Go to the show

I recently attended my first rock concert at the tender age of 43. There had been a handful of concerts in my teens and twenties, but alternative or pop and I’d missed Pink Floyd when they toured in the late eighties. I remember talking about getting tickets with my best friend, but we had no real plan or money and it’s just as well because I would have been the kid who never made it out of the parking lot. Besides, late eighties Pink Floyd got everyone but Roger Waters in the divorce, and he was the one I liked best.

When we heard Roger was touring again, Joe and I decided we had to go. My finger hovered over refresh in the moments leading up to presale. It was like Black Friday at Walmart, I guess, not that I’d know but I do know to get what you want and get to checkout. I had no idea what ticket prices would be, but was pretty sure $14 couldn’t be right even though that was what the ticket site listed for our section.  $14 was like 1967 prices, but with the clock ticking I either thought this is our lucky day or I’m not missing out again like in 1987 and clicked and paid $28 for two tickets. Naturally this came to nearly $100 after the usual fees, but still. Cheap.

Shortly afterwards, the concert venue sent out a smartly worded, slightly apologetic email that basically said sorry guys, those tickets were really supposed to be $146 and you must have known deep down $14 wasn’t right because we charge more than that for a soda. So anyway, we’re charging the difference to your credit cards. But here’s a voucher for free parking (a $25 value!). p.s. The person who made that very costly typo is hanging by his middle toes as we speak. 

I barely had time to tell if I was disappointed or relieved when I got another email that basically said sorry guys, remember how we said we were going to charge the difference to your credit cards? Our legal team told us we couldn’t but we weren’t going to anyway. It was a joke, haha! You can keep the free parking though because we’re laid back cool like that. 

Months passed and I occasionally peeked in at our super-cheap tickets to make sure they hadn’t vanished or been hallucinated. I have never been more excited to attend a rock concert, which would have been true even if I’d attended dozens or any before. Joe and I brushed up on our late 70s to early 80s Pink Floyd – which, totally not necessary, as I’d burned those songs deep in the brain (along with a fair amount of pot) during my formative years – and gave Waters’ new album a spin and really liked it. Spoiler alert: he has a hard-on of hatred for Trump. No matter where his fans fall on the political spectrum, no one seemed to take it personally at the concert.

So picture this bit of karmic comeuppance: Picture two seats on an aisle. Great! No ‘scuse me’s on your way out to visit the mens or ladies room precipitated by, based on what I observed of fellow concert goers, pretty much continuous trips up and down the stairs to purchase large beverages to drink and/or spill on my head. Now picture those aisle seats, which are angled towards the stage but front row to the aisle. To see the stage, you have to crane past all the bobbing heads traveling up and down stairs with drinks. They are still good seats though. They are reasonably close to the stage and being front row to the aisle, we get to watch a blissed out dude stop and stare up at the ceiling for a full minute. I don’t do drugs anymore, but his joy was infectious. We could see all the cool floats, art and levitating platforms Roger Waters and his team worked so hard on, plus Roger himself looking beautifully angry on the jumbotron. He’s almost 74 years old, some sort of god I think.

When Pink Floyd did their last tour as a still-together band, they erected a giant wall, brick by brick, between them and audience and then tore it down as part of the show. 1980 Roger Waters wanted to keep the wall up and play the rest of the show that way – with a physical barrier between him and his fans – and I think 2017 Roger would have done it if he’d still felt that way. The years have not softened his political views, but he’s made a kind of peace with fame and fans. He just seemed happy to be up there putting on a show. We all just ate it up.

The show closed with Comfortably Numb, which is everybody’s favorite, I know, but it’s really mine. I’m pretty sure everyone in the audience sang along except for the lady in front of us who’d turned around before the show started to ask my six-foot-five husband to stop bumping the back of her chair with his knees because it was making her nauseous, but that was only because she’d already slipped out. Comfortably Numb would have brought us together, I’m sure. You can dance to Pink Floyd. I didn’t know that before but I saw it for myself and now I’m a believer.

I wonder if I will ever go to another rock concert again. Maybe if Judas Priest comes to town, and then I won’t feel bad if I never make it past the parking lot. It’s fun making childhood dreams comes true, even when we’re a little too old to enjoy them in the same way.

22 thoughts on “Go to the show

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  1. I can’t tell if you’re endorsing aisle seats or not. I’ve always preferred sitting on the aisle. I prefer being disrupted over being the disrupter.

    Pink Floyd is one of those bands that I love at moments. Just some incredible music to flow with at times. It’s a concert that wouldn’t be bad to go to, but I don’t know if I ever will. Our summer concerts this year were Bruno Mars and Neil Diamond. Go figure.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Totally get it. A couple of years ago I went to an SF Giants game. It was a special occasion because it was my brother and my two boys and I and we were taking my mother. It was the last time we went after making this annual trip for a handful of years. We had seats situated so that the aisle was between us and home plate. And we spent pretty much the entire game frustrated that we never saw anything because of the never-ending flow of pedestrian traffic up and down that aisle. It was really incredible. So, I get it.

        Bruno was very fun. Definitely gets the juices flowing.

        Neil was a different kind of fun … particularly the Sweet Caroline sing along during the encore.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I was about to say, they can’t post one price and charge you another, that’s a big no no. I’ve spent more hours than I can count absorbing Pink Floyd, but I’ve never seen them live, sorry to say. Never seen Judas Priest either, but I’ve seen Iron Maiden a couple of times. Best concerts I’ve seen were U2 on the (original) Joshua Tree tour and The Flaming Lips. And don’t tell anyone but I’ve seen Neil Diamond multiple times too. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m not a huge Pink Floyd fan but I can relate to the excitement of seeing a band or star you’ve always loved. I saw Bette Midler in NY two years ago and she was awesome. Sounds like you really made out on those tickets. 😘

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You are never too old!
    I’ve been to so many concerts sober I can’t count. Everything from Duran Duran to Metallica and a lot of metal in between!

    I prefer standing general admission!
    Even at 45 I can’t imagine sitting during a show. It’s just not as fun!


    Liked by 3 people

  5. That sounds so fun! There is an energy in rock shows that is so fun.
    The last one I went to that I could hear was a long time ago…it was Prince’s Purple Rain Tour. I couldn’t sop singing for a year!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So fun! I love love love going to concerts now that I’m sober.. I went when I was a boozer too but just used to get drunk and spend most of my time up getting more booze or in the loo.. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a cool experience! I love that song, comfortably numb.

    I find sober concert going to be a real thrill. I went to a lot of concerts too f’ed up to even see straight, let alone enjoy the show. I guess hose concerts were more excuses to get lit. Whereas sober concerts are for the joy of the show, which you described beautifully here.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I never would have gathered you for a Pink Floyd fan. I can’t say that I am. I have tried to like them many times, but it was a no go. Glad you got out there! You’re brave! I am not sure I have done a concert sober. Even drunk, I didn’t go to many concerts. I don’t like the crowds, I think! Anyways, so cool that you got the tickets cheap, and yes, when they said that they were going to charge the difference, I was shocked. I didn’t think you could do that. Glad they rescinded that.
    Love that vid at the end…lol. I went to school with goofballs like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Super happy you got to go and have fun, despite the woman in front of Joe and all the passersby with drinks, and so on. No surprise for that I suppose. KK Downing or Glen Tipton, pick?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Whew! I remember listening to Richard Marx on a Walkman while taking long walks by myself in the middle of winter so I could sneak Capri cigarettes (the size of miniature golf pencils). His music was like the soundtrack to the saddest movie you’d never want to see.


  10. the video at the end is pretty fun. I watched half – and had a good time with the cars – and the partiers – and the 80s vibe they captured. good idea to record that – I bet the author of that work never realized he would timestamp history from a parking lot adventure at judas priest.
    and sometimes my hubs gets revolted when Christians remake heavy metal songs into Christian worship songs – we had a local church do that all the time and hey – I am not judging – to each their own – but just last week someone sent me a remake of a JP song: “You have another king coming…”
    oh boy…
    anyhow, i used to love that song – and a few years ago I saw a special about the recovery of the lead singer – he had some really tough struggles – with drugs and sex addictions.
    back to this post.
    the concert sounds fun and big difference from 14 to 140 – and glad they realized the error was their bad and they could not charge – wow.

    and guess what – I saw pink Floyd in 1987 – in Toronto – and tickets were 25 a piece (or 20) but I think paid 100 for them – and I felt it was just so-so. Too large of a venue – hm
    and I really enjoyed hearing about the details from this modern day visit with Pink Floyd – the dancers esp. hah

    Liked by 1 person

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