Sunday, March 28, 2004

Concert Update

I went to the boyfriend's gig at the University last night. It was almost like HE was the guest artist. The featured artist (bassist) they'd flown in from New York only played one song each set. He asked the boyfriend before the show if he'd be willing to do some improvisational stuff that wasn't on the program. The boyfriend said sure, he loves big band music. He told the guy it was his first love when he was starting out and that he was playing with a big band in Portland right before we moved. It was then that the N.Y. guy asked, "You're from Portland? Then you must know my 'homeboy.'" Turns out he's originally from Indianapolis, as was the great bassist Leroy Vinnegar, who spent the last part of his life in Portland. So they had someone in common.

During intermission, I told the boyfriend that the batteries on the digital camera were about to go and asked if there was a particular song during the second set he'd like to have some video of. He said not really, but then reluctantly added, "The first song has 13 bars of drums." Check. Drum solo during the first song. They went back on stage and started playing. I held off turning on the camera until I thought the drum solo might be close, trying to conserve the meager battery energy. He started his solo, I turned on the camera, pressed the shutter to start recording...and it died. And it was a great solo, too!

The guest bassist played his second song near the end of the show and then announced that he wanted to play something with just the boyfriend on drums. It was an improvisational piece called "Percussion Discussion" originally done by Charles Mingus and Max Roach. Right before they began, the bassist asked the band director to move the music stands left by the other bassist that were right in front of the boyfriend "so they can see the Maestro at work." My boyfriend is extremely humble and modest and almost goes out of his way to not draw attention to himself. At the end of the concert, the band director thanked a bunch of people and singled out the boyfriend who had only come in last Monday to start playing with the ensemble. I knew all of the fawning was probably really making him squirm. On the drive home, I had him cracking up when I said about halfway through all the adoring comments I suddenly heard Molly Shannon's voice when she used to do that dorky "SNL" character as she'd thrust her arms into the air and stage-whisper, "Superstar!" Needless to say, I'd done it to him about 10 times since then.


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