Technically, I first met Harry Connick, Jr. in person back in February of this year at the Blissdom blog conference in Nashville, but I’ve always been a fan, since I first bought We Are In Love at a discount music store at Gurnee Mills on a high school youth group trip. And soon after I’d wear out - I mean WEAR OUT- my favorite of all his albums, 25. (I also really loved Blue Light, Red Light and 20.)
Anyway, I saw he was coming to Chicago to play at THE Chicago Theatre and so you better believe I had the thought to ask around for some good seats to his show. And, in what seems like a dream sequence still a couple days later, I not only got AMAZING seats, I also got a media pass AND “after show” tickets that required my date and I to ENTER THROUGH THE STAGE DOOR OF THE CHICAGO THEATRE.
If you know me at all, you will know this is a big deal. BIGTIME.
[A little backstory on my date, my friend (like, friends since 2nd grade) Sarah and I don't ever get the opportunity to hang out any more, and since she went to see Harry with me back in 1994 (!!!) she was the perfect companion.] [And if she would approve any of the photos I took of us together that night I will include. Maybe someday.]
But back to the show- after Harry’s tour manager Brendan (nice guy- thank you!) led us through backstage and around to the front of the theatre, we were told to stand in this little area where security and a couple other photographers were to be.
For the first two songs I was allowed to take photos with no flash at the side of the stage. SO, I am not a professional photographer by any means, and I admit I ended up really just wanting to watch (he opened the concert with We Are In Love!) and not take pics, so I snapped a few.
Then we went in search of our seats. We walked out into the lobby and I remember as the usher took us down the aisle she kept getting closer and closer and my eyes got bigger and bigger and our seats were better than I could have imagined. Pretty much right in center, but on the piano side so when he played we had the best view. (And also the best view even when he got up and danced around and OH YES there was dancing!)
Harry is a performer. I close my eyes and his voice- like sounds from an old vinyl record player. He is flawless.
He BRINGS it. And so does his entire band and orchestra. Like, prepare to be entertained. It’s not just a concert, it’s a comedy act/jam session/interact with the audience/genius music experience. The trombone… oh my goodness… Lucien Barbarin. IS A HOOT. Absolute riot. He and Harry could have gone at it for hours (and at one point I think we all thought they might!)
Harry has some upcoming performances on Broadway this summer from July 15-29 at the Neil Simon Theater. He sang a couple songs from Guys And Dolls and said he’s working on adding a few songs from Broadway to his performances. (Love.) But he also sang some of his classics and songs from his latest album Your Songs, and he even sang my all time favorite Didn’t He Ramble (from 25) to my geeky delight. It was awesome.
Oh! And so after the show, we stuck around inside the theatre with about 15 or so other people and then Harry came out after he got dressed in more comfortable clothes and he went around and met everyone, and Sarah and I kind of hung around and watched.
His daughter Georgia, 14, was there and we got to see some cool interactions. If we talk in person I’ll tell you about it, but to protect their privacy, I’ll refrain from posting on the Internet. When it was our time to meet (again) I almost felt embarrassed, and just did the introductions and the photo thing and told him we saw his show waybackwhen and that was pretty much it!
It’s super surreal to meet him in person. But to be completely honest, I am so glad my heart met him through his music first, whether it be one of his CDs (seriously, check out the ones I’ve mentioned) or at one of his shows. You will not be disappointed.
Oh look! I’ve found the other dates he will be playing this year (including some jazz fests!)! Go and enjoy!