Sherry's Rockapella Trip Report
Rockapella with the Boston Pops
Symphony Hall -- Boston, MA
Saturday Evening May 14, 2005
After walking to McDonald's and a quick nap, we got dressed for the next show (yes -- different outfits. What kind of outfit would've been appropriate for both a matinee and an evening show? NOT one of mine). :)
The shuttle was going to be too much trouble due to time constraints and the throng of people waiting, so we caught a cab to Symphony Hall. We showed the gift shop to Karla, then saw Sister Mary Lavatory in the restroom, whom wasn't very friendly to Karla for some reason. Maybe she knew about her nickname, I don't know.
Our seats for the evening show were House left, next to the sound board (not Fred's). Liz & I ordered some Moscato & Karla ordered her cheese plate. Thanks, Karla, for opening all the wrappers BEFORE the show in order to avoid noise pollution. Kaia, our waitress, told me that I sound like and look like a younger version of her grandmother, whom she likes, so that's a good thing. Before the show, Liz & I took separate trips to the bathroom. (Yes, this has a point). We both noticed that Sister Mary Lavatory was in our bathroom, and this was NOT the same one from when we first entered this evening. OK, so the restroom attendant is stalking us.
During "Valkyries," I noted that one of the violinists wore an ugly huge belt. (Had it been an ugly small belt, I may not have noticed too much). What really bothered me, though, was that said violinist was chewing gum....on stage...NOT professional, Lady! I wasn't even allowed to chew gum in high school orchestra, and this woman's getting paid. Way inelegant.
I noticed that for all of the pieces, except for the "Pastoral" piece, KL used a baton. I guess that he doesn't need it for the smaller ensemble. I enjoyed watching the timpanist during the "Dance of the Hours," because he was clearly having fun.
During intermission, Karla went to the restroom and saw Sister Mary Lavatory, then promptly chastised us for not warning her. :) Too funny. She asked me to request a copy of the set list from the sound dude, saying that I was more outgoing than her. OK, whatever, I had wine, so I didn't care. Howard, the sound board guy, was very nice and agreed to give the set list to Karla after the show.
During "Birdland," the electric guitarist's amplifier was REALLY loud and Howard tore his headphones off to prevent deafness. Poor guy. It hurt my ears & I didn't have headphones.
When Rockapella took the stage, Karla and I went all nutso and danced in our seats. Liz told us later that Howard was quite entertained by Karla and me throughout the Pella portion of the show. I live to entertain!
After "Tonight," Scott introduced "the Rockapella sound," describing the tenors "like little girl angels," then pointed out the cherubs in the Hall's decor.
You know, I just can't get over the fact that the Boston Pops was playing Scott's arrangement of "Here Comes the Sun"! I love the distinct chords anyway, and the orchestra just enhances them beautifully.
For "Shambala," I finally noticed that Jeff actually starts the beat, then the orchestra joins in. Thanks for pointing that out, Karla! After the song, Scott nodded at me. HI!!!
"People Change" was gorgissimo. My word. Fits.
During George's spiel, the tenors came over to our side of the stage to drink their water. George said to the audience, "I like singing with those girls," to which Kevin responded, "WHAT!?" and Scott did a spit-take. Karla & I laughed loudly at them and they looked over at us. Giggling, I mouthed to Scott, "Stop it!" and he said (into his microphone, no less) in geek voice, "Sorry." No, I didn't mean to have a conversation with Scott WHILE he was on stage. Oops! It just happens.
After "Papa," the guy at our table said, "It's amazing. They don't NEED instruments!" Yeah, those are my boys he is talking about. I love hearing people's comments from their first Rockapella experience. They make me remember that their talent is quite extraordinary. (I'm so spoiled that I sometimes think that anyone that can't sing a capella just has no talent. Crazy, I know).
"Dance With Me" starts all pretty with the strings before it gets funky. I keep forgetting that what's coming when I hear the intro. We had our own personal butt thing with Kevin -- how nice! George did a little somethin' somethin', too, so I guess the "one per show" theory isn't true.
During the matinee show, Scott had tried to do a hand fart during the percussion riffs of "And the Beat Goes On," however, no sound emanated from it. It worked during the evening performance, though, and he was quite proud. Boys are weird.
Scott talked about the fact that they do a variety of songs and said, "We do some songs that we made up, some songs like the ones tonight that other people made up. here's something that we made up." Self-consciously, he then joked, "My eloquence is very impressive." They sang "I'll Hear Your Voice" and I marveled at the Scott/violinist duet again. Liz has convinced me that I need the sheet music to the song, just for that duet.
To get the crowd going, Scott did some vocal percussion, then said to the audience, "Everybody!" Of course, he didn't get much of a hollerback, just laughter. He remarked, "Good!" He's funny. This time, he had the orchestra level chanting, "Do it!" and the balcony levels responding, "Do the Hustle." This arrangement worked better than the afternoon. We sounded good! During "Rock The Boat," I did as I told the girls earlier, and cheered "Be Aggressive! B-E Aggressive!" I'm nutso, I know. We had a cheerleader thing going on ever since the whole "Hollerback Girl" conversation, so I cheered during much of the weekend, to the amusement of my friends, and the horror of innocent bystanders. I think this is how I had the moxie to talk to the sound dude.
When they came back for the encore, Scott announced, "We'll be back in Boston in November if you want to see a regular Rockapella show. We'll miss these guys, but we'll try to carry on without 'em." They sang "Up On The Roof/Wonderful World," and then left the stage.
As I listened to the Boston Pops play "Stars and Stripes Forever," I thought of my alma mater's marching band and wished that I was watching them, as I always do when I hear that song. Howard the Sound Board Guy had left by this point, so I just went up and took it for Karla.
This time, I refused to miss the Meet & Greet, or forget my program. I decided that it would be more memorable for me to place Post-It notes in my program as to the reason that pages were needing signatures, as opposed to making the guys sign 3 pages of the same program.
I told Kevin that I was glad he was wearing his wedding ring for the evening show, because I hadn't see it in the afternoon. He explained that he left it by the sink again, and his wife, Amy, always give him a hard time about it. I just worry that he'll leave it in a hotel room one day and lose it.
I asked Scott about the score for their arrangements, and he said that Rockapella owns the music. I asked if I could just look at the violinist's duet with him and explained how I wished I was the one playing with him. He asked with a grin, "You mean you don't already have it memorized from seeing the show 3 times?" I said, "Well, I'm not YOU!" He laughed and said that he'd try to scan that portion to show me, and I said that I'd see him at the CA shows. I'm sure that he'll forget by then, but I appreciate the thought.
I asked John about the new baby and he talked about how much he misses being home with him. Awww..... I need to ask him if he has pictures next time. I didn't talk much to Jeff and George because they were talking to Karla & Liz. Liz was talking to Geo about the dance moves going much more smoothly now. I hope that one day she actually likes "Rock The Boat" without my encouragement. Liz talked to Jeff about his suit and that he should wear them more often, especially because he likes the look, too. You know, Liz doesn't usually talk to the guys this much, due to her shyness. I should make her drink wine at Pella shows more often. :)
I talked to Ross for a bit, and he pointed out that Jeff's and Scott's parents were in the Meet & Greet line. He also punched out various members of management. I told both Jeff's & Scott's parents that their sons were awesome. Scott's mom said, "Thanks! We think so, too."
I insisted that MJ take a picture with me, and hung out with Karla and Fred before we all decided to leave.
I took some pictures of the Hall and we took a taxi back to the hotel. We packed our bags, during which time my program fell out 3 times--WHY doesn't this program want to go home with me?! -- and allowed ourselves a couple of hours of sleep before waking to my phone alarm playing the theme of the weekend, "Stars and Stripes Forever."
Our flight was at 6:30 AM, so our goal was to leave the hotel at 4:00. Only problem was that we couldn't check out because the desk clerk had just run the day's computer data, and it would take awhile before it was ready. Liz didn't want all of us to miss our flight, so Karla and I took a taxi to the airport. It turns out that TSA didn't open the security gates until 5:00 anyway.
Liz called us just as we were going through security, to tell us that she was on the shuttle to the airport. YEA! She was going to make it!
Once we arrived in the jetblue terminal, Karla decided to get something to eat, since the restaurant hadn't opened yet. She was happy to get a cute bag with her food items. Liz arrived and, when Karla showed her the bag, Liz got up right away, saying, "I want a bag!" Too cute. So she got her bag, the restaurant finally opened so that they could get their breakfast sandwiches, and I took an antihistamine.
We got in line to board the plane and discussed the fact that people think we are doorways and always use us as a break in line, as they did when we left Long Beach. Just then, some guy walked toward us, clearly waiting to cut in line. I moved my leg, though, changing my stance to take up more room. He promptly went another way. Liz giggled at me, and I said, "Not this time, dude!
It's my routine to make sure that I read the safety instructions before the plane takes off. The drawings for jetblue have a lot of arrows, and can be a little confusing, especially for someone like me whom is drowsy from antihistamines. As I showed the gals the picture of the woman fastening the life vest on the child, I said something about what I thought was happening in the picture, and Karla interjected "...or she's having a romantic moment with a midget." Karla's funny. Sometime during the flight home, Liz nudged me. "Hollerback Girl" was playing on VH1! Now I now why V was interested in the song -- there's a marching band in the video. It played again later & I danced in my seat. That's a fun song.
When we arrived in Long Beach, we walked over to Baggage Claim to await our luggage. We got ourselves situated and just when the carousel started moving, some chick stood directly in front of Karla until she retrieved her bag. Must be that power of Invisibility again. Liz and I couldn't help but laugh. Wanda picked us up and took us back to Karla's, then we went our separate ways.
I toyed with the idea of going to Disneyland for the day, but wisely went home and took a nap. Thanks, everyone, for the great time. 7 more months until the next 'Pella show. Luckily, I'll have Drum Corps to tide me over.