The first time I visited Wolf Trap I couldn’t have been more than 8 or 9 years old. We had come up to DC to see Itzhak Perlman perform with the National Symphony Orchestra (I think).; Being a budding violin player at the time, the experience of seeing that stage for the first time, taking in the beauty of the venue itself and hearing those absolutely perfect acoustics ring from it’s rafters – it was the tipping point. It was the first time I can remember being aware of the powerful effect music can have on a person. It made me want to drown in the stuff until there was no air left to breathe and only the sound remained. Seeing Perlman wring the purest sounds you’ve ever heard out of his Stradivarius was the first time I realized what a rock star really was. Some otherworldly being here to astound with seemingly impossible talents. Rock stars were gods and this place, Wolf Trap, was the pulpit from which they spread their universal message far and wide.
If that sounds all mystical and outrageously hyperbolic, you may be right – I was eight. But on that night I knew magic, and each and every time that I return to that place I get a little hint, a hit, of how special a venue it really is. The magic is real, and it persists today. Without question Wolftrap is one of the best venues in the country (I love you Hollywood Bowl, but you don’t stand a chance in a cage match here). It’s heart bleeds music, rock stars and legend. So how could I resist when a legend, a rock star, of a different sort, was set to perform on its stage this past Saturday night.