My last few posts have been a bit whiny and while I enjoy sharing my trials, tribulations and ruminations I don't believe life is meant to be just a string of days, months, years of working, eating, sleeping, complaining, or resolving conflicts. Sometimes a gurl's just gotta have fun.
Earlier this year I had both the foresight and desperation to purchase concert tickets for a summer performance at Wolftrap. The foresight because I love the Filene Center at Wolftrap which is the only performing arts venue that is also a national park! As such it's my preferred concert venue despite it's location in Northern Virginia. I stumbled upon their Saturday morning Theatre in the Woods programs when the wunderkind had just started school. Anyway, the desperation came from being fresh out of ideas for yet another Mother's Day gift. My rescue came via email - the announcement of Seal's North American Summer tour. Not a Navy seal or nautical mammal but that Seal, formerly of Seal and Heidi Klum, the uber cool but now defunct celebrity couple.
It had to be a sign right? Sure it was since my beloved Mama introduced me to Seal about 16 years ago. So I ordered a trio of tickets and presented them on Mother's Day. My Mom didn't seem that impressed but I was as proud as a first grader presenting a painted macaroni masterpiece. I proffered that she invite two other friends instead of taking the wunderkind and I but she declined. And man, am I glad she did.
I've seen him perform on television and most of those were pretty subdued. This self described English boy is the real deal - a bonafide performer not just a singer. Do not let the videos fool you, he will be neither sitting nor simply standing while he performs. There were no entourage of dancers so common these days nor scantily clad women, just Seal and his band of about 8 including a backup singer or two. He's a dark chocolate mass of kinetic energy with silken vocals! While he's no pretty boy, he more than compensates with his stature, reported to be 6'4" and the way he works the stages. His well sculpted arms prove he's as serious about his personal training as well as vocal training. . . sooo lucky for us. Seal came to town, he can and did throw down. He sang a mixture of his own songs and remakes of old soul classics from his last two albums. It takes mighty big cajones to even attempt some of those old songs but attempt and succeed he did. For close to 90 minutes, he sang and moved with so much soul, passion and energy that staying seated was not really an option for anyone with a pulse no matter how rhythmically challenged. A couple of times the horizontal mambo definitely crossed my mind since I recall hearing Heidi his soon to be ex wife) say he was wearing a light colored suit that betrayed his "package" when they met and she was hooked. I didn't even see the package but the damn wrapper was so enticing I'd have to concur. When he broke into his version of Teddy P's "Love TKO" I'm sure some room keys found their way backstage. Yeah, he is that good.
Macy Gray opened for him and she was just okay. Her acoustics were off and did nothing to enhance her distinctive voice. I'm glad she was not the headliner. I hadn't been to a concert in about 5 years, though prior to that I have been an avid concert attendee. I would rank this one among the absolute best even having seen The Jacksons perform during my teens! This performance was far more valuable than the $48 per head ticket price. Definitely well worth the 65 mile drive and getting wet from the torrential downpour that ensued 10 minutes before the concert began and didn't top until about 15 minutes before it ended! We had sheltered seats but they were on the end seats since I didn't want to be obstructed while exiting during intermission or "facility" visits - instead I should have factored in summer monsoons with blowing rain. But heck, you can't account for everything, right?
I saw some others taking pictures and trying record the show but I chose to stay in those moments and relished every one. The next morning, I dragged myself into the office, two large brim filled cups of very caffeinated coffee in tow and a voice that landed somewhere between a woman who'd spent the night screaming and a cat trying to cough up a hairball. But I had a renewed sense that all was right with the world. Live performances can do that for you. I'd do it again in a heartbeat because every once in a while you gotta get up from your desk early on a Tuesday afternoon, head down to that new restaurant you've been dying to try with the hubby (a new beau or a gaggle of your best girlfriends). Go ahead - I promise that pile of work, bills, laundry will still be there tomorrow. Then head over to the nearest concert venue, get yourself an adult beverage, then swoon and dance your cares away because on that night, if you let it, the world will be just as Seal sings it...AMAZING!!
And by the way my Mom expressed her supreme gratitude repeatedly on the ride home. Mission accomplished - SEALed with a kiss!