Ever since November 8th when I walked into my boss’ office and saw this invitation on his desk, I knew I could not miss this once in a lifetime event.
At that time, I politely asked him if i could get the invite since he had already told me that he would be out of the country in December. I grabbed it and went back to my desk where my co-workers realised that I had a smile on my face and therefore they assumed someone was suffering somewhere in the building. Alas that was not the case.
Two hours later, he returned to tell me that his wife wants to go and that he will see if he can get me a ticket too. The smile left.
Over the next two to three days, I walked into his office frequently and basically “bullied” him into getting me a ticket for the event. So it came as no surprise when I got a call from someone at BG about a ticket, I had no problem bringing the smile back to my face.
Cut to last night, December 17th 2011, where I sat in Row 11,Seat 25 and witnessed a true PERFORMER take the stage and captivate me from her first note.
She began her set with the song “Home” from the Musical “The Wiz”. it is a favourite of mine and it is one of those songs that someday I hope to sing and get to convey the same meaning it had for her. She made that song her own. She caressed it and nurtured every note that played. When it came time for the final note, I knew I had gotten my money’s worth and that everything else she did that night would just be a bonus.
I am still amazed at her voice and the power and the force it wields but nothing can capture the beauty and soul of Heather Headley. She is an artist that recognises and appreciates her fans and the people in her life. This Concert was more than a home-coming for her, it represented a way to say “Thank You” to the place that molded her. The place that prepared her for the journey to greatness; Trinidad & Tobago did all that.
More than just the singing and the intimate feel you got with each small story she told, you left that concert with the belief that you just met a really really nice person who just happens to perform with Andrea Bocelli on request and who Elton John calls up to say “Hi”. This is Heather Headley. This is an artiste with a blessing in her heart besides the voice that is a by-product.
I could go on an on about last night and analyze each song done but let me just say that when Eddie Cumberbatch came out and sang “The Prayer” with her (a song she has sung with Andrea Bocelli like over a hundred times), and you heard their voices collide (no that’s not the right word);..their voices formed a new instrument (still not it but it will have to do) that raised pores in every crack and crevice of that NAPA Auditorium and many a tear in the audience, you just had to rise and give praise at the end of the song. I still don’t think people in Trinidad & Tobago realise the level and amount of talent that courses through our veins. I was moved.
Don’t get me started on her version of David Rudder’s “The Hammer”. I am still trying to describe the vibe and the laid back soul/kaiso groove she used that worked so well and yet the audience didn’t really know what to do with it. I know for a fact there was toe-tappng and head bobbing but it was very restrained. Please note that she sang the ENTIRE SONG in Standard English, no use of dialect at all. It sounded strange in the beginning but it worked!!
It wasn’t – “he used tuh use it to pong ah pan” but “He would use it to pound a Pan”
I do wish that I had her for much longer than the ninety minutes she performed. It is purely selfish reasons actually as I had hoped to hear more music from her albums than the four songs she did)
I Wish – Audience of One
I Wish I Wasn’t – This Is Who I Am
In My Mind – In My Mind.
If It Wasn’t for You Love – This is Who I Am
The Encore song of “If It Wasn’t For Your Love” was unexpected and made my heartsong want to take flight over its sheer majesty and the genuine emotions that flowed out of her as she sang it. I swear that she almost broke down while singing it and it is understandable if you have ever listened to the song.
“and oh the wonderful surprise
to have a light so bright it blinds, it blinds my eyes
but finally I see, how it feels to live a dream
but would i have touched the sky
ever flown so high
ooh,not i, if it wasn’t for your love
Thank you Heather Headley for a magical night.
I now realise that I should stick to humming because I can’t SING like that!!.
Thanks to Giselle & Gerelle who worked Backstage, I was able to get a souvenir from Ms Headley. It’s a tad bit creepy but I was grateful for it.
DON”T JUDGE ME!!!