I experienced my first trip to the legendary Bird’s Nest on Thursday night. Tons of dudes flocked over to the tent, across the street from TPC Scottsdale, to watch O.A.R. perform. I timidly walked in the VIP area, where the booze flowed freely — well, actually, each person gets 10 drinks, but I found out this policy was very liberal (a bartender punches your pass every time, but most the time, they were nice and only punched it once even if you ordered two drinks). Naturally, I rushed over to the bar and quickly downed a shot of Patron to catch up with the rest of the crowd, since I arrived a little late.
However, the scene was much more chill than I expected. I’m assuming the cold weather kept a few thousand people away, including scantily-dressed women. In fact, I was most surprised that the audience was predominantly male. Yep, another sausage fest. Which, of course, works in my favor, but I was looking forward to being entertained by the outfits (and taking pictures of them). Better luck tonight!
Before O.A.R. took the stage, Kelley James opened to get the crowd hyped up. Rickie Fowler, Ricky Barnes and Charley Hoffman made a cameo, joining KJ on stage and sang a tune together (see picture above).
Here’s a description of O.A.R.’s performance via the ArizonaCentral.com
The male-dominated audience jumped around and thrust their arms up and down to the upbeat jam band. The tent was especially electric when the band played hit song “Hey Girl,” and the crowd erupted into one big sing-along.
The magnetic guitarist and saxophonist Jerry DePizzo blew the crowd away, rapidly improvising during fiery solos that prompted thunderous applause. Singer Marc Roberge looked relaxed, strumming his acoustic guitar happily as he gazed out onto the blissful crowd.
If you were in college circa 2000 to present, then you’ve probably seen O.A.R. jam at least four or five times. But their jam band tunes and acoustics never get old. I spent most of the time ogling at the drummer Chris Culos and saxophonist Jerry DePizzo.
Tonight, Slightly Stoopid is performing and TourPlayers.com is mic’ing me up, so that should be interesting. I’m sure the turnout will be much larger since attendance is up from Thursday and it’s a Friday night. And the scene will be 100x rowdier.
Of course, by the end of Thursday night, there are always a few guys who are totally sloshed that start acting sleazy and sloppy, but that happens everywhere. Another highlight? I met and hung out with Kevin Streelman’s wife Courtney, who is awesome and smart. In other words, she’s not your stereotypical “tour wife.”
If you live in the Phoenix area, I highly recommend making a trip out to the tournament and the Bird’s Nest. This has quickly become one of my favorite tournaments. It helps that the tournament staff is awesome and incredibly helpful.
I’m bringing my real camera tonight, so I expect to take lots of pictures of the debauchery. Check back tomorrow!
I’ll leave you with this video of O.A.R. playing Crazy Game of Poker, one of my favorite songs to rock out to live.