Sunday, June 25, 2006

Concert Time - Journey and Def Leppard

I'm really not sure who said "yes" to seeing Def Leppard and Journey. Mrs F says I did but I don't recall saying that and yet here we were on our way with two other couples to our lawn seats at the Tweeter in Camden. Neither of us are huge Def Leppard fans, having learned all we know from VH1's behind the music:

Five guys, Nine arms.

For those of you unaware, the drummer for Def Leppard lost his left arm in a car accident on New Years Eve 1984 and yet through the miracle of modern technology, continues to drum. These guys are like Spinal Tap, but the drummer lived!

Literally, the only Def Leppard music Mrs F knows is "POUR SOME SUGAR ON IT" and that is it. Doesn't know what line comes before, doesn't know what line comes after and doesn't care. Just "POUR SOME SUGAR ON IT".

I, on the other hand, have a 20 g iPod filled with Rock, Progressive Rock, 70s Rock, 80s Rock. Total number of Def Leppard songs that made the cut onto the iPod? Zero. Nadda. Not even "SUGAR" made it.

Total number of Journey Songs? One. "Don't stop believing" which had a play count of ...., wait for it......,


On Friday coming home from work I decided that I should at least listen to "Can't stop believing" so I put it on the play list.

It is totally useless. It is distorted trash.

And it's going to rain.

Driving to the concert I mention that Steve Perry isn't singing with Journey anymore.

"What?" Mrs U screams. "When did this happen?"

like 1983 I think.

It turns out that Journey is one of those bands that have had like 400 people, 5 at a time. Randy Jackson from American Idol was actually a member in the 80's.

I am not making this up. The black guy from American Idol played bass for Journey. He was like the Tito Jackson of Journey but he was a member. (Actually, he was the Randy Jackson.....)

It would not surprise me to find out that I had played guitar for Journey in the 80's. I don't really recall but I don't remember saying yes to this concert either.

We arrive and out comes the 20' by 10' tarp, a blanket and other lawn concert paraphernalia.

Directly in front of us is a guy who is either 65 years old or 45 with a lot of mileage. He is thrashing to the music, left hand in the air hitting all the beats, lost in the music. He is exclusively using his left arm to keep time, a habit he developed because for the past 20-30 years his right arm was busy with a beverage. He has a "Iron Maiden" tour shirt from 2003/04 in Europe/Japan. He is just a riot. He doesn't stop moving to music until he nearly passes out at the end when a slow song from Def Leppard comes on. He notes his disapproval of "slowing things down a bit" with this unique circular motion of his left arm, over his head with his thumb extended until it points downward. Again, the right arm is busy. Thumbs down sez Iron Maiden.

This is a man who followed Journey's advice and "did not stop believing" long after the rest of us did.

At one point I swear he had a seizure and no one noticed. He was laying there and twitching. He recovered.

It started to rain during Def Leppard. We huddled under our tarp like it was day 3 of Woodstock but really it was barely raining with some lighting. Women do not like wet hair.

"Iron Maiden" had a different approach to the rain: with both hands fully extended upward with both middle fingers up. He's giving God the finger. It's a lightning storm and he is giving God the finger.

I'm thinking: "Don't miss" But the truth is God loves Iron Maiden as much as he does me and he is patient beyond understanding.

After the rain lets up Iron Maiden decides it's time to give some attention to his female companion and starts feeling the back her leg directly in front of us. He keeps moving his hand higher until it is under her poncho, feeling her butt.

We know this because the PONCHO IS CLEAR.

To our left is a guy passed out and two young girls are taking turns jumping over his head.

Clearly, Def Leppard knows how to draw a classy crowd.

It was a good time and, as always, the crowd made it fun.

Journey was good but would have been better with Steve Perry instead of this guy:

Def Leppard did not disappoint the crowd and even played "SUGAR" for my wife. They have a new album of all cover songs including a cover of Badfinger's "No Matter What", Blondie's "Hanging on the telephone" and "Rock on" by David Essex. They played all three.

There were a lot of closeups on the big screens of the drummers feet. They looked like hobbit feet.

Up next: Tom Petty and the Allman Bros, August 18th.

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