Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Sacred Space

Mr. and Mrs. RSR attended the Eric Clapton concert at Kemper Arena last night. Clapton played for nearly two-and-a-half hours before a sold-out crowd, and that explains why we're a little slow getting started this morning.

Now that we've entered our dotage, the RSRs don't get to as many concerts as we once did. So it was interesting to see what had changed.

Last night's demographic sported fewer tattoos and body piercings than I suppose is common these days, although I swear there were at least 100 people in the audience who didn't have gray hair. Women who once danced the night away, huffed and puffed their way to the nosebleed section where we sat. The men playing air guitar along with Clapton seemed to have developed more noticeable pot bellies since the last time we heard him.

A young man sat down next to me. He spent the first two songs talking on his cell phone and checking text messages. That's when I noticed for the first time the small oval glow of cell phone screens dotting the vast audience inside the darkened arena.

A sour note was sounded early when we had to file past Fred Phelps clan of proto-Nazi Christians holding aloft their "God Hates Fags" signs. As we passed -- with a warning from Mrs. RSR not to engage -- an earnest young man tried to reason with them, but the few words we overheard as we passed by made it clear there's no reasoning with them.

Although we were confronted with the worst in human behavior, we also experienced the best last night. Despite their best efforts, the Phelps goons couldn't spoil the evening for the rest of us.

Time and again the good Rev. Clapton, joined by Robert Cray, brought us to our feet. We stood up in our relaxed fit jeans and shook our booties. Bics were flicked and illuminated cell phone screens were held aloft dotting the blackness of the secular cathedral that is Kemper Arena. For a while, we were able to free ourselves from the profane world outside that sacred space. The music and the lights took on a sacred quality. We were momentarily redeemed.


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