Friday, September 01, 2006

Robert Cray

Eric Johnson opened for Robert Cray. I can tell he's really good and I've had people tell me how amazing he is before. Last night he was having problems with his equipment. Once he knocked over the mic and someone had to come out and stabilize it because it wouldn't stay up. The music was too loud for his voice; I could barely hear him singing over the guitars even though I knew he was singing.

Robert Cray: When I saw him in Atlanta, he came out smoking right from the beginning even though (maybe because) he was really late -- almost an hour. He started off quieter here but was still good. His fatal mistake was in thinking he had a civilized audience. About four songs in, he sang Twenty, the title cut from his new album. Twenty is about a soldier in Iraq who's questioning why he's over there. People started saying, "Why don't you love America?" I saw some people leave. Anyway, I enjoyed hearing him; he and his band were good. They did a lot of stuff I hadn't heard before but then I have several of his albums such as Shame + A Sin that I haven't listened to as much as Shoulda Been Home and I Was Warned.

The Audience: This entire city should not be allowed to attend concerts until they prove that they know the difference between an outdoor music festival like Bayfest and a concert held in a concert hall. They also need to show that they have access to timepieces and know how to use them. I've never been to any kind of event in this city where half the audience hasn't been late. So I'm sitting there trying to watch Eric Johnson and instead I see people's heads and flashlights as these late people are being shown to their seats. I'm also convinced indoor venues should not be allowed to sell alcohol. I wanted to get up during the concert, go to the mic and say, "If you people do not SIT down, Mr. Cray and his bandmates are going to leave. NOW SIT DOWN!" It really was more than a few people going out to get beer and then coming back -- it was half the audience. And then there was this undercurrent of conversation during the whole concert that was loud enough to be disturbing -- I would also have said "SHUT UP!" while I was at the mic. There was some dude there who yelled, "I love you Eric!" during Eric Johnson's set. I think he is at every concert I've been to here. Then there were two women who felt that they needed to dance in the aisles (which isn't allowed at this venue) and block my view of Robert Cray. One of them stepped on my husband's foot. The other had to be told three times by the Saenger security guy that dancing in the aisles is not allowed.


  1. Returning: Buddy Miller from Universal United House of Prayer
  2. Don't Whisper: Shemekia Copeland from Talking to Strangers
  3. Drunken Sailor: Red Hand Paddy from Something Close to Sinnin' -- this is babelbabe's husband's band
  4. Travelin' Soldier: Dixie Chicks from Home -- let the weeping begin -- this song always makes me cry.
  5. Every Little Thing She Does is Magic: The Police from The Very Best of . . . Sting & the Police
  6. No One Has to Know: Eliot Morris from an Eliot Morris sampler I got at an outdoor music show
  7. Ain't No Way: Patti LaBelle with Mary J. Blige from Classic Moments
  8. Love Me Over Again: Don Williams from Anthology
  9. (You've Got To) Love Her With a Feeling: Taj Mahal from Phantom Blues
  10. I Was Watching You: Rosanne Cash from Black Cadillac


Lazy cow said...

Happy anniversary!
Sorry to hear your concert experience wasn't stellar. I saw Robert Cray about 7 years ago when I was pregnant. It was in a smallish, intimate venue, where everyone stood up (which was awful for me as I was so tired by the time he came on!)
Strong Persuader is my favourite albumn.

Katya said...

I love Strong Persuader. It was the audience in this town -- they do it every time. I don't get why they can't watch a show. I'd seem him in Atlanta several years ago in a small, intimate venue but at least it had seats! My God! I can't imagine being pregnant and having to stand up for a concert.

Robin said...

Man, I hate concert audiences like that! I simply do not understand why so many people spend a chunk of cash on a ticket, just so they can spend an even bigger chunk of cash on alcohol. If you wanna drink, stay home or go to a damn bar and get your head out of my line of vision.

At Lilith Fair in '99, we were stuck behind an entire row of middle-aged women and one man. They all started drinking at the beginning of the day, around 2 PM. By 6 PM they were completely smashed. All of 'em except the man. None of them appeared to have an inkling that a mere 50 feet in front of them, Sheryl Crow was performing. I finally got sick of it and tapped the guy on the shoulder, informing him that I didn't spend $100+ on my ticket and drive five hours just to listen to his stupid drunk-ass bitches run their mouths while they blocked my view.

Yeah, loudly calling people "drunk-ass bithces" at Lilith Fair probably isn't the smartest idea. It worked, though. For the rest of the night he kept them under control until they got bored and left. After the show, lots of people in our row and the row behind me thanked me. Which brings me to another thing I don't get: why don't the sober people speak up more often to the drunken idiots? I've done it at several shows since and it's worked every time. I've only had one person threaten to kick my ass. And frankly, I would have liked to have seen her 100-pound drunk ass attempt that.

"Hey Miffy. What happened to your face?" her friends would ask.

"I got my ass kicked by a fat girl at the Chuck Berry show."

Suse said...

Ooh, my husband introduced me to Robert Cray (his music, not in person unfortunately) within days of us meeting. I always associate his music with those early golden days of our courtship.

PS. Rhubarb crumble IS delicious!

BabelBabe said...

Now I adore Don Williams, and have never met anyone else who does too!

And happy anniversary!

Katya said...

Robin: That is hysterical! I would never have thought it would have worked. I don't get that either -- why don't they just go to a bar or stay home and drink. I'm there to see the show.

Suse: that's a neat thing to associate Robert Cray with.

BB: I know what you mean about Don Williams -- I rarely meet anyone who even knows who he is, yet I love him.

sari said...

I'm also sorry your concert wasn't as great as you'd hoped. That's why I don't often to go concerts anymore (though, I do have to say, I did venture out to see Madonna, which was definately worth it).

I like Black Cadillac, it's a great album.