One of the entrance doors opens again. Everyone’s pulse and respiration rates get elevated for a second time, as heads turn in unison. At that moment I think, “We have devolved to meerkats.” I don’t think at that moment anyone cared what they were called – they were going in the open door. The “I’m-In-Charge-Fellow” is finally letting the acolytes in.
For a change, I don’t want to be first in line. I don’t want the moment to be over too quickly and I pull on the jacket sleeves of D&V and then on the sleeve of the V-who-chose-me to hang back and be at the end of the line. They all look at me as if they don’t know the person they are looking at. As if in the blink of an eye when their backs were turned, aliens abducted the B they all know and most of the time love and replaced him with a surrogate B. Yes, the one who just has to be among the first couple of people at the majority of concerts now wants to be at the back of the line.
I respond, “Why rush the moment? It’ll be over too soon anyways. Let others have their turn and be summarily moved along the path. Maybe there will be a little extra time to be turned to our advantage at the end.” All three look at me now as if I am a genius. I do try to have a good idea every four to six weeks anyways just on general principle.
People are indeed moved through with efficiency and I am sure each wants to have something clever, extraordinary, or witty to say in order to make an impression. Joe appeared to be genuinely gracious and fun. Exactly like the behind the scenes footage in the performance DVDs. How many scenarios like this have unfolded for him? His motto is “Always On The Road”
and he travels incessantly it seems. He also has been doing this for a great deal of time since he started performing at an early age. It is fun to personally observe the fan interaction with Joe in a Miles Davis t-shirt, jeans, and work boots. I break the rules and step out of line to get a quick couple of candid photos, after spotting someone else do that. Early on in life I was taught two wrongs don’t make a right, nonetheless it is too great a temptation.
I am always intrigued by crowd dynamics and this one is a microcosm of most that I have witnessed over the years. There are the quiet ones, the nervous ones, the cool ones, the ones who want to appear “above it all,” the ones who know it all and aren’t afraid to let you know that and seem to be the long lost friend incarnate of whoever it is giving the audience. The one person that created a distinct impression however, was just a couple of people in front of us. He had several crayon drawings his daughter created of Joe performing. I thought someone opened the doors at that moment and it had started misting again. V stepping out of line and taking a few more candid photos got me back in the moment. “I’m-In-Charge-Fellow” looked at her then me. I mouthed the words, “Thank you” hoping that would keep the both of us out of his proverbial dog-house.
There is no one between Joe and us now, with the exception of a big fellow wearing a Quebec Nordiques hat and the name “Ded Nugent” over the left pocket of his shirt. We talk hockey for a brief moment as V hands him the camera as per the rules. He is the designated picture taker and I am not about to cause trouble with him. That camera cost a lot of money and rules are rules. D asked Joe about performing at Crossroads and Joe animatedly related his experience. He signed D&V’s items and then turned to V&I, still talking about Crossroads. It seemed that I didn’t need to ask or talk about anything else because he had a great deal to say on the topic. I will treasure the insights he provided us as an “insider.” “Ded” takes a picture of D&V, then one of B&V with our signed items per the rules. Then somehow we persuade him to take one of the four of us.
We are only supposed to have one picture each, but maybe the hockey talk with the big guy softened him up a bit. V thought it was her charm. Who am I to argue with that? Something about those almond eyes, extremely hard to say no.
The time with our Guitar Star has come to an end. V takes a couple more candid photos and we hang out for just a moment longer. “I’m-In-Charge-Fellow” takes a step towards us and we quickly get out before ruffling feathers unnecessarily. Nothing to do now but go across the street to Morton’s Steak house and while away an hour or so before going in to the show. Morton’s is packed and it seems we get the last table in the bar area. The music gods are with us it seems. Our first ever experience at Morton’s was pleasant. Wait staff was on top of their game and handled the busyness extremely well. Our waiter with the deep resonant British accent received a bigger tip because of the English Premier League banter, to be sure. I am still trying to figure out that “other London team.” When we get up to leave there are 3 dozen people waiting for those four chairs. No lie.
With a little ticket snafu handled at Will-Call we go in and find the seats. They are second row center. Are you kidding me?
I sat next to a photographer, BluesJohnPhotography, who successfully captured the evening. Be patient there, it takes a bit of time to load all the pictures.
The show starts with Joe dressed in a white suit and an acoustic set…
You can find the set list here, if you are interested. Joe’s Keller Auditorium Set List
Stay tuned and you will find the exciting conclusion to the trilogy next week.