Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Night at the Hollywood Bowl

The Show

Last night, Michelle and I went to the Hollywood Bowl and saw Carole King and James Taylor perform, both individually and as a duet. These are two of Michelle's favorite artists. I always liked James Taylor, although I was never what you would call a fan. I had barely heard of Carole King before I met Michelle but I found out she had performed written, and co-written quite a few songs I knew and liked. I had no idea she had co-written "The Loco-motion" or "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" until last night.

Getting to the Bowl almost requires taking a Park & Ride as the parking at the Bowl is really bad in terms of space and accessibility. It gets rather cool there this time of year and the seats are wooden park benches - towards the back of the arena anyways. Despite all that, it was very enjoyable. James Taylor has not lost anything in his voice at age 62. His voice sounded like we were in the studio with him in 1970. King was also impressive and the chemistry between them was great.

I tend to prefer rock and roll with more substance than these two offer. I like layered instruments, tempo changes, and lyrics with obscure or double-meanings. Taylor and King make very personal music with simple melodies. Their lyrics are straightforward. You know what they are conveying. However, these two artists do their thing so well that I found myself enjoying the show quite a bit. Michelle was enthralled. When it was over, we both agreed it was a great show.

One Observation

I realize as I write this that this is going to come across as completely inappropriate to some people. I had a good view of a horde of people just arriving and getting to their seats just before the concert began. The thing that struck me was... ready... They were almost all white! As I then looked across the mass of people, I realized that at least 98% of the audience was white. I spotted a couple of black people amongst the thousands. I saw no sign of a Latino or Asian whatsoever. Is there something wrong with this? Of course not!

I imagine that some black performers are going to attract mostly black audiences, the same with Latinos. It's apparent that some performers have broad, cross-racial appeal such as Madonna and the late Michael Jackson. While others don't.

What's my point? It is that if this were any kind of political event, it would have been blasted by the mainstream media. I'm sure someone at MSNBC would have called this some kind of "Klan" or "Nazi" event. In the case here, it was a collection of people who shared a similar taste in music and that's okay. In the case of a Tea Party event, it is a collection of people who are concerned about tax dollars being wasted on corporate bailouts, possibly jeopardizing the future prosperity of the United States. Apparently to the mainstream media, this is not okay. By the way, I certainly hope the black people at the concert weren't "uncomfortable" as I am sure, they were as welcomed as anybody else.

Has it ever occurred to anybody in the media that the reason so many people attending the Tea Parties are white because black people don't want to protest a black President? I'm sure many blacks are concerned with the same things the Tea Party is about as their children are in jeopardy too. The media seems to want to believe that only white people are concerned with skin color. I don't believe that's the case.

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