oh readers, dear readers, i am in aural heaven. i just got back from a bobby mcferrin concert and my ears are so very, very happy. also, my voice. and my heart. i dearly love to hear this man perform. i dearly love to be in his audiences because he lets us be an integral part of his performance. at times, he plays the audience as though we are his own personal pipe organ and we love him for it. this concert was no less entertaining and astounding than the first concert i ever saw him in when i was a lowly highschool student in san antonio (thank you, aunt ruth, for taking me to that concert. did i ever tell you how strong and lasting an impression he made on me?). he did a few things tonight that i remembered seeing in that first concert (oz, the hillbilly song), and many new and completely improvised things. he actually did do a few songs from his recorded albums (which he didn’t do last time–much to the chagrin of one of the women i heard commenting after that concert, “i wish he had sung some of his songs!”)–tonight he did “fast car” and the ave maria with a bach piece underneath (oh, and the audience was in charge of singing the ave maria melody part*. we did okaayyyyyy… he, of course, did the bach prelude awesomely.). i also enjoyed his rendition of “smile.” i was thrilled to pieces when one of his long improvisational riffs included the alphabet song and the itsy bitsy spider with audience participation (be still, my storytime heart). but i think the highlights of the show came near the end when he began inviting people to join him on stage–first to dance (individuals could dance while he sang improvised songs for each of them), then to sing duets with him (there were a few fantastic volunteers that were a treat to listen to and watch sing with him) and then… he asked for twelve audience members to join him on stage for some fun choral improvising. um, well, apparently we can’t count very well. i ended up being one of about 40 or 50 (maybe more?) people who flocked to the stage, eager for the chance to sing with him. yep! i. sang. on-stage. with. bobby. mc. ferrin. eeeeep! the big-city/small-town effect was apparent in that i was one of three women from my church and (i learned later) at least two men from the choir i used to sing in! we sang, we danced, we made interesting mouth noises…. and eventually, we had to sit back down. let’s see… did i also mention that at one point, he put the microphone on his neck and (i swear this is true) sang at least 2, possibly three notes at once? i think there was at least an octave–mr. happy stuff thought it was two. at the same time. how does he do that?! sigh. if i could afford to just follow him around the country, listening to his concerts… i’d be there. i sort of wish i’d been able to see him earlier this week when he performed at my alma mater college. can you imagine? seeing him twice in one week? and you just know they would have sung 606 to him. sigh. (if any of my readers were at that concert, i would love to hear how it went!)
at the end of tonight’s concert, he took questions from the audience and someone asked if there was anyone he’d like to perform with that he hadn’t yet and he said that he would love to sing in a quartet composed of himself, alison krauss, james taylor and eric clapton, but that the schedules of those four people were too busy to ever get together for such a dream concert. we assured him that we thought it was worth the wait and we’d love to host such an event. :)
*one of the things i love about him in concert is that he’ll ask the audience to do something and we’ll all laugh and think it’s impossible, and then, somehow, magically, he goes ahead with his part as though it’s not impossible and we follow and (more or less successfully) do our part and it all works and we have this great feeling of amazement and accomplishment…. and then we laugh when he asks us to do something else impossible. and we do it again. perhaps he’d make a good cabinet member for obama. what a great week.