Another great performance.
I went to the Dallas and Houston concerts on two consecutive nights. Several people thought I was crazy for doing so, but (despite being a tad tired of feeling I need to justify my expenditure of time or money to anyone), I´m very glad I went. Two different nights. In my opinion, two different shows, despite the singing of the same songs.
Dallas (the preceding night) ´“ indoor, air conditioned venue with stadium-seating and cup holders on the seats in front of you. Polite, respectful audience, dressed nicely on a Friday night.
Houston ´“ outdoor, amphitheatre setting where those who came out to sit on the lawn or in the uncovered section of the pavilion did so after a rainy afternoon on what is a typical humid, sweltering, summer day. Very casually dressed on this Saturday evening.
- Firstly, something Jerry Douglas did caught my attention. The previous night, in Dallas, I am positive he introduced the bassist, Todd Parks, as ´a local´¯ guy ´“ ´Dallas´ own.´¯ In Houston, JD introduced him ´from a city/town you´ve probably never heard of: Cleveland, Tennessee.´¯ I googled Parks just prior to writing this review and, indeed, he does have ties to Cleveland, TN. I was thinking JD just made a game of giving Parks a different birthplace each night. Perhaps he does or this was a one-night joke. Whichever, you might just want to listen if you attend a future concert, just for grins.
- After 2-3 songs into the set, Paul Simon gave his introductory remarks. He started by commenting on the sunset. Then he said something like, ´I have good memories of here. I was just thinking that I came here shortly after meeting my wife, Edie, back when her grandmother was still alive.´¯ Then he paused and said, ´and now I´m just thinking about my wife´¯ and he stared off into the distance and just smiled, as if lost in thought. It was sweet. However, something about him mentioning Edie´s grandmother, though not crucial to his joke, was so lovely and warm and personal. It gave an added dimension to the anecdote. It was touching.
- Later during the concert, someone obviously must have yelled out, ´I love you!´¯ because PS replied, ´I love me, too.´¯ After the laughter, he said, ´´¦ 1/3 of the time,´¯ then smiled/laughed and played the next song. (I wouldn´t read too much into this. Whether it´s true or not, I would guess PS meant it to be taken as a joke.)
- In Dallas, my 9-year-old was with me at the show. I turned to her so excitedly when PS returned for the 3rd encore, ´Late in the Evening´¯ and explained they hadn´t been giving 3 encores previously on the tour. This led to quite a discussion about encores and are they planned or aren´t they and how do you plan to do something that is supposed to be spontaneous, etc. That´s why I found it rather funny when, in Houston, after PS came out for the 2nd encore, he looked at the audience before playing and remarked, ´It´s a funny ritual: encore.´¯
- One irksome event that occurred: After PS returned for the 3rd encore, some ´moo´¯ (as I believe Micky would say) from one of the first three rows reached up to give him something. PS took it, then looked at it, and it seemed clear to me was disgusted at what had just occurred. It looked to be about a 200-300 page document (manuscript, perhaps?) and PS either figuratively or literally (I´m not even sure which) seemed to grimace/shake his head/roll his eyes, either at his aggravation with himself for taking the document, upset at coming out for the 3rd encore which set up the scene in which the opportunity presented itself, or disgust with the audience member for being so impolite/bold/presumptuous as to hand him this stack of papers in front of a crowd in the midst of a performance. Whatever the reasons, I shrank in my seat, embarrassed to be in the same audience as such a person and hoping that wouldn´t put a damper on PS´s memories of performing in Houston. His earlier recollection of playing there shortly after meeting Edie, when her grandmother was still alive, created a much nicer memory, I´m sure.
Side notes, for those who are interested:
- No anecdote preceding ´Father & Daughter´¯ and no son accompanying him on this song in Dallas nor Houston.
- I didn´t look in the lobby in Dallas, but didn´t see any anyone coming into the theatre with tour merchandise for PS. I saw someone with a Jerry Douglas CD. In Houston, there were 2 main entrances into the pavilion. I didn´t check out both of them, but I can´t imagine it would vary from one entrance to the next. I didn´t see t-shirts nor CDs there, either.