At the beginning of August I went to the Jill Scott concert, with special guest Georgia Me, at the Horseshoe Venue in Hammond, IN. I got there early enough to have dinner. What I remember most is the seaweed salad, it was yumster. While eating dinner the lights flickered and then went out. The backup generator came on quickly, and I didn’t think anything about it other than, uhn, interesting.
Finished off my meal with dessert and as I was savoring it, I saw someone I knew. Oh, to be young and stupid again. NOT, I have no desire to go back to my 20s. Anyhoo, he was with his now wife, but I wasn’t in…people, small talk or pleasantries mood so, I avoided him…them.
Transparency: seeing him was both something, and nothing, all wrapped into that bowl of pistachio ice cream that I processed my thoughts in. Ha!
After dessert I made my way to the concert space, across from the restaurant. I was nervously informed that the system was down, no scanners, so they went ole skool—tore the bottom off the ticket.
I get to the escalator and was told the escalators/elevators are down. It hits me, oh snap the lights did go off when I was eating. there may be a real issue. I laugh and tell God, “you are such a comedian. the one time that I have nosebleeds (for my ticket buying standards) on the 3rd level, the escalators are down.”
Sojourned upstairs. Took a breath. Found my seat. Sat it down.
The view wasn’t bad at all.
Poet, Georgia Me opened for Jill. She rocked it and she validated pleasure, truth, self-love, sisterhood, big gyrl liberation etc. I was a lil disappointed that she didn’t do any new poems though, but, no worries. The viewing screens were down for much of her set, but at some point they went back up.
Jill comes on and the screens on each side of the stage did not go down. No no no, not the one time I’m up in the ceiling. Really?!?!?!?!?! The light of the screens helps to light the stage. No screens = darker stage. She sings and I choose to let it go. Finally, my eyes adjusted and I settle into the show. Her band and background singers always entertain. The Jill-Tones, as I call them, had on gold sneakers and they had high energy and moves.
Similar to what I said, when I did my E. Badu review earlier in the summer, I have seen E and Jill gazillion times, but it had been a minute since I’d seen either.
Jill was Jill, and early in the set I realized I was glad to be there, and I didn’t care if I could see, I needed to hear. I needed her words. The gaps and holes in my summer that had me doing some necessary stretching and existing way outside of my comfort zone, needed her words. This summer had me reminding myself that I ain’t no punk….lol lol lol.
I was touched by the poignancy of Fool’s Gold. I assume I’ve heard her sing this live before, but this is the first time I took note. Partly because there was an audible hum of sistas around me emoting this song as Jill belted it out below us. We were collectively vested in the song and it sounded good to my spirit. Though I knew the song was about a relationship, it wasn’t about bae for me. It was bigger and more than any single person, but about life and dreams and…ish in general.
“And it turned out I wasn’t living at all, but I would’ve never known if you had just played along.” Fool’s Gold
I quickly typed this wannabe prose thingy in the notes section of my phone: “Hiccups are blessings. They force me to stop and be aware of my surrounding. Sneezes are a sign that I’m “allergic” to something. Even things I love, I run the risk of being allergic to them.”
“Slowly Surely” always gets me. It is one of my fav songs by her. And I love how she takes it to the go-go, always gives me DC warm fuzzies. Jill then busts out with a call & response affirmation: “I’m going to love myself a little bit more than the day before…” The crowd grew from merely mouthing the words to actually saying them with some oomph!
How will you love yourself a little more each day?
Now, true confessions. I have never been a big fan of the song Golden. Folk assume that I would be ya-ya over that song, but I wasn’t. I always thought it was a little too something or not enough something. Ion’t really know why, but I was never Team Golden and I really wasn’t Team Hate On Me. When I first heard her do Hate on Me in Philly at the Theatre of Living Art, I think it was there, I was not impressed and neither song really never grew on me.
But hot darn. All of a sudden I found myself singing along to the song and feeling it. I think it’s indicative of where I am in my life. Year 42 is my Golden year, which it does equal my life path number. I know that this year is the setup for this next chapter of life that will see me through to 60 yrs old. At 60, I will start yet another chapter. But for now, these words have a new meaning for me…
I'm taking my freedom, Pulling it off the shelf, Putting it on my chain, Wear it around my neck… I'm taking my own freedom Putting it in my song, Singing loud and strong… I'm taking my freedom, Putting it in my stroll, I'll be high-steppin' y'all, Letting the joy unfold, I'm holding on to my freedom, Can't take it from me, I was born into it, It comes naturally, I'm strumming my own freedom, Playing the god in me, Representing his glory, Hope he's proud of me... "Golden" Lyrics
So, everything was going along nicely and then she started singing “Making you wait…” and black out! The lights went out—the irony is that this happened on this particular song. Mos definitely, we were waiting…lol lol lol
I was patient and calm, though the air was also off, and the thought of going to the restroom with toilets not flushing and no running water, did not help matters. Though I definitely wanted more, and I just I would have enjoyed seeing her entire set, I got what I needed. There’s something to be said about getting what you need even in the midst of unexpected timing and wanting more. Horseshoe handled it well and was quick to offer instructions and directed us out. Ticketmaster refunded our tickets the next day. The end.
Why am I even writing this now, at the end of the month? Lol lol lol. I was thinking of a new moon playlist for Thursday and Golden, came to mind.
September 1, New Moon playlist that may be just what someone needed. The four songs build one upon the other, so I encourage you to listen to them in this order:
- Before I Knew Me, Stacy Barthe
- Bravo, Ledisi
- Feel Good, Lira
- Golden, Jill Scott