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Late to the Concert

Never having grown up during a period in my life when I could

have attended concerts, I am now beginning to catch up, but it's a bit late. Recent concerts I've attended, with groups I loved, have proven more than a bit eye-opening.

Last night was no exception; it just reaffirmed what I already know. The bill included Judy Collins and Stephen Stills, a smash twosome if ever there should be one. But this is late in their careers and I can imagine the pipes aren't the same and it's gotten a bit worn over the years.

Stills was still the guitar genius he always was, although I must say I know few of their songs. Both Stephen and Judy failed on "Judy Blue Eyes" and it was heart wrenching. They were flat from the beginning of the concert. Not only that, but I think she had pre-recorded music to help her maintain those looooog notes. Ok, that's not such a bad thing. Lots of current singers do it and they have technical devices to rev up less-than-acceptable voices.

The band was tight and great and it really showcased how great a band can be and how much it adds to a performance. I've been to about 10 of these concerts in the past year, so I've seen quite a few exceptional single musicians (including an awesome drummer) backing up well-known acts.

What really got me was the flat notes and the off harmonies but Stills did manage to offer engaging bits about their careers. It saved a bit of the show. Collins did "Clouds" but I missed "Send in the Clowns." Yes, I left a bit early. It was hot and the duo was making me feel uncomfortable for them in the rustiness of their performances.

Yes, I'm late to the concert scene (gave away my press passes to Woodstock) and I guess I've missed the gold and I'm trying to settle for what is left. Perhaps just seeing these magical performers should have been enough, but I'm feeling a bit of remorse. Work and night school for college always got in the way and I'll have to accept that.

I saw Brian Wilson earlier this year and I noted his change in appearance, the lack of verve and how he had to depend on a lyrics sheet to keep up. I also saw the incredible performance anxiety, even after all these years. No one practically sneaks on and off stage, but you do if you suffer from extreme anxiety.

Tonight I'm going to see Blondie and, frankly, I think it will be like entering a museum to look at what was created without seeing the creativity. I don't expect much, but she was a leader in punk and brought women to the fore, so I'll go if for nothing else. I do not expect a sterling performance. If it happens, I'll write another blog about that.

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