Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hail! Hail! Rock -n- Slow

This evening started out with me being incredibly excited to go see Chuck Berry.

It ended with me being massively disappointed in him.

I knew that having high expectations in an 81 year old man's ability to rock would just be a recipe for a let down, but I didn't anticipate it being as bad as it was. Yes, he's 81 years old, but he's also a rock legend who charges $30 a ticket so I'm allowed to upset when the show is a complete and utter disaster. Problem #1: Mr. Berry cannot hear, evidently, and thus cannot play in key. Let me be clear and say that I do not have an ear for pitch. At all. But even I could tell that he was playing in a different key from the rest of his band. Problem #2: Everything slows down when you're in your 80s. Chuck talked slow, "sang" slow, "played" guitar slow. So, in turn his band had to slow everything down. Classic rock and roll tunes turned into unrecognizable ballads. Problem #3: The guitar "playing". It sounded like me up there when I play Guitar Hero. It was a mess of missed notes and string taps.

I really, really like Chuck Berry. I'm so disappointed in the way everything unfolded. I have a huge amount of respect for him and what he did for rock and roll. (Even if he did recycle the same four songs over and over again.) The only good thing that resulted from tonight, is that Matt and I were relived that we didn't take a road trip down to St. Louis to see him play at Blueberry Hill (his hometown regular joint). I'd rather pay $60 to be disappointed at home than travel six hours and pay $60 to be disappointed in another state.

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