For the second evening in a row, I sat in the middle of the front row in Koerner Hall. Last night was a celebration of the life of Charles Aznavour, a French singer and composer or co-composer of 1000 songs.
The young man who played Charles was full of the spirit of life. It shone in his eyes, his voice and in his widespread arms. And I sat at his feet. He was surrounded by other brilliant musicians, playing keyboard, drums, stand up bass, and accordion. The songs were haunting, and almost all of them were in French. I can compose sentences on French but figuring out the fast speech of others is very difficult.
Koerner Hall seats about 1100 people and I was happy to be at the front of things. I don’t mind being seen. In fact, I love being seen … and heard.
At one point, the young Charles asked for requests. I heard voices behind me and knew I’d participate. Before the concert, a friend had waxed poetic about the song “Mamma”. I didn’t know it, but why not?
“Mamma!” I yelled.
Charles stared down at me, with a quizzical look.
The woman to my left nudged me. “He sang that one two songs ago.”
Oops. If I wasn’t just so darn loud. I imagined 1100 snickers behind me.
Happily, I didn’t let this minor interruption slow down my zest for the music. Why dampen myself? Why waste energy slumping my soul? Life continues to request that I live it.
Fast forward to the last song of the concert. I pretty much knew this was the last song because things were coming to a close … in French. The real Charles made an appearance on the big screen, accompanied by the words “You will always live in our hearts.” The instruments were swelling up to a grand finale. Yes, this was the end.
The last note hung in the air and I burst from my chair in a raucous standing O. I clapped and clapped. My excellent peripheral vision showed that no one else nearby was erect. And once more young Charles was looking down at me with … curiosity.
Anothe nudge from the left. “They have a few more songs to do.”
Ahh … to be bilingual. But no matter. I held my head high and enjoyed the rest of the concert, taking my cue from other folks about when to stand again.
Sticking out like a sore thumb. I smile at the thought of it.