Two Days in Columbus & Butch Walker

I forwarded an email to Chaz a month ago with Butch Walker’s tour schedule which was going to take him to Columbus the week after my birthday. I told him that tickets to see Butch would be a great cheap present for my birthday. He decided instead of just driving up and driving back that we would drive up the day before and drive back the day after. Driving to Columbus is pretty much like driving to Louisville with different scenery. Not too far for a day trip.

We checked in to the hotel and walked around downtown before we got too settled into our room. Our first stop was at the North Market right across the street from our hotel. It wasn’t long before I found the chocolate.

Chocolates from Pure Imagination Chocolatier

Chocolates from Pure Imagination Chocolatier

And then I found a splendid arrangement of teas.

An assortment of teas from Bubbles, the Tea & Juice Company

An assortment of teas from Bubbles, the Tea & Juice Company

We circled around and walked the Short North District. Basically, we walked up and down North High Street. We did about three miles of walking in all. I was beat by the end of it. Two would have been enough for me. We walked by a lot of great restaurants, shops, galleries, centers, and condos. I shared a few of these on Instagram, Twitter, and my personal Facebook page, but not everyone follows me on social media so I am sharing again.

Striking beauty in the midst of downtown

Striking beauty in the midst of downtown

A retreat from the hustle & bustle

A retreat from the hustle & bustle

The Hawai`i local in me was doing a dance when I found this in a shop filled with upcycled/reclaimed items

The Hawai`i local in me was doing a dance when I found this in a shop filled with upcycled/reclaimed items

I've got the TARDIS! ALLONS-Y!

I’ve got the TARDIS! ALLONS-Y!

I love colorful glass.

I love colorful glass.

Epic bicycle basket

Epic bicycle basket

The guitar was just one of the items covered in old ticket stubs.

The guitar was just one of the items covered in old ticket stubs.

This garden was in front of a youth center. There were name markers so the kids knew which plant was theirs.

This garden was in front of a youth center. There were name markers so the kids knew which plant was theirs.

More chocolate at Le Chocolatique.

More chocolate at Le Chocolatique.

I did not try the chocolates at either place in case you were wondering. Some of them were marked as gluten-free at Le Chocolatique, but with all my food allergies, I was not about to ask or risk it.

I do not do a lot of selfies. I suck at taking them. It takes me at least a dozen tries to get one with my eyes open and my mouth in a full smile, instead of a grimace that makes me look like I am sitting on the toilet. And no, I never take selfies in the bathroom. Never. I took this next one after Johnna sent me a message asking me to post one on Instagram with #rightfrigginnow after she posted her Soften Saturday post, Before and After Pics.

Me, after that three mile walk and ready for a gluten-free cheeseburger & fries.

Me, after that three mile walk and ready for a gluten-free cheeseburger & fries.

We drove up to Cheeseburger in Paradise, a forgone conclusion before we even drove to Columbus. Finding gluten-free, soy-free, and peanut-free french fries in Cincinnati is not easy. I had a couple of Torched Cherry Mojitos, too. Cherry, lime, and mint. My new favorite combination since I first tried it while I was in Virginia two months ago. Columbus 13The next day, we drove out to Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant for lunch. I shared pictures from our lunch there in Chicago this past summer. I was yeast-free during that trip and could not try the wine. You better believe I tried it this time around. They let you taste the wines you want to make sure you like it. Plus, they have numbers beside the wines and menu items so you can pair them if you like. I am clueless about pairing. I just drink what I like. I do know that dark chocolate pairs wonderfully with red wines. Mmmmm.

It was a tough time deciding between the Malbec and the Cooper's Hawk Red, but I eventually chose the Malbec.

It was a tough time deciding between the Malbec and the Cooper’s Hawk Red, but I eventually chose the Malbec.

I went with a salad for lunch because I needed a lot of veggies.

I went with a salad for lunch because I needed a lot of veggies.

We walked to the Arena District for dinner and the concert. We chose something along the way to the venue that I found on the Find Me Gluten-Free app, Ted’s Montana Grill. It was our first time at the chain restaurant. It reminded me a little of old steakhouse meets bar. I had to go with a burger and fries again. Only this time I had mine with bison.

Bunless bison burger and fries.

Bunless bison burger and fries.

We walked straight to A&R Music Bar for the show. There was a line waiting to get in. Because it takes SO long to take tickets and check ID.

When I discovered the show was sold out through Twitter the day before I had one of the lines from Freak of the Week in my head. Tell me I sold out/Tell me I sold out, go ahead. Yep. I'm a Butch Walker geek.

When I discovered the show was sold out through Twitter the day before I had one of the lines from Freak of the Week in my head. Tell me I sold out/Tell me I sold out, go ahead. Yep. I’m a Butch Walker geek.

Marc Scibilia is opening for Butch on this tour. Blues-y rockish. I was impressed.

Marc Scibilia is opening for Butch on this tour. Blues-y rockish. I was impressed.

If you have never heard of Butch Walker or seen me mention him on Facebook or Twitter I will try to give it to you short form. He is a singer, songwriter, and producer originally from Cartersville, Georgia. He was previously in the bands Southgang (think 80s hair metal, previously known at Byte the Bullet before landing a record deal), Floyds Funk Revival, and Marvelous 3. Now he is a solo artist with a backing band (The Black Widows).

Butch opened soft on his own before the band came out.

Butch opened soft on his own before the band came out.

His lyrics tell stories full of raw emotion in a simple way or they are just full of fun. He has a knack for capturing the small moments beautifully. From “Cigarette Lighter Love Song”, Now I know you’re not asleep/I can feel you moving over there/You’re playing with the seam/Of your worn out underwear. From “ATL”, Cause some become lovers because of sex/And some, you know, they just become friends/In our case, we just became bad at it all/And never got good at it again. From “Mixtape”, You drive away from my car crash of a heart/And I don’t know/But you gave me the best mixtape I have/And even all the bad songs ain’t so bad/I just wish there was so much more than that/About me and you. From “I Just Want You To Want This Again”, You said to call and I watched as you left/I told my friend not to pull off just yet/So I could watch every inch of you walking away. I will share a video of one of his earlier songs at the end of the post. Or just go search for him on YouTube. If you end up liking him, you’ll spend hours watching his videos. Or at least listening to them.

Even if you have never heard him, you have probably heard him through the bands and recording artists he produces and co-writes with: P!nk, Katy Perry, Fall Out Boy, Anberlin, Puffy AmiYumi, Taylor Swift, Gin Wigmore, Avril Lavigne, Train, and Panic! At The Disco just to name a few.

I will never see another show like that again. Small bar, small stage, big talent. Butch shreds a guitar just as well as Eddie Van Halen, and I have seen Eddie shred a guitar live. He has seemingly boundless energy while on the stage.  He will bring up a fan to sing “Freak of the Week” because he hates singing it but knows his fans love the song. His fans love him and he loves his fans in equal measure. There is a reason why friends and fellow musicians/recording artists will introduce/refer to him as “mother fuckin’ Butch Walker” and you want to do the same after seeing him live. 

I enjoyed seeing Butch live finally. However, I realized during this show that general admission concerts are no longer good for me. I am claustrophobic and with my adrenal fatigue and Sjogren’s Syndrome, standing on my feet for four hours was a killer. I was crushed as soon as Butch took the stage between the guy on my left who pushed his way through with his girlfriend at the end of the opening act and the woman on my right who could not stop looking at her phone. Chaz was behind me making sure no one got me from behind. The guy on my left kept pushing into me, most likely to get me to move over and I refused to budge otherwise I would have been pushed into the woman, her phone, and her drink. And on general principle. Just because I am a woman does not mean I will let people edge me out. I had a hard time enjoying the opening with the feeling of being so closed in and the deep desire to punch the guy next to me. Later on the woman next to me was replaced by another guy and his girlfriend and I was crushed again.

I could happily say this is my last concert I will go to, but I would happily entertain seeing him again if it was not a general admission show.

"Bartender, can I get a shot of Jameson. I'll pay you back," is something you might hear near the end of a Butch show.

“Bartender, can I get a shot of Jameson. I’ll pay you back,” is something you might hear near the end of a Butch show.

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