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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Wonderful Night of Happy Stress-Free Live Music

I had a feeling that yesterday was going to be one of those days when things won’t go right for me…

I rarely drive to the office, but since I was surely going to be out late, I did. So, I left for the office relatively early thinking that I would be able to get a parking space easily…

I was wrong.

Then, as the day progressed, my cough got worse caused by the smell of paint thinner in our office that had crept through the ceiling from the office unit adjacent to ours which was (and still is) being remodeled by the new tenant.

Not good… not good at all…

I left the office at around ten past six, hoping that I will not be caught in a traffic jam.

To my amazement, my travel to Cubao (from our office at Quezon Avenue) took just a little under 20 minutes, considering I wasn’t driving fast. That was the first (and only) good thing that happened to me so far…

Upon reaching Araneta, I decided to have a quick dinner at Jollibee at Farmer’s Market which was just right across where I parked the car. Feeling rather confident that nothing else could go wrong, I left my bag in the car with my ticket, camera, umbrella, and cell phone in it.

I was wrong to think that!

While I was halfway through my dinner, rain suddenly fell, and VERY HEAVILY at that! Flood water was rushing down the sloped street lying between the parking lot and Farmer’s Market (which looked like raging rapids) and water was rising fast at the far (lower) end of the street. At that point, I was already panicking. I felt hopeless as the rain showed no sign of stopping. MY TICKET!!!

After waiting for almost half an hour and endlessly praying for the rain to stop… the rain finally eased down to a drizzle. I waited for a couple more minutes to let the raging water subside.

To cut a long story short, I managed to get to the car and grab my bag and make it inside the coliseum at around 7:30.


At around ten-past-eight, an announcement was made:

“Mr. George Benson and Mr. Al Jarreau are very much ready to perform. However, we will delay the concert and start at 8:30 due to heavy traffic caused by the heavy rain…”

Fine by me.

The lights went out at exactly half-past-eight. One-by-one the band members appeared on stage proceeding directly to their respective posts and went on to tune their instruments.


The band started out (sans Al and George) playing a medley…

Then, George and Al appeared, informally “introduced” themselves, and performed together for a brief moment (I think they only did about three or four songs together throughout the entire show).

For the most part the concert was a double solo performance… the first half was Al’s and the second was George’s.

Theirs was the kind of music that makes me see blue skies and white fluffy clouds in the stormiest of days, see an endless field of vibrant green grass in my gloomiest moments, smell the perfume of fragrant flowers in my most dismal hours, and feel the soothing caresses of a gentle breeze in my most inconsolable states.

“Happy music” as Al Jarreau calls it… THAT, for me, it truly is.

Their playlist included “Breezin’”, “Mornin’”, “Mas Que Nada”, “Midnight Sun” “‘long Come Tutu”, “The Greatest Love of All”, “Turn Your Love Around”, “Never Give Up on a Good Thing”, and “Give me the Night”. And that’s not even half of it.

Before Al began singing “Mornin’”, he told of a story about a conversation that he and George had while on the plane to Manila.

Imitating George’s laughter (which was quite hilarious), he said George told him that he was very happy. I can’t remember the exact words but it was something about being happy because they’re still performing even if they’re already way past 30 (or something) years old. He then sort of “preached”, however briefly, and out of nowhere suddenly looked at a lady in the audience and exclaimed “Lady didn’t know I was going to preach, did you?” which had the audience bursting out in laughter.

The entire concert lasted for about two hours and twenty minutes and I loved EVERY SECOND of it. (As Angel mentioned on her post: "No front act, no unnecessary talk, just pure musical artistry and a truly unforgettable musical experience.")

After the last song was played, the crowd (myself included) gave them a roaring standing ovation for a most memorable performance.

“Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all…”

I shall consider this as one of those RARE moments that I didn’t feel guilty for loving myself… enough to buy myself that ticket as a (post) birthday gift to myself. Heck, enough to even buy myself anything at all!

However, I have had the misfortune of overhearing somebody say “Sulit na rin” (“it was just about worth what I paid for”) at the corridor on my way out. I can’t help but wonder what else he wanted to see (for it to be well worth every single centavo he had shelled out).

I got home at around quarter-to-twelve… went to bed with “Mornin’” still playing in my head. Woke up this morning still with that same song playing in my head. I just can’t get enough of it!

By the way, you may wanna read Angel's post about this... it covers a lot of things I failed to mention here.


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