One of the things on my to-do-before-I-die list has been to see Jerry Lee Lewis perform live. I've always admired him as a musician, if maybe not for his personal life, and good lord can that man rock a piano like nobody else ever has. It occurred to me a year or two ago that I probably didn't have much time left to do this, so I've been following his concert schedule with one eye and trying to get there.
Tonight he performed in Primm, NV, about 45 minutes outside of Las Vegas. Coincidentally, I happen to be in Vegas this weekend with a handful of friends. When I figured this out, I grabbed two tickets to the show, convinced sabyl to go with me (she owed me one for the Air Supply fiasco several years ago), and off to the show we went.
There was no opening act, but his band started without him. They did four songs, and each of the musicians got one song to show off with. And then Jerry took the stage. He was stoop-shouldered and looked like he had some difficulty walking, but he took his seat at the piano and dove in.
Time has taken its toll-- one doesn't expect him to have the same energy that he did in his youth, and of course he doesn't. His enunciation drifted in and out, ranging from perfectly clear to nearly mumbling. But even after all these years, he can still make a piano dance like nobody else. It wasn't an amazing show, but I'm very glad I went. When he sang Great Balls o'Fire or Whole Lotta Shakin', it wasn't hard for me to imagine what he was like at the top of his game. I wish I had a time machine so that I could see it for myself.