Remembering a great pizza from our past, Vickie and I returned to Candalari’s Pizzeria on Holcomb. Our good friend Richard was performing and this gave us two reasons to visit on Wednesday night. We asked the first person we saw (Logan) for a pizza recommendation while he prepped a kids table with drawing paper. We received what turned out to be a great advice, and some playful rock paper scissors charm that upgraded us from mere customers to guests at a loved ones home. Our good fortune continued as VJ introduced himself as our server. He did not miss a beat and was a perfect compliment to my playful teasing of Vickie’s ordering fumbles while also providing just the right navigation to get us what we really wanted. Bravo young man!
With drinks in hand and our pizza in the oven, the musical duo took the stage for their final set. While we had already experienced Richard’s musical prowess on several occasions, this performance was different than any other. Vlad, the violinist, turned out to be a wonderfully surprising virtuoso! Surprising… because this isn’t Jones Hall. Let me be clear…the awesomeness is in the quality and not the quantity. This performance is a beautiful conversation that will require you to sit near and listen in order to appreciate. Vickie and I could’ve easily whispered to each other, but we were too enveloped in the poetry of these two amazing musicians to speak. Vlad’s violin is the voice of his soul and he is sharing his inner beauty with all who allow themselves to listen. The jaw drop of the night was when I joked that anything from Young Frankenstein was good (after they finished Puttin’ on the Ritz) and Vlad immediately played Transylvanian Lullaby. It has been a full day since and that gift still resonates in me.
I have saved what I believe is the best for last. Quite simply, the best reason to go to Candalari’s on Wednesday night is Richard (keyboard player). If you spend any time with him you will find that he is the easiest person to love that you will ever meet. I could fill pages about his musical talent on so many different instruments, but ultimately it is his Richardness that makes him so uniquely special. He is that kid that realizes you don’t have a candy bar so he splits his and hands you the bigger half. He is that friend who is always more concerned for you than for himself. He is that musician that is so happy to gently provide all of the tasteful support that propels another’s performance to it’s full potential while so often secretly being the most gifted musician on the stage.
I have a final recommendation for you. Go see, taste, hear, and wait for your moment… to hug Richard. I do it every time I see him and it is always wonderful because he means it. He is love… and my life is better because of him. So go for the good food and drinks and enjoy the amazing music, but don’t miss the main course.