[Kelly Newspaper Column]
As I type, we are hours away from the Andrea Bocelli concert in Chicago with the Lyric Opera. The famous Italian tenor is in the states for just seven shows and I am delighted to be in his presence, even if it’s from Section 202, Row 5.
We just saw Andy Grammer (we are new fans after seeing him live; he and his band are mega-talented and tons of fun) and Kelly Clarkson. I adore her realness and her great big voice. Her stories are impromptu and funny, and she knocks it out of the park with her singing. Kelly’s new album is very soulful and I suggest you run out and buy ten copies. (I love to support artists the old-fashioned way, you know, by buying their music and attending their shows.)
Music (and live music especially) is good for the soul.
We’ve taken in a variety of shows this year. Kristin Chenoweth, Leslie Odom, Jr., and Megan Hilty belt out with such power and joy that I get misty-eyed and my heart does flip flops. We are heading to New York City to see Megan perform again, this time at Carnegie Hall with the New York Symphony orchestra. Our NYC jaunt includes Ingrid Michaelson’s holiday show as well. And we will take in whatever else grabs our fancy.
My Prince and I swayed with the happy crowds this past year at Ravinia with Darius Rucker; various festivals and concerts in parks across the land; and taken in old school bands like Styx (they rocked, by the way), as well as tributes to artists like John Denver and Roy Orbison.
I wish I could have seen the real John Denver when he was still with us. I have seen many of my beloveds and am hard pressed to write a wish list of who is still on my concert bucket list. I simply follow the urge and buy tickets when I learn of a show that sounds appealing. That’s how Bocelli came to be.
Off the top of my head, in no particular order, I have already had the divine pleasure of great seats to Pink, Elton John, Billy Joel, Prince, Pat Benatar, Barry Manilow, Lionel Richie, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Rick Springfield, Bryan Adams, Cheap Trick, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Sugarland, Martina McBride, Don Henley, Jackson Browne, Michael Buble, The Police, Foreigner, REO Speedwagon, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Quarterflash, The Go-Gos, Van Halen, Glen Campbell, Natalie Cole, John Ondrasik/Five for Fighting, Matt Wertz, Fleetwood Mac, Bob Seger, Eddie Money, Loverboy, Heart, Journey, Phil Collins, the Greg Kihn Band, Diamond Rio, John Michael Montgomery, Toby Keith, Ronnie Milsap, and plenty I cannot remember …. and of course, ANDY GIBB!
My apologies (to me) for those who I forgot. I was at Live Aid (way back in 1985), and that mega-event included QUEEN, U2, Adam Ant, Elvis Costello, Spandau Ballet, and Sir Paul McCartney (AND I waved at Prince Charles and Princess Diana.)
Take my advice and take in live music. Research backs me up. Researchers “explored the connection between habitual music engagement and subjective wellbeing” and found that those who regularly go to concerts (or any type of music event) live overall happier lives than those that don’t. This applies to ALL of us, there is no age limit or any particular demographic. One study sampled 1,000 Australians, with an average age of 56, and the findings were what was stated above.
Live music is not just for the “young.” There are plenty of shows you can go to where the music is “not too loud” and no drunken idiot will spill a beer on your head. If you are human, (or a savage beast), try live music for improved wellbeing.
Put a few concerts on your agenda for the new year, and if you learn of any interesting shows, drop me a line.
[PS: My newspaper column is written and submitted weeks before it prints/gets posted here. FYI = ANDREA BOCELLI WAS AMAZING!]