A BOY NAMED OTOOLEFAN
I’ve been a fan of Rosanne Cash since the 90’s and I’ve always wanted to see her in concert, so I was excited when I discovered she would be playing at the Choctaw Casino in Durant, Oklahoma on Friday.
I didn’t know I was going to have to survive a tornado first, however. Yes, that triple vortex you all saw on the news was the same one that came within 2 miles of our house. Too bad Oklahoma can’t ban tornadoes instead of Sharia law. One of them is actually a threat.
When I moved to Oklahoma, I was promised no tornadoes by Liberalchik. The basis for her claim is that the town of Tishomingo was founded by the Chickasaw Indians who picked this spot specifically because of its unique topography; hills and valleys surrounded by trees and water. Although the outlying areas have been and were visited by tornados, the town itself has never taken a direct hit. I’ll place my faith in Native Americans over Buffy The Weather Model any day.
This particular tornado, however, didn’t seem to get the memo and brushed the edge of town, the edge we live on. This was the first real tornado I’ve ever had to deal with and hopefully the last. If I want to see a tornado again, I’ll rent TWISTER.
As we entered the casino, the first thing I saw was a woman on oxygen. Sure hope she found the tiny No Smoking section before she blew up. I hadn’t been in a casino in years, as we have them in Connecticut as well, but these looked like the same people. They all had that vacant, zombie look on their face as they played the slot machines religiously, waiting for their financial ship to come in, refusing to believe they’re steerage passengers on the Titanic. The only Cash I saw at this casino was Rosanne.
When I took my seat at the Rosanne Cash show, I was thankful I still had an ass to sit on after the storm the night before. This same storm, it turns out, caused Rosanne some trouble as well. She was in Memphis, the city of her birth, stuck at the airport, forced to listen to the Eagles. She related her predicament on Twitter:
@rosannecash: Flight delayed 4 hrs. Sitting in cheap airport cafe while sound system plays Hotel California. Entire life flashing before eyes.
@rosannecash: Peaceful Easy Feeling now on PA. Getting out needles to drive through eyeballs.
I worried that my best chance to see Rosanne Cash was in jeopardy, but I needn’t have, as she braved all kinds of ‘Planes, Trains, and Automobiles’ like obstacles in order to make the gig.
She opened the show with “Moving On”, a slow, moody number that immediately grabbed the audience. After the song and applause she told us, “Thanks for surviving a tornado to be here tonight.”
The music that followed was a mixture of songs from her CD, “The List”, as well as some of her own compositions. It was a seamless weaving of rock, country and American Roots music at its best. The audience was just as diverse as the set list. Her performance was a gift to all of us as well as an affirmation of life after yesterday’s events. And we embraced it like a warm blanket.
Now is as good a time as any to mention that her band is just as good as she is, and provides a perfect balance with her voice. In particular, her guitarist husband, John Leventhal, stood out. His style is one of the most expressive I’ve ever heard, live or recorded. After one particular song, Rosanne remarked, “It’s guitar solos like that, that put the ring on my finger.”
She closed the show with “Bury Me Under The Weeping Willow”, and returned for an encore, bringing the crowd to its feet again, wanting more. I sure did.
The only people who won at the casino were the ones who saw this concert, if you ask me. So, if you’ve never seen Rosanne Cash in concert, you need to fix that.