Smile! You’re on Al’s camera …
On Saturday we went to the 9:30 Club to see and hear one of our favorite bands: moe. We have a particular perch we like, and so arrived quite early in order to make sure we could secure our seats. While standing in line, we kept noticing people going in and out of the band bus, which was parked near the entrance to the club.
I wasn’t paying much attention, so I was surprised when I eventually realized that Al Schnier, (guitar/keyboards/vocals) was holding court outside the main entrance. Lately, moe. has been letting folks video and audiotape some of their concerts, so Al was surrounded by mini-DV cams, and the fans holding them. Somehow, it wasn’t a paparazzi madhouse. I was mesmerized by the natural vibe, and the way that Al seemed to blend in, to emanate a sense of calm that everyone around him picked up. I had no desire to participate, just wanted to hang back and listen in. After about 10 minutes of relaxed interaction, Al disappeared back inside the club.
My focus wandered back to the people standing next to me in line, and to the fact that I could no longer feel my toes due to the cold temperature. Before I’d realized it, Al had come out of the club again, gone into the bus, and popped back out with his own DV-cam in hand. Now it was his turn to ask the questions.
In fact, one question: “Who was your first favorite band?”
Immediately, people jumped in with their answers:*
“The Rolling Stones”
Al began to pan his camera around the impromptu-semicircle, pausing briefly as each person answered. He turned to Rick.
“Pavarotti,” I threw in, as Al’s camera panned passed, then snapped back.
“What?,” he asked.
“Lucciano Pavarotti,” I repeated.
“Really?” He raised his eyebrows, doubting.
“Yes! I remember, I was five years old and I used to listen to opera for hours and hours. I was totally in love with Lucciano Pavarotti.”
“What was yours?”
“Kiss,” he answered.
“Did you wear the makeup?”
“Nah, I couldn’t really do makeup. It’s hard to get all that makeup on when you’re 10 years old.”
He began to move around the rest of the circle. When he got back to the beginning, he started walking away.
“Excuse me,” he said. “I have to find Jim; it’s his 100th show tonight and we’re going to celebrate.”
“Did you get him a cake?” asked Rick. Al turned around and frowned, sheepishly.
“Sshhh! I forgot.”
As it turned out, the guys remembered after all. They brought out a cake, with numbered candles: “100″.
Author’s note: Although I use quotes, they are purely decorative. This entire conversation is paraphrased. Forgive me Al. If I can get a copy of that videotape, I’ll be happy to transcribe it.