When I bought tickets to the Yo Yo Ma concert, I didn’t realize at the time that it was going to be on Super Bowl weekend. Not the night of the big game, but the night before. We kept reading about all the activities that would be taking place in the theatre district all weekend long, and how bad traffic was going to be, how difficult the parking, etc.
So we allowed plenty of time and found out it was much ado about nothing. We got to the theatre district in the same amount of time it would have taken under normal circumstances, and we paid our $10 to park in the garage near Jones Hall, same as always. (On Sunday afternoon, some of the surface lots were charging $100 and $200 for a parking spot!) We had early dinner reservations (which somehow got lost), but there was no trouble getting seated, either.
There were major events going on all around us, though, and there was a large police presence. We saw several Department of Homeland Security vehicles go by, and there was no shortage of black SUVs and marked police cars lining the streets.
The concert was quite something. The Houston Symphony Orchestra opened with Gershwin’s American in Paris and then the cello master joined them for Dvorák’s cello concerto. After all the obligatory applause and handshaking and bowing and encore calls, Yo Yo Ma came back by himself and played something that I didn’t recognize. His playing is so dexterous that at times it seemed like there were more notes being played than was humanly possible. It was a night to remember, for sure.
I’m not a huge football fan, but I usually watch some playoff games and the Super Bowl. This year’s game was one for the books, no doubt about it. We heard that a bunch of people, presumably hoping to beat the crowds and traffic, opted to leave NRG Stadium in the fourth quarter, when it looked like Atlanta had the game wrapped up, only to end up watching on TV screens in the parking lot when everything went south for the southern team and north for the Patriots.
We had to take a 45-minute break in the second quarter to talk to our daughter, so I pushed “pause” and we picked up where we left off at the end of our conversation. That meant I had to stay off social media for the rest of the game to avoid “spoilers”! Think what you will about Brady and the Patriots, it was an impressive performance and a comeback for the ages. Made for an exciting game, no doubt about it.
We were equally impressed by the halftime show. Lady Gaga put on a memorable performance. The drones that made the animated star patterns at the beginning were pretty impressive. Something we’ll no doubt see more often in the future.