Got my first taste of a truly civillian audience last night.
No matter how great the show is, those creatures will just suck the life out of you. To the rear last night was a row of fat, ugly, drunk, stupid, know-it-all salesmen from a nearby convention, straight out of an SNL skit. To my right were some ancient types with one foot in the grave who didn't find it fun to get up and dance. I tried to be nice, really. Like help the grandmas activate their glowsticks, etc etc. Waste of time. Everyone to my left and in front of me was looking forward to a good time. However, whenever they did, I was treated to the curmudgeonly rantings of Methusela's mom telling 100 people to sit down.
Forget nice. Bite me, lady, this is a party and I'm here to enjoy it!
More show elements that money can't buy came from the opposite end of the spectrum: stage left seats (the audience's right) became Barry's personal La Brea tar pits. He shook hands with the front row per his usual and an already-trapped beast pulled him in with both front paws. Barry was struggling hard to get free; literally a tug-of- war with his right arm as the rope. The beasts paid for it though - he didn't get anywhere near those seats the rest of the night. How did that work out for ya? Not so great, huh?
The opposite stage seat folks behaved themselves and were rewarded with more interaction. Some of my friends got some attention throughout the show. (Hey Kim - he wasn't looking at your eyes, dear.)
But in spite of this start and the usual kvetching by the uninitiated, the show was just as great as last night. If the Barry and the band were affected by the crowd, I didn't see it. So for everyone on stage - if it took more effort to reach the civilian types, it wasn't you - it was a rough crowd. "Somewhere Down the Road/Ships" brought the entire crowd to stunned, awe-inspired silence. Except for the ones who broke down in tears. (I can still keep from crying, though I'm losing that grip.)
I actually tore my eyes away from Barry long enough to watch other parts of the performance. The light show was outstanding. You can tell someone put a lot of thought into conceptualizing and testing out the patterns and timing. I still can't get a decent shot of Barry on stage because he won't hold still long enough and I refuse to risk blinding him with a flash. What the the hell - I'm not going to forget anything I saw on stage this weekend.
Eventually the crowd relaxed enough where the fans could as well. By the time we got to the climax on the catwalk (pun intended) we all forgot what civillians were. I think the old crones were shocked into catatonia by the womens' favorite moves. The worst of them left right at the encore. Hallefuckinlujah.
If that wasn't enough, the adrenaline got higher in Tempo later on. When the boys in the black suits and the wires growing out of their ears block off the side entrance and do obvious walk-through look-sees through the casino, you know Barry et al are going to come bend their elbows. And they did. So naturally the scene was exactly as I described in "One Ass Grab Too Many". That kind of show is just priceless. Just no other words. I watched from a distance as I sipped my Cosmo and watched purses while those who didn't spend all of their energy in the concert danced some more. If Human Theatre had awards, this would have gotten a Tony.
A few minutes later, Barry came running out of the side entrance like his ass was on fire, trailing his security detail. Garry had to jog to catch up with them. There is already a consensus on what - or more likely, who - they were running from.
So the scene finally calmed down some and the serious fans could meet and chat. I had the priviledge of showing some of my new friends a special memento I ran across a few weeks ago: a complete, collector-quality copy of the December 1965 issue of Playboy. Yes, the one with THAT letter and response. I've been looking forward to sharing that for a while and I'm glad so many got to enjoy it as much as I do.
As you can tell from the time stamp, I'm still running on Eastern time. One more show tonight and since it's Saturday I'm expecting a seriously fun crowd who is more interested in reflecting the energy back to the stage than leaving their butt prints on the seats. Watching Barry on stage is like being at home. But in my real home, TLF is asking her father "Where's Mommy?" so I need to high-tail it back on Sunday before my heart breaks.
It wasn't a bad night last night. I'm giggling just writing about it and getting some strange stares from the other business center users.
Fans only, tonight, OK???