Tonight’s Agenda: Dinner at “Sweet Basil Thai” followed by Florence and the Machine
When you are craving some great Thai food, check out Sweet Basil 3135 NE Broadway. My friend Brenda turned me on to this place a few weeks ago. I have been wanting to take my husband here ever since. With ingredients like fresh mango, asparagus and pumpkin, this place seems to make a point of integrating seasonal ingredients without betraying the classic flavors and spice of classic thai cuisine. Furthermore, if you are a woman like me, who likes some heat to her food, there is no need for a woman to carry a can of mace for personal protection. No one will want to mess with a woman who has just eaten spicy Thai. Even my own husband wants nothing to do with me. Thankfully, Sweet Basil has a full bar which, hopefully, makes me less repulsive. The service here is very polite and efficient, making it the perfect food stop before a show.
The main attraction tonight, though, is not Thai cuisine. It is Florence and the Machine which is a misnomer because, despite having a great accompanying band, she IS a machine. I have obviously heard her powerful voice before, but have never seen her perform live. Tonight she is dressed stunningly in all white and looks like a personified white stallion with a long and loose tangerine mane. Her performance, like her voice and stature, is powerful and impressive.
But my husband and I are not her only fans. I happen to end up sitting next to her GREATEST fan. I swear if Florence lived in Portland, this kid next to me would be her stalker. Really. I have not witnessed this kind of uncompromised passion for a musician since my 8th grade crush on Elton John. ( And I am still quite certain that Elton would have felt the same way towards me if I had only been a different gender). As I watch this kid gyrate and enunciate each syllable of every lyric–that he just knows she has written specifically about and for him–I hope he will be able to handle the disappointment when she has to go home for the night.
The fury of the evening crescendos as a female audience member across the stadium from us jumps from the second floor balcony onto the stage with Florence. She handles the sudden interruption to her performance like a pro. But the kid next to me is about to come undone. My maternal instincts take over as I feel the need to comfort him and reassure him that Florence is going to be okay. But alas, Florence does this for all of us just in time; she is back singing without a quiver to her voice. Had she waited any longer, I fear this valiant youth next to me would have swooped done to rescue her. See what you miss when you stay home and watch TV?
Sweet Thai Basil
The night was busy. We had tickets for Florence + the Machine and decided to eat in East county. Kerry had recently had lunch at Sweet Thai Basil and wanted to take me.
Compared to clarklewis, this was food that made my mouth shout with joy.
A ginger cocktail, asparagus rolls and a fried trout with apple, mango, cashew and cilantro. I had never had a dish like it. The rice was with a star shaped combination of white and black rice. I usually like just white rice, but there was just enough black rice to serve as a flavoring for the white rice, like a sauce. The menu has many other intriguing dishes we will have to go back and try.
Florence + the Machine
Then it was time for Florence + the Machine. The show was every bit as good as her recordings. Powerful voice and a great stage presence, somehow managing to draw in the whole audience in the Memorial Coliseum. While there were 15,000 people, she had a way of making it seem more intimate.
It had been a long time since I have been to stadium rock, the last was when the Who where at the Moda Center. There are definitely some people who are way too invested in popular performers, one of which was near us. I suspect he thought Florence was singing just to him. Kind of creepy.
While flatulence guy does not go to the large venues, loud talking girl was there for the opening act. Her dog has anxiety problems that she discussed louder than the guitar of the opening band. Really, if you are going to talk over the music, at least make it interesting.
As an example as to how long I have been away from stadium rock, I had not realized that lighters had been replaced by cell phones. It makes for a gorgeous view waiting for the encore.
If you ever get a chance to see Florence + the Machine, go. Amazing music, songs, voice and performance.