we had talked about going to see this show when it was announced over summer. he said he was going to be taking a break and this was going to be his last show for awhile. it seemed like we should go. and when we realized that seeing amanda palmer and neil gaiman was going to require a trip to seattle two days before this show it became clear, we were going. i'm so glad we did.
i am an eye-roller. i am a little jaded. i tell you this so you understand fully that saying this night was magical is a big deal for me. and it was. really and truly. from start to finish. magic.
the music was great. he had his band and many, many friends, including amanda palmer and neil gaiman, come out during the show. he was sweet and seemed a little awestruck that he'd filled this giant room. he also seemed tired - what with playing 200 shows in 35 countries over the last year. he read a story he'd written that underlined the point - he's grateful for his life, for his fans, but he's ready for the break.
the magic though, the magic began to happen as the clock approached 11:11 on 11/11/11. he got everyone out of their seats and incited what could have been a tickle riot. people danced and sang and laughed.
when the last song was coming to a close, this happened:
half the crowd, followed him and his balloons into the cold night under a full moon and a clear starry sky on a longish walk to the water. he waited for the last of the crowd to arrive, tied his ubiqitous hat to his balloons and let them go. he then took off his clothes, jumped into the freezing water of the puget sound and swam to a boat waiting for him offshore. from most anyone else, this would have seemed ridiculous. in fact, it still sort of does. but for jason webley it also seemed perfect.