24 April 2012


It is a well-known fact that I am a lover of music – all music – well, except hip hop, rap, heavy metal rock, but (to me) most of that is just “noise” and not music anyway, so like I said, I am a lover of music. I have been blessed to have seen some phenomenal artists in my life. Classic foundational artists like the late Etta James, the incomparable Nancy Wilson (BEST CONCERT EVER!!!), and the amazing Harry Belafonte. Contemporary greats like the late Luther Vandross, Anita Baker, Jill Scott, Will Downing and Lalah Hathaway. Gospel giants like Commissioned, Take 6 and Richard Smallwood. And some lesser known (or critically acclaimed) artists like Bobby McFerrin (he has done sooo much more than DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY), Hiroshima, Pieces of 8, Dianne Reeves and Alex Bugnon.

Recently, a good friend (and fellow music-phile) and I were discussing which artists (living and dead) we really wanted to see in concert – and topping both of our lists was the legendary Roberta Flack. Every time she has ever performed in Atlanta, it has been on a Friday night – and as a “good Adventist Christian”, I have never been able to go. So, imagine my absolute JOY at hearing that she would be performing at this year’s Dogwood Festival – in a FREE concert – on a SATURDAY!! Granted, it was 7p – well within the Sabbath hours – BUT we’re talking about ROBERTA FLACK!!! Surely, God will understand.

And let me just say before I go any further: I think God does understand. But now is not the time for me to go into a long discourse about the holiness of the Sabbath hours and how most Adventists (whether they will admit in polite company or not) have a HARD time keeping ALL the hours of the Sabbath holy, especially in the summer months when the Sabbath hours don’t end until well into the night. That needs a whole blog to itself.

So, I hear about the concert and I start making my plans. I call my good friend to see if he can come to Atlanta to go with me. Nope. I call a girlfriend to see if she will go with me. Nope, she has a conflict. And while my mom’s eyes sparked for a moment, she bailed on going with me as well. The time of the concert is growing closer and closer – what’s a girl to do? For the record, I am not scared to go places by myself, but Piedmont Park (the venue of the festival) can be a little sketchy when the lights go out. Not sure EXACTLY where in the park Ms. Flack would be performing, I was anxious about parking and traffic and … you guessed it … I talked myself out of going by myself. Which turned out to be the wisest course of action. Right about the time of the concert, the skies above opened in a torrential downpour – well, in my neighborhood anyway. So, I took that as a sign that it was a good thing that I kept my happy behind at home.

Two days later, hearing people who went down to the park for the festival and who talked about the concert, I don’t think I missed anything (except checking that item off my “bucket list”). I have a feeling that Ms. Flack will come back to Atlanta before either she or I die – and it will be in a comfortable theatre venue with adequate parking on a night when I don’t have a conflict of conscience and when I will have a friend that will go along with me. I think God will make that happen for me.

What do you think?

Be blessed.

©2012 Kristina E. Smith

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