Friday, May 04, 2007
The Accidental Concert  

Al Stewart
Originally uploaded by TheJerseyTomato.
In a past converstation with my brother, Lucky found out that the two people BigD would like to see in concert would be Al Stewart and Donovan. So when he found out that Al would be in NJ, Lucky, BigD, and Little D made plans to see him.

When the day came, Lucky came to the store to wait for the two to show up. It was getting close to 7:30 and they still hadn't shown up. I left him with my mom and went to the supermarket. Ten minutes later, I'm selecting corn went I hear a voice behind me say "Do you want to go to a concert?"

Turns out that my brother decided instead of reading his old emails, to google "al stewart metuchen" and got the info for LAST YEAR'S concert. So both he and his wife were still at work. Since the tickets were already for (heck it was 15 minutes before the show started... and you know that the ticket scalpers fight over who gets to cover this concert :) ), my mom and I jumped into the car with Lucky and headed off to Metuchen.

The opening act, Dave Nackmanoff had just started when we arrived. It didn't surprise us that Al was a big influence on Dave's style; you could hear it in his first song. But as his set progressed, his music did as well. Dave then introduced Al Stewart and backed him up with his detailed guitar work. The beginning of the show was a bit unsettling. Apparently the monitors had been off-kilter since soundcheck and bothered both of them. Al suggested that the sound guy go to sound guy school and threatened to leave. He said it with a smile on his face but not in his voice, so I wasn't sure if we were going to get a "folksy" version of Axl Rose.

He managed to get through the set and after the break, the monitors were fixed some how. And he completed the song that he refused to finish the first set ... a yet untitled number about a soccer player whose one mistake is never forgotten and replayed for decades. Lucky thought that the song was what it was, but I thought of it on a different level... how the "new media" is making it harder for brief moments to be softened (eg Imus).

After the concert, he signed merchandise that had been purchased during the break. I snapped this photo (creatively cropping out Lucky... you want to see the whole photo, just email me). He was very conversational and quite friendly. A complete opposite from how I had viewed him mere hours ago.

And what did I think of the concert (my mom's second concert in a week... and in a lifetime, if you are keeping track)? Actually it was quite energetic! His voice was strong, his lyrics clear and meaningful (although I didn't always get the references). I wouldn't necessarily go see him again (ala the Bacon Brothers), but I understand why the audience was filled with people who had just seen him the previous year.

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