Life in Music inspired by Joe Henry

woensdag 18 april 2018

Grace, Lizz Wright & Brussels

Yesterday morning, the newspaper reported of a Gay-couple who have been attacked in the center of Brussels on Monday night.... I hope I didn't scare you away now, but I wanted to start with the knowledge that I'm not naive in it all. We live in a world we all have things we don't understand. A group of people don't want to open up for things they don't understand, and within that group there are people who want to aggressively scare away, the things they don't understand. A few months ago, there was a wave of organized vandalism in the city. It wasn't the first and it won't be the last reporting of such things. No, I'm not naive in it...

But on Monday evening I was in that same Brussels to go and see Lizz Wright perform. I saw a different reality. It was real because I witnessed it, so it's also reality. One that doesn't make it to the newspapers.

It started when I stepped off the train and found my way towards the exit. A refugee addressed me, like he probably tries to address as many people as he can to try to make his family make it through today (to start with). As a farewell he said: “Thank you for looking at me."
With that 1 sentence he explained the most important thing when we don't understand each other. Don't turn away, open up, listen and look at each other.

I had some time before the concert started, so I strolled through the center in that beautiful evening with spring in the air. I witnessed a community full of different people. Ethnical, religious, interests, .... But everyone enjoyed the evening together, made fun together, listened to music and performed together. 2 cyclists bumped in to each other and people cared, helped and comforted. There was no fear at all in the air. Those of you who have been following me a bit know that a couple of years ago I wrote with a different tone when I was here. Also, the center of Brussels is a huge construction site currently. The 4-lane street, that cut the center in 2 is being adjusted to walking space, with water and green elements in it. Small narrow stairs to the subway station are opened and widened. Big ugly, old, empty buildings are taken down, and suddenly beautiful places are connected again. Light is coming in.

It was a wonderful appetizer for Lizz Wright's concert. She presented us a concert of older songs, and songs from her latest album Grace. She opened with 'Barley', followed by an amazing rendition of Neil Young's 'old man'. The evening went from one fantastic experience to the other. What an amazing voice she has. And!... What a talented band accompanied her. Chris Bruce on Guitar, Bobby Sparks on the Keys, Nicholas D'Amato on Bass and Brannen Temple on Drums.
The only thing I missed were those wonderful backing vocals on songs like 'Grace' and 'Seems I'm never tired of loving you'. Wouldn't it be amazing if suddenly a curtain opened behind her, and an entire Gospel Choir was there? The place would have exploded!  A well filled Ancienne Belgique embraced her and the band, and had the most wonderful evening. Several people tried to take that feel home with them on their smartphone, but we all know that is impossible. What we did all hoped for as being possible was that the concert lasted longer. But hey,... the time spent can't be taken away.

What more can I say, then the honest fact that I hope everyone can witness such an evening,


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