Yesterday morning, Linda came home from the bagel store with the news of a 5:00 p.m. concert at Madison Square Garden in honor of Pete Seeger’s 90th birthday; a once-in-a-lifetime concert, she said, sad that we would miss it. But we didn’t, I got tickets & there we were–4 1/2 hours of music performed by, among many others–Joan Baez, Billy Bragg, Ani DiFranco, Arlo Guthrie, Emmylou Harris, Richie Havens, Dave Matthews, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Toshi Reagon, and Bruce Springsteen. The crowd greeted Bruce with a chant we couldn’t deciper & that prompted the woman sitting next to Linda to worry that he was being booed. “What are they saying?” I asked the young woman next to me. In a flash, the boy and his father, from Austin, Texas, who were sitting in front of me, spun around to say in their twang, “Bruuuuuuuuce, they’re saying Bruuuuuuuuuce.”
We all did lots of singing & the concert ended with Peggy Seeger, Pete’s half-sister and a renown folk singer, getting the entire ensemble (everyone packed on stage) plus the audience to sing “Irene Goodnight.” Very coooool evening!
p.s. At point, I politely asked a group of Madison Square Garden bouncer-like ushers who were loudly chattering to “please, keep it down.” “Lady, you’re at a concert, not the opera,” a tough looking guy snarled back. FYI: No, I was not dressed for the opera! Yes, they quieted down.