Sunday was the big concert day, at Jones Beach. We went early and walked the boardwalk, played a game of mini-golf, had a snack (that ran us $26 big ones), and sat on the beach for about 45 minutes, listening to sound checks at the arena. Jones Beach was built on a barrier island, which means it suffers from erosion...why, oh why, build a major tourist attraction on a barrier island?
The well-known landmark watertower:
The pristine white beaches:
The pounding surf:
The arena at the east end of the beach:
And just an incredible view of the sun's rays peeking through the clouds:
Now, me being me, I couldn't find my camera bag with the awesome telephoto lens that I wanted to use for some cool close-up shots of the acts. So I had to rely on the 2 or 3X magnification on the camera itself, which never gives me what I want. But that's the way it is. You make do with what you have. I haven't touched up a single photo; what you see is what I shot (click on the photos to enlarge for better viewing).
Imagine sitting at an outdoor arena on a gorgeous day. Mid 70's, not too hot or humid, cool breeze, blue skies. It's set physically so that by the time an evening concert begins, the sun has retreated behind the stands, so you get a great view with no setting sun in your eyes.
So, the line up..........................................................
First, the emcee was Carson Kressley. Can I just say that the dude is major funny. I mean really. Plus, this was the second show of the tour and they hadn't worked all the kinks out yet, so he had to keep entertaining while they worked on equipment between acts. He was cool as a cucumber. Suffice it to say, I liked him a lot.
First act, Mary McBride. Good, but not enough of a crowd for people to really get into it. The curse of the first act(s) at a concert in New York -- no audience. She played for about 15-20 minutes.
Next, Kat Deluna. The rugrat perked up considerably at this. I didn't know she was going to be here! Unfortunately, she only did two songs, but rugrat says she really only has two major hits right now, as she's new on the scene.
From latina music to something a bit heavier -- the Cliks. I don't think rugrat liked them much, but I did.
Carson's costume change:
The Indigo Girls. Now of course I didn't expect rugrat to like them, and I wasn't surprised when she didn't. They are not her cup of tea. They are mine, though. I like three things about the indigo girls:
1. The incredible harmonies
2. The meaningful lyrics
3. No hoopla on stage -- you get live what you get on the cd's...them
Intermission. Time for a bathroom break. Dusk filters in as the sun sets.
Then Cyndi herself comes out to talk to us about the purpose of the tour. Making our voices heard, and doing it through advocacy and VOTING! She's not gonna tell us who to vote for, she just wants us to vote.
Then she personally introduces Rosie O'Donnell. Rosie was just OK, but nothing really to write home about. In fact, rugrat and I both thought Carson was much funnier. Much. Funnier.
Next up, the B-52s. Rugrat liked them a lot (she sounded really surprised with herself for that), and recognized several of their songs. They were as awesome as I remember, and they had the whole audience up and dancing. Except for rugrat and I, of course. Because she wouldn't have been able to live it down if I'd publicly humiliated her by getting up and dancing.
Another Carson costume change; check out those pants (pun fully intended):
And then the star, Cyndi Lauper. Now I'll be honest here. I'd always thought of Lauper as bubble gum pop, which was not my style back when, so except for listening to her hits on the radio, I was never too into her.
BUT...after seeing her this weekend, let me tell you -- the girl can ROCK! I was amazed, loved her, and will not only be looking for a compilation of her old hits, but will be picking up her newest release as well.
She started off in the statue of liberty's torch:
Was all over the stage:
Literally out in the audience, not once but twice:
The lead singer from the Cliks joined her on stage:
Then the entire line-up came out on stage to sing Sly & the Family Stone's Everyday People:
And then the ensemble did True Colors:
And then Rosie ruined the ending. The urging people to get out and vote was completely and deliberately nonpartisan throughout the concert and intended to be so. But Rosie's parting word at the very end of the feel-good moment was something about not voting for McCain, or making sure he didn't win, something to that effect.
Several of the ensemble called her on it right there, including Cyndi, and she apologized, but in that I'm not really sorry kind of apologetic way. She's welcome to her opinion, but that particular venue just wasn't the right time or place to spout it. It left a sour note for the concert to end on.
That aside, the day and evening were memorable. Thanks, rugrat number one, for the christmas tickets!