Gladys Knight — A Class Act!
July 24, 2008
You see I normally compose and upload my Thursday posts on Wednesday evening after I get home from work. But yesterday (Wednesday) when I got home I was only able to stay on the internet for 5 minutes.
For the past month my DSL service has been spotty. But yesterday it decided that it would just not stay connected for me at all! The modem/router DSL light would not steady itself so I had to make that dreaded Tech Support phone call.
I made the call at about 9 p.m and it wasn’t over until AFTER 11:00pm. And after over two frustrating hours with a tech support person that would not listen to a word I said and who had me doing all of the troubleshooting that I had already done on my own (turn modem on/off; switch wires; try other phone jacks; etc.) I still had no connection and was told the soonest a repairman could come was next Monday!
Rather than put my blogging on hold — here I am again tonight determined to write and upload my weekly post to this this blog and it’s parent blog.
This past Saturday I had the honor of finally getting my chance to see the great Gladys Knight perform live in concert. I went to the Wolf Trap Filene Center and was relegated to lawn seating since the assigned seating had sold out by the time I became aware of the show.
I made sure to get there when the park opened (90 minutes before show time) but every other lawn sitter had the same idea. I did finally get situated on the front row of the lawn facing stage left and was so looking forward to the show.
But when Miss Knight came out on stage the “Mrs.Jack-in-the-box”, that was seated in from of me with her husband, popped up and jumped up and down obliterating my view. Then she decided to dance from side to side — must have been the curly shuffle — so I had to keep bobbing and weaving to try and get a glimpse of Gladys.
Oh in case you are wondering how this couple could possibly be in front of me if I was on the front row of the lawn — well the lawn begins after the orchestra seating ends, but there is a pavement walkway and a brick wall of sorts between the two. Mr. and Mrs. parked themselves right in front of me on the brick wall/ledge in front of where the lawn begins for the entire show even though they told me that they were just sitting their temporarily. The usher staff apparently allowed them to sit there and would admonish “Mrs.Jack-in-the-box” to please sit down so those behind her could see — but it did no good. I think after a half dozen requests to sit down the usher staffer just gave up and I finally did too.
Between “Mrs.Jack-in-the-box” getting up and dancing left to right there was no way I as gonna see Gladys Knight. To add to my misery there was no Jumbotron which was pretty cruel and unusual punishment.
Now dear Gladys did sing a few ballads and “Mrs.Jack-in-the-box” finally sat down — but the moment she sat, what seemed like half of the ticket holders of the seats in the stage left orchestra seating arrived late and they all entered the venue right in from of me. Some even standing a while to talk to the usher staff (GROWL). Why buy great seats only to come a half hour into the show?
I went to ask staff if I could take a photo since I had brought my camera and I knew that generally pics were not allowed at concert. But to my delight and surprise I was told that Miss Knight authorized fan photos but not professional photos. So I whipped out my Kodak and zoomed in on the stage and after about 20 minutes of holding the camera in he same position trying to work around “Mrs.Jack-in-the-box” and the fact that Gladys favored stage RIGHT the whole night — I got only two passable (barely) photos. Of course the back of you know who’s head is in one and in both pics Gladys is rushing back over to her favorite side of the stage. (She must of had friends over there)
Well I am getting pretty long-winded and haven’t even started in on a review of the concert but right now I am exhausted so, instead, I am going to share with you some of my favorite Gladys performances and who knows — maybe someday I will really get to see her perform these songs in concert. Just know that the performance that I HEARD was perfection. Thank you Gladys Knight. I would not have put up with that nonsense for anyone else but you.
“Help Me Make It Through the Night” performed live (1980). This was not on the set list last Saturday but it is one of my favorites to hear Miss Knight sing.
Gladys Knight & The Pips “The End Of Our Road” (1968). This is one of the top three GK&P songs for me from their Motown years. Love it. Love it Love it! Gladys did not perform too many of her Motown years’ classics with the Pips this past weekend. I think she did nor Buddah classics. But heh — her catalog is huge I suppose she has to mix it up. 😉
Gladys Knight & The Pips “If I Were Your Woman” (1970)
Gladys Knight and The Pips – “I Don’t Want To Do Wrong.” Now this is an old “Soul Train” clip and you know the artists almost always lip synched to their records on “Soul Train.” But it is still great to hear the song and to see Gladys with no one jumping up in front of me to block my view.(LOL)
Gladys Knight and The Pips – Friendship Train (1971). Heres another “Soul Train” classic clip.
This is a vintage live performance of Gladys & The Pips performing “Midnight Train To Georgia” in 1973. In 2008 Gladys performed this song with the aid of one Pip — her brother Bubba! It sounded just as fresh last Saturday as in did in 1973.
Last but by no means least is the promotional video of Gladys Knight performing her cover of “End Of The Road” along with the originators — Boyz II Men. She sang this in the show and it gave me chills. She has an awesomely strong voice that has just gotten better (if that is possible) with age.
Please enjoy the music and have a great weekend readers.
Keep the oldies alive!