The Julee Cruise show represented my first night trip into the DC area unaccompanied by an adult. Of course I had traveled into Tokyo on my own on plenty of occasions at an even younger age, but something about the difference in the murder rate between DC and Tokyo gave my parents pause.
We got to the auditorium early since there were no designated seats. There were one or two other people in line before my small group, but our diligence guaranteed us front row seats. The space was relatively small and perfect for an intimate night with the mysterious songbird that I only knew through association with David Lynch's films and Twin Peaks. At the time, I'm sure that I didn't have any of Julee Cruise's music on cassette or CD, but I knew a handful of songs and the opportunity to be just a dozen or so feet away from someone who worked with David Lynch on Blue Velvet was enough to sell me a ticket.
The opening act was a solo male performer who's most memorable song was one in which he eschewed vegetarianism in favor of being "a Mineralist." I don't remember another thing about him and I've never heard any of his music since, but I still remember lyrics from that song.
Cruise herself lived up to the dreamy, otherworldly billing that we had expected. She was slight and her band was decked out in formal wear while she wore a long gown. Whether her reluctance to engage the audience was in an effort to preserve the illusion or whether she was just really shy and nervous, I'll never know. Sitting mere yards from her as she sang "The Mysteries of Love," it certainly felt like she had been dropped into the auditorium from another plane of existence.
At one point she left the stage and the band riffed on some instrumental themes from Twin Peaks which was tremendously satisfying. When Cruise came back, she had changed into another long gown and she continued to float over the night as we stared up from our seats.