Friday night, mr b, our nephew, and I went to see Buddy Guy. Back in the fall, as soon as we heard he was coming, we knew we had to go. I mean, he’s not getting any younger and we didn’t want to miss a chance to see this blues legend in person. Years ago, on a trip to Chicago, mr b and I went to his club, Legends to see Tommy Castro. When we got there, the bouncer stopped us at the door – they were full. There were a couple of people in front of us, who left after a few minutes, so we were the first in line and a few people came up behind us. After we stood there for about 15 minutes, waiting for someone to leave so we could go in, a limousine pulled up out front. And who stepped out but Buddy Guy himself! We said hi to him (the people behind us didn’t say a word – I don’t think they even knew who he was), and he asked what we doing standing around outside. We told him we were waiting to get in and he turned to the bouncer and said, “Let these people in.” We followed him in and shook his hand and he headed backstage. And then we both acted like little girls at an Andy Gibb concert in 1978 (OK, like me at an Andy Gibb concert in 1978). Because seriously? Buddy Guy! Squee!
That night, he did a quick walk-on with Tommy Castro, but it was nothing like really seeing Buddy Guy perform. And we swore if we ever got a chance, we would take it. So when we heard he was coming, I jumped online right away and got us some pretty awesome seats – only 9 rows back, on the end of the aisle. Now I have been to a lot of concerts, but let me tell you, this was one of my the best I have ever seen. He came out and blew us away. He is soft-spoken and kind. He was funny and engaging. And he can play the fuck out a guitar.
He plays with his entire body. His face shows every emotion of every song. He played with three different electric guitars and one acoustic, and each one was better than the last. He played his own stuff, peppered with old blues like Muddy Waters. He played a medley of music through the years who he claims inspires him, but many of those artists have said that Buddy Guy inspires them Artists like the Stones, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix. He made the guitar speak and sing and scream and do things you never knew a guitar could do.
A little more than an hour into the show, he came over to our side of the stage and I thought Awesome – better photos. But then he did something odd. He took a step down. And then another. And then, OMG, he started walking up aisle! I wasn’t sure if I should,. Be taking photos, but I used the approximately eleventy-thousand other cameras going off around me as my moral compass. He was singing to people and joking with them all the while still practically setting his guitar on fire. And before I knew it, Holy Shitballs, Buggy Guy is standing RIGHT NEXT TO ME!!!!
This was truly the most incredible thing I have seen a performer do at a concert. He went all the up the aisle, climbed on some sound equipment in back, out into the lobby, up the stairs, all over the balcony, came to the edge of the balcony and leaned over the edge, back through the aisles upstairs into the side “boxes” or whatever they are called, down those stairs and back onto the stage. It was like a giant game of Where’s Buddy, set to the most awesome fucking music, ever. As he finished up his final song, he spent time shaking hands and handing out picks and signing autographs from the stage. I tried to get my poster signed, but just as I was in reach some asshole shoved me out of his way and stepped on my foot hard enough to knock my toe ring clean off. I hope he shit his pants on the way home.