Karen and I drove to Nashville yesterday to see Annie Lennox perform at the Ryman. The drive down went by quickly as we talked and enjoyed the beautiful fall colors in the trees lining the highway.
Upon arriving on Music Row, we parked and grabbed some great BBQ at Jack’s before heading to the venue. After checking out our seat locations, we went back into the lobby and stood on the top balcony to do some “people-watching”. The people coming into the venue were an interesting mix of mostly middle-aged people and included several gay couples.
We were particularly intrigued by a tall, pale man with dark features who was wearing a long, black overcoat and several rings with large, fake stones. He was shepherding a young man around who appeared be of South American descent and we quickly decided that he was a vampire and the young man his unwitting victim. This, of course, sent us into gales of laughter as we pondered whether we should alert the young man to his inevitable fate.
The concert was opened by Carina Round, a cutesy singer who wore a frilly black and white dress with hot pink high heels. She later explained that she’d bought them for $9 at a local thrift store and they were a size too big. Her voice and singing style was unique and took a few songs to get accustomed to, but her vocal prowess and humor soon reeled us in.
The crowd went crazy as the opening chords of “No More I Love You’s” filled the venue and Ms. Lennox took the stage. I was familiar with every song, save one, and her voice was flawless. She held nothing back, ad-libbing and prancing around the stage like someone twenty years her junior.
Toward the end of the show, she left the stage to thunderous applause and a video began playing about a trip she made recently to South Africa. After returning to the stage and performing “Sing”, she spoke of how the trip had changed her life beyond description and how morally reprehensible it is for the world to stand by as millions of people die from AIDS.
Her final song was “Why”, my favorite Annie Lennox song and the one that I was most looking forward to. It was divine. I had to close my eyes a few times just to revel in the knowledge that she was singing it for me.
This is the set list, as closely as I can remember it.
No More I Love You’s
Walking on Broken Glass
Here Comes the Rain Again
A Thousand Beautiful Things
Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves
Waiting In Vain
There Must Be an Angel
Ghosts in My Machine
Thorn In My Side
We considered hanging around outside the tour buses, because we had heard that Annie usually meets those fans that wait for her. It felt a little intrusive though, and knowing we had a long drive ahead of us, we decided to head for home.
All in all, we had a fantastic evening. I didn’t take any pictures at the concert, but I don’t think I’ll forget it any time soon.