The same day I went to see the musical Young Frankenstein I also went to the Chateau Ste Michelle winery to see Stevie Wonder perform. The musical ran later than I thought and I picked up my friend Tracianne and we headed to the show. I was a bit stressed in that I felt like we were running behind. The musical had run longer than I expected. It had rained a bit that day and I was worried that it would be wet on the grass or that we could get rained on during the show and I really was not all that prepared for that. Traffic was perfect — this was the Friday before Labor Day and we made great time from Seattle to Woodinville. As we drove in about 5:45 pm for a 8 pm start I did not believe that people were turning into the overflow parking lots about a half mile way in some warehouse area so I drove to the winery itself. It was indeed full so we had to turn around and head back. Getting on a bus went quick and on the same bus was a co-worker Inga. This turned out to be one of the lucky things of the night. Inga let me know that another co-worker Soren was already in line at the show. When we got to the show the gates had not opened but opened quickly after. It still took over a half hour to get in as many people had bags to be searched — many more than a normal show as everyone brings a picnic. By the time we got in the area behind the seats on the grass was extremely packed. Luckily I spotted Soren and he was dead center to the stage but almost at the back of the main grass area. After I made sure Inga had enough space Tracianne did a great job squeezing us in also. I went and got a few bottles of wine and by the time I got back Tracianne had an amazing picnic prepared. I am not sure what I did to deserve such a good friend but the meal was great. I totally filled up on the different types of fancy cheese and crackers — I am such a basic cheddar and Ritz cracker guy but she helped me step up my game. I think she was a bit bummed that I did not finish the wrap that she had made as she took the extra effort to make sure it accommodated the fact that I am a picky eater but the fact was that I got really full on the cheese course and I was still coming down off of being a little stressed about rushing out to the show and then rushing to find a spot on the grass.
The Stevie Wonder show had sold out in 15 minutes even with tickets going for over $100 just to sit on the grass. Soren had gone down at 3:30 pm and still his spot was a bit far back. My last show there I got there about 2.5 hours before and had a much better place on the lawn. He did say that he had heard the voice check in the afternoon but I made a mental note that the next time I go to a show there I might want to camp out early in the day just to get a great place on the grass. His show was just amazing. It had been many years since he had toured and he had a great set. There were times he clearly went off of his set list and his band is so tight they just rolled with it as he called out the next song to play. A daughter of Stevie’s is one of his backup singers which made for a fun family affair. The concert went by way too quick and we hit the noise restriction cut off point way too quick. I really had a good time and I drank way too much wine to go with the great picnic dinner. One of my memories from the night will also be Tracianne and the guy with the derby hat. Tracianne was on the aisle which was perfect in that she is not that tall and it give her a great direct view of the stage. About a third of the way through the show this tall guy came dance up the aisle and kind of stopped in front of her. He was clearly drunk and clearly lost but he kept dancing but he was blocking her view. Tracianne reached up and tapped his derby hat off of his head. He did not seem to notice but at the same time seem to know that he was in the wrong place and moved back down the aisle. She picked up the hat which was quickly placed on my head and now I have a fun derby hat to wear around. It is a brown plaid hat and fits fairly well. I would like to get it cleaned — not that it is dirty but I do not really know where it has been. The tag says it is mostly cotton so I guess I could just put it in the washing machine but I am not sure if that would damage it.
The whole weekend I was humming Stevie Wonder songs and even falling asleep most of the next week I had Stevie Wonder songs on my mind. I would love to see him again. Seeing him at the winery with less that 4000 other people was really special. I am glad I could share it with a friend or two.