Rain was the first concert I ever went to (other than little local ones and such). My best friend and I were driving down to Lake Tahoe (along with my parents, my grandmother, my brother, my brother's best friend, and my grandmother's dog) when I spotted a red billboard that said "Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!" Being a Beatlemaniac, I immediately thought, "She Loves You!" This I pointed out much to the annoyance of everybody else in the car. A few miles later, I spotted another one and this time was able to read it. There was a picture of what looked like The Beatles, and underneath that, it said "A Tribute to The Beatles, Starring Rain." Wow, cool, I thought, but it soon left my mind as boredom took over.
While doing laundry at the laundromat, Mom was reading the paper and found another ad for the 'concert.' When Claire and I came returned from shopping at Rite Aid (where I got my first of four Life's The Beatles and was asked by the checkout man: "Aren't you a little young for this?"), Mom announced that Rain was playing nightly at Harrah's Casino, which was just about 20 minutes away. And so we went, on Wednesday, 27th June, 2001. I loved it.
My next experience with live music was much more genuine. For my twelfth birthday, I got a present (wow). I opened it to a couple of pairs of socks (I love socks). Underneath them was an envelope with pictures of Ringo all over it. This was great, but didn't they know that George was my favourite? Oh well, I thought, and opened it. What was inside the envelope was the best birthday present I've ever received. Two tickets to see Ringo Starr in concert! I started screaming like a Beatlemaniac from the 60s and jumping around the room, hugging my parents. I'm sure if my brother had been there (he was at camp) he would've thought I was totally crazy. He was getting more used to my obsession, though.
Mom and I left for the concert seven hours before it started (we live on an island, so had to plan around ferry time) and drove to Chateau Ste Michelle Winery (where the concert was) so we could get in line before others. A whole bunch of people seemed to have the same idea, and we were in line behind about 50 people. It was good we got there when we did, though, because the line steadily grew bigger. I used my binoculars and found the stage (though it was rather blurry), where I could see a group of people having photos taken. One of them was probably Ringo!!! I couldn't tell, though, because my binoculars didn't focus well. Soon, we heard the sounds of music coming from the stage, all seventy five of us realized that we were hearing a sound check. My backpack was checked to see if I had any alcohol in it (they didn't let you bring your own because they wanted you to buy theirs), and the security guard put a pink sticker on it. We were told that we could advance to the next little 'station' soon, where they were going to take our tickets.
The couple roughly in front of us (we were sort of all jumbled together) told us that they had reserved seats (we had tickets for the lawn, which was first come, first served) and we could go in front of them. Mom told me to not take any mercy or be polite, and just push my way to the front of the crowd, which I did in the mad rush to get to the front after the barrier was taken away. I fond myself third in one of the lines, and could just barely see my mom in the back.
The two security guards who were each taking tickets for a line, told us that we shouldn't rush and that we would all get seats. But they won't all be good ones, I thought. The two started taking tickets, and I was incredibly impatient when our security guard was slower than the other one. But I figured I could make up for that with my ability to push my way through crowds quickly (I had actually hardly ever done it before, but I convinced myself that I was good at it, and took no mercy), and when the guard took my ticket, I was off running. "Hey!" a guard yelled to me. "If you run, you'll get sent to the back of the line." Oh, great, I thought, but then I realized that I actually had more talent in walking really quickly because my school practiced it every day from kindergarten through third grade. I passed quite a few people this way, and the guards seemed to relax. I hurried to secure a place for us in the second row of grass-sitters. If I had passed one more person, I would have made it into the front row, but I didn't mind. Triumphant, I spread out our puny little blanket, and waited for my mom to arrive through the crowd.
I looked at Mom's backpack, and observed the sticker said "Ringo" on it, and I realized that I wanted to save mine as a souvenir, but saw that mine had fallen off in the mad rush to get seats.
I'm not done with this page yet, and I"m having problems with the formatting, and it's not my first prority right now, so it might be a while.