Thursday, March 3, 2011
It's All About 3:08-3:15
It'll be 10 years this October that "The Concert For New York City" took place at Madison Square Garden, just 6 weeks after 9/11. The heaviest of the heavies gathered to not only pay tribute to the great city and the lives lost, but to those that survived. It was impossible not to be moved by every single performance that night. Tim Robbins' introduction of The Who is such an outpouring of raw emotion, it still makes me stop in my tracks and take a breath.
I have a vivid memory. I wasn't at the show, as I had already had a weekend in New Orleans planned since summer. I can speak for many friends when I say, no one really knew what to do or how to act for weeks and weeks after that day. On 9/21, I had gone to see the Black Crowes and one friend said, "I'm just not ready to see music." He stayed home. I justified going, though I wasn't sure I was ready, because the show hadn't been canceled. I thought, "It's still happening, so it must be alright." It was alright. At the time, it felt like the greatest concert I had ever seen. I'm sure it wasn't, though the crowd was at a fever pitch for all of it, and broke new decible records when Chris Robinson announced, "This finally feels like a Friday night."
So now it's time to travel, again feeling, only a month later, like it wasn't the right thing to do. I felt as if I was disrespecting everyone. But, after some more rationalization--- flights weren't canceled, New Orleans was open---I flew.
I arrived that Friday evening, as the "Concert For New York" was being broadcast live, and as I got ready to head out into the New Orleans night, I watched Eric Clapton and Buddy Guy. At first it seemed like a standard take on "Hoochie Coochie Man." But then Eric rips out one of those solos you pray for. When he's through, he respectfully gives Buddy the nod. Buddy does the same, but it's the moment that begins at 3:08, when Buddy starts to go for it and the look on his face at 3:15, when he realizes, he got it. It was then, as I stood in the apartment on St. Philip Street in the French Quarter, when it really...finally... felt like a Friday night.