Saturday, January 2, 2010

posted Jan 2, 2010, 5:02 PM by Jeremy Poehnert   [ updated Jan 2, 2010, 5:31 PM ]
Happy New Year!

I spent New Year's Eve at First Night Boston with Melissa, and I got home late, so I didn't do my mini-journal yesterday!

I didn't get home until 3:30 AM on Friday morning.  That is literally the latest I have gotten home in YEARS.  I can't remember the last time I was out that late; it's been well over five years.

So I celebrated New Year's day by sleeping pretty much all day, which was nice.  It's not like I had a hangover or anything (I don't drink), it was just really nice to sleep in all day.

The whole New Year's outing was fun.  I went in to Boston and had lunch with Melissa and Tullio, and we hung out for the afternoon.  Then Melissa and I headed to First Night (Tullio had to finish his dissertation).

In past years First Night was often FREEZING!  But it was actually nice and mild that night.

We saw three great acts.  One was Origination and the O'Shea Irish step dance troop.  I'd seen them at a First Night several years ago, and it really stuck with me, so I was excited to see them again.  I wrote about them in my entry this past Wednesday.  I think the pairing of the two groups is amazing (they said they've been doing it for 8 years).  As far as I could tell, Origination was all youth of color, and O'Shea was all white youth.  Both do radically different dance styles.  The interaction of diversity and different cultures is really intriguing.  I'm sure it's not storybook, with everyone walking away with deep new insights, but the simple fact that they come together at all is very powerful.  I would love to interview the two dance groups about what the experience was like.

Even the crowd for that was interesting, attracting supporters for each of the two groups.  I feel like it brought together audiences that usually don't mix.  I felt like you could see it in how people reacted to the different dance styles; what they cheered for and how they cheered, not to mention the racial make-up of the crowd.  Obviously, I have to be careful about the assumptions I'm making.  I would love to interview the audience members to learn more about them and their connection to and impressions of the show.

We also saw a poetry group that jumped in after the dance group (they weren't on the schedule).  There were three of them; they were high energy and did spokenword/poetry about social issues.  It was really well done.

The final act was the Winterbloom concert, where four female folk singers with individual careers came together for an album and tour.  They were AWESOME!  The four of them were talented, funny and engaging.  They had real chemistry and an obvious friendship.  They created this fun, relaxing and down to earth vibe that was great.  I was familiar with two of them, but not the other two, so it gave me leads for new music to listen to.  The show was 90 minutes long, and it flew by.

After that we walked around the city a little and had desert at Finale, which I had never been to before.  It was really good.

I ended up catching the 2:00 AM train home (usually trains end at 12:10, but they had extra running for New Years), which got in at 3:00, and then I walked home...

Definitely a lot of fun.  I really feel lucky to have something like First Night available.  It's a special opportunity to see performances I would probably never see otherwise, and a great way to ring in the new year.