A Night With Keith Urban and Gary Allan
Keith and the Feeble Old Man
On December 1, 2007 I was witness to something I never thought I would see. It was disturbing, but at the same time entertaining. While brutal in nature the following is a true account of that evening. Due to violent content, it is not for the faint of heart nor the young.
Keith Urban Concert Tickets
The evening was cool in Birmingham Al. that December day. Prior to the financial woes we have endured the past few months, I had procured a pair of tickets to a concert. The tickets were floor tickets 16th row to see Keith Urban, a country singer, who my wife salivates and gets the fluttery eyelids like a giggly teenager at the mention of his name. This is comparable to the King's fans of the 1970's.
When I surprised my wife with these tickets and showed her the map of the Civic Center seating arrangements she realized how close she would be to her "Elvis". She proclaimed to my oldest daughter and me in the living room of our penthouse suite, "Oh my gosh! I'm going to be close enough for him to sling sweat on me!" (Swoon)
Dancing around in celebration doing the "Running Man" and "The Carlton", whooping it up and enjoying the innocent days. Little did we know the violence to come………
Before I go any further, for those of you who do not know, or have never seen my wife, she is 125 lbs 5'9" blue eyes, brown hair a very petite and gorgeous lady.
The months go by and money is getting tighter. Near the end of November she tells me, "Just sell the tickets on E-Bay". I refused. I knew that would be a mistake. We have been through a ton of crap of late we just needed a good time, after all our only expense would be gas, the tickets were paid for months ago. Finally, the day arrives, the kids are going to stay with Grandma for the evening while the wife and I try to have a much needed good time. We dropped the kids off and headed out towards the "Ham".
Not That There's Anything Wrong with That
After a 30 minute ride we arrived at The BJCC. We found a parking place about 3 blocks from the concert hall nestled in between the courthouse and the government funded projects, NICE! I could sense the anxiety brewing inside my woman.
We exit the vehicle and start our trek to the auditorium. While we were walking on the sidewalk joking about how to get backstage so she could just touch her, "Elvis". We hear 2 sets of footsteps coming from behind and some inaudible mumblings. We were in downtown Birmingham after dark so I naturally took a peek over my shoulder just to make sure a rogue isn't coming for my empty wallet. When I looked back I saw 2 slender men with tight blue jeans with their country and western shirts tucked neatly in walking toward us at a rapid pace. As they got closer to us I could discern their voices. That is when my fear of robbery issues ended. Those 2 dudes were gays en-route to see their "Liberace". They passed us by as our eyes were wide with amazement of their flamboyant gayness, not that there's anything wrong with that, then more laughing and joking ensued. The rest of the walk was un-eventful until we climbed the stairs and she spotted the tour buses.
Close to Elvis
The excitement was building and I was satisfied that I would successfully show my lady a good time. My decision to keep the tickets may pay off and the night's event had not started. At this point I received my orders, "You take pictures when I can't, get your phone out". She began snapping pictures of the buses. After she finished we decided to go into the building to warm up. There were thousands of people there milling about, buying beer and having a good time. We decided to locate our seats and sit down to await the opening act, Gary Allan. The entrances to the auditorium were veiled with thin black hanging curtains to keep people from gathering and blocking them while watching the concert. As we approached the one that led to our seats the usher pulled the curtain back revealing the stage layout to her. She had a come-apart when she saw the stage.
The stage set up was a simple one, (See Seating Diagram, We Were in A) the main stage we're 16 rows south of and an elongated narrow stage running south bisecting the floor seats, we're 8 chairs, not rows, from that stage. We made our way down the stairs to the floor and found our row. This is when she realized exactly how close she would be to "Elvis"
Our Row and Tommy Chong
In our row, people had arrived before us and were sitting in their seats. We had seats 8 and 9. Seat 1, on the outside, was occupied by a man who had grey hair and Tommy Chong type eyeglasses. He was clad in an American flag nylon windbreaker; he stood at 5'6" and weighed 150lbs after a shower. His goatee was grey with a matching mustache. He had a matching flag colored dew rag tied to his head. He looked like a lost Grateful Dead follower. The next few seats were occupied by some regular looking people.
Then, we arrived at seats 6 and 7. These seats were occupied by 2 women who were self proclaimed Gary Allen groupies who traveled in from Nashville to see his show. They also had on the dew rags which makes me wonder if the Dead Head guy in seat 1 was also there for Gary.
We made it to our seats and sat down waiting on the show to start. The excitement in my wife's eyes was something I haven't seen in a long time, it was nice. The room went black, the music started and Gary Allan did his show. It was a good show about 45 minutes long, the women sitting next to us were having a huge time. They said they would be leaving after Gary played, they did. After they lights came up our groupie friends said it takes them about 45minutes to get the stage ready for the main act. We decided to go walk around a few minutes. We had our last minutes together before the "Incident".
We returned to our seats only to discover the groupies had left and chubby women had replaced them, we didn't care we had the seats we bought. The stage was nearing completion, a huge screen as big as an IMAX screen was now there. Stage hands were running back and forth carrying guitars and drums ECT.
Suddenly the lights went out and on the screen a countdown clock appeared starting at 1 minute. The intro music was building up and my wife was gripping me with excitement. At 10 seconds she looked me squarely in my eyes and said, "You know I love you, right?" I said, "Yes have fun, just bring some money back home."
3……2……1….nothing! Dark, no noise. Then one single spotlight center stage, way in the back. A silhouette of her "Elvis". He made the dramatic entrance and the rest of the band joined in. They played for an hour, running up and down the center stage throwing picks, high fiving all the girls on the front row. He had microphone set in each corner of the stage so he could go play his guitar for all parts of the seating. He played his guitar and sang all his songs. Then he went to the corner of the main stage which was on our side. While he was over there he laid down on the stage. She looks at me and says, "What is he doingis he laying down?" Somehow he climbs down off the stage and is off into the crowd. (See Seating Diagram, this occured in 8L section)
My wife was keenly aware of this, her eyes got large and I didn't know what to do except get out of the way. She says, "He's on the floor!" with that she was off like a rocket. The chubby women were in the way, she began to tell them, "Go! He's on the floor!" They let her by without incident. Then she came to seat 1 where Tommy Chong was standing.
The Guitar Strap
According to my wife, she asked him to move 3 times. I was 7 chairs away in the middle of a loud concert. I saw my wife approach him at a quick pace, some words were said, and I don't know what they were. Then this old guy trying to smoke his peace pipe was shoved into his chair from a standing position by my fair petite beauty like a sack of onions. That quick, she was gone, I scanned the crowd seriously afraid a bouncer saw her do that and was dragging her kicking and screaming to the exit. "Elvis" stayed in the middle of the crowd long enough for her to make it to him and be within his shadow while he sang. Then she positioned herself and reached out with her hand and grabbed his sweaty guitar strap getting the sweat on her hand.
He went back to the stage and continued playing. She came back to me grabbing me saying, "I touched him" (Swoon). She was shaking and had weak knees. The show wrapped up and we walked back to our vehicle. She was the happiest girl in the world that night, I had a good time at that concert with my lady, and I got to watch a beautiful young blue eyed lady pummel an old guy who had a bad hip and get away with it, he should have moved, I did.
Better him than me.