June 3, 2009

Barbarians at the Ticket Office Gates

I know what it is to withstand barbaric crowd behavior at a concert. I have been jostled in Motörhead’s mosh pits. I got a huge wad of gum stuck to my shoe at a Frank Zappa show. And I was once politely heckled at a Black Flag performance. (Apparently, wearing a Hawaiian shirt to a punk-rock event is outré. Who knew?)

But nothing I’d seen prepared me for last night’s Oregon Symphony Orchestra performance with Pink Martini.

A half-dozen flamboyant women of a certain age sat behind us. Their attitudes were brash, their voices, fortissimo.

“Do you remember the last show we saw here?” declaimed one.

Tom Jones!” responded the Greek chorus. “He was fabulous!”

As their remembrances turned to Welsh virility and underwear flung on stage, I sank into my chair and my soul sank within me.

(But I got better!)

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