Let's Get Married
Marc Iacona and John Nugent put out their open hands, palms down, and with heads bowed, raised and lowered their arms to each other. But the real praise on stage last night at the Eastman Theater was for God and the gift he gave Al Green.
Mayor Duffy introduced him and the crowd erupted but the welcome waned as the band slowly assembled and started playing without their leader. One of the back up singers (Al's daughter) had to work to get everyone going again, trying to build up the drama with stuff like, "Are you ready for the legend, Rochester?" She plugged the new CD and made sure we all knew her dad was a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee. Maybe it's a soul thing. Solomon Burke and Bettye LaVette have band members that do the same kind of intro.
Anyway, out he finally came...black shiny shoes, blue satin paunch, and that infectious smile. You cannot feel bad seeing this guy. He did a decent number of hits including Let's Get Married, Tired of Being Alone and Love & Happiness. There was also a medley of songs that inspired him, Motown and Stax stuff, but to hear Al sing only a few lines of I've Been Loving You Too Long was an awful tease. The band was good although I could've done with a small string section instead of the two dancing guys, who most often looked like they were doing calisthenics.
Folks in the left center mezzanine got a bonus. A self-proclaimed "brother from a different mother" kept up a running conversation, repeatedly urging his sibling to "Sing it!" When Al obliged, the guy helpfully informed us all that "Preacher's back in town," often adding "Oh, sweet Jesus!"
The only real disappointing part was the length of the show: 75 minutes with no encore. Hopefully, preacher will be back in town soon.