My boyfriend and I were on the outs for all last week. Instead of rolling myself into a ball and forcing myself into seclusion, I decided to surround myself with people who genuinely bring a smile to face. What happened was totally unexpected, but what I’d like to call a series of fortunate events.
Every single day of the week I had “plans” — i.e., a distraction from reality. Most of these plans involved one too many drinks, but hey, it was better than doing the same thing alone. The first? An invitation to a musical performance Uptown.
On Wednesday, one of my closest friends who I’ve known since high school, asked if I wanted to go with her to a show — Esperanza Spalding: Emily’s D+Evolution. Even though I was familiar with the name, I didn’t know exactly what to expect. After all, my music taste is fairly diverse and I wasn’t sure which Pandora station had led me to Esperanza. But free tickets to a show with my bestie? I wasn’t going to turn that down.
Coincidentally, the performance was held at McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square, a venue the two of us had visited frequently for Elevation Church Uptown.
As soon as we found our seats, we were captivated by the soulful and unique presence of Esperanza. A petite frame with the eccentricity of Erykah Badu, I fell in love with every word she sang, movement she made and instrument she played. I sat on the edge of my seat as Emily’s D+Evolution unfolded in the form of a stage play in front of me. As it turns out, the intimate venue was perfect for viewing this performance. It was a nice surprise to revisit this venue considering how so many popular Charlotte music spots are shutting their doors this year.
After the show, I jokingly asked an attendant if there were any way for us to meet her. She responded, “If you buy something, she’ll be signing autographs for 15 minutes.” I looked at my bestie and knew immediately that we’d be pulling out our debit cards.
I have a secret obsession with vinyl, and so does she, so we snagged two records and waited patiently in line. We were disappointed when the line attendant informed us we weren’t allowed to take pictures — one out-of-towner who we joked with while standing in line actually got caught when her digital camera’s flash went off; talk about awkward turtle. We giggled nervously, concerned that security would confuse us with the culprit and kick us out of line.
Have you ever thought about what you would say to your favorite musician? Let alone, one you’ve never really heard of that you’d just fallen in love with? What if you only had a few moments to capture their attention? I’d thought about it many times over in regards to other favorites of mine.
If I ever got the chance to meet Lil Wayne, who I’m obsessed with, what would I do if the words never quite came out? And as I watched Esperanza fully engaged in a conversation with a man just a few steps away, I wished desperately that I could hear what he was saying that was so intriguing to a Grammy-Award winning artist.
Another fan, a young girl with a guitar in her arms, cried incessantly after Esperanza had left her mark on what was sure to be the instrument she would treasure for the rest of her life. I sighed because I appear to be young but not small or cute enough to gain her sympathy as an aspiring rock star.
I looked down at the song list on the back of my newly-purchased vinyl and located the titles of my two favorite songs from the performance, “Unconditional Love” and “Funk the Fear.” Maybe I could explain to her how those songs meant so much to me especially while going through a separation period? It was too late.
As I approached the table, armed with my phone that had been recording a voice memo for 10 minutes preparing for the interaction, the only words that came out of my mouth were, “Such an amazing show, will you marry me?”
She looked up at me, smiled kindly and responded, “I’m sorry, I can’t.”
Share some of your meet and greet memories with bands and musicians at firstname.lastname@example.org