Probably not many audiences are as eclectic than the one which gathered Friday in Benaroya Hall for Seattle-raised, L.A.-based composer Matt Messina 's annual fundraiser>"/>
Probably not many audiences are as eclectic than the one which gathered Friday in Benaroya Hall for Seattle-raised, L.A.-based composer Matt Messina's annual fundraiser for Children's Hospital. Fervent fans there only to see Matt's rockstar special guests mingled with old friends and family; hospital staff, board members, and donors joined a handful of Matt's industry colleagues who flew up for the day. I myself randomly ended up sitting next to Jeff Marx, one of the composer/lyricists for Avenue Q; that sort of thing generally doesn't happen at Seattle Symphony subscription concerts.
Unannounced, the Wilsons strolled casually onstage for their numbers (John/Taupin’s "Sixty Years On," followed by "Seasons"), sounding fabulous and looking, at 57 and 53, absolutely cooler than cool, setting off an audience lovefest that sent great perfumed clouds of affection wafting toward the stage. Alice in Chains, headlining the second half, also did two numbers. One I have no idea what it was (and I didn't catch enough of the lyrics to be able to Google them), but you’d probably recognize it: it was that song of theirs that quotes in one of its licks the opening do-re-fa-mi motive from the finale of Mozart's "Jupiter" Symphony. You know, that one.* The second (as even I recognized) was the indestructible "Kashmir," with the 30 strings of the NWSO churning out that Morse-code repeating bass line (in grad school, we called it a passacaglia) and the NWGC soaring over William DuVall’s lead vocal. Spectacular. Quote of the night: when Jerry Cantrell threw fans a handful of souvenirs, DuVall came back wryly with "I think pick-tossing at the symphony is hysterical."
*Actually, their "first number" was a medley, a friend in the orchestra tells me: "Whale & Wasp," "Sick Man," and "I Stay Away." Thanks, Eric!