In person: Philip Glass, Monsters of Grace, March 16, 1999

[Philip Glass - Monsters of Grace]

I save my concert ticket stubs, but I’ve never taken an inventory of how many I have. So one night, I decided to scan them all. This stub is the oldest I could find.

Monsters of Grace is a multimedia piece by Philip Glass and Robert Wilson, and this staging was part of the SXSW Interactive festival in 1999. It had been two years since I moved from Honolulu, so the idea that I could go to a Philip Glass performance left me awestruck. Better yet, the show was restricted to badge holders, and I had a media badge.

I remember nothing of the music. It’s Philip Glass, so I imagine there were a lot of arpeggios and harmonic motion in thirds to distant keys. Since he was a keynote interview that year, Glass conducted and performed with his ensemble.

I do remember it was 3D, which meant I had to wear glasses, and Wilson’s staging in that regard was quite stunning.

None of my ticket stubs date earlier than 1999 because I had an evil entry-level work schedule at a newspaper. For the first year and a half, I worked nights. Then I was moved to early mornings on a 4-day/10-hour schedule. I wouldn’t have an office-hours schedule till the start of 1999.

That year was the first SXSW festival I attended. Later in the week, I would go to my first Japan Nite.

I saw Philip Glass in person two more times. The first was a year and a half later with Kronos Quartet performing his score to Dracula. The last was in 2012, when he took a bow after a staging of Einstein on the Beach at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley, Calif.