Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ringo Starr, Rants, and Raves.....

Last night we went to see Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band in Cleveland at the Nautica Pavilion.

The music was AWESOME.

Ringo just turned 70 years old this year. SEVENTY. On stage, he looked FORTY. He was beyond amazing.

He played most of my favorite Ringo tunes (including Honey Don't - my all-time favorite Ringo song!) And I had a great time with the music.

His All-Starr Band is made up of names from other hit groups, and each player gets a feature to do his own stuff. I was pleasantly surprised by these others (we didn't know who they were til we got there).

The band included Rick Derringer (the McCoys), Wally Palmar (The Romantics), Edgar Winter (White Trash), Gary Wright (known for "Dream Weaver"), Richard Page (Mr. Mister), and Gregg Bissonette.

They played, among many other songs, "Hang on, Sloopy," "Kyrie," "Dream Weaver," and of course "I Get By With a Little Help from my Friends."

As I mentioned above, the music was IM-PRESSIVE. Song after song, they had us all singing along, clapping our hands, and loving every minute of it.

(Dave and me outside the Pavilion before the concert)

(My husband, Dave, however, ever the ultimate Beatles fan, said "Not enough Ringo songs." LOL)

It was a great celebration of music. So much for my rave.

Now on to my rant.

I HATED Nautica Pavilion.

It's not really that large a venue, so you would think it would not be hard to manage. I guess Cleveland doesn't have much experience there. (You'd think they would, being the home of the Rock and Roll museum....) Although, we have been to several concerts at the Wolstein Center and at the Quicken Loans Arena, and they were handled BEAUTIFULLY!

The staff seemed to have absolutely no clue about their own arena. Three different ushers stood at the BOTTOM of the bleachers and told us "your seats are up there, on the right." (they were actually to the left) I watched ushers over and over ask "what seat are you sitting in?" They were totally clueless.

This meant that many people wound up sitting in the wrong seats, in a sell-out crowd, and so they would have to move when the real ticket-holders got there. The bleachers are so narrow that it is virtually impossible to simply stand up to let people pass by. It was a comedy of errors, truly.

And the bleacher seats were so small, I was sitting with my arms hunched in my lap all night. Hard to move to the music when you're that close together. And the music made me want to MOVE. How can you not move when you listen to these songs?

We also bought bottled soft drinks during the show, and were told that they could not give us the bottle caps. I thought this was particularly odd, and had wanted a bottle versus a cup so that I could reseal it and be sure not to spill any during the concert.

So I asked WHY she couldn't give us the bottle caps. Her reply? "So you can't throw the bottle caps on the stage during the show." WHAT? What kind of crazy-ass concerts do they have at this venue that people throw bottle caps at the stage? Now, I admit, my concert attendance is limited, and I have been to far more classical concerts than pop or rock ones, but still. Has our society degraded THAT far that we show our appreciation for artists by pelting them with plastic? I was appalled.

So, in summary, last night was a mixed bag. I absolutely LOVED the music, but HATED the venue. I guess it's a good lesson for us for the future. And if you're thinking about buying tickets for a concert at the Nautica, let this serve as fair warning to you!

But hey, I can only hope I look HALF as good at 70 as Ringo Starr does.

Rock on, Ringo!

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