Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Concert.

Hilton Southern Hills

About that concert I've been teasing you all about: Have I mentioned that it was incredible, exciting, intimate and spine-tingling?

Yes? Over and over again, you say? Well, I only repeat myself because the concert was, in fact, incredible, exciting, intimate and spine-tingling.


The quality of the music was unbelievable, yes. But, I have a special place in my heart for the music of B.B. King. My dad played the blues for me on our stereo at home from as early as I can remember, and B.B. King tunes were never far away. Plus, my first-ever real, live boyfriend used to serenade me with the blues, picking out all make and manner of desperate, sad and passionate songs on a brand-new Stratocaster. One of his favorites was The Thrill is Gone. He could always make me laugh with his falsetto rendition of that song.

A few of the tunes B.B. belted out for us were:

-In Need You Baby
-Let the Good Times Roll
-Key to the Highway
-A few Blind Lemon Jefferson tunes, including Everyday Blues and Please See That My Grave Is Kept Clean
-When Love Comes to Town
-The Thrill is Gone. Yes, really.

My goodness, the power of music.

I liked what my husband said after the show was over: "I was blown away by the music. Then, B.B. King came out."

I couldn't agree more. The band that preceded and accompanied B.B. was outstanding. As in, bone-rattling, hackles-raising good. Or, go-limp-in-your-chair outstanding, as I did during a few saxophone solos and when the bass player took charge.

B.B. King @ Mabee Center, New Years Eve 2009

Mercy.

B.B. King @ Mabee Center, New Years Eve 2009

B.B. King was one of the most expressive artists I've ever seen in concert. He didn't just sit up on stage and go through the motions. He told stories, he made jokes, he asked how the audience felt about this and that. He made the Mabee Center, sectioned off but still as large as it is, feel like a front porch in his hometown in Mississippi, crowded with neighbors and passers-by.

B.B. King @ Mabee Center, New Years Eve 2009

B.B. King @ Mabee Center, New Years Eve 2009

I loved how expressive he was. The man, of all of 84 years, just couldn't be stopped.

B.B. King @ Mabee Center, New Years Eve 2009

B.B. King @ Mabee Center, New Years Eve 2009

Check out the faces this guy makes when he's playing. The photos are fun, but in real life, it's the most beautiful thing, to see someone that immersed in sound.

B.B. King @ Mabee Center, New Years Eve 2009

After the concert was over, the audience came up from behind those of us on the front row and swarmed the stage, waving ticket stubs and concert posters in hopes of snagging a B.B. autograph.

B.B. King @ Mabee Center, New Years Eve 2009

We didn't stay. We split so we could catch our 10:30pm dinner reservations at Legends, the restaurant in the Hilton Southern Hills, the hotel where we stayed New Years Eve. Besides, we'd just spent an hour and a half mere feet from the man. It was time for us to move over and make room for everyone who'd watched from a distance.

We feel so, so lucky to have stumbled our way into being able to go to this concert. Sitting on the front row with my husband of five years will be a memory that will stick with me until I'm old enough to knock over displays at the grocery store and then pretend that I didn't mean to, blaming it on senility.

It'll be fun. And my man and I will still be talking about this concert. We might share glasses of prune juice instead of champagne on New Years Eve, but the thrill of this concert will definitely not be gone.

Yeah, yeah, that's cheesy. I know. But that's how I get when I win cool stuff. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Sign up for local e-mail blasts, everybody. You might just win something, even if you're like me and you never win anything, ever. The chance to win something this cool is worth spending a few minutes of your life feeding a robot your name and e-mail address.

B.B. King @ Mabee Center, New Years Eve 2009

Trust me.

3 comments:

KG Photography &Art said...

Totally jealous!!! Glad someone won who really appreciated it!

Ed said...

I didn't know you grew up with a blues education! Lucky you. Who else was on the rotation? Albert Collins? Freddie King? Lightning Hopkins?

Glad you guys enjoyed the concert so much. B.B. really is one of the best live performers I've ever seen. When I caught him for the first time, I figured it would be a sad little exercise... wheel out the legend, have him fumble through a few old songs, etc. Um... NO WAY. He tore the roof off the Brady. I was stunned. Seen him 4 times since and loved every minute. :)

Kelly said...

I saw BB in Dallas in the late 80's. He was fantastic. I am jealous.

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