The other night Husband and I went to a concert. This is the first concert I’ve been to since we went to see Robert Cray in 2002 (smaller venue). Sure I’ve seen Fatigue sing and school performances, but these aren’t quite the same as a big, all out ARE YOU READY performance. In all honesty I didn’t feel like going, my thoughts were with Big Senile Dog. But Husband had already purchased the tickets several weeks ago. And frankly, I’m fairly certain that if I had died and Husband had tickets to see Pat Metheny, he’d have been in seat 118 that night. We’ve both seen him quite a few times. Long, long, long ago.
If you’ve never seen him live, I recommend doing so. He’s an amazing guitarist and composer, and I can’t think of anyone else who could get onstage and play a 42 stringed guitar and not have it be a “look at me playing a 42 string guitar!” Nope, just beautiful and passionate music, as always. Bruce Hornsby (w/Sonny Emory) opened for him, which was incredible. I say opened, but not really, it was more like they joined together to add another 53 dimensions to the show.
Did I mention it’s been a long time since we we went to a big concert? Ok, not Madison Square Garden big, but big enough. Seems like some things have changed since back in the day. No cloud of grass, puddles of beer, and squeals of excitement to guide you from the parking lot to your seat. Orderly lines of well dressed men-and-women-of-a-certain-age smiling and strolling to their seats clutching plastic (covered) cups of wine with straws stuck in them.
Bruce Hornsby has aged well, he sounds better than ever and looks fantastic. Pat Metheny seems to have found the fountain of youth, he hasn’t aged at all. Seriously, he looks exactly the same and his god-like fingers haven’t slowed at all.
There was one shocking difference in the then and now of this show. No, I’m not referring to the way my salt and pepper hair and Husband’s bald pate blended right in with the other heads in the audience. People were continually getting up and walking in and out of the theater. To go to the bathroom, I assume. Come on, people. I know we’re all older, bladders and prostates aren’t what they used to be, but for fuck’s sake, cross your legs and hold the wine! It was like being in a musty bar with a mediocre house band playing. Sure, Bruce Hornsby puts everyone in mind of the Grateful Dead shows of yesteryear, but this wasn’t a nine hour show where two thirds of the audience is tripping on acid and don’t know whether they’re inside the arena or out.
I had taken the bus to get to NJ and meet Husband, cutting it close in terms of time. It was hot in the station, and I wanted an iced tea. Guess what? I didn’t get one, because I knew if I did, I would surely need to pee halfway through the concert. Don’t tell me all these people couldn’t hold it. If this had been a Broadway show, it would’ve been a very similar crowd. I didn’t see dozens of people drifting in and out of Les Mis, holding the theater doors open while they chatted with the ushers.
PS: To the woman sitting in front of me, your boyfriend/companion/husband didn’t forget where his seat was (you don’t forget when you’re in the second to last row). He ditched you for a better seat.