the last couple of shows i've worked at the Orpheum just haven't been what i expected. well, in one case, that makes sense. i mixed up my dates and was expecting a completely different performer. so instead of Paco de Lucia, i got Jose Luis Perales, who apparently exists as an object lesson for Ricky Martin - what not to be when he's 50. go in expecting jazz, come out with Ricky Martin's grandfather. ::shakes head briskly to clear the after effects:: hoo. so not what i wanted to experience. the show itself was a bit of a corker, too. apparently, siesta time is honored by Spaniards world wide. the crew that was supposed to set up at 10:30 in the morning? showed up around 3 and left for lunch. sound check for an 8 pm show? still going strong at 8:15. the nearly sold out crowd? suffering from much hypothermia, despite management opening the lobby when the house was supposed to be open. my attitude? a little snarky that night. yeesh. nothing like being stampeded by 2,000 middle age Spanish women who want to know where their seat is, Right Now!, and why hasn't the show started yet? oh, and we don't speak English. damn. i have *got* to learn me some Spanish.
oh, here's a little tip: if you have a problem with your seat, we do want to help. we're much more likely to help if you don't start the discussion with 'this is unacceptable!' at high volumes. 'could you help me?', with or without the please, is much more effective.
and when i went to leave the show? Red Line was shut down. the cops told us it was a suicide; turns out that a homeless gentleman was trying to crawl out of the tunnel (where he lived) onto the platform, and got clipped by the train. i went back to work the rest of the show, if for no other reason than to keep warm, as it was snowing at that point, and i've lost the top button off of my coat. yes, yes - i do have a replacement button. why? oh, well, damn... fine, i'll get around to it. sewing isn't a big thing for me, and i put off doing things i hate. yes, i know i'd be warmer if i just fixed the damn thing. sheesh. anyway, we spent the rest of the show wondering what had happened and talking about how we'd want to die, if we had a say in it. this was not a conversation for the squeamish, my friends.
and then i got stood up at the bar. we were going to meet for last call, as i had Things to Do and he had Things to Do earlier in the night. i spent a pleasant hour and a half talking to some other friends, ultimately heading out alone. all in all, a fun evening.
the other show was Paolo Conte, and that was much more fun. he's an Italian jazz singer. i know. who would have thought those two things would go in the same sentence? but they do. and he is. and he's good. nice horn section. there's little that makes me happier than a good horn section. i even enjoyed the accordian solo. i know - who would have thought? but it was good. i poked around trying to find the review from last week's Phoenix, or Stuff @ Night, but it ain't turning up. feh. they described him as Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits. i'd say it was more like Victor Borge meets Dave Brubeck. Paolo was sweet and funny, singing mostly in Italian, but throwing in words from pretty much any language that tickled his fancy. i cannot explain how 'Chips, chips!' got into that song any other way. here's a man who has had a successful country lawyer career, is an artist and also a jazz singer. that's a fair amount of talent in one person. if you can dig up The Best of Paolo Conte, the only non-import album, i'd recommend it. i'll come back and freshen this up with links when i can find them. [update 24 April: well, i finally dug around on Amazon. here you go.]
here's a story that will give new meaning to having a great time at a show: the night before Paolo Conte, Trey Anastasio from Phish played at the Orpheum. it was madness, madness, i tell you! sold out show, road blocked off to prevent scalpers, short staffed, and upwards of 300 scalped tickets... for a row that didn't exist. yup, all the scalps were in one row. duh. the next night, these two girls came up to us at intermission, embarrassed and giggling. one of them had kicked her foot against the hole in the floor under her seat, and now she only had one shoe; could we help her retrieve the other one? turns out it wasn't a hole, it was a heating duct. after Dave fished out her shoe (no rat run-ins), we went looking for the maintenance guy, because, seriously, you could have lost small children down that duct. well, wouldn't you know... the cast iron grate that's usually bolted over the heating duct? went AWOL during the Anastasio show. some fan made it home with a grate under his coat, just so he could use the visual aid when he told his friends what a great time he had.