Three Favorite Concert Quotes

A steady rain fell on Chateau St. Michelle winery. Despite it being summer it was also the Pacific Northwest. A fine outdoor concert venue and the show was going to go on…that’s what we do here, were the rain to stop us we’d get little done…we were waiting for Jackson Browne. Festival seating so I was among many who arrived earlier in the day to stand in line in the rain. The bonus of doing this is not solely to get a good patch of lawn to sprawl on or a good seat, you are also treated to the sound check. Out he came, Jackson Browne, checking guitar and voice mics, doing riffs and bits of song. Then there was a shift, a subtle change, a familiar set of notes. All of us wet bedraggled fans grinned, shuffled and peered out from under our hoods and hats (no umbrellas please!) through the rain and the big drops of water dripping off said hoods and hats to see that Browne too had shifted and was looking our way as he sang the words “…still I wonder, still I wonder, who’ll stop the rain?” Whoops, applause, chuckles, we all felt a little closer: worth the price of admission. Incidentally, by the time the concert started the rain had stopped and we experienced that special post rain light in the air we get here where everything is still wet, the sun leaks out from between swiftly moving clouds and the air seems to sparkle. A perfect night, a wonderful performance.

Same winery, different day and blue sky all day. Shawn Colvin is on stage with a friends-round the-campfire aura. I don’t remember the exact song but mid-way through, a whonking sound came faint out of the distance, then louder and louder: “whonk wmhonk whonk whonk” the whole audience looks up smiling leaning back following the large wedge of low-flying geese. Shawn Colvin too stopped and watched. When the geese calls had become faint echoes, Colvin leaned into the mic and with a smile in her voice said “Well I have to say that’s the first time I’ve been upstaged by geese” then without missing a beat she picked up the song.

Farther back–high school days and my serendipitous presence at the Paramount theater to see Taj Mahal for the first of many times: I’d been at Warehouse perusing the vinyl when I saw a buddy from school, we were trade-albums-talk-books-and-music pals. He had tickets to the Taj Mahal concert and his girlfriend was sick, my boyfriend’s band had a gig that night…so my buddy took me to the concert. The DJ introducing Taj came on stage and uttered these words “Ladies and gentlemen, if you didn’t come here with a friend tonight, you’ve got one on stage now: Mister Taj Mahal!” Truer words were never spoken. The entire audience was swept onto our feet and that’s where we stayed the entire evening. Taj’s concerts give your smile muscles a workout and never disappoint. Years later Klee and I saw him at The Pantages in Tacoma where he gave the entire audience singing lessons and under his direction? Yah, we sounded pretty darn good…

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