I had a productive weekend. After watching Sheryl Crow perform live on DVD and YouTube, I’m even more of a fan, if that’s possible. It got me thinking about things like how I behave at a live performance. I watched her audience at the Isle of Wight and noticed people were dancing, singing along, and nearly everyone had their cell phone out to record.
Despite being annoyed by how often they kept showing the audience, I paid attention. When I watch someone perform, I stare with very little blinking. I probably look like a doof, and it’s possible my mouth opens of its own accord. I probably don’t move or dance. I don’t bring my cell phone because I would lose it, and it would distract me.
I cover my ears when people applaud, whistle, and cheer because it hurts my ears. I do suspect I at least look happy, but I’m not sure. I have a hard time remembering to worry about to how I appear to other people, and rarely think about it. Especially when I’m not the one performing. These are the reasons I rarely go to concerts. But some artists reach me so profoundly, I make an exception.
Sheryl Crow, Beyoncè, Stevie Nicks, and Fleetwood Mac are such artists. I’d also love to see Amy Lee perform, but her fans scare me. Her music has evolved though, so I’m hopeful for an opportunity in the future. I can’t wait to see Fleetwood Mac soon. I know I’ll be staring at Stevie Nicks and Christine McVeigh the whole time. (I might watch Mick Fleetwood a bit, too.)
When I saw the Beyoncè show recently, I bawled a lot. I couldn’t help it. She’s amazing. I was so happy I didn’t know what else to do. It was my first concert in years, and I couldn’t even think about anything else for hours afterward. It reconfirmed the fact you can’t die from being too happy. It still blows my mind how people I’ve never met enrich my life so much.
As I watched Sheryl perform, I noticed several things. She’s in excellent physical condition and can dance well. She moved all over the stage while singing and playing guitar. Her range is broader than her albums reveal. Her music isn’t the simplistic three-chord progression of many other singers who stand behind a guitar on stage. She has mad skills.
She engaged the audience by talking to them and encouraging them to sing along, all while singing, dancing, and playing the guitar well. She didn’t get winded or pitchy from all the activity (like some singers I’ve watched.) She sounded better than on her albums and didn’t perform them just as recorded. Her professionalism and experience shined brightly. I was so impressed.
She’s older than me but has so much energy. I could tell she was having fun, which made it fun to watch. It was the first time I saw her band. I don’t know if they’ve been with her since the beginning, or if they change up. There were two guitar heroes, a keyboardist/backup singer, drummer, bassist, and slide guitar player, I think. (It’s not an instrument with which I’m familiar.)
At one point, one of the guitar heroes was right behind her, and they were in perfect sync on fingering and strumming. I love that they’re all skilled musicians playing complex music while having fun and making it look easy. She seems pretty laid back, but clearly she has high standards. Watching them made me want to practice a lot more. I’ll never be Sheryl Crow, but I want to develop mad skills, too. I’m off to beat my drums with sticks.