Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Favorite Concert

I'm not particularly a concert person.

Especially in this day and time, where it's not unheard of to pay a hundred bucks for a ticket.

No, I liked the concerts of old, when tickets were 18 dollars.

I've seen many artists at that price: New Edition, Fat Boys, Whodini, Salt N Pepa Boys II Men, Jodeci, Beastie Boys just to name a few.

I paid 30 bucks for a ticket for an MC Hammer concert. Me, my brother and sister went. What fun! (But I know now not to take a 3 year old to a concert. Humph).

Those were some great concerts.

But I wanted to blog about my favorite of all...

The year was 1996, I believe, some 15 years ago. I was in the lab, working on my research, when my friend and classmate came into the lab, talking about a concert.

"Meshell Ndegeocello is going to be playing at the Variety Playhouse. You wanna go?"

I didn't answer immediately.

"I'm just going around asking people right now. I'm going to go pick up the tickets. And someone needs to go with me. I don't wanna be the only white person there."

"Well, let me know who else is going," was my answer of choice at the time.

Now I like Meshell and her music. She is quite eclectic. She writes all of her own music and plays all the instruments for her songs. And even back in 1996, it was rare to find people like that. So many artists were and still are manufactured.

I liked her music, but I wasn't all crazy about hitting up a concert.

She was one of my favorite singers at the time, but she was a lesbian.

No, I ain't got nothing against lesbians. Nope.

But I knew that EVERY lesbian in the ATL would be at that concert.

I don't have an issue with that, either. Do you. Whatever.

But here's my thing: I have this AWFUL fear of there being a news camera would be there, and my face would show up on the news, etc...

And my best friend LadyTee would see me on TV.

And if you know LadyTee like I know LadyTee, she like to jone. She's one of the BEST at it.

And I would've never lived that down. I could hear her in my head! "Lee, you was on the news! Is there something you wanna tell me, girl?"


And she's that type that like to stare at you. Who wants to deal with that?

Well, Timmy-Tim came back with a report of who else was going. Keisha and Jill wanted to go. These were two sisters, two other chemists that I was in school with. I agreed to go then. I called up my friend Carter-Anne, and she wanted to go.

Me and Keisha had much discussion about this concert with Timmy-Tim.

"Boy, every lesbian in the ATL is going to be there."
"I don't care," Timmy-Tim said. "I just don't want to be the only white boy there."
Keisha laughed. "Well this is what we're going to do. We're going to all pretend we're with you, Tim. We don't want nobody to think we're lesbians."
"Whatever. I just want to go to the concert."

(Yes, there was much strategic discussion about this. Hey, we were young, in our mid-twenties. Terribly concerned about impressions!)

The evening of the event arrived and we all went to the concert. For days I'd been hollering about something.

Meshell sings one of my favorite songs. A song I still LOVE to this very day.

"Ya'll," I hollered. "If she sings my favorite song, I'ma pass out! Ya'll gonna have to pick me up and carry me out. I don't know what I'd do if she sang it. OH LAWD!"

They rolled their eyes. They knew the song well. I played it continuously in the lab. (Those who know me, if I like a song or movie, I play it to death! Even to this day!)

I went on and on and on about this. I was sooooo excited by the time the concert came along.

When we arrived at the concert, we saw much. We didn't know there were that many lesbians in the ATL. But there were just as many other people there. Timmy-Tim's fear of being the only white boy was alleviated. Carter-Anne was white, so we had a good mix of folk in our crew.

The seating was first come first serve, and it looked like the concert venue held a couple thousand people. So we had good seats, around the 10th row. We received free posters of Meshell, all made up. I remember whispering "She don't look like this!" LOL.

(And me and Keisha were chatty, and doing much people watching... and whispering "look at them two women over there all up on each other! Wow!)

And we made sure to hang on to Timmy-Tim so nobody would think we were together, lol. (He had to be thought of as a lucky man that night, showing up with 4 women!)

The concert started. She sauntered out on stage. This woman had to be all of five feet tall. That was funny.

But that concert... It was FANTASTIC! We were on our feet the whole time. Meshell would sing, then sit down and paly the keyboards, and then play the bass guitar.

We had a good time! I remember looking over at Carter-Anne, who was drinking wine, and saying "This is SO cool!"

Me and Keisha were hollering "We love you Meshell!" right along with everybody else.

MAN we had a great time!

But alas, she didn't sing my favorite song.

So my friends didn't have to see me pass out.

I had a good time. Best concert EVER! She is truly a great singer and entertainer.

We talked about that concert for days.

And my folks were like, "Thank goodness she didn't sing your favorite song!"

What was that song, you may ask:

It's this one.

Soul Searchin'. It wasn't on any of her CDs, but it was a part of the Higher Learning soundtrack.

I LOVE THAT SONG! She has the smoothest voice. And the arrangement was on point.

Those opening lyrics:

"Come caress my saddened heart
My sunrise, my darkest dreams
All my hostilities tame when you kiss me"

*lee passing out at computer keyboard*

I was DEEP in love when that song came out. Deep. Mind blown bad.

That was me and man's song right there!

Really though.

I still get goosebumps when I hear it.

Too bad she didn't sing it that night....

Too bad!

But I loved that concert. I've always told people if you get a chance to see her, GO. What talent! What a show!

So that was my favorite concert.

Like I said, I don't go to concerts these days. And that's okay.

I have my memories of my favorite one.

Yes indeed.


  1. I've never heard of this artist but I like her!!!!

  2. I LOVE Soul Searchin is my all time fav of all her music. And Rush Over from the movie Lovejones is right behind. Heck, she has a bunch of songs I love. Those two are part of my top 5.

  3. @Adrienne... You've never heard of her? You must be REALLY young. LOL

    @Shai... I'd never heard the song from the Love Jones soundtrack. Listened on YOutube. That's a good song! I like the one she did from Love and Basketball too.

    I liked her early stuff. Then she went political and activist on me. I got all confused! I like the old tunes, though...

  4. She is one of my all-time favorite artists. I thought I had heard every song of hers but thanks for this one. Folks have slept on her for far too long. I discovered her by mistake when I was about 13 or 14. LOL My dad used to listent o her.

  5. I haven't really listened to her enough to appreciate her music like that. I have heard she is a really good artist.

    I really like the song you posted.

  6. I do like her music. I wish she had a greatest hits cd...or maybe she does and I just don't know it!

  7. Your fav song is one of the songs that stood out to me on the Higher Learning sdtrk! I haven't really listened to much else of hers.

    I'm trying to pick my fav concert out of all the ones I went to.

  8. DANG GIRL! I ain't heard this song in ages! I used to rock the hell out of it! Now, I gotta go buy it off of Amazon...this was my jam!

  9. Was this at Variety Playhouse in 1996?

    I had to ask because that was the concert I went to and it was my introduction to her! I stood the entire time and did not mind one bit. That was a GREAT concert!!!

    I went by myself to see her when she returned to the A in Feb. 2009. It was standing room only and I was front and center!

  10. @Kay C... Yeah Ma! That's the concert!!! We were there! After all our stressing we had a GREAT time! She knocked our socks off. REAL TALENT, man! REAL TALENT!!!

    I might have to catch her next time she comes through!!!

  11. The guy I was seeing in college introduced me to her and I was like "who?"

    I wrote about it here - http://kaycthequietstorm.blogspot.com/2008/03/meshellthe-experience-continues.html

    How ironic we were both there. When that sister went from singing to the keyboards to the base...I was DONE!!! We were one of the few straight couples there but I am forever grateful to him for the concert.

    I'm hitting you up the next time I hear she's in town.


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