Concerts I Have Known: Part 2
While writing part 1, I realized a couple of things:
- I've been to more concerts than I realized.
- I tend to gravitate more towards smaller (and VERY small) venues.
I have always been a "part of the action" person, which is why I like smaller venues. Unfortunately that's not something you can do with "big" names like Paul McCartney, Billy Joel and Elton John. (All of whom I've seen at Giant Stadium.) They were great shows, but I like the personal touch. And the smaller venues are the only way to go about that. I mean the first time I saw Michael Nesmith (at the defunct Lone Star Roadhouse in NYC); I was practically sitting in the lap of keyboardist John Hobbs. I LIKED that.
Smaller venues, such as The Ridgefield Playhouse (CT), Mayo Performing Arts Center (NJ), Count Basie Theater (NJ) and Tarrytown Music Hall (NY) are (somewhat) affordable and I've been lucky enough to be able to purchase tickets close to the stage so I can really see the performer. Of course "free" concerts are even better. Back in the last century (ugh!), my husband and I saw Chuck Mangione at an outdoor venue. The only downside was the weather!
Funnily enough it was the summer before Covid, that I first saw Chris Isaak (Mayo Performing Arts), taking advantage of the meet and greet. (Meeting Chris and band members Hershel Yatovitz and Kenney Dale Johnson was wonderful. How the meet and greet staff treated fans; not so great: https://bfthsboringblog.blogspot.com/2019/08/a-chris-isaak-adventure-gentleman-and.html.) Chris Isaak was also the first performer I saw after the pandemic died down (Count Basie Theater) (Please note that I didn't say it's gone away...it's still hanging out there folks.) I was up close and personal for both (but not as personal in 2021 for obvious reasons) and each show was unique.
I got to fulfill my pre-teen dreams in June of 2022 by seeing Shaun Cassidy in concert. (https://bfthsboringblog.blogspot.com/2022/06/if-you-are-of-certain-age-that-would-be.html) Because I was a party of one, I was able to get a front row seat (again for a reasonable price). It was definitely a high point for a low year (my mother would pass away just a couple of weeks later). The only way the show could have been better was if I had actually MET Shaun (did you hear that Mr. Cassidy) and if my mother's health hadn't been weighing over me. (Yes I was feeling guilty).
My most recent concert experience was actually with my husband! (I believe the last time we'd been to a show together was in September of 2018: Michael Nesmith & the First National Band Redux at the Ridgefield Playhouse.) When I went to see Chris Isaak back in 2019, I realized that I had just missed the opportunity to see Herb Alpert by a few days. When his name popped up again on the Mayo Performing Art Center website, I knew I couldn't pass up the opportunity. (He is still out on the road with his wife Lani Hall.) I didn't get tickets as close to the stage as I would have liked, but I don't think there's a bad seat in the house. Unless you take into consideration the fact that we were sitting in front of people who kept talking...I wanted to hear Herb talk. I wanted to hear Lani Hall talk. (They both have interesting stories to share). I wanted to hear Lani sing. I wanted to hear Herb play. I DIDN'T want to hear chatter from behind me or obnoxious singing. Still, it was wonderful to be out together to see/hear a performer we have both long admired. (And let's face it at 88; how much longer will he be touring?)
Although my husband and I are big music fans (and we have the music room to prove it), we haven't gone to that many concerts together, especially since our son was born. (Which was 18 years ago!) Prior to that we would do the occasional venture out. My husband took me to see Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello at Radio City Music Hall. I took him to see Brian Wilson and Paul Simon at the Garden State Art Center as well as seeing Brian and his band in a more intimate setting at BB King's Blues Club in NYC. (Side note: Back then there were slide in cardboard like advertisements for acts at the arts center by the side of the toll booths on the Garden State Parkway. I snagged one; I won't say how; and had Brian and members of his backing band [aka The Wondermints] sign it. They were impressed with my "talent.") We saw Squeeze at Downtown Disney while we were on vacation in 1999. (Which he illicitly videoed...somewhere the tape is still out there.) We've seen guitarist Laurence Juber several times (including a relatively recent pre-Covid concert at a synagogue in the next town over). We've seen Billy Preston give an incredible performance for a group of fans and got to hear Gary Wright sing "Dream Weaver." Strangely enough, we've never been to the Welmont Theater, which is ALMOST walking distance from our home. (ALMOST...getting there would not be bad...climbing up hill at the end of the night and trying to get across Route 23 would be a challenge). Of course I remember when the Welmont was a MOVIE theater. (Yes, I'm that old.) I'll have to keep an eye out and see if anything is upcoming that might interest us.