So a couple weeks ago, I'm sitting in my customary living room chair, watching something on Netflix, when I get a text from my mother.
Mom Text: Is Bon Jovi a band or one guy?
Sarah Text: Both. Why?
Mom Text: What songs do they sing?
Sarah Text: Dead or Alive, It's My Life, You Give Love a Bad Name, Livin' on a Prayer. I could go on. WHY?
In her maddening way, (a habit she excuses as being not technologically inclined, but I think she just pretends not to know how to operate her phone so she can ignore me sometimes), she doesn't answer my question for several minutes.
Thinking this might have something to do with my brother, who, knowing his overall good luck in life, he got tickets to see Bon Jovi perform the final concert ever at the BMO Harris Bradley Center (THE go to arena in Milwaukee for more than 30 years) and Mom wanted to find out who he was seeing.
That's something that's been going on since we were teens. Jay would get tickets to see a band, or buy a CD or something like that and Mom would have me explain who the group was and what they sang. I stopped playing that game the day Jay had me pick up the Sugarcubes' "Life's Too Good" album which had questionable words on the song titles.
So imagine my surprise when, an hour later, Mom sent another text.
Mom Text: Terry's son got two tickets to see Bon Jovi and he can't use them.
Sarah text: And??????? (Here I'm clearly thinking that Terry, a friend of my mom's and a big fan of my work, is going to hand over two tickets to ME!)
Mom Text: And I told her I'd go with her if she could name a song they sang.
And this is how a blog is born.
Now I knew my mom going to a Bon Jovi concert would be funny. But when I got a text from her early Monday morning, April 30, I realize I had something great to share with you all.
Mom Text: Concert it felt like i went through a war or i saw a little bit of hell.
I'm sure that's exactly what Bon Jovi was going for. (By the way I had numerous friends and family members who went to the same concert and came up with a far more favorable review.)
So I had to know what could possibly have happened to make my very religious 76 year old mom equate a concert with hell.
And now I'll tell it in her own words, with minimal commentary on my part:
So Terry picked me up and first we had to go to Shorewood to pick up the tickets. We had to get the tickets off the front porch, they were stuck between two chair cushions.
(Mom, you stole Bon Jovi tickets from some guy.)
Then we got downtown and do you know parking is really expensive? They wanted $30 to park right at the Bradley Center, so we drove around for a while and found a lot four blocks away that charged $20. Terry has a handicapped placard, so we got a really good parking spot in the ramp.
(Wait, she's got a handicapped placard and she turned down parking in the ramp next to the Bradley Center because it was too expensive, but she got a handicapped spot in a ramp four blocks away?)
She's got that bad back.
(I guess that makes sense...)
So I paid for that. Then we got to the Bradley Center and we were hungry, so Terry went up and ordered chicken and a coke and they said they weren't selling that. So she ordered a burger, and they said they weren't selling that.
(Um yeah, it was the LAST NIGHT EVER for the Bradley Center. They're tearing it down soon. The last thing they wanted after that concert was a pile of left over concessions.)
So Terry asked what they had and they said hot dogs. So she ordered two hot dogs a diet Coke and a bottle of water and it was $29. Can you believe that?
(Having purchased food at sporting arenas, yes, yes I can.)
Terry said that was too expensive, and they told her it was because that price included a commemorative cup for $3. Terry said she didn't want the cup. They told her she didn't have a choice, they were putting all the drinks in this cup. BUT if she wanted her money back she could get it back, all she had to do is find the guy in the green shirt and he'd give her back her money.
(Am I the only one who thinks this sounds shady?)
Then Terry and I went to our seats which were way up in the rafters. The 400 section, row J. Those steps are steep! There was a man with a walker making his way up those steps, I don't know how he did it.
(Well he probably paid the extra $10 for parking so he wasn't exhausted from walking four blocks.)
The concert was supposed to start at 8, but there was an opening act.
(Who was the opening act?)
I don't know who it was. It was four guitars, a drum set, and guy who screamed into the microphone. Do you know people don't come to see the opening act? We were almost the only ones there! The placed filled in and then Bon Jovi came out and there were all these women just standing there bobbing their heads up and down.
(Maybe like they were keeping time with the music?)
Of course Terry and I wore earplugs. Then about 90 minutes in to Bon Jovi, Terry was done with her Diet Coke so it was time to go find the guy in the green shirt and get that $3 back.
(Which put me in mind of one of my favorite John Cusack movies...)
So of course, no one on the 3rd level knew anything, so we went down to the second level and no one knew anything there, so then we found a lady in a green shirt who was sweeping and she said she didn't know anything, but we should follow her.
(Which of course you did...what could possibly go wrong with that?)
And that lady got us to a guy at a card table. We asked for our $3 and he said he couldn't give it to us because he didn't have any money. He was at the right table, and there was a sign there that said we could get the money back, but he didn't have any money. We had to wait for the guy with the fanny pack to come around.
That guy finally got there, and he wasn't wearing a green shirt, and we got the money back. We decided we didn't want to climb all the stairs back to our seats, so we just walked in on the second level.
(And how often were you kicked out of the second level?)
Oh we got kicked out three or four times. They kept asking us if we belonged in that section and we said no, and they kicked us out.
(I'm shocked that you didn't enjoy the concert more, given how much attention you paid to it.)
So then after four or five encores, we figured the concert was over and we were already out of our seats so we got back to the car quickly, ahead of everyone else.
(And also having that great parking spot in your ramp didn't hurt, I'm sure.)
We got into Terry's car and the low fuel gauge started ringing. She drives this big SUV. I asked how many miles she got once the alarm starting dinging and she thought maybe 15 miles. It's midnight, and there's nothing open downtown and we've got about 50 blocks to drive before we two senior ladies felt safe stopping, so I was praying we'd get to a gas station quickly.
|The only place old ladies feel safe stopping |
at after a night of rocking out.
We found one near where Jay used to live and it was well lit so I told Terry to stop there. She looked at the price and said there was no way she was paying $2.89 for a gallon of gas. I said fine, there's a Kwik Trip on 124th St. She said that was past my house and I told her that was fine because she wasn't going to make it home unless she filled up.
(By my way of counting the mileage from the Bradley Center, I can't believe she made it to the Kwik Trip. It didn't take much to imagine the two of them trying to push Terry's beast of an SUV.)
So we got to Kwik Trip, she filled up and got me home. I was just useless the next day because my head hurt from the noise and I was so tired.
Well there it is, then. My mother and her friend went to the Bon Jovi concert, and really didn't enjoy it at all. I did get a four minute phone message from Terry's phone. She apparently thought I would like hearing one of the songs. Of course, all I hear on that message is a crowd screaming and Terry yelling something unintelligible to my mom.
According to my cousin, Lana, who was in the fifth row center for the same show, it was a great night, a lot of fun, and she didn't get roped into the commemorative cup scam. She had her own issues getting home, but that's another story for another person to tell.
I am a little salty, however, that no one dumped a drink on her. I mean...come on!