Anne Notations

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Crazy dreams

Los Lonely Boys at the Roseland Ballroom, New York City, 9/22/05. From left: Henry, Ringo, and JoJo Garza

For two weeks beginning on September 19 and ending October 1, I got to live the rock fan's dream, make new friends from around the country, see a band I love (Los Lonely Boys) four times in four different states, and see another band I hadn't known well but now admire (White Stripes). In the wake of all that, this past month I've gone through moods from adrenaline-high and extroverted to mournful to withdrawn, ending up acclimated once again to -- even appreciative of -- the pace and substance of Normal Life.

My fellow LLB fan and Rhode Islander Carolyn and I had been looking forward to the fall LLB concerts in New England since we saw them perform with Santana last June. On the afternoon of Thursday, September 22, we left for New York City with her husband, Paul, and my friend Peter, to see the Boys perform at the Roseland Ballroom that night.

Carolyn on the MetroWest train; Peter and Paul.

In New York City we met many fans from La Onda, the official LLB fan club, while waiting outside the Roseland entrance.

The line for LLB; me (kneeling) and Carolyn (red shirt) at right.

Me, Peter, and a Stevie Ray Vaughan fan (yay!) at the front of the line.

When the doors opened, we ran inside and got front-row standing room right at the barricade about eight feet from the stage. I nearly fainted with excitement when the Boys came out and began to play "Crazy Dream"! The set list was a nice mix of old and new, ballads and rock-yer-socks-off stuff.

The band is intensely into their music (see lead guitarist Henry, below), but they also have an amazingly fun time with the audience and with each other. It's easy to see that brotherly bond.

My next LLB concert was Sunday night, September 25, with son Andrés, at the Performing Arts Center here in Providence.

We sat in the third row, right behind Carolyn and Paul. Afterward, a wonderful woman in the LLB camp, Gigi, helped us meet the band outside their bus. This was the highlight of the tour for Carolyn, Andrés, and me.

JoJo with Andrés and Carolyn; Ringo with yours truly

Carolyn was able to present her handmade sterling necklaces to each of the Garza brothers. Henry was clearly moved and delighted (see photo below, with me and Paul in background).

The following weekend, Friday September 30: on to Boston! The band appeared at the Avalon club. Once again I was able to stand close to the stage. Carolyn and Paul were to my right, in front of JoJo. You can see Carolyn waving her arms with joy in the photo below, with Paul right behind her.

Many more La Onda members had arrived to participate in "Onda by the Sea," a whirlwind LLB concert tour of New England dates. They were a lovely bunch.

La Onda outside the Avalon after the concert; I am at lower right. Across the street is Fenway Park, where that night the Red Sox were beating the Yankees.

One more concert: The following night, Saturday October 1, at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut. Peter and I went together and had a buffet dinner before the show. Being inside a casino was an eye-opener. It is almost a lifestyle, and you can tell that many are regulars. Others are tourists from around the world. Everywhere is a smoky haze; casinos are probably the last bastions of legal indoor smoking in public places. Bleah. The show itself was terrific, and La Onda was in the house! As we drove back to Rhode Island I already was feeling that bittersweet afterglow: What a time! (Oh yeah.) Damn, it's over! (Oh no.)

Before I end this entry, I have to mention White Stripes: I got some last-minute tickets to see Jack and Meg White at the PPAC on September 19, and went with Peter. I knew them more by reputation than from listening much, but they blew me away. Jack is a true original musical talent. I hate to use the "genius" word because it has lost its punch, but that's the impression I took away. My favorite White Stripes tracks now play in a continuous loop in my car.

What next? I have no musical expeditions planned (nor a budget for them), but this Friday, Kevin and I are going to Boston to see the Star Wars exhibit at the Museum of Science. There is always something to anticipate.

Come to think of it, that last sentence would make a nice motto for the rest of my life.


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