Friday, December 03, 2010

Concert -- David Lee Roth

David Lee Roth
Novembver 26, 1986
Frank Erwin Center
Opening act: Cinderella

What a great concert! No matter what you might think about David Lee Roth and Van Halen and their famous divorce or even Roth's music on his own, this guy puts on a damn good show! Or at least he did. Last I heard he was a paramedic.

This was for Roth's Eat 'Em and Smile album, and on stage with him was the smokin' duo of bassist Billy Sheehan and guitarist Steve Vai. Incredible musicians, all having a ball on stage for our entertainment, and it sounded a lot like this (except with better sound).

And Cinderella was decent as well. I never really got into them too much, but they were a worthy opening act for Roth, and I wasn't disappointed.

And now, here's a neat little story about this concert.

When my friends and I went to Austin, we parked someplace downtown that led to us approaching the Frank Erwin Center from the side. (Yes, I know the building is round, but it has a main entrance, and the stage entrance is opposite, and so I consider any gate halfway in between to be a "side" entrance.) The gates weren't open yet, and people were lining up at the doors on that cool evening at least a couple of hours before the show. I remember the weather being comfortable, so it was not a real burden to be waiting outside.

The lines at the main entrance doors were long, but at the side entrance where we were at the line was pretty short. In fact, there coudn't have been more than twenty or thirty people lined up there, so we all began to chat in a very amiable manner. Soon all of us in our little groups were talking like we were friends, even though we had never seen each other before that night. And it was also pretty cool that the side entrance was close to the loading dock, and we could clearly see the roadies unloading last-minute equipment from Roth's tour trucks.

Before long, we got to comparing tickets, asking each other which sections we got and congratulating the ones who had the best seats. I was in Section 42, which was not very close to the stage but gave a great view of the set-up anyway.

As we were showing each other our tickets, there was one girl towards the back who started furrowing her brow, and she looked very interested in what we were doing. She seemed to be waiting alone. She was tall with long, straight blond hair, and she was done up in what were typical mid-1980s rock-hottie duds, including short leather skirt, high heels, stockings, and some kind of flashy blouse.

It wasn't long before this girl leaned forward and said, kind of to everybody, "Hey, your tickets look different from mine."

We looked, and sure enough, the tickets that were sold in Austin looked different from those sold in San Antonio (which, as you can see, had a nice Alamo outline on them). We explained to her that everything was fine, the tickets looked different because they were bought in different cities, but they were all good. And then someone asked her where her seats were, and she replied, "I don't know. I just have this."

And she showed us all a very large, very plastic, very looped-around-her-neck-with-a-lanyard kind of card that said, in prominent letters, STAGE PASS.

We looked at her, and we kind of chuckled. And then one of the other girls there, without trying to sound too condescending, patted her on the arm and said, "Oh, honey, you get special seats. Much better than ours. And you are in the wrong line." When she asked which line she should be in, we all pointed toward the trucks at the loading dock and told her that's where her entrance was. She thanked us, and then she click-clacked off in her heels while we politely waited until she was out of earshot before we started laughing.

I hope she got to see the show. It was pretty good.


Keith Alan K said...

I was at the same show. It WAS really good. I used to go see Billy Sheehan when he was in TALAS. My band played the same clubs, and once I even ended up in his car with his girlfriend.

Albatross said...

Heh heh heh. Sounds like you've got a great story, though I understand if you don't want to share it on the internetz!

southtexaspistolero said...

Her seats might have been better, but I'm sure yours weren't bad. The Frank Erwin Center is a great venue for a concert; it's small enough that even the nosebleed seats are still not bad at all. I saw George Strait and Dierks Bentley there in '05. Of course, for that show I was on the fourth row, but I've seen George in other venues roughly that size, such as the AT&T Center here in SA, the Alltel Arena in Little Rock, and the CenturyTel Center in Bossier City, Louisiana.