The first part of this post is for my mother, because I tried to explain the following to her upon seeing this man. Bear with me, before I get to the performance.
I need to get this out. Chris Botti, sexy man that he is, looks like THE PERFECT LOVECHILD of Jason Bateman and Matt Czuchry. Maybe those aren’t household names for most, but they are regulars in my apartment, so there you go. Bateman is Michael Bluth, among many other characters in film (Juno, State of Play) and Czuchry is Logan Huntzberger on Gilmore Girls. I’m totally right. Man, I love it when I’m right. Observe:
That’s Bateman on the top, Czuchry on the bottom. Now, for your viewing pleasure, here is Chris Botti.
Tell me it’s not uncanny. Tell me that he’s the lovechild. Because he is.
Okay, on with the show. This guy (Botti) is amazing. He really is. He’s got a presence about him that would attract millions of fans in my twentysomething demographic, were my peers not scared shitless of lyric-free music. He’s not flamboyant, he doesn’t flourish, he just plays the trumpet with a raw soul that’s hard to place, but it’s brilliant. And his band is equally, if not more talented. Drummer Billy Kilson, as mentioned during the show, is quite possibly the best drummer I’ve ever seen. His wrists move quicker than what seems humanly possible, and he’s so comfortable at the set that he hardly even looks at the instruments before him. He just chews his gum and looks around and smiles occasionally. Billy Childs on piano was also a treat to watch, especially considering the 23842937 awards he’s won. He’s incredibly understated but has a clear command of the keyboards. (I guess no one really travels with a piano nowadays.) And guitarist Mark Whitfield (at least I think that’s who it was), while a bit too full of himself for my tastes, worked well with Botti on stage. They constantly cracked each other up, and it was impossible to tell if it was a schtick or if it was a first-time experience for everyone.
Botti also had guests on violin and voice, which was cool in theory, but a little shaky in execution, though I learned that the guests travel with him all the time. Honestly, they were good but not great. Violinist Lucia Micarelli had some definite talent within, but after my mom told me that she wore the same dress last time, I sort of lost a little respect for her. And then I started seeing her facial expression as forced instead of, oh, intense or whatever musicians like to say they feel during a performance. You tell me, though. And vocalist Sy Smith, while charming (and a relative of Whitfield), wasn’t that great a singer. It’s hard to compete with a band of dudes like that with a leader who played with Sting. But a worthy effort!
And FINALLY. CHRIS BOTTI GETS BABES. Damn, you should have seen the line of cougars waiting to get his autograph. It was fantastic. You go, guy.