You can't sweat out . . .

How Kings of Leon were upstaged by Al the limo driver

In Jesse, the Rippers, and their contemporaries on January 31, 2009 at 11:58 am

From what is believed to have been the world’s largest potato, to a fantastic set by rock’s new royalty, Kings of Leon, to cruising the streets in the best post concert ride since the Mr. Softee truck incident last November after seeing Cold War Kids, Thursday night exceeded all expectations.

Per usual, I found myself as the only vegetarian in the group at a steakhouse.  This establishment, Uncle Jack’s, doesn’t even have a menu; instead, the waiter runs through about a dozen options of different cuts of meat and varieties of seafood.  As is customary, I summoned my deepest, manliest voice and ordered “anything that’s vegetarian.”

About forty-five minutes later I had in front of me about foot long shoots of asparagus, heads of broccoli that looked like Bonsai trees, and a potato that was literally the size of your head.  I mean, this thing must have weighed two pounds.  And it dominated me.  The potato mixed with the gin and tonics in my stomach and made me feel gloriously Irish/Dutch, putting me in the proper mindset to be rock and rolled.

Our group of eight, including future Guinness Book of World Record holders Storelli and Corrigan, got into Madison Square Garden just as Kings of Leon’s set was beginning.  I’ve seen a good number of shows at MSG, and this one topped them all.  The only three that have even compared were Pearl Jam and Dispatch in 2008 and Tom Petty in 2006.  The Kings set was a roller coaster of utter and complete domination, culminating in a four song encore that melted Corrigan’s face completely off.

Including hits from each of their four discs, they satisfied me immensely by playing several songs off Aha Shake Heartbreak. Their newest album, Only by the Night, is probably my favorite thing to come out of the south besides the cotton that is used to make American Apparel t shirts.  They brought down the house with two songs on this album that almost caused me to black out from an overdose of awesome sound.  The two songs?  “Use Somebody” and “Sex on Fire.”

Yes, those are their two singles so far off the record.  Yes, that is so not indie to cite the singles as your favorite songs right now.  No, I don’t care.   Yes, I have been a Kings of Leon fan since 2005, when they played at the State Theater in Portland, Maine.  No, I don’t remember much of that show.  Yes, Jagger is bad for you.

After the lights came on, the crowd poured in the street and we met up with other friends and co-workers who were at the show and planned our next move.  Upon deciding to go down to Soho to hit up Nolita House, where our friend The Captain bartends, we were just about to hail a cab when destiny pulled up, in the form of a badass white limo.

We were able to talk the driver, Al (in all his mustached glory) , down to $20 for the five of us, which would turn out to be the best investment we have ever made.  The second we opened the door we knew we had made the right decision.  The floors?  Carpeted.  Lava lamps? Check.  Neon lighting? Check.  An ipod we had control of? Check.  Budweiser in cans? Check.  Feeling like pimps? Check.  The coolest NY limo driver other than Ranjit, who doesn’t really count since he is a fictional character on How I Met Your Mother? Check.

I want to relive Thursday night all over again.  And you know what?  I think I will.  All I need to do is have Kings of Leon come back to town, and Al will take care of the rest.   I have a feeling this is not the last appearance Al will make on JSF, as when we arrived at Nolita House, he gave us all his card:

Now #1 on my speed dial

Now #1 on my speed dial

I don’t know what exactly a Pim Pin is, but I like it.

  1. i think we may see Al before you know it. he’s a local long island guy. i can see his services being needed very very soon.

  2. cool story, i am a limo driver as well, and im sure he has got many more stories like that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: