Wednesday, 14 May 2014

14.Memories: Been To Any Concerts?

I have not been to a whole lot of concerts over the years.  I think that some of my greatest memories surrounding concerts were from the concerts I performed in as an orchestra member in junior high school and high school in the William Floyd School District in Mastic Beach, New York (of recent fame for having a student get accepted to all of the Ivy League Schools).

William Floyd High School

I remember going to one concert where myself and my stand partner had the music blow off our music stand during the performance.  I believe my stand partner was my twin brother Clifford, and that  it was the only concert that we were ever stand partners for.  As it was one of my earliest concerts I'm not sure if I'm remembering that right.  The rest of the concert I played along with the parts I knew and totally faked playing during the parts that I needed the music for.  Yes, I was the Milli Vanilli (for any of you late 1980s music fans) of high school orchestra performers that day.   The music had blown too far away and would have required one of us to get out of our seat and walk over to it, something neither of us were willing to do in the middle of a performance.   Luckily we were in one of the stands further back during that concert and it was possibly the only concert I ever played in where the cello section was positioned inward on the stage and not in the typical spot along the front of the stage.

Many of the really fond memories I have of my junior high school concerts were during the warm ups down stairs in the basement cafeteria before the concert.  A group of us would always play a kind of soccer/hockey with the rubber rock stops (used to keep the cello end pins from sliding on the wood performance stages and not damage the stage floors).  We would also play the game: Red Light, Green Light, 1,2,3.  Which is a game where one person stands at the end of a hallway with their back to several people at the other end of the hallway and says, "Red Light, Green Light 1,2,3" at varying speeds, and once finishing turns around.  The people standing at the opposite side of the hallway must run towards the speaker while his/her back is turned.  Once the speaker turns around the runners must be frozen in place. Mind you, this is no easy feat when running in dress shoes or dress socks on a slippery cafateria floor.  If the speaker turns around and sees someone fall or teeter or move, or slide, then that person is eliminated from the game.   The first person to touch the speaker wins.  The winner becomes the new speaker. 

We often performed after the chorus and band so there was a lot of free time to kill before we went on.  One Fall Concert we watched Michael Jackson's Thriller prior to our concert as well.  It was always a lot of fun to joke around and hang out with my orchestra friends.

As far as concerts that I have actually attended, I'm not sure if an Opera is considered a concert or not, but the very first time I went to a musical performance other than a musical play was the Opera I attended with my father when I was in my late teens ( which you can read about here ). 

Most recently, this past October I saw Capital Cities and Fitz and the Tantrums which was the only concert I've ever attended on my own.  I had a great time though and would not hesitate to see another band or artist on my own if I really wanted to see them.  

other Bands/Artists I have seen or heard Live include:

Ludacris @ the Altamont Fair Grounds
Hoobastank @ the Altamont Fair Grounds
Green Day @ the Times Union/Pepsi Center
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center
The Allman Brothers @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center
They Might Be Giants @ Washington Park Tulip Fest
The Cat Empire @ Washington Park Pavilion
Tori Amos @ The Palace in Albany, NY

Each and every one of those performances have their own stories to them.  All of them have been in the last decade.  One of my favorite stories and memories though came from when my best friend Henda and I attended the Green Day concert at the Times Union Center.  It was the first concert I went to after I had moved from Long Island to Albany, New York in order to attend Graduate School at SUNY Albany.

Henda and I had rather bad tickets in the nose bleed seats at the top of the stadium opposite the main stage.  We arrived a little bit late to the concert and during the opening act after we had taken our nosebleed seats we decided that we wanted to try and sneak down and get better seats.  We made our way down to the first floor and found an entry way that was not being guarded by a bouncer.  Once we got into the section that was right next to the right front portion of the stage we were actually able to find two empty seats.  Fortune was smiling upon us.  Thanks to our continued good luck no one else came down attempting to claim the seats we had taken.  About half way through the concert I wanted to grab us each a beer and had to use the bathroom and I asked Henda how I was supposed to get back in without a ticket for the section.  Henda, who had formerly been a bouncer at clubs in San Francisco California told me that I should look the doorway bouncer (who was now positioned directly at the doorway we had previously sneaked into) in the eye and ask him where the bathroom was.  After he told me, I should thank him and shake his hand.  He said, this way the bouncer would remember who I was.  So I did as Henda said.  Once I returned from the bathroom, with a couple of beers in a holder I reached into my pocket to show the bouncer the ticket that I did not have, and before I pulled my hand out he just waved me back into the concert hall.  Henda's advice had worked perfectly and I thought it was the coolest trick ever.  Now I'm not advocating taking advantage of this little trick mind you.  I'm merely relating a concert memory.  ;) *winks*  The concert by the way was awesome as well. 


  1. I love how this blogger challenge has allowed me to learn more about you. I heard that Greenday story before and whenever I go to concerts, I always think about it.

  2. I've had a lot of fun doing the challenge so far Carlyn, both for reading your posts and for making my own entries. Have you ever tried to sneak a better seat since I first told you the story? >.< I've never tried it again. I figure, getting away with it once was good enough for me. =)

    1. No I haven't tried sneaking into the better seats. I always eye off the better seats and think about it though.


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