The last big venue concert I went to was John Mellencamp in 1990. The dry spell ended last night when Todd, Christopher, Eva's mom and I went to Van Halen at "The Well" in Des Moines. The whole thing seemed in jeopardy due to a massive snowstorm that dumped a foot of snow yesterday morning. The snow plows heard my pleas and cleared the way in time. We were to meet Eva's mom on the south side but she called from the far north side to say she couldn't get her car out. Once again it seemed in jeopardy as we were already running late and now had to go an extra 40 minutes to get her and back to the arena. Parking was a nightmare so we walked about a mile. I should say waded about a mile as most sidewalks still had snow.
We got up to the turnstiles and the lady said "Take your ticket to the line. They are moving everyone." Apparently due to the snow (southeastern Iowa was still completely snowed in) and it being a week night, they had a lot of empty seats so they were bumping people down. For us this meant going from the 300 level (nosebleed seats) to the 100 level, 24 rows up from the floor. Christopher and Michelle were even luckier and got their tickets exchanged for the 16th row. We missed all but two songs of Ky-mani Marley, Bob Marley's son and to be honest, I couldn't even tell you what they were.
Between the opening act and the main event, there was about 35 minutes time for me to call some friends and share my excitement. One friend, who was supposed to be there with me, insisted I call him back when they took the stage. He saw them in Minnesota and assured me the first song would be "Girl, You Really Got Me" and he was right. From that moment on all I could think was "Omigod Eddie Van Halen is really the hottest man on the planet.", "Holy shit, Diamond Dave is cheesey!!" and "Aren't we all too old to stand through an entire concert?" The answer to that question is no. Everyone stayed on their feet the entire show.
My age really showed as I did more people watching than concert watching. In 1990, I don't think I took my eyes off John Mellencamp. In 2008, with my biggest rock idol EVER right in front of me, I took note of the obligatory drunk guy in front of me, a guy who had on a shirt that said I LOVE TITTIES!!!!, the girl beside me who was getting her rock on and frightening me a little as she outweighed me by at least 150 pounds, and all the other people bobbing their heads to the music. I wished I could have seen Christopher. He has grown up with my intense love for all things Eddie Van Halen and couldn't wait for the Eruption solo. It was well worth his wait. People can say what they want about who is the greatest guitar God but no one can pull heaven out of a guitar string like Eddie can. And did I mention he is still hot?? He and McCheesey both are still sporting abs of steel and nice tans.
After it was over and we found the rest of our crew, Christopher filled me in on what a crackhead Michelle was. I think she had the best time of all of us and she deserved it. She's lucky and has the day off today. I gotta get going and put in a day with remnants of "Dance the Night Away" still going through my head.