LESS ROCK, MORE KIRTAN
This week I went to see a couple of bands at Millennium Park as part of its New Music Mondays series.
The Pritzker Pavilion was its usual stunning self.
(Can you believe that Steve Davis's aunt thought the old Prudential Building on the left was "the tallest building in the world?" My favorite building in Chicago is the spiky new Prudential building in the center, which weighs in at #30).
Back to the Pritzker Pavilion. It is architecturally amazing and acoustically perfect. The views of the skyline are awe-inspiring. You can sit in seats, or on the lawn. The concerts are free. Plus they start and end on time.
It's the only place I want to see bands these days.
Red Red Meat sounded like their old selves, if a bit grayer and paunchier (aren't we all?).
And this time around, K-Walla and I weren't drinking Leinenkugels on a dirty old sofa and inhaling cigarette smoke.
In fact, we weren't drinking anything.
We were sitting on the lawn, breathing in fresh air and playing with her three-year-old son....
and watching Empty Bottle owner Bruce Finkelman dance with his wee daughter.
My, how times have changed!
By 9pm, we were on the El heading back north.
I don't miss the old days at all.
Not. a. tall.
(Although the heart felt a brief pang when the eyes saw the ex and the mind took its inevitable trip down memory lane).
Goodbye to all that indeed.
(Upcoming shows at Millennium Park include Rhythms of Rajasthan on September 23 and Rahim Alhaj and the Aditya Prakash Ensemble on September 24. Both shows start at noon. Details here.).
* * *
On Friday, TiaS and I went to see kirtan wallah Suzanne Sterling at Moksha Yoga.
What's nice about kirtan, or call-and-response devotional chanting, is that the audience is an equal participant.
And Dharma says that doing kirtan, or "singing to the lord" is a surefire way to banish depression.
It is also one of the easier paths to enlightenment (no austerities necessary!).
Suzanne was not only amazing and inspired, she was inspiring.
She gets it.
And the audience - who included big-time teacher Seane Corn - was just as wonderful.
I mean, they (we) were on-key. They were dancing. They (we) were into it.
The mood lifted right away.
The heart melted.
The ego (and the bad haircut that had been occupying the mind for the past three days) faded right into the background.
It was a magical night.
It always is when you remember who you are and why you're here.
Hello to all that indeed.
(Upcoming kirtans include Amy and the Ananda Bliss Tribe at YogaNow Gold Coast on September 12 and Devi 2000 at Moksha on September 26).