First off, yes, I’m back in San Francisco. I won’t go into the transition I’m still going through and what it’s like to be back after a year of living abroad. Call me and I’ll tell you all about it (and it changes every day).
Last weekend I drove down to Monterey for the Jazz Festival. It’s been quite a number of years since I’ve gone, so I can’t comment on whether my observations are just a slow trend or something sudden. But I seem to recall many years of people dancing in the aisles of the main arena and a definite vibe of fun and letting go.
This year though, no one in the arena danced. It wasn’t for lack of hot rhythms – there was some amazing music. But the crowd seemed older and the party atmosphere was subdued. Was it age, the economy, the signs that declared “no standing in the aisles”?
I think maybe it was a quiet longing for comfort.
One of the few times we did get to our feet was to sing along with Pete Seeger to Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land.” As Dave Becker noted in his Examiner blog, “there was a thrilling sense of being in the presence of important, dynamic and still vital piece of American history.” Is it nostalgia that gets us going?
The real energy emanated from the Best Buy booth where you could try out the new Beatles: RockBand. It was great fun to see the diverse groups that got together to take up an instrument. Maybe it was the free CDs if you scored high, but I kind of think it was that nostalgia thing again. Without a doubt though, the music held it all together.