April 12, 2006

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To, Um, Somewhere Other Than The Embassy

I ended up going to the James Taylor concert at the Embassy last night by accident, which is interesting when you consider that I'm not really a fan of his. Of course, I have some observations:

  • He's pretty tall. I'd guess 6'2" or so. Of course, I was guessing from my seat in Row O of the balcony, so I was a mile-and-a-half away, and it's possible that the only point of comparison (his piano player) was an actual Little Person, but I don't think so.
  • He called this tour the One Man Band tour, which is interesting given that he had a piano player and used a videotaped choir to back a few songs, so the show mechanics were a lot different. He brought a laptop-driven slide show, and he'd show some pictures between songs and a tell a little story or a couple of jokes.
  • From these stories, for instance, I learned:
    • I'd always assumed that Sweet Baby James was a song written for and about him by his girlfriend/wife at the time, whoever it was. Turns out it was a song James wrote as a lullaby for his nephew, also named James.
    • He was working (recording, maybe? I dunno) in England when a friend recommended they blow off some steam on a Mediterranean island off Spain whose name I forget. While they were there he met a girl named Karen and they made a side trip to (I think) Ibiza, where they lost track of time and missed the last ferry back. Lacking money for a hotel on Ibiza, they slept at the ferry dock. James got a little homesick then thinking about his family back in North Carolina, and he said Carolina In My Mind basically dropped into his lap. Karen, of course, is the girl mentioned in the song. Incidentally, he never saw her again after that.
  • He had a laptop with him, and projected some pictures and video clips to punctuate his stories....
  • ...or provide a punch line to a joke. For instance, he said he never got a picture of Karen, so he consulted a police sketch artist to do a drawing of her which he showed at the concert. As you might expect, it looked like something you'd see on a Wanted poster, and he said he'd made a mistake because now he can't think of her as anything but a fugitive from justice.

So how was the show? Well, I'm probably the wrong guy to ask. Since I'm not familiar with any of his stuff beyond the obvious hits, I didn't really know how most of what he played 'should' sound (although I thought he started out a little weak voicewise but warmed up quickly). He certainly gave a full show, at 2 1/2 hours counting a 20-minute intermission. All in all, it was very entertaining and I enjoyed it. If I were a fan of his, I'd have enjoyed it a lot.


Posted by Chris at April 12, 2006 01:23 PM

Category: Local Stuff