i went to the first concert that was not a jazz or classical concert that i have been to since i saw stevie wonder open for the stones at boston garden when i was in high school some 30 plus years ago.  while driving to the concert i was kind of kicking myself for spending the big bucks on the tix thinking i would probally not enjoy it after all being a jazzer and all.  boy was i wrong...   i went to see trace atkins open for martina mcbride at mohegan sun (a casino venue in conneticut)  i went to see martina mcbride who i fell in love with a couple of years ago when i saw her on the tube.  
    well many things surprized me.  first of all i loved trace atkins band.  a pretty straight ahead country band.  but i'll tell the level of musicianship in that band like in martina's band blew me away... virtuo's every one of them.  improvisations that rivaled any i hear at any of the best jazz concerts i go to ( and yes you do remember correctly i saw chick and bela this summer)  
    i was shocked at how good these bands were.. i just was not expecting it.  i was shocked at how good the keyboard players were.  
i was shocked at how good the fiddle players were.  i was shocked when martina mcbride let her beautiful fiddle player come out on the stage by herself and take a 15 minute solo free form improvisation that was one the most entertaining inspiring improvisations i have ever heard in my life.  shocked when trace atkins brought out a 12 member gospel choir for his encore to join him on a version of stevie wonders "higher ground" that was so funky it put "tower of power" to shame.. i was like... "what'  this guy was all about country and then on his last number proved he was funkier than the best funk band there has ever been...
the moral of this story is
   dont feel like you have to limit yourself to jazz concerts like i have.... some of these more popular artist are just fantastic!
There are 7 comments, leave a comment.
mike, is that the concert where the stones showed up several hours late because they were jailed briefly after their plane landed?  that's the only tour i know of where stevie was the opening act.  if so, that show is legendary man.
now that's deep, man:)
it was so long ago i really can not remember too much except that i do remember more about stevie wonder than i do about the stones.   you gotta understand also though when i was in high school i was so very very stoned all the time.
ooopppss! replace anybody by everybody ;-)
cool mike.  i'm always reluctant to call myself a jazz pianist because i love so many types of music.  in fact, there was a time in the 90s when i listened almost exclusively to country music.  i did some hanging out in nashville and attended some amazing jam sessions.  a lot of the touring players are in town in january and february and play and sit in  in the various clubs. there are some killer players there.

personally, i think i'm just drawn to any authentic music that is played well by authentic players.  i remember a couple guys jumping on a bus i was on in mexico with their guitars, playing and singing "guantanamera" for tips.  that is still one of my favorite musical experiences of all time.
mike, the reason you might have remembered more stevie that night is that stevie played two hours plus an encore because management was in the process of bailing the stones out of jail.  they tried to get 3 hours out of him but he threw in the towel at somewhere around 2.5 hours (after a one-song second encore), supposedly due to the management's lack of attention to him and his band until they actually needed something from him.  

mind you, i've only read about this, but as far as i can tell it must have been one of the most mind-blowing stevie shows ever.
well stevie wonder was at his hottest at that time.  he was absolutely on fire.  he had just released his "talking book" and "inervisons" albums.  no one has ever been any hotter than that except maybe bach or beethoven.   and even though those were my stoner days i remember for myself as well as the girl i went with who by the way was the most beautiful girl i have ever known,  were there for to see stevie wonder more than the stones even though the stones were actually pretty damn hot themselves right around then too.  
you know they just don't make concerts like that any more.
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