Look at this great picture I took last night at the Lucinda Williams concert. She was positively glowing, like so much you can’t see her face.
Whatever, I don’t believe in documenting concerts like that anyway; I was just caught up in the moment of everyone else snapping photos with various small digital devices (who knew a BlackBerry had a camera in it?) and I remembered my cameraphone attachment that I have used like twice in the last year, both times only to take unflattering, grainy photos of my drunk friends. What a piece of crap it is.
The concert was long and so good, but I felt melancholy throughout, or maybe just contemplative. It could have been going to a concert alone on a midsummer night, it could have been that I hadn’t eaten since noon and was ready to start gnawing on the plump shoulders of the girl in front of me, but it was probably the fact that Lucinda Williams sings the saddest songs in the world and that they remind me of a time. Summers kind of
meld together in my memory and last night it could have been an evening in any August as I stood on the astroturf, feeling the air around me cool as the sun went down. Maybe it should have been another August in fact, and that was the reason for my feeling displaced: I was actually out of place and out of time.
Lucinda Williams looked so haggard on the stage yet also pretty. She sang a song called “Six Blocks Away” that she wrote in the late 1970s, commenting afterwards with a laugh and what seemed like a sense of disbelief at the 25 years that have gone by, “that was an old song.” At another point after a particularly throaty rendition of “Blue,” she said, “there’s that rode hard and put away wet voice,” and everyone cheered. Maybe it was because I was standing so close to the stage, but I felt like I connected with her more than any other performer I’ve seen. Her pain, sadness, anger, and joy were very accessible and I ate it up, moreso than I would have even last summer.
After going to see the Magnetic Fields a couple months ago, I’m starting to wonder whether I should just find some new music to love that doesn’t cause so much heartache. It’s not that the songs are so depressing in themselves, but over the course of the last year I’ve been finding resonance in things I never did before, feeling at the same time more worldly and more fragile. I was thankful for the guitar solos last night, which seemed to last forever, tearing up the evening.