My Son’s First Major Concert Is @gunsnroses #gnrregina #yqr #notinthislifetime #WishesItWasEminem

(I didn’t get a good picture of my son at the GnR concert tonight but here’s one of us camping which is fitting since that’s where this story begins…)

When Guns n’ Roses was announced for the first “big” concert at the new Mosaic Stadium, I wanted to go but decided not to buy tickets – both because I figured we’d probably be camping and also because the prices were pretty high.

We were indeed camping this weekend but, as we were lingering in our seasonal campsite as we often do until later on Sunday afternoons, I started to see Facebook posts from friends who were showing up at the concert – a cousin from Saskatoon, a high school friend who I used to listen to GnR with, a co-worker.

Then I saw someone post that Ticketmaster was reselling tickets for as low as $35.

It was around 6pm already.  GnR were slated to take the stage at 7:30pm.  Our camp site is 45 minutes from Regina but with the amount of road work east of Regina, that’s usually longer – maybe closer to an hour.  That left half an hour to spare at the most.

“Uhm, honey, there’s something I need to tell you…”

Luckily, I have a very understanding, kind wife who (usually) overlooks my spontaneous nature.

One other wrinkle – my ten year old overheard me talking to his mom and decided he wanted to tag along too since he is really starting to get into music this summer but he hasn’t been to the new stadium or to a big concert.

I still feel guilty I didn’t take him to KISS for his first concert when they came through the city a couple years ago (how cool would that be for a first concert?) so I decided GnR would be a good substitute – even though his tastes don’t really lean to 80’s hair metal bands.  But for $35 to see one of the greatest bands of all-time?  Why not – even if he doesn’t appreciate them now, he’ll appreciate them someday – just like I appreciate the first big concert my parents took me to – uhm, Kenny Rogers, I think?  🙂

We were packed up and ready to go pretty much so we made it into the city in record time, Shea buying the tickets on the Ticketmaster app as I drove.  We skipped unloading the van like we usually do after a weekend of camping (I promised my wife I’d do it after the concert) and my son and I quickly got cleaned up and changed clothes before heading to the Stadium.

Unlike, the good old days, Axl wasn’t three hours late taking the stage but unfortunately, he wasn’t even three minutes late.  I heard “It’s So Easy” as we were walking up to the Stadium and it wasn’t even 7:30pm yet.  We got through security and to our seats as they finished playing “Mr. Brownstone” (which is one of my all-time favourite GnR songs so I was disappointed to miss it.  It’s also too bad we didn’t get to hear the roar as the band first took the stage.)

Once in our seats (which had said “obstructed” but other than some rigging in front of us, not too bad), I checked setlists.fm to see what GnR played a few nights ago in Winnipeg as I’d heard their setlist was varying very little from show to show.  That’s how I knew we’d luckily only missed a couple songs.

After that, the entire concert was a trip down memory lane for me (along with the sad realization that I am now the target demographic for 80’s bands doing reunion tours.  It reminded me of how we were in Kelowna a few years ago and booked a “Classic Rock” dinner boat cruise.  I was expecting a cover band playing Beatles and Rolling Stones and stuff I think of as “Classic Rock”.  Nope, the band played Poison and Bon Jovi and yes, GnR. Made me feel *really* old!)

Pace initially wanted to go but once there, I think he wasn’t too sure if he’d made the right decision.  There’s a few reasons for this – I haven’t totally converted him to my type of music and his tastes lean more to modern hip hop, trendy YouTubers and novelty songs about fidget spinners. Plus the fact that he was there with his fat, 40-something dad (never cool at the best of times), especially if dad is singing along with all the songs and occasionally even standing up to dance! 😉

So I suspect that right now, his main memories of this concert aren’t going to be the music or the experience. Instead, it is probably going to be how loud it was, how I treated him to $8 nachos plus the amazing fireworks and confetti display at the end.

But my main memory will be getting to take my son to his first big concert at the end of the summer when he’s at an age where he’s really starting to get into music for himself.  And someday I’m sure he’ll also realise just how cool it is to be able to say that his first big concert was seeing literally the biggest band in the world- both in the 1980’s and, at least in terms of concert grosses, again today.

But if not, I’ll keep my eyes peeled to see if Eminem is playing anywhere close…just in case! 😉

Trackbacks & Pingbacks 2

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