Aliante Hotel in Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada

If you’re reading this please go back and read my comments about the Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino, where we played the night before.

I mentioned last time, how this new system of in ear monitors is going to be life changing for me. Any performance should be a joyous and delightful romp, dance, through an artist’s chosen list of songs. When its delightful and joyous, the audience gets it, and joins in the chorus, and intently listens on the edge of their seats, and finally claps long and loud, surprised at the “missing time” – almost like being magically abducted.

For some reason, this night, my in ear monitors mutinied the whole performance. They were raucous and roaring loud, swords drawn., and screaming throughout the whole performance. Wow what a struggle. It made me sing hard and loud, to hear myself, and I couldn’t find a way to technically adjust all of that in ear sound down to a level of comfort. I smiled and laughed and grinned, and sang on anyway. I could see the audience rockin with me, and as long as I could see that, I knew that something was working, even though it was weird for me. There was a standing ovation in the middle of the set, for “ We’re in This Love Together”…never before. Something’s working.

In my ears, the acoustic guitar during “This Time”, a very quiet ballad, was like a Stratocaster rock guitar, playing a rock ballad. I could see the audience’s faces smiling, and the very normal look of the rest of the band, as John and I did this song that we’ve done, over and over again. I somehow found a way of remembering how it always sounds and ignored the way too loud Stratocaster clanging of the guitar in my ears. It must have worked. The audience sang a high, sweet, extended “ time with me” to end the song, and knew for certain that something special had just happened. We all ooo’d and aaaa’d.

Still the warzone in my ears persisted, and I could find no way of calming things down. So I pressed on, trusting my senses, most visual and internal, and adjusted my thinking. Enter two little girls, seven or eight years of age, walking across the front row with flowers extended to me right in the middle of a song. I couldn’t stop and talk with them, I was singing! But my mind went Boyens girls?? Boyens girls?? Their late, recently deceased mother was an adamant Al Jarreau fan. Earlier in the day, I learned that the family, Craig and his kids, were coming. As soon as I could I thanked the girls for the flowers. They had come and gone in a flash. It must be working. The audience, everyone savored that special little moment there in Las Vegas.

In these pages I am always writing about those special, palpable moments, those special, savorable, always delicious and delightful moments, that happen when I am in your town. Maybe yesterday. Well, well, put on your armor and gird your loins, this one wasn’t all lollipops and roses for the singer. Me. What a struggle.

BUT SOMETHING IS SURELY WORKING. So I kept on making those adjustments from what I was hearing in my ears, to what it needs to sound like out there. Something must be working. John Calderon and Larry Williams are mind bogglingly brilliant in their solos on “ Easy”. The audience shouts on the snap ending. I kept on singing and adjusting, and grinning and bearing with it all, determined to keep it workin. And I did. I closed the evening with a heartful soulful “Summertime” and “Roof Garden” and they were on their feet. Wow! I was shell shocked. Thank you God for delivering me… hahaha, please laugh… I am. One quick word with Tim, our monitor mixer, gave me the solution that I had needed all night long. Just reach back Al, and turn down the sound on your pocket controller of your in ear set. So simple! So simple!

I’m gonna stop now, but ask you to find Waldo, and the moral to this story. Here’s a hint: a lady came up to Joe Turano, our musical director, after the show, all in tears, and through her sobbing she managed to say that she’d been listening to Al Jarreau all her life, but had never been to a concert. She was thrilled and delighted with what she heard, and it was the best concert that she had ever been to, and for her, it was the delight of her life. Hellooo Craig Boyens and family, yes it was his girls that had brought the flowers, and then after the concert were twirling and dancing on stage.

Thanks to Al’s high school friends who came to visit as well! Wonderful to see you again.


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