15 September 2018

June 2018 WISCONSIN Milwaukee 7 - James and Bonnie Concert

It was just over a mile from our hotel to the Lake Michigan Summerfest site. It was still dripping hot, so this time we took a cab. Our driver was pretty gutsy, but also pretty safe. Drop-off was a block from the entrance. What excitement--James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt on the same bill.

Thankfully we had our tickets in hand as there was a line at the will-call window. We waltzed right in. Summerfest is advertised as the world's largest music festival and is set up in a fair-style atmosphere. On the 75-acre site are carnival rides, typical fair food stands (hot dogs, corn-on-the-cob dipped in vats of butter, funnel cake, etc.), and several stages for simultaneous music events.

We had about an hour before the concert started, so we slowly sauntered over to our music venue. On the way we grabbed a bite and a beverage and perused the t-shirt stand. Mike and Nancy made a purchase there.
The major venue was huge with seating for 23,000 peeps. Most of it was stadium chairs, but some lawn seating rimmed the top. That is the biggest outdoor venue we've ever seen. Not many there when we arrived, but it was cool and comfortable with the large canopy and light breeze.

We sat about in the middle of the red "3" on the right side. Darn good seats!
We people watched and chatted while we waited.

It didn't take too long for the place to fill up.
Bonnie Raitt's sock monkey sat on an amp. I tried to find out the meaning behind that little monkey, but it has alluded me. I guess it is an inside joke.

Bonnie and James came out together to start the show. She in her flaming red hair. He is his newsboy hat. They played maybe two songs and then Bonnie took over.

She had been out of the loop for a while with medical issues, but she was back tonight with a vengeance. A gorgeous, strong voice. Among other faves she sang "I Can't Make You Love Me," "Thing Called Love," "Since I Fell for You." and, of course, "Something to Talk About."
 Backgrounds changed across a big screen. This first was Bonnie's.

These showed behind James. He talked about this house as though it was his own and maybe it was at some point. He talked about his family and his dog. So personal and personable.
 This was my fave though. Gritty New York.
James Taylor played so many faves--"Fire and Rain," Carolina on my Mind," "How Sweet It Is," "Sweet Baby James," "You've Got a Friend," and more. With most songs he told a little story on the background of it. Made them even more special.

At one point he pointed out that the moon was rising behind us over Lake Michigan (to the left). It was beautiful with silhouettes in front of it.
It was a long and wonderful concert. The back-up players were fabulous, too. Luis Conte on percussion and what a set-up. He was born in Cuba, so you know he's got the beat. Steve Gadd on drums, of Modern Drummer Hall of Fame fame. Michito Sanchez on percussion who previously played with Elton John and Cosby, Stills, and Nash. Walter Fowler on keyboard and horns. Vocals  were Arnold McCullar (back-up for many famous singers) and Kate Markowitz. And on fiddle was Andrea Zonn. There were a few more, but these stood out.

Here's the fair as we departed.

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