Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bobby McFerrin

Most people think of one thing when you mention Bobby McFerrin: "Don't Worry, Be Happy". That's a great tune, but Bobby is so much more than that. Last fall when I heard that he was going to be at Gallagher Bluedorn I couldn't wait to get on the horn and order tickets, the first day they were available! These were the best seats I've ever had for a show, (well where I didn't have to look around a very large lesbian anyway!!). 2nd row orchestra on the aisle. When the usher sat us she even comment on our luck.

The show was amazing. It was more than amazing but I can't seem to come up with a better word right now. He started off with some of his original work, sounds that are so Bobby McFerrin. When you are listening to a cd it's easy to forget that there is no fancy mixing, no special audio effects, but when you are looking right at him you are reminded it's all just him, only him. As the show went on he started to involve the audience. He sang Bach while asking the audience to sing Ava Maria over top. He invited people up on stage to do interpretive dance to his improv, he asked people to come up and sing with him. At one point he asked about 12 singers to come on stage. He ended up with more like 30. For me there were two song he did that were especially incredible; Drive from Simple Pleasures and Blackbird from The Voice.

The Simple Pleasures CD (actually I think I had the tape) came out in 1988, I was 15 years old. I fell in love with his music instantly, more so the tracks other than DWBH. I remember laying in bed one Sunday night late, I was listening to my walkman, my radio walkman, with the antenna up. I would run the dial slowly up and down, fm & am, just listening for anything off the beaten path. Remember I was 15 & I bet there are a few of you out there that remember how hard I worked at being "off the beaten path" around that time. Anyway, I remember one night coming across Bobby McFerrin in concert on a Public Radio show. He did Blackbird that night. I remember thinking how unique his sound was and how badly I wished I was there, in that theater, watching that show. Twenty one years later I finally got to be the one sitting in the theater, watching him live.

photos courtesy of

"It's really the act of singing and being there in the moment when music is made that I love most." -Bobby McFerrin 1/21/09

1 comment:

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