I’ll let you know what that was a bit later, first the down and dirty on the concert I went to with my kids.
It was an excellent show all the way through with three bands playing.
I drove over to my oldest daughters place in Portland in rush hour traffic and was instantly reminded why I fucking hate that town.
When we left there we had to go down a route I wasn’t really familiar with so my daughter had some App going and was doing the co-pilot thing. It was some twisty fucking back way that crossed the river, went to the back side of Portland across the 405 freeway and then looped back over it to get on the damn thing and we wound up right in downtown fucking Portland. I couldn’t find that shit again if my life depended on it.
The youngest daughter manages some apartment building there and lives there too.
The cool part of that was that she has access to a small, private parking garage so I slid that fucking Bronco right inside and we hopped out and closed the door.
That was a huge score.
After we saw her little pad, we went downstairs and the second cool thing happened.
The local Max line goes one way on one side of her building and the other way on the other side.
Max is the local rail car system for people to get around all over town and even goes clear the hell and gone to points way out in the suburbs.
Five minutes after getting on that, we were across the river and only had to walk a couple hundred yards to get into the Coliseum.
We got there early enough and had a fuck of a time finding our seats, confusion reigned and I was completely lost. We finally got that shit straightened out and discovered the Wifely Unit had done an excellent job of obtaining great seats, she got me the tickets clear back in December and gave them to me for Christmas.
We were just slightly above stage level and about mid court if it had been a basketball game. It was perfect because even though we were off to one side, the angle was just right so that we could see everything.
After we found the seats then of course they went for a beer run so I sat down one seat from the aisle next to a dude about my age.
The first band was fucking excellent and as I was sitting there jamming out it kept bugging me that some of it sounded familiar.
They played quite a few tunes and then introduced the band members.
My oldest daughter had been sitting next to me and yelled into my ear that the old looking dude playing lead guitar just wailed on it.
Pretty soon they introduced him, didn’t catch his name but he was the lead guitarist for Thin Lizzy!
Then it clicked, that’s why it sounded so familiar.
The next thing I know, the old dude sitting next to me turns around and starts telling me about this band and that they are like, what’s left of Thin Lizzy with some new blood.
They called themselves Black Star Riders and I highly recommend these guys.
They fucking rocked the joint even when it was half empty.
Pretty soon off they go and Saxxon started in. They don’t need me to tell you that they are a serious Metal band.
If you are a Metal Head then you know who they are and if you aren’t you might check them out, they have been around since the early 80’s at least.
Oh yeah, they rocked the fucking joint too.
By the time they got done the place was filling up in a hurry and even the nose bleed seats were full.
These roadie guys that Judas Priest have are pretty much wizards and magicians.
I don’t know how they did it so damn fast but it was like only a few minutes and here comes the opening music to let everybody outside know to get the fuck to their seats because the main course is about to be served and then it was on baby!
They got right down to business and the place went nuts.
I was having a blast and my youngest daughter was right next to me screaming in my ear.
They played some old stuff then a new one off their Firepower album that just came out.
It’s kind of hard to believe a couple of these guys are pushing 70 but they can still rock the fuck right outta ya.
They played quite a few off their early albums and kind of worked their way through to the later stuff but they played the classics like Breaking the Law, ( I got my first speeding ticket with that blasting in my 66 Chevy pickup on a fucking 8 track tape) Bloodstone, Free Wheel Burning and some other classics.
Of course I was lamenting the fact that Glenn Tipton was recently forced to retire from touring because of a recent Parkinson’s disease diagnosis and I was mentally picking on the poor bastard they recruited at the last minute to replace him a couple of months ago.
Some dude named Snead I think.
I have to give the guy credit though, he did pretty good but still, he ain’t no Glenn Tipton and I could tell the difference.
My kids on the other hand, had never been to a Priest concert, aren’t die hard fans like I am and just had a blast. They loved it.
When they got to Electric Eye they cranked up the special effects and it got real good.
It was the best Judas Priest concert I had ever been to in that sense, they really had a cool stage show.
The guy next to me turned around at one point and said that Glenn Tipton had actually made an appearance on stage at the Kent Washington show but there were only about three songs left before the show was over and there hadn’t been any sign of him so I was pretty much resigned to the fact that he wasn’t going to show.
I was wrong.
With three songs left, The man himself came out on stage to a thunderous response from the entire audience.
Even with the new phone I can’t take a decent picture but tha’ts him on the screen and playing on the stage.
That, made my whole night.
He did it just for the fans too. There weren’t any of his virtuoso lead guitar solos, he played rhythm on three songs and stayed until the end.
The place went crazy and so did I.
All too soon it was over and they all took a group bow and that was it.
An awesome show, Rob Halford can still hit the high notes and the guitars still scream while the drummer kicks your ass and good old Ian, the only original member of the band, still thumps the bass guitar so hard you can feel it in your chest.
I am so glad that I got to see that and being able to go with my kids was off the charts cool.
After all that, now let me tell you about that chance of a lifetime teaser headline up above.
After we left the building and were fighting the crowds to get back to the train station, me and the youngest girl were talking about what a great show it was and I said that I thought it was awesome for Glenn to make an appearance just for all of his fans.
We were probably less than a hundred feet from the front doors.
All of a sudden this big burly dude who had been walking in front of us and I hadn’t even noticed, turns around, sticks his hand out with something in it and says, ” here, have a souvenir”.
It was dark by then and he was handing me something like a decal it looked like.
When I actually got it in my hand and got a good look at what it was, my jaw hit the ground.
I kind of went into shock for a second when I realized what it was, a pass to the after show party.
Holy shit my mind started racing a hundred miles an hour!
I finally got my shit together enough to ask him why he wasn’t going and he said that he had to get up early to go to work and besides, he had bought them dinner the night before!
Then he smiled, turned around and started to walk off but I had enough sense to tell him that he had no idea what it meant to me and thank him.
So then, the BIG fucking conundrum.
Two of my kids are riding with me to get home.
I have no clue where this party is or how to get there.
I have all kinds of shit racing through my head at once.
My kids are telling me to go, they will get one of those Uber cab things to get home.
If I was twenty years younger, they would have been talking to thin air.
I kicked myself in the ass and decided to skip it, too many unknowns and having to fight my way back in through the thousands of people still trying to get out.
I said no, we had a great time and I’m not going to spoil it by leaving you with no ride home so let’s go.
But there it was, my once in a lifetime chance to maybe meet some of my all time favorite rock stars and I passed it up.
I will still have some great memories without that.
Being able to spend some quality time with 3 of my kids at a show that we will probably never get a chance to see again, is pretty much priceless.