Friday, February 10, 2012

A Tribute to Motown at Carnegie Hall

Last night Eric and I crossed one of the few remaining items off our NYC To-Do List: "see a show at Carnegie Hall." Let me tell you, we have rocked that To-Do List. The only things left remaining on it are to see as many Broadway shows as possible (which is clearly in progress from now until we leave NYC), and to visit the Guggenheim and the Met. Yes, we're slacking on our museum attendance. Shameful. I'm hoping we'll get to at least one of those in the next seven weeks before the baby comes (!!!!!!!!!) but frankly, I'm just not feeling very museum-y lately, given that I'm tired and my feet hurt and my back hurts and waaaaah, other general whining. But we'll try to make it happen! When the day comes for us to leave New York, I will not leave with any regrets! Mark my words!

Anyway, back to Carnegie Hall. Yesterday morning I saw on Twitter that there was going to be a "Tribute to the Music of Motown" concert at Carnegie Hall that evening, and tickets were still available in the balcony for rather cheap. Eric also thought it sounded like a good show, so he ran out and got us tickets during the day and ta-da! A date night was born. And we were Carnegie-bound!

Carnegie Hall

We were a little rushed in getting to the show, thanks to some baby-related errands, a quick dinner, and a bathroom search (again, see above about a baby coming in seven weeks, and it all makes sense). But, we made it alllllll the way up to our super-high balcony seats just as the lights were dimmed for the start of the show.

Let me tell you, those are some close quarters up there in the balcony. I have no idea if the rest of the seats in Carnegie Hall are like that, but those seats in the balcony were the most cramped we have been in any venue in New York City. The leg room? Oh yeah, there wasn't any. You couldn't even bend your knee at a right angle and put your feet flat on the floor, because there wasn't room - your feet would hit the seat in front of you. You had to keep your feet tucked back under your seat or twisted at weird angles to even be able to sit. It was crazy uncomfortable. But, the rest of the venue was nice - about what I expected!

Looking down at the stage from the balcony

The concert itself was great. It was hosted by CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien, and directed by Ray Chew. They had an orchestra onstage, and a variety of artists took turns singing Motown hits. The artists included Boyz II Men, Dionne Warwick, Paul Shaffer, Martha Reeves (of Martha and the Vandellas), Bebe Winans, Melba Moore, Kindred the Family Soul, Anita Baker, Dennis Edwards (of The Temptations) and American Idol contestant Stefano Langone. Miss USA and Miss Universe also made an appearance to introduce a song.

My favorite number was the first medley that Boyz II Men performed, covering the Four Tops - they were so energetic and fun to watch! They were dancing all over the place and really getting into it, which of course brought the crowd into it, too. Actually, the crowd was into it throughout the entire show - singing along, dancing in their seats, etc. They also did a quick experiment to show how you can recognize a classic Motown hit by just the first few notes of a song. The musicians would play the first few notes of songs like "My Girl" or "Let's Get It On," and instantly the audience broke into song. It was really fun!

You can't really see her, but Dionne Warwick is on stage!

They're crazy washed-out (iPhone photos, my apologies), but Boyz II Men is dancing around down there!

I'm so glad we found such a fun show to help us cross this item off our NYC To-Do List!


Lauren @ A modern day wife's journey said...

You had me at Boyz II Men!!! Seriously I want to go to all the awesome shows & concerts you two get to attend :-)

Jessica said...

OK...I've even been to the Met! We were going to the Guggenheim but went to MoMA instead. But you're still the coolest people I know!!!

Molly said...

This looks awesome!! What a great show to see! I can't believe you only have so few things left on your New York list. That's incredible.

Meghan said...

Boyz II Men??? Oh my gosh! It sounds like an amazing night!