Gigi scored us a couple freebies for Cheap Trick so we made the routine trek on down to Stage AE. I'm starting to think that if you pay the $10 or $12 parking fee, you're a complete bozo. The best spots are along the main drag of Heinz Field. I think you just have to wait until after 6pm. I say park on the street and bring your chairs into the lot. Or you can do an inverted, illegal backdoor entrance a la G Max.
The whole area outside Heinz field is starting to resemble some kind of a TSA/Dept. of Homeland Security steel-gated labyrinth. In fact, we found out last night that the main lot (what was formerly the Southeast corner of Gold Lot 2) is going to become a "Toby Keith" restaurant. Only God knows what they'll call it. Probably the "Grub and Go" or the "Eat and Beat it." If the thought of ordering a "rump roast", "chilly willy dog" or "Bad-Ass Super Nachos" at the mess hall ain't bad enough...
I guess with Kenny Chesney denouncing any future tour stop at Heinz Field, someone needed to step up their game. And that someone is Toby Queef. I actually wrote a semi-inspired blog about this cunt-tree douchebag back in ott-7. I may decide to launch a protest during the grand opening. I can see the headline now...
Local Atheist Intolerant Jew Protests Grand Opening of Brand-Spanking New Country Restaurant
My sign would read - People with two first names SUCK. I've always disliked single syllable first and last names - Bill Todd, Ned George (I actually know him - nice guy), Mary Joan (I know her too - famous Krishna/Palace of Gold representative), etc.
So just as Gigi backs into a tight parking spot, our buddy "Tim the Scalper" is pulling out. He waves me over and gives us an extra ticket. "Sell it if you can. This whole place is worthless." I gladly accept it and would eventually sell it for $20. Then, I snagged a couple more freebies from a dude that resembled a heavier version of Nascar driver Jimmy Johnson and sold one of those for $20. Just as we were heading in, "Ranger the Scalper" engaged us. Ranger is the second best scalper in the Burgh. Tim easily owns the heavyweight title. Anyway, I told him I had one more extra and he suggested I GIVE the ticket to him (which I did). Instead of "paying it forward," I call this new phenomenon "scalping it forward." So we ended up +$40 on the night. Not bad for no effort whatsoever. Huzzah.
So we skipped the opener - some guy named Freddie Nelson. You could hear him well from outside. He was a solo acoustic performer that seemed overly bent on playing cover songs. I despise those types. I suppose it could have been worse. He could have had a harmonica (the scourge of rock'n'roll). In my mind, harmonicas are the musical equivalent of the bubonic plague. Well, with one exception. That being Neil Young. Trust me on one thing - if Dan Quayle is no John F. Kennedy...
then needless to say, Freddie Nelson... you're no Neil Young. Secondary huzzah.
It's crazy to think that Cheap Trick was headlining arenas in the late 70's. I wonder if that's because of the quality of their music OR was it just because of a lack of major draws (15,000 - 20,000). If you think about it, there were only so many Aerosmith's and AC/DC's back then. The crowd last night was probably about 1,200 tops. We heard they gave away 1,000 comp tickets. Maybe it has something to do with this outlandish instrument.
Rest assured, he brought out that monstrosity near the end for the "Surrender" encore. But Stage AE ain't the Houston Astrodome circa 1989. Ohh, how the might have fallen.
They used to reference that stadium as one of the "7 Wonders of the World." In retrospect, that's kind of amusing. I think I liked the Titans better when they played in Houston. Always despised their head coach Jerry Glanville.
Even worse was Bum Phillips.
What is it with all those 80's NFL head coaches wearing cowboy hats?
Though I must say, Bum Phillips has a snazzy look in that "goated-fur." If Jeff Fisher (with the mustache) was still with the Titans, he could probably sell it in the here and now. The Steelers may have had a rough ride during the Mark Malone/Bubby Brister decade, but it was always inspiring to watch them beat the piss out the Oilers. Yee-haw.
Regardless of that Tex-anecdote, I've always been an admirer of Cheap Trick. For a bunch of guys in their early 60's that have been playing since 1973, they sounded pretty damn good. Clean, crisp and surprisingly very loud. In fact, I vaguely remember reading an article that classified Cheap Trick as the "loudest" rock band on the planet. It stated that the decibel level was the equivalent of a 747 taking off. Next loudest on the list - Gigi's churning dishwasher.
Another nice thing about Cheap Trick - if you don't like any of their songs... well, it's Gonna Be Alright because each one only lasts 3 minutes and 12 seconds. Tertiary huzzah.
Gigi and I each scored 2 guitar picks. Not a major challenge as the lead guitarist was literally throwing out handfulls of picks at a time. Reminiscent of being in the "throes of throws" at a Mardi Gras parade in N'Awlins.
Red and Green. You couldn't ask for a better combination. Now it's time to glue each pick to my festivus poles in the living room.
I will label this dual creation a "Cheap Trick on the rest of us." Pictures forthcoming.