Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Star, A Powter, and Some Other Guy

On a whim, I found myself lakeside in Eisenhower Park in a collapsable chair, warding off bugs, shivering.  Fresh 102.7 had their concert in the park which Eddie and I heard about on the radio.  Ryan Star of Long Island, Daniel Powter of Had A Bad Day fame, and Kris Allen from AI would be performing. It was FREE.  We were there! 

Surprisingly, the park was not crowded.  There were tons of people there, but there was still a lot of room.  The last time I went to a concert there for Gin Blossoms, the temperature hit 100 even at 9 PM and it was so crowded.  This time?  Not so much.  I don't know why.  Most of the old people around us--already wearing winter gear when the sun was out--obviously didn't even know who the musicians were, but they came out anyway.  A night out for free.  Free pasta.  Why not.

Yes, free pasta.  As soon as we set up our chairs, Eddie noticed that there was a basketball hoop and a give-away table down by the stage.  We saw people coming back from the booth hold plastic bags.  We couldn't tell what it was for the longest time.  Then we saw the guy sitting next to us come back for a second time and say something to his wife about pasta.  Eddie went down to the booth, bypassing the bball line, and came back with a stack of FREE stuff--not only did he have two bags of pasta, he also had a handful of free samples of cocoa butter lotion with coupons attached.  The coupons have stickers over the original expiration date with a new expiration date, so I don't know how old the samples are or if the coupons will work, but with free stuff, you get what you get.

The man next to us went back about five times.   He and his wife had a plastic bag with them that they filled with the free pasta.  Later on, she fell asleep.  He woke her up so she could give him a cookie.  Then he got more pasta. 

This is going to be me and Eddie when we are 90.

Anyway, we sprayed our chairs with bug spray, which worked for a while, but it did get itchy and buggy.  It wasn't so bad though because it was also cold.  Yes, that's right, cold.  The two of us were sitting balled up on our chairs, trying to be warm.  Eddie had luckily found a long-sleeved shirt in his trunk and I'd grabbed it just in case he needed it.  He put it on during song 1.  I wrapped my pashmina around me about the same time.

Song 1 was by Ryan Star.  After Jim and Kim came out, yelling introductions into the microphone, Ryan Star sang about five songs.  He didn't have a band.  He had a backup singer on keyboard and what seemed like canned music.  It was a little strange.  I like Ryan Star--have his album, knew two songs.  Actually, I knew three because the third I'd heard earlier in the day on the site for the concert when I was looking for the time the concert started. FYI: Fresh 102.7's website did not list the time of the concert.  Thanks for the information.

Anyway, Ryan Star needs to learn to know his audience.  His music is very good and can be appealing to everyone, but he started to "feel the music" as some musicians do.  He was growling and screeching and half-saying lyrics all breathlessly, arching his back and wailing.  I liked it and Eddie was entertained, but the elderly audience--most of the audience--didn't exactly get the "feeling the music" bit.  He did go into some Meatloaf Anything For Love and some Gotyee, which was entertaining, and then he did take a picture of the audience, which brought back memories.

Side story: When I was in junior high, I went to a concert at Jones Beach (I'm almost positive it was for Bon Jovi).  There had been a contest for local bands to open before the headliner, and a band called Stage won.  Stage played at least one song and maybe more.  They took a picture of the audience.  Who was in that band?  Ryan Star!

So that makes me: Super Fan of Ryan Star.

But back to the concert.  After a ten minute break to break down the stage, Daniel Powter came on.  He played some songs that we didn't know.  Then he played a song that Eddie knew and I didn't.  Eddie was like, I'm surprised you don't know this song.  I said, What's even more surprising is that you do.  He listens to Biggie and also knows this obscure Daniel Powter song. 

Daniel Powter knew his audience.  He even went out into the audience to have us sing with him.  The sing-along was a little uncomfortable considering only the people in the front were singing.  That's not the performers' faults.  Most of the old people were sleeping by then.

He sang Had A Bad Day, which I sang along to unprompted, but that wasn't his closing song.  He closed with the aforementioned going-into-the-audience song. Everyone clapped.  The wife in the couple next to us woke up and they left.  No lights were on near us, so she had a hard time going where she needed to go, so the husband held out his arm and she took it and they shuffled uphill and out of the park that way.  Awww, that's so me and Eddie in 50 years.

There was another ten minute break to set up for Kris Allen.  We never saw Kris Allen.  We were cold, the bugs were getting to us, and neither of us really like Kris Allen.  In fact, Eddie is really annoyed by him.  Not long after the old couple left, we scooped up our free pasta and lotion and coupons, folded up our chairs, and climbed up the hill, back to the car.  I sang a few bars of Kris Allen's song--you know the one--and that was enough for us. 

Heh heh This is where we'd gone in.  It was open.


Anonymous said...

That's too bad you weren't in the mood in the end to enjoy it and left. I've been to a ton of concerts for different big and small artists, and my favorite live is Kris Allen. So much so, I go to it everytime he's in town. His new album also is my favorite of the year. I hope you'll give him a second chance when he comes to town again, but maybe first listen to his current album before you do ;)

Christina said...

Eh, just not a fan of Kris Allen. Maybe if I hear some songs on the radio that I get into, I'll give it another shot if the same concert comes around.