Yamaha Dealer show – NAMM show 08
Disney’s California Adventure
So, as I ran around with Racket’s new Techno-Guru, Patrick, getting massive amounts of free shit, he asks me if I was going to the Yamaha Dealer show after NAMM. I had no idea what he was talking about, so we headed over to Yamaha’s massive display and I haggled my way into a pair of tickets. Now, the show was not one I was particularly stoked about, but I was stoked about carpooling, so I went. Jon Anderson of Yes started the night off with, you know, Yes songs. But with some huge backing band, complete with violins, trumpets, trombones, and three chicks off to the side doing backup vocals. Pretty epic, yea? Just you fucking wait.
Hosted by a far-funnier-than-normal Craig Ferguson, the night was pretty packed with humor, tunes and lots of Japanese dudes in suits. There were turns by the singer of the Fray, singing the mopey songs they’re known for, some dude named Gabe Dixon, who I could care less about, Sarah Bareilles, the one chick on the bill, also, not bad looking at all. I think the night was particularly kicked off when Jamie Collum came out. This dude looked like a scene girl’s dreamboat. Shaggy hair carefully disheveled, sport coat and jeans and a British accent. Obviously, I was blown away when he was actually, gasp, pretty rockin’. A showman through and through, the dude stood on a piano, drank wine out of a water bottle on stage, and then cursed at himself when he realized he got footprints on the very elegant Yamaha Grand Piano he had just danced on.
This led to the supposed headliner, John Legend. I’ve seen Mr. Legend before, and can only aspire to write such panty-soaking tunes. This guy is as slick as an oil coated Slip N Slide, and makes the girls the same way. “Ordinary People” sounds far more intense with the aforementioned gigantor backing band. Now, halfway through what I assumed would be one of his last tunes, I late Patrick know that I was going to go piss on Disneyland and would meet him outside. As I went to the restrooms, which were actually located around the corner from the theatre, I was asked by some goofy kid in an even more goofy theatre outfit holding out a re-admit ticket if I was coming back. Assuming that John Legend was the headliner, I told him I didn’t think I was coming back for another three minutes. He asked me, while leaning in, “Do you know who the special guest is?!”
Now, when you lean in when you ask a question, it’s generally because the answer is too awesome to stand straight and say. I then leaned in and asked “Who’s the special guest?” Another lean, “Stevie Wonder.” “Give me the fucking ticket.” At this point, I took the little re-admit ticket right out of his little goofy fuck hand. Now I am running to the bathroom, already unbuckling my belt, and texting Patrick to not leave our sixth row fucking seats. As I am running back, re-buckling my belt mid trip to save time, Patrick texts me that Legend is finishing his set. I get back into my seat just in time to see…Craig Ferguson wasting time as they switch out one grand piano for…an identical grand piano, as well as a couple synthesizers, all Yamaha, of course.
Finally, Stevie Wonder is led out, and literally sits down, feels where the keyboards are and immediately starts rocking the fuck out. If anyone wants to tell me that Stevie Fucking Wonder isn’t one of the most talented artists alive, I will gladly punch you in the jaw. This man was amazing. Now, never in my life would I assume I would ever be able to see Stevie Wonder. I could never imagine seeing him, let alone for fucking free! Now, halfway through Superstitious, we looked at each other and realized that while we were in the sixth row, we could easily be next to the stage, in front of the front row. We abandoned our material possessions and booked it to the stage, where we rocked out for the remainder of the show. Superstitious, Sir Duke and Signed Sealed Delivered were a few of the greats played by the great himself. Everyone else on the bill, except for a blissfully absent Jon Anderson came out to rock the final tune. Fuck yea. Now, it was only about 30-45 minutes long, which is the only negative aspect of the entire thing. Fucking solid. Thanks, Yamaha.