John and Chat drove me to the concert Sunday but before the date, Chat was really nervous about me and my sign.
On their way to my apartment Chat told John: "Mom made a sign to take to the concert".
"What sign?" " I don't know, but I have been telling her this last 3 months to just enjoy the concert -forget about the sign. But you know mom." Chat knew what sign I was bringing but she was embarassed to tell John.
John thought Chat was joking but when he saw me with the poster boards, he knew Chat was unable to dissuade me. John suddenly looked ill. But amazingly, Chat rooted for me. She told me to go ahead make a fool of myself, and I could tell she really meant it. So I did.
When we pulled in to the Superpages complex, Chat pointed out the 3 buses parked by the front. "There's their buses." I looked and I felt sad. As nice as the buses were, I tried to imagine what life must be like inside there. Which made me think of Arnel's family -Cherry and Cherub and everyone else back home. At least Jon, Deen, Neal and Ross's family can see them anytime, but Arnel is a long ways from home and family.
I wanted to cry for Arnel. I wondered what he does inside the bus enroute to wherever they go. After all, he is alone. Alone to his thoughts and anguish and longing for his loved ones. Alone to fend off the insecurities and doubts that plague most performers.
We got there around 6pm and the place was already teeming with activity, the vendors selling $40 t-shirts and the stretch limos occupying 3 States. There were people with their lawn chairs at the parking lot visiting and drinking. It took a while to find a parking space which costs John 15 dollars.
When Arnel sang "Lights" he started by saying, "Dallas, this is for you, and for my other hometown... San Francisco." The way he said it tugged at my heart, I had to stop the tears. Away from home, he needed to belong somewhere and San Francisco it is. I was already emotional because Nancy Wilson (Heart) sang "These Dreams" and said "I dedicate this song to our new friend Arnel."
But looking at Jon smiling and Neal gleaming with a heartwarming smile, I calmed down. When Neal smiles, he really does smile from the heart, it is not put on for the crowd. He truly loves his art and his people. When they first came on, Neal was kind of somber to my opinion. I wish I could tell you about his Les Paul and not just about his smile, but you have to be there to understand what I mean. I don't understand what riffs or bridges mean, but I was captivated just watching him work that guitar.
I could not really see Deen from behind the drums but when he raised both arms at shoulder level then bang them drums with all ferocity and uninhibited glee - I thought I must be sick for thinking it was sexy. When he stepped down from his tower to come to the front to bid their goodbyes, he had a bunch of sticks in his hand to give away. I didn't try to grab any, I have too much chopsticks at home already.
Chat wondered why he didn't sing "Mother Father." I said, "I am not here to hear them sing, I'm here to ogle and watch them sweat." If what I wanted was to hear them sing, I could just stay home and watch YouTube or playthe Revelation CD.
Then there's Jon. He was wearing Rock and Republic jeans. And a wedding ring.
I had a hard time seeing Jon from behind his piano but when he came out with his guitar, tapping his legs to the beat, my oh my...I was endorphined to death. I knew I could love me some Jonathan too. But I would love anyone who will compose me a song titled "After All These Years" with or without royalties.
Ross was always playing. When Arnel tapped his shoulder, he wanted to get Arnel back, but he wasn't able to catch Arnel- you know how the AP runs all over the place, plus it was right when he can't take his hand off from his guitar. When he wasn't making funny faces, his eyes wandered everywhere except to my direction. But that's ok, I'll stalk him some other time.
The Rolling Stone magazine rejected my query letter to write for them because they said I don't have much background in music. I would not hire me too, considering that even now I still don't remember what song Arnel opened with. I was frozen, I told you. But Thank God that I am not a paid critic because then I would not be allowed to just ramble on whatever I want to say.
I may not be a professional critic but Sunday's concert taught me 2 things about music:
1. I learned that people don't pay high dollars to sit in the front row to hear the music.
2. I learned that when people hear "Loving, Touching, Squezzing," they always get romantic. Regardless that they don't know the lyrics, or that they're without a partner. Budweised or sober, everyone was swaying.
I, was swaying because I got dizzy from a blasted eardrums. So there's my final review -YES, I HAD A BLAST!!!