Saturday night Ryan and I attended Rain, The Beatles Experience at Kingsbury Hall. He gave me tickets for my birthday because he knows that there is a tender place in my heart for John, Paul, George and Ringo. And British accents. And funny haircuts. As we were walking in, Ryan asked me if I thought he would enjoy it and that’s when I broke it to him that we might be the youngest people in attendance. By about 25 years.
Our seats were great, on the upper level right above the first few rows. From where we sat, we overlooked many a bald head and sagging breastline. However, on the very front row there sat a girl of about 10 years-old between her brother and her gray-haired father. She caught my eye immediately because, well for one thing she wasn’t using a cane, but she was also so exuberant in the first few minutes that she couldn’t resist leaping into her dad’s arms and giving him a giant bear hug. It was Hallmark worthy.
The show started and it was toe-tapping enough, but by the time they reached the end of the Lava Lamplit Tribute To Drugs, I felt completely lost and uninterested. I glanced over at Ryan who was quietly etching “I want my Bob Dylan” into the arm of his chair.
“Should we go?” I asked him at intermission.
“I don’t know,” he said. “The tickets were expensive.”
“Let’s stay and if we get bored, we can climb over the railing behind us and sneak out.”
He was completely serious. Part of me wanted to leave just to participate in such a covert act.
But we stayed, and the second half was much better partly because of the more coherent music and partly because I refocused on the little girl in the front row. After a few minutes, I understood that her earlier enthusiasm was due to the fact that she was actually the world’s biggest Beatles fan EVER. She was singing every word and dancing the way I only dare to when the house is completely empty. And the neighbor’s houses too.
I pointed her out to Ryan and we watched her for pretty much the rest of the show. Something about her reminded us of Christian at a Jazz game. She was so completely given to her Beatles-mania, something I’m sure her friends don’t understand and probably barely tolerate. The girls her age only know one McCartney, and his name is Jesse.
As they began each new song, she screamed and clapped and jumped up and down as if that song were the answer to the question of her purpose on earth. At one point, during the final encore of “Hey, Jude” I actually felt my eyes welling up with tears as the Faux Paul made his way to the front of the stage, bent down and held her hand for a tender second.
That night, she was the best show in town.