I’m a bit late writing about the Olivia Newton-John concert from last Sunday, but, better late than never.
The concert was at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center at the Galleria. I was really surprised at how very nice the venue is! This is where the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra should be performing!
However, in the same vein as the Woodruff Arts Center, many of the rows of seats are one enormously long row and have no emergency regress aisles breaking the row up. This creates the additional difficulty for those who sit in the middle of the row of disturbing vastly more people when they need to get in/out of the row.
I ended up seated at the very end of our section of seats and next to a group of 4 (2 women and 2 men) who appeared to be a bit of rough trade, looked kind of like they were from a motorcycle gang or something (not your typical ONJ fans!), though they were in excellent shape for their age.
They had obviously been drinking and brought open plastic cups of beer to their seats. The women who sat next to me (with Sam on my other side) must be, without doubt, Olivia’s greatest fan on earth–even more so than the guy from SFO who attended the Las Vegas concert. She apologized to me at least a half dozen times: “I’m so sorry you have to sit next to me.” she would say, without meaning a word of it, after screaming her head off.
She frequently, I lost count of the number of times, would scream, “No. No. No. Oh my god. Oh my god. O.h. M.y G.o.d!” She sang along with most of the songs. I can’t describe how into this concert she was. She told me she has been to 5 Olivia concerts.
At one point she said to me, “I’ve never been to a place like this. Nobody is standing up and singing and dancing. What’s wrong with these people. This is just so weird.” And then at one point, she stood and started dancing during one of the songs. A woman seated behind us somewhere screamed at the top of her lungs a very, very harsh, “Sit Down!” command. She immediately complied.
Her enthusiasm was a bit abrasive. Frankly, I would be very surprised if ONJ couldn’t hear her up on the stage, and we were seated near the back of the balcony (mezzanine). Truth be told, I enjoyed experiencing just how much this woman was enjoying the concert. She was having the time of her life, completely lost in the concert! There’s just something beautiful about that.
However, I all but suffered temporary hearing loss on the left side. I was awkwardly leaning into Sam’s personal space trying to avoid getting beer sloshed all over me, but the lady didn’t spill any of it as far as I was ever aware.
Olivia wasn’t in her best voice, but absolutely no one, including me, cared. The concert was fabulous. She seemed to have a good time and the audience had a great time. She projects that wonderful personal energy that I’m told by those who work for her is actually who she is in real life. And her music, which shaped my generation’s youth, is nothing but delightful.
She concluded the concert with an encore accompanied by only her pianist and music director: Over the Rainbow.
A wonderful concert and a fabulous evening with new and old friends.