The first time I saw James Taylor in concert was in college. It was the early 90s, and I was on a date. This was a very big-deal date because there was dinner before and the concert so I think my suitor had very high hopes about how the evening would end. James (yeah, Im calling him James) played in a 1500-seat concert hall near Chapel Hill, NC (In my mind Ive gone to Carolina...), which is just about the best geographic location to see him play. The second time I saw James in concert was at Tanglewood, an outdoor venue in the Berkshires. I was doing summer stock in Stockbridge (..and so was the turnpike from Stockbridge to Boston ) and the interns all blew a paycheck on a lawn ticket and a bottle of cheap wine. The photos from that night show a group of unwashed, unattractive, drunk 20-somethings. We were so far back that I cannot be sure that James actually played that night.
My most recent viewing of James was not under what I would consider the ideal circumstances. If one is an employee of Ruth Eckerd Hall (as this particular one is) then it is understood that the staff ticket policy is somewhat strict. I didnt even attempt to get staff tickets when James was added to the schedule. Then, out of the blue, a loophole appeared! I could watch part of the show if I would be willing to man a satellite soda and water station in the west lobby. Hmmm would I get tips? Maybe? Im in! Everyone who passed though the west lobby and gave me that pitying look as I hawked water and sodas, dont you worry about Susan, my vantage point was better than yours.