Bekah was my partner in crime on this trip. We both work for the same company, so we started off our day in the office getting things going for the day. As it got closer to 10am, our designated leave time, the excitement started to build. We headed out the door, and were Atlanta bound! The drive was nice and fast, got to Atlanta around noon. Parked our car at the CNN Center/Philips arena, got freshened up and found a place to get some pre show eat and drink. We hopped around to a few different places, met one very interesting fan. To say they were an obsessed annoying weirdo that made Aerosmith fans look like obsessed annoying weirdos, would be an understatement.
It was time to line up for the meet and greet, the "Sweet Spot" package.
You see, I have been fortunate enough to meet members of the band the good ole fashioned way. Look for tour buses, and go on a wild goose chase. I haven't ever purchased meet n greets before. I have gotten passes to a few of them by being in the right place at the right time! However, I have always purchased my tickets through the fan club. This tour is different. Thanks to the crappy new rules of AeroForceOne (fan club). In the past, fan club members had first dibs on tickets and usually got great seats. Especially since I have 18 years seniority, I have always gotten great seats, and you just pay face value! Not this tour. In order to get fan club seats you had to buy a VIP package. The least inexpensive package included an "ultimate fan experience" with Tom, Brad and Joey. Or, as they are also known as, the LI3. The "less interesting three" which is self named by the trio. Seeing as Tom Hamilton is my favorite, I would be OK with that. I wasn't OK with forking out extra money just to get seats I am entitled too, but I fell for the corporate greediness and got the tickets. This sounds spoiled, and I am aware of that, but I couldn't risk getting non floor seats. I love seeing the band perform live way top much to not experience them up close and personally. I have been so fortunate with great seats in the past, wasn't going to let that change.
As we are lining up, I see that there are alot of people also lining up. I think it ended up being 450 people all together. I quickly realized, this wasn't going to be a traditional meet n greet. You know, where you are in a small room and you get to interact with everyone, get a few autographs and photographs. But that was OK...this is still going to be cool.
So we go inside, and we have first access to the merch booth. I of course pay way too much for a new shirt, which is super cool and I love it. I really needed a new Aerosmith shirt. No really, I did!! I gave all my concert shirts to my sister and she made a quilt out of them for me.
|Bekah and I wearing our new shirts|
Not too much of a wait longer, and all 450 of us headed down to the arena floor at the end of the catwalk. We were given the rules. No personal autographs, only people with a band member name taped under their chair can come up and ask a question.
Joey Kramer came out first, and was very gracious and told a few stories and answered a few questions. He was pretty cool, he came down to the crowd instead of staying up the on the stage. I was actually surprised how gracious towards the fans he was. I have met him a few times, and always got the feeling he could have cared less about his fans. I am glad I got to see this side of him! My favorite question was "if you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be?" And he answered: My Father. Thought that was sweet.
Next out was Brad Whitford. He wasn't feeling very well. I felt bad for him. What dedication musicians have. There are no sick days, well for the most part. I was grateful he still came out and fulfilled his duties and answered some questions. He jammed a little bit on his guitar. Such a talented guitar player. Great guy.
Last out was Tom Hamilton. He has always been the kindest of the five, in my opinion. He immediately started joking around about random things. Always a crowd pleaser! He definitely sounds different, I assume it is from his battle with throat cancer. Such a trooper.
It was time for Tom to answer questions, but not as many people went up with their little pieces of paper that were taped under their chair, so they opened the floor for anyone to go to the microphone. I immediately had a sucker punch to the gut feeling while Bekah simultaneously told me to go up there!!! I kept saying no, I don't do public speaking...no, no, no. She threatened me, so we quickly looked up some questions I had written up on my iphone, picked one out, and headed up to the mic! I am surprised I even made it to the mic. I don't talk in large groups. Not even when I am comfortable with the crowd, such as co workers. And here I am, in front of 450 die hard Aerosmith fans about to ask a question. I had been making fun of some of the lame questions people had been asking, now I am putting myself out there for people make fun of me. Whoops. Note to self, don't make fun of people. My turn came up, I thought I was going to puke, and suprisingly, I spoke into the mic, with a steady clear voice
"Hi Tom ::smile::: when coming up with the setlists do you balance the old fans, new fans and record company to keep them all happy, or do you just play whatever the hell you want?"I am not sure what he answered. I seriously zoned out and just stood there and nodded and smiled. You will need to watch the video to see his answer (not yet posted, it is stuck on my camera. Will update blog once I have it uploaded). I thanked him, and he thanked me back. I went back to my seat a little stunned. Definitely was proud of myself for over coming one of my huge fears!!!
Bekah and I hung around the arena, went to a super cool restaurant in middle of the arena and had some yummy bites to eat, and a few more drinks. Then it was show time! We headed down to our seats, right on side of the catwalk towards the end! I told Bekah that was a good thing, Steven and Joe spend most of their time at end of the catwalk.
Cheap Trick was on, and they put on a good show. I rocked out to their last few songs, great warm up for the main act. But honestly, I wish that it was just Aerosmith, and they played a little longer.
During the break, we chatted up the guys next to us. They were down from KY and it was his 11th show. He had been in the fan club for 8 years. Ummmm...and we are in the same row? Ok, we won't go there again. They were sitting closer to the catwalk than us, and were so incredibly kind enough to switch with us so we could stand next to the catwalk. So, it turned into being front row for us. Oh yeah....here is my happy place!!!
It's show time!!!!!! Steven came out from below stage, at the end of the catwalk! It immediately came back to me like a flood, why I love this band so much. The energy, the showmanship, the music. Ahhhh, happy happy happy place!!!
They opened up with my very favorite live song, Draw the Line. That song makes me go nuts. I exert 100% of my energy right up front when they open with that song. I love the bass line in it.
Here is the set list for the entire night:
Draw The Line
Love In An Elevator
Same Old Song And Dance
Livin' On The Edge
Peter Gunn/Boogie Man
What It Takes
Rats In The Cellar
SOS (Too Bad)
Walk This Way
Train Kept A Rollin'
Chip Away The Stone
Set list taken from AeroFanatic's facebook page. Myself and a couple of others were set list reporting to him via text throughout the show. Between a few drinks and autocorrect on my iphone, I probably wasn't the best person for the job.
There was a father and son right next to us. The son looked about 15 years old. I was so impressed by him. He knew every song, even the older less known songs. He was into it, true music fan. I so respect that. I asked his dad what was the secret to raising your kid to be so cool? He just answered, "I don't know, he just is!!". I hope my kids grow up with good music taste, and that I can be of some good influence on them. I don't think I am going to have to worry about Lyla though. I have a feeling she is on the right path. Proof is in this VIDEO.
A definite must see.
After the show, I was on my natural music high buzz. Love that feeling. If I could bottle that feeling up, that would be pretty awesome. Bekah seemed totally satisfied and loved the show. That made me happy. I love going with a newbie, and seeing the show through their eyes. Sometimes I wish I could relive my first show, but then I quickly realize every time feels like the first time when seeing Aerosmith live!!!!!
We headed back home, definitely not as fun of a drive back. Made me wish we got a hotel room and just stayed the night. Two and a half hours later, I got home safe and sound. I went into the kids room to check on them all and kiss them good night, and my first thought was....so glad I didn't get a hotel room. I was right where I was supposed to be. Now that is a natural high I get to feel every day. This is my real life happy place!
Now, where are they playing next? My desire to follow the band just hit me....
Just a few photos from the show off my crappy point and shoot camera, and a few iphone pics. What I would give to be able to take my Nikon DSLR into a show.....