I have written a lot about concerts, so you can probably tell that I am a concert-going freak. I will see just about anybody perform. Some of the shows were great. Some of the shows were not as great. Many of them have been forgotten. However, a few have stood out because I found them different and interesting.
Undoubtedly, Luciano Pavarotti provided the most interesting concert experience. He was past his prime, but his power and talent could be felt throughout the arena. I have no idea how someone got him to perform in Nashville, but I feel privileged to have heard one of the Three Tenors.
Seeing Dave Brubeck play at the Ryman Auditorium was also a privilege. I wanted to hear his most famous work, “Take Five”, but I came away with more than hearing one popular Jazz number. I spent the evening mesmerized by a legend who turned a Country music shrine into something completely different.
Speaking of Country music, I have seen Willie Nelson several times, but the most interesting took place in a minor league baseball stadium. He and Bob Dylan toured stadiums throughout the country and had their stage positioned behind second base. People packed the infield as the two legends played throughout the night. It was interesting, but I kept thinking that the show going on backstage was probably more interesting.
Dudley Moore came to Nashville many years ago to play a Valentine’s Day show with the Nashville Symphony. He was a great comedian, but he was also a classical pianist. What do you think he played? If you guessed “Bolero”, then you would be correct.
I saw Leonard Cohen because I wanted to hear “Hallelujah”. I heard “Hallelujah” and a few more songs that I recognized. Actually, one is sung by Don Henley on my iPod. There were several aspects of this concert that I found interesting. First, those that love Leonard Cohen really love Leonard Cohen. Second, those who don’t, like my date who feel asleep on my shoulder, really don’t. Third, he came out for encore after encore. It had to be some kind of a record. I wouldn’t know because we left after about four of them.
Charlie Daniels lives in my county and can be seen hanging around all of the time. His concert was interesting because I watched it from backstage. My friend worked for him and invited me along to sit how a concert works from the other side. I met Daniels around the buffet table, and we talked about people that we both knew. I remember that he had a hard time getting around, and wondered how he was going to perform. That question was answered as soon as he got in view of the audience. He ran, jumped, and played. When the show was over, he went back to moving around slowly.
There have been many interesting concerts, but the last one I will write about was a live performance by a dead guy, Elvis Presley. I went to Elvis Week on the 30th anniversary of his death and attended the reunion concert. The original band and backup singers performed on stage while a video image of Elvis sang along with them. The sold out show was better than 90% of those I have seen with living people. However, the audience reaction was the interesting part. People were crying, shrieking and screaming like he was really there. I saw the living Elvis when I was a kid and remember that audience acting the same way. ELVIS LIVES!!!
If I see more interesting concerts, then I will let you know.