|Road Reports By Steven Sweet - Chicago July 4, 2010|
Page 6 of 10
Okay, okay so I'm playing "Catch-up" a little here being that it's now a couple of weeks later - fact is I am finding myself challenged more and more by the prospect of keeping the reading interesting (and fresh - after all who wants stale text). Happy 4th of July everyone! (I know it's a little late but better little than not at all, er, something along those lines). The two hundred and thirty third birthday of our great nation was in full swing at the Toyota Park outside of Chicago, IL on the 4th this year where we actually played at a professional Soccer Arena (NOT a giant parking structure full of Japan's favorite import automobile, I agree the name is a little misleading). The line-up ranged from Tracy Guns' L.A. Guns to Adler's Appetite (which seems quite healthy these days - the appetite that is), to Lita Ford (who went to a party last Saturday nigh..... you know the rest), not sure if she got in a fight but I'm pretty sure she got the other thing as her husband, Jim, joined her onstage for a healthy portion of the show (I really don't know where I was going with that one).
The night before (July 3rd - you know, when the country is all a-buzz with anticipation of the big B-Day bash!!!!... no?) I was told that Billy Squire played on the same stage (no not with Lita Ford's husband, Jim) but at the Toyota Park, again reminding you it's a soccer arena, not a parking garage. He was said to have spent a good amount of time skipping, yes "skipping" backstage during the show when ever he wasn't needed on stage to sing or something Billy Squier-ey. Now this isn't particularly strange if you know anything about Billy Squire (and I think most folks do) but what was most entertaining about this little anecdote was the manner in which it was relayed to me. Here I am behind the stage rigging where they stage all the gear that's not yet ready to be brought to stage, it's sort of the first stage of staging the gear before it hits the main stage (how many ways can one use the word stage in one sentence?). So I'm doing my little tweaking of drum gear and there are about 4 or 5 stage riggers (no that's not any kind of insult or slur) standing around idly shooting the breeze about the show the night before. Now bear in mind these guys are kinda big, kinda hairy, maybe kinda in need of a shower and a good night's rest since they've been working long hours to pull everything together so that the audience can enjoy a pleasant concert going experience. So they're all standing in this group of 4 or 5 right in front of me when one of these fine (although kinda big, kinda hairy, decidedly in need of a shower, now that he's right up close and personal like) gentlemen approaches to relay the 411 that Billy Squire played last night. One of the other kinda big, kinda hairy, more in need of a shave and a good brushing, guys chimes in with "yeah! he would leave the stage and skip from stage left aaallllll the way around the back of the stage and across the rear staging area and back across stage right and back on stage to sing again". Now you're asking what's so funny about any of this "Steven"? If there were ever a moment where "you had to be there" were more true, I can't think of one because the guy took off skipping across the rear staging area to demonstrate how Billy Squire "skips". This guy was about 6'3" and 280 if not more.... and ya know what, he actually looked quite natural as he skipped "heel to toe" across the cement, not even spilling a drop of his coffee, or ashing the cigarette that hung from his furry lip, while his "buddies" watched in awe. I of course buried my head in my work hoping not to make eye contact for fear of what might come next, jumping jacks, high kicks, moon-walking?
After all was said and done, the rain that had threatened most of the day relented to the evening where the sky cleared just enough for us to rip through our set to one of the most spectacular finale's I think I have ever seen. Just as we trashed the last chords of Cherry Pie the fire works began - for a moment it reminded me of the old days where we would blow up about $5,000 of pyro every night... were we stupid??? NOPE, just having some fun while the opportunity presented itself. As I close for now, I'll leave you with just that thought - have fun when the opportunity presents itself, skip if you feel like skipping, it ain't no big thing!