Friday, November 7, 2008

And Then He Pointed At Me And Said…

What a great day I had yesterday!

I spent the afternoon working with the students from The Montessori House of Children. This was the second of three classes so my goal was to get the students painting as soon as possible. We talked for a bit at the beginning – getting everyone on the ‘same page’ so to speak and then the students finished their sketches for their portion of the painting. Once the sketches were approved – with a few suggestions by me – the students began to transfer their images onto the canvas and they began to organize the colours that they wanted to use.

I then gave them a quick talk about how to apply the paint to the canvas… and then the painting began.

I can’t wait until next week when we’ll be completing the third painting in this series of four!

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I arrived home just after four o’clock and the next hour and a half was very painful for me. Joanne and I were going to see Daniel Lanois at that time and I was so excited that the hour and a half wait seemed like forever.

We arrived at the Aeolian Hall just as the doors were opening. I was glad that the crowd was not that big – at that time – so we were able to get a good seat for the concert. We got ourselves a beer at the bar and then entered the main hall. I was impressed that instead of using plastic cups they were using bio-degradable vegetable based cups – a positive sign for the future.

The hall was very open, with ceilings almost three stories above our head. Massive wood beams stretched the length of the hall with lights suspended from them. There was seating for only a few hundred people and this made for a very intimate experience. Jo’ and I found some seats and my excitement was growing. We were going to be listening to Daniel Lanois and he was going to be less than thirty feet away from where we were sitting. I couldn’t believe it.

The stage was set with only a few microphones, drum kit, slide guitar and a few other guitars. There were no fancy backdrops or smoke machines or go-go girls. When the band played they had no crazy light show. It was a simple stage with no gimmicks – ready for four not so simple musicians.

The owner of the hall got on stage and welcomed everyone and then introduced Monsieur Lanois…

Daniel appeared through the darkness of the back of the stage, picked up his guitar and began to play a soft, hypnotic melody. Then the drummer appeared, sat down and joined in with amazing rhythms and back-beats that are ‘slow and hard to master’. I think I heard the bass guitar before I saw the player, who had snuck up while everyone was watching the drummer. With the rhythm guitar player now plugged in and tuned up the band swung into a full fledged rock anthem of a jam! Daniel stepped up to the microphone and began to sing.

The music filled the space like magical fingers of vibrating light. This band didn’t need any props – their energy screamed through their instruments and into the deepest recesses of my expanding mind! I was swept away…

There may have been a total of four songs that were less than six minutes in length. Most of the songs expanded into some very heavy jam riffs that built and then fell to be picked up again and refused into another wave that would sweep over the audience. This is the rock ‘n roll that fills my soul! Songs played out like happy angels caught in the midst of a whirlwinded explosion of love. For a while this was my momentary heaven.

No one at this show had a better time than I did and no one enjoyed the music more – of that I am sure!!!

After five songs, the rest of the band laid down their instruments, leaving Daniel alone on the stage. I leaned over to Joanne and said, “There he is, Jo’ and he’s playing this next song just for you and me.” Jo’ squeezed my hand and gave me a kiss on my check and replied, “Yes, he’s playing just for you and me.”

It was amazing, being that close, watching his fingers dance across the strings of his guitar. He hypnotized the audience with an enchanting version of ‘Jolie, Louise’. My heart was filled with so much joy and emotion and when I heard Daniel sing the lyrics ‘…and my tears, they roll down…’ I felt two streams of salty wetness ebb over my cheekbones – my emotions released.

The band soon came back to the stage and they bomb-blasted into one of my favourite songs ‘Brother L.A.’. Truly a highlight for the evening! At the end of that song I couldn’t contain myself and I yelled out, “Dude! That was freakin’ AWESOME!!!!” The audience laughed and the band looked my way. The bass player had a good laugh and he smiled right at me.

After the last song, I moved quickly to the stage. Of course I brought a print of my artwork for Daniel and lots of my peace Stik-ers for the band. Daniel leaned past the microphone stand and I handed – from my hand into his – the print and Stik-ers. He smiled down at me and our eyes connected and I smiled like a goo-goo doll. It was over in a flash. I sat back with Joanne and she asked me if I was happy. I said, “No! I was that close to him and I was so busy giving him my artwork that I forgot to shake his hand” and then I said, “Yeah! I’m happy – Daniel has a peace of my artwork!”

A few minutes had gone by and the crowd was getting noisy. The crowd had to get noisy or else there wouldn’t be an encore performance. There was.

When Daniel appeared on stage he was by himself and the crowd gave him a standing ovation. We were still standing as he began to thank us for enjoying the show. He picked up his guitar and the audience slowly began to sit back down. That’s when I yelled out, “Don’t sit down! Stand up! Let’s rock ‘n roll!!!!” Daniel looked straight at me and then pointed in my direction and said – with a smile, “That’s my agent!” The hall filled with laughter.

I hope that Daniel Lanois will find a small bit of time in the next day or two to visit this blog to read the story of one fan’s extraordinary night!

Peace and Rock ‘N Roll to the world


1 comment:

Barry said...

Great time and a great blog. I had such fun reading it, I can only imagine what the actual experience must have been like.