The King is Dead, Long Live the King
Posted by djafan on Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I arrived home Monday about 3pm and after unpacking and making supper, the exhaustion from all the sensory overload set in. In short, I fell asleep and awoke a few hours ago to a late start on my recap. But I will try my best to get this all down so bear with me.
After posting my squeee on the site, I drove the hour and a half to meet LuvieD, aka bizemom43 whose tweets you may have seen from the concert. Ordinarily a very health conscious, nurturing soccer mom, I arrived at her home at 7:30 am to find her, like any self-respecting woman with ODD and a concert to get to, feeding her children a breakfast of microwave popcorn. “Popcorn for breakfast?” I asked. She was unapologetic. “It’s a vegetable, isn’t it? Besides, they asked for it and it’s fast.”
That made perfectly good sense to me, so we loaded up her car with my stuff and the GPS, and were off for Memphis or bust! She has been my long-time concert buddy and you have no idea how invaluable a satellite guidance system is to us while traveling. Even with the GPS lady’s help, we managed to get lost several times between the hotel and the fair less than a mile away. Bwahahaaa! We are hilarious. If only someone would follow us around with a camera, we could be a reality show called,
So we get to Memphis at noon and finally make it to the fair at 2pm. Naturally we make a bee-line for the Firm Mattress Main Stage where David will be that evening. The stage was outside and there were rows of chairs set back about thirty feet from the stage. Several folks had already staked out chairs on the front row and had been there since noon! We found us a couple of front row seats too and started mingling. What a lovely bunch of people David’s fans are! It’s like you never meet a stranger who has ODD. Some had come from a long way off. Anyway, we talked to Paula FOD. She had won a VIP with David and talked to us about being afraid of crying when she saw him because she so wanted to be able to tell him how she felt and what his music and fans had done for her. She teared up while talking to us about it which was not encouraging to her resolve! We promised to say a little prayer for her and later we read that she did just fine! We also met and spoke at length with the amazing videographer, 8thRowCenter, who I liked very much. I liked everyone we met in fact and won’t name them all but it was a real treat to once again get to talk with David’s fans because they are all so positive and just good folks.
So there we sat in the hot Memphis sun and took turns leaving to get something to eat or drink or walk around the fair while others watched our seats and likewise. We forgot to bring sunscreen and noticed several folks were using umbrellas to shade themselves from the sun. They told us they bought them at the fair for five dollars so bizemom left to go buy one for her and me.
A little while later he came on stage to do sound check and was so sweet and then came Alexis’ set. Everyone sat politely in their chairs and she was quite good but when, toward the end of her performance, she mentioned that David would be there soon, many in the crowd moved from chairs to the barricades three feet from the stage. Biz and I made it to the rail at the very front and stood there with the others guarding our spot for an hour till David arrived. It was an acoustic set, just David accompanied by Mike on guitar. He sang only one song on keyboard, “Crush,” but when he first sat down to play, the keyboard didn’t work so while two men came to investigate the trouble, he stood back up. I was close enough to hear him say to Mike, “Just play anything,” and Mike at once started the first notes of “Somebody Out There.” David sang it like it was all carefully planned and rehearsed when it was totally impromptu. Throughout the entire show, there was nothing to interfere with the perfect instrument of his voice, which was as lovely and sublime as a symphony. It was acoustic perfection from start to the beautiful, poignant finish of “God Bless America.” I was able to see for myself at last the new charm and confidence in his stage presence and in his performance. Maybe it was the spirit of Elvis in the air but he often said, “Thank you very much,” and laughed at himself for saying it so much. The crowd was large and very excited, there was so much screaming! I have never heard a more excited crowd and at one point the mosh pit got a little crazy where we were standing against the rail. He decided to do “Touch My Hand” after the 16 year old birthday girl asked if she could touch his hand. There was so much reaching and shoving of people to get to him when he reached out at times during the song that the movable barricade we were standing against began to give way. We were slightly to the left of center stage and you can see him at one point on the video reach out and then make a gesture with his hand for the crowd to back up. A security guard came and stood in front of our barricade and held onto it while pushing against the stage to hold the barricade up against the onslaught of the pushing crowd. I put my hand on his shoulder and pushed against him to keep upright and he let me. I really think if not for that, the barricade would have given way and those on the front would have been trampled by the enthusiastic, screaming crowd. I wasn’t really afraid, just very aware of the situation. Nothing took away from the enjoyment of his performance. Even the excitement from the crowd was an adrenalin rush that only added to the whole, awesome experience. It was pure, intense joy, all of it and I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
After the show, there were so many armed guards keeping the crowd at bay and at last he was hurried past a screaming crowd to a waiting golf cart where large guards sat on either side, him wedged between them, and two more rode up front. I think the Ferris wheel ride took place after the fair closed at 10pm because I don’t see how it could have happened otherwise. It was clear from the mannerisms of the sheriffs and guards that they had a situation on their hands and I don’t think anyone was prepared for it. Of course David smiled and waved at the fans from between the guards and seemed perfectly serene and appreciative of all the love.
I am glad the label was with him. If there was ever any uncertainty about the South’s love for David Archuleta, that myth was put to rest on a warm September night in Memphis.