Wednesday, March 2, 2011

David Gray ~ Beacon Theater

About 20 years ago, when I was still in a position to make rules for "Living Silvia Style," I decided that I would never decline an opportunity to experience something new.  Other than ecstasy or other recreational drugs, that is.  As for those substances, thanks, but I'm not interested, even when it is a famous actor offering, however, that's another story.  To return to the story at hand, last week one of my best friends provided me the chance to:
  • hang out with she and another dear friend of many, many years.
  • visit NYC for a night, 
  • check out a performer whom I've never seen before at one of my favorite venues, the Beacon Theater.
In general, the night was an educational experience for me.  For instance, I had no idea that "reluctant driver friend" doesn't have a clue about parallel parking - even when it means paying $55 to park in a convenient garage.  Guess I know what to get her for Christmas next  year - parking lessons!  Amazingly enough we scored a parking spot just west of Broadway at a cost of $2.50, which left a nice surplus for our eating and drinking budget.  Which, was a good thing as we walked a block north on Amsterdam and found our way into a pub that had terrific food matched perfectly with a nice beer selection.  The Amsterdam Ale House is one of those joints that to the uninitiated can cause a bit of angst.  You know, a place that has a promising menu and a cool ambiance but just may not be able to execute.  As we perused the food menu and ordered beers (yum, Ommegang Rare Vos on tap!), we witnessed a nearby table receive their meals and quickly decided to copy them and it was burgers all around.  We did not regret our decision - including our eclectic choice of mixing up our sides so could experience all that was offered: fries, onion rings and sweet potato fries.  Why choose when you can have everything?  We also shared an excellent salad of field greens with walnuts and crunchy rounds of fried goat cheese - a perfect starter course for three.  No disappointment at all.  Our night was going well...

After dinner we walked around the corner and got settled into our seats for David Gray's opening act, Lisa O'Neill.  I'm going to be honest here (as if I'm ever less than that!) and say that I just didn't love her.  As a matter of fact, after a couple of songs we decided that the bottle of Maker's Mark at the bar held more appeal than her performance.  Go ahead - shoot me.  Sorry.  I'd be willing to give her another listen but it just wasn't working for me that night.

David Gray, however, was a joy to listen to.  For me, his songs when played lived didn't demand undivided attention but instead provided an easy background harmony to enjoy the company of my dearest friends.  You're probably familiar with his biggest hit, Babylon, but do yourself a favor and give his latest release, Foundling, a listen.  The lyrics are poignant and his voice beautifully melodic and haunting.  I really love the words he sings in A Moment Changes Everything:

The stolen glances, broken threads
The visions looming in our heads
The years spent running parallel
To everything that might of been
I'm not spending a lot of time these days looking backwards, but will take those words with me into the future wherever it may lead. Hopefully, additional opportunities to see David Gray are part of that future.

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