- Erine @ GirlComeUndone.com, 06/25/03: Tracy Chapman has a soulful voice in my estimation. And I think that quality is discernable from her CDs. What isn’t discernable is how much more powerful and riveting her voice is live. I also didn’t realize how absolutely cute she is when speaking. We saw her (maybe a few less than) a million years ago at one of the Lilith Faires, and the big stadium, or perhaps my seat in the boonies didn’t allow me to realize just how sweet, humble, and charmingly humorous she is. This time, we were in the 13th row of a very small venue and Tracy and her band were fabulous.
There are always one or two annoying people or things at any given concert. There are people who tend to be idiotic in public, and if you get a large enough crowd together (say more than 20), then they are quite unavoidable. For this night there was the woman who randomly shouted things out that made nearly no sense in light of the setting, and even that wouldn’t have been so bad but for her voice. How to explain…? Think of the baby voice of Joey Lauren Adams in Chasing Amy, then make the voice more baby-ish and high pitched, louder, and with a whine, and there! You have the woman in question. Now place her in line for the restroom right behind you shouting out “Rush the men’s room” and “Stampede” and other things that I can’t even recall verbatim because they were so non-sequitor. Then place her 4 rows back and across the aisle from you during the concert, and when Tracy is talking to the entire audience about the cute ducks that were around for sound check the woman was responding as if it was her and Tracy having the conversation one on one and the rest of us weren’t there. And of course she sang, but thankfully it only was annoying for one song.
In spite of that one woman, I had a blast. I shrugged off the annoyance, because what else am I going to do? (I so wanted to tell her that she was in public and she could use her “grown up” voice now, but I refrained, because I’m trying to be more of my old self… the nice person I used to be before I was corrupted by those around me. Teehee.)
Besides the concert, itself, being great — soulful, rocking even near the end, and jammin’ for the encore. One of the surprisingly great things was the people seated right next to us. Four men, the one right next me named Dean, and he was apologetic over their frequent trips to the restrooms (they were consuming beer) and we were on the aisle, and the rows were tightly squeezed so we all had to shift back or out to let them pass. And because he was so polite, and so excited about being there, and loved the concert as much as I did, there was instant rapport. And that made the night all the more special.
I wrote about the effects of an outdoor concert before. And the San Diego air was cool, but not cold. The night was clear of much of the humidity, though there was some cloud cover, and every now and then a slight breeze would pass. And I felt the bass, the drums, and the electric guitar. And Tracy’s voice gave me chills at one point. There’s a certain earthiness to it, raw like the dirt, but refined like a path traveled upon, and like the earth there is a quality of honesty and purity (assuming here that the earth in this simile isn’t plundered or contaminated with waste).
So, another great concert-going experience.
VENUE: Humphrey’s, 2241 Shelter Island Drive, San Diego, California – USA
OPENING ACT: EastMountainSouth