Aretha Franklin at Oracle Arena

I got a few hours of sleep before I had to go back to work. Most of the staff was late in arriving. I was glad to be done at two o’clock. I bought some food from Safeway before returning home. I played a bit of Super Mario Galaxy 2 before taking a nap. I went out to the BART station to board a train to the Oracle Arena. I bought there before the doors opened at seven o’clock. My seat was in a far row, but on the first level. I saw that a lot of people were dressed up for this concert. Shortly after eight o’clock, Babyface Edmonds took the stage. He took out the acoustic guitar and sang “Fire and Rain,” and he talked about working for Eric Clapton. He did a medley and unbuttoned his shirt and went off the stage to run around the arena floor, making me think of Bono. I didn’t realize that he was older than me. He acts like a more youthful person. Aretha Franklin wouldn’t take the stage until after 9:30. She began with “Higher and Higher.” I became familiar with it from Rita Coolidge’s hit record. Aretha had problems with her microphone during the first two numbers and was given a new one. I liked the way she used real musicians instead a lot of synthesized sounds. She sang “Ain’t No Way” and “Think,” which made me think of her appearance on “The Blues Brothers.” I never knew the words to “Chain of Fools,” but the woman next to me sang along to ever song. Some of the fans yelled out to her as if they were on a first-name basis with her. They could have found some more photos of her to show on the screens instead of showing the same ones several times, but I did like the straightforward approach to the show, emphasizing the music. Aretha took a break halfway through the set while the orchestra played on. I don’t why she sang “I Will Survive” when she had other songs she could have done. She played some piano and went into “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” She ended the set with a pretty good “Freeway of Love.” Her voice is still strong. She said that she would shake hands with every one of us if she could. Her encore was “Respect,” which got the biggest response of the night. We were all glad to see Aretha Franklin for two hours. I wouldn’t have minded no opening act so that we could have left earlier. I made it to the BART station just in time to catch my train, and I caught my bus home at 12:11. I was happy to get some rest. Some of the people who died on August 11 include Edith Wharton (1937), Jackson Pollock (1956), Anne Ramsey (1988), Peter Cushing (1994), and Mike Douglas (2006). Today is a birthday for Hulk Hogan (62) and Steve Wozniak (65). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for August 11, “American Graffiti” was released in 1973. In 1979, “Get the Knack” was Number One on the album chart. In 2014, Robin Williams committed suicide at age 63.

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