Back in November 2021, I opened my email and spotted a notice from Ticketmaster that caught my eye…
Just Announced Bonnie Raitt: Just Like That…Tour 2022.
The venue was only 20 minutes away at Hampton Beach. Relatively small compared to the arenas and concert halls where she often performs. Mmmm…an April 2022 date. Close quarters with a crowd of people nonetheless. So what should I do? Five months away…the pandemic should be over by then…or over enough with help from vaccines and a booster shot…I thought. Right? RIGHT?
I hadn’t been to a concert since 2018.
At exactly 10am on the pre-sale date, I logged on to Ticketmaster and managed (after a few failed attempts) to snag 2 tickets in the back row. They don’t send paper tickets any more. Dinosaur that I am, I was faintly annoyed. After all, how do you add a virtual ticket to your ticket stub collection dating back to the 1980s?
So, this past Saturday night, while the Easter Bunny was making its rounds, my husband and I drove 20 minutes through the rain and made the leap back into “normal” – packed into a sold-out show with 2,000+ fans. It reminded me of the 2007 AARP convention we went to in Boston (Rod Stewart! Earth, Wind & Fire!). Most everyone was “of a certain age” and I must admit it was heartening to see all my fellow survivors of the past two years out in force. I even managed to sneak a few quick phone photos to mark the occasion before the event staff pounced. We were 2 out of maybe a dozen people wearing masks. Why did we wear masks? Because, contrary to (some) popular opinion, the pandemic is NOT over and we just made the best of it.
The concert was fantastic and upbeat and glorious. Bonnie, at 72, is an inspiration. Rocking and singing and playing slide guitar and piano. Her voice did not disappoint. I am no music critic, but she sounded just like she did when I first heard her music blasting out of my apartment mate Deb’s bedroom in 1975. Bonnie’s bluesy sound was new to me at the time, but before I knew it I was hooked.
Those lyrics! I can’t make you love me if you don’t…. Even decades later the tears came again just the same. And then there’s her rendition of the late John Prine’s “Angel from Montgomery” with one of my favorite lines of all time…how the hell can a person go to work in the morning, then come home in the evening and have nothing to say? Gets me every time and it did so again Saturday night.
We were afraid nobody would come! – her words at the close of the show, when thanking us all for being there. I imagine she had no idea what would be happening pandemic-wise in April either – when planning this tour for promoting her new album Just Like That… (scheduled for release Friday April 22nd). Judging from the several new songs (especially “Made Up Mind”) she played for us, it was worth the wait!
But there we were. Me, in my faded Nick of Time t-shirt from her 1989 concert, singing along through my mask. Best of all, she performed the title song from that Grammy winning album and made my night. Nick of Time was recently added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry. Her comment after wowing us with that performance was something along the lines of…Isn’t it amazing how writing a song about getting older would change my life…. Even more amazing – to me – is the fact that she wrote it while in her 30s. And I connected with it when I was also in my 30s and still do now. I found the ticket stub to her tour for that show too.
Life gets mighty precious when there’s less of it to waste…