Ok, so I might be LDS but that doesn't necessarily mean that going to see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is on my list of "must do in this lifetime" things. However opportunity presented itself and Friday night found us headed to Cox Arena for the first San Diego visit from the choir since 1969.
It was a truly amazing experience. Now I can understand why the choir is so loved. They sang an incredible selection of songs that included hymns, folk songs and patriotic songs. Unfortunately I don't have my program with me, but my favorite song was Swahili??? There were bongos and a drum beat and at one point in the song they had a male soloist singing while various members of the choir made noises and called out. It was like you were instantly transformed to the middle of some kind of tribal celebration.
Here are a few things that I noticed about the concert.
1) It was quiet! It's amazing how quiet 8,000 people can become.
2) The crowd was polite. I don't know what the holdup getting into the arena was but the traffic was horrendous. It took us 1/2 hour to travel 1/2 mile. Once we finally parked we had to take elevators and walk quite a ways. Everyone in the elevator was friendly and talking. We were all strangers but you never would've known.
3) There was no smoking!!!! One of the things I hate about concerts is the smoking; the smell of pot and cloves. It was so strange to walk out of a concert and not have to walk through a cloud of smoke. My clothes didn't stink. I didn't smell alcohol. My feet weren't sticky from stepping through spilled beer and soda.
4) Culture Shock - On our way out of the area we stopped at the convenience store for a soda. Talk about one extreme to another. It was like a party in the store. There were local college kids buying more cups because they ran out at their party. Girls who barely had any clothes on were trying to get change for their trip to TJ (tiajuana - dancing, drinking, partying). And here we were....dressed in our Sunday best. It was kind of funny. I'm sure they were kind of thinking the same thing about us.