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I literally cannot remember the last time I went to a true rock concert. I’m pretty sure it was Aerosmith and I know it was definitely before the fuckening – when my life’s train was derailed in Cancertown. I haven’t properly rocked my rolls since before 2007. That changed this week, because this week I saw the Foo Fighters when they came to town, and wow – what a show! Goddamn Dave Grohl, you are a magnificent reverend of rock and roll!

During my teenage years and into my early twenties, I loved nothing more than nabbing tickets to a concert, and yes, I am a Gen Xer so I got to see all the good bands thru the 80’s and into the mid 90’s. Then I had kids, and getting out to concerts was placed on the back burner for a while. The kids grew up and began moving into their adult lives when the concert itch returned, then stupidfuckingCOVID happened, and no musical itches were to be scratched.  When life returned to normal, I was ready, but buying concert tickets had become like the least rock and roll thing ever.

“Kings and Queens and in-betweens , we all deserve the right …”

Get on the preferred email list, click the link to access the online queue filled with thousands of like-minded people who got there first, for the love of all that is holy don’t refresh your browser, and wait your turn to be allowed in. Once in, the venue map offers the options of front row which is priced higher than my mortgage payment, a partially blocked view, or the lawn. Once you determine which stupidly expensive or sub-par seats you’re so desperate to grab that you forget, just for a moment, about the fees. The fucking fees – god how I miss getting scalped tickets in a dark parking lot a few blocks from the venue the night of the show… what are these fees even for? It’s not like we have to pay for the card stock once used to print said tickets. Those fees are what have made me quite selective about who I’ll see live, but there is a list, and the Foo Fighters have had a hold on that top spot. When I found out they were coming to Raliegh, I waited in the digital queue – which felt more like a digital exam, and I got my tickets. I would gaze at them, downloaded to my Apple wallet, in the months leading up to the concert. One insomniac night, I was scrolling when I should have been sleeping, and devastating news came out of Colombia about Taylor Hawkins. I hoped the Foo Fighters would eventually return to the stage when they were ready – and when they were ready I would be too, but that stupid online ticket queue had other plans.

“Are you feeling what I’m feeling?”

The 2024 concert dates were announced in December – and I kept getting bounced out of the presale. I was irritated (reminder, Gen X), and decided to spiral into an anti-establishment rant about how stupidly annoying it has become to buy concert tickets. My future daughter-in-law, however, came to the rescue and ordered two tickets and told me, “ I love the Foo Fighters - we’re going.” Core memory, created.

We’re all free to some degree to dance under the lights.”

The date arrived, and it was an absolutely beautiful spring night in Raliegh at an outdoor music park. We grabbed some icy cold beers, bought some tee shirts, and went to our seats. The vibe was great – everyone was just so frigging happy to be there. Folks older and younger than me, couples, groups of friends, families – it was the bomb diggity.

Dave and the guys hit the stage – and the whole place exploded! We banged our heads, screamed out lyrics, pumped our fists, and reveled in the experience. Dave taunted the audience with promises of an extended set – and he delivered. Every song you hoped to hear at a Foo Fighters concert was played, old, new, and everything in between. For two hours and forty-five minutes I forgot about my age, my health, and my problems. For two hours and forty-five minutes I felt more like myself, than I have in nearly two decades. Mama can still rock with the best of them, hit the sheets at 1am and get up at 6am and drive for ninety minutes to attend an off-site work event the following day.

Hoarse, sore, caffeinated, and blissed out from the concert – I networked, lunched, carried out meetings, and phone calls. At one point I was balancing my laptop on the dash of my car answering emails, preparing notes for the following day (reminder, Gen X) while recalling the incredible feeling from the night before of a drumbeat so intense I felt it in my chest.

God I love music. Loud music, live music, rock music, pop music, classical music, all of it, and at that show the music (once again) rescued me.

I have forever attached my life experiences to songs. There are songs that make me happy, there are songs that make me cry, there are songs that remind me of the joyful times and the miserable times. Whenever I walk into a store – I always note which song is playing and often think it to be an auspicious sign. So many emotions surfaced during and after the show reminding me of who I am and what gets my blood pumping. It’s music. It always has been and it forever will be my first and foremost love. Hell, even the book I wrote about surviving cancer included an opening song verse for each chapter, and that style continued to my blog posts. It’s the essence of who I am.

And to that point, the Foo Fighters song Walk has become a dominant part of my cancer treatment and recovery playlist. It’s my go-to song prior to and after doctor appointments, surgeries, and treatments reminding me well “to keep alive, a moment at a time. That’s still inside, a whisper to a riot. The sacrifice, the knowing to survive. The first decline, another state of mind. I’m on my knees, I’m praying for a sign. Forever, whenever, I never wanna die. I never wanna die! I never wanna die! I’m on my knees, I never wanna die. I’m dancing on my grave. I’m running through the fire. Forever, whenever. I never wanna die, I never wanna leave, I’ll never say goodbye.”



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