Last night, I went to my first concert in over 2 years (over 10 if you don't count DMB concerts). In an odd way, I was a little nervous... not in a traditional sense. Instead I was worried it would suck and I'd wasted time and money. It could never be too bad, since I had Angie along. Boy, I had nothing to worry about... CAKE delivered in spades and it rekindled the concert lover in me.
Before Ticketmaster and the Interwebz, concert tickets were sold through local music stores (yes, there was such a thing as a music store, with physical CDs, LPs, and cassettes). Anyway, I had a friend of a friend who worked at the local Turtle Records and Tapes. He was a jeweler by day and a record geek at night and weekends. He was confined to a wheelchair, but he made almost every concert in Atlanta (80 miles away). We became friends and suddenly, I was given a gift of immeasurable value. See, back in the day, concert tickets went for sale on Saturdays. People would line up Friday night for the good shows and camp to get the first tickets coming off. The ticketing method used was similar to how we buy tickets today. He logged into a system and when the clock turned 10:00... it was off to the races. He was fast with the machine (those jeweler hands) and he could poach the best seats very quickly.
Word got around, so our outlet was always busy as hell for the big concerts. Now here is the immense gift I was given. Of course, he wanted the best seats for himself but for some reason, I made his short list of friends to whom the next best ones went. At first I didn't believe it, but when I showed up for my first concert and they walked me to the 3rd row, I was in awe.
Genesis. Yes, Phil Collins and his band Genesis. 3rd row. At 15 years old. It was an unbelievable show. (Note: this was the awesome version of Genesis - "Abacab, Turn it On Again" not the "Land of Confusion" bulls---). It only got better. 7th Row for INXS (when Michael Hutchence was alive), 5th for Van Halen, 10th for Madonna (girlfriend), 2nd row for Whitesnake, and 8th for Bon Jovi... that one was me and 4 girls (smile). I knew I was lucky, but at the time I had NO idea how lucky. People can go their entire lives and not experience great tickets at a major concert. I saw a dozen before leaving high school.
Unfortunately, shortly before I graduated, the system changed and his skills no longer guaranteed great seats. The last few concerts were still awesome, but I started experiencing the bleacher sections instead of the floor.
Def Leppard - Hysteria tour
and many I can't remember.
The only tickets I ever declined were for Pink Floyd. Boy do I regret that one.
Oh, and one other little known fact about me. I actually saw Elvis live at the Omni in Atlanta with my mom. I'm 42, so do the math and verify it was possible.
So, my concert history is long. CAKE rekindled my desire to see great music.
If you don't know CAKE, but love sarcasm... check them out. Every song is full of it.