Sunday, September 18, 2011

In A Different Universe

The Blondie concert was SO MUCH FUN!!!

Husband and I got to Atlantic City at about 6:30, plenty of time for drinks, dinner and for him to win $80 in the 5 cent slot machines!

Dinner was yum. Sangria! Martini! And look, oysters! And little cheeseburgers that look like muppets!

Not a frequent visitor to casinos, I was amazed and entertained by the variety of slot machines out there.

Even the bathroom was cool:

Finally it was time for the show. The venue was tiny!! The view from our seats:

On our way in I noticed the guy in front of us looked really slick. Like, short spiky hair, expensive suit. And he was wearing a laminated backstage pass. I still had that note from my voice teacher, and I was still wondering how to deliver it, so I filed Mr. Backstage Pass in the back(stage) of my mind.

Then, the concert started. WOWOWOW!!! Now here's where, if I ever wondered if I was from a different universe from other people, this concert may have proven it. I was the ONLY PERSON DANCING. Ok that's not entirely true. There were a couple of people right up front, and occasionally some people above me to my right... and also... Mr. Spikyhair BackstagePass, a little behind and to my left. This was BLONDIE, people!!!! Not a string quartet. I was on my feet the entire time, dancing and singing, jumping and fistpumping and having a blast. Every now and then I peeked around and saw the rest of the audience just... sitting there. Once the woman next to me stood up to dance. Someone behind us yelled, "Down in front!" and she sat. I turned around and yelled, "STAND UP AND DANCE! THIS IS A ROCK CONCERT, NOT AN OPERA!" The people right behind us were grumbling too, sort of under their breath but loud enough for me to hear, "I can't believe this. I didn't pay for this. I can't see." I very nicely URGED them to get up and dance. What was WRONG with everyone???? I wasn't going to just sit there like I was singing kumbaya around a campfire. Seriously. It wasn't until they played One Way or Another, about two-thirds of the way through, that people got to their feet.

Hey look!! It's Debbie Harry!!!

That's pretty much the only good photograph I got. However there are lots of fabulous photos here on the Artskooldamage blog.

And now... Here's my fangirl moment, because you know I had to have one. At one point, I don't remember what song, I could SWEAR she was copying my dance moves. I'd do something, then she would. Then I'd think, who did that first? Me or her? Then it'd happen again. So there. My fangirl moment. I danced with Debbie Harry, while everyone else (except for those few I mentioned) sat around me.

Here's a playlist of videos I took. I should post a warning - if you're prone to seasickness, don't watch. I was dancing the entire time. Also, they're not in order of performance. If the blogger format cuts off the YouTube window, you can find the playlist here.

After it ended, I realized I had one last chance to get my voice teacher's note backstage. You guessed it: Mr. Backstagepass man. I timed getting to the stairs when he did, and said, "I think you and I were the only ones dancing for this entire show." We chatted about that, and I asked if that was a backstage pass. I pulled out the note and explained to him that I study voice with the same woman Debbie studied with in the 70s, and this was a note from my teacher to Debbie, could he possibly deliver it? Well. He thought it was awesome, and he said he'd love to. I introduced myself, then he told me his first name, then repeated his full name in a sort of upspeak, as if to say, "You've probably heard of me?" Besides the fact that it was too loud to really hear, we all know I basically live under a rock. So even if I had heard his name, I doubt I'd have heard of him. Maybe he was a fashion designer, or a photographer? Doesn't matter. He was super sweet and took the note back for me. He even apologized that he couldn't take me backstage with him. How sweet is that? I'm really so happy to be able to tell my voice teacher that her note was delivered.

As we left the theater lobby, two tall, glamorous women approached me to thank me for dancing! They said they loved my energy, that it was contagious and inspiring. Then 2 minutes later another pair of young women came over to say that my enthusiasm inspired them to dance. So you all can imagine, I was dancing like a dancing fool. I loved the music, I sang along. They did old stuff, they did new stuff, they did... The Beastie Boys!! Fight for your Right to PAAARRRTAAAYYY! I think everyone was already standing up by then. I mean, can you IMAGINE sitting through that?

So the person sitting in front me recorded almost the entire concert on her iPhone, in between texting and posting to Facebook. Her videos are no doubt smooth and steady. And I bet you can hear me singing in all of them. Heh heh.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Blondie Tomorrow!

I’m sitting here giggling with excitement because I’m going to see Blondie tomorrow. It never really occurred to me to post about it, until Husband asked if the only reason I’m going to see them is because my voice teacher was Debbie Harry’s voice teacher way back in the day. Of course not! He has no idea how influential Blondie has been on my singing, and I actually never really thought about it much, but looking back, I realized I learned a lot from listening and singing along. And sing along I did – I learned all the words to every Blondie song. This was back when I was a certified “alto” and didn’t believe I could hit the high notes, so some of the songs were especially challenging for me. Picture This was the most challenging of all for me. The chorus went on with no room for taking a breath, and it was at the cusp of how high I could sing below that flip in my voice. Now, of course, it’s a piece of cake. But then… I practiced that for hours and hours, trying to have enough breath to finish the line. What else? Sunday Girl. Also, just at that point of my (then) highest notes. Then other songs I just had so much fun with. Fade Away and Radiate. All sort of dreamy verging on dramatic. Hanging on the Telephone. Hell yeah. Rip Her to Shreds – the ultimate mean girl song!! In the Flesh. Swaying back and forth and flirting with myself in the mirror, then getting pouty. Call Me – loved the end “call me for your lover’s lover’s alibi.” I’d get mad when it was on the radio and they cut the ending before that line. And “roll me in designer sheets,” what a great line!!! Atomic. “Toniiiiiight…” “Oh… your hair is beautiful…. Ahhhhhh tonight!” And then there was a video for Dreaming that used to come on USA’s “Night Flight” and maybe the Kenny Everette Video Show (that link isn't for that video - I can't seem to find it on Youtube). I’d jump and sing along. Rapture. The first rap song? Maybe! Men from Mars? Sounds good to me. Now to give you a better picture of what this was like, I must add that I did most of this singing in front of my bedroom mirror, using either a baton or a hairbrush as my microphone. I’d pretend that I was Debbie Harry. And yes I did this with Queen songs too, where I loved that I could choose basically any line in the harmony to sing along with. But I never pretended to be Freddy Mercury like I pretended to be Debbie Harry. And speaking of baton twirling, two girls in our baton twirling group had this awesome duet set to Heart of Glass. What else? College - singing The Tide is High at a party, somewhere... I don't really remember...but I was hanging out with this guy who knew how to play it on guitar, so I sang it. Haha I wonder what my parents thought of me singing all these lyrics at age 12.
So to answer husband’s question, while I am thrilled at the idea that I was doing all that singing in the mirror while Debbie Harry was studying voice with the woman who now teaches me… hell YEAH I’d be going anyway.
Of course my voice teacher knows I’m going, and she gave me a note and a gift of handmade notecards to pass along to Debbie. How? I have no idea. I’ve emailed Chris Stein on facebook, commented on a picture on his public fan page and tweeted both him and BlondieOfficial… but I don’t really expect him to see it or reply. But who knows. Will tomorrow be another of my crazy rock/opera adventures? Either way, I’ll post about it.