117db06a40a59386b5d97cc92373Last night, I saw Aretha Franklin live (the reason for the late post). Okay, more like semi-live, because she was in a tent in Metro Square, and I was looking at a screen on King Street.

My hopes were up.  Aretha Franklin – come on.  She was opening the Toronto Jazz Festival for free.  For free. As my friend said, it would be criminally irresponsible not to go.  So we went.

And if I have to blame one person for the lacklustre experience, it would be the person in charge of the craptastic PA system.  Okay, so not everyone can fit in a tent.  So you put up a big screen and super loud speakers, right?  Besides, outdoor concerts are fun.  You close down King Street, mob together in front of the Royal Alex Theatre, and watch the Queen – no, the Goddess of Soul belt it out, despite what appears to be serious health issues.

But nooooo.  Fun is not in order, because the speakers were a pipsqueak.  I swear, you had to be quiet to hear Aretha when you were on the street.  No clapping.  No cheering.  No belting along to most famous pentatonic descent in pop music, and you sure as all get-out won’t be feeling like a natural woman.

That’s not right.  That is so not right.  Inside the tent, things were groovy, and they’d better damn well be, considering those people had to line up for 8 hours.  But outside the tent, for the poor peons who couldn’t make it, it was disappointment incarnate.

Any interesting live concert experiences you’d like to share?

– Jean AAR