"These are the best ... of times"
After seeing Dennis DeYoung last night in Clearwater for the first time in about 25 years, one thought kept me tossing in bed all night: I'm a total idiot.
I've probably had a half dozen chances to catch DDY's solo act in the last five years. But for certainly lame reasons, I chose not to. And now, I'm filled with regret -- and that's an awful feeling to have after such a great concert. I wish this was the third or fourth time I'd seen the DDY show. Not the first.
Even Dennis sensed a lot of newcomers in the crowd. "How many of you out there tonight are seeing me for the first time -- either alone or with Styx?" he asked us early in the night. Huge roar from at least half the crowd. "What took you so long!?!" he playfully fired back. Hilarious, and a little sad for me at the same time.
I know I'm not the only one who agonizes over concert decisions. Hey, thanks to this horrific economy, money is short these days for everyone. My friends and co-workers sit around, debating the finer points of micro-economics all the time: Van Halen, Bon Jovi or Bruce Springsteen? And what about the Go-Go's next month? Never seen them live either. Or They Might Be Giants, coming later this spring?
My personal curse: After about 15 years and 40 some concerts, I stopped going to live shows for about 10 years. I'd grown tired of the whole experience. (Plus, there's the whole "should I really stand and be as obnoxious as the guy in front of me or sit on my hands and act like I'm watching chess" dilemma.) But shortly after we started Stuck in the 80s, I gave concerts another try with a "We Are the 80s" show at Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall. (Listen to our podcast from that show.) And again I find myself hooked.
Here's my long-winded point: Stop sitting on your hands! Catch these great touring acts while you can. And remember, it's okay to stand up and sing "I'm Kilroy! ... Kilroy! ... Kilroy!" at the top of your lungs during "Mr. Roboto." Your heroes on stage really get a kick from it, even if the person next to you is a bit embarrassed.
Domo arigato, Dennis DeYoung, for helping me escape just when I needed to.