Monday, June 1, 2009

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

No, I'm not referring to Christmas...I'm talking about summer concert season. It's the hap, happiest season of all!

Like most music enthusiasts, my friends and I start making summer concert arrangements early...very early. Thursday night I kicked off the season under the stars at the Dallas Arboretum with a great cover band, Emerald City. Any band that can pull off Journey and Black Eyed Peas in the same set has my undivided attention.

Already purchased and inked in the calendar for this year:

- The long awaited No Doubt comeback tour featuring Paramore. I'll be there with all the high school emo kids just hoping for a guest appearance by Kingston.

- The Fray. We saw them in college at a small venue before they blew up...I'm sure it will be twice as nice the second time around.

- The American Idols tour. Because who doesn't want to hear tiny Kris Allen sing Heartless in person?? Love him. I'm also excited about Scott, because we all know he was my favorite.

- Coldplay. Ah, Coldplay. My junior year in college, I waited in 108 degree weather for about 10 hours at the Austin City Limits Music Festival waiting for my first brush with Chris Martin in the flesh. SO worth it. For a band that has most of my mellow favorites, they put on a surprisingly energetic and thoroughly entertaining show.

- Taylor Swift. The concert actually sold out in presale, but I'm bound and determined to find a way to see her this summer. (I'm also tivoing her Dateline special!)

My devotion to the summer concert season runs deep. Last year, Robbie and I set out for the much anticipated Counting Crows, Maroon 5 and Sara Bareilles combo show at Jones Beach in New York. We left work early and braved Penn Station rushhour to catch our train. Loaded with our favorite gossip mags and beverages of choice, we checked the board (all New Yorkers know the rush of checking the board at Penn Station) and darted for the appropriate track.

In our giddiness we hadn't even noticed that most of our car was snoozing in business attire - which would have been a great hint that this was a commuter crowd, not a concert-going crowd. An hour into the ride, we looked up as the Conductor announced that we were arriving in Farmingdale and that it would be the last stop. To this day, neither of us is sure how we ended up on the wrong train, but however it happened, we were in the middle of nowhere. In a panic that we were going to miss Sara Bareilles' opener, and considering that we were lost somewhere on Long Island, we opted for a $55 cab ride to our destination. A tad frustrated, but glad that we were beating the clock, we jumped out at the gate as it started to drizzle over the water-front stadium. We raced to the ticket taker and high-fived each other for making it, when the guy stopped us abruptly and said "Dude, these tickets are for last night's show."

After further inspection we realized that yes, indeed - our ticket agent had sent us the wrong tickets and we were not being allowed beyond the gate. If ever there was a time that either of us was at a loss for words, it was that moment. We drug ourselves to the ticket window, misty eyed, to be told that there was nothing we could do but purchase 2 new tickets, twice the original price, for seats in the nosebleeds. We painfully forked over credit cards and finally entered what turned out to be a $200 concert.

All in all it turned out to be a great night and we've had lots of laughs about it since then. We may have only been able to see shadowy figures from our seats, but this moment alone made it all worth it: