28 years was on my mind as we went to the show last night.
I asked my husband, "when did you start talking so much?"
He asked me, in return,
"When did you start listening?"
* * *
I'm pretty sensitive to sound, and you'd think I'd be accustomed to loud, but actually I think it's worse as the hormones kick in. Poor quality sound makes me downright irritable. If you crank up bad sound, I'm liable to develop facial tics from nerves.
It's for that reason that I don't mind being a little late for rock shows. Opening acts tend to put me on edge. I had no idea who was opening for Bowie, but the name was vaguely familiar. The Polyphonic Spree.
I counted twenty-six members onstage. They were dressed in white choir robes edged with a spiritually purple border.
All of them sang.
And all of them danced--with the exclusion of those seated at instruments--such as drums, harp, & piano. But even they jammed as if possessed by something irresistibley intense.
They were just so into it. They exuded this frenetic, shamanic type of energy, and had there not been that annoying "white noise" buzz in the sound system I would have been completely enthralled. I couldn't understand the vocals to judge the lyrics of their offerings, but it was very much a modern day "Up With People" offering. I noticed a bit of a following in the audience too--all white robes and enthusiasm.
I think those unfamiliar with this group were quite taken aback.
I heard the term "cultish" to describe them so many times that I told the husband mockingly, "It's settled. I'm calling the kids. We are selling everything we own to become followers of The Polyphonic Spree. I'll have Krista stitch up some sheets tomorrow."
He nodded and said, "Okay!"
He hadn't heard a word I said, but the woman next to me choked as she laughed in her beer.
Shrug. I was only half joking. I really liked them. As they exited the stage, I was sitting there trying to remember the last time I had felt that excited about anything. I rather envied them.
During the intermission, I took advantage of the facilities and stopped at the bar for a cocktail. Hmmm. Crown Royal? Boom. $5.25.
So I put the five back in my wallet and grabbed a twenty, sighing.
It was a long line, but I wasn't minding so much, as I'm an ardent people watcher. So I was just standing there, checking out the crowd, and I couldn't help but notice an impeccably dressed woman in front of me. I couldn't help but notice her because she very tall. I came up to her elbow.
I was pretty sure she was a woman.
I say "pretty sure" because my husband had just related his bathroom adventure to me--he had stood at the ornate urinals in the Saengar Theater next to a man in fishnet stockings and a green silk mini-dress, as the man's partner--a woman, waited for him just outside, dressed dominatrix style in studded leather, arms folded and foot-tapping, looking rather cross.
Whatever gets you through your life, yanno?
But anyhoo--that's why I was contemplating whether this gorgeous creature in front of me was male or female or in transition. She was next to be served, and I heard order a couple of drafts, whereupon she startled me by turning around and asking, "What are you drinking?"
"Crown and coke."
"And give this lady a crown and coke please."
"Thanks," I said.
She noted the measured shot of crown, and said, "Is that all they give you? Make it a double." She told the bartender.
STILL not enough.
"Make it a triple." she said again, but I actually begged off, and told her that a double shot was more than enough.
"Make it a triple and give her the coke on the side."
At this point I'm just scratching my head. I'd never seen her before in my life and she'd just thrown a twenty on the bar to buy me a drink.
Before she left, I looked up at her (way up) and asked her,
"Um, how come?"
"Because I'm tall."
I returned to my seat and told my husband what had happened. I had to. The entire row could smell my drink as I nudged past them sideways (trying not to spill) to resume my seat.
After I explained, he shook his head and said to a guy he'd been chatting with,
"She picks up more women than I do."
"Nice..." The bald-headed black guy looked at us with renewed interest.
I frowned at my husband and asked again,
"When did you start talking so much?"
* * *
I was disappointed with the show, too. Bowie seemed low-energy after the hyper opening act, and I had that disappointment with sound that tends to happen at the Saengar with groups more accustomed to playing large arenas. They'd hung stacks unnecessarily for such a small place, the sound was mixed poorly and not equalized. There were interesting things to see, of course--the light show was excellent, but Bowie also had a forty foot screen behind him with computer animated cartoons, which are now pretty passe' in my book. I expected him to play his dance music of course. (and he did) but I also expected someone who made a fortune playing dance music to dance--just a little--but unfortunately the largest expenditure of energy the man made was to change from one expensive guitar to the next.
Perhaps I'm jaded but I was unimpressed.
So? I meandered about the lobby, enjoying the mix of people populating the various lines, popping my head through the theater doors for my favorite tunes.
It was the first time I'd seen David Bowie, and unless it's free and I'm escorted by the tall um, lady?, it will be the last.
* * *
But I just might go see The Polyphonic Spree again.
So there ya have it folks, serenity's night on the town report.
* * *