Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Aerosmith/Motley Crue @ Virginia Beach Amphitheater, Va. Beach, VA (10-21-06)

Original plans for this Saturday:
1)Spend time with my girlfriend, 2)Play tennis, 3)Watch the Tigers and
Cardinals square off in the World Series, and 4)Stay sober. Due to Lovie's
aching tooth and a sore elbow, I would have to settle for Joe Buck's
play-by-play and an imaginary bottle of O'Douls. However, a phone call from
"Black Bart" ixnayed the baseball. He had procured two tickets for the
nearly sold-out show and invited me and my sister Shannon to join him. Our
acceptance of the generous offer came less than an hour before the opening
licks, so we had to torch tread quicker than Dale Jr. The drive from Suffolk
was surprisingly short, and Virginia Beach's finest kept the entrance line
moving steadily. Once inside the gates, Bart was perched by the
lost-and-found section. Handing us our passes, BB still had to conduct other
business. Spotting two lasses from either the amicable country of Sweden or
the tulip-laden land of Holland, he pitched two good seats for a
mildly-inflated price of $250. The attractive blondes turned him down, of
course, but Ridgemont High's Damone and Larry from "Three's Company"
would've been proud of Bart. Oddly, this was our last face-to-face with the
shyster. Perhaps BB had to meet a curly-haired youth at Lynnhaven Mall
burnin' for Blue Oyster Cult tickets. Let's give the devil his due.

Speaking of the forked one, the Crue had already begun shouting at him
during our mile-long hike up the steps to the lawn area. By the time we
found a great spot on the lawn's edge closely behind the party tent, Vince
and company had kicked ass on "Wild Side" and drooled over "Looks That
Kill". Twin scorchers from Dr. Feelgood, "Kickstart My Heart" and "Same Ol'
Situation (S.O.S.)", sent me back to the 1989 grit lunch table at Bayside
High School. KISS-y pyrotechnics induced more time-traveling on "Louder Than
Hell." If I'm not mistaken, my brother Brian's first musical purchase was
Theater Of Pain -- which I spun constantly throughout the terrible year that
was 1986. Another act from the comic/tragic platter, "Home Sweet Home",
brought out appreciative cell phones and cigarette lighters. Personally, I
would've fired one up in the restroom at Brownsville Station and lamented
the "City Boy Blues," but it ain't like I threw tomatoes at 'em. Mick Mars'
sliding guitar unleashed a "Primal Scream" from the Decade Of Decadence,
which garnered extra hollers upon my subsequent discovery of his
degenerative bone condition. A make-out session with "Josie" and an Orange
chopper ridden onto the stage by Vince were perfect props for "Girls, Girls,
Girls." In my ninth-grade Spanish class at Churchland High School, the
students had to give a presentation on a favorite album of theirs. Troy
Liverman's pick was Chicas, Chicas, Chicas. A muy bien set, overall. But
leave it to Tommy Lee and tastelessness. Pandering to the white-trash rapper
crowd who actually owned the Methods Of Mayhem waste of plastic, the wannabe
MC led a "When I say Motley, you say Crue" call-and-response to the delight
of most. Even unlimited Jager shots wouldn't have made me join that choir.
Good night, fucker.

Dusting off the "Toys In The Attic" and briskly "Walkin' The Dog", the Toxic
Twins only hinted at the technical brilliance and bluesy comfortableness yet
to come. With apologies to Van Morrison, Bon Scott, and Terrible Ted, a
stripped-down "Baby Please Don't Go" was, by far, the definitive one I'd
ever heard. The juke-joint feel made me wish they'd summoned other standards
like "Train Kept A Rollin'" and "Milk Cow Blues" in lieu of the teeny-bopper
sing-alongs "Cryin'" and "Eat The Rich." Still, the sight of Steven Tyler
captivating 20,000 folks by simply blowing on a harp scored a "Big One" for
the old guard. "Devil's Got A New Disguise," the lone newbie, didn't mask
the Beantown Boys' winning song-and-dance routine. Eight years ago, I
compiled my favorite Aerosmith songs on a mixed tape for Lovie. "Dream On"
did not make the list. Tonight, singing through the laughter and tears with
our new pal "Drunk Dan" took us away. Deep cuts such as the riff-rockin'
"Draw The Line" and a slowly-changing "Seasons Of Wither" partnered well
with the DMC-less "Walk This Way" and an expressive "Sweet Emotion."
Standing near the front but not shaking his ass, Dan struggled to maintain
balance after umpteen cups of nine-dollar Miller High Life. After a third
and final tumble, he invited us to his place for beers and darts. The only
thing Dan would be throwing was up, so his wife wisely nixed the idea. Never
got the man's digits or address, but the not-played (WTF?) "Back In The
Saddle" is hereby dedicated to him. People like Dan are just as important in
recollecting memorable moments as those on the right side of the velvet
rope. Give him a drink, bartender.

Oh, my sobriety streak ended at ten weeks. I joined Lovie and Shannon for
pints of Sam Adams at Smokey Bones BBQ several nights ago. So much for
staying on that horse...

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