On Stage: James Taylor

I lost interest in concert-going years ago. The hassle, the cost, the hassle, the crowds, the hassle, the traffic, the cost, the idiots, the hassle, the late night, the parking, the adult-sitting, the hassle. It just wasn’t worth it.

But then many of our musical idols started dropping like flies, and Laurie thought it important that we start seeing the rest of them before they died.

JT_Summer2017Admat_sm (2)James Taylor was not on that list. We saw him a couple of years back when he was touring with Carole King. It was a great show. I figured I could check him off the list. And I haven’t really paid much attention to James since the “JT/Flag” era, and that was the late 1970s.

But he was coming to town and Laurie wanted to see him again and his opening act was going to be Bonnie Raitt and we hadn’t seen her before so I figured, why not? and besides by that point Laurie had already bought the tickets.

One of the 13 reasons I have for hating concerts listed above is “adult-sitting.” That’s when you have a 27-year-old son who cannot be left on his own so anytime you want to do anything without him you’ve got to make arrangements. Another word for “adult-sitting” would be “hassle.”

We have a guy that comes over, but it’s good to have other options. We were recently informed that we could use a “respite house” where we could take Andrew and they would watch him. We left him there for a couple of hours one weekend and three hours this past weekend. He seemed to do fine. But this would be the real test — 6 p.m. until we got back from the show — which could range from 11:30 to past midnight.


The show was at the fill-in-the-blank Center, which is in a part of downtown I’m not familiar with, so I made Laurie drive. We dropped the boy off and, after making several strategic changes in route that I could never have made were I driving, we arrived at the center at 6:45. The show was to start at 7:30.

There is nowhere to eat near the center, except a Hard Rock Cafe, and it would probably take at least 45 minutes to get a table and served, so we were left to fend with the culinary options at the center. Dinner consisted of two $6.50 hot dogs (these were not jumbo dogs, by the way. They were “gourmet” but you couldn’t prove it by me) and one $5.50 bottle of water (they wouldn’t give us they bottle, they had to pour it in a cup. What’s up with that?). We were hardly full, but it was sufficient to get us through the night.

When we walked through the door there was a sign: “Bonnie Raitt has CANCELLED. James Taylor will be doing 2 sets with an intermission.”

I hate concerts so much. Bonnie Raitt was a main reason for coming to this show. Are we going to get a partial refund, or a free t-shirt, or a free hot dog as recompense? Is James going to do an extra 45 minutes to make up for it? Not likely.

And intermission? I hate ****ing intermissions.

The show was to start at 7:30 but what are the odds of that happening if the opening act is out? It’s not like James is gonna come out early and piss off everyone who shows up late because they didn’t care about seeing Bonnie Raitt.

To my somewhat surprise, the show started at 7:50, which is still unacceptably late but about par for concerts. Which is another reason why I hate them. The crowd was largely old and stayed in their seats, which made me happy. There was an obnoxious couple behind us who talked too much, which didn’t.

The show itself was pretty darn good. The first set was a mix of popular tunes and obscurities, the second was a cavalcade of hits. He played every song from his classic Greatest Hits album, which is probably the only JT album most people listen to — am I right?

He’s also a pretty good storyteller and his “all-star” band was very impressive. A much better show than I was expecting. And because there was no opening act – and we were near the end of an aisle so we could make a quick getaway – we were able to pick up junior before midnight.





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