Went with sprite and her parents to see Peter, Paul & Mary out at Wolf Trap tonight. It was such a great concert – a hopeful “yin” to the more anger-filled “yang” of the CSNY concert taking place 25 miles away. The stars were out, the cool night air carried beautiful harmonies throughout the Filene Center grounds, and many generations came together to enjoy a splendid show.
This concert is one of the few that’s been held since Mary Travers was sidelined with leukemia in 2004. The signs of the disease are still many: her hair is short, she’s lost a lot of weight (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing), she’s walking gingerly with a cane, and she gets winded quite easily. Yet her voice is still quite powerful, though it took a few songs for her to get the “oomph” she’s famous for displaying.
Noel Paul Stookey and Peter Yarrow were their usual selves: slightly mischievous, playful, yet thorough and thought-provoking in their storytelling. The mix is still potent in this day and age – perhaps more than it’s been in many, many years.
sprite and I last saw PP&M in 2003, when the U.S. invasion of Iraq was nigh. They sang on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, in front of the reflecting pool, under a night sky and illuminated by hundreds of candles. While tonight’s concert didn’t have quite the same immediate poignancy, it was powerful, all the same.
It was full of hope: hope that helps heal people; hope that the people will defeat fear; and hope that the world will find peace some day.
It was a celebration: of life renewed from the edge of death; of coming together to sing about freedom, harmony and peace; and of music.
And it was a protest: against the tyrrany of the current administration; against prejudice and hatred; against those who would rather take the easy way out of dispute, rather than the correct and just way.
As Mary said, “the world would be a far better place if we raised diplomats, rather than soldiers.”
Amen to that, Mary. Amen.