I like listening to live music as much as, if not more than the average person. I shell out my hard-earned cash to purchase tickets that are hard to come by for musicians that I worship. I think that I have led a fairly righteous life, devoid of any major sin that one might call deal-breaking. So, why is it that every f@#$*%g time that I enter the gates of the Molson Amphitheatre here on the beautiful lakeshore of TO, Mother Nature chooses me as her dartboard target and laughs? I mean, really! For those of you who are regulars to this blog, you will recall that I was a part of the 15,000+ fans freezing our respective genitalia off in May (no less) to the dulcet tones of Eric Clapton. Last night, I saw God! The husband and I, along with our nearest and dearest, took in the James Taylor show down at the lake. Now I have vowed, over and over again, that I was done with this venue. The sightlines suck and the acoustics are only so-so, but I mean, this was JAMES TAYLOR!!! I have spent so much money on this man over the years, I feel like he owes me dinner. I own every album he has ever produced (including those from The Flying Machine days) and I can badly imitate his playing on a few select songs. The husband and I have seen him in concert at least a dozen times and that is without exaggeration. (Of course, this dwarfs the record held by an old friend of mine, who views Sweet Baby James much like some fans view the Grateful Dead or Phish. He follows James around the country, whenever he is able, and has lost count as to how many live performances he has attended. I guarantee you that it is in the high 2 digits!!) I still remember my first time with James, back in the late 70s, when he couldn't put two coherent sentences together on stage that weren't musical, because he was so wasted!! He has evolved into a funny, introspective, highly sophisticated musician, still with that beautiful voice and guitar playing that dazzles. So, if there was any artist that I would brave the Amphitheatre for, it would certainly be James. (I should also add a bit of historical perspective. The last time that I saw James perform live, it was also at the Molson Amphitheatre several summers ago. The husband and I took the offspring, only to be deluged by a summer storm the likes of which we had never experienced. We were treated to thunder, lightning, horizontal rain and cool temperatures. We were so uncomfortable by the break that we left without hearing many of his better known pieces.)
After our last escapade with this poor excuse for a venue, I decided to better arm myself for the elements. Given that the temperature in the city yesterday was a sticky 33 degrees with humidity much above that, I knew that coldness would not be an issue. My trusty weatherman on CTV had been calling for a major thunderstorm all day, given the barometric pressure. It was supposed to hit in the late afternoon, and clear in time for the concert. (cough cough Bullshit!!) Given that all weather people are well-trained liars, I packed for the elements. i took 2 umbrellas, a yellow shell suitable (so I thought) for rain, and a sweatshirt for both of us, just in case it turned cool. I was sooo smart!! So far ahead of the game. So fucking stupid it was ridiculous. As we headed downtown, we saw the inevitable approach. The clouds were thick and dark and following us south. The wind was picking up steam, so that by the time were inside the grounds it was only a matter of minutes before it hit. The husband brilliantly decided that since he didn't have a poncho, he would splurge the 4 bucks and purchase a garbage bag with arm and head holes. He should have spent another 4 for me, because as I would discover momentarily, my shell had lost whatever waterproof power it had once possessed. Just as James came out and hit his first chord, the heavens opened. Sodden, drenched, sponge-like, soaked, water-logged or any other synonym could not adequately describe how wet I was! The umbrellas were an unmitigated disaster because the water just kept pooling on top and sliding down my back and into my underwear. The shell was useless and didn't cover my legs. My jeans were so wet that I could be seen wringing them out in between songs. My bra was so wet that I had puddles underneath my breasts. I required wipers for my glasses and I kept drying my hands on the husband's jeans, because they were the only dry item left around me. At least it was warm enough that I wasn't miserable. After about 5 minutes, I gave up and just embraced the experience. What else was I going to do? I figured, that if you can't beat it, go with it. James was phenomenal. He was so impressed that 15,000 people would stay and enjoy his music rain and all, that he stayed on stage for 2 1/2 hours. When he started singing "Shower the People" we all just laughed and looked to the heavens.
As we walked to the car, it became quite apparent that I couldn't ride home in this condition, so I threw shame to the wind and removed my pants in the car. Twin son's better half provided me with shelter and the husband's sweatshirt so at least I was covered. I remarked to Twin Son that he better drive the speed limit, because if he got pulled over by Metro's finest, he would have to explain what a half-naked middle aged woman was doing in his rear seat!! Hey JT!! A little Fire with that Rain would have be nice!!
Enjoy the pictures of the drowned rats and there is a video that will follow!!