I must say that, in hindsight, the San Francisco VIP experience was a “coulda, shoulda, woulda” moment for me. David was so tired in sound check/meet-and-greet my heart ached for him. Four nights in a row seems just too much for someone who gives more than his all at every performance.
During sound check I wish that I had jumped up and said “yes please” when David asked if anyone wanted to hear What Child Is This — consistently my favorite song on the album. Especially, as he did not sing it either night — Santa Rosa or San Francisco.
Also, after seeing David so visible tired – exhausted really – while waiting my turn to “meet & greet,” I wanted to ask him how he was feeling and to reassure him that his fans would appreciate whatever he was able to give them that night. Sigh. Instead I told him his concert the night before had “all kinds of awesomeage in it” and turned to pose for the picture.
Tonight — unlike last night when I was demonically focused on figuring out exactly what it was I wanted to say — I took the opportunity to observe David more closely. I did not expect him to be tall, but what surprised me was, despite his broad shoulders, how slight he is in stature. Not in demeanor though. His body language gives you the feeling that he truly wants to meet you. Such a giving person and how he does this, night after night, reflects the absolute joy and thankfulness he has for his fans.
The show must go on
My respect and admiration for David increased 100-fold in San Francisco. This concert was all about grit, determination and HEART. Some highlights:
- Fields of Gold again floated through me with his sublime mastery.
- Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – a surprise to have Lupe join David. What a wonderful treat. Lupe has a lovely voice and a confident, relaxed stage presence. It was evident in the tone of David’s voice as he introduced her how much he loved having her there. Truly felt the beauty of the sound of their voices together, which was made even more special because of the obvious close bond between them. And, as moms tend to do, she tried to get him to dance with her – much to his embarrassment. A loving hug at the end.
- Ave Maria was tender in its reverence this night.
- Silent Night was sung with a more intense focus than the night before, an inspirational ending to the concert with several people calling out “Thank You, David!” at its end.
- Encore: O Holy Night.
I heard about David’s “my voice is shot” tweet shortly before the concert began. It wasn’t anything I hadn’t already suspected. David struggled the entire night, fiddling with his in-ear monitors, adjusting the sound device he carries at his back, lowering the high notes or singing them ever so softly and carefully during his pop set, and drinking water after every song.
The strain evident on his face just about broke my heart. He tried to maintain his singing energy level and was, for the most part, successful. Yet he was, at the same time, trying to conserve that same energy with less banter and not as much movement. There was more emotion in every song than the night before and particularly in the ones I mentioned above (I asked myself how was this possible?).
Throughout the night, the audience (the lower section for sure) acknowledged his efforts by remaining on its feet the entire time, encouraging him. I waffled between enjoying what he was able to do – which was utterly remarkable – and hurting for him as I watched him struggle.
As David ended Silent Night, he seemed a bit stunned and mesmerized for a moment by the audience’s response to him. He gamely smiled, said thank you and quickly took his leave. I honestly thought he was not going to return for an encore, but when he did and once more stood behind the microphone he said that this song [O Holy Night] was a difficult one to sing and although it would be a challenge for him to sing this song tonight, he wanted to try to do it for us.
He did a beautiful job. My immediate impression was that it was as good as the night before. After he sang the last note, smiling seemed an effort for him and you could see him simply deflate. His posture slumped and what little energy he had drained right out of him.
He stood for a half minute or so hanging onto the mike stand for dear life just absorbing the crowd’s incredible response to his effort. Gathering himself up, he smiled then hunkered down and moved quickly to touch all the hands reaching up to him from in front of the stage. Upon his exit I sat, broke down and wept.
It really upset me so to see David so very tired and struggling with his voice in San Francisco, but according to all info re Anaheim David was back in fine form! Wouldn’t it be nice to be so young that a few hours sleep and a day off with family gets you going again at full speed?