Thursday, July 29, 2010

Here is the love ...

SusieFierce: The San Francisco experience was a stark and fascinating contrast to Sacramento in countless ways, the weather being the first and most obvious, but there were so many others. AnthrogeekPF already touched on the tale of two hotels and – from the high-security key cards required to select a floor at Thunder Valley, to the manual door and accordion cage lift of the Mithalia.

We got to the venue and it was chilly and since my packing was limited to what I could reach without standing up more than once, I didn’t have a jacket. “No probs,” I thought. “There will be a thousand tourist trap fleece hoodie stands on every corner, I’ll find one.” Well, that wasn’t really the case. We had to get through the hotel ghetto to the restaurant ghetto to the retail ghetto regions of downtown SF before I found a Marshall’s and @AlohaPF found me a very versatile, rocker-type sweat jacket. Love it.

Okay, our next objective was to get in line and stay there. We had hours to kill. Again, @NoAngelPF took the controls and got everyone in the GA line listed and organized. We Sharpied numbers on ourselves and got something to eat. NoAngelPF came very prepared, with several blankets to sit on. We were joined by @hcluless and other PFers and settled in for a long afternoon wait.

Needless to say, I don’t know who was the more ~interesting, the long line of Adam stans or the usual colorful contingent that frequents the downtown streets of San Francisco, but it had to be a curious collection that day. Certainly a prospective exhibit if anyone ever opens a people zoo.

So we waited. And waited. And my back went through it’s usual nagging to annoying to excruciating cycle that is becoming rote. Here was one amazing line experience though: At one point, a young girl in perhaps her early 20s came by. She was selling a circular written and produced by the homeless to raise money. The paper cost $1. Many of us donated and we took a couple of copies. She started to walk away, but then turned back and said, “Who are you waiting to see?”

We said, “Adam Lambert.” She said she didn’t know who that was. Do we have any pictures or recordings? We all looked at each other and smiled as we all carry YouTubes in the palms of our hands, housed by our trusty smartphones, of course. I was closest, so I immediately hit the TV icon on my home screen. Reception hasn’t been great, so I expected some lag time.

I went immediately to my YT favorites and there was a WLL from ~somewhere, on top. I hit that, but could immediately see it wasn’t great iPhone vid quality and you really couldn’t hear it over the traffic and other noise.

“Wait, let me find something else,” I said. “You won’t be able to hear this.” I quickly scanned my bookmarked vids and noticed “The Prayer” at the bottom of the screen. This has excellent sound quality that I was sure would carry over the din of the street. I had a hunch this might hold special significance as well. Here's a refresher:

I pushed play and the swell of the opening phrase came through beautiful and clear. She bent her head low, almost timid, but eager. It’s been awhile since I listened to the song and I was again reminded how gorgeous it is. She crouched down and remained stalk still while I held the phone to her ear. As she listened, her posture relaxed and her expression went from sad, to softened, then serene.

This was not a polite, cursory listen; this felt like a transformative experience. I glanced at her face as every note seemed to permeate her soul and soon – I kid you not – she had tears in her eyes. I gently looked to confirm this and it’s as if I wasn’t even there. Neither was the crowd of sparkly people or the congested city streets. She was having the unmistakable, transcendent experience of hearing angels singing and by the time the clarinet solo cutaway ended, I held the phone back so she could see Adam’s face.

“It’s not just the voice,” I said, “he’s also incredibly beautiful.” She stared at the screen and again wore the bemused awe that those of us who ~get it would recognize anywhere – the involuntary tilting of your face to the light. The tears were real and she had this expression of joy in her eyes that was unmistakable.

She finally smiled at me and said, “That’s nice.” But it was reverent, almost disbelieving, but still serene. Some of us chimed in gently, not wanting to overwhelm her. “That’s just one kind of singing he can do. He does everything – rock, pop – he’s amazing!”

She thanked us for taking the time to share it with her and we asked if we could take her picture. She smiled as if honored and posed with her newspapers. Waving goodbye, she went on her way down the line. As we were all exchanging looks of wonder at the experience, AnthrogeekPF said, “Oh my God! We could have given her one of our extra tickets!”

Immediately, Scorpio ran down the line to try to find her, but she was gone.

About an hour and a half later, when we were getting close to being let in, we saw her walking by again. Our friend went after her and brought her back.

“We want to give you a ticket to see the show.”

She looked at us in disbelief. It took a little bit of reassurance and encouragement, but she became very excited. Her apprehension tinged with disbelief was palpable and we continued to assure her that she would have a wonderful time and we really wanted her to experience Adam. She beamed and thanked us profusely and took her e-ticket with still a bit of bemusement and left.

We don’t know if she used the ticket or not, because obviously, once we were in our GA spot (more of this to come one 7/25 Warfield thread), there was no moving. I’d love to think that she went and experienced the entire concert, or at least Adam’s set and all her pain was at least temporarly alleviated with the joy of the music, beauty, energy and love that comes with seeing Adam live.

I really hope so.


  1. I have something in my eye. *sniff*

  2. wonderful story.

  3. All I can say is "Wow"...

  4. I was there. When she first came by to sell the paper (Street Sheet) she bore the look of one who was already rejected by every person in the world. Our groups eagerness to buy her papers put her at ease, some of the years fell away immediately. At first I thought she's in her 40's. When she asked to see or hear Adam; I immediately rummaged in my roomy purse to find my Ipod Touch. Susie is quicker at the draw and had her Iphone up to the girl's face in no time. I wasn't paying attention to them the whole time. But I will always remember the disbelief and trepidation on her face when she was given the ticket. She didn't expect to be one in the line to see a show! Be entertained is probably as foreign to her at the time; as speaking Chinese. It was one of the highlight of my pre-concert experience. And I tipped my hat to these amazing Glamingos. I will never in a million years think of giving her a ticket. Adam has beautiful fans!!


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