Friday, February 26, 2016

A Great Night

My Good Wife and I have attended a lot of concerts over the almost four decades of our marriage.

We got off to a rough start, though. In early 1979, about half-way through our first year of marriage, the band Boston was scheduled to play at the Macon Coliseum. We scrounged up enough money to buy tickets. But my mother-in-law suffered a serious stroke a day or two before the concert was to take place, so we had to go to Tallahassee to see about her. We didn’t get to see Boston.

While living in Louisville, Kentucky during the early 1980s, we saw Kenny Rogers (the Oak Ridge Boys were the opening act and they stole the show), Linda Ronstadt, and Anne Murray. We purchased tickets to see Gordon Lightfoot, but, much to our disappointment, the show was cancelled. We finally got to see him thirty years later at Macon’s City Auditorium. It was the only concert for which we’ve ever had front row seats.

We’ve been able during the last few years to see some of our all-time favorites. They’re late in their careers, but they still put on impressive shows. We’ve recently seen James Taylor, Carole King, Crosby, Stills, & Nash, Bob Seger, Jackson Browne, and Neil Diamond. We have tickets to see Van Morrison in a couple of months.

A few years ago, a friend invited me to see Bruce Springsteen with him. That was the best concert I’ve ever witnessed. It became my mission to share that experience with my Good Wife. So I was sitting in front of my computer with my credit card ready when tickets went on sale for his February 18 Atlanta show. And I got two good seats.

The Boss and his E Street Band put on their usual spectacular marathon show. They played for three and a half hours with no intermission. This tour commemorates the album “The River,” which was released thirty-five years ago, so Bruce and the band played the album in order. The highlight for me was their performance of “Out in the Street,” which I’ve always wanted to hear live so I could join the audience in singing the “Oh-oh-oh-oh” response to “When I’m out in the street.” It was a blast.

Then they played several favorites such as “Prove It All Night,” “Badlands,” and “Thunder Road.” Finally, they blazed through an encore set that included “Born to Run,” “Dancing in the Dark,” “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight),” “Bobby Jean,” and the closing number, a cover of the Isley Brothers’ “Shout.”

When the show was over, my Good Wife said, “That was the greatest experience I’ve ever had at a live music event.”

“I knew it would be,” I replied.

And I felt mighty fine, because sharing something great with someone you love is even better than experiencing it yourself, and making someone else happy is better than being happy.

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