Girl, Put Your Records On (Live!)
The day before yesterday, I was walking up Sixth Avenue in the Rockefeller Center area on my way to the bank. Even though I was on my way to the bank, my mind was on hair and as I walked, I found myself noticing different hair styles - especially natural hairstyles since I'm natural (Again. For now.) As I approach the corner of 53rd street, I see a mass of curls in front of me - smooth, chunky Shirley Temple-like (in a good way.) The light turned red so we were stopped at the corner, giving me the perfect opportunity to spy on these perfect, smooth curls (rods? fingers?) while the girl (Versace sunglasses, shopping bags on both shoulders) chatted with her friend. Then it hit me:
"Are you Corinne Bailey Rae?"
She says yes and I point to my iPod and she starts laughing. And then I gush a little: "I just love your music! I've been telling everyone about it and I've even written about it on my blog!" And then I think about telling her that and say "Don't be scared!" She starts laughing and says, "No, no thanks so much! Listen, we're playing Webster Hall tomorrow night so if you'd like to come..." I told her that I knew all about it - I just hoped it wasn't sold out yet! She and her friend (assistant? manager?) both said at the same time - "No, it's not sold out." And then, the pièce de ré·sis·tance. Corinne says, "We can put you on the guest list. What's your name?" Her pal then pulls out his wallet, takes out a slip of paper and asks me for a pen! Of course, I spell my name for him (N like Nancy, I-C-H...) Then Corinne says, "Do you want to bring someone? It's up to you. You can bring as many as you like." I immediately think three, but I didn't want to be greedy, so I say two.
How awesome is that?
I haven't been to Webster Hall in years - and I forgot to check online to see what time the show started. So, after I ran a few errands, I got a manicure and a pedicure and then I walked from the nail salon on 8th street over to 11th to remind myself where Webster Hall was because I figured I'd have time for a quick iced coffee. I figured wrong. The show was starting at nine, but with two opening acts, Gran Bel Fisher ("I'm just a country boy from Ohio... When Corinne comes out, you guys are gonna f*ckin' flip!) and Kevin Devine ("Hey... I'm Kevin Devine from Brooklyn...) I saw a line of people waiting - and another (much shorter) line of people getting red wrist bands. I went to the red wrist band guy and told him that I was on the guest list. I was hoping that there would be no drama because I never asked Corinne's friend his name and I'd look real foolish saying, "Well, um, I just ran into her on the street..."
But there was no drama. I produced a valid I.D. and he tied the red band on my wrist. Inside the club, I walked up the steps to a woman with several guest lists and my name was on Corinne's - spelled correctly - plus two!
Damn! I love things done well...
My "Plus Two" couldn't make it, so it was just little ole' me and my fresh mani/pedi in the house. I want to apologize for the lack of great pictures. I actually pulled the stage pictures from a Corinne fansite because my camera phone SUCKS! (Damn the LG 8300! What the hell?) Look at this mess:
The blurry white blob in the center is Corinne mid-Like A Star. I swear, even the busted LG 6000 I had before this one took better pictures. I can't figure the stupid thing out...
She was fabulous of course. Really amazing like I've been saying all year. And would you believe that she sounds better live? Her voice is much clearer and prettier in person. And she looked great too. In fact, I chose these pictures in particular because she was wearing the same dress last night. She started with "Call Me When You Get This" and then went into my insomniac anthem, "Trouble Sleeping" (It's late and I'm feeling so tired, havin', trouble sleeping...) I was also glad to finally hear the cover of Led Zeppelin's "Since I've Been Loving You" that all of the critics have been raving about in her reviews. When she picked up her guitar for "Breathless" and "Like A Star" you could hear a pin drop. This was the real thing ladies and gentlemen. Svengali producer at the controls not necessary. The crowd sang along to most of the songs - especially for her biggest hit so far "Put Your Records On." "I'd Like To" was a crowd pleaser too.
As she was playing, I kept wondering if the blonde guy on the keyboards was the same one who took down my name on 53rd street. I still can't decide.
But I have decided that Corinne Bailey Rae is cool as all get out!
Update: I got the top photo from The New York Times review of the show.