Thursday, June 29, 2006

Boston Pops...With Aimee Mann!

29 June 2006 Thursday Yesterday, the long-awaited Aimee Mann concert sort of snuck up on me…I had decided early in the game that it would be Carolyn who would be accompanying me. She and I have a history with the music of Aimee Mann. I kept this special performance from her for about a month. I was going to spring it on her right at the last minute…I told her to meet me at the bus-station for the 1530 bus to Boston. So Ray drives me down and we expected her to wheel in at 13:29:58 in keeping with her well-documented sense of scatterbrained, hippie chaos-theory…But she showed up in plenty of time… Thing is, she just happened to be wearing a LOST IN SPACE Aimee Mann t-shirt. She MUST have known. So I sprang it on her… We rode down to Boston, catching up each other with the other’s life-adventures. We got down there in plenty of time for a bite to eat and a couple of pints at Pizzeria Uno’s . Finding Symphony Hall was simplicity itself. (All of this comes from a bit of pre-planning…internet research and whatnot. Always pays to be a bit prepared… So we both found ourselves in a relatively unfamiliar situation. We were underdressed in a very classy black-tie milieu. It didn’t concern ME much but Carolyn made mention of it. We were seated at floor-level tables. The place began to fill up with what were obviously season ticketholders. suits and bowties, very posh and respectable. A pillar-of-society, wine-bar sophisticate crowd…some of them looking pretty pompous, businessmen with their reading glasses dangling out of their mouths like surrogate pipes or cigars when they weren’t actually looking OVER them in that disapproving dad manner. Humans are funny. But I digress… For openers, Keith Lockhart conducted a pieces from Bjork, Elvis Costello, Chris Rouse, and Gershwin. (AN AMERICAN IN PARIS…Carolyn was in heaven. I was politely bored…) SO…After an intermission and the band’s instrument setup, the band shows up, looking all rumpled rock-musician-like. Then Aimee shows up in a frilly tank-top and jeans…Carolyn was validated and the singer’s poise, integrity, and individuality was proudly displayed. (Yes…I know its unabashed hero-worship. What can I say? I’m a fan…) I can’t remember the exact sequence of the set-list…GOODBYE, CAROLINE… WISE UP… IT’S NOT… LITTLE BOMBS… LOST IN SPACE…PAVLOV’S BELL…KING OF THE JAILHOUSE…VIDEO…I’M WITH STUPID…CALLING IT QUITS…SAVE ME(The song she lost the Oscar to Phil Collins to…His song for a Disney Cartoon, no less. She made wry mention of that…)…and she did FRANKENSTEIN for the encore. The orchestral version turned into something special. And God Bless Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops. (It was clear that he was a fan…As well as MANY people in the crowd. She has a very DEVOTED following. It was interesting to see the polite…tolerance from some of the classical crowd. Maybe she even won some them over… Wow. This is something I’ll never forget. Below is a message I sent to her MySpace mailbox… It was a great time… ----------------------------------------------------- Aimee... Just wanted to say that you put on an amazing show...You looked suprised, pleased, and amazed as to how your songs were being so lushly interpreted. Just wanted to let you know that my companion was feeling a bit underdressed but when you strolled out onstage in your jeans, she was put immediately at ease. Thank you for such a great show...and thanks to Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops. It was something I'll always remember. GaP P.S.--I especially liked your introduction to "SAVE ME." "The song I lost the Oscar to Phil Collins Disney cartoon song with..." Or words to that effect.

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