OK, look sometimes I ramble in my Enjoy column and me erstwhile editor has to reign me in through the magic of...well, editing. Here's the 15 inch ramble that originally began my May 24 Enjoy Column...
One of the interesting perks of this gig is that sometimes you get to see an artist or band live on whom you would never spend your own money more than once. It can be a pleasantly surprising experience as it was the first time I saw James Taylor at Blossom or how much energy Linkin Park both brought to and inspired in their audience a few years ago and of course there are nights when it can be excruciating (do I really need to mention Dave Matthews, again?). Repeated viewings also allow you to discover interesting tidbits about artists that you otherwise miss from recordings and television appearances. Faith Hill always seemed a bit cold and distant to me when watching her perform on television in some $10,000 couture outfit, but onstage her voice takes on a much more soulful edge and she physically works three times harder than her equally well-manicured husband Tim McGraw whose way too cool to break a sweat.
Keeping in the country vein, having seen Brooks and Dunn a few times Iâve noticed that despite having made googobs of country hits and piles of money in their nearly 20 years as a duo, Brooks and Dunn onstage dynamic ainât particularly buddy-buddy. Sure they come out and stand together in the beginning but after the traditional first three songs photo op most bands allow for local news/television photographers, Kix Brooks and his guitar tend to jam with the other band members while Ronnie Dunn likes to walk around the stage giving everyone more cowbell and heaving drumsticks into the crowd. Occasionally, I also get to witness professional rock stars ply their trade when they obviously arenât feeling like rock stars. For example, at Bon Joviâs last Cleveland show, the singer was obviously tired, yet his voice never wavered and through a series of expertly timed and well rehearsed poses, brief energy spurts and occasionally allowing the ladies in the onstage super-fan club circle area to feel him up, he still managed to make that crowd believe they were getting the full Bon Jovi experience.