Hi, it’s Liz here, hijacking Maggie’s blog to tell you about the concert we went to this weekend.
The first thing I want to say is that I did not drink any alcohol. The fact that, three days later, my voice is still gone has nothing to do with booze. But I’m getting ahead of myself!
Blink-182 “crappy punk rock” was formed in San Diego, CA in 1992. I’ve been a fan of theirs for almost the entire time they’ve been in existence. They’ve had their ups and downs, member changes and breakups. But I’ve always loved them. For one reason or another, I’ve never been able to catch them live. The closest I came was a couple of years ago in Minnesota, where I was staying for the weekend, directly across the street from the venue where they were going to play the next day. When, of course, I would be homeward bound.
I remember standing on the street, looking up at the flashing sign, “BLINK-182. BLINK-182” and feeling my stomach lurch. A short while later, they broke up. I was devastated, and thought I’d blown my last opportunity. I kicked myself for a long time, but the band reformed.
Anyway, this weekend, they came to the Hollywood Casino Ampitheater in Tinley Park.
You may have heard of this place from the big U2 concert when the venue was named The World Music Theatre. Kind of a big deal, and everyone was shocked when it was sold and became the Tweeter Center, First Midwest Bank Ampitheater, and now, Hollywood Casino Ampitheater.
The day tickets went on sale, I snapped up a handful. This was also going to be Jamie’s first concert, and Erik and Miguel were going, and Heather was coming in from Michigan for the event. Heck, the kids were reared on this stuff. I used to tell them to disregard the “bad words”. I remember when Jamie was little, he’d sing along, and when a swear word came up, he’d whistle to censor it.
Everyone met at my house and Jim was the designated chauffeur for the evening, for which we were all extremely grateful. He dropped us off early, before the gates opened, and it started to rain. Fortunately, I had been scoping out the weather and we were prepared with emergency plastic ponchos. Donning these, we waited in the rain until they let us in.
Heather was a veteran of the Ampitheater and, since we had “lawn seats”, she knew the best place to go. We stationed ourselves in front of Section 204 and, since the ground was quickly turning to mud, congratulated ourselves on not dragging a blanket with us. We were determined to stand for the four and a half hours we were there.
Time passed quickly. DJ Spider got the crowd warmed up, then the first opening band came on stage. The All American Rejects. They were really good, and played most of their hit songs like, “Dirty Little Secret” and “Gives You Hell”. I noticed that the venue hadn’t filled up yet. Jamie was kind of “meh” as this was not his favorite type of music. I worried he wouldn’t have a good time.
Next up was “A Day To Remember”, a band I admit I’d never heard of. They were kind of a “screamo” type, and they were together and energetic, but I wished they’d hurry up and get to the main act. A lot of people were wearing “ADTR” T-shirts, and Jamie said he’d enjoyed their first two songs more than he thought he would. I felt hopeful.
Under a darkened sky, the stage was set for the headliner. Blink-182 came out swinging. Tighter than a gnat’s ass on an ice cube, they rolled out an hour and a half set. They played older hits like, “Carousel”, “What’s My Age Again?” and “Violence” along with plenty of new stuff like, “San Diego”, “Brohemian Rhapsody”, and “Teenaged Satellites”. By this time, the venue was packed with 30,000 people, all screaming, fist pumping, and singing at the top of their lungs. It was emotional, it was exciting, it was awesome. And that is how I lost my voice.
Jamie said he could not believe the sound of 30,000 people all singing together. He, the other kids, and everyone else at the venue knew every word to every song. Blink-182 dropped their latest album, “California”, in July, and started their tour right away.
I really can’t put into words how the night made me feel. Seeing my favorite band live, with my kids and family, everyone having a great time and no trouble (the people in the crowd were very nice, there was no aggression) was just indescribable. I guess I’m speechless. Which is good, because I can’t talk yet.
Thanks for reading this long blog. Here’s some pictures of us from the show. We were far enough away that all the lights and fireworks on stage prevented me from getting a clear pic of the band, though.
Heather’s friend, Jamie, Liz, Heather, Erik, and Miguel, hidden behind the logo
Erik and Liz (who did not drink)
Heather being silly, Miguel, Liz, and Jamie looking like he has to be the adult
Miguel and Liz getting ready for the show
Thanks for reading, rock on! Your friend, Liz