I’ve been fortunate enough to attend several concerts over the last few months at the beautifully renovated Saenger Theatre in Mobile. Living a scant three miles from Downtown Mobile has certain benefits and I consider the Saenger at the top of the list. Built in 1927, The Saenger served Mobile as its’ premier movie theater. On the eve of its’ slated demolition in 1970, the University of South Alabama rescued the structure and turned it into a performing arts center for the university. In 1999, the City of Mobile purchased The Saenger and the privately funded Centre of the Living Arts raised over $6 million to exquisitely refurbish the gem that narrowly escaped destruction.
Over the last year, The Saenger has landed some great musical acts for performance and I’ve been in attendance at several. It started in June, right before my unfortunate bar stool incident, with the incomparable B.B. King. Likely the last time I’ll get to see ole B.B. light it up and front row seats were worth every penny.
In December, we were treated to a glorious Christmas concert by Aaron Neville, that was fronted by the local LeFlore Preparatory Choir. From the fourth row, my camera caught the evident sorrow of Aaron Neville over the recent death of his wife, Joelle.
Started my new job in January and it’s been keeping me mighty busy (but a good busy), so I haven’t had the chance to really sit down and compose a post about seeing The Indigo Girls in late January.
The Indigo Girls crowd was a bit “different”, NTTAWWT, and very emotional. Perhaps it was because of the Mardi Gras Parade season that was in full swing just before the concert, but it was packed and very rowdy. Again, we had great seats, on the third row, center.
Admittedly, I didn’t know much about The Indigo Girls other than they were acoustic, but I wanted to experience some new music that I hadn’t before and this seemed a good place to start, considering I had such good tickets. They were good. Both were sick but you really couldn’t tell. It really wouldn’t have mattered as the crowd continually out-sung them.
Closer to Fine
The crowd particularly got into Power of Two:
At the end, much of the crowd rushed the stage, so Mr. D and I decided to head out. The newspaper indicated that some fans actually ran up on stage and tackled da girls. I dunno, just a very strange vibe.
However, by far, the best thing of the whole night was the discovery of my new musical obsession in the opening act. But, I’ll cover that in a dedicated post so that I make sure to give it its’ due.
Lastly, on this past Friday night, I had 2nd row center seats for the great Keb ‘Mo.
Keb ‘Mo was divine and as mentioned in my previous post, so was my new find, Kevin So. He, too, rates a dedicated post, so I’ll save that for later. Now, Keb is one tall drink of water and he has a very charming wit that endures him to the crowd. In short order he had this wonderfully Southern crowd eating from the palm of his hand.
He played wonderfully and sang favorites like Shave Yo’ Legs:
and the wonderful Angelina:
But what had caught my eye since we sat in our seats was the beautiful resonator guitar. When he grabbed the slide, I was near giddiness.
As an aside, I took some really great pictures and will try to get my Flickr tool up and running with these and other concert images soon.
Keb is a premier blues guitarist and harp player. He did not disappoint. It went something like this:
It Hurts Me Too
Such a delightful artist. I’d pay double to see him again.
I’m looking forward to more great shows at The Saenger. Jackson Browne will be there on St. Patrick’s Day but I’ll be out of town. Perhaps some more greats and some more new artists will grace the grand old theatre, and maybe…just maybe, I’ll be in one of those front rows again.