Way to go Louisville, the premier concert event of the year comes, thousands upon thousands gather to eat, drink, listen, and experience what we have to offer and watchu gotta do? Rain on ‘em.
Ohio River Valley 1, awesome concerts 0, okay maybe 1/2.
Work consumed my daytime so our party ubered in late. We came in through Mellwood, took the cut through by the soccer club, and got dumped out at the barbecue place just up River Road. Zorn Avenue was shut down and River road was closed down to Frankfort Ave. The area was a bit of a madhouse to say the least. Lines of plastic poncho-ed and muddy folks were sloughing up the road. We probably appeared clean and excited exiting our clean and shiny Hyundai.
“Its knee deep mud!” They cried to us. “Knee deep, not kidding!”
The more sensible ones in our party got right back in the uber and left. We trudged on. I mean we had VIP Mint tickets, and the rain had slowed to mere a drizzle, and there was bourbon. Just as our feet left the solid black asphalt of the road, and we entered a long wide, wide, trail of ankle deep, shoe sucking soup, we heard Lenny Kravitz start up. The sound was impeccable and at first I thought is was just someone’s stereo in the distance. We eventually made it to the VIP tent and some solid ground as “American Woman,” was still playing.
Lenny Kravitz brought the energy. His voice has a depth, an edge, and a ring of clarity that is unmistakable. He shared with us that he and the band had just finished a worldwide tour and B&B was only their second concert since getting back. He spoke about how thankful he was to be home, and that he loved Louisville. The word “home” came out of his mouth like a shiny thing that his longing and homesickness polished. There was enough love and experience behind it to make the politics of the day, melt away.
Not to be outdone, the B&B MainStage was about the biggest and baddest thing I ever did see. Not one but two full stages side by side with 3 ginormous video monitors projecting the artists on what looked to be 40 foot screens. Plus, it sounded good too.
“American Woman” slowly grooved into “Get Up Stand Up”. Then Lenny got down on his knees giving us the “I’m not worthy,” bow, repeating “Louisville is Love.” Audience participation was key. He flailed his arms, he gave us the mic, he wanted us to sing with him, he wanted us to jump, jump, jump. Through that sloppy, muddy, beautiful evening we became part of the church of Lenny Kravitz. That church is a place of unity, a place where we come together in love, a place of consciousness, and peace, where each and everyone one of us is a little more perfect than before. A little more blessed and thankful. That church also has some big hits and some real Rock-n-Roll throw down.
Still his message was always there, from covering “It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over,” through “Let Love Rule,” to “Are You Gonna Go My Way.” With his black and white polka dot scarf, his cool red leather jacket, his seventies shades, and his crazy beautiful mop of hair he brings it, never compromising, always reaching for a higher goal. He was very good to his audience and in closing, like all good pastors, he shared what was in his heart, “Thank you so much. I love you Louisville Kentucky. I love you… and God loves you more than you can imagine.”