Monday, November 26, 2012

I have a lot to be thankful for, including finally getting to cross seeing Peter Gabriel live in concert off my bucket list. If that wasn't good enough, he performed at the Hollywood Bowl, which means it made my epic bucket list. What was great, is that the guy next to us, who was a site manager of a remote work site way up in Canada, had flown 20 hours total to see the concert because why? Seeing Peter Gabriel in concert was on his bucket list, as well as seeing a concert at the Hollywood Bowl. I told him he beat me by one, since I'd been to the Hollywood Bowl many times. The show was sold out, and I shot this shaky video of Shannon and me during "Sledgehammer." The Canadian can be seen at the end, singing along. This video just cracks me up.

I'd bought the tickets months before when I heard he was going to be here and that the concert was a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the album "So," which brought me, and just about everyone else in the audience back to a poignant time in our lives. In my case, it was college, having just arrived in New York. So many memories associated with that album, ranging from being driven down Park Avenue at breakneck speed in a Maserati by a crazy Colombian playboy as "Red Rain" blared from the Alpine speakers, to my more quiet, reflective or artistic moments. Every song on that album brings back a memory, emotion, lesson learned, realization or new experience.

Gabriel started the concert with an acoustic, eclectic mix of his as he put it, new but unfinished songs, then plugged in the electricity for his older songs, which included many of my favorites of his, "Solsbury Hill," "Shock the Monkey,"and songs from his album "Ovo." Mesmerizing and wonderful.

Solsbury Hill is so poignant to those who have taken the road less traveled, or who have suddenly realized that their lives, while comfortable, are anything but satisfactory. And, who decided not to silence, but heed that inner voice telling them to take that leap. In Peter Gabriel's case, it was when he decided to break with Genesis.

I was feeling part of the scenery
I walked right out of the machinery
My heart going boom boom boom
"Hey" he said "Grab your things
I've come to take you home."

-- Peter Gabriel, Solsbury Hill

When he played Solsbury Hill, the whole audience stood, our hearts going boom boom boom as we danced, remembering the moments when we decided to walk out of the machinery. A soul moving, profound musical experience.

Just before "In Your Eyes," which we all knew was coming because he was playing "So" in the same order as the album, John Cusack walked on stage, holding a boombox, paying homage to the iconic scene in "Say Anything." Total. Epic. Moment. You can see that below in a video shot at the concert. Of course, magnify the awesomeness of the moment and the sound quality by a thousand if you want to imagine what it was like to be there. The sound was encompassing, rich and far reaching. John Cusack was absolutely adorable, I almost cut the circulation off in poor Shannon's arm and deafened his left ear when I saw what was going on. There were big screens at the show, and during the song they cut to John Cusack dancing it up in the audience.

The energy of the whole show was inclusive, celebratory, and I'll say it, a little sacred to those of us who have so many memories tied to "So." I was inspired to see that all of us with our different treks and stories, seemed to be participating in a pilgrimage to our pasts, paying homage to someone that helped us along the way. And, I was so glad that I got to experience it with my best friend.

Excellent birds...

I had a great Thanksgiving, going to an orphan's dinner that a friend and her husband hosted. They live close by, so it was an extra bonus not to have to get on the freeways. It was a great time with about ten people there, including a darling, sweet three-year-old girl who was just an absolute joy. Fun, not shy, not demanding, just a part of everything and a tickle away from lighting up the room with her laugh. Shannon was great with her, giving her horsie rides and allowing himself to become a human jungle gym. She also was a huge fan on my meringue surprises, so much that she came over to me and said, "Thank you for making the cookies," and soon after snuck four of them in a row. It was hilarious.

Shannon baked a scrumptious pecan, chocolate chip pumpkin pie as well as a fantastic "Smokehouse" garlic bread. The host made an absolutely mouth-watering turkey, having brined it for two days. It was so tender and moist. Just delectable.


HunnerWoof said...

Sounds like an amazing concert. And the Say Anything moment...Epic isn't even powerful enough a word to describe that!

Off topic, you know what the deal is with Captain Dave? His blog is gone and his email address is bouncing. I know you've communicated with him in the past, so was hoping maybe you had some insight.

Harold said...

My most recent moment like that was enjoying Erasure at a small theater in Georgia last year. It'd been about 20 years since I'd seen my boys live, and they still had it. It was a cathartic moment, lasting for days.

Even now, just recalling it, I'm getting a taste of the memory.

My only regret is not having my best friend along for the show.