Saturday, January 15, 2005

riding with the king

So, Amelia's job is not the most ideal job ever created. She hardly got any time off over the holidays, she has to deal with a lot of crap, and she has to stand on her feet all day. That said, however, we've found that it definitely has some bonuses. We got to experience one of those bonuses Friday night, when her boss (Chuck) gave us free tickets to see B.B. King here in town.

Now, I'm not as into the blues as a lot of people I know. I respect it, and I like it, and I've got a few blues CDs, but I'm not a vehement fan or anything. But I think watching "the famous Mr. B.B. King" on stage was one of the most entertaining concerts I've ever had a chance to depend. He doesn't have any kind of pyrotechnics, or video screens, or anything at all, really. I mean, come on, the guy is 79 years old and performs sitting down in a chair on a basically bare stage--just his back-up band and a few roadies sitting at the back.

But talk about charisma. When he starts playing, first his left foot starts pumping up and down in time with the music, then soon both legs are moving, and his head starts rolling around like a man posessed, and he just jams. It's like his body has extra hinges, and his hands fly up and down the guitar, and you know he's just feeling the music.

And the man has a great rapport with the audience. When he moved into "When Love Comes to Town" and no one was singing along, he stopped the song and started talking about how "Maybe you all don't realize that this song is about me. And Bono, you know, he wrote it for me. When love comes to town...that's me! And I like it when you all sing about me, so when I hold up my hand, you sing..." It was like that for a number of the pieces. Everything had a little story, a little meaning, a little chance for B.B. to tell us he was happy to be there. It was great.

The guy is definitely getting older (he told more than a few Viagra jokes), and who knows how much longer he'll be around for. I'm just glad I got the chance to see him last night, because, while I already liked him (his CD with Eric Clapton is one of the few blues CDs I have), I appreciate him now more than I ever would have otherwise. He's a professional, he's an amazing musician, and he's a legend. Definitely a night to remember!

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