Monday, August 2, 2010

My Kind of Town, Chicago Is

*this post was actually started yesterday*

Well, here I sit in the lobby (finally empty and quiet) at The Four Seasons in Chicago waiting for my flight back to New York. What a wonderful whirlwind couple of days ... and a perfect way to end this leg of The Circle tour.

The City
As you all know, I am a New Yorker through-and-through but I was actually born and grew up right outside of Chicago. Its a GREAT city and the shows here are always special. That coupled with the thought of going "home" was too good to pass up, leading me to shows #177 and #178 on my continuing journey.

I arrived on Friday afternoon just a few hours before the show. After checking in and a bite of lunch at the hotel, I met up with FictionMistress and her friend Mary for a quick trip down Michigan Avenue for a little shopping. I had a great time just re-acquainting myself with some of the places I remember coming to as a child. Many great memories of lunch under the Christmas Tree at Marshall Field (now Macy's ARGH) or going to Water Tower Place. Having dinner at Bergoff's and seeing countless shows. Walks through the Art Institute or sleeping on the steps of The Field Museum to see the King Tut exhibit. It all came flooding back to me. I got a little emotional, I will admit. *looks up to heaven and waves to my dad*

It seemed fitting to close out this leg of the tour with FictionMistress, considering we began the whole thing many months ago together in Hawaii. And her friend Mary was just a hoot-and-a-half and experiencing her first JoviShow (and all the chaos, craziness and calamity that goes with it.) Mary is a very talented journalist and we begged her to "document" her introduction into Jovidom ... you can read about it here.

Friday's Show
After walking for miles (a theme of the weekend LOL), we got to the fan club tent to find that ticket karma had finally come my way (perhaps to make up for Toronto?? hehe) and my 8th row ticket had magically become a 3rd row ticket in pit 1. Vedddy nice indeed. :-) I like pit 1 because Jon tends to come over that way a lot. And he did. And I got a nice big "muaaah" kiss and wave during (of all songs) "Who Says You Can't Go Home" ... does that mean I have to like this song now? I also had a nice little "conversation" with David about the 4 Tony Awards while J&R were out on the circle. No, there weren't many surprises in the set list (though Diamond Ring was nice), but the crowd energy and just the feel of the show was incredible. Its a good thing you felt energized because you needed it for the schlep after the show to find a cab. Ouch. But, we eventually made it back to the hotel.

Theatre of the Absurd
Jon Bon Jovi is not a polar bear in an exhibit at Brookfield Zoo. Never in the nearly 180 times I have seen the band play have I seen a sight like the lobby and restaurant/bar at The Four Seasons this past weekend. Knocking on the glass. Waving through the window. Flashing their cameras (and other things) at him. This is how you see children at the zoo act when they are trying to get the animals attention. Heck! There were even women breaking through the velvet ropes into the private party (instantly surrounded and escorted out by security.) Mary, FM and I stayed down there for a few minutes, but quickly went back up to our room when no wine was to be found. :-(

Saturday's Show
After a lazy day and a beautiful lunch at an outdoor cafe and a stop for post-concert sustenance (bottles of wine and cupcakes from Sprinkles!) FM and I made our way back to the stadium. We got a bit closer this time, but still it was a heck of a walk ... slightly complicated by the numerous blisters from the night before. LOL

Ticket karma for this show had already struck a couple of weeks ago when my friend T had an extra 2nd row pit 4 ticket. :-) It was like the stadium leg of this tour came full circle (pun intended) because it was basically the same seat I had for Giants (yeah yeah yeah, New Meadowlands ... whatever!) night 1 in May.

Adding to the excitement of the day was knowing I was going to see my childhood best friend for the first time in 23 years. We were absolutely inseparable as kids, but then my family was transferred to Wisconsin and over the years we had lost touch. So, in a funny way, this weekend was about both endings and new beginnings all at the same time. So, after finding each other, hugging for an eternity and making plans for brunch the next day, we went in to enjoy the show.

And ... holy cow what a show!

I would say this one ranks in the top 10 for me all-time. Everything about this night was nearly perfect. The weather was perfect. My seat was perfect (and I was so "HAPPY NOW" to be with my friend V for this concert - we laughed and danced and sang and put on quite the show for Hugh and Richie.) But, sending it over the top was finally ... FINALLY ... getting to hear Damned for the first time in years and years. Though it is not me that you hear in this video, there was no shortage of screaming on my part (as can be evidenced by my complete lack of voice today.)

And I can't find the words to describe "Turn the Page." It was emotional. It was heartfelt. It was magical. It was truly unforgettable.

Here I am on the road again.
There I am up on the stage.
Here I go playin' star again.
There I go turn the page.

I love the video Deb shot of this - its up close and personal ... just like the performance was.

*also check out FM's video for the "front view" LOL*

Needless to say, it was a night I will never forget. From seeing Heather to witnessing one of "those" shows to staying up til the wee hours drinking champagne and eating cupcakes -- by the way, the 40 minute wait in line at Sprinkles was well worth it for the red velvet cupcakes! ...

I'd like to thank all the readers who came up and introduced themselves to me -- I truly enjoyed meeting each and every one of you. Thank you for your continued support!! It means so much to me. I have loved hearing about your experiences and look forward to many, MANY more memories to make in the future.

Until next time ...