• End of an EAR-a

           

    Last night Steve and I went to one of our favorite venues -- Kresge Auditorium at Interlochen -- to hear blues artist Buddy Guy. Since Steve and I started dating in 1995 we have seen anywhere from two to six shows each summer at Kresge. I fear this will be the last.
           From the first note of the opening act -- Jonny Lang -- I knew the sound system was set painfully loud. With my fingers in my ears it was tolerable, but Steve was uncomfortable so I suggested we wait outside until after the intermission. Many others had made the same choice. It was just too loud to stay in the theater. Even outside the theater the music was loud. Only one song in the set was at a moderate level so you could actually enjoy the music.
           As we reentered the theater after intermission the ushers offered us ear plugs, which many of the audience members were taking. Funny, my definition of good music doesn't include ear plugs. But without them I wouldn't have been able to withstand 5 minutes of Buddy Guy. The whole place vibrated the way the windows do in the house when some teenager with too much bass on his stereo drives by. It was tiring and detracted from Guy's otherwise entertaining performance.
             If we had selected a rock concert, I might have expected to need ear plugs. But the blues are meant to be intimate, smooth and soulful. Not ear splitting. I went to bed at midnight and woke up four hours later with my ears throbbing. I had to put on an ice pack.
             We had been looking forward to this evening. We spent the afternoon playing Buddy Guy and Jonny Lang videos on You Tube. It was much more enjoyable than the performance we paid $100 to see. From now on, I will save my money. Buy a CD and donate the rest to charity.

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