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Tchaikovsky, Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)

You Gotta Keep 'em Separated!

Blossom Music Center, Cleveland’s premier outdoor concert venue and the summer home of The Cleveland Orchestra. I was lucky enough to go to Blossom for two of the most disparate events one could imagine. The title and the opening are nods to the second part of this post.

August 19, 2023 was the second time in three weeks that my friend Nancy invited me to fill her husband’s seat for an orchestra concert and I happily accepted. Last time it was just the two of us. This time a couple, friend’s of Nancy and her husband, joined us. First time I rode in a Porsche, so that was cool. Primo parking and a fabulous picnic dinner.

Now remember, this was a picnic. We had wine glasses (glass, not plastic), silverware, place mats and an unbelievable spread. Nancy loves preparing a picnic meal and now having enjoyed two of them, I can say that she is exceptional at doing so!

A bottle of white and one of red, four amazing appetizers, a killer antipasti and a Bundt cake to die for to top it off, with baked pears and the perfect glaze. The time flew by, despite the fact that I was out of my element (I am a simple trans working stiff, not a retired Porsche driver), the whole evening was natural and nothing regarding me being forced. I felt like I was part of their friendship all along.

Topping it all off, the weather was perfection! Zero humidity, cool and my outfit, quite comfortable. The concert, again not my cup of tea, allowed for a fabulous nap until it really got interesting. I looked over and Nancy was out, so that was my ticket to slumberland! I am blessed with so many giving friends, not sure I deserve to have such riches. When I got home, I took a few more photos before calling it a night.

Say what you will, but The Offspring are one amazing band! Their music just gets me going and they are easily the wittiest band ever. A punk rock band, formed in 1984, still kicking ass. Punk bands, outside of this band and Green Day, just don’t last this long. My favorite Offspring fun fact, the lead singer, Dexter Holland, was his high school class Valedictorian. He then went to the University of Southern California where he eventually got a PhD in molecular biology. The dude is a doctor of molecular biology! Oh, yeah, he is also a pilot, having flown solo around the world, owns a hot sauce company and is the principal songwriter for this amazing band. Somehow my resume seems somewhat lacking. This band topped my bucket list of bands I had not seen that it is still possible to see.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023, back to Blossom for my kind of music! It was originally planned as a Kandi day, but having recently been to Blossom twice dressed and having dressed the three days prior with four more outings to follow, left me without the motivation to make the effort. A friend gave me a VIP parking pass, so the entire experience was great. Anyone who’s been to Blossom will understand this.

A little backstory. As you have read, I sell my clothing frequently at a place called Avalon Exchange. I usually hit one in Cleveland Heights and then take the balance to another location in Cleveland. The past few times, I have emptied my basket at my first stop and a young man usually goes through my basket. He is a dead ringer (but much younger) for Butch Vig (Google him for the visual), the producer of Nirvana’s landmark Nevermind album and the drummer and leader of a favorite band of mine, Garbage. I pulled up a picture of Butch, showing him and this young man completely agreed. Also important to note, I always do this as Kandi, even though I am required (everyone is) to show ID when I am selling things.

I walk only a few steps into Blossom on this evening and there he is, smiling at me. “Butch!” We chat for a while, he immediately knew who I was (I was not dressed, remember). Now I did not expect to run into anyone, certainly within my first few steps onto the venue’s grounds. We parted company, but after a few minutes, I circled back, found him and bought him a beer (no small gesture with beers running $16 per). We talked some more and reintroduced ourselves (by my male name and I found out his name for the first time). He told me my clothes are always great and that they loved me in the store. Made me feel good. He was with a friend and I told his friend I would have also bought him a beer if they weren’t so f’n expensive (Kandi’s alter ego is very profane).

The show, spectacular! I went all by my lonesome and was glad I did because it made for a much easier logistical adventure! The setlist was hit after hit and a touching piano version of the band’s biggest hit “Gone Away”, a song mourning the death of someone close to Dexter. Check this song out on the band’s recent album (are they still called albums?), Let The Bad Times Roll! The video presentation leading up to the show and during was fabulous, witty and smart. I cannot imagine a better concert for me at this time of my life, loving this band, never having seen them, enjoying every second of it. Then getting to my car in minutes and off the grounds very quickly. VIP parking is no small thing!


2 Responses

  1. Kandi,
    The need to rest our eyelids does happen more with age , although I believe my son could have comfortably fallen asleep on a barbed wire fence !! The wine may be good but we know what may follow !
    To fall asleep in a concert is possibly passable but I managed on the front row of a National Trust talk , right in full view of the speaker , OH god I hope I didn’t have my mouth wide open with an occasional snore !!

    If the music is good I can enjoy it no matter what the genre , there are some great classical pieces as much as there great popular music ones , I often sit and listen in envy wishing I had the same ability to make music .

    If were posing the question to members of what’s on our music bucket list , a Andre Rieu concert is one of mine , I would love to match the outfits of the girls in the orchestra and enjoy their music .

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