 8. To say we’ve been hungry for brand spanking new tunes is a gargantuan understatement. The first single “Next to Normal” is an incredible dance-inducing banger that I hope somebody remixes the hell out of. The second one, “White Lies,” launched earlier this week, is a show-no-mercy to your coronary heart ballad with their signature vocals that may knock your toes proper out from underneath you. Schedule a great cry for this one. Christ…

THEY PLAYED BOTH OF THEM at Girls Just Wanna Weekend. The set opened with “Next to Normal” with Holly and Jess taking part in hand bedazzled KEYTARS for absolutely the win!

Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe from Lucius at Girls Just Wanna Weekend. 2.3.22. Photo by Aimsel Ponti

They additionally dusted off “Dusty Trails” and nobody loves singing it extra with them than Brandi Carlile. Twelve billion thumbs up for that one. Lucius additionally hit us with a distinct but ULTRA COOL association of the “Wildewoman” tune “Turn it Around” (a private favourite) and I’m nonetheless reverberating from it every week later.

Lucius is doing a large tour. GO SEE THEM and likewise, PRE-ORDER THE NEW ALBUM.

Now then…allow me to GUSH about Sheryl Crow. I’d seen her within the 90s at one of many Lilith Fair exhibits and once more just a few years again at Newport Folk Festival. But nothing may have ready me for the all-out higher stage holy guacamole set she and her band turned in that night time.

Crow launched into her set with “Maybe Angels,” from her 1996 self-titled album and hit us proper again with “A Change Would Do You Good.” It was then I spotted in grand vogue simply what number of hit songs she has and HOW GODDAMN GREAT all of them are.

A couple of songs later I used to be transported again to 1993 and the debut album to finish all debut albums. “Tuesday Night Music Club” will at all times maintain a particular place in my coronary heart and someplace in a field someplace I nonetheless have a promotional cassette of it that wound up at my faculty radio station. So yeah, it was one thing to listen to “Leaving Las Vegas” dwell. Quite one thing. The identical might be mentioned for the very subsequent tune on the set listing, additionally from the “Tuesday” album. “Strong Enough,” which she was joined by Holly and Jess on. It was a rattling close to spiritual expertise. The identical might be mentioned later within the present with the tune that ends “Tuesday Night Music Club.” For “I Shall Believe,” Holly and Jess had been additionally joined by Brandi. Need I say extra?

Sheryl Crow at Girls Just Wanna Weekend. 2.3.22. Photo by Aimsel Ponti

I’m gonna. MAD PROPS to “Steve McQueen,” “Everyday is a Winding Road” and “There Goes the Neighborhood.”

Also, you haven’t lived ’until you’ve heard “All I Wanna Do” dwell. It was like listening to the tune for the primary time and it sounding like a dose of pure daylight on a river of butterscotch the place the celebration by no means ends. All I needed to do was go to Mexico and have some enjoyable. I’m without end in your debt, Sheryl, for being a major a part of that.

Friday felt completely different from the second I awoke as a result of I knew, all of us knew, it was the final day of the pageant. I rose earlier than the dawn, like each different morning that week and stealthed my method over to the place with the early morning espresso whereas Mexico awoke. It was my second to final breakfast exterior at Ipanema. I had the identical server all week and it pains me that I can’t bear in mind her title. She stored me in espresso and revered my “dias mio, no gracias!” to her prompt morning photographs of tequila with a smile.

This was the day that, post-breakfast, I seen {that a} small posse had began the rail vigil impossibly early and it’s the day I nearly fell down the steps in my flip flops on my option to frantically becoming a member of them.

I ship out a bat sign to my squad and so they had been ace about taking shifts. It was fairly welcomed after we got the boot (however allowed to maintain out stuff and maintain out spots) from 3 to five p.m. for a few soundchecks as I used to be in a position to hit the Hacienda pool the place I floated round for a stable half hour, clutching a can of Corona just like the rock star vacationer that I used to be.

When had been allowed again into the realm, the joy was ratcheting up and the small legion of followers had been joined, slowly, by different ones who had been additionally intent on being proper up entrance. The few, the proud, the rail nerds.

I used to be not glad about lacking Amythyst Kiah’s set on the seashore stage however took consolation in figuring out that there shall be different alternatives as a result of her she’s not going wherever. I’m nonetheless reminded of seeing a part of the Our Native Daughters set in 2019 on the Newport Folk Festival. That’s the tremendous group she’s in with with Rhiannon Giddens, Leyla McCalla and Allison Russell.

At 7:30 the final night time on the primary stage began off on a stupendous be aware as a result of KT Tunstall strutted out on stage. The earlier time I had seen Tunstall, on the inaugural Girls Just Wanna Weekend in 2019, she was a one-woman wrecking machine who slayed with a number of guitars and a looping pedal.

This time round she introduced a secret weapon along with her within the type of drummer Cat Myers. Whether the gang knew her hits like “Black Horse And The Cherry Tree” “Suddenly I See” and “Other Side of The World” made little distinction as a result of as I appeared, everybody was simply as into it as I used to be. Tunstall was participating, humorous and better of all, a first-rate vocalist and musician who owned each inch of that big stage.

KT Tunstall at Girls Just Wanna Weekend. 2.4.22. Photo by Aimsel Ponti

Indigo Girls had been subsequent. Lemme say that louder for the oldsters within the again: INDIGO GIRLS WERE NEXT!

In 1989 I noticed them open for R.E.M. and I’ve been a loyal fan ever since. I can’t let you know what number of occasions I’ve seen them as a result of, though I’ve a large glass jar of ticket stubs, I don’t truly hold observe of what number of occasions I’ve seen an artist dwell however I’d not be in any respect stunned if that quantity was greater than 30.

Accompanied by their at this level longtime violinist Lyris Hung, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers performed their guts on for a stable hour stacked with tunes like “Chicken Man,” “Power of Two,” “Share The Moon,” “Galileo” and an all-star sing-along of “Closer to Fine.”

But for me there have been two songs that had been the whole lot. First off, I’ll by no means tire of the Amy Ray penned “Kid Fears.” It’s simply not potential. Since listening to Michael Stipe himself sing it dwell with all of them these years in the past to often catching it on the radio or throughout an Indigo listening session, the tune has by no means misplaced any of its maintain one me. The Girls had many ladies to select from for the Stipe a part of the tune throughout the GJWW and it was enjoyable to marvel who it will be and likewise satisfying to know that it was assured to be freakin’ superior. Katie Pruitt didn’t disappoint!

Amy Ray of Indigo Girls at Girls Just Wanna Weekend. 2.4.22. Photo by Aimsel Ponti

Also, OMG, Indigo Girls invited Brandi to affix them for Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.” AND IT SURE AS SHITFIRE WAS.

The different IG tune that’s at all times recent and enthralling to me is Ray tune and that’s “Go.” And for the love of all that’s holy on this planet, they adopted it with Neil Young’s “Cortez the Killer.” I do know, I do know…Unreal!

Finally, after 4 days and nights within the solar with outdated buddies and new listening to a world of unforgettable music, all of it got here all the way down to the ultimate set of the night time:


We collectively buckled up, fer certain like completely, and received able to be rocked.

I’ve given this some thought and I can’t think about the way it may have began off on a greater not than Allison Russell singing Tracy’s Chapman’s “Talkin’ Bout a Revolution.” I needed to pause for a minute simply now and simply stare at my display screen in a dream-like state as a result of it actually was that extraordinary. I nonetheless can’t consider it. And Ali was simply getting warmed up for an excellent larger assertion later within the present.

Carlile bounced round singing Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” after which it was time for Yola to slay with Janet Jackson’s “What Have You Done For Me Lately.” I imply my god…

Katie Pruitt had her method with Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” after which, get this, Sheryl Crow sang Belinda Carlile’s “Heaven Is A Place on Earth.”

And then got here my favourite second of the entire goddamn pageant.

Allison Russell sang the Prince-penned and made well-known by Sinead O’Connor ballad “Nothing Compares 2U.” And earlier than she sang it, she devoted it to O’Connor who just lately misplaced her 17-year-old son Shane to suicide. And she devoted to anybody who was struggling. It was uncooked and actual and whereas Russell poured the whole lot she had into singing that tune, I feel everybody there felt held tightly. It was chic. It was therapeutic. It was divine. That’s how it’s with Allison Russell, there aren’t any half measures. She goes all-in and boy was I ever there for it.

Somehow, and I’m unsure how, I managed to carry it collectively for the tune and earlier than I spotted what was occurring, queen Yola was again on the market singing Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” and them Sister Strings earned their place within the annals of GJWW historical past with their tackle Salt -N- Pepa’s “Push it.” They pushed it actual good, relaxation assured.

KT Tunstall had a double-shot for the ages, full with an on-stage costume change. Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams” and The Bangles’ “Walk Like An Egyptian” dominated. They dominated exhausting.

Sheryl Crow, who by the way in which was sporting a costume she wore again within the late 80s when she has a back-up singer for Michael Jackson, received again within the highlight for a duet of “(I’ve Had) The Time of Life” from “Dirty Dancing” with Solomon Dorsey.

Other 80s smash hits we heard by the all-star workforce of musicians included “What a Feeling,” “Let’s Hear it for the Boys.” “I’m Coming Out,” “Simply the Best” “Alone” (Heart) and “Like a Prayer.”

Holly and Jess with Lucius and Brandi Carlile throughout Ladies of the 80s. 2.4.22. Photo by Aimsel Ponti

And then Brandi Carlile held that golden mic and closed out the pageant like she’s accomplished twice earlier than and in a method that may’t be topped. She and the Twins and each single individual on stage and in that crowd sang Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” Bright eyes had been circled and yeah, we lived in a powder keg and gave out sparks like our lives trusted it. BECAUSE OF COURSE WE DID.

My bones are nonetheless rattled and my vocal chords are nonetheless barely charred and it’s the BEST FEELING.

However, the night time wasn’t over simply but. It was time for the Lucius Hot Tub Time Machine!

With Covid-19 nonetheless very a lot a factor, occasion organizers had been sensible to carry it exterior on the Heaven pool quite than within the night time membership of years previous so there wasn’t an precise scorching tub concerned. Did that matter one bit?

Sometime round 12:30 with lots of of us both in or across the sides of the pool the after celebration started with Holly and Jess on a large inflatable swan being launched into the pool and ready followers serving to to drag them round in essentially the most insane and excellent procession you’ve ever seen. With tunes being blasted from DJ Ben, this celebration wasn’t ending anytime quickly.

And then Brandi Carlile received into the pool, each on the float after which straight-up being carried round on her again by followers. It was a sight to behold and the extent of belief was big.

Brandi Carlile on the point of flip round and make her leap of religion into the pool 2.4.22 Photo by Aimsel Ponti.

The tequila was flowin’ like a river and Carlile was clearly having a blast as was everybody else who caught round.

Like I mentioned earlier, I stayed on dry land however was within the thick of it till I lastly known as it an evening at round 2:15 ish. I heard later that this factor went on till after 3 a.m. and even after the sound was turned off. There are clips floating round of everybody singing “Amazing Grace” that give me chills.

Carlile shared on social media the following day that she wanted some critical Tylenol however she had zero regrets. I don’t suppose any of us did. Time type of stood nonetheless for these couple of hours. We had been in a position to hit the pause button on the pandemic (BTW, fortunately solely a handful of attendees examined optimistic whereas in Mexico and needed to quarantine there and so they acquired a ton of affection and provides from different followers) and we had been in a position to simply let unfastened. To me it felt just like the mom of all protected areas and troubles melted away like Judy Garland’s lemon drops. And you understand what else? It was actually enjoyable! Several occasions I hugged a few of my soaking moist buddies and received to wave to queen bee Carlile. Not for one second was I serious about work or Covid or the rest apart from what has occurring exterior of that second. I can’t consider a larger reward than the current tense served up on a stunning night time by the ocean in Mexico with like-minded followers and buddies.

I received three hours of sleep that final night time and as I sat at my favourite desk exterior on Ipanema with my espresso and French toast, I didn’t need for something.

And as I finish this this fully too lengthy assessment/essay/streamofconsciousness, I notice all of the extra how proper Brandi Carlile was when she mentioned that “epic” wasn’t the proper phrase to explain the occasion. I feel I now know what the proper phrase is perhaps, not less than for me. Being with my buddies in paradise seeing our favourite musicians: It felt like my coronary heart was at house.

Ponti out.

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