On Friday, August 28th my wife and I were invited to accompany a fellow co-worker see James Taylor and Friends in Lenox, MA at Tanglewood. I’ve always appreciated James Taylor’s music although I have never been overly motivated to rush out to get tickets to see him. Being offered free tickets was something I was not foolish to pass up and I was curious to see what all the hubbub was about. Taylor’s performances at Tanglewood have always been one of the most sought after tickets to get; he normally sells out in minutes and plays only 2 times a year. Taylor is a resident of the Berkshires and clearly Tanglewood is a second home to him when he returns after his world tours.
That night we were clearly in for a treat, not only were our tickets 12th row center but the special guests announced for the night were cello virtuoso Yo-Yo Ma and multi award recording artist Sheryl Crow. I’ve always been a fan of Yo-Yo Ma and had seen him several times in the past at The Saratoga Performing Arts Center or SPAC as we locals like to call it; his concerts are simply incredible, see one if you get a chance. Sheryl Crow I was also eager to see, but again, not someone that was on my “must see before I die” list.
The concert was incredible! Taylor, Crow, and Ma played several songs together and each artists style complimented the other. The concert was 3 hours long with only one intermission. Tanglewood is a cozy, personal space for concerts like this and there appeared not a bad seat in the house (or The Shed as they call it at Tanglewood); but for the poor souls on the lawn it rained, and rained….and rained. I would recommend Tanglewood but make sure if you have lawn seats pray for no rain, otherwise it will be a waste of your time and money.
I would also recommend seeing James Taylor, Yo-Yo Ma, or Sheryl Crow; all are accomplished artists in their own right and each are not studio reliant musicians. I was overwhelmed with how perfect their abilities were and the acoustics of Tanglwood were very impressive indeed. One complaint I have about Tanglewood as a location is just that…location. Amidst the beautiful maples and oak trees and sleepy Berkshire mountains, the only way to get there is on two lane roads that become incredibly congested quickly. I’m sure that this is a love-hate relationship that townspeople of Lenox must have with the venue.
It took us nearly 45 minutes stuck in traffic to finally arrive at the parking lot and then took another 30 minutes to get out, please note that if you are not well aquainted with Mass. drivers, they are called “Massholes” for a reason; their inability to be considerate on every level is just astounding to me (yes, there were a few NJ plates in there just to make it even worse).
Give yourself at least an hour prior to show to get there, otherwise you run the risk of missing the start of the show.