As 65,000 Green Day fans eagerly waited at London’s Hyde Park on July 1 for the punk rock band to set up the stage and start playing, the stadium blared out Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody on the speakers.
The inevitable happened – all 65,000 fans passionately broke into song, matching Freddie Mercury’s voice note for note.
“I’m in love with the shape of ewe.”
I don’t travel often and I don’t travel well. Just finding a pet sitter is a bitch because I have two pony-sized Black Labs, and I have two Pits. My normal sitter was out of town, the one someone loaned me bailed on me, and I have to go to Rover dot com to find someone, at the last moment, who would drive out to the middle of nowhere to feed four dogs and to spend some time with them. That turned out, in the end, to be the easy part. I found a woman who clearly loved dogs and the dogs loved her.
This was my first road trip with the woman I’ve been dating for a while now. We were invited to go see an Eagles cover band and hang out with her sister down in Florida. We started out well, but then I-75 locked down on us because of a wreck. “Right, get off this exit, we’ll go around,” this woman tells me and she digs down into her cell phone and starts navigating like a boss. We popped out of the backroads a half hour later in front of a major wreck and didn’t lose that much time at all. I bring this part up because of the next part.
We got terminally lost.
Siri and her GPS both agreed that we were to go left, turn right, turn right, turn right, and finally we discovered we were being sent in a circle that landed up in a part of the town that we decidedly didn’t want to be in. The venue was nowhere in sight. We arrived fifteen minutes deep into the concert, strangers had stolen our seats, and we were ushered into two empty seats behind a wooden wall that was a meter tall. The wall was there to prevent us from escaping and to keep my knees tucked against my chest.
The venue was an old high school auditorium and the sound system sucked. The drums were too loud, the vocals sounded tinny, and the place was filled to capacity with aging hippies who loved the Eagles back in the 70’s and 80’s. The audience was balding, fat, drunk, and wait, no, that was me, nevermind, but I was one of the younger people there.
Okay, sound system aside, the band, whose name I never did discover, (they do covers, I’m not sure they have a name) wasn’t doing half bad. The crowd was easy and sang along with the more popular songs, but still, the sound system was killing them, or they just weren’t that good to begin with, I couldn’t make up my mind.
So there towards the end, the lead singer, one guitarist, the female background singer, and one of the other guys in the band, got together at the front of the stage, and I knew what song they were going to take a swing at before anyone else did.
“Seven Bridges Road,” I said aloud, and I was right.
If you want to make a complete and total idiot of yourself, Seven Bridges is a good song to attempt. The harmonies in this song, when done right, is an awesome thing. I could see this going badly for this group of people, and I could see it lasting for far too long, and ending only after half the people in the audience sold their souls to Satan to keep it from lasting a moment longer.
The lead singer did this countdown thing with one hand and then the four of them nailed that mother down.
“There are stars
In the Southern sky
Southward as you go….”
OH, MY GOD!
“There is moonlight
And moss in the trees
Down the Seven Bridges Road”
Those four people, with nothing more than an acoustic guitar and without microphones laid it down. They clearly had practiced this song until each and every singer could weave his or her voice in with the others, flawlessly.
The audience, at first screamed, went wild, and then hushed. The voices demanded a silence where the pauses spoke as loudly as the lyrics and the lead singer, with his hand motions, as adept as any major symphony conductor, led them through Seven Bridges Road and they owned it, owned every second and every word of it, and when the song ended everyone there stood up and cheered and screamed.
That one song made the entire experience worth it. That one song told me these were people skilled beyond where they were playing. That one song convinced me to take another shot at hearing them live again, and I will.