Saturday, June 23, 2007
Review: Rickie Lee Jones
The weather seemed iffy all day, with bits of rain off and on, but we were determined to have our picnic at Bard, so I made some potato salad (yes, me -- cooking! Good thing it only requires the skill of boiling water) and we picked up a nice bottle of champagne and headed down to meet Robert. It was just getting late enough that we saw a lot of deer, some bunnies and a groundhog or two coming out for their own picnics by the road side (fortunately for the most part staying away from the road itself, although one got a little close).
Bard sure has a pretty campus -- amazing what a lot of money can do! Fortunately, there was a set up for a wedding the next day by Ward Manor, so we used one of the nice tables under the festive tent, festooned with paper lanterns. We ate yummy foccacio samiches (the only way to spell it) and my potato salad and sipped champagne, then wandered over to see if we could get our eyes poked out by the decorative sculpture. We ate our chocolate torte (mmmm) in the gazebo, and then it was time to head over to the giant rabbit, AKA the Gehry-designed Fisher Center (you have to see it from the right angle) to take our places in the Sosnoff Theater. We had been to Theater Two for the Beckett series last year, but we hadn't been in the big theater yet.
It's very nice. Surprise.
Some local DJ introduced Jones and then we waited, because they weren't actually ready yet. But then she came out with her band behind her. Good band -- especially her drummer/percussionist, who was constantly busy changing sticks and shakers of various kinds, usually with at least one held in his mouth because he lacked enough hands to do all he needed to do. The bass player (what did he have in his hair though -- I think it looked like a tiny blue dolphin hairclip) was even bowing his strings at one point, which led to Rickie Lee doing the same with her guitar. I think everybody picked up some percussion instrument at one point or another during the concert, so that was a lot of fun.
She still has some pipes on her, wow. Her voice goes up and around and back down again with ease, although I wished she handed out lyrics sheets for the show because with her delivery it's often hard to pull the words apart in her phrasing (kind of like Tori in that respect). They opened with "Scary Chinese Movie" which set the tone for the nigh: experimental, loose and full of surprises. The long sequence from the current CD -- which the DJ described as taking back spirituality from those who had stolen it from the rest of us -- was fascinating in all the musical avenues and really allowed all the musicians to shine. This wasn't just a back-up band for a star -- they worked together easily and well.
Despite all the technical difficulties that got things off to a bumpy start (Ace, she's looking in your direction) Jones stayed affable and loose. After letting the band go, she turned to the piano to play some solo songs at the piano, something a number of folks in the audience really seemed to have been looking forward to. While Gene had threatened to yell out "Chuck E.!" after every song, a group of women really did yell out a request for "The Albatross" and Jones instantly granted their cries with the song.
Here, here's where we live
Here is a sea, my family
We'll always be young as we've ever been
Death will not part us again nearer to heaven than
10,000 ancestors who dream of me
Well I hear you dreaming of me
Yeah sometimes, dream of me!
Great show -- thanks, Robert!