The first event of Not Sabbatical was a hit.
We drove down to Bend yesterday and had dinner with C then went to the Paul Simon concert. We stayed the night, had breakfast with C this morning, then came back up to Portland. Traffic wasn't terrible, which is great. It can be a nightmare between here and there. A few years ago we went down the Friday of 4th of July weekend, not thinking about it being the Friday of 4th of July weekend and our right around 3 hour drive took closer to 6. It was insane. But both yesterday and today weren't bad. Now to be fair we did leave right after breakfast this morning just to beat the rush home of everyone that spent the weekend on the rivers and lakes trying to beat the heat.
But anyway...it was a good quick weekend trip and now we are home in time to get some things taken care of before work starts again tomorrow. Brent needs to fly to Seattle so that's a crazy sort of day in and of itself. Last time he had a meeting there his flight was delayed so much they ended up doing the meeting by phone conference AFTER spending a few hours in the airport. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. It's not Crater Lake, but we will get there some day.
The concert was really good. The Bend Amphitheater is a little less fancy than the one in Vancouver, more of a band shell than a concert venue, but it was still fine. Hot as fuck. Oh my god. The one thing it did not have that the amphitheater in Vancouver has is shade. So everyone was just out in the sun. Sweating like crazy. And since we all had to be wanded in the lines were crazy long. Now I went with fancy tickets so we skipped the crazy long line but we saw how long they were and felt really badly for everyone standing in them. (Yes, I know, but I am willing to pay for convenience)
He sounded great. He's 75 and did a two hour set. Amazing. C asked this morning if he did all of the hits (he was being a little facetious since he has no idea what Paul Simon's hits are) and I told him no, but that it would be impossible to do 50 years worth of hits. Fifty years. That's one hell of a long career. And he's still making new music. So no, he didn't play every song I would want him to play, but he played a lot of them. And even the newer things were good.
His band is incredible. And he has a brass section. I'm a sucker for a busy horn section. And we are pretty sure he was high as fuck when he first came out so to be able to sing that purely and remember all of the words while floating along on your own personal cloud. Amazing.
Now the parts that make me shake my head...
Why oh why do you bother to buy concert tickets if you are going to show up late, bitch about the artist, and talk through the songs? By the end of the night Brent had a hand permanently on my leg to keep me from spinning around and suggesting they would be able to hear their conversation more clearly outside of the venue so the man on the stage wouldn't keep interrupting them. It was making me crazy. He would sing they would talk louder. They had to have spent close to $500 for the number of seats they had. Why in the world would you spend that money to talk to each other and annoy everyone around you? Stay home. Throw a garden party with his music on in the background. Enjoy your friends and the music for so much less money and I would have to think so much more enjoyable of an evening. And for fucks sake stop tapping your foot on my chair. Don't make me ask you again.
One of the men was insistent that Paul wasn't playing his guitar. Every few minutes he'd announce to his group, "Do you enjoy air guitar?" then try to show how he would start and stop and so he obviously wasn't playing. Or his fingers weren't moving the right way. It took everything I had to not turn around and explain why he was an idiot. I guess he's never seen a band with more than one guitar player. And my guess is that the talking was making it hard for him to hear the difference when Paul was playing and when he wasn't. But seriously...every few minutes, "Do you enjoy air guitar?" What I would enjoy is you shutting the fuck up. Please. Just to be polite. They did pay enough attention to sing along with one song. That was the only time I thought they should go back to talking. Now I am horrible about singing along. I like to sing along. But I do so very quietly unless it's one of those moments where the artist encourages the crowd to join in . I figure you didn't pay to hear me sing so I will do it softly. And I don't have a terrible voice. *sigh*
After the second encore and the band took their bows and left the stage Paul stayed out there. Just him and a guitar. He closed the evening with a few final thoughts. Anger is addictive. It feeds on itself. And though there might be a lot of things to be angry about right now it's better to make decisions and plans with a clear and calm mind. So we need to keep in mind that someone is trying to make sure we are all staying angry. Someone is profiting off of our collective anger. And we shouldn't give it to them. Then he played Sounds of Silence on his guitar and sang. Just him. No band. One man and a guitar. Pure.
I turned around feeling the weight of his words to look at the people who had been driving me crazy all evening and....
SON OF BITCH they left early so I couldn't even tell the bastard, HOW DID YOU LIKE THAT AIR GUITAR YOU IGNORANT FUCK??