Phoenix Show

Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino
5040 Wild Horse Pass Blv
Chandler AZ 85226

( A Hello to my new assistant, Gustavo Nascimento, and almost goodbye to Patrick, whom you’ve come to know through these pages over the past two years. He is helping to train Gustavo as we speak ).

Chandler, Arizona ??? When I saw this on my schedule, my eyes bugged out, my chin dropped, and my mouth said: “ Where the hell have they booked me?! I wanna talk to my manager! I wanna talk to my agent!” Well… it turned out to be, just absolutely perfect, and right in keeping with my philosophy to seek out new places and faces. We flew into Phoenix, obscure itself, and then drove a half an hour to an even more obscure Chandler, AZ, to the Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino! Have you ever heard of that??? Well I never had. WONDERFUL. From the moment I walked in, and up to the front desk, it was obvious that this was a different kind of hotel casino establishment. In 99 percent of hotel casinos, the moment you walk in the front doors, you are thrown right into the flashing lights and chaos and ‘ching changing’ of 500 one arm bandits and slot machines, and its almost as overwhelming as a war zone, with wallets and paychecks definitely under fire. I was surprised. This place was like any normal hotel, and I immediately clasped my hands in prayer-like thanks and complimented the people behind the desk for their lovely oasis.

A guy named Jay Robinson came up to welcome us, and I continued my remarks of thanks and praise with him. It wasn’t until well into the next day of performing that I realized Jay was the entertainment director.

We arrived a day early, for a very important reason: to have a rehearsal, and, more importantly, to get myself as accustomed as I could be to a new system of IN EAR MONITORS. Did I hear you say, “Whaaaaat?” I can not over stretch or over emphasize how big a change for me, that we were and are, embarking on. ( Please bear with me here, and the kindergarten description that I’m about to make ). Throughout history and the existence of music, and up until the time that electricity was discovered, music was played and listened to in an acoustic manner. Things changed when electricity allowed for the amplification of music, so that the whispers of a singer and the high sweet sounds of a flute, could be heard in a stadium with 80,000 people, some of them more than a quarter of a mile away.

If you have never been on stage with a contemporary pop band, and their amplified instruments, including Al Jarreau, then you can not imagine the enormous high decibals of sound being pumped out onto the stage, all this because of the need for the players to hear each other. That big sound comes from speakers ( monitors ) that amplify each players instruments, singer too, all necessary because of the impossibility for the onstage players to work with only the sound of the big stadium coming back to them, which varies tremendously from one venue to the next.

In Ear Monitors, like a hearing aid, instead of speaker monitors on the floor, get rid of that otherwise high outburst of decibals of sound on stage. A significant number of players and groups are thrilled about this new technology, that makes it just like being in the recording studio with headphones on, and with the ability to adjust the volume on any and all instruments being played.

I have never performed live like this. And so, I’m giving it a try. The benefits I have been promised will be life changing, especially in not having to sing so hard and loud in order to hear myself. This will SAVE MY THROAT!!

Phoenix was difficult for me, because of the above adjustings. But, through it all, I could tell that this audience was feeling it good. The band sure was feelin it good and playin it good.

We did a meet and greet with hotel VIPS before the concert, very unusual, and we signed cds and autographs and very old 33 and 1/3 inch album covers… hahaha that was fun. Those people were gushing with happiness. And finally, that’s the real deal, the whole deal, and that’s all.

Thank you everybody from obscure places in Arizona, Colorado, and Texas. You told me that this was our first time being together, live and in concert. I am so happy that your heard about me, and took a chance, and came to the show. I hope to see you again soon. I told Jay Robinson over and over again how much I want to return.

See you soon!

Al Jarreau

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