I love women. I do. Do I find them utterly confusing and confounding? Do they drive me mad? Of course, but alas I love them still.
Last night I fell in love all over again… and with two women I have already loved deeply.
Mavis Staples opened the show and at age 73 she’s still got it. Her rasp and growl are powerful. She was born in Chicago… and not under a bad sign, I would say. She was the lead singer for the Staples Singers and made plenty of jokes about the Staples Center being up for sale. Hell, I’ll buy it for her… but my “group” is a few million short… a few hundred million. Who’s in with me???
She is considered R& B and gospel, and also an actress and civil rights activist. Last night we got it all… and boy, how did we get it good. She was amazing.
There were so many great songs… so many great sounds… and one song I can never grow tired of… “The Weight”, which they did as a tribute to Levon Helm. Jeff Tweedy of Wilco produced her last album, You Are Not Alone… fantastic…
Bonnie came out for a number and it was so great seeing them on stage together… and then hearing Mavis talk about how her Dad looooooved Bonnie… Would go on and on about Bonnie… Bonnie, this and that! Her sense of humor and lust for life is infectious.
And then… “We wants the redhead… We wants the redhead.” (Pirates Of The Caribbean Ride)
How the hell does she look and sound and play so damn good??? She sounds better than ever. First off, she is a killer slide player. Duh. Then her voice is so strong and clear and better sounding than ever. “Angel From Montgomery”, the stunning John Prine tune she sang for her mom hit new heights. I did not think that song could get any more beautiful, but it did. When she sat down for her encore and sang “I Can’t Make You Love Me”… Holy crap… Breathtaking and heart piercing. The only reason it was not perfection, was because one idiot started honking their horn in the parking lot and then not one, but two car alarms went off. Are you f—ing me??? Really??? In the middle of this song. Of ALL the songs, it had to be during this one??? Man I hate LA sometimes…
Here is the thing about Bonnie. She is total class. Almost each and every song was dedicated to someone… She had a house full of friends and family, apparently… and whenever a song was written by someone else, she made sure to not only give them credit, but genuinely fawn all over them and their artistic abilities… Then again, I would be fawning, too if I was talking about John Hiatt, John Prine, Joe Henry, Loudon Wainwright III and Paul Brady, to name just a few of her songwriters…
I would so love to get a recording of last night’s show… It was that good. For now, I will just let it play in my mind… again and again and again… and mention, once again, how much I loooooove women.
PS – HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO BRUCE, YESTERDAY. Apparently he did “Meeting Across The River” into “Jungleland.” I have never seen him do “Meeting”, so AAAAGGGGHHH!!!
Please, please, please do it Anaheim. I beg you!!!