Greetings from the Frozen Apple! Ya know...last year around this time I was in Hawaii, hanging with friends and seeing Jovi shows. Well, as Meatloaf would sing "two out of three ain't bad." Haha.
So...State College, Pennsylvania (... umm definitely NOT Honolulu.)
My attending this show came VERY last-minute. But, I truly believe it was meant to be ... for the sole reason that this was Lorenza Ponce's big solo debut with her band. Thanks to everyone who kept the #TeamLorenza hashtag going. *smile* (And I really appreciate everyone who followed the play-by-play on Twitter and tweeted/texted when they saw me during the live stream.)
As many of you know by now, I don't drive. Haven't had a license since I was maybe 17 or 18. Living in NYC you really don't need one. The only problem is I tend to travel outside of NYC ... A LOT. So I ended up taking the Chinatown bus to State College for the show. The term "Chinatown bus" is actually a general name for several different privately-owned bus companies whose "buses" depart from ... well ... Chinatown. Duh. Please note that the word buses is in quotes ...
After stocking up on roast pork and sweet corn sticky buns (yay, I LOVE food in NYC), my buddy @hugsy2k and I headed for the pick-up point. After several false sightings -- including the bus for the County Jail and what turned out to be a large green sanitation truck -- an old 18-seat Mercedes van-type thing pulled up. L and I said a quick prayer and climbed in. The journey wasn't too bad ... much shorter than "that other trip." There WAS an awkward moment, however, when they purposely left some guy in a McDonald's parking lot somewhere in the middle of Pennsylvania claiming he never paid for his ticket. Ayyy!
Anyhoo, we arrive in State College, meet up with our friend Ryan and head over to the venue. All three of us are fervent supporters of Lorenza and jumping out of our skin with excitement to see her on her big night. Inside the venue, the stage set-up is basically the same as the last leg, though the pit is MUCH smaller ... only six rows this time. Enjoyed talking with old friends--Jovishows are always mini-reunions--until the lights went out.
And then out came Lorenza ... totally rockin' in her leather pants and GORGEOUS White Trash Beautiful top. And she's singing and playing and moving around the stage, working the audience and having a great time. It's amazing to think that just a year ago, she kicked off her first pre-album-release shows at The Living Room. This ride is going FAST so hang on! She did a good selection of songs from her current CD and I happily sang along to every track. LOL
After her set, we went backstage to congratulate her - smiling, hugs, laughter all around. Trying to stay out of the way as the crew got ready for the band to enter, I ended up watching the Bon Jovi boys take their places behind the screen, finally running back to my seat after Jon had gone up the stairs to the stage. A slightly surreal experience.
I know many of you watched the UStream of the show ... how nice that they extended it to over an hour! The set list was as expected for the first show back after the break. And yes, I was happy Lorenza came back on stage for Who Says ... and yes, she totally made me laugh during the whole thing knowing EXACTLY how I feel about that song. (Sorry Jonny...didn't mean to distract her. And for the record, I did raise my hands ... a little. LOL)
Overall, it was a fun "let's get back into it" show complete with some more ... let's just say 'flavorful' chords here and there. I felt for Richie who was fighting a head cold and Jon who seemed on the verge of being the next in his family to get sick. Hope they take care of themselves ... a lot of big shows in a short period of time over the next few weeks. The thing is ... those two guys sick can STILL can kick butt.
I'm not sure if there is a curfew there at Penn State (nice of Jon to throw on a jersey for the final song by the way) because it seemed on the short-ish side. That is, short for a Jovishow ... which is still considerably longer than just about any other touring artist out there. #justsaying
AND, after 15+ shows already on The Circle/Greatest Hits tour, I FINALLY got a frickin' chair. Several times I've been like 1 seat away from "the chair" or ended up in the first row at a venue that wasn't offering "the chair", so getting an extremely expensive metal folding chair (at ticket-only price!) was just the perfect ending to a great night! Though, as I said on Twitter yesterday, at some point during my journey up to my fourth floor walk-up apartment, it went from "the chair!" to "the DAMN chair" LOL Nonetheless, it is proudly sitting in the corner. :-)
So, what's next?
Well, the bus to Pittsburgh leaves at 6:50am tomorrow morning. #IntravenousCoffeePlease
p.s. and good news! I'm getting a new camera today, so hopefully pictures will be MUCH better going forward. #NoGuarantees ;-)