Forum Kloster – Gleisdorf

Here we are in Austria… “The Sound of Music” plays in my head as we drive through the open meadows and the foothills of the Alps mountains… “The hills are alive with the sound of music. The songs they have sung for 1000 years.” Real distant snowcap peaks from here. The hall is all glass and blue steel, very modernish. We sound check and I’m still studying music and reading lyrics. We’re doing a new program this season and this will be the second live performance. All of a sudden I’m standing in the wings backstage and waving at first row people. And the band is playing that fanfare front of Earth, Wind & Fire’s, “In The Stone.” Now THAT’S a beautiful steal. And pow we snap right into, “Maybe She’s Looking For You, L is for Lover.” This was a very big hit in Europe.

“Hello Gleisdorf.” Sorry I’m almost 2 years late for the show. I didn’t go in detail, but this is a date that got cancelled two years ago during the “health hiccup summer.” There’s something about a standing audience, chest and belly’s pressed against the edge of the stage. All crowded against each other. The energy passes like wildfire. They are on fire. And it makes me and the band get hot. New music like, “L Is For Lover,” “Come Rain or Come Shine,” “Jacaranda Bougainvillea,” Chris Walker’s, “Heal,” “Random Act of Love,” “Scootcha-booty,” “Puddit,” get an open mouthed wow expression that is on the spot reassuring to me and the band. This is only the second performance of this set.

Mayor Stark, the Burgermeister, came to say a special hello with gifts and his lovely wife. And I found myself thinking in the middle of the set, that I hope he can see what I’m seeing. This auditorium was crowded and everybody all across the front was touching the stage with hands and forearms, but right down front in the middle they had made room for Elka, a lady in a wheelchair. Need I say more? These people were very special people. I tried several times to hear her name when I asked her, but when I failed to be able to hear her I just said, “Ok, Ok I’m going to call you Barbara.” Big laugh! She stayed all night, and they took good care of her.

This is Austria, Zawinul country. Our promoter is Erich Zawinul, Joe Zawinul’s son. He’s been bringing the band and me to Austria for 20 years. So, one of the encore pieces is, “Something That You Said,” and it’s a great moment. We signed CD’s, with Julia and Hans, organizing and helping out. Wow! Beautiful people. Women and men alike… short hair with Christmas tree earrings. And the guy with record albums dating back to prehistoric times. Fans of my music, getting to see me for the first time. They bought CD’s, we laughed and their excitement spilled over. We hopped on the bus ride. Very fun! We were as excited as 6th graders on a field trip. Laughin’, shouting, and snacking, certain of a success in Gleisdorf!

Dear Gleisdorf you laughed and clapped in time and danced in the aisle. Especially 2 or 3 women down front on the left. You scootcha-bootied!

Let’s do it again before 2 years. See you in Bratislava, Slovakia.

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