I've never understood wanting to spend a beautiful afternoon sitting in a football stadium watching a game. I'd usually prefer to be gardening or hiking. However, I came a bit closer to understanding that today because we spent a beautiful evening sitting at an outdoor theater watching the Indigo Girls.
Previously, I've had a chance to see almost all of my long-time, absolutely most favorite performers: James Galway (4 times), Cleo Laine, Värttinä, Itzhak Perlman, Patti LuPone, Mandy Patinkin, Saffire: The Uppity Blues Women, Dar Williams, Nanci Griffith, and Maura O'Connell. The only ones of this group of favorites that I hadn't seen were the Indigo Girls. When they came here we were either out of town or had dance performances.
I've been looking forward to tonight's concert since I found out they were coming. I was sick last week, and, by Friday, I was wondering if dear husband should go with older son and daughter instead. I was better by today, and, by the time we got there, I was very excited.
The concert, of course, was fantastic. They were enthusiastic, and they had the audience sing along on various songs (you can imagine how much I loved that! (grin)). I'm often surprised at audiences, though. I'm used to classical music audiences the most - you go, sit quietly, and pay attention. I know that's not the case for other genres of music, but I was amazed at how much talking and wandering around many people did. I wanted to get every drop of music out of the concert, and not miss a single bit! - well, except for one song which had a death in the first verse, a suicide in the second, and which I listened to while going and buying a bag and a bumper sticker. I hurried back, though, because the next song was one of my favorites, Southland in the Spring.
I did cry when they sang... not my favorite song, necessarily, but the song that has the most memories tied to it. One year, I put a folk tape together for our October vacation, and we played it on the way to Linville Falls in the Blue Ridge Mountains. As we got there and turned in, Watershed played. I had it in my head for the next few hours, and tied it to that spot. We've often played that tape on the way, and, if we start it as we leave Blowing Rock, Watershed plays at Linville. We picnic at and wade in the safe part of the Linville River (right - I'm in light blue; daughter's in darker blue). It's beautiful and peaceful, and most people miss the overlook we wade at because they're in a hurry to get to the falls. It's one of the places we go to for my birthday.
I wished we had gotten there a bit earlier to get a space closer to the stage.* We were not in the most enthusiastic part of the crowd; in fact, the people in front of us didn't even clap a good bit of the time (too busy talking, I guess). We made up for them. I sort of thought of it as the slow zone.
By the encores, however, even the people in front of us got on their feet and were dancing. We were doing the same, and singing at the top of our lungs. The Indigo Girls had invited everyone to sing, which was such fun! Here's a video of them singing Closer to Fine with Terri Hendrix, Lloyd Maines, and Julie Wolf - they sang this as the first encore with Matt Nathanson, one of the earlier performers. This isn't the best video of the song, but it captures the concert energy better than any of the others I found:
* We actually did get there earlier. After going to a symphony concert there two years ago and seeing how nicely people made picnics, daughter got a lovely picnic together to eat while we listened to the other performers before the Indigo Girls (this was a Carolina Hopefest benefit). Unfortunately, unlike the symphony concerts held at the same place, you can't bring food inside. We ended up eating our picnic near the entrance - along with two other people we met from church who had also brought a nice dinner.
Older son returned the picnic stuff to the van while we went in and set up the chairs. Daughter couldn't understand why it took a while for him to find us: "You just look for the two of us with long hair!" Older son replied that most of the women there had either really short or really long hair! Also, most of them used minimal or no makeup and dressed in either jeans and t-shirts or hippie type clothes. We felt at home.