Ok let me preface by saying that even though I've lived on the East Coast since 1990, I grew up in Las Vegas, and Philomath (the tiniest of towns in Oregon). So when our friend Kenyon called and asked if we'd "come up and see the show" we were both really excited about the adventure. ... Kenyon is one of Gary's best friends, he's the reason we moved to Carlisle, and he was our downstairs neighbor for a while before he passed the NY bar exam (on the first try) and moved to Kingston, NY, to join his uncle's law firm... "Come up" means drive 4 1/2 hours to New York City... and "the show" means Lance Lopez and his amazing left hand were going to be performing at B.B. King's Lucille's Grill on 42nd Street (between 7th & 8th Ave) - yes that's TIMES SQUARE!!!
Even though we've had gigs in New York State, I've (Trudi) never been to the city. Gary has told me stories of when he went (back in the 80's with friends), and we've been trying to find an excuse to go, especially since it's not as scary as it used to be. So this was a welcome opportunity, plus Kenyon & (his lovely/awesome girlfriend) Lucille were going to be there with us to hang out, they had reserved a table right in front of the stage, and we were going to stay overnight at their place afterward. Great right - everybody was excited!!!
OK so... the morning of the show, we get up I check the pollen count, Gary takes a Zyrtec and we head off toward NYC. Silly me didn't check the pollen count for NYC or for the places in between and after about 2 - 3 hours in the car my eyes are watery/itchy/red. I'm thinking "great now everyone is going to think I've got the swine flu and we won't get let in..." so we stop and buy more Zyrtec for me. We are in Clinton, NJ, now and getting hungry and we are ahead of schedule, so... as we're getting a sandwich... Kenyon calls "Gary where are you guys... I've got a fever... I really want to go to the show... I'm sick... cough, cough, cough..." - you fill in the rest of the conversation.
Mannnnn... oh well, we're here now (practically) let's go to the show anyway, and Kenyon will just have to miss out, cause I'm not getting sick behind his hard head, especially since Gary's got to gig the next night.
Thank goodness Gary was helping me navigate, I almost missed our turn off of 95 toward the Lincoln Tunnel, and you DO NOT want to get lost in NYC. I couldn't believe how close it was to the venue from where the tunnel ended - right onto 42nd street, could not have been easier! Got to the parking lot that B.B.King's validates for, then we walked around for a while looking at all the cool lights, buildings, marques, and mostly cool people!!
So anyway... the club was cool (beautiful mahogany walls, inlaid tables, etc), the waitresses were friendly and funny, and Lucille nursed Kenyon's symptoms enough that they ended up coming to the show after all.
Alright already, I know all you guitar heads are skipping over the rest of my rambling to get to this part so here you go... LANCE LOPEZ has the left hand of a lightning bolt! He played for almost 2 1/2 hours straight before he even thought about taking a break. Closed his eyes, and just blazed though extra-extended versions of some our favorites of his songs... yes Gary and Kenyon just sat there with their mouths open. Oh and his rhythm section is to die for, these guys are no nonsense funk machines that make 2 1/2 hours of rhythmic mastery look like no big deal!
Here's some pictures for you (thanks Lucille for bringing your camera):