You've been running around singing "summer, summer, time!"
Ladies, the sundresses have been on full display and the feet have been shown. Fellas, some of you have been brave hearts and pulled out the Jesus sandals.
I hope Sweet baby Jesus has been a shield from those with crusty heels
‘Errbody and they mama threw white parties. These summer months also required an outdoor concert or two. In L.A., the Hollywood Bowl is the spot. "The Bowl", that's what we call it, is always on some grown sh@#. Date nightin’ with your boo, or roll with your friends, you flex your picnic basket game, and bring your own adult beverages (yes plural), …like I said grown.
Years back, a friend invited me to a Diana Krall concert. Didn't really know her music, but I knew it was jazz, so I was game. Free & music, why not. We met at the entrance, and started our trek inside. Yeah, I said trek, the place was built inside a canyon and the hill is steep on top of steep. Only in L.A. would you come to a concert and be forced to exercise. It's norm to see folks standing off to the side with their coolers, Trader Joe’s bags, sweating, stopping right where they stand with no f@#ks to give about who’s behind them trying to catch air. If people weren’t watching you’d do Rocky arms when you reached the top.
My good sense and common sense should have known something was wrong when we were walking up and didn’t hear any music. It was weird cause you can always hear the noise. We just chalked it up to they hadn’t started yet. We get to the section entrance. The usher is standing in front of the black curtain, and I see something I’ve never seen. There’s a sign posted on a black stand. I do a double take. It says that we have to be silent once we get inside.
I’m like what…wait, we can’t make noise?
I’m at a concert. Concert= Noise. And I’m outside.
I don’t know this Bowl experience. We dance, clap, sing along, stand up…enjoy the vibe. I know Krall is not Beyoncé, but I can’t express enjoyment over a riff, a breakdown? The Bowl has always had rules. But I’ve never seen a sign saying “quiet please”. I was so frazzled, I forgot to take a pic and I take pictures of everything.
We get to our seats. I start people watching, I can’t help it, it’s what I do. Krall was singing and you would have thought it was a lecture on nuclear physics. I’ve never seen the Bowl that quiet and lifeless. This was not my concert tribe. There had to have been an alien invasion. Who is motionless at a concert? Bowl seats are way too close and the man next to me had an anger scowl, serial killer tendencies. I was uncomfortable. If it didn’t know better, I was getting punked. The jumbotron was running a hotline number to text if someone is making noise around you.
They got crime stopper messages encouraging you to dry snitch?
Passive, aggressive elementary tattletale measures
Can you clap? Can you sing along? Should I text? Should I not text? Who wants that type of confining pressure?
I started asking myself questions...
As an artist how do you perform under these conditions? Artists feed off the energy of the crowd. This place was an artistic famine. The energy was like the room when a comedian bombs. They were stiff even though they had gotten a little tipsy. Remember, I said you could bring alcohol.
So how dull, dry, and robotic were they when they were sober? Seriously, this to them was fun. I couldn’t take it anymore, I left. I couldn’t subject my musical spirit to it any longer. I told my friend, “I’m out”. She understood.
All these years, there’s been this whole other thing going on I knew nothing about. And even though we are all one human race, differences are real. That alien experience reaffirmed for me, the walk in my skin is not easy and comes with it’s own unique circumstances, but I wouldn’t trade it for nothing in this world. Praise Him (in my King Of The Hill voice) for the ability to love, express, the unrestricted joys of music.
She is a contributing writer for Watch The Yard.
And knows a thing or two about Marketing & Brand Development.
She's a product of find a way or make one.
And a shoe lover, lover of shoes. She lives in L.A. (not a transplant, a native).
Guest Blogger, Laura D. Reid
Laura's Blog: http://thisisldr.wixsite.com/mysite