|I made arrangements to attend three concerts in the bay area, the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, the Paramount in Oakland, and the Wells Fargo Center for the Performing Arts in Santa Rosa, California. It goes without saying that I really enjoy Donna's singing, and the chance to see her locally was a real treat. That voice, those cheekbones, that smile, she is living art, and a kind, warm person who can credibly and persuasively communicate emotion and feeling, with strong colors and subtle hues, through song with her magnificently resonant voice. She also writes iconic songs, that will be a part of our culture for a long time. I could just listen to her, and stare at her, for hours...
It was my first time driving to the Mountain Winery venue, and I had none other than the West Coast SF Team Leader, Eduardo Hanke, in the passenger seat. We were driving through the Valley, Silicon, that is, and I noted that the street we were driving down appeared to be symmetrical, having the Saratoga-Sunnyvale at two ends without any North or South designation, and distinctly named segments, N. De Anza and S. De Anza, in between. I wasn't sure if we were coming or going. Eduardo got a little excited, but we made it to the edge of town, and up the mountain, where we were herded into the parking lot outside the Mountain Winery. It was somewhat bucolic, with a view of the city down below.
As an aside, I had heard that the venue backstage at the Mountain Winery was less than ideal for Donna, the musicians, and the crew because of some renovation in progress. It was reported that there was no running water backstage, causing some disconcert before the concert. However, the show went on. Donna was tough, resilient and professional. A lesser Queen would have sent heads rolling at the guillotine.
Before the show, I tagged along behind Eduardo, while he reconfirmed, with Donna's people, details of the Oakland Crayons Cake Party he had planned to be held at the Paramount after the Oakland performance. Then we returned to our seats and sat down. The sun went down, the music went up, and the concert began. Well, I won't reiterate the song set, or other details, except to echo that the venue required some truncation, and that the stage was considerably narrow and shallow... Donna flew through set after set, with energy and emotion.
The most notable song of the night, above all was Bring Down the Reign. I found it haunting how Donna explained how the tune came to her, through tears, during a brainstorming session at the piano. She shared with the audience that it feels as if the music flows through her from the ground, to the audience when she performs it. And then, she performed it, and lo' and behold, it was as if the music was flowing from the ground, through her, to us, the audience. She was in the moment, and really emotionally connected with that song. The audience was floored, even the trees were weeping. I thought that only willows wept, but the oak trees were weeping too. That performance raised the hair on my head, and sent shivers down my neck, and it made me conscious of the outrageous atrocities that people have suffered in Darfur. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND SEEING THE CONCERT!