Are you going with me? is a great example of how much this awesome guitarist is, well, awesome. As in someone to watch and listen to with awe. As I did last night. How could I have forgotten to mention that?
Last night the husband and I took in the Pat Metheny Trio’s concert at Purchase College here in Westchester. Purchase is practically Pat’s homebase at this point, even though he’s a Missouri boy by roots.
Pat Metheny is the only musician that I follow around, if at all. I check out his concert schedule and if he’s playing in the area, I will buy tickets. It doesn’t happen all that often. But I got to see him twice in the past year, once at a tribue to the musician, Steve Reich, where it was just Pat playing a Reich composition before the Kronos Quartet took the stage, and then finally Reich and his many-piece orchestra.
I can’t explain what it is about Pat Metheny’s music that connects so deeply wih me. Obviously, I am not the only one. He has a career that spans something like three decades, and he’s been awarded something like seventeen Grammy awards. He’s played with Bowie. He WAS the music for the recent film, “A Map of The World.”
I first discovered his music when I was about 16, and I was enamored with a boy named Stuart Feldman, whose group of kind-of-dirt-baggy friends all worshipped “Pat”. At the time, there were not many albums. And what there was was, to this day, what I like the best. Evocative, poetic. Often acoustic. When I first got to Tufts, I remember going over to one of those second-hand record stores in Harvard Square and grabbing up “New Chattaqua” and falling deeply in love with the sound, especially the incredibly literal (if music can be literal, this one certainly is), “Daybreak”.
New Chattaqua is the soundtrack of my freshman year of college and always will evoke the emotions of first being away from home, of autumn in New England, of the smell of beer and cheesesteak hogies, of my infatuation with another boy named, Tim, who really couldn’t have cared much about me at all, and who definitely didn’t appreciate Pat. Tim was a frat boy who had grown up in Apple Valley, Minnesota but who had moved to the slightly downtrodden Quincy (pronounced “Quinnzy”), Mass when his mom divorced. I thought his accent was adorable. My friend from across the hall, Anne, couldn’t stand Tim, called him a “face-man”, for his seeming insincerity.
Tim was the first and almost only boy who told me I needed to lose weight (there is one other, and I am still married to him), and he ended up marrying a tall, skinny wisp of a girl, he next girl he dated after me. Not that he didn’t turn up like a bad penny now and then even after he was already seeing Susan. To this day, I still think of him every time I consider buying a pair of Levi’s 501’s because that was what he wanted me to wear, except that by the end of my freshman year, with all those cheesesteak hogies, I was too curvy at the time to pull off boy’s jeans.
I really have no business reviewing a concert, but I’ve checked, and no one else has written about last night’s concert, at least not yet, at least not on the internet. So, let me just say, it rocked. I wish he played more of his old stuff. But everyone says that at concerts. Performers will always play their new stuff, I suppose, because it excites them, and because it primes the listeners’ ears for when the new album comes out. He did a wonderful piece that he wrote after Hurricane Katrina, a tribute to the people of New Orleans, and it reminded me of his old albums. And he also did a duet with Christian McBride, his amazingly talented bass player, of “My Funny Valentine”. They made it their own. And at the end, he rocked out, as in ROCK. I had no idea he was interested in playing rock guitar. I think there was a lot of suprise out there in the audience. Not sure if I like this new development. But it doesn’t matter because I want to watch Pat Metheny play anything he likes playing. Because watching him play what he likes playing is pure joy.