Sunday 15 January 2012

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5 Concert Questions

My wife has been bugging me to take her to a concert next month, and I've finally relented and picked up the tickets. It's a double bill by a couple of Canadian bands - Simple Plan and Marianas Trench - and while it's not a show that I would have chosen, it certainly ranks as one of those "battles not worth fighting". Aside from the fact that both bands are tolerable in my opinion, the concert happens to fall during Lori's birthday month. Yes, she takes the whole month. If you were born in February you may think that you were born under the sign of Aquarius - the Water-Carrier, but really you were born under the sign of Lori - the Shopping Bag-Carrier. Please adjust your astrological charts accordingly.

Have you ever been pulled on stage?
I've been a volunteer at David Copperfield's shows a couple of times, and he has made me vanish into thin air once only to reappear and find my wife frantically looking up the value of my life insurance policy. The picture here though, is of our friend Danielle who was part of a group of us who went to see the Who's Live Anyways show when it came though town. Danielle was pulled on stage to have a song made up about her, and this shot was taken right after she informed the performers that her pet name for her husband was "Hottie Toddy". That name became a running joke in the show, so at the end, Todd got his chance to get up on stage as well. While I'm not scared of being in front of crowds, in this case I can happily say "Better them than me".

Would you be excited to be asked on stage? Or would it terrify you?

Have you ever seen a concert by a band you don't know?
Obviously during my ticket scalping days, I saw plenty of bands that I knew very little about, but before my working days, back when tickets for concerts were reasonably priced (it was $12 I believe), some friends of mine gave me a last minute invite to see a band named Aerosmith. My musical tastes at the time ran more towards Pink Floyd and Supertramp, so I really had no idea who this band from Boston was, but for $12 I was willing to give it a shot. Turns out they were pretty good, and I credit this concert with introducing a harder edge to my musical repertoire. On the other hand, Lori places the blame for my fascination with 80's hair metal bands on this show, so maybe it wasn't such a great investment of $12 after all.

Have you ever bought tickets for something you knew nothing about?

Have you ever been backstage?
Backstage with John Mellencamp. Doesn't he look thrilled?
I've had a few opportunities to be behind the stage during concerts, and if you've ever been there you know exactly what I'm about to tell you. It's boring. The fact is that everybody back there has a job to do, and the time period that you're there is exactly the time they need to pay the most attention to what they're doing. After the show isn't much better. Usually the performers have just given it everything they have for a couple of hours, and most likely they're due on the bus or at the airport very quickly after they finish meeting and greeeting whoever was granted access to them. I actually feel a little bit bad bothering them at that point in their day. Don't get me wrong, I still take the opportunity when it arises, but I definitely have sympathy for them.

Have you ever had the chance to meet one of your favorite artists?

Have you ever walked out on a show early?
I don't think I've ever left a movie early. I have no idea why, as I can certainly think of a few that weren't worth staying for, but for some reason I always hang on till the end. I have no such rules with concerts though, and I've left some fairly big name shows early. Most notably I suppose would be the U2 Joshua Tree tour. I found Bono's spiel to be monotonous after a while, especially when it came out garbled through BC Place's horrible sound system. I also bailed on the B-52's show in Vancouver because it was just too loud. Apparently they brought their stadium sound system and crammed it into the little theater they were playing, and nobody told them to take it down a notch or two. And at the risk of causing a minor riot here, I also left the New Kids on the Block concert about five songs in was the New Kids on the Block. It might be time to disable commenting on this post.

Have you ever left early? Been thrown out? Realized you were at a NKOTB concert?

Have you ever seen a band before they make it big?
When Lori and I first met, I used to work as a movie salesperson, selling videos to video stores (a job that I can't imagine has too much advancement opportunity these days). One of the warehouse guys at our place played in a band that was trying to get up and started. It was a bit of a hardcore band, which was totally not Lori and mine's style, but my co-worker was such a nice guy that we used to go out to these dingy little clubs on weekends and watch them play (Try and picture Lori and I hanging out in biker bars ordering Diet Coke's. It wasn't pretty.). Truth be told, they were terrible, but fortunately that meant they were usually the first band on the bill, so we didn't have to stay all night. Eventually I left the job and my co-worker went out on tour with his band. I haven't talked to him in quite a while, but last I heard Nickelback was doing pretty well for themselves. The video warehouse where we used to work, not so much.

Have you ever been a fan of a band before their big break?