Sunday, May 3, 2009

With a Little Help from my Friends

I just got back from the Joe Cocker concert at Casino Rama.

Here's the thing about Joe Cocker:

The most powerful songs have this soul-slamming crescendo, the kind of note or short riff that closes your eyes, tenses every muscle in your body, and slams your throat into your stomach.

Whitney Houston hits that soul spot when she goes "...and AAAAAAAAAYIAYEEEEEEEE will always love you...."

Clapton kicks off Layla with it (The Derek and the Dominoes original, not the new unplugged crap.

It's that visceral sound that make the high point of a song, when you dig down deep and give it every ounce of your soul. Some artists find that note a few times in their career. It's tough to describe, I know. Joe Cocker lives in that crescendo. That's what makes him Joe Cocker. His power is in that range of force and verve that the best artists pull off for 3 or 4 seconds - tops- in their best songs.

The guy looks absolutely spastic once the music comes on. He'll walk on stage, introduce himself, greet the entire venue, and look perfectly normal. At the first note of music, though, his entire body winds itself into a writhing, rocking cross between what looks like Autism and Cerebral Palsy.

He's 65 now, and he has still got it!

It was about a two-hour drive up to Orillia, and about three quarters of that en route back; it was worth every mile of the trip to see the Sheffield legend perform live.

These aren't from the performance, but they're a few of my favourites:

God, the man's good.

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