posted by laurabecker
last year i chose not to attend tba’s opening night festivities for the simple reason “i don’t do crowds”. then the next day and every day since then i’ve been kicking myself for not going. i could just tell who had gone and who hadn’t. some kind of metaphorical peace pipe had been passed around that night and everyone who was there stayed in that state for the festival. i could tell who was in that state, and i cursed that i wasn’t. as kirsten mentions, it must’ve been pretty extreme.
so, this year, i took a deep breath and dove in. i drove my car underneath the east side of the hawthorne bridge, took a quick jaunt over to pioneer square and rolled in just as victoria, mayor potter, and mark russell said their words. the square wasn’t THAT full, and i ran into a buddy, so my phobia wasn’t even an issue. then john king and his guitar orchestra took center stage. kirsten’s comments pretty much describe the same impression i had. but what i also enjoyed was looking at each guitarist enjoy what they were playing, even if it wasn’t their taste, especially some of those young guys that you can tell just love to rock it to the “extreme” sometimes. they were the ones literally rocking, back and forth, with john, to the beat. a beat that i’m sure not everyone in that crowd could hear. i mean, avant garde guitar is an acquired taste. if i hadn’t been on a steady diet of sonic youth for the past fifteen years or so, i might not be able to feel that beat and rock back and forth to it either. but even though not everyone in the square may have found the melody in the music, they all clapped during and at the end – the audience sincerely applauded the show.
and then there were the drummers. oh those drummers. mmm….those drummers and their beat. you sure couldn’t miss that beat and seriously, when they start and just keep going, everyone follows them, you just can’t not follow them (someone said to me last night they are just like the pied piper) and seriously, it’s like they give out happy pills to everyone around them. (oh hey, this year’s “peace pipe”!)
– but what are they leading us all too? what is everyone looking at in the water? why is that thing going so slow? are they raising the bridge? but what is he gonna “do”??? –
that’s what you could hear standing on the hawthorne bridge as david eckard somberly floated towards us. he was a beacon to the boats in the water, orating from his pulpit. his last words -
“how far do i have to go before i am truly on my way back home”
but no time to be sad people! cue the drums! lead us to the secret late-night haven of the works, where we will discuss what we’ve seen with strangers like they were old friends. where we will remember that tba has no room for rules or expectations. cause only when you let go of expectations, only when you let it all sway you, only then can you truly hear the beat.
ps – i seriously thought about titling this post “guitarrific”