My husband thinks I am stupid, but I am not. So when he told me that we were going to review a live concert I asked “so who are we going to see”? I have been a country music fan for many years, and while I may not know every act out there, I was pretty sure that bands with names like Motley Crue, and Papa Roach were not country.

Simon explained that they were not strictly county, more country rock, but I was pretty much convinced that I was being conned, but in all the time I have lived in Calgary I have never had an opportunity to see the Saddledome, so reluctantly I agreed to go.

I was right, Simon is the worlds biggest liar, people that go to country music concerts do not dress like they have walked straight out of the pages of a comic book. Guys were wearing long wigs, women were barely wearing anything at all, I know I would never see this kind of crowd at The Grand Ole Opry.

I have problems with stairs, my hips don’t like them, and when Simon showed me the entrance I was ready to go home. There was no way I was climbing up a set of stairs that went on as far as the eye could see. “Don’t worry I have a plan B” Simon says. Now I am really worried, Simon has more plans than an architectural company! Somehow he managed to con someone into helping, and although we avoided the steps, it was still what seemed like a half mile hike to the ticket window.

At least they had us on the media list and the tickets were waiting for us. Meanwhile I could hear a steady thump thump from inside the Saddledome, and it sure didn’t sound like any country song I had ever heard!

Tickets in hand Simon then drags me off to the Concierge Desk because some pass or other was missing. I didn’t really follow the conversation but the next thing I know is we are being escorted in avoiding the long line of people being patted down by security. How the hell he does this stuff amazes me!

After a million flights of stairs down we make it to our seats, and I have to admit they were some of the best in the dome, right in front of the stage, off to the side, and elevated a little. Whoever got the tickets for Simon, thanks.

Now, the music. Well, just as I suspected Simon had lied to me. This was no Country Rock concert, this was some pretty heavy metal stuff. Actually most of the music was quite palatable, and some was very good. Noisy, but quite fun. I wasn’t so enthusiastic about the colorful and descriptive dialog that some of the singers used, but the 10,000 plus attendees seemed to lap it up.

There was one band that put on quite the athletic show. Papa Roach, these guys understand the concept of audience participation. Their lead singer Jacoby Shaddix left the stage, wireless Mic in hand and proceeded to roam around in the crowd. He is a pretty athletic guy and scaled his way over the barriers into the area we we sitting in. To say ‘the crowd went wild’ is putting it mildly. This is a band that could open for anyone and get the crowd going.

The main attraction of the night was Motley Crue, I knew nothing about this band other than the fact that Drummer Tommy Lee is involved with Pamela Anderson.

They were loud, really loud! They do know how to put on a stage show though. I jumped out of my seat a few times when the fireworks in the show started but soon got use to them. I don’t think I have ever been to an indoor fireworks display before. There were flames coming out from no where and sparkles from the fireworks shooting up all over the stage and they were loud but I thought it was cool and very well planned.

I am not new to going to concerts. I have been to a few in my day but I have to admit this is the wildest one I have ever been to. In all honesty though, other than having beer splattered all down my back from the guys behind us and the girl in front of us knocking down rows of seats (not to mention how many times she almost fell back into us) I think the concert was great. It is going to take me a month now to recuperate.

Jan Barrett

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