If you go to a Patti Smith
concert, be prepared to see a lot of older folks. Yes, there are a fair amount of youngsters like myself, but the main demographic is unfortunately, old. This wasn't really a problem when I had the opportunity to see Patti Smith at Lincoln Center last night until someone's grandma yelled, "Sit down! Sit down!" at everyone standing out of their seats. The crowd was clearly hesitant, until Smith responded, "Stand!" The crowd stopped half-assing it, cheered, and jumped out of their seats.
I'm going to be honest with you -- I'm not sure where to begin. The whole night was one big blur... A blur filled with freedom, angst, art, and passion. To see one of my life-long idols in the flesh for the first time was overwhelming and emotional. Smith had a presence that made you want to stop and stare and never look away. She was simply cool
, yet she still gave a fuck. The show was supposed to be a mix of poetry and live music, but after reading two excerpts from her memoir, Just Kids,
and one poem, the rest of the night turned into a rock show.
Smith put together an incredible setlist, including songs from Horses.
She also paid tribute to Jim Morrison, Amy Winehouse, and her husband, Fred Smith. Between each song, she preached about world peace, loving each other, and even the Republican convention. Even when she wasn't singing, every word that came out of her mouth sounded like poetry. She urged us to put our hands up in the air, "Feel the blood in your hands? That leads to your heart. And your heart is your art and your freedom," Smith screamed. She continued to challenge today's problems in little, cheeky spurts. For instance, when one of her band members had to tie one of her shoes, she came back and said, "That's a real man. Someone who's comfortable with himself and not afraid to kneel down in front of a woman." A bit androgynous, Smith spit water out of her mouth and at that moment, I realized she was completely free.
It's hard to put what kind of woman Smith is into coherent sentences because she's the real deal. Truly special and impossible to replicate. I almost felt grateful for being able to experience her show as she tied music and today's current issues all into one while still being the most bad-ass punk there is. People in the crowd even jokingly screamed, "Patti for president!"
Seeing Patti Smith live might induce an epiphany. If you've ever struggled with finding inspiration, Smith will guide you.