off with their ties! – part IV

the morning after, over a cup of guatemalan finca el injerto stumptown, i attempted to describe the band’s performance of danzón numero dos to my hubbie.  his response: “you’re making that shit up.”  [but mary, it’s a direct quote!]  i’ll forgive him for the disbelief because, relative to what normally occurs during a classical performance, monday night’s finale was fucking insane in a very, very good way.  undoubtedly fueled by the electricity of the thomas lauderdale show, last-minute maestro michael francis shot to the podium after the piano was wheeled offstage by tuxedo-clad roadies.  [keep in mind, dear reader, this final 10-minute work by arturo márquez was programmed to be alondra de la parra’s thrilling farewell – a work she has conducted countless times – a work she has recorded with her own orchestra – a work that is buried deep within her bones – a work michael francis encountered for the first time during his heathrow-to-pdx plane ride just days before.]  how does one successfully follow mr. lauderdale on stage?  the last-minute maestro decided that a classical striptease was in order, and after turning to the audience and drolly explaining (sans mic) that the danzón would be “quite a groovy number,” he spontaneously removed his bowtie with resolve (gasp!), shook off any residual jetlag, and dove right in.  as the music’s intensity grew, all four percussion bros took off their coats, much to the conductor’s delight.  not to be outdone, a grinning concertmaster iwasaki slipped off his tie before an all-too-short violin solo. [at this point, the beaver thought the boys in the band just might collectively answer the age-old question of boxers or briefs; but alas, i suppose they had to save something for salem.]  it’s quite fair to say at this point, all hell broke loose: musicians were openly laughing (!), cellos were twirled with flair (seriously!), and last-minute maestro francis (gulp!) turned to the eager crowd and motioned for us to join in with some downbeat clapping.  two eyewitness reports of a conga line breaking out in the upper balcony have yet to be confirmed.  extra-special beaver shoutouts to yoko “i’m not breaking up the band” greeney who absolutely rocked it on piano, and to jeff “do” work who totally shined on an ebay trumpet making its oregon symphony debut.  and an extra-extra-special shoutout to michael francis, who smashed this musical piñata wide open with his bloody baton.  monday night was just so much, you know, oh… so much… um, what’s the word?… oh yeah: funto the best band in stumpland: bravo!

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