This June my favorite band in the world, Concrete Blonde, will be doing a special tour to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their famous Bloodletting album. The reason why I am writing this blog post is a very personal one and not something I generally talk about.
I like music as much as the next person; I enjoy a really varied range of genres and styles but I don’t think I am as involved with music as most people I know. Everyone always has their iPod with them and they are always talking about this and that new thing they just downloaded. I tend to listen to the same things I listened to 10 years ago, though my interest is always piqued when someone recommends something to me.
But Concrete Blonde is in a different category for me. I’ve been listening to them since I was 12. There is really no good temporal reason for me to like Concrete Blonde. The band started in the early 80s when I was but a toddler and I did not hear them for the first time until 7th grade. A friend of mine had an album from her older sister, I believe, and while hanging out at her house one day she just happened to put it on. I was hooked immediately.
Johnette Napolitano’s voice is something out of this world. But more so are her lyrics and the emotions she expresses through music. I grew up listening to Ella Fitzgerald and opera, heavily influenced by my dad with a non-stop diet of The Beatles and 80’s pop from my mother, but Jonhette revealed a whole different world to me in music.
A year after my Concrete Blonde devotion was instated, I learned that the band dismantled. I was a crushed teenager when I realized that the first band I really ever felt a connection with was no more just as I found them. How sad that I would never get to see them again.
Luckily, they did get back together in 2001, which – believe me – caused me to jump and scream with joy and brought tears to my eyes the day I found out. I managed to see them live several times both back home in Brazil and abroad after I moved to the US, including Johnette’s solo concerts. The excitement is inexplicable.
Another side bonus of this experience was meeting and getting to know other fans from around the world who felt equality fervent about their love of Concrete Blonde and followed them around at every opportunity. It’s a fantastic relationship. Just today I wrote someone I saw last in 2004 during a concert to make sure we were going to meet this June. I didn’t even have to ask if they were coming too, I just asked which cities they were going. Fantastic people who I would not have otherwise met, if not for this common appreciation of Concrete Blonde and Johnette’s art.
So, this June, I am planning to go to as many concerts as I can during the 20th Anniversary of Bloodletting tour. I have never done this before and I have no idea how I’m going to make it happen, but I think it will be a fun experience and (since the band broke up again and is only reuniting for this tour) an opportunity I just can’t pass.