Tag Archives: Solo guitar performance

I Have a Side Eye with “Side Eye”👀

Written by Bria Thurman

I lost the ticket maybe 20 minutes after receiving it from Dr.Collins.

My first live musical performance……was……

confusing.

September 6th, 2019 – my 18th birthday- I went to the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts to watch Pat Metheny Side-Eye featuring James Francies and Marcus Gilmore. I have never been very particularly fond of Jazz music. I do have a soft spot for the likes of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Louis Armstrong though. On a slow Saturday morning, there is a good chance I am listening to them or Nina Simone whose music has been extremely impactful to my life. Their music has an important place in my heart and in my growth as a musician. On this particular evening, I did not feel any impact, I thought Metheny’s performance was okay. I went in expecting something interesting and new and I left with… well…. a side-eye. I just expected more and wanted more. I feel like all of the songs he played did not leave me satisfied as I feel music is suppose to. The performance was not really a performance and he did not really engage the audience. I was not expecting him to sing or to have rave-like flashing lights. I expected a professional performance and I feel it was more professional than performance.

I loved everything about this stage. It set the tone of comfort and intimacy with the audience.

When I went into the Tryon Festival Theatre I saw an interesting setup and I wanted an explanation for what I saw. The longer I sat looking at the stage the more anticipation I felt. When I looked around at the audience I saw a lot of older men in jeans and black turtlenecks and automatically thought, Steve Jobs must have been a fan. When the concert began Pat Metheny came out on stage and spoke and introduced the audience to James Francies and Marcus Gilmore who played the keyboard and the drums. I thought together their performances did not blend well but when they had their moments to shine in their solos, Metheny included, it allowed the audience to really see their full artistry. All three of them were kind of a weird mix that needed to be better developed.

About an hour and a half in, Methany began to perform solo and that was when I started to spark an interest in the show. The way he played reminded me of the feeling of playing an instrument in a childhood bedroom. That was the moment that felt the most passionate. Throughout the performance I felt the crowd was a little overzealous, clapping every 2 minutes at moments I wasn’t sure was the beginning or end of a song. However, when Methany performed by himself, that was the moment that was most redeemable and deserving of praise in terms of my expectations that may or may not be valid as a non-jazz fan. As he was demonstrating his skill and stature he brought out a 42 string guitar, that as a young guitarist, made me anxious. While writing this I read a little about the types of guitars he played and this was one that was made especially for him. It was very interesting to see an instrument that looked unplayable being played.

Unfortunately, due to prior engagements, I was unable to fully enjoy the festival. At the next festival, I hope to go to a couple of performances.

Overall, I probably won’t go to another Pat Methany performance again. I am not really sure what I heard throughout a great portion of the performance. For a moment, I felt like I was in an elevator and became mindless, just waiting to get off. If this music was Jazz, I am not sure where Billie Holiday would stand within the mix. The most surprising part was how attached he was to the chord progressions. As someone who wants to become a better guitarist, my greatest takeaway was that it was kind of educational. However as a music lover, I am not really sure this performance was geared toward listeners like me. If he would have engaged a little more with the audience I think I would have enjoyed myself somewhat. I kept waiting for more and never got it. 🤔

Reference

https://www.guitarplayer.com/players/pat-metheny-plays-the-four-necked-42-string-pikasso-guitar-video

http://www.patmetheny.com/bio/

Amazing experience

Written by Sihan Wang

Last night, at the Krannert Center for Performing Arts, the famous guitarist Marcus Tardelli held a solo performance. The moment I entered the hall, I realize that this is the place that we visited two weeks ago, with the ghost light, but right now it’s full of people.

Between the third and the fourth piece, I especially noticed the way he plays that guitar, I feel like although he talks to the audience from time to time, he wasn’t playing for us, he wasn’t playing for anyone else in that Hall except for himself, the way he focused on every single note, the way he enjoyed the music came from the string and the wood. He was just like falling in his music. I think back to myself while I was practicing piano at home, I wasn’t as enjoying the music came from my hand through the wood as he does. While playing a sad part he was frowning, while playing a cheerful part he was shaking his head with the music and smiling.

During the concert, there were people coughs, and making noises that were very loud, it was so quiet that you can almost hear every sound that didn’t come from the guitar. I was first annoyed by all the noise that made by the audience, but later I thought to myself, the noise and music are all sound, why do we typically enjoying the music so much but not the noise? Then I realized that it’s not the difference in sound that makes us feel pleasure or annoying, it’s how we perceived it that makes the difference. Since they are all just different sounds, why don’t I just enjoy this randomness?

Being physically in a concert listening to music is a lot different than listening to the music at home, when we listen to the music at home we choose what we want to listen, whereas in a concert we listen to what the performer presents to us. Sometimes at home when I listen to a song and if I don’t like it I might just cut it or change the song within the first ten seconds, but in a concert, I don’t have such a power, I was forced to finish every single piece whether or not I like it. But the amazing part is that for every piece, even I don’t like it at the beginning, as I kept listening, I find my own enjoyment. For a sad song, I imagine someone just breaks up with his loved one, in the fifth piece I see children playing around the beach, full of smiles and sunshine. I almost remembered all the feelings that I have toward different pieces, which is an amazing experience.

In the end, all of the audience seems really enjoying his performance, and he exits the stage in thunderous applause.

Wait that’s not the end yet, he actually came back and gave us another joyful and fast piece before he exits the stage again in thunderous applause.