It’s Friday night and I am just home late from work, sitting in front of the TV channel surfing. No one is more disappointed about this than my dad, who admonished me for not having more exciting plans because he says he is living his life vicariously through me. Normally I do have a lot of fun nights, Take last weekend, for example.
Vinyl Album Live 6. This show recreated three iconic vinyl albums performed by local musicians here in Central New York. It was sold out, with dozens of disappointed people standing outside the Palace Theater in Syracuse wondering how that they could have missed out on getting in (I heard that Vinyl Live 5 was only 2/3 full). One of the albums was Hotel California, so it does make you wonder if it would have been sold out if not for the popularity of Glenn Frey, who had died earlier this week.
Anyway, I had heard how great it was last year and thought it would be a fun night of music and invited my friends Chick and Bryan to go along. Three albums were chosen and three bands assembled from local musicians to perform each of those albums in their entirety. In addition, there were other musicians who sat in for certain songs (I think they may have been music students from Signature Music, where some of the admission money collected was donated to.)
This is where I confess that although I did own vinyl when I was younger (Barry Manilow Live counts, right?) I never really experienced it the same way so many people my age did, sitting down and listening to it from beginning to end and having an experience. This is how so many of the performers learned to love all the songs. I usually enjoyed my favorite bands through greatest hits compilations so I didn’t appreciate the lure of the album.
We headed out to dinner first, and they made all kinds of fun of me when I, in an effort to get the check a little quicker, told the waitress that we were going to a show (like we were in Manhattan heading off to Broadway!)
It took a few minutes to get into the theater (and every second counted, it was so cold) and then a couple more to get our bracelets, so much cooler than pulling a ticket stub out of your back pock when you need to get back in. What a cool sight, seeing all those little bracelet tabs lying all over the table and floor.
There were lots of people waiting in line for drinks (so strange, bringing beer into the former movie theater).
The first vinyl was Hotel California by The Eagles. The Eagles are one of my favorite groups, and I had no idea how many of the songs I love are on that particular album. New Kid in Town is such a great song musically, and Wasted Time is my jam, my single girl anthem. I only knew these songs from my greatest hits album, so I had no idea that Wasted Time was reprised on side B in instrumental form as a prelude to Pretty Maids All In A Row. The band ended their part of the show with a haunting rendition of Desperado. Then the band equipment was hauled off to make room for the next set of musicians.
The second vinyl to be performed was Thunder Road. I was introduced to the music of Bruce by my college roommate Joanie. She was from the North Country in upstate New York but loved Springsteen as though she grew up in Jersey. I had no idea how many Springsteen songs I knew until last fall when I went out to Johnson Park in Liverpool to see Jamie Notarthomas and Jungleland, a Bruce Springsteen tribute band. Back at the Landmark. the lead singer invited the audience early on to get up and dance, and dozens complied. There were at least 100 audience members lining the sides of the theater standing there dancing, and then a couple dozen more who stepped into the middle aisle and created an impromptu dance floor. It was fun to watch them, I thought, but who didn’t want to? The guy sitting in front of me who kept checking his facebook page and ebay page and countless other pages, that’s who. When they got to the song Born To Run, the theater erupted! You had never seen so many tramps in your whole life!! Of course, the band was not the only bunch of people dressed for the night, we had the perfect seats for the gun show. Thanks Bryan, who rocked a sleeveless shirt full of muscles under a faded flannel. There was one couple dancing in the middle that looked like they were having so much fun. Four songs in, I realized it was one of my high school friends (hi MJ!!) and her boyfriend. We danced together and then chatted after the album ended and we were waiting for the last act.
The third album was Sticky Fingers by The Rolling Stones. I thought I was seeing things when I saw a burgundy colored velour jacket, but then looking on stage there were a couple more velvet/velour jackets in blue and black, which were part of the costuming. People really got into their performances. It was a really rocking start, with that band starting off with Brown Sugar. Ebay guy got right into it for this third band, this must have been who he came for. This talented group of musicians delivered the goods as well as the first two.
I am sorry I missed the most recent Vinyl Live, where the featured albums were Billy Joel’s The Stranger and Bob Seger’s Night Moves. I can’t wait to see what they will come up with for number 7. I know I will right up there buying the tickets right away so there is no chance we’ll be cut out of the fun. Support local music!! If you live in the Syracuse area, I urge you to consider going to Beatlecuse on April 2nd at the Landmark Theater. A little band I write about (Day Ja Voo) will be playing in the lobby during intermission!!