Tuesday, March 31, 2015

More than the End of the Road

Chill wind whipped in our faces as we rounded the corner. Though we walked against the wind, we weren't in a hurry. We wanted to savor and enjoy the experience awaiting us.

As we neared the arena blinking neon lights, street musicians playing on every corner and alleyway, tour buses pushing motorists out of the way, exhaust fumes filling the night air; downtown Nashville might have passed for Mainstreet in the Hollywood hills. It was surreal, but put this night into perspective.

People hurried past or shuffled alongside us, a few strutted their stuff decked out in leather, miniskirts and boots, long hair or in their favorite pair of jeans; all for an evening out that we'd never forget.

Expectations ran high as we stood in the cold shade of concrete and glass. We barely felt the hard surface beneath our shoes. The ache in our legs, the chill seeping through our clothes, numbness settling into our hands and feet was all a part of this one night we shared together.

After what seemed like hours, but was only a short forty minute wait, the doors opened and we moved in one long wave into the arena that signaled the night had begun.

Lookin' back on the first time I heard one of his songs, barely old enough to know what 'night moves' were, I wanted that clear throaty voice, so unique and poignant, to be calling my name, to show me what it meant to become a woman.

He recorded about the ordinary; hard work, laborers doing a job for measly wages, the gritty and lowly; streetwalkers and their patrons, and dreamers; the ones who won't quit, but must overcome surmountable odds just to make. That was/is his specialty.

After the cover band finished, and a short break, the moment we all waited for had arrived. Arena lights lowered and the stage lit up. My thoughts took a trip down memory lane. I'd listened and danced and sang along with this icon of American rock and roll since I was nine (I'm 43). His lyrics of American culture, a way of life, mostly hard times, but overcoming, has stayed with me all these years.

I have my favorites, Turn the Page, Against the Wind, We've Got Tonight, and Roll Me Away, but it wasn't until my son became a fan with the song, Old Time Rock and Roll, that I realized Bob Seger was a classic.

For two short hours, we were entertained. But it was more than that. He invited us in. He shared his heart and soul with us, and we drank it in. All of lucky, sharing a common thread with this man.

Seeing Bob Seger on stage will be one of the greatest moments of my life. I probably won't ever see him in concert again. He says this is his last tour. He's retiring from the road.

But I think not. It became clear, as I looked around the audience; yes, mostly I saw people my parents' age and mine. But my son, who is a fan, stood beside me, men and women in their early twenties and families with their teens surrounded us.

Bob Seger isn't finished. Whether or not he tours again or records another song. He was making music long before I was born, and he's left a legacy that will continue on.

Boxer Briefs & Boots Rerelease