Sunday, June 20, 2010

Getting better with age......

Last night provided us with an incredible concert experience - Carole King and James Taylor at the TD Garden in Boston. A birthday and 25th anniversary celebration that will long be remembered. Their performance proved that some things just get better with age. Going to see them live was like uncorking a bottle of fine wine that had been aged to perfection.

There is so much to say about the concert - JT and CK themselves, the playlist, the technology, the crowd, dinner in the North End, and an easy drive down and back. I purchased the tickets on a very cold day back in January and then had to wait until Bobby's birthday in March to unveil the surprise. We also decided to make this part of my birthday and our 25th wedding anniversary celebrations.
We got to Boston in record time, giving us plenty of time for a nice dinner in the North End. After walking up and down Hanover Street for awhile and not being able to decide, we consulted with the guys at the Hanover St. firehouse and were told that Lo Conte's over on Salem Street would be our best bet. The whole area was really hopping, so we expected to have to wait awhile for a table, but we lucked out. Even if we had had to wait it would have been worth it. Since I had been sick the night before and wasn't too sure of myself, I had a lovely dish of penne with chicken and pink sauce. Bobby made out like a bandit finding all of his favorite seafood in a steaming dish of calamari, clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops, crab, and pasta in a white wine sauce. Excellent wine, too! When we left there was quite a waiting line. Thanks, Mr. Fireman, for the great recommendation.

We got back to The Garden in plenty of time. The concert started a bit late, which was good because at 7:30 there were still lots of empty seats. Well, the hall filled up, the concert got underway, and there was no turning back. Carole opened up with "So Far Away" and set the tone for the evening. Hardly a hit was missed during the nearly 2 and a half hour show. The said that when they first put the playlist together for the tour they ended up with nearly 6 hours of music. They did a great job in whittling that down.

What struck me most about the whole experience is what an incredible voice CK has. The clarity, range, energy, and power of her voice could never be captured in a recording. When she did "Natural Woman" the place was absolutely rocking. As I've been saying all day, "Aretha, eat your heart out!" Carole's enthusiasm and James' humble humor added a lot to the experience. Song, after song, after song brought back such great memories of how their music has made an impression on me over the years. Freshman year at SMC was the height of "Tapestry." I loved going to Mass at St. Ed's at ND at 11 o'clock on Sunday nights where many a time we sang "You've Got a Friend." It was fun when they added local flavor to the lyrics. The crowd just ate it all up...myself included.

The musicians and back up singers were fabulous. I guess if you have the same band that you had when you first did your gig 40 years ago says a lot. The newbies were a perfect fit. I guess that you can tell that this was a concert of a lifetime.

Next up???? Trace Adkins and Toby Keith in September at the Comcast Center in Mansfield, MA. Now that, I'm sure, will also be one for the ages............