The Last Concert

“Oh, no. Thank you, but I’m driving.”

I must be getting old.

I just saw my favorite band in concert and had a horrible time. Between drunk people spilling their beer all over me and the inability to see the concert for the forest of smartphones, what was the point? I could just buy the concert DVD in six months and watch it on my big screen HDTV instead of the big screens at the amphitheater.

Then again watching concerts at home doesn’t generally lead to after-partying at a hole-in-the-wall Irish pub. And that doesn’t generally lead to being offered a free drink by the lead singer of your favorite band.

But that night it did.

“Come on, you’re already drenched in beer. If you can’t beat them, join them.”

He had a point. But I had one, too.

“Ok, but I’ll be waiting an hour before I drive home. So you play no fewer than three songs while I sober up. And throw in some cheese fries.”

“Deal.”

The crowd that had gathered around us, consisting of my friends and the rest of the bar that night, cheered.

We could all hardly believe our luck when the band had walked in. How they knew about this place was a point of curiosity, but it was an afterthought to such concerns as photographs and autographs.

I remained a little more chill about the whole deal. After all, I had been to 11 concerts: 3 in the front row, 2 meet and greets, and I had been an extra in one of their music videos.

Perhaps that made me a little more interesting. The one person who stayed on their bar stool, sipping their drink, watching from afar. Or perhaps I looked so pathetic, they decided I needed a drink.

The band got on the tiny pub stage with an acoustic guitar borrowed from an excited fan (now auctioning on eBay with the most recent bid at $1200) and some bodhráns left behind by some small touring Irish ensemble.

Three songs later, and I figured that was the end of our deal, but they kept on going. No one was disappointed by this.

“Last call!”

The crowd groaned. But state law being what it is, the band agreed to play just one more song – only if I agreed to join them.

“Hell no.”

If I’m being honest, I had dreamt of this moment my entire life. That doesn’t mean I was going to make it easy.

The crowd got behind him and after a few rounds of pleading, I was pushed and pulled onto the stage. I can actually sing a little bit which, came as an almost Susan Boyle-esque surprise to my friends, the band and the crowd.

And I have to admit, seeing the sea of smartphones from this angle was rather thrilling. My awesome moment would be immortalized on YouTube forever, or until the band’s record company demanded it be taken down.

Anyway, that was the last concert I’ll ever attend. I am old, in a retiring athlete kind of way: not very old at all, but wanting to go out on top.