Vanessa Williams Concert
Last Tuesday, Shin`s work gave him four tickets to a Vanessa Williams concert in Osaka City last Wednesday. It was the same night he was due to entertain some clients, so he was unable to go. The tickets went to his parents, and then he asked me if I wanted to go and if I had anybody I wanted to go with. I said I would go, and would ask a friend. I didn`t really know who Vanessa Williams was, but a beautiful American woman came to mind, and it would be an evening of interest! Turns out a friend from Mexico was able to join us, meeting us at the venue. Shin`s parents fed me after my class and then we drove to their church in downtown Takatsuki for parking, then walked to take the train into Osaka. From the station, it was in an area called Umeda, and it took about five minutes to walk to the venue. I figured we were in the right area as I saw some banners for the Lion King!
Some interesting sites along the way included a station of a large black cat walking through the side of a building.
And, I was surprised to realize that the Sankei Hall Breeze, a fairly large theatre with just under 1000 seats, was on the seventh and eighth floor of a mall! With a large wooden puppet that looked similar to Pinocchio in the atrium.
My friend was coming from quite far away, past Kyoto, a small town near Lake Biwa, so he was a little late – I waited for him at the door but about one minute before start time, I was requested by staff to leave his ticket at the entry and go in and take my seat. So, I did. He and a few other latecomers were escorted to their seats after one song.
The concert was about an hour, and the seats were far back but with a great view of Vanessa and her band. The music was mostly older love songs, and while I thought I only knew one song “Save the Best for Last,” I ended up singing along (silently as in Japan you try not to disturb your neighbours) to almost all the songs and particularly liked a disco song, and a song I knew by Diana Krall – Peel Me A Grape. I think it was the first concert I`ve been to where I stayed in my seat the whole time, but it was still a quiet but enjoyable concert.
Shin had told me that Ms Williams was the first Miss America who was African American, so I had a peruse after the concert – indeed, she was Miss America in 1983. However, just before the end of her reign, some nude photos were released by Penthouse Magazine and she ended up giving up her crown, and the runner up, another woman who was African American, Suzette Charles. Ms Williams, however, continued on with a fairly successful singing and acting career, and has 8 albums. She sang the theme song for Pocahontas “Colours of the Wind.”
Had noticed a Sapporo Beer Tent beside the station on our travels to the theatre, and hoped to sample some Ghenghis Khan (lamb and vegetable BBQ) and Sapporo Beer. Shin`s parents Naoko and Takashi had told me it was new, but I didn’t quite realize how new they meant – it was just having its party with the upcoming staff. And I was told they don’t serve Ghenghis Khan. Tooooo bad!
Had some German beer and fare instead, just inside the station. Headed home and made the last bus! Overall, a great little trip into the city.