Hip-hop phenom Drake put on quite a show at Bumbershoot's Mainstage on Monday (Sept. 6), but as popular as he is — especially with teenage girls and young women — he could take a lesson from the old guy who performed a short distance away and immediately after him.
First, a bit about Drake's show: I've liked him, based on the radio play I've heard, and looked forward to Monday's performance. But I was immediately put off by an almost continuous string of F-bombs (and I'm not a puritan when it comes to language).
A few songs into the show, the 23-year-old started talking about how hard it is to feel sexy while living on a tour bus. He picked a girl out of the screaming crowd to join him onstage for a dance, warning her ahead of time that she might be touched, hugged, "kissed on and sucked on," a line he uses in every town.
It was all innocent enough, though, and after making the girl's night with a slow dance and a couple of pecks on the cheek, he sent her on her way. The all-too-smooth segue into his next song: "Thanks for making me feel sexy tonight."
About an hour later, Stax Records legend Booker T. Jones took the much smaller Starbucks Stage, and after a couple of warm-up songs he said it was time to honor women. "They take care of us — the men," he began. "They take care of themselves, they take care of the children, they take care of the old people." Sometimes, he said, women see something that makes them break down. And with that, he moved into "She Breaks," an instrumental song from "Potato Hole," the album he recorded last year with Drive-By Truckers and Neil Young.
The crowd — men and women alike — went crazy for Booker T.'s old-school brand of charm and the passion he exuded in the song, without the benefit of lyrics. Then halfway through the piece Jones spotted a camera in the crowd, and he flashed a casual but bright-white smile from his piano bench.
Booker T., at 65, didn't have to say a word about being, or feeling, sexy. He just was.