Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Talent Floors Me

I have the best friends in the world. I say this all the time, but in point of fact, it's true. Case in point. This last Sunday evening we got an invitation from Patrick McClenahan to see Keith Urban and Sugerland at Staples Center (where the Lakers Play) here in LA. To be honest, I wasn't all that excited about seeing Keith Urban. I guess I had convinced myself that since he's married to Nicole Kidman, he must not be all that great. (never mind that there is no logic in this conclusion!)

When Sugerland backed out and was replaced by Lady Antebellum I was mildly depressed. I like "L.A." but I love Sugerland. What I wasn't prepared for was the talent and creative vision so apparent in the show.

I played guitar as a kid and I've spent a lot of my non-working hours both on, and back stage. I have a deep appreciation for what it takes to produce a quality, live event. Lady Antebellum was pretty good considering they had stepped in that day, so no lighting package was created, etc. Keith Urban was another story.

He's just flat out a virtuoso guitar player. He makes thing that are incredibly hard look easy. He's got amazing vocal range. He's got an incredible band (four other guitar players and a drummer who can all sing - and he lets them all do long solos during their introductions) and the staging, etc., was creative without taking away from the performances.

I sat there and thought about all that goes into that; the time rehearsing, caring about the details, writing the tunes in some cases and learning them in others, all of that stuff and just thought wow ... talent simply floors me.

For me, the best part of the whole thing was watching these guys perform together. They had a great time and their great time was infectious. What a great night ...


shawnreeder said...

There's nothing like seeing great live musicians. You still playing guitar Jim!! Maybe a little Tuolumne trip with some hiking and fireside guitar playing is in order?

Jim Collins said...

Man Shawn, I wish. I played a lot of Volleyball in college and I could never jump very high but I was good at anticipating the hitters so I was a good blocker. The problem was that since I was always lower than the hitters I took a lot of direct hits on my thumbs. By the time I got done I couldn't hold my bar cords anymore and even straight stuff hurts too much...

My favorite artist - probably a sign of my age - is James Taylor. I've always loved how easy he makes it look and I've always been able to relate to his music.

That said. Tuolumne is gonna happen.