worked the last show down at the tent tonight - the B.B. King Blues Festival. i'm so glad that this happened. it was supposed to be the night after the attacks, and was (for obvious reasons) rescheduled. originally, we heard it was flat out cancelled. and then it was back on again.
since there were four acts, the show started quite early. i got down there when i could, and was just in time to hear the opening act. could have passed on it. they were loud, and, um... loud. they did have a sax player, which is always good in my book. and the lead singer had on leather pants (LAYthar pants!). also good. but the music wasn't much more than by the book blues. fair enough. their set was about half an hour or so, and then they broke to switch up for the next act.
four acts makes for a long night. figure each one plays half an hour to 45 minutes, and there's an intermission between each. the intermission will be at least 20 minutes, so that all the gear can get switched around. and the headliner will play at least an hour, more likely and hour and a half. you do the math. i'm too tired.
people were dribbling in for the first hour or two. i kept an eye out for two of my friends who were supposed to be there, hoping i could upgrade their seats. not like i really have the sayso to do that in that venue, but we had a ton of seats available because of the date change. and everyone was in a generous mood, it being the last show and all. never did find them... hope it's because they were already down front.
one kind of creepy moment - when you're standing in the tent, you're looking back at the city skyline. it being overcast and all, the sunset had this wierd orange tinge to it that was diffused around the edges of the buildings. i'm not explaining it very well - it looked like a haze of dim flames, much like my Neville Schute dream the other night. i found it disconcerting. that, plus the sound of planes going overhead from Logan across the harbor... you get the idea.
managed to shake it off, tho, and took advantage of the laid back vibe in the tent to wander around and catch up with a few people, including my insurance agent. i still have not yet sent in the inspection papers, because i'm unsure what to do about the mechanic's clear attempt at insurance fraud. she said to just get it done again and send her both sets of papers, and she'd take care of it. god love her... i provide far too much excitement for her. ;)
everyone was hot to go out for a drink after the show, and kept asking if i'd go. at that point, i kept saying no, it being a school night and all, and feeling kind of beat. plus, it was cool enough that we wouldn't be able to sit out at my favorite hangout, the deck.
it was an easy show, all around, which was lovely. the second act was John Hiatt. man, oh man, what a freak boy he is. he was up there, hopping around stage, wearing a suit at least two sizes too small, and bad shoes to boot (no pun intended), doing the whitest white boy dancing i've seen in ages. and his songs are ... unique. he spun out some song into a long involved story about trying to hit up on this woman in the front seat of his pickup while driving down the Pike. eh.
all i can say is, if he can make a living as a singer with that voice, i should have a platinum record based on the home grown 8 track recorded in my bathroom.
another intermission, next act. next one up was Buddy Guy. somehow, i didn't know that he was local. and i know at least a few people who were very happy to see him. as in, they worked the show mostly to see him. i enjoyed his act. in fact, i think i liked him best of all. he sings the blues the way i think it should be - full throttle wail and moan. he covered some songs off his new album, threw in a few others i recognized, and generally had a fine old time up there.
he also did a walk out into the audience, for which we were more prepared than the spontaneous stage jumping of Sugar Ray. when the trim lights go on on the stairs, you know something is up. Buddy was very cool, and let a few people (including one young kid) play the guitar. he kept fretting, and let the kid strum away. what an awesome night that kid must have had.
i kept seeing people in the audience walking around with 'gimmee' packs, and i couldn't for the life of me figure out what they were, until i saw people waving inflatable mini guitars at the stage. one guy walked by with the guitar tucked inside his button down, the neck sticking out between the second and thrid buttons. that was an odd sight.
not nearly as odd, however, as the rather porcine man coming down the aisle with a pig tiara on. yes. really. some barbeque place was giving away these hat band tiara things, with a pig face - pink floppy ears, squinty eyes, big ol' snout - and people were putting these on their heads. why, i have no idea. they didn't even come with a Happy Meal. *shakes head* the amazing thing was how ... apt it looked on this one particular individual. oh, dear...
and then we were released. (mine was not an all night spot.) i scooted off to the bathroom, changed completely up so as to be unrecognizable as an usher, got myself a beer, and settled in by the side of the tent to watch B.B. King. aw, yeah, baby. doesn't get much better than this, i tell you. cool, salt spray breezy night, beer in hand, standing down by the corner of the stage, listening to B.B. and Lucille. *grin* frick came over to dance a little and rub my shoulders, pretty shoes missed the fact that i had a beer, and the band was in fine form. B.B. did a lot of songs that i couldn't name, but could sing along with. and he was lovely and chatty with the audience. there was some freak down in the front row who'd been waving a huge flag in front of the cameras all night. mostly, it was annoying - not that i'm unpatriotic, but he kept blocking the view of the bands, which was uncool for the people up back. but right at the end of the set, as B.B. was talking about America and how he felt, it was perfectly appropriate. man - he played nearly and hour and a half. lovely.
as it turns out, i did go for one quick beer with the boys afterwards. didn't feel right to close the season without visiting Eddie the Greek. what a lovely end to the season.