Monday, July 16, 2007

F***in' Rock Concert!

I don't have extensive experience at concerts. It goes something like this:

1989 Billy Joel
1999 Trans-Siberian Orchestra
2000 Trans-Siberian Orchestra
2001 Trans-Siberian Orchestra
2002 Trans-Siberian Orchestra
2003 Trans-Siberian Orchestra
2004 Trans-Siberian Orchestra
2005 Trans-Siberian Orchestra

None of them had opening acts, just the headliner. So I admit to being surprised last night when Number One and I attended the Nickelback/Staind/Daughtry concert in Hershey last night for her birthday (thanks again, Uncle Andy!)

We got our tickets late, so we were very high (row Y--only Z was higher) and facing the sun. It was 90 degrees, so the first two hours were a bit rough. But we were also in the section closest to the stage, and not only did that give us a great view (except of the drummers), it allowed us to see "backstage," the parking lot where the buses were parked. We got to watch Chris Daughtry skateboard, and Daughtry and Nickelback interact with the fans who'd won that right.

I love Chris Daughtry's voice. He is also very hot in jeans and a tank top. Even with his hands taped because he bit it the other day, fell off his skateboard. Or maybe I should say especially with his hands taped? He made a good effort to interact with the crowd, and had the easiest manner, but all of them seemed to be doing what they thought they were supposed to be doing. Like, "I rock, so I'd better bang my head now." And, "Rock stars stand on the speakers, so let me stand on the speakers."

I don't think live music always sounds better than recorded, but Daughtry did. Richer, more resonant. I would have been happy with just that portion of the show.

Staind was a disappointment. The music drowned out the vocals on half the songs, though it was better in the second half, when they sang my favorites. The lead singer seems very reserved, almost shy, and the guitarist might have been on something. He leaped about the stage like a spaz, played his guitar down around his ankles with his head hanging limply--it made us laugh. Staind also had meager lighting effects that amounted to a spotlight right in my eyes, something I didn't need with the sun doing the same thing.

It was a sold-out show, but about half the stadium was empty until well after Staind started their performance. People had been in traffic for two hours. But I iz smart, I circled around from the other side of town and took 10 minutes, maybe 20 including the roll through the parking lot. The group behind us was one of the late ones, and the women were chatting as if they hadn't just been in the car together for two hours. One was so loud I actually couldn't hear Aaron Lewis (I just looked up his name to make sure I had it right and found out Staind is from Springfield, MA, right across the river from where I grew up! Supercool!) singing "Epiphany." I asked her to be quiet and she did, and she didn't even pour beer in my hair. I also told this guy and this girl who were smoking new cigarettes every 15 minutes that I was allergic and they were blowing their smoke right in my face (the spaces next to us were empty so they were leaning back onto our bleacher, putting me an Number One right in the smoke's path). I asked them to lean forward while they smoked, and they did, and didn't even pour beer on my shoes.

I've been to too many pro football games, I guess.

It was actually a very well-behaved crowd, overall, and I was pleased. I hate crowds, I think people who smoke in crowded places (even outside) should be dragged across the asphalt naked--on their stomachs--and if I can't hear the friggin' 256 db band because you're screeching about some pregnant chick, I'm likely to be really grumpy. But it was all good.

So then Nickelback came on. They started with a huge crack like a gunshot, followed by an ever-faster heartbeat that launched them into "Animal," which was, like, the last song I wanted them to play in front of my eleven-year-old. LOL I'm not sure how much of the lyrics she "got," though, because it's one of the songs she's not familiar with.

Man, the difference in performance. Not just because they had use of more of the stage, or because they used lights and fire and video screens. But because they very clearly not only love their music, they love to perform. Chad Kroeger is a skilled showman, self-deprecating, funny, and fun, and the rest of the band was the same, on a slightly less energetic level. The concert was electrifying.

At the beginning, he said, "I apologize in advance to those of you who brought your entire families, your six year-olds, eight-year-olds, ten-year-olds. We're going to be dropping F-bombs all night long!" D laughed. I was amused. J, when I told him, was disgusted.

I guess D and I rock harder than he does.


luvmybestfriends said...

I read your profile and i think that it is awsome that you love to read books that is something i like to do to pass time or to just enjoy life!!you have showed everybody that you can rock out or just chill depending on your mood.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Thanks, luv!