Disclaimer: I’m not, nor have I ever considered myself to be, a music critic. Despite the ten years of [expensive, sorry Mom and Dad] piano lessons and my brief stints at the clarinet and alto clarinet, and my affinity to all things pop, I really know nothing of the subject. It is for that reason that, while a review of the fabulous concert I went to last night would be interesting and beneficial to my readers, I cannot bring myself to pen one for you. Instead, I will write about the adventure of it all. An adventure that included, in no specific order, some delicious food, some good friends, some Metro transportation shenanigans, some annoying 20 something gals, Blackberries, bad accoustics, and, oh yeah, Billy Joel and Elton John.
We’ll talk about the food first, because, for once, it’s not going to be the highlight of my post. We made good on our Saturday Faturday designation. We had some good stuff all throughout the day. We started off our girls’ day at Chick Fil A, which we are all very happy to have in the neighborhood (for the record, I played tennis in the morning…time of game irrelevant, it’s quality over quantity, right?). After some pool time we were able to reconvene for some pre-game snacks. Lucky for us, the stadium is not lacking in dining choices and, happily, the four of us all managed to incorporate chili and cheese into our dinner choices. We did not manage to make it to 7-11 for the birthday slurpee (they wouldn’t let me run in to get one while we waited for a cab [that never arrived]). Ok, fine, we weren’t in the best part of town. But a slurpee is a slurpee.
Now on to the show. I’d love to just devote the rest of this blog to the gaggle of gals who were sitting in front of us. As an older and more mature member of society, I feel I have the right to be judgey about these girls. Twenty-two beers between the five of them is not so appalling. Their behavior and dance moves, however, are another story. First things first, though: they all had matching Blackberries and were texting male friends incessantly throughout the concert’s entirety (Christopher K, whoever you are, I’m sorry she kept asking you about pierogies) to meet up with them in Georgetown afterward. Sorry we couldn’t join them. They all had matching dance moves, as well. And by having dance moves I mean not having them. If cell phone video was transferrable, you all would be in for a treat. They all also had on similar outfit components. One of the girls was wearing the same pair of shoes as the girl sitting to her left and the same shirt as the girl sitting to her right(but thankfully not the same sequin adorned khaki shorts). We couldn’t figure out if they were copying her or if she was the trendsetter.
The best part of watching them came toward the middle of the show, when Billy Joel sang “Only the Good Die Young.” The girls went crazy! We decided they were either former Catholic school girls, that the song was their senior class anthem, or both. They also really liked “Crocodile Rock” and “The Bitch is Back.” And you can bet your bottom dollar that they rose and swayed as soon as the Piano Man started playing the first notes of that song. What better way to convey your friendship? I can’t think of a better one…
Well, maybe I can. It’s demonstrating braveness and solidarity and getting on a Metro bus, in a not so good neighborhood, at 11:30 pm, not knowing where you’re going but knowing you can do it together…when neither of you have ever done it, before, alone. Our Metro bus to nowhere, while an intimidating option, turned out to be the best decision of the evening and was certainly our best ticket out of town. Surrounded by other forward thinkers, we loaded onto the bus, took our seats, and waited until we recognized a stop name. Turns out the V8 bus to the Archives is a lifesaver. We learned a few things on that trip:
- We know as much as the next guy. Don’t listen to the next guy. He was trying to get us to get off at Archives. L’Enfant Plaza, dude. L’Enfant Plaza.
- The age when a young man should begin wearing deodorant should be, oh, 10. And, the smell of tween perspiration on a crowded commuter bus late on a Saturday night is not very pleasant.
- Any street in the Southwest portion of town named after one of the original 13 colonies is not a good one on which to disembark the bus.
We made it home with no casualties and in a little over two hours. Conisdering there were tens of thousands of people at this concert, many of whom were heading in the same direction as we were, this is not such a bad thing.
The concert itself, despite our limited view when our young friends decided to dance it up, was pretty spectacular. The dueling pianos bit came at the end of the show instead of the beginning. Why? Because something was up with Sir Elton’s piano pedals and they had to fix it. He left the stage in a [unsurprising] tizzy. Billy Joel played all the favorites, while Elton played some stuff that wasn’t so interesting, especially considering the number of songs and albums from which he had to choose (“Zanzibar,” Elton? Really?). He did play a lot of the favorites–“Tiny Dancer” , “Daniel,” and “Your Song,” though. I can’t be too demanding.
They both seemed to tire quicker than you’d expect, but considering their ages, they put on a really entertaining show. The biggest complaint (and it wasn’t just me–the girls were texting about it, too) was that the accoustics were horrible–there was a delay and tremendous amounts of echo. We found that the best place to enjoy the concert was actually underneath the stairs…kind of like hiding under the bleachers at a football game. But not.
In case you’re wondering, as I’m sure many of you are, thanks to the jumbotron close ups of the piano keys we were able to see that Billy was not donning a wedding band.