I've been a huge fan of Johnette and Concrete Blonde since the first day I heard their music, and I've taken every opportunity to see them live because it is, without exception, a soul-lifting show, every time. This time proved no different...though it did have it's moments.
e get downtown and to the venue. Neither Dianna nor myself had ever been here (Berbati's Pan, for you locals), so we didn't know what to expect. Inside, we found a really nifty little venue, and got seats close to the stage, though not right in front, which turned out to be a good thing. Eventually, David J too the stage. I haven't seen him in a long, long time, so we didn't really know if he'd have aged well or what. As it turns out, he's done fine for himself, and still looks/sounds pretty much the same. He started a little rocky, doing more esoteric solo stuff, but quickly picked up the pace, giving a great show. Ending his set with a trio of old Love and Rockets tunes was a nice closer...or so we thought.
As he's ending the track, Johnette came out, and they merged into a duet of the Leonard Cohen track "Tower of Song" which was amazing. He left, and Johnette took over without missing a beat. For that matter, she barely paused for her entire set, powering out song after song. She has the most amazing voice, it inspires me. Hearing the sheer amount of energy that she pours into her music gives me goosebumps, and tonight was no exception. And, for having just turned 50 last month, she still looks fan-fucking-tastic, and you'd never know the age for seeing or hearing her. A wonderful range of both recent solo songs and tracks form the entire range of Concrete Blonde history made for a wonderful set. Closing the show with an a cappella version of "Tomorrow, Wendy" was perfect. Throughout the show, she was her normal, friendly, personable self; she shines best at a small venue, because she seems completely accessible, like she's just there, having a good time, and we're all involved. It's a great feeling. One quick encore song was delivered, as she came out and tore through a cover of Janis Joplin's "Mercedes Benz"...and since Di's as big a Janis fan as I am of Johnette, this was possibly the best thing she'd heard in, well, a lifetime. ;)
So, I said the show had a few "moments":
- "Crack is Wack": the chairs in this place were all these plastic patio/lawn type things. In David J's second song, mine cracked, making me not want to lean back and put weight on it. This meant I spent the rest of the evening either hunched forward or sitting ramrod straight. not amazingly comfy
- "I am Woo-man, hear me bore": Some drunken jackass felt the need to start yelling "woo!" after pretty much every line that David J sang, starting right with song one. This continued, on and on, as he got out of his chair and slowly made his way through the room and to the stage, where we continued "woo!"-ing, etc., until someone finally got him to leave. He returned later, still drunk but devoid of "woo."
- "But there's no flash!": signs stated, clearly, no flash photography or videotaping. And yet, you just knew, in your gut, that some idiot had his camera phone out, since the signs specified "flash" photography, right? yep, this guy wasn't even being discrete about it, taking shot after shot, until he gets right at center stage below Johnette, reaches up, and sticks the damn thing in her face (right in the middle of the MOST beautiful cover of "Ghost Riders in the Sky" that I have EVER heard). Nicely, though, Johnette, whose hair is usually in her face anyway, tossed her hair to completely cover it, flipped him off, and then stopped the song long enough to tell the guy that she was having him kicked out, because he was a disrespectful asshole. He was ejected.
- "But it's not taping!": the couple at the table next to us, as well, had a digital camera on their table, just hidden with her purse, taping chunks of the show. I was very tempted to bump the table and spill their drinks on that camera. Fucking useless fleshbags.
*sigh* Even these things could not take the magic out of this night. Yes, I'm in a fabulous mood.