I went to see the Roches in concert tonight at Royce Hall at UCLA. There was so much in such a short time. They are three sisters. I could have sworn that there was a guy or two in the group because what they do with vocals is magic. I first heard them on the movie Crossing Delancy way back in the 80's, so as I suspected, they are getting up there in age. The very first song was off the Christmas album that I know by heart..backwards. "We Three Kings" --this is a must have christmas album--it is so wonderful that it is probably illegal in some states. Anyway, of course it didn't sound precisely like the album and so I prepared myself for disappointment. There was a lovey dovey couple on one side of me and a big guy (too young for me, but awfully cute) on the other side. The lady dovey was a huge fan (my kind of person), but the awfully cute big guy was obviously not and he was crowding my seat. So I spent most of the first song asking myself what am I doing here. Then they surprised me by stopping midsong and seamlessly going into even better christmas carol off the album that sounded dead on perfect. I wanted to cry it was soo good.
Then they talked a little, did a little stick, did a very cute and silly song and I thought--I need to buy all of their albums--I must own every one. They were selling about four out front for $20 each and I have seen tons of their albums in stores (when I searched high and low for their christmas cd several years in a row), so as I had this thought I quelled it sternly. Enjoy the concert I told myself. Another christmas song that now sounds magical and I'm in heaven. Then a few that I never heard before and frankly won't miss. I'm glad I quelled that buy every album plan.
Suzz is the funny one--she had great timing. At one point she was explaining the back story to a song. She said (I'm roughly retelling in her voice) "we went around this place, humm, where was that?" Pause. "Oh yeah, Harvard. Asking people to tell us prayers. That's dangerous asking people their prayers, but thats what we did. We called it the Zero Church project and even that name is dangerous. It was the address of the place we were cutting the record. Anyway, there was this one prayer that we wanted to write in a song and well we have to have permission so we asked who wrote it and it was attributed to Mother Teresa, which is really funny, because we're friends." Laughter. Pause. "What, I'm really hard to make friends with." "Anyway, when we made the album we needed her permission, but she was already dead, so do you know Sister -------. I do. I wrote her and now she's my friend. Anyway, she said that Mother Teresa didn't write the prayer, but all our research on the internet showed that she did, so we went ahead and published the song. A few days after the song came out, we got a letter from an attorney. Mother Teresa didn't write the prayer--some guy who was at Harvard in the 60's wrote it and he wanted money." I guess you had to be there. The song was about when you are selfless, people will accuse you of having alterior motives, be selfless anyway. When you are good, bad things still happen to you, be good anyway. When you work hard to build something up, it only takes a moment for someone else to tear it down, work hard to build something up anyway. The tag line is, that it's not between you and them, it's between you and God and they don't matter anyway. It was really cool. I really should buy all their albums.
After about a half an hour in the seat, my back really started to hurt. That is unusual--I don't really get back aches. Then my legs hurt. That chair was really, really uncomfortable and the guy next to me was really crowding me. And yet, I kept thinking I should pinch myself to make sure this is real, because it was so cool to hear them sing and be able to clap as loud as I could so that they would hear how much I enjoy their music. Of course lovey dovey lady next to me clapped louder and called out bravo at the top of her lungs--she was pretty steap competition.
After intermission, they sang a really, really lovely song accapella. I want to cry just remembering it. I thought I must be about to die. If I am having this good of a time, I must about to die. What else could there be. Of course my back still hurt a lot and some of the songs were really weird. Terry told a few stories and they seemed to have no meaning, rhyme or reason to them. Nothings perfect.
We gave them a standing ovation at the end, but they didn't leave stage. They just picked up their guitars. Suzz said that they were too lazy to walk off and come back and we were really nice to applaud so much. She said that she went to see Yoyo Mon (how do you spell that) at Carnigie Hall and she was so moved and in love with the first song that she cryed. Three hours later she wanted to kill him. So she was aware of the time.
The grand finale was a rousing Silver Bells which they invited the audience to join and I did. It was so fun. Then I put the Christmas cd in for the ride home and sang until I got horse and then mouthed the words the rest of the way. They sing it just the way I would if I wasn't horse. I am so in heaven.