My recollections on Sinéad O’Connor, R.I.P.

There will be a lot of digital ink expended about Sinéad O’Connor’s death and her music, so I won’t cover that ground.

I went to see M. O’Connor at Lake Compounce in Connecticut 21 August 1990. I think I took a girl I wanted to date (we did not). I don’t remember the opener if there was one, but I do remember that M. O’Connor started her set an hour late, did six to eight songs, and then just … stopped. She left the stage. I seem to recall the band stayed for a bit. Eventually someone came on and said the show was over and the park’s lights came on.

The Hartford Courant said the show was tastefully brief or somesuch.

I remained salty about the show for years, calling it the worst concert I’d ever attended. It probably was better than I chose to remember and I’ve experienced many truly bad shows since.

One of the truisms about cover songs is that they should not make one seek out the better original. M. O’Connor’s cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” stands on its own.

The Courant was correct, though. That concert 33 years ago was brief. I would have liked more time to hear her sing. R.I.P.

UPDATE: From John Scalzi,

She was troubled and erratic and brilliant and one of the indelible voices of my generation, and she was fucking right about the Catholic Church, for all the good it did her in this life. Genius doesn’t make for an easy life, but genius she was, and I’m glad that for a time she got to express her particular strain of genius in this world. May she rest well.

She was right about the Catholic Church. That was another touchpoint I had with M. O’Connor, watching that SNL episode, and then asking questions.


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