KT Tunstall concert last night at the Orpheum Theatre in Boston.
Things have been time-crunch busy and emotionally enervating these past few weeks so I haven't been going to the gym. My bad. I was not in shape for this. The T was out at Park Street because of an electrical fire, which would have been such a very convenient 1/2 block from the hall. Instead I had to get off at Boylston (no escalator, just stairs to surface) and walk 5-6 blocks in the rain and high humidity. My knee claimed it was uphill, but the rest of mind & body said "uh, hey, San Francisco?" and it shut up except for a sullen creak and ache with every step. I ducked into a CVS to grab a bottle of diet green tea, swallowed some ibuprofen, and it was happier. But with general subway delays, no time left for any dinner.
If you look at reviews online, they'll all agree that the Orpheum is ooooooold. Sometimes a good old: "classic, historic, cozy." Mostly a bad old: "omg, we're all going to DIE if someone drops a match, and a piece of ceiling just fell in my beer!" The seats are indeed "cozy." I'm 5'4" and I had to sit sideways. If you need legroom, you've got to make sure you get an aisle seat or the first row of the balcony. However, be aware that the first row of the balcony is not in fact the first row. The three rows they call mezzanine are the first rows of the physical balcony and then there's a walk path and then the ticket-designated balcony. Which is why you get leg room, because you can stick them out in the walkway. I was second row mezzanine, left of center, and the view was awesome, looking right down on the stage. I was also lucky that the two seats next to me stayed empty, so I was able to move over and give myself and those next to me room to do the sideways sitting sort of thing. My knee was pleased with this, and with the pinot grigio it demanded I buy before letting me up the two flights of stairs (the ibuprofen was just for the walk, it whined, and I gave in without much protest).
Marvelous, great, fantastic concert! The opener was Paddy Casey, an Irishman with a lovely sense of humor ("We came to Boston to find our roots." "This is a song about being in a relationship with someone mental, which everyone seems to go through. If you can't remember that happening, then it was you.") with a nice female singer/keyboardist to accompany him. Then the main event. KT and her band gave a wonderful show despite the continuing heat and humidity. I did feel sorry for -her- keyboardist, who refused to give up his iconic (I suspect) outfit of not just black shirt and pants, but black jacket and black leather hat. He wiped his face a lot. After the jump-up dance and sing-along of the KISS-108 concert, the crowd seemed very staid. Lots of head-banging, occasional clapping to the music, very little standing except for one of the final songs. Some whooping and calls though. "I love you, KT!" "I love you, too, and I don't even know you." We were enthusiastic enough to get a three-song encore, so all good.
Live performances are not a one-way street, folks. It's a wonderful feedback loop of energy, and while what's expected of you may vary (silent attention and carefully timed thunderous applause at a symphony, laughs or for god's sake at least chuckles at a comedic play, cheers and clapping and SOME visceral reaction to the music at a rock concert) it damn well is expected that you not sit totally silent and passive in your seats, doughboy figures, like you're watching pay-per-view on an extra widescreen HD TV. /rant.