Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Bigger Bang

Steve and I had the opportunity to go see the Rolling Stones "A Bigger Bang" concert last night in Seattle. I am not a huge Rolling Stones fan, but I do like a lot of their songs, so I decided to go. Besides, I had never been to a big stadium concert before, and we got the tickets for practically free.

The Stones were playing in Qwest Field, a stadium that seats thousands. We were in the nosebleed section to the right of the ginormous stage. Mick Jagger is something special. The guy is like, 62 years old, and dances around like a 15 year old! He is just as unattractive now as he was in 1964, but you gotta give him credit...he knows how to put on a show! He was skipping and hopping and running and singing and dancing and shaking his hips for 3 hours without getting out of breath. Amazing.

The show itself was pretty spectacular. I read that the stage is seven stories high and took over a hundred people to build. It moves from show to show (surely they use more than one) in 80 semi trucks. Lights, fire, fog, giant screens, inflatable had it all. At one point, the stage rolled from one end of the stadium to the other. Suddenly the "cheap seats" were the best in the house. It was pretty neat. It was also pretty obviousl that the band really enjoys themselves and they weren't just going through the motions. If I was a zillionaire in my sixties doing shows for 40 years, I am sure I wouldn't be as energized as these guys were.

All in all, it was a lot of fun.

OK, but there is one thing that struck me about the show that is a perfect indication of the times we are living in. The crowd was a mixture of all age levels. There were people there who came with their grand kids as well as teenagers and 20-somethings who didn't know any of the songs but wanted to experience the show. What struck me, though, was this: CELL PHONES. At a couple of points, the stadium was pretty dark. I looked into the ocean of people and I could see thousands of people with their cell phones lighting up the dark. I don't know if they were taking pictures, playing games, talking or text messaging their friends, but it was very odd. Here is this spectacle of sound and light, and people are on their cell phones. It was kind of surreal. I thought maybe it was the equivalent of the kids in the 70's rock shows that held up their lighters.


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