Sherry's Rockapella Trip Report

May 13, 2003

Chabot College in Hayward, CA

Angela & I took separate flights to Oakland, but landed at about the same time. Turns out that Karla somehow convinced Liz to take one of her extra tickets, so Ang saw them at the Long Beach airport. Actually, Liz was still deciding at that time. They were staying at a different hotel, though.

I've decided that the Enterprise rental people are very helpful, showing the features of the car, including providing radio stations. This day, though, they were TOO helpful. Lady, we're in a bit of a rush, if you don't mind. So if you know that you'll be short on time, don't risk it, OK? OK. No, we actually didn't need to do any shopping this time, nor did we get lost! Oh, I had a little trouble getting out of the actual airport, but that's not the same thing.

We arrived at the Chabot College campus, and had quite the time trying to figure out how to pay for parking, if we needed to pay for parking, and whether or not we were in the correct lot. We then followed a group of people, figuring they knew where they were going, and hoping that they were going to the same place.

Jeff & Wendy were there. So were Liz & Karla. I had bought my ticket at a later date, so my seat was separate. Karla, however, still had another extra ticket, and I got to sit with the rest of the gals in front! Cool!

The concert was a benefit for the choir. The benefit thank you's were never-ending. The speeches caused all of us outsiders to think, "What happened?" They seemed really devastated about whatever it was, and we never did find out, because I guess the presenters figured that we all knew. The stage lighting made a strange shaped background, which felt like a Rorschach test. Is it a shrimp, a lion, a bird, or a dragon?

Rockapella opened with "House of the Rising Sun." George waited before getting on stage. Was he making a grand entrance or something? During the intros, Scott introduced himself as MC Hammer. Whilst singing "moments of You," Scott smiled at me and said "Hi." Yes, in the middle of his verse! They then sang "Here Comes the Sun."

El's pink shirt was distracting me, because the background was also pink. Too much. Lighting people, please look at what the performers are wearing!

They've got some new arm choreography going on for "Dancin' in the Streets." Kev mistakenly said "Oakland" for the current city. El said "Chabot Shalom." Kevin apologized for saying "Oakland," interrupting El's ramble. Kev wanted "to get it out of the way, so they'd like [him] again." Back to El, whom announced that it was ('Pella uber-fan) Stacey's birthday. (Happy Birthday, Stacey!) He also talked about his new little boy, Jules. He said that Jules "pukes a lot, but it's really awesome." A midwife "officiated" over the birth, which was actually at home, in their bathtub. During "No Doubt At All," El looked over at us when he sang the word "obstetricious." He knows I love that, as I'm sure a lot of people do.

They sang "Use Me," on which Scott punctuated a rest with a big gasp. George was melting me. Jeff now has some solo time to show off the whole singing-and-VP-at-the-same-time thing.

Apparently, Scott's gasp was due to his need for water. Kevin started to speak to the audience, saying "Aye Aye" ... then he saw that Scott was back and said to him, "Did you have enough agua?" Scott said, "Yes, but I wanted a cozy little story." So Kev said, "Once upon a time, dingly, dingly doo" for you Monty Python fans out there. This somehow led him to sing "A Change In My Life."

Scott asked Kevin if he was going to the last night of "Les Miserables," to which all the former cast members had been invited (Kev played Marius). Kevin wasn't sure, but he did get the invitation.

They sang "Have Faith." Kevin got all soulful with his dancing. Then came Folger's & "Let's Get Away." For the intro to "Long Cool Woman," Jeff held up 3 fingers instead of 4. Apparently, Jeff is either a cartoon character or a muppet.

While Kev walked around to look for the Pretty Woman, he saw Fred and thanked him for his work. Awww... Kev hen chose 17-year-old Hayley to be "My Girl / Pretty Woman." During "My Girl," the other guys do some Temptations-like dancing. Nice touch. Kev told Hayley that if she had her own group, she could call it "Hayley & the Comets." She had a nice voice, and sang "Stand By Me." Then Kevin mentioned her toe ring. Karla and I were not happy that they were repeating the shtick from my and her PW nights. Sorry, Hayley. That's how I am ... even though Scott said that Hayley is "The next California Idol ... Dawg!" That just doesn't sound right coming from him.

They then sang "People Change." I was very happy because I wanted to hear this song. It's been awhile for me since I last heard it live.

Scott talked about Barry "having large testosteroneal jumping thingies." I'm really hoping that he was talking about Barry's pecs. He then introduced George, whom, yes, did "Papa was a Rolling Stone"! I went insane. Melt me, honey! That song is just perfect for him.

During Carmen, there was a cool rhythm section thing going on with George and Jeff prior to Jeff's solo. You know, it never ceases to amaze me when Jeff does new stuff.

Their first encore began with "Up On The Roof / Wonderful World." The baby sitting in back of us decided THIS, the quietest moment of the concert, was the time to cry. The guys even paused for the crying before coming back in at one point. The father was really embarrassed. I was just annoyed that they didn't take the baby out of the theater immediately, but I understand. You think they're going to stop crying, but they don't.

They then sang "Dance With Me," then Zombie. El almost tripped during his 180-degree turn. He smiled at us, and then cracked up again at the end. El, were we distracting you? They ended with "Keep On Smilin'."

After the show, we were waiting in the lobby for the line to die down. The venue people said that if we weren't in line, we had to leave in order to clear the place. Phil walked up to us and basically told us to defy authority and use his name. he forgot my name again, though...even when we gave huge hints like "rhymes with Barry... a kind of drink / wine..."

El left right away to catch his red eye, so we didn't get a chance to talk to him.

I told Scott that I like his hair. I also told George that I like the braids, which are for his brother's wedding in September. I told him that I would be in Orlando this summer, and we'd try to see him perform a Universal Studios if we had time. (At that time, he was doing the Monster Show on Sunday through Wednesday. We didn't have time to see him when we were in Orlando, though).

Kev said that he was excited about the Les Miz last show, and was re-learning the lyrics in order to sing along.

I said hi to Jeff and he said, "You look good in white!" which made me blush ... and now I shop for cute white clothes! I told him that I liked the new stuff in his solo. He said that he's just doing whatever comes. I responded, "DAMN!" and he mirrored me with a "Yeah, girl!"

After the official meet and greet was over, we were still socializing with each other. Scott came over to talk some more. I took a pic with him, and told him about my promotion. He said that Jesse was going to be out of school for the summer soon, and was going to take him to Japan but it was too scary for Natalie to go with the whole SARS thing. Liz and I advised him that he needs to do a cover of a Stevie Wonder song, but Scott doesn't feel that he's worthy yet. That's some love he's got for Stevie. He said that he also doesn't feel worthy of a greatest hits compilation, as the record company suggested. He said, "It would have to be an EP of Folger's." We talked about some possibilities for a Stevie Wonder cover, like "As" and "Ebony Eyes." Scott said that George is really opening up the group to a wider range now, with the "Papa" sound. I told him that yes, with that sound and his skills, he is worthy of the Stevie cover. He got taken away by some other fans at that point.

So then, Kevin came over and I told him that I liked his shirt. It was a kind of velvety-burnout design, "like drapes!" He let me touch his sleeves. Sigh. I told him about the Sushi karaoke bar near our hotel.

The lights got turned off at this point, so we all (including Pella) took the hint and left.

Wow--that was some nice conversation time with them, though. Thanks, guys.

--Sherry

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