Monday, March 31, 2008

Maybe it's just me, but she doesn't look Dutch...

The other night I was fortunate enough (thanks to the generosity of MRE) to land four tickets to see Fergie at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and so the Troika and I headed out to Reliant Stadium. 'Twas my first time in the stadium, believe it or not. I was mostly interested in the rodeo part; the Troika obviously were just twiddling their thumbs more (Anya) or less (Natasha) impatiently through the bronc riding and steer wrestling and barrel racing and bull riding.

In the end a good time was had by all. First of all, Fergie put on a great show despite the severe handicap of having no front row to play to -- at most of the great concerts I've been to over the years the performer's interaction with the front row is what gets the front guys up and dancing and then everybody else follows the leader, but at the HLS&R the front row is at least fifty yards away from the performer. But Fergie managed to overcome this handicap better than I would have expected. Secondly, an extended mini-set in the middle of the concert involved a medley of classics that, somewhat to the girls' bemusement, Papa recognized and could sing along with: some Stones, some of the older funk stuff, even a cover of "Barracuda."

Still, it's probably highly characteristic of my character that the two most memorable moments didn't really have anything to do with Fergie's performance. Indeed one of the two I only heard about later on: Chris Greer, whose sense of humor closely resembles mine, found himself sitting with his son behind a bank of four or five teenaged girls, and he and his son began a deliberately loud conversation that ran something like this:

"Man, I can't wait for this show to start -- been years since I've seen Reba McEntire and I've been looking forward to this show for weeks."

"Yeah, Dad, me too. Reba puts on such a great show. You think she'll do any of the old stuff? I mean, I think 'Can't Even Get the Blues No More' has really held up over the years..."

[now one merely sits back and watches as the horrified teenagers in the next row scrabble desperately around in their purses to check the dates on their tickets...]

But my single favorite moment came when Fergie gave a shout-out to her parents, who were in attendance:

"You know," says Fergie, "I have a really great dad. I'm like Miley Cyrus. Miley Cyrus has a great dad, too."

And at this point a teenage girl behind me, overcome with transports of delight at Fergie's unexpectedly high degree of coolness, screamed ecstatically, "Oh my God, she knows Miley Cyrus!"

You just never know when you're going to impress the younger generation, I suppose...


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