June 20th I attended the Heart concert at the Essar Centre. From the first guitar riff of Barracuda, to the last note in Stairway to Heaven, Heart and Jason Bonham had the Sault Rocking. I’ll have to qualify that last statement…they had most of the Sault rocking… minus a woman behind me that insisted that my friend and I not dance.
Listening to Ann and Nancy Wilson belting out all of their greatest hits was truly a memorable experience. For these rockers to sound identical to their recordings thirty plus years later was inspiring. My concert partner and I were enjoying every second, that is, until I felt something swat me.
Someone behind me was clearly trying to get my attention and had swatted me with their sweater. I turned to see a scrunchy-faced woman yelling over the music, telling me to sit down.
Suddenly I had flashbacks to one of my first concert experiences in the Sault, when I saw Tom Cochrane and John Mellancamp. I had floor seats and part way into Cochrane’s set, he launched into one of my favourite songs. I jumped up to dance. Before the song was over, I was tapped on the shoulder. Security was telling me to sit down. I mentioned’ that this was a rock concert and got back to dancing. The tapping continued and I was told “Someone has complained and you have to sit down.”
Isn’t the point of music to stir the body to move?
Perhaps sweater-swatter didn’t like my dancing, or perhaps her man like my dancing too much? I reminded her that this was a rock concert and got back to dancing and enjoying the show.
The first half of the convert was all Heart. Hit after hit spanning decades had people throughout the stadium singing and dancing. After a brief intermission, for the second half, Jason Bonham hit the stage on drums for an unforgettable set of Led Zeppelin tunes.
Zeppelin never sounded so good! Ann and Nancy and their talent for playing a multitude of instruments made the songs fresh and new.
The guitarist then motioned everyone to their feet as another great hit began. I was up dancing again, bolstered since the band had asked for this audience participation.
(I should note that I only shot to my feet for main hits, and I sat for ballads and songs that didn’t talk to my feet).
Soon, I felt hands on my shoulders, and not the nice massaging kind. They were forcibly pressing down on me, I suppose to drop me to my butt or knees. I turned around to see my sweater-swatting friend.
I couldn’t believe that she had actually put hands on me! I asked her to please consider returning to her seat (or something that implied that sentiment with different words). She moved on to my friend and tried to force all four-foot nothing of her to her seat.
Undeterred from our dancing, it was difficult to ignore the obvious, that the sundress-wearing sweetie didn’t seem to feel the need to push on the shoulders of the six-foot tall man dancing alongside us. Her logic seemed flawed as she focused her tyranny on the four-foot nothing girl blocking her view instead of the six-foot wall of a man.
Eventually she moved to an empty seat at the front of the section, where she vibrated and wiggled in her seat to more amazing music. She clearly wanted to dance, but didn’t dare get up given that she’d tried to end our fun, not once, but twice.
After the show, I approached her and said quite sincerely: “Wasn’t that an amazing show?”
Sundress looked at me sceptically and then agreed. While I was hoping that she would leave it there, she chose to admonish me further and slid in a snide: “You just really shouldn’t have danced.”
Hummm. What to do? My inside voice was screaming: “You just really should have stayed at home sipping a wine spritzer in your sundress, watching a concert DVD on a big screen television.”
Instead I smiled and I heard my outside voice say: “I’ll enjoy the music my way, you enjoy it yours.”
Yup, I’m going to keep on dancing…like nobody’s watching…or somebody is watching.