Where I Get to Go to a Grown-up Gig

I don’t get out much. Outside entertainment is just not in my budget plus I like my home. I prefer to cook my real foods at home and I like to read and write so when I go out it’s a big deal. I took myself to see the local live theater production of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” for my birthday last October. Haven’t had so much fun in ages, came home smiling and singing the Time Warp song and SO wanted to learn the choreographed version. Why, yes, I do love musical theater.

Last August the hubster won tickets to a Hot Tuna CONCERT, a name you might recognize if you love blues/bluegrass music, guitars, or are a person of age. They’ve been playing music together for more than fifty years. So, yeah. Hot Tuna is one of his favorite bands and I was up for the adventure. Summer time, a cruise across the city to an intimate venue, an acoustic set. Perfect.

Then the concert was canceled. Hubster went ballistic. He doesn’t get out much either. I did my research and found out the wife of the bass guitarist, Jack Casady, was dying of cancer. The band took her home to help her die at home. Musicians are people too. I hope they loved her well and truly while she had her last days here with them. When I told the hubster, he lost all his steam. We are people of age. It could happen to us. It did happen: we were sad for Jack and his family even though they are complete strangers.

The CONCERT was rescheduled! The venue confirmed they’d honor the comp tickets we’d won. We were on. Except it’s February. It’s cold, it’s dark. It rains in February. The concert is general seating.

We arrive half an hour before the doors open so we can get a good seat. We notice the line around the block before we even turn the corner where the theater is. The universe is with us, however, and we find a parking spot quickly and easily just a block from the theater. Walking down the line to find our place at the end is like walking past a Gray Pride Parade, all the canes and walkers in the way.

We only wait half an hour. It’s dark, not too cold, SOOO grateful it’s not raining, but the ticket holder line snakes down the sidewalk which parallels a main arterial and a bus line that runs every seven minutes with the drivers pulling up thinking all these people are getting on the bus. But no. The hubster’s knees are locked in place from standing for that long, for me it’s the lower back. Practically the whole line hobbles stiffly into the theater doors when they open.

Inside it’s a sea of fifty shades of gray hair. More ponytails on men than I’ve seen together in one room for more than twenty years. It’s been at least that long since I went to a music concert. Every face looks familiar. Weren’t we all at this same concert just forty years ago? Except now we all have less hair and more wrinkles. And more canes. And more pain.

And the MUSIC. Oh, what music. The sound guy didn’t quite have it right, a little too much treble here and a little too much bass there and that I can tell you that means a lot because I don’t hear the sounds so well. Never did. Worse now. Hubster is very picky acoustically and he said I was right. So really the acoustics were great.

Then the sound guy needed to be fired (I was going to say shot, but you can’t even say that in jest these days, and really I would not want him dead, but he proved he shouldn’t do the job). My eyes still hurt. Because of the lights.

But the MUSIC. Oh, the music! Three men with white hair sitting in three chairs playing acoustic blues and bluegrass old-timey rocking MUSIC on beautiful guitars. You could tell how much fun they were having PLAYING music together. Two little third-generation hippie chickies were dancing by the wall up by the stage. AWESOME.

I’ve forgotten what concerts were like. This one was peaceful, all were happy to be there. But the seats in the house were built in the 1920s, built for people who ate real food and worked hard and rarely had a speck of extra flesh on them. No matter how you sat or how your neighbor sat in the chairs you couldn’t help but touch. Me? I don’t like touching strangers so much. And between the musk oil and the patchouli, the body odor and bad breath of all the people around me, I nearly had a nose bleed.

BUT in the end, it was all about the MUSIC, music to soothe my soul and help me remember the sharing that can take place with music. And to enjoy what happens when all the harmonics converge despite or because of asteroid fever. Maybe I should get out more.

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