For some reason, I’ve struggled to write this. It was such an amazing evening and I don’t know how to put it into words.
Two nights ago my mom and I sat in the audience and watched a legend perform.
You want to know the secret of life? Just keep breathing in and out. Just keep breathing. That’s the secret of life
I bought her the tickets for Christmas as a total surprise, a spur of the moment decision that had me hurtling down to Computicket hours before festivities began.
He was the soundtrack to my mom’s youth as a left-wing, liberal Rhodes student studying politics and journalism. We were fans long before the movie came out.
He’s this beautiful, aging rock star but without the ego. Black leather pants, a loose black waistcoat and a black fedora pulled low over his long black hair. His band members are a mix of long grey ponytails and leather, two guys who wouldn’t look out of place in an IT lab and a young hippy, who sits cross legged on the floor shaking a tambourine.
Three guitars, one bass, one keyboard, two drum sets, a bongo drum and a tambourine. That’s how you make music.
The mystery of life is that we never know when it’s going to end
He started off his set, playing five songs without saying a word to us. He’s shy and seems completely amused by all the fuss. There’s no fuss or fanfare to his show, it’s just him and his band and his music. It’s pure and beautiful and brilliant.
I was commenting to my mom that, so often, a band sounds fantastic on a record but disappoint live. With him, it’s the opposite. I think, because he was a total unknown, very little money went into recording his music. His CD’s are raw and real and as a result, when he’s standing on stage it’s exactly what you’ve always imagined and better.
You want to know the secret to love? Don’t be a silent partner.
Eventually he spoke to us.
“Is this thing on? So, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse go to the doctor.”
I don’t remember the whole thing but it ends with the doctor telling Mickey, “I didn’t say she was crazy. I said she fucking Goofy!”
Probably the funniest thing I’ve heard in a long time because it’s the very last thing I expected him to say.
And free love? It’s too expensive!
He was just magic. What an amazing guy. You all know the story by now, if you don’t go out and buy Searching for Sugarman now. NOW.
There was so much love and respect on that stage. You could tell how much his band cares for him, the way they helped him on and off stage. The way they took their cues from him and played his music with such passion. Everyone on that stage and in that room knew that this was a concert like no other, this was something special.
This is my favourite of his songs, I Wonder (to which is response was , “I do wonder but I don’t really want to know”).
What a night.
(Apologies for no photos. It just didn’t happen.)