So a few nights ago Drew called me and asked if we had anything scheduled for Friday night, because he just won two tickets to see Stevie Nicks in concert at Jones Beach.
Now, we had discussed buying tickets for this show but had passed (contrary to the position taken by their children, neither songbird nor Drew has a limitless supply of funds). So when he told me he'd won, we were both excited.
Concerts at Jones Beach are held in an outdoor ampitheater currently known as the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater. (We were at Jones Beach just a few weeks ago to see Neil Diamond.) The show goes on regardless of weather conditions, unless there's thunder and lightning involved, so when you get your tickets you hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
The region is currently in the middle of a heat wave, but down at the beach a breeze was blowing. By the time the gates opened and we could go into the theater it was actually comfortable.
When we were here a few weeks ago we discovered the clam shack only after we bought our burgers and fries, so this time around we knew we had to try the seafood. They do clam strips, scallops and shrimp, all freshly breaded and fried while you wait, and served on a bed of thick-cut french fries. They also offer lobster rolls as an option. For the same price as two double cheeseburgers we were in seafood heaven -- we had lightly breaded shrimp served with cocktail sauce, and batter dipped scallops served with tarter sauce.
Then it was time to find our seats. There's no such thing as a bad seat when you get into the concert for free, but ours were, well, orchestra, row TT, towards the side of the theater, VERY GOOD seats.
I really feel sorry for opening acts in venues like this. The theater may be half empty, people are coming in while you perform and some (like the two young women in the row behind us) may talk through the entire performance. So it's hard to engage the audience.
Opening act was Marc Cohn. Drew had heard of him, I had not. When I posted to facebook, a friend asked if he sang "Silverbird" or "Walking to Memphis"? (He sang both.) So I guess he must have a following. He was ok, his music very mellow in the twilight. The sea gulls gliding overhead added just the perfect touch.
It was full dark when Stevie took the stage, with a quarter moon hanging in the hazy sky over the theater, and a strong breeze blowing the black and silver streamers that decorated her microphone stand. And there she was, in her flowing skirts, long blonde hair flying, twirling around in those famous capes and shawls. Mystic and gothic imagery, symbolic lyrics, all served up as rock and roll. She looked like an enchantress conjuring up a magical evening for the audience. She's promoting her latest album, so there was a lot of new material, but she was best when singing her classics - "Dreams", "Stand Back", "Rhiannon" (which she started as a ballad before amping it up), "Landslide", "Leather and Lace", "Edge of Seventeen".
I must say, this audience was a bit rude. I know some people want to beat the traffic out of parking lot, so they leave the theater between was is ostensibly the last song and before the performer takes the stage for the encore. But last night those people started leaving while Stevie was still on the stage singing "Edge of Seventeen" and those poor doves were still flapping their white wings . . .ah, well, they missed the last song, a lovely ballad called "Love Is".
A mystical, magical night.