Now I shall describe the event in excruciating detail. (snagglepuss2 and enderwiggins might wanna close your ears right about now.)
So we arrive around 5:30. The gates opened at 5 and were supposed to close at 6. There are two lots for event parking, one is *gack* 20$ and the other is 10$. Welcome to friken Boston. Anyway, we pay the 10$ and park in a garage and get in what I will call line B, which extends out 2 blocks from the Fleet Pavilion and as far I can tell, never got shorter than that while we were in it. (although we were moving up). Around 6:30 or so, we finally figure out that there is actually a line A where you give them the name and get the tickets. I sneak off with my driver's license, and hoppie's to get aforementioned tickets and return just in time to catch hoppie as he moves from the fairly neat line around the block to the mass queue that's formed right in front of the entrance. No wonder no can get though!
In line in front of us were a couple of very nice Kerry supporters. Behind us were the Service Industry union people, and they were also very nice. The way in was littered with bumper-sticker and button sellers, but nothing really spoke me. The bumper-stickers were anti-Bush, rather than proKerry, which really doesn't do anything for me.
In the second line, I was talking to another woman who'd come with a girlfriend from work, and they were both interested in the concert I think, which made me happy to realize someone else had gone for the music.
So we're in the queue and people are pushing and shoving, and the line never seems to move, and they want to check in your bags, and wand you, and it's starting to make sense now the lines are taking forever to get though. It was not hugely well organized. But we do get in around 6:45 or so.
So when we were inside, walking towards the pavilion and the bathrooms, they made an announcement that people should take their seats as the show would be starting soon. I headed into to find seats. The entire front section was for VIPs and the center section was behind a huge platform where cameras were set up, so we opted for seats on the right side, back section. There was no problem seeing. We were a bit far away, not like at Erin Evermore/Duran Duran, where we could see sweat, but there was no mistaking the people on stage. They looked like who they were. We probably could have gotten closer, I guess, but this worked nicely. After at least 3 announcements about getting seated, the rally actually did start. Behind us one of the guys was drinking a beer and complaining it costs 7$. Hoppie and I didn't even venture towards the refreshments.
In front of us was a lesbian couple and their guy friend, who I privately like to refer to as "the father of their child." and a hispanic family including young son and older daughter. Behind us was a group of our age people, and next to them were two old ladies. Down aways on the inside, was a hottie with ants in her pants who kept having to get up and I mention this only because it irritated the old ladies and so it stuck in my mind.
So then these two people who are big in the Kerry campaign spoke. One of them was the state rep from Dorchester (a black woman), and the other was some guy. I meant to mention in the line section that there was a decent minority population. I think the majority was white, but I did see a numbers of blacks and hispanics in the crowd, including some of the SEIU members behind us in what I've come to think of as the nearly orderly section of line. Anyway, they introduced:
Michelle Branch. She sang four songs, and the old ladies behind me were very bored. I smiled encouragingly at one, and she smiled back. She accompanied herself on guitar, and had no backup band which can really showcase a bad performer. She was quite good. The format really allowed you focus on her and her singing, which was pretty good. Her playing was definitely better than her singing, and as I know no Michelle Branch songs, that's about all I'm qualified to speak to.
Jackson Browne talked alot. He did 5 or 6 songs, all political. One of his that I knew and one cover. A couple of his off the new album also featuring a gospel choir who came in to sing with him. Before he had them out, he was also just singing and playing his guitar, but they brought them a keyboardist and drummer and some soloists. He spoke of his conviction and his fear for the country in his music and his voice is very smoky/sexy so he was a pleasure to listen to. (although I'm still very disappointed that he didn't do some more popular tunes of his.) He stayed on topic.
And next they introduced John and Teresa Kerry. John spoke first, mostly prepping the crowd, thanking the artists for coming out, for being interested in his campaign, and energized by what he was doing. He talked a bit about Jackson Browne's new album and his feeling that everyone of us can make the difference. He said the fundraiser we were at was the largest ever in MA, 400K taken in for the campaign. He talked about the grassroots efforts and how gratifying it was to see Americans taking a stand, and how pleasurable it is to talk to us and find out what we're thinking. The isolated, insular whitehouse doesn't really get around, they live in their privileged world and never see what the depressed economy is doing and then he introduced Teresa who has been campaigning tirelessly. Wags from the crowd shouted that they loved Teresa and John said "I do too!" and then they said they loved him too. It was a fun moment.
So Teresa spoke about the Johns and Elizabeth. She pointed out that a well-educated president can still be a good one. The hypocrisy of a democratic government imposing it's will on disenfranchised people both in this country and out of it. She spoke about the need to take personal stands, as when she marched in crowds against Apartheid. No one knew she was there, and she wasn't imprisoned, but she knew she was there. And that was important to her. Because every person counts and ideals and morals matter, and if we want democracy, we have to work for it. She talked about John Edwards being a beautiful person inside as well as outside, and the graciousness and compassion of Elizabeth Edwards. She mingled politics and personality, and she's just such a gracious lady herself. She talked about seeing her father vote for first time at 71 and what an emotional lift that was for her. And how honored and grateful she is to live in America. Then she introduced her husband, who may not be at beautiful as John Edwards, but is very intelligent.
While Teresa was talking, John was sitting down on something, probably the piano (aforementioned keyboard), taking off his jacket, rolling up his sleeves. Getting comfortable. And when Teresa introduced her, he gave her a respectable kiss, not a Gore "Pleasegetaroomsomewherefarfaraway" kiss. (As Josh said later, "not porno tongue" which alert readers will remember from The Wedding Singer Church tongue.) As I'm running out of time, I'm going to sum up John's speech. He talked about the unemployment problem, compounded by the uninsurance problem, and how MA has the highest percentage in the nation of insured, and we need to help the rest of the nation catch up. How the congress doesn't appreciate the problem because they have great national health care that we're paying for and ought to be gold standard for country, he talked about the eroding support for the war, and how we're turning this into another Vietnam, leaving our soldiers to fight in an unpopular war for uncertain goals or gain. It was a lovely speech, full of humour, promise, and history.
And as I'm now very late, I'll cut it off here, with the promise that I'll resume ATA.