Al DiMeola is still a master. I first saw him at a guitar clinic in West Palm Beach 30 years ago. Last night he looked the same and was still an incredible guitar player. Watching this show last night was such a joyful experience, it’s hard to put into words. The subtle way he plays symphony conductor with the band, the crazy changing time signatures – it was all quite an experience. Let me start from the beginning. There was no opening act; Al sets things up so perfectly acoustically that working in an opening act just isn’t feasible. Everybody on stage is set up so that they can see Al, not so much so the audience can see the band, which is fine because the band needs to watch the conductor. All of this effort turns into an audio experience as perfect as one could have. There was also a light show but it was subtle and just enough to add, not distract, from the music.
The only thing that could have made the night any better was if people would have put their fucking cell phones away. Me and the nice young couple next to me were perplexed by how rude all these grown adults were being with their cell phones. Now don’t get me wrong, I understand wanting to get a little keepsake to remember the show but that’s why you go buy some swag at the merch table or maybe take a couple of quick pictures. I don’t understand how you can watch a live performance – that’s going on right in front of you – through that small screen on your cell phone. Not to mention I don’t want to look at that shit I’m trying to watch the concert. That’s what was happening in front of me. To my right, sitting next to the young couple, were three people who didn’t bother to show up until after intermission and then proceeded to stare at their cell phones for the entire concert. What. The. Fuck. Why come?
Actually I feel kind of sorry for these people. I bet a lot of life passes right by them without notice.
Alright, phone rant over. Now don’t get me wrong, I would never let these silly people ruin my amazing experience. Also, by the way he talked, this won’t be the last time Al comes around.