This is the first of what will undoubtedly be a stack of questionable events. Does it count as a concert if there is no ticket to buy? Does it count if you’re totally ambivalent about the gig? Does it count if it’s in a clothing store? It certainly was important for one person in the audience. I’ll let you decide for yourself (and comment below).
Sunday, January 15th in Laguna Beach, California. 1 hour south of LA. Fun visit with a friend and my aunt before I fly to San Francisco. The morning was coffee and a visit to Crystal Cove beach whereupon sits the house from Beaches. My sister is jealous. Because of her, I know that movie inside and out. I tease her via text.
I spend part of the afternoon building this website which would have gone quicker had the smoothie/ vegan snack/ juice shop had better wifi. When I finally meet my aunt she mentions we’re seeing “this great guy’s show” before we cook dinner. I’m excited because her boyfriend is a chef but have learned to be cautious of her assessment of art. If she loves a movie I can skip it. If a restaurant is terrible I’ll probably love it.
So the great guy is 18-year-old Andrew Bloom and his Taylor guitar. I’m told he was a contestant on American Idol and that he lives nearby, plays frequently, and is very nice. My aunt, the boyfriend, and I walk into town and duck into Tommy Bahama. I’m super confused. It’s a clothing store, I knew that. In the back are restaurant and bar. Ok. This is news to me and I wonder how many locations also have this feature. Then my MBA mind fires up and asks who had this idea? Then my real estate mind, were two buildings combined? Either way, we walk in on Andrew singing away at the bar entrance. He had a real audience, not just people who wanted to get drunk at a clothing store. We grabbed the second high top table next Andrew. The first was reserved. Thanks to a sampling pedal we got to hear solos over the mix of adult contemporary and R&B hits where appropriate. He worked in some of his originals as well but more of them came when the table next to us was filled.
I’m told this was his mother. She comes to every gig. Although they look different I immediately pictured Deborah Phelps. Mom knew the staff, they brought her drink without her ordering, and she sang along to each song. Super cute. We couldn’t stay too long but I imagined her helping to pack up or talk to fans and help sell CDs.
We walked back and had an amazing dinner straight out of the Aunt’s cookbook. I had a meeting then went to bed. I was still debating the legitimacy of this as a concert and it raised some other questions. I will count it as a show and I wish the best for Andrew in the future. He’s got a great start at only 18.0 likes