Saturday, July 31, 2010

Marley in the garden

Last night we took in a Bob Marley tribute band at the Botanical Gardens in Fort Wayne. What a great way to spend the evening. It was part of the Botanical Roots Concert Series, and Jus Marley was probably one of the best bands I have seen in awhile. Not just good at covering Bob's music, but great performers in their own right. They just came out and played music, with very little chit-chat and no breaks. It made it all the better to see them in such a scenic locale too (this was our first concert at the gardens).

We started the evening off with supper, and then debated whether to go see the Eagles tribute band or the Marley tribute band. I chose the latter because they didn't start until 8:30, and it was already 8:20 and we were on the outskirts of town (the Eagles band started at 8). So we headed downtown and I found a spot along the street to park. It wasn't an actual parking spot but it was close to the entrance, so I just hoped we didn't get towed.

The last time I had been to the Botanical Gardens was to do a wedding a couple of years ago. We went inside and paid our $6 apiece and wandered back through the beauty to the neat stage area out back. I didn't know it was right across the street from the hotel and parking garage for Parkview Field (home of the Tincaps). The opening band was playing, and we noticed right away that the crowd was fairly diverse. There were business people, a few older people, some skinny-jeaned youngsters, but the bulk of the crowd appeared to be current or former hippies of some sort. Lots of mellow folk.

Jane stopped in the restroom on the way in and said one of the singers for Jus Marley was in there putting her makeup on. Someone asked the singer if she was from Jamaica and she said she was actually from Indianapolis (or somewhere like that). The singer said the lead singer/guitarist was from Trinidad. The inquiring lady wanted to know where that was, and the singer said she had no idea. :)

At any rate, Adrian Bartholomew may not be from Jamaica, and he may not be Bob Marley, but his long, long dreadlocks, accent, and musical skills will leave you with no worries nonetheless. He didn't miss a beat the entire night - even playing right through the fireworks following the Tincaps game. He turned "last call" into a song, and rather made the entire evening a jammin' good time. Towards the end he had all the kids join them on stage to dance, and I thought that was a nice touch. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire show.

We started out the evening leaning up against the wall at the bottom of the stairs leading into the garden area. The flowers were a bit too odiferous for me, so we wandered towards the back. We settled into a spot behind the beer tent, right alongside the fountain pond. This was a nice out of the way spot to watch the crowd and just relax. And when we closed our eyes it almost seemed like being oceanside, with the fountain substituting for the waves. It was kind of neat watching people grooving about, and dancing in the beer line... and, actually, the nice thing about Reggae music is that you can even dance in your seat. At one point we decided to take a walk about, and we noticed a lot of chairs empty. I thought that odd that so many people would have left, but then we realized they were all up front dancing in front of the stage. So we moved up and joined in the fun. It's hard not to be put in a good music when the rasta sounds are pounding. It really is the perfect music for revolutionaries (albeit, revolutionaries of love). Even in the drizzle earlier in the evening, no one seemed to care.

On a side note... at one point Jane was mentioning how this was the music she remembered most from when we first started dating (Bob Marley and Neil Young, actually). I was even surprised that she said these were some of her favorite songs. Then, just as she said that, they started playing the song "Exodus"... and I knew it from the first chord. It is one of my favorite songs. Which is even more interesting when you consider that son Isaac is living in the "Exodus House." :)

Anyway, this was a grand evening. I hadn't been that happy and relaxed in a long time. All in the middle of a garden in the center of the city. We walked out with the two backup singers - telling them what an excellent job they did - and I was relieved to find that our car had not been towed. However, as we started south for home I finally remembered that we needed to go pick up the other car on the west side of town (I had left it there because Jane was working late at some kind of display thing at coventry village). So we tooled around and headed west before finally arriving home around midnight. A good night. Mostly because of Jus Marley.

Peace out; and in.