it was over 100° in there. yes, it was.
not only that, it was the Stones. *bows deeply* i know. you're envious. hey, if i could have gotten you in, i would have. but this was the hardest ticket to get *anywhere*.
frankly, i wasn't even all that excited about it until a few days ago. the media hype had started, and the reviews of the first three shows were really good. and then the night before, i ran into some friends who also work there. we got to talking about who might be there, and who wouldn't, and how the show would run, and god damn, we're seeing the Stones!
checked in with boss man this afternoon to resolve a small conundrum: we weren't supposed to bring backpacks because of security, but were supposed to bring enough food and water for 8 hours, because once we got in there, there was no getting out. um.... okayyyyy. security bent, and said we could bring small bags. i stocked up as if i were going on a sail, with tons of water and energy bars.
i got good and hyper about it on the way down, going so far as to scan in some of the stuff i was buying at the pharmacy because the clerk was taking her sweet time in getting something for me and i was freaked about being late. she wasn't quite sure what to do with that one.
of course, i got down there in plenty of time. what a scene! tons of people milling around, looking for scalp tickets, or scalping (always good to do that in front of a zillion TV cameras and security staff), tons more people lined up with tickets in hand, and several trucks with satellite dishes. once we checked in and got past the barricade, we all stood there noshing, smoking, talking, and watching the scene. quite surreal. i've never seen anything quite like it. i also now have one of the ultimate collectibles, which could fetch a pretty price on eBay - a custom laminate that only staff had, with a picture of the marquee. Rolling Stones, September 8th 2002. couldn't have been many more than a hundred made. and i have one. :)
one woman in a turquoise shirt stood right in front of the barricade for a good 45 minutes, with one hand up, as if she were trying to hail a cab. i turned to a friend and said 'how much cash do you think she has on her? if i were a mugging sort of person, i'd be tempted to hit her. she must have at least a couple hundred.' which is probably why she was standing right in front of security, to fend off just that sort of scenario. as far as i know, she did manage to score a ticket. at least, i saw her being interviewed after the show; here's hoping it's because she got the last ticket.
i didn't have any great expectations for the show itself, if for no other reason than this was the first theatre show they've done in decades. you can be sort of middling talent and pull off a stadium show, because you have lots of toys to back you up. [side note: a friend working security at the stadium rehearsal said the flame pots on the edge of the stage were so powerful you could feel the heat 50 rows back. wonder if anyone in the first row got toasted?] with a theatre show? much harder to pull off. if you're good or bad, it will show. and this place is only 2800 seats, so there's not much room for error.
the show started with Buddy Guy. damn. damn! i've seen him before, and he was really on tonight. tight, tight set, no showboating, just red hot blues. that alone would have made me happy.
and the audience was pretty great - people showed up early, and were in their seats, for the most part, during the opening set. and they all scooted back before the intermission was over. way to make the night easy, folks. thanks.
and then the Stones came on.
damn. damn, damn, damn.
they. are. fan-fuck-tastic.
looked every day as old as they are, but rocked out as if this were the beginning of their career. played some obscure cuts from older albums, a handful of covers, one song with Buddy, and the tried and true (Brown Sugar, for example). yeahhhhhh.
the camera guy near my spot spent some time filming, and a lot of time looking blissfully happy and singing along at the top of his lungs. :)
i went thru a lot of water at that show. probably 5 or 6 liters, only half of which went in me. since i already looked as if i'd stepped out of the shower (did i mention it was over 100° in the balcony?), i started pouring water over my head to keep cool. we were all sweating so much the colors bled out of our lanyards; nearly every usher ended up with quasi-tye dyes before the night was out. and in the ultimate act of desperation, i soaked my shirt in the sink when the show was over.
wandered outside to watch the crowd, again, and snagged a sausage (no idea how the vendor got inside the barricade, but i was more than happy to see him) to refuel.
the grace note of the night was driving home and listening to a Led Zep song on the radio, top volume. nice capstone to a night of fantastic music.