If you go to the New York State Fair, there will be structures filled with animals. Lots of animals. We saw none the day before, so off to the cattle barn on Sunday, September 1. We went into the dairy barn. Nearby was the dairy products building, where the butter sculpture, which looked like two sockhop teens at a diner, was located.
We saw the aquarium and saw all the 4-H setups. Most counties were represented in the 4H area. Also, my daughter got her hair done and she decided to buy some product with her own money.
Mostly, though, we were vamping for time until Sheila E.’s 2 pm performance. I bought what was purported to be a chicken spiedie. A kid from Binghamton, NY knows what a spiedie looks like and tastes like. Was this marinated at all? And it was baked or boiled, certainly not grilled.
The Chevy Court, the outdoor venue where the performance would take place already had about one hundred people in the space by 1 pm for a 2 pm program, so we took our seats just behind a section designated for folks in wheelchairs.
My niece, Rebecca Jade, and I texted back and forth. She came out from backstage just after she arrived, around 1:30, and we got to get hugs.
The show started on time with the Funky National Anthem: Message 2 America. Some folks stood. This segued into some covers of what sounded like Parliament/Funkadelic and, of course, Prince.
Leader of the Band was a song by Pete Escovedo, Sheila’s dad. For the first time, she performed the new song No Line, featuring Snoop Dog’s prerecorded vocals.
Sheila had audience members dancing onstage to something called Bailar. Lynn Mabry (I’ll Take You There) and Rebecca each got solos. This was in part because, though you couldn’t tell by looking at her, the star wasn’t feeling well, from some bad seafood the day before.
Still, Sheila circumnavigated the grounds, singing with her guitar. I couldn’t actually SEE her because everyone was standing, but I did see her instrument as she walked around the handicapped area.
She ended with a medley that includes her version of America, plus a bunch of Prince songs, including Baby I’m A Star. Naturally, she concluded with The Glamorous Life and a drum solo. Some of the songs were the same as two years ago, but hardly all.
My wife, daughter and I left, with a plan to pick up the niece 30 minutes after she got to her hotel. But as we got about a quarter-mile away, I checked my phone. Rebecca texted that Sheila wanted to meet us! We scurried back.
We went backstage with a couple of my sister Leslie’s friends, Cathy and John. John was the guitarist for sister Leslie’s first band in Binghamton, Crystal Ship. Kathy was the longtime significant other of Bobby, Crystal Ship’s late drummer.
Sheila and Lynn both came out from behind the curtain to the dressing area. Sheila hugged us all. Someone, maybe Lynn, said I looked like Leslie with a beard, which I suppose is an insult to Leslie.
We ended up at the hotel where she was staying. Rebecca, all showered, went out with us for dinner. She explained trying to balance her own gigs in the San Diego area with being on the road with Sheila. She now has some entity to arrange her agenda. It was a great time seeing the niece for more than five minutes after the show.
After we dropped Rebecca off, my wife drove us back to Albany, frequently during a driving rain.