Lenny Kravitz is one of those artists who I think I should really like, but was not sure if I even knew his music. So, while I was ambiguous if I should buy tickets to his concert, I certainly was not going to turn down free tickets. I happened to be on twitter for work-related reasons and saw a tweet at the top of my feed saying if you wanted to see Lenny Kravitz reach out to someone at Philadelphia Weekly. Knowing I never win anything, I emailed and imagine my surprise when I got a call saying I had won (thank you, Sheena!). The way I gushed you would have thought it was Lenny himself inviting me to be his special guest. Anyway, the decision was made for me- I was going to see Lenny.
My good friend Chris is moving away soon, so she was the perfect companion for this musical journey. We met at the box office and were there in plenty of time to catch the opening act, Andra Day. There are two types of mindsets in relation to opening acts, either you get there in time or show up just for the main act. Me, I like an opening act. It is usually someone I never heard of and always a crapshoot. Sometimes you win and sometimes your ears bleed. But, hey, it’s music. Let’s just say, we totally scored with Andra Day. This beautiful, young, articulate woman dressed in a 1902s pin-up girls style compete with mink (hoping, faux) stole struts on stage and blows us away from the get go. We thought we were listening to the reincarnation of Amy Winehouse but with better vocals, more stage presence and confidence. We were mesmerized and we did not know one of her songs. So, imagine our complete delight when she not only did a cover of a Bob Marley song, but reinterpreted Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.” Are you kidding me? Two very different styles and she completely killed both. The set ended way too soon and I was off to buy her album at the merch table. Andra. Day. Go. See. Her.
During intermission, we grabbed a beer and started plotting how to move closer. While we were not the least bit ungrateful about the free tickets (thank you again, Sheena!), we did want to get a bit closer. Without boring anyone of the details, though it did include dropping a staff person’s name only to retract it because we thought she would actually be called to the front and she scared us a bit, we were seated in the first orchestra section. Lenny comes on and the crowd goes wild, literally wild.
Lenny Kravitz is a rocker. He is soulful, sexual and can completely shred his way through any song on any instrument. He started and did not stop for 2+ hours. He teased, coaxed and demanded his songs through his instruments. He made one of the tightest bands I have seen in awhile get better as the show progressed. He let his bandmates shine and listened in awe to their solos. His lady drummer was killer, just killer. I was exhausted within 20 minutes. Giddy up, man, giddy up! At one point during his song “Sister,” he saw a woman in the audience become overwhelmed with emotion. What’s a rock star to do when that happens? Well, leave the stage of course and comfort her. Wait, what? As Chris pointed out, his style was relational and somehow he can connect with people one on one in a crowd of thousands. It was inspiring.
Man, that was a great way to start a week. As I drove Chris to her car, we reflected on our long and beautiful musical friendship. While this may be the end of this musical chapter, we both know there is music to be heard and better seats to upgrade to in the future. Giddy up, my BFFMB, giddy up.
32 shows to go, 275 days left…