Continuing along now with the third part of my Bunnymen adventure, now we move along with what took place at the second LA concert…
The next show was at the Orpheum in downtown L.A.
I sent an email to my buddy Peasy, asking if I could bring my dear friend Mark in to take some photos during the show. Mark is a real deal photographer, whose work speaks for itself. Peasy gave the ok, so I was really excited not only knowing that Mark was going to be shooting during the concert, but also in anticipation for how cool the photos where going to be!
Unfortunately, Mark tweaked his back earlier that morning and was in a lot of pain. Hence, he was unable to go and take photos of the concert. While I was feeling disappointed by the news, more so because this would have been an awesome opportunity for my buddy to showcase his talent with the camera, nevertheless, I took solace in knowing that at some future time when the Bunnymen return, Mark would be able to make a go of taking those concert photos
At that point, I started to ponder which of my friends would like to accompany me to the gig. So I started to ask around, with one of my buddies, who is also named Patrick said of course he would love to go and down we drove the busy streets of Los Angeles to the show.
After parking at one of the numerous outdoor open lots, we made our way to the Orpheum theater, which is located in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. One of the few, original grand theaters within the city, that has been lovely and painstakingly preserved. The grand beauty of the front facade harkens back to a much different time long since past. Walking up to the Will Call, I greeted the person behind the counter and gave my name, as well as presented my id. Unfortunately , I was informed that there was only one single ticket for myself, with no accompanying guess pass whatsoever. I stood for a moment not quite believing what I was being told and must have looked quite perplexed, as well as perturbed.
After a brief discussion trying to see what could be done in terms of this particular situation, I realized that there was some obviously disconnect or simple mixup on the part of the tour manager, especially since Peasy had assured me everything was good to go. “Stuff happens” as the antidotal sayings goes, so I told Patrick that I don’t want him to be left outside the concert while I was inside, so that we could go find something else to do, since I didn’t want to leave him in a lurch. His response was both firm and emphatic, that I should go enjoy the show since it was both important that I take the opportunity to enjoy my friends concert, as well as giving me a much needed distraction from everything that had been stirring within my life. Patrick further went on to mention how he would happily and easily find something to do being that this is Downtown L.A. I reluctantly agreed to go in, telling him that when the show was over, I would find a way to get him in for whatever after show meet and greet there was. So with that, I went in and he went off to find whatever misadventure waited him.
Walking inside, I felt like there was a dark cloud overhead raining down upon me. My mood was quite sour to say the least. Asking one of the ushers where I was to sit, I was informed to go upstairs to the upper balcony area. Once I was finally sitting down, I was literally looking down upon the stage and out upon the vast audience seating. The majestic beauty of the theater was all the more apparent from the vista I had. It really was an impressive sight to take in. It was at that moment, I made the conscious decision to just let go with my brooding and allow for whatever was to happen that night to just allow it and enjoy the time and experience I was having. I would do what I could to work out something to get Patrick in after the show. For now, I was just going to “go with the flow” and take in and appreciate not only opportunity of being able to sit within the amazing balcony seating, but to enjoy the music that my friends were going to be providing to a sold out audience.
It was shortly after that moment that I heard someone sit next to me. Turning to look, it was an old friendly face, one of the the bands longstanding friend of many years. It was Lance, who as a point of reference is an amazing and truly talented artist. To say I was happy to see Lance, would be very much an understatement, for it was good to see both a friendly and familiar face indeed. After exchanging warm greetings, Lance asked me how I was.
Now that was a question that opens a proverbial can of worms. Ha!
I began to explain to him all of the life changes that had been transpiring from the death of my mother up to the present, where by I am trying to figure what to do next in terms of overall life direction. What he said next literally froze me in my seat. “When I saw you sitting there, I knew what we would be discussing and what I needed to share with you.”
He then proceeded to tell me what I have heard from some of my closest friends, only verifying what they have said to me, as well as lending to the truth of what Lance was imparting to me.
What struck me the most, was how clearly it was evident, if I could be so plucky in saying so, that the Providence of God was what had enabled all of the various factors of that night to go how they did, unbeknownst to all parties involved.
I related to Lance all that transpired that night, from Mark being bale to attend, to the mixup with the guest passes. All of which allowed for Lance to be present to me and to tell me what I needed to hear at that distinct moment.
Sitting in my chair, overlooking the throng of people within the sea that made up the audience, eagerly anticipating the Bunnymen to take the stage, I was moved to quietly reflect on not only what was said for my benefit, but how truly mysterious and utterly awesome God is and how He works within our lives in moments and places were we would least expect it.
I thought back to when I first want over to my friends Derek’s house after school those many years ago and how hearing the Bunnymen that first time the ramifications of which have played out within my life, be it taking a leap of faith and going over to England to meet the band when I was twenty four, as well as all the other interactions and personal connections made as a result, including sitting there in the balcony before the concert, having a heartfelt and deeply personal conversation with Lance.
Now, in terms of the actual concert, it was unlike any Bunnymen concert I have seen or experiences. Probably the best way in which I can convey what I mean when I say that is to simple relate that I felt both present and yet removed from what was taking place at the same time. Sitting within the balcony, overlooking the stage, I had quite a different and distinct vantage point of the concert, which added to the sense of being distant from what was transpiring from on stage. Though having said that, this specific location allowed for a specific overview of what was taking place as well.
Looking down upon Will while he played his guitar, I was able to follow his hand motions and movements in its entirely as he played each and every rift. At one point he looked up and I waved down, with a thumbs up sign. I wasn’t sure if he could tell it was me, so I simply called down “Love you Will”, which was probably lost from the din of the music and audience, though the heartfelt sentiment of what I spoke was true and genuine.
Throughout the concert, the sounds from various instruments literally moved through me in sonic waves. Besides watching Will work legendary skill below, I could also easily watch Mac perform his frontman duties as singer. Pacing the stage, taking a moment to get a drink to prepare his voice for the next song, saying something to the drummer or looking over at Gordie making sure everyone was on the same page and ready to launch into the next piece, were all things I was well familiar with, but from the vantage point I had, there was an ebb and flow that I was much more aware of over the course of the concert.
After the concert was over, I did manage to get Patrick in, thanks to the kindness of Chris the Tour Manger. Interestingly enough, Patrick ended up helping out a guy who was in need of some assistance whom he came across while checking out the sights and sounds of Downtown L.A.
One additional antidotal story to share was running into Ramses, who is one of the most gentle, sincere persons one could ever hope to have the pleasure of knowing. He runs an art gallery located on Melrose. We had not seen one another for several years, so it was great to spend time reconnecting with him. He shared with me about the passing of his father. I was able to totally empathize, being that I had just gone through a similar process and turn of events with my mom passing away.
Sadly, I didn’t get to see Will that night, while Mac was busy with a small cluster of people. I patiently waited to say goodbye and wish him and his daughter well and success for the rest of the tour.
Less is always more in that type of setting.
Later that night in the quiet of my bedroom, I laid there pondering all that had transpired over the course of both Bunnymen shows. One of the Rolling Stones song came to mind, “You Can’t Get What You Want”, in which one of the lines goes, “You can’t always get what you want but if you try sometime you find you get what you need.”
Suffice to say, I got what I needed at the Bunnymen concerts.