Monday, September 21


My dream of many years came true the other night. At long, long last I was on my way to hear Michael McDonald sing in person. On the crosstown bus, my friend Lynne and I could not believe the woman a few rows ahead on her cellphone in a loud, obnoxious conversation. We rolled our eyes and exhaled when she finally exited. Lynne remarked on how the energy instantly changed for the better.
Outside the Beacon Theater we got some passersby to take our photo under the marquee. They, too, were headed inside, both Boz Scaggs fans. (I ran into a few of them, one who traveled in from Pennsylvania and had just seen Boz two weeks ago. That's a fan!)
As Lynne and I handed in our tickets I remarked “Baby Boomer City!” Was there anyone in the audience under 40? I don't think so. (Check out my photo of the crowd!) Michael McDonald jokes about AARP, too, and the audience erupted in laughter.
Having splurged on my dream, we had great seats in the orchestra of the really beautiful Beacon which has quite a few bars, by the way. And unlike Broadway theaters, the audience can bring their drinks to their seats.
Suddenly Michael and his band casually strolled onstage and launched into “I Keep Forgetting.” This amazing moment was interrupted by two latecomers, cocktails in hand, who made us get up so they could park their kiesters in the two seats to my right. Immediately Mrs. Kiester began a loud commentary which continued through “Real Love,” “Sweet Freedom,” “Yah Mo B There” as well as the Motown covers, “Minute by Minute” and “What a Fool Believes” and “It Keeps You Running” and even the very rousing “Takin’ It to the Streets.”
The only thing worse than sitting next to this couple would have been to have been behind them. So when the intermission ticked down I suggested hopefully to Lynne that perhaps they had left. “No way!” scoffed Lynne. “They’re Bats!”
Bats? “Bridge and Tunnel people. This is a big night for them and they’ll be back and they’ll have fresh drinks.”
And damn if she wasn’t right. And they were again late, again making us get up for them after Boz Scaggs had taken the stage and launched into “Jojo.” Her loud talking continued. Exasperated, I snapped “Would you please be quiet!” She laughed. My annoyance was amusing to this bitch.
And then sometime during “Look What You’ve Done To Me” these two middle-aged bats began to make out!
I nudged Lynne who commented, “One more drink and she’ll fuck him right here.”
“Now we know who the woman on the phone was calling,” I said.
Not a moment too soon they were climbing over us to leave early. Arrive late, twice, leave early. Charming. They missed three excellent encores which Michael and Boz shared. Perhaps they didn’t want to miss the train to Syosset where they have, one presumes, a CD player, bottles of liquor and a bed. And where they could have done everything they did in the Beacon. Except they wouldn’t have annoyed me.
The concert was great despite the bats. The audience enthusiastically lept to its feet for favorite numbers like “What a Fool” and we all sang “whoa-oh-oh-oh!” after every time Boz sang “Lido….” Another high point was the nearly unadorned voice of Michael McDonald on “You Don’t Know Me” the Eddie Arnold song accompanied only by keyboards. It was stunning. If I’d had the choice, I’d have had him sing more of his pre-Motown songs like “I Gotta Try” and “Love Lies” and “If That’s What It Takes” and “On My Own” or “Let Me Go, Love.” But that’s niggling. I was happy, no, thrilled, after all these years just to breathe the same air as Michael McDonald. It was awesome.

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