King of Excellent (according to Scaryduck)

Friday, July 1

On rock concerts

TDT got her hands on a couple of tickets for Bon Jovi. This meant a few firsts would be applied. It meant I would get to see Dublin for the first time. It also meant I would get to go with TDT to a concert for the first time. We drove up on Wednesday afternoon, taking 3 hours to get there. We were booked into a sort of backpacker's hostel, which was cheap and not very cheerful. The room was possibly the most sparse room we'd ever seen, containing a bed, a wardrobe and a TV. Not even a chair or table to be seen, and the bathroom was devoid of soap and towels. But, like I said, it was cheap and it was a place to lay our weary Bon Jovi filled heads after the concert. We left within an hour of arriving, and jumped in a taxi to the venue, the Royal (?) Dublin Society, or RDS for short. Across the road was a pub, heaving with black t-shirt and jeans clad fans, where we had a pint or two, a bite to eat (deep fried sausages and chips. Yum). We'd also met up with TDT's colleague and her hubby, so we sat and chatted for a short while before heading into the venue.

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As you can see, the venue itself is huge. Loads of buildings, all based around a large stadium (at the bottom) where we were joined on the pitch by some several thousand (about 45,000 to be exact) as the man himself started to play.
It is at this point I have to point something out. I avoid concerts for one simple reason. There's nothing worse then paying a large fee for the chance to go along and see a tiny person, miles away, play their latest album and then leave. This is unfortunately what most 'artistes' do today, and it really turns me off the concert experience. TDT will argue that hardcore music fans will want to do this. My argument is, if all they want to do is listen to the latest album, join in singing with other fans, and look at a screen with their favourite band on it, then why not just hire a church hall. It'll be a lot cheaper. Fortunately, Bon Jovi break the rules and do entertain the fans.

I don't know what song this was. To be honest, more than half the songs played I'd never heard before. The other half were identifiable, but I don't know the words, so I couldn't join in. The other problem I felt had *really* dampened our spirits was the small minority who insisted on walking around the pitch. This meant that you were constantly getting bumped into, pushed, shoved and apologised to. I could feel TDT's blood pressure increasing as another brainless pisshead bumped into her shoulder and knocked her off balance. I though if I stood behind her it might stop. I was wrong. They carried on all night, for the entire 3 hours we were stood there, and we couldn't move out of the way enough. We just seemed to be on the edge of an unmarked motorway for walkers to use, rather than stand and listen to the music like other normal people. After that 3 hours (and including the couple of hours before the concert, totalling 5 hours ish), our little tootsies were more than throbbing. I was doing my best stork impression, shifting from one foot to the other, TDT was leaning against a fence complaining of burning calf muscles. As the evening drew to a close, the obviously emotional Jon Bon Jovi was revelling in the adoration of his fans. He'd turn up the main stage lights, lighting all 45,000 fans in front of him, and the roar of the crowd would be heard in most of Western Europe. He'd then do another song, and as he finished, he'd do the same again. Again, another roar. Again, another stunned looking singer. Again, the band would watch in disbelief at the reaction.
Eventually, and close to 11pm and the point where he'd get fined if he continued to play, the inevitable biggest hit was due. Livin' on a Prayer has a long drawn out intro, and it's not until about a minute in before he'd start to sing. This had me perplexed as to how he could introduce it, so in a moment of adoration and load cheering, he just sang "woooo-ow, livin' on a prayer" and possibly the loudest roar of the night went up. I grabbed the camera, and took what I could. The volume really isn't shown, but you can imagine how loud it would normally have been when he was singing, and you'll note how you can't hear him at all, just the crowd. Highlight was not the word.

He finished, and unwillingly took his bows with the band, before leaving the stage within what must have been seconds off the hour of 11. We fought our way out of the stadium fairly quickly, and walked down a residential street back towards the centre of town. After 10 minutes of slightly laboured walking, I noticed what was a main road but not many people on it, and we decided that the chances of getting a taxi were a lot better down there then the main road which was barely moving. Not a 100 yards up the road and a taxi appeared with his light on. Talk about lucky! The guy inside was dead friendly, and did everything he could to get us across town and back home as quickly as possible (by his own admission, to get back to the RDS). We took a walk around to get cigarettes and a bite to eat, before retiring worn out.
Now I have the taste for it, I want to go and see someone I might know. I know I might be disappointed, but I can but try. First on my list is Peter Gabriel, who's concerts I have seen on TV and he is a showman, making each song have a visual story along with the music and lyrics.
Oh, and no, my hearing hasn't fully recovered. Pardon?