Oct 8, 2008

The day I stood for 6 consecutive hours

REM from Athens, Georgia in Athens, Greece last Sunday night. They appeared as headliners for the free concert organized by MTV to celebrate the arrival of MTV Greece.

I could kick myself for not going to see REM live (and free) but I don't think I could stand standing in line for hours, uncertain if I'd be admitted, since entrance was on a first-come first-serve basis. MTV Greece consolingly broadcast the show live on TV and it was rewarding to view close ups of the group on stage.

Although two weeks have gone by, my knees are still aching from Jennifer Lopez's concert which Daughter#2 wanted to really, really go to. Her friends were either not allowed or not interested in going so she batted her eyelashes, said 'pleeeeeeeeease?' and chump mom that I am, I said 'hey, why not?'

The tickets wrote "gates open at 5.30 p.m." but not the actual show time. This being Daughter#2's first pop concert and her not wanting to miss a thing, she dragged me to the venue as early as 5.30 p.m.

Did the gates open at 5.30 p.m.? Nope.
They opened at 8.00 p.m.
It had been drizzling, cold and miserable outside and I was trying not ruin Daughter#2's outing by keeping all the foul words under my breath.

The wait was extremely long and a lot of people in the crowd started doubting whether Ms.Lopez was actually ever going to appear and if we would ever feel our toes again.

Daughter#2 had opted for "as close as I can get" position, whereas I found a nice nook on a guard rails to lean against, away from the fuss and elbowing. You would not believe how valuable that small rail became as people started dropping like flies from exhaustion on the floor and shooting me grumpy looks as I (pretended)looked relaxed against my rail. 5-6 peopled thought they had found the solution to their suffering and hoisted their tooshies on the rail in front of my face. Luckily for me, they could only sit for a few short minutes since the thin metal rod hurt their butts like crazy.

JLo in Athens Jennifer Lopez finally came on stage at 9.40 p.m. The show was decent, albeit short, ~67 minutes. She did all her known hits (there's buzz she lip sung), there was no encore but the staging, special effects and her on-stage energy were impressive.

As I stood there watching JLo do her thing and people of all ages around me going gaga I recalled how different the time I accompanied Daughter#1, age 14 then, at her first concert, heavy metal nonetheless. Her favorite metal group was appearing in Athens and she wanted to see them and none of her friends' parents were allowing their kids to go. Again, I offered to take her so she wouldn't miss out on the chance to see them live. THAT was definitely a blast. Having grown up in a strict family environment without the privilege of attending any rock concerts I was as enthusiastic about being there as Daughter#1. You haven't seen energy, until you've been in a small venue with thousands of black garmented metal heads swaying to and fro and jumping up and down in sync with music. Un.for.gett.a.ble.

Daughter#2 and I, each tried to pitifully capture some concert moments on our cell phones. The steady video takes are from me who wasn't jumping up and down, the bouncy video take is from Daughter#2 who was busy singing along, dancing and waving her hands in the air.