I know I'm not the first to say this, but old age really has a way of creeping up on you. Once upon a time, having 5 drinks and partying until 6 am was not a hurculean task on par with running a marathon. Rather, it was something of a weekly routine. But today I am hurting. I feel like I've been thrown down a flight of stairs and my eyes are still puffy with sleep... all because I had half a beer and stood for three hours head bobbing to the exhilarating music of Habib Koite the night before. Weeks ago, we learned that Habib Koite was giving a concert at the Treehouse in Nairobi and while neither one of us were all that familiar with his music, we decided to check it out... and though I feel like I'm 32 going on 60 today, I am so glad that we did.
Seamlessly combining sounds from funk to blues to even country, Habib Koite's music, I learned, is beyond definition. But I think what I appreciated most, was that he and his band really seemed to be making music in the moment. They of course played songs that I'm sure they've played so many times before but in the spirit of improvisational jazz, they played like artists in a live action collaboration. In this way, there was nothing about their performance that seemed rehearsed and with each song I got the distinct feeling that we were being gifted with a version being played for the first and last time this night. Add to this some amazing spur-of-the-moment dance performances by select members of the audience and we had the best concert I've been to in a long time.
Even still, by 10:15 pm our very middle aged sense of responsibility got the best of us (T had a 7 am meeting the next day) and we tore ourselves away from the concert. Meanwhile, forty-something Habib and his band put us to shame as they continued to rock out on stage. In this way, I guess age has less to do with numbers and more to with how young at heart you are. Either way, I'd like to think that my lower back pain, stiff knees, and achy feet just means that I'm mature for my age.