What a difference a few decades can make? My first two concerts when I was fourteen was Bruce Springsteen (yeah, big surprise) and Rush (okay, a bit of surprise), but both were miles away from the local radio station sponsored revue at the Arena on Saturday Night.
My moonlighting gig had me ushering for the festivities, mercifully up the high level so you were in a good spot to see the people watching festival and that was the show for me. Aside from helping a few teens learn to count to find the correct seat, it wasn’t a lot of heavy lifting. The radio group set up monitors on either side of the stage where we were regularly assaulted with commercials and videotape greetings from performers whose careers are too prosperous to come to Buffalo. Of the roughly 12,000 folks there, about a third of the audience were parents of the concert goers which I guess was good.
Funny to see the corridors full of moms networking or dads looking for a Sabres score.
Each of the first four acts got about 30 minutes on stage. Comedic relief for me was a security guard who appeared in my corridor, hear the first few prerecorded notes, looked at me and in perfect deadpan said “I don’t like them” before he turned to try his luck charming the moms in the hallway (no digits for him there). In between acts, was 30 minutes of commercials, a video and yelping from the air staff of the radio station. I think if I could have gotten a dollar for each “How ya’all doin?” or “Buffalo, make some noiiiiise!” my bills would be paid for the month. You’d think they would need a ghostwriter, but I have to remind myself of the intended demographic.
While resenting a little that I am now aware of such a thing as the Miranda Cosgrove band, in all fairness, headliner Maroon 5 was pretty good in their 50 minute slot to cap the night. Another usher and I joked about how in our day you had to watch the show and hope the dot on stage as was the featured attraction. Before our Rock and Roll liver spots fully developed, a quick look at the seated people revealed a twittering, texting typing pool. That was at least till the headliner, once Maroon 5 cranked up, it actually felt like a concert and the assorted masses were up and into it.
At least those who were left. By taking a little more than two hours and stretching that over a five hour “well-oiled machine” like production, the younger fans reached their bed times and were starting to depart.
I just marvel at the merchandise sales. The radio station sold blue blinking light hats in such numbers that from upper level had the effect looking like at the old Atari video game on my parents tv set.
Interesting evening, on the upside, at a show with so few licensed drivers, this usher got home in record time.
Worse ways to help make the ends meet, but I’m looking forward to the hockey at the end of the month.