Young and beautiful

What an incredible night — so amazing that I’m actually going update my journal again…. twice in one day! Here’s roughly what happened: I watched the game till the 7th inning, then drove to the Fillmore, listening on ESPN Radio. When I got there and went in, it was the 8th, and I called James up, and he graciously agreed to keep me up-to-date via frequent phone calls.

I was surprised to hear random shouts of “Go Boston!” and “Yankees suck!” from the crowd when I got there. So cool! Anyway, the opening band turned out to be a) quite good and b) from Boston. At one point the singer said, “We’re rooting for the Red Sox tonight. I wonder what the score is.” I was in the front row (of course) and shouted back, “Bottom of the 8th, 9-3 Sox!” The band was surprised, as was the rest of the audience, until I held up my cell phone. So then for the rest of their set they asked me periodically for score updates, which they relayed to the rest of the crowd, who cheered the Sox on. Also cool! After their set was finished, their bassist came back out to thank me. I was touched :).

Anyway, even though the Sox were up, I was still freaking out — you never know with the Yankees. I was on the phone with James during the set change when Embree got the last out… my god. What an unbelievable accomplishment — I only wish that I were back in Boston to experience it with everyone else. This is definitely the greatest sports year ever. (I think that when I mentioned that before, I forgot to note the lovely Pistons over Lakers saga in the NBA Finals.)

The series must have been so draining for the Sox that I’m afraid that they’re not going to do well in the World Series — but then again, it had much the same air as the UConn/Duke semifinal this year, and UConn went on to put on the most dominating display in the championship game that I’ve ever seen.

Okay, so, elated, I had about a minute to breathe before Martin Sexton came on. Somehow in my previous entry I didn’t talk about what an unbelievably tremendous live performer he is. It’s nearly impossible to describe. He used to have a drummer, but for the last couple of years he’s been touring solo. Between his awesome guitar playing (including being able to simultaneously play a melody while slapping out a bass line), powerful voice, gorgeous falsetto, whistling, beatboxing, impromptu raps (once about the Sox!) and scratches (he gets his strings to sound like a turntable), tapping on his guitar, scat singing, and somehow using his voice to imitate a host of instruments, he sounds like a full, funky band. And his shows are like revivals: he throws in liberal helpings of call-and-responses, and the crowd is worshipful and totally into it. The quiet songs bowl you over and the upbeat ones have you dancing.

I saw him last year and was a bit disappointed: his voice seemed ragged and tired, compared to the times I had seen him back in Boston. This time, though, he totally blew me away. It was the kind of concert where the lyrics suddenly make sense in ways you had never realized before; “In The Journey” literally brought tears to my eyes. Of course, being in the front row helped. And then for the encore he brought out a stool and sat down right in front of me — so close that when he was done he bent over and shook my hand — and played a last few numbers. Man, what a perfect way to end the night.

[ Oh yeah, did anyone see yesterday night’s Daily Show? If you did, you might have a guess as to why I loved it so much :). ]

Such a crazy day: first, participating in the collective joy of millions of Sox fans, and second, experiencing a personal joy at an amazing performance. Oh, I am so lucky to experience such wonders. Thank you.

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14 Responses to Young and beautiful

  1. dianaca4 says:

    AJ — haha what an awesome update, your excitement was so strong that it totally wore off on me. I feel like I had the best day ever too, thanks!!

  2. rwclark says:

    Exciting stuff! You’re really living it up. :-)

  3. rwclark says:

    My sister lives in Boston. She has this to say in an AIM conversation:
    “it was CRAZY. i have never witnessed anything like that. i am so not even leaving my apartment if they win the world series games. just traffic everywhere was like stopped and people honking and swarming into the streets and yelling and it was super loud and went on forever…like there were ambulances all over after awhile, and there was something with tear gas, and some people tipped over a car, and some guy fell out of the fenway stadium. when i was walking home these yankees/sox fans ran out right in front of me and started punching each other”

    • dude

      i’m so going to boston if the series goes to 6 or 7 games. (in which case the winning game will be played at fenway)

      • aj says:

        Re: dude

        Really? Wow, that would be totally crazy. Just to be around Fenway then… just don’t get killed!

    • aj says:

      In Boston

      Yeah, a bunch of my friends living in Boston reported similar stories. A more widespread experience was how exhausted everyone there is — every comes into work late, mistakes are common, etc. Looks like there’ll only be a few days to recover… :)

  4. ccho says:

    Boo.

    If the Yankees had Curt Schilling, it would be a completely different story!

    • If the yankees had curt schilling…

      the red sox would have won game one vs. schilling, possibly giving them the momentum for game two; even assuming the yankees still win games two and three, the sox still win games four and five, since shilling didn’t pitch in either. that puts the sox up three games to two; shilling can only swing the effect of one game, so the sox still win the series.

      pure speculation? absolutely. do i love that the sox have schilling? absolutely. could they have won without him? absolutely.

      now david ortiz, on the other hand… brings up an interesting question: do you play him at first for games 3-5 of the world series, or do you start millar, then pinch hit ortiz and put mienks2#$@#5tz in as a defensive sub?

      • jwscoleman says:

        Re: If the yankees had curt schilling…

        start millar. I didn’t see the games Ortiz played defensively in earlier this year, but it sounds like (incredibly) he’s actually more of a liability in the field than he is an asset at the plate. but yeah, it sucks. maybe he can pitch. :)

      • ccho says:

        Re: If the yankees had curt schilling…

        I won’t speculate on what could have happened, but my point was directed more at AJ’s last LJ post about the $60 million difference between the Yankees and Red Sox salary caps. Schilling could have contributed for the Yankees, which might have forced the Sox to lose, since the Yankees were up 3 games to start. It’s fun to watch the two rivals compete, but why does everyone seem to classify the Sox as the underdogs?

        Plus, one life might have been saved if the Yankees had won. http://www.bostonherald.com/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=50310

        • aj says:

          Re: If the yankees had curt schilling…

          Yeah, that is a tragedy, but it’s not clear how many people would have died had the Sox lost Game 7…

          Anyway, the reason people consider the Sox underdogs is that they won fewer games, have generally been less sucessful by far in the postseason, and have $60 million less to play with. I think that’s a reasonable call…