Smokey Robinson at Symphony Center
Mondays (aka my arch enemy). I have to say I’ve never been a fan of them. But yesterday after 21 years of wishing they would just disappear, I finally set aside our differences and embraced them. But before you judge me for turning over to the dark side, please let me explain…
The day started like any typical Monday. The dreaded sound of my alarm rudely woke me up at 6:30 a.m. and I slowly inched my way out of bed. Once I arrived at Shure I begin to work on my daily projects. Then around 10 a.m. Cory Lorentz came up to my desk and nonchalantly said, “Soo be ready because we might be leaving at 11 a.m. to go see Smokey Robinson at the Symphony Center.” The only two words that came out of my mouth were “SHUT UP.” I thought my ears were playing games with me. Well needless to say, it was pretty hard to concentrate for the next hour with the possibility that I might be meeting the legendary Smokey Robinson.
Finally 11 o’clock rolled around and Cory announced the good news. Next thing I know I’m at the Symphony Center walking through the side stage door and my ears instantly became flooded with the sounds of violins, flutes, pianos, saxophones, guitars, chimes and then I heard it… Smokey Robinson’s voice. If my ears were like a dog’s and could perk up, they would have hit the ceiling. I immediately looked up and there he was standing. It was a completely surreal moment to say the least. But I kept my cool and me and Cory took a seat in the front while Smokey went through soundcheck. Everything sounded amazing.
After soundcheck ended Brian French, Smokey’s production manager, and Smokey Robinson himself came down to meet us. Smokey gave me theee biggest, warmest hug ever. If he wasn’t a professional singer, he could be a professional hugger. We all talked for a bit and Smokey asked if I was attending his show. I said I would love to, but that I didn’t have tickets. He looked over at Brian and said, “Take care of this lady and give her tickets… oh and make sure they’re good.” HOW NICE. I was so grateful. Then we said our goodbyes, which included a kiss on the cheek from Smokey. Yeah. Not complaining.
The rest of the day went by fast and soon enough it was time to grab a cab and drive on over to the beautiful Chicago Symphony Center. My friend and I walked up to the box office to pick up the tickets and to my surprise there was a note attached to them that instructed us to go backstage after the concert. Wait, hold on a second. Not only did I get to meet Smokey, watch his soundcheck, and go to his show, but I get to meet him again? TWICE in ONE day? Pure. amazing. craziness. Okay, where was I? So we walked up to the doors and realized the show had already started. Unfortunately, my genius self thought the concert began at 8 p.m. when it really started at 7:30 p.m. The two of us walked in late hoping we wouldn’t be noticed, but of course our seats were third row dead center. Smokey had just finished singing “My Girl” when he saw us crouching down trying desperately not to be seen and what happens? He called us out. He continued to talk to us too until we finally sat in our seats. The audience got a kick out of it and so did the band… everyone had a good laugh including us, but I’m pretty sure my face was as red as the Kool-Aid man.
The rest of the evening was PHENOMENAL. I don’t even know how to describe Smokey’s performance because I don’t think you really can… it’s something you have to experience for yourself. He delivered each song with such passion and his voice live is like magic. Not to mention, the man is hilarious! He was making jokes all throughout the show between songs. I literally had tears running down my face because I was laughing so hard! Smokey ended the night with “Tracks Of My Tears” (my all-time favorite song of his) and I have never seen a song performed with such emotion before. It gave me chills.
After we went backstage and all the members of the band were addressing me and my friend as the girls who showed up late. Cool guys, real cool. Then we met with Smokey and he greeted me with another kiss on the cheek and a minute long hug. (Like I said… best hugger ever.)
So to say the least, yesterday was a dream come true. Since I was little I grew up listening to Smokey Robinson. My parents have countless of videos of me dancing around to his music and even years later to this day, he is one of the most played artists on my iTunes. Smokey is truly an amazing man. His smile is infectious and he radiates such positivity to the people around him.
So maybe now you can understand why Mondays gained a few points in my book.