KISS was my first real concert. I begged my mom to let me go. She arranged for a family friend to take me. Julie was seventeen. Her boyfriend was one of those older boys, I’d already been warned about. Julie and the older boy rolled their own smokes all night. Their laughter escalated to hysterics every time they warned me with a giggly “Don’t tell your Mom” Uh. Okay.
A shirtless Paul Stanley and his massive mane of jet-black tresses were about to hit the stage and I felt a charge of butterflies in my tummy the moment the lights dimmed. There was electricity in that flash. If only I could bottle up and sell that sensation. I could pay someone else to fix the half done reno’s that explode like summertime dandelions each time my husband watches Holmes on Homes.
On April 28, I matched that 12-year-old rush. After thirty years of great musical feasts, I pick my shows carefully. It has to be someone I truly adore or a worthy venue. The Fabulous Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver is such a place. Despite the roadwork thrashing Granville Street in a deep sea of ripped asphalt, fences, cones and confusion, I am here to party not politic and ignore the ticking time clock and scheduled chaos of 2010.
Tonight is a beautiful spring night. The kids are home safe and sound and my pal Pam is with me. She is dressed in her skinny jeans and steel-toed Doc Martens. Her recently layered locks bump against her shoulders as if she has just stepped out of an ass kicking Joan Jett video.
Inside our lofty lounge, an eager vibe fills the air. We all prepare to hunker down and give’er, thrust our devil horns high and let our woo hoos’ ring loud and proud.
I welcome the odd but innocent groping of strangers and beer that will splash against my feet as I claw my way closer to the stage and Chris Cornell, our messiah for the evening. Everyone feeds on this glorious anticipation like rock and roll vampires ready for their first bite.
With the sun setting against the striking art deco windows and the lights about to dim, I can be that 12-year-old if only for a few short hours.
Plus, we can drink beer.