Tag Archives: Brent Fitz

A Green Triangle To Paradise City – dreams do come true!

I’ve sat down several times over the past few days to pen this blog. The end result has been the same every time. As soon as I start to write, a smile creeps across my lips and all coherent thoughts vanish in a cloud of twinkly stars.

For several months, Thursday 4 Dec has been marked on my calendar- Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators (aka SMK&C) at the Hydro Glasgow. When the tickets were purchased, this show was scheduled to make the dream of finally seeing Slash play live come true. That dream magically became a reality on Nov 7th as I’ve blogged previously. Last Thursday, however, turned into a completely magical “once-in-a lifetime” experience.

Through the wonders of rock music and social media interaction, I’ve become friends with a lady from Indiana, USA. Over the past few months, we’ve chatted online and the friendship has grown. To cut a very long story, that is her’s to tell, short- HINT HINT about that journal, young lady!- the final stop on her European Tour 2014 was also to be the Hydro on Dec 4th. Finally, I was going to get the opportunity to meet my FB friend face-to-face!

There had been whispers of promises of great things for the evening that I hadn’t dared to get my hopes up about. Mid-afternoon, she confirmed she had a treat in store for us.

Chaperoned by my usual teenage minders – Boy Child, Girl Child and FB Son (Boy Child’s friend) – plus one of my Rock Chick friends, this Rock Mum headed out to play.

One minor issue – how do you find someone that you’ve never met in a crowd of circa 10 000? Easily as it turns out!

As we queued to gain entry to the arena’s bowl, I spotted her coming through the main door, looking all round her. Waving and calling out her name, I caught her attention and she came rushing over to greet us. With the hugs and introductions complete, she opened an envelope and passed me five green triangular stickers – one for each of us. Clearly written across the sticker it said   “Slash Aftershow TDK”!

With arrangements made as to where to meet after the show, we all headed into the arena. It was the rock show to end all rock shows! Despite sound quality issues the first support act, Twenty Two Hundred, did a stellar job in front of quite a small crowd for such a big room. As the rock fans piled in, the second band of the evening took to the stage. This was Glenn Hughes’ new band California Breed. He may be over sixty now but boy can that guy sing! Fabulous set! With the crowd roused to the brink of ecstasy, California Breed left the stage.

Shortly before nine, the house lights dimmed and the creepy clown freak show music began to filter out signalling the imminent arrival of SMK&C. For two hours, SMK&C ruled the stage and commanded the Glasgow crowd. The set ran to some twenty one songs and was a fantastic mix of new and old SMK&C material, classic Guns N Roses and a sprinkling of Velvet Revolver. They played almost all of my personal favourites. Throughout the entire set, I drank in every note, watched every movement and, to be honest, was completely and utterly mesmerised.

The band had a treat in store for the Scottish fans. At the start of their encore, they welcomed Glenn Hughes and Andrew Watt out on stage and played a fantastic rendition of the Deep Purple classic “Burn.” An incredible sight to behold!

As the confetti rained down (guess who forgot to close over her handbag- oops!) during the show closer “Paradise City”, I could feel my nervous excitement mounting.

If watching these guys rule the stage wasn’t enough of a dream-come-true moment, part two was about to commence.

As the rest of the audience trooped happily towards the exits, with trembling hands, we applied our magical “green triangles” to our shirts. Along with a couple of dozen other lucky fans, we were ushered through a door beside the stage and along a maze of backstage corridors into a very basic room, littered with tables and chairs and instructed to wait. While we waited, we all began to chat, introducing ourselves and forming friendships. After about an hour, the door opened and The Conspirators came quietly into the room. Well, two of them did. One definitely failed to slip in unnoticed! It was bassist Todd Dammit Kerns’ birthday and his arrival was met with a loud chorus of “Happy Birthday” that he lapped up with a huge grin.

The next forty five minutes were magically surreal. Even now, five days later, I have to pinch myself and look at the photos (any excuse!) to remind myself it actually happened. The content of our conversations will remain private as these few moments are treasured memories. I became a very proud Rock Mum as Boy Child and Girl Child politely chatted with these rock stars, neither of them the least bit fazed. Much to my great surprise, it was Rock Chick friend who was a tad shy and star struck – meeting Todd Kerns left her completely tongue tied!

I surprised myself, if I’m being honest. I joked and chatted to Todd Kerns, then with Frank Sidoris, who was particularly sweet with the kids, then Brent Fitz, who laughed when I confessed to having zero sense of rhythm. In some respects, it felt like the most natural thing in the world to be doing late on a Thursday night/early Friday morning. In others, it was the most unbelievable few minutes.

The icing on the cake was still to come.

The door opened and a fourth rock star crept quietly into the room, all bundled up in hat, scarf and jacket in readiness for the cold December night air that awaited them all.

It was Myles Kennedy.

Yes, I met Myles! Yes, I spoke to Myles and even managed a brief but sensible conversation with him. Yes, I got my photo taken with him and got a hug into the bargain. Yes, it actually happened! Dream come true!

As the guys were ushered out to the waiting tour bus, I watched them depart, already thinking – did I just dream that?

There’s photos to prove that I didn’t!

I can’t find words to describe how grateful I am for the kindness and friendship shown to us by one wonderful lady from Indiana. If ever there was someone who truly lives the “pay-it-forward” ethos, it is this larger than life rock fan. She is an inspiration!

Thanks to her, many of us around the world have memories to treasure for a lifetime.

I’ve teased her relentlessly on FB over her dedication and devotion to SMK&C, particularly Todd Kerns, calling her their “Rock Mama”.

Last Thursday night, she was everyone’s Rock Mama and, I’m pretty sure I speak for all of us who were given the gift of a magical “green triangle”, when I say a HUGE thank you to the one and only, Janette Martin.

Rock Mama, you took us all to Paradise City!

SMK&C blog collage

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The Night That Was Meant To Be

Ever get the feeling that some things are just meant to be? Perhaps it’s fate. Perhaps it’s luck.

A few months back I secured tickets to a concert that I felt sure was going to be “the one” that would realise a lifelong dream for me. (Well, twenty seven years long to be exact so not quite lifelong)

I was wrong.

A little over two weeks ago, a show was announced that was to be held in a small Glasgow venue on 7th November and would be for fans only. Pre-registration via the artist’s website was required in order to qualify for a code that would then allow you to attempt to purchase a maximum of two tickets. In my excitement and haste, I screwed up my registration. I realised my error less than thirty minutes before registration closed. Too late.

The lack of an email landing with a mythical code confirmed my error.

Gutted doesn’t begin to cover it.

Tickets went on sale the next day at 10am. From reports online there were technical glitches with the codes and subsequent sales. Lacking the necessary code I could only sit back and watch my fellow fans try to secure their golden tickets.

Ok , let’s be honest here, I sat back and sulked quietly, trying to console myself that I would get to realise the dream on 4th Dec.

Tickets were duly snapped up and I genuinely thought that was an end to it.

A glimmer of hope emerged around Tuesday lunchtime when a fellow fan hooked me up with another fan who had details of an unused code. There were rumours of balcony seats still being available. However, despite my best efforts online and via phone, I failed to secure tickets.

Gutted for a second time in five days.

Still sulking (big time by now) I was watching TV on Tuesday night, idly playing around on social media on my phone. A post by the artist caught my eye. There were limited tickets left! All I had to do was email the address quoted in the post. You’ve never seen an email sent so fast in your life!

Lady Luck was smiling on me and within ten minutes, amidst much screaming for joy, I held two tickets for the 7th November show in my trembling hands.

All day Wednesday and Thursday and Friday, I silently fretted that perhaps it had been a hoax. Worried that the tickets were fake and I’d been de-frauded out of my £20 and my credit card details. (Blame the paranoia on all the years spent working in a fraud team)

Even on the Friday evening on the train, chaperoned by Boy Child, I was doubting that this was real.

As I stood in the lengthening queue outside the venue, watching Boy Child chitter with cold in his t-shirt and jeans (yes, bad rock mum let him out without a jacket), I doubted that it was really real.

It was only once we’d cleared security (Boy was it tight!), entered the hall and I was standing in front of the merchandising stall that I allowed myself to believe that it might actually be happening.

Lady Luck was still keeping an eye on me as we took our places, two rows off the barrier slightly to the left of centre stage. Almost my ideal spot in the hall.

So who was I there to see? Who had I waited all these years to see play live?

The one and only – Slash.

Ever since I bought “Appetite For Destruction” on vinyl when it was first released, I’ve wanted to see him in concert.

I guess everything does come to she who waits. And, in true recent concert going for, shows are like buses – two have come along at once!

After a fabulous ninety minute set from Scottish rock band Biffy Clyro, which literally saw me swept off my feet by the crush in the crowd, my dream was only thirty short minutes away.

Boy Child had his eyes set on the mayhem that lies in front of centre stage and, with my nervous blessing, disappeared off into the crowd in the hope of finding a mosh pit. He did.

Standing in front of me was a young man in a checked shirt, who turned round and said, “If I stand here you’re not going to be able to see, are you?”

My reply was, “No and I’ve waited twenty seven years to see this guy live.”

His face was a picture and, in the perfect act of chivalry, he gave up his spot for me. Thank you, young sir!

Now I was one row off the barrier with a perfect view of the stage.

A creepy freak show intro played, closely followed by a blaze of lights, then there he was. Dream come true – Slash was on stage in full view playing “You’re A Lie”.

And the icing on the cake was that Myles Kennedy was out on stage doing the vocal chores! The cherries on this particular “rock” cake were, of course, the Conspirators themselves – Todd Kerns, Frank Sidoris and Brent Fitz.

For ninety minutes, I was held utterly spellbound as my dream became a beautiful reality. The mother in me did start to fret a little as the crowd surfing began and, with my heart in my mouth, I watched for Boy Child appearing over the crowd. Whew!-he didn’t…this time.

Hearing “Sweet Child O’ Mine” played live for the first time was incredible. A moment that will live with me for a long time. That song is possibly my all-time favourite song). Seeing Slash coax his numerous solos out of his guitar was stunning. Watching Myles strut his stuff alongside the super talented Conspirators was breath taking.

Only as the show came to a close with the wonderful “Paradise City” and I, along with everyone and everything in the building, was showered in confetti did I truly believe that all around me was real.

The dream had come true.

And, to return to the cake analogy, this rock chick is allowed, on this one occasion, to have her cake and eat it, as I am now counting down the days until 4th December when I get to live the dream all over again.

Some nights are just meant to be.

SMKC collage