::tips head, shakes a bit to clear ears:: last night's show, Jeff Beck, was better than i expected. shamefully, i wasn't really sure who he was when i signed up to work the show. i knew he was a big guitar guy, but that was it. young? old? famous? good? great? didn't really know. oh, *now* i know. he's famous and great.
the curtain went up, the crowd roared (quite literally), and the man played for two hours. loud, solid, grindingly dense, fabulous music for two hours. and it was so cute - he clearly loves what he does, but he seems to be a little shy. he almost never looked up at the audience. i think i read somewhere that he has serious stage fright, which seems like a bit of a curse for someone who makes a living in front of the public.
right up there with a tight horn section, guys with guitars make me happy. there's something about a man and a guitar that just makes me smile big goofy grins, bop my head, and generally flail around like an idiot. all the better if they're good. damn... the things that man can do with his guitar! he made it wail, moan, laugh, sing, sound like a train... he played the hell out of it. damn.
the opening act was a local guy, Willy Porter i think, who was also good. you have to admire the nerve it takes to stand in front of 2800 Jeff Beck fans with nothing more than an acoustic guitar and a few songs. kudos to him. i may try to catch him again later this month at Passim's, the local coffee house. it's not what it used to be, but it's still a great place to check out the local talent and the occasional out of towner.
as always, analyzing the audience was amusing. primarily guys, primarily white, mostly 40s and 50s, some with their kids, more with their friends. some ferociously bad fashion was on parade last night. just a note, guys: nearly noone looks good in a leather trench coat. unless you're Carrie Anne Moss in The Matrix, give it up. and they generally stayed in their seats, which is a generational thing, i think. i mean, when *i* was growing up, back in the day... sheesh.
really, tho, i have this idea that if you pay for a seat at a concert, you put your ass in it. i've noticed that the younger crowds (as in, under 20) have a more fluid idea of concert going. last show i worked before this was moe., who are Phish-like if you haven't heard them. jeanine put me front and center, about 15 rows from the stage. lemme tell you, for a claustrophobic control freak, that was a bad place to be. people seemed to flow towards the stage in any way possible, which made for tight quarters.
moe. was actually a fun show. i wish i'd been able to watch more of it (working that section means keeping your back to the stage most of the night); i could certainly hear it just fine, tho, that's for sure. they played two looooooong swimmy sets, and had a lot of fun doing it. i love it when bands enjoy what they do. makes such a difference. a lot of that night felt like a throwback to college, in many ways. for starters, the sidewalk outside was populated with guys in dreadlocks and skirts selling incense and plastic bubble rings. and the whole house smelled like pot and patchouli. made me feel like i should be flopped out on the waterbed with jeremy at the co-op house, listening to Rock Lobster.
the other interesting thing was the whole taping neighborhood. i've never seen that much equipment in one place, and i used to date a sound technician. being Phish-like, the band was cool with it. and everyone seemed to know everyone else, in a fellow taper kind of way. having never made it to a Dead show (one of my big regrets), i hadn't encountered this before. given the amount of gear, it almost seems as if this is a second job for some people. hell, maybe it is.
i'm looking forward to this weekend - two more shows. Wayne Brady plays Saturday; you may have seen him on the American version of Who's Line is it, Anyway?. and Paco de Lucia plays on Sunday. this is the guy i expected to see last month, when instead i got stuck with Ricky Martin's grandfather. so that should keep me out of trouble and off the streets for a few nights.