Saturday, August 28, 2010

Another Zoo Concert

Vickie and I went to another concert at the Zoo Amphitheatre in OKC - this one put on by Buddy Guy, Al Green, and B.B. King. I admit that I mostly went because of Buddy Guy, but also because I wanted to see B.B. King live.

In my clearly biased viewpoint, Buddy Guy was the hit of the show. I don't have his exact setlist but it included:

1. (I'm your) Hoochie Coochie Man (Muddy Waters cover)
2. Someone Else is Slippin' In
3. Skin Deep
4. Nobody Understands Me but My Guitar
5. Strange Brew (Cream cover)
6. Drownin' on Dry Land (Albert King cover)
7. Boom Boom (John Lee Hooker cover)
8. She's Nineteen Years Old (Muddy Waters cover)
9. Love Her With A Feeling

Buddy Guy was the "warmup" - I suppose he's less "famous" than Al Green and B.B. King, but he started the show when at least half the seats were empty and lots of people were still coming in. Continuing the theme from my last concert, we were in a section where a lot of folks were just sitting there. One guy in front of me never even applauded a single time!! Was he there against his will? I just don't get it.

Anyway, Buddy started with Hoochie Koochie Man, and there's a line that goes:
Gypsy woman told my momma, before I was born
You got a boy-child comin', gonna be a ...

and he just stopped, obviously waiting for the crowd to respond. I shouted "son-of-a-gun!" ... and I was the only one in the crowd I heard responding. So Buddy stopped right there and told the crowd that he'd done the same thing in Germany a while back and the crowd in Germany didn't "fuck it up like you just did!" As happened with the Dylan concert a few weeks ago, it seemed that nothing was going to get the crowd to come alive and get into the show, and especially this crowd, which seemed remarkably not into the blues!! Buddy even came out into the audience while playing his guitar - that got some response. He's 73 years old but still a high-energy performer and can play the hell out of his guitar!!

When he was done, there was an extended break while Al Green set up. I'm not that big a fan, but when he started highlighting a lot of old Motown tunes that I'd grown up with, I noted that the crowd seemed to rev up quite a bit. Must have been a fair percentage of OFs (Old Farts) like me in attendance. Anyway, Reverend Al put on a good show and demonstrated the shownmanship that the best performers had. I was enthusiastically applauding at the end.

When B.B. King finally came out, he had quite a band with him. I was reminded of the recent Bob Dylan concert I attended. When both these veteran performers began their careers, they were accompanying themselves only with their own playing skills on stage, while literally (or figuratively) sitting alone on a stool upon the stage. This was a band with horns, a drummer, 3 guitarists, etc. A large rock band. The tunes that I liked the most were those where it was mostly the King himself playing nearly alone. He wound up the show exactly at the mandatory Zoo curfew of 11 pm, even though he evidently wanted to play on, and many of us would have preferred that he play on. B.B. King is now 84 years old, and my chances ever to see him live again are diminishing rapidly. I'm very glad I attended and got the chance to see him live - he can still play, he can still sing, he can still entertain. Even if I'm not his biggest fan, I loved the moment for what it was. I, too, wished he could have gone on for more time, but the Zoo curfew has to be honored.

On a side note ... it was Friday night and I was interested to see how many Hawaiian shirts were being worn (including mine, of course). Friday has always been Hawaiian shirt day in the meteorology department at OU, but apparently that tradition is wider than I thought!!

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