Saturday, July 26, 2008

Every Breath You Take, Every Move You Make

I'll be watching you.

February 20, 1984, Milwaukee Wisconsin

I was dropped off outside of the MECCA arena with my friends Ingrid and Katie. I was 14 and a freshman in high school. I was so excited because this was going to be my first concert without parents. We were going to see The Police on their last tour.

At that time, life did not get any better than that. I remember so much about the night. I was wearing a purple velour mini-skirt because it was 1984 and I was soooo cool. Our seats were behind the stage to the right. We had a perfect view of Stuart Copland and not much else. But then Sting came and sang two songs to those of us in the back. It was heaven.

Fast forward 24 years to July 25, 2008.

I'm older and a bit wiser but still damn excited to see the show. I realized that a lot had changed in 24 years. It was an outdoor show and there were thunderstorms in the forcast, so we brought rain jackets just in case (which is pretty lame for a rock show and shows how old I've gotten). Also the crowd had gotten older. There were a few teenagers who came with their parents and a smattering of kids in their 20s. But the majority of the crowd was in their late 30s and 40s. I also wasn't wearing a sassy mini-skirt. I was dressed in capris, a tee and cute sporty flats (which I later learned were not cute and sporty but were actually tools of the devil).

But when the first chords were struck I wasn't 38 anymore. I reverted back to that 14 year old girl. I knew every song and sang it at the top of my lungs. I danced with strangers sitting next to me. Demolition Man, Can't Stand Losing You, Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, Don't Stand So Close To Me, Every Breath You Take. It was all perfect. (Although I do have to say during Invisible Sun they showed images of children from all over the world. It was almost enough to send my adoptive mama emotions over the edge every time I saw an image of an African boy or an Asian girl.) The show was wonderful and reminded me of what it was like to be a kid again.

I also fell in love three times last night. The first was with two security guards who escorted me to the first aid station back stage. You see my cute shoes had cut off all of the skin on the back of my right heel and some on my left. So I stood there bleeding in my shoes. You can't enjoy a concert if you can't stand up. It was a desperate situation, I needed band-aids stat. But at least 3 security guards turned me down, thinking that my situation was no so dire. Finally these two wonderful boys took pity on me and led me to first aid.

I then fell in love with the ladies working at the first aid tent. They gave me band-aids and antibiotic ointment. They got me back on my feet and enabled me to dance the night away.

Finally, I fell in love with the Sky Glider on the festival grounds outside the Ampitheater. German Fest was in full swing on the festival grounds and the Sky Glider was running the length of the grounds. Our car was a mile and 1/2 away. The Sky Glider cut 1/2 mile off and enabled me to save my feet once more.

We glided above the grounds over Helmut's Strudel Haus, several Oompah bands and stands selling spanferkel. We then left the grounds and walked through the art district where people were strolling in and out of galleries enjoying Gallery Night. This could have only happened in Milwaukee and reminded me of why I love this town.