Monday, August 01, 2005
I admit, the coffee shop in SW Minneapolis is pretty great, but this is truly my Nirvana
Little Cottonwood Canyon, summer 2004
The drive up to Snowbird Ski Resort last Saturday evening was breath taking. The creek was rushing through the canyon with small waterfalls every couple of hundred feet. The mountain sides were as green as I’ve seen them. The sky was blue and cloudless. Sunroof open, stereo loud, windows down. The curvy road was almost empty as we sped up to the festival leaving the kids, jobs, responsibilities and problems down in the valley.
We walked through the eclectic crowd towards the large white bubble that the music was emanating from. Rows of folding chairs were neatly lined up in front of the stage filling three or four former tennis courts. I didn’t smell one cigarette. This made me very skeptical that this could be a legitimate blues venue until I saw the beer line – it was long, very long. That was familiar. I jumped into line and had a great view of the band. I was grateful to be standing so that I could move. I absolutely cannot stay still while listening to this type of music. My whole body transformed. My face lit up and started to smile. All inhibitions left my normally self conscious persona as my torso begins to move unabashedly. I didn’t care who was watching. No body image issues – in fact I felt confident and sexy.
The minute a blues riff plays at a live concert, people start to move. It’s impossible not to. If a person has any sort of rhythm, they will automatically start swinging their hips. Even if the music sounds upbeat, or fast, the bass line rhythm will most likely be slower than expected. The hip swing will be slow and sexy. Blues music is the perfect music to make love to. It could be the large amounts of beer that is usually sold at blues concerts that evokes these kinds of connections out of me, but I really don’t think so.
We sat for most of the night between a young couple, who looked out of place amongst the largely middle-aged crowd, and two brothers in their 60s and their wives. The brother that was directly next to me had some great moves. My favorite was “The Politician”. He would lean forward in his seat and shake his fist to the beat. His thumb was outside of his fist and sticking out - you know how candidates always do that during debates when they are making a point? Our whole row was fairly quiet and conservative until Buddy Guy finally got on stage.
The entire crowd got pretty crazy as Buddy played for well over an hour. It was such a better performance than the previous acts, and the blues he played was so much better – so much purer. His guitar playing was amazing. I can’t even think of a proper adjective. It was clean and precise. I stood on my chair and watched as Buddy sang, played, danced, mingled with the crowd and genuinely had a blast. It was his 69th birthday that night and his energy was ten times a 21 year old.
One of my favorite moments was when Buddy was singing some fairly raunchy lyrics and the Mormon father-son duo directly in front of me put down their sodas and stripped off their BYU sweatshirts in a dancing frenzy. Well, maybe “frenzy” is too strong of a word. Let’s just say they’re matching bald spots were doing some HEAVY bobbing.