Happy Music Monday, y'all!
(Pssst... for more musical musings, check out Soccer Mom in Denial. You'll be glad you did!)
What: The Virgin Music Festival
When: August 2007
Where: Pimlico Park, Baltimore MD
Who: The Police!!!
Why: Because they’re my favorite band in the entire universe. Ever. Period. And their tour marked the first time they’d played together in earnest for 25 years. I had already seen them once that summer -- in Toronto -- but the mister didn’t make that trip with me and I thought he needed to see them as well. What a considerate, selfless chick I am. ;-)
How: Thanks to a lovely serendipity, we were in town that very same weekend to attend my mother-in-law’s family reunion. The timing was perfect (and gave me something to look forward to after the drudgery of the reunion. But that’s another story for another day.) The MIL would watch Will (overnight!) while the mister and I went to the show.
YAY! Let's go!
Cost of a parking pass and tickets to the bloody thing: $225
Cost of a beer: $8
Being asked if I wanted to have a toke off a joint by some twenty-somethings: Priceless
The evening was, in a word, fantastic. A great, great time. Totally different vibe than the indoor Toronto show, but so worth it. Hotter than the hinges on the gates of hell. I got completely dehydrated (didn’t have to go to the bathroom for like 12 hours. Aren't you glad I shared that.) Dirty, dry and dusty. I was filthy by the time the night was over -- dirt in places I didn't know it could reach. Awesome.
I had never been to an outdoor festival like this before and man, was it educational. The only people older than me at the show were Gordon, Stewart and Andy. You know, the guys in the band. Seriously. I could have given birth to three-forths of the fetuses in the crowd, many of whom had obviously been at the show all day long. As a result, I was treated to a great view of a slice of the world that I have no contact with in my regular life. Cool piercings and amazing ink and crazy t-shirts (favorite: dude sporting one that said “It Ain’t Gonna Suck Itself”) and everyone texting like their life depended on it. This was not your mama’s concert crowd. Or mine, for that matter.
Although I was feeling my age internally (c'mon -- wouldn’t you?), I guess I didn’t show it. When the guys took the stage, I squealed as loudly and passionately as those chicks did for John, Paul, George and Ringo a generation before me. I stood and sang along and squealed even more (all for Stewart, thank you very much, who I love truly, madly, deeply) without hesitation and with joyful abandon. This was MY band, people. My. Band.
And it was OK. More than OK, actually.
When the cute hippy-ish girl from the little crew sitting next to me started offering their joint to a couple of folks around her, I didn’t think anything of it. Nothing I hadn’t seen before.
When she came over and offered it to me, someone old enough to be her... favorite aunt, I declined but grinned from ear to ear and then some. The fact that she bypassed the quite-more-reserved, polo-shirt-wearing, younger-than-me mister made this even sweeter.
Best ego boost I’d had in a very, very long time.
I also made concert-pals with the adorable 17-year-old standing in front of me who told me that Stewart was hot for an old guy (oh. yeah. purrrrrrrrr.) and that she'd "totally do Sting." HA!
After a conversation with her and her buddy about the merits of the Police versus the Who, I made a comment about my age and was promptly told that I wasn't old because I was cool and at the gig.
I instantly felt my bones creak a little less, my smile lines fade just a smidge and my hair, underneath all the salon color, shine a little brighter.
My twenty-something self is still alive and well -- she's just lurking inside my forty-something body. This was a reminder that she needs to get out more often. It's good for both of us.
At the end of the show, I was standing next to one of the 10 people there older than me and he asked if "Next to You" was a new song, as he'd never heard it before. (In case you were wondering, it’s an early cut of theirs, off Outlandos d`Amour.) I told him that no, it wasn't new but wasn't it awesome. He agreed and commended me on knowing all the words to all the songs.
Next to You -- Live!
PS: When I got back to the hotel, I sat down and took my hair out of its barrette. The slight smell of weed caught my nostrils. Mission accomplished -- without the inhale!
PPS: A clip of “Next to You” from a gig in London. Yes, I squealed while watching.