Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Norah Jones

Terry joined me when I went to sketch the Norah Jones concert at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre. We met near the courthouse where we found free parking and then walked over to Orange Avenue to get some dinner before the concert. We settled on New York Pizzeria Delicatessen (373 North Orange Avenue). I got a 10 inch cheese pizza and she got a decent looking pasta dish. My pie had a nice light crust just like pizzas I had enjoyed in NYC.
When we got to the Bob Carr there were just a few people waiting outside and it was easy to pick up the tickets from the Will Call window.
My ticket stub read: Beaver presents Norah Jones (No cameras/no recorders). I knew it was safe to draw. We sat up in the nosebleed section. I like the God's eye view and the sound was fine. When the house lights went out I pulled out a book light which I had dimmed by wrapping the bulb with paper and tape. I really didn't need to be so concerned. People all around me had their cell phones out all during the concert and at one point they waved them like lighters. I did ask the guy sitting right next to me if he minded my drawing and he rather liked what I was doing and asked me all about my work. A woman behind me did lean forward once not to complain but to compliment. All my concerns were in my nervous head.
The leading act was Elvis Perkins. He got a few boos from the anxious crowd, but he bravely went on singing his mix of American Folk rock songs. He sat alone with his guitar. One of his songs, "Doomsday Love Song," had the audience singing along with the chorus and at that point he had the audience in the palm of his hand. When he sang his last song, "123Goodbye" the audience clapped loudly perhaps in part because they enjoyed his songs and in part they were about to see Norah!
When Norah Jones and her brigade got on stage the crowd was wild and ready. Most of the early songs I did not recognize, but from the first song I was entranced. Norah joked between songs about being in Orlando where it is always hot, then cold, hot, cold. In NYC, she said it is hot all summer because if you visit a friend, chances are their air conditioner would be broken. One song about "Back to Manhattan" had me yearning to return to the place where I first discovered my art. My heart ached. I yearned to return.
She sang a silly song about her dog and all the lyrics point out how much better the dog is to any of her boyfriends. I thought back to friends who could only find unconditional love from a dog as boyfriends became fickle and impossible to communicate with. Terry told me that if she had bought our pet Cockatoo before she had met me, then we probably wouldn't be married.
When she finally sang her signature song "Don't Know Why", the rest of the brigade left the stage leaving Norah alone at the piano with a lone spotlight illuminating her. This song filled me with regrets. It is beautiful and full of longing and haunts me still.
Leaving the concert after a thunderous encore, I felt elated. Then on the dive home alone in my truck I found myself humming "Come Away with Me." When I hummed the low notes, my entire chest vibrated deeply leaving me feeling like an empty vessel. Norah's smooth, silky and sultry voice kept running through my head and it still does. I found myself humming the same song on the way to work yesterday. I melt every time I hear the words, "Come away with me...".

1 comment:

Joseph Hayes said...

Oh, pity the poor opening act!