Last night was the roughly-annual Tower of Power concert at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco. I always enjoy it because a) I love T.O.P. and find that they're still making great music after all these years, and b) the Fillmore is a cool and historic place to see a show.
This year there were two additional highlights: a group of friends in attendance and a Very Special Show.
After I showed up at a function for my daughter's school wearing a Tower of Power t-shirt, I got lots of comments from other parents about how much they liked the band and so on. So I agreed to alert everyone the next time they played locally. So we had three other families as well as a long-time friend and former coworker who is a big fan, and we all met for dinner in Japantown before the show and went over together.
It was during dinner that I got my first inkling of what a special show it was to be. I knew the band was observing its 40th anniversary, and that tickets were priced therefore at $40. What I didn't realize was that it was going to be a huge band reunion, with a whole bunch of former band members joining in for anything ranging from one number to whole sets and even much of the show. Accordingly, they played tunes from various eras of the band's history, including many that we hadn't heard live in a long time, if ever.
Probably the best moment came at the end, after more than three hours of playing, during the encore, when they brought out even more former bandsmen and performed "You're Still a Young Man" with something like a 15-piece horn section (it's usually five), and brought out several great soloists for "What is Hip?"
It was all fabulous. And best of all, it was all being filmed for a high-definition DVD to be released next year, so I can relive the show long into the future. Life is good.