Thursday, June 26, 2008

Outside the Rain...

Outside the rain and the heart skips a beat... are you... lonely... ("Outside the Rain")

So about the Stevie Nicks concert last night in lovely NW Ohio...

Oh, thunder only happens when it's raining... ("Dreams")

You could say it was a tad damp.

The clouds... never expect it... when it rains... but the sea... changes colors... but the sea... does not change... ("Edge of 17")

Gee, I never realized how many of Stevie's songs talk about rain, until last night. I think she invoked the rain gods.

The evening started out well. I swung past the BMV to renew my plates—took all of 5 minutes, a World Record BMV trip. I arrived on time at the restaurant (or should I say "before the others") which is unusual for me (or maybe they were just later than I was). Dinner was Spaghetti Warehouse Baked Penne (good choice, enough leftover for two meals) and a pitcher of Sangria shared between three of us (I only had one small glass though).

We moved on to the fourth friend's house (she had to pick up her Mom at the airport and missed dinner) for a beer before the show. She lives close by. We left in plenty of time to beat traffic, find a good parking spot near the Zoo, and walk in.

We were 50 feet away from the car when the skies, which had been threatening all afternoon, just opened up. I don't mean light rain. I mean torrential downpour. Monsoon. Blinding rain. The kind for which no umbrella is a match. The kind where all it takes is one big gust of wind and the horizontal monsoon totally takes you out and everything from the waist down (that isn't protected by the water-resistant jacket your friends laughed at you for bringing along) is instantly soaked to the bone marrow. Not just the bone, but straight to the marrow.

Considering the light buzz going, it was funny at first. We took shelter under someone's garage overhang until it lightened up. But it was too late. We were drenched. We could not have been wetter unless we'd jumped into a swimming pool fully clothed and did the backstroke. (Good call not to bother doing my hair.)

I'll spare the remaining chronology, because it was a cycle of rain lets up, maybe they'll play, rain comes back... wait. Sure, it was funny at first. It was so absurd that all we could do was laugh, and it was warm out. But as the evening wore on, and the temperatures dropped, and Stevie was nowhere in sight, and we tired of seeing the crew pull the plastic off the stage equipment for the fortieth time then quickly replace it when storm #7,000 came along, let's just say the flavor wore off.

Stevie, the consummate professional, made an announcement that they had their boots on, their lipstick on, and were ready to play as soon as it let up. So we waited.

Finally, around 10 PM, Stevie took the stage. There were some PA problems during the first song, so we were treated to an a capella version of "Stand Back" but Stevie rocked it. She sounded better than she has in years. The rest of the show was fantastic. It rained steadily during the first few songs. Forever in my mind, when I hear "Outside the Rain" from now on, I will remember standing IN the rain listening to her sing it. I also found poignancy in the line "when the rain washes you clean, you'll know" from Dreams.

I found myself in tears during "Landslide" for obvious reasons: the parallels between the loss of my Dad and Mom and Stevie's loss of her beloved Daddy three years ago (about a year before my Dad died). It's always been one of my favorite songs, and in fact I perform it live sometimes, just me and my guitar, and I've always connected with it, but for some reason, the rain, the cold, the forlornness of the moment, and the photos of Stevie's life with her Dad playing on the backdrop... it hit me like a ton of bricks. Nobody knew, though. My tears mingled with the rain.

We bailed during "Edge of 17" in order to beat the crowds. It was almost midnight, one friend had an hour's drive home and a 5 AM wake up call for work; another had a 13-hour nursing shift ahead of her. We didn't miss much, as we could hear her all the way back to the car. She encored with Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll". Eh, I like the way Ann & Nancy do it better.

I will say I have never, ever been that soaked for that long in clothes. I felt like a shipwreck refugee. By the time I was in the car driving home, I began to shiver. I peeled off the rags and took a hot shower. But I am STILL sort of shivery inside. Like I might never get truly warm again.

That was my birthday present, four days early. I don't think I'll ever forget it! LOL!

In other news... the band I joined? Fired me already. Heh. Well, I had some issues with it anyway. The situation was billed a bit differently than what the reality was. I'm glad for the experience and that I was able to play live, sort of test the waters again and stretch past several comfort zones—and maybe that was all it was about. Maybe the entire reason for this experience was to prove to me:
  • yes, you still have the ability to learn 40 cover songs in 6 days, then play the gig well
  • yes, you can play bass and sing simultaneously (after 19 years away from it)
  • yes, you are brave enough to sing and play guitar all by yourself live
  • yes, your originals sound good with a band
  • yes, people like your originals
  • yes, you can still sing live (after 9 years away)
  • yes, you still LOVE IT and this is what you're meant to do
And also to help me refine my vision of what I want for MY band and my ideal musical situation. In addition, the areas of improvement are clear, and I know what I need to do to be prepared for the next gig.

It's all good.

Oh, and the three estate options? Never mind. I found the fatal flaw. Turns out the way Sister wants it settled IS the right way. But that's OK. I still get money now, and more later, and I have a house to live in, and I can sell it down the road (for more money). I just don't get what I wish I was getting. It doesn't change my plans, it just changes the way I pursue my plans a little. All the thinking did was to help me understand finally why this way works, because I didn't before.

It's all good.


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