I originally started this post on Facebook the other day reminiscing while listening to a playlist on Elton John Pandora… As I sit here on my balcony, weather cloudy but perfect, the song in the background is “Right Here Waiting” by Richard Marx… I suppose also an accurate feeling in this time of social distancing and quarantine.
Anyway, sitting there listening to “Bennie and the Jets”, I couldn’t help but think about some of the best concerts I’ve been to, and those that I can’t wait to get back to. First time I saw Elton John was with my mom, 2006 or so? She had been insisting for years that I go with her, and I finally caved, though with great hesitation. That very next day I had the “Captain & the Kid” album in my possession… I LOVED his concert!
The next time I saw Elton was at Outside Lands with my brother and his then fiance, now wife! One of the best music festivals I’ve ever been to, hands down (and I have been to my fair share). The INSANE feeling of being just 40 yards from the stage at the conclusion of seeing both Sam Smith and St. Paul and the Broken Bones, there was Elton on piano, me completely sardined (no exaggeration) between thousands of people… Looking back over my shoulder in a hopeless attempt to see a familiar face as I’d lost the group I was with during the last set. All I saw was a sea of what seemed like miles of crowd behind me… What I imagine Woodstock would have looked like. To hear that mass amount of people singing to Rocket Man and Bennie & the Jets… That alone was an adrenaline rush.
Because of my mom, John Cougar Mellencamp was my first concert at maybe 6 years old? To this day I remember going into the bathroom with her at the venue (Cow Palace?? Not sure…) but I remember these teenage girls telling me how cool my mom was for taking me to my first concert so young. Because of my mom I have seen all of these as firsts (and many as multiples) Paul McCartney, Poison, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, just to name a few. Forever grateful to her for bringing music into my life in such a way!
Because of my aunts and uncle, I have seen Sammy Hagar more times than I can count, once of which I even went alone! Sammy and Tahoe have been a yearly staple with my family since I turned 21, and some of the best memories created.
Another incredibly memorable moment in music… My little cousin, Matt, absolutely loved Journey, and that little guy had my heart (his grown ass still does!). I was so excited when I was able to get tickets to Def Leppard and Journey, and even more excited to be able to take him. I, myself, was looking forward to Def Leppard, but couldn’t wait for him to see Journey. I couldn’t care either way about Journey… I knew a few songs, but nothing that had me itching to see them. I remember getting up to use the restroom before Journey opened. Afterall, I didn’t mind if I missed them opening. It was just Journey, right? Standing outside of the restroom I hear this guitar riff that sends chills down my arm as they open with the Star Spangled Banner. By the time I got back to my seat, I was beyond hooked and damn near in tears at the sound of the strings. I remember the drummer singing “Faithfully” and I just stared in awe… His voice was as smooth as glass and just beautiful. Needless to say, I have seen Journey several times since with and without Pineda.
While there are so many other moments I could share, I’ll wrap up with the first concert my dad took me to. Talk about taking one for the team!! Yep… Backstreet Boys… and we had great seats!! Now, I had never been to a boy band concert (I didn’t get to see NKOTB until I was in my 20s!) I, nor my dad or brother, had ANY idea what we were in for with the insane screaming teenyboppers. What in the actual hell?! I’m not sure how my eardrums survived, and can almost assuredly guarantee that I wasn’t able to hear much of the concert over the screaming! With that being said, I will always remember that concert and how special I felt (and how funny I found it) to be there with my dad and brother… Neither of which were elated.
During this time of sheltering in place, music has been my saving grace, but it has also caused me to reflect on all of the amazing times I’ve had with friends and family. I turn on a playlist, sit back and close my eyes… Or I get up and dance and sing like a fool… but I don’t care, because in those moments, I forget that I’m alone.
For those looking for a great read while at home, pick up Elton John’s “Me”. I am just over halfway through with the book and have had a hard time putting it down!
And as if it were meant to be… the closing song of this post, “Come Sail Away” by Styx. #CurrentMood