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Pieces of Me: Going to the Show

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On Thursday May 6, my wife and I decided to take in a concert. We like going to live shows but, since moving to this remote area of Nebraska, we haven't been able to afford the time. But this wasn't a show I wanted to miss.The band playing was Flogging Molly, the venue, the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver, Colo.

We arrived at our friend's house in Commerce City (a suburb of Denver) at about 7 p.m. We had a few miles to go still so we said a quick hello and good bye to his family before the three of us swept away down the street.

My friend, having lived in Denver for a few years now, was confident that he knew how to get to the Fillmore. He was right, sort of. He said the auditorium was located at the corner of Colfax and Fillmore, "You can't miss it," he said.

We missed it. At least I thought we did. So I circled around the block and tried to find it again. Still missed it. Convinced now that my friend was lost I asked my wife to quickly use here Blackberry to do a web search on the Fillmore to get their phone number. Unlike the stereotype, I am not afraid of asking for directions, especially if it means I wont miss one of my favorite bands.

When she pulled out her ticket to get the proper spelling of the venue she exclaimed that the show started at 6 p.m., not 8 p.m. as I had thought. I couldn't believe it. How could I have misread the ticket? Especially since I had obtained a photo pass and would only have three songs to shoot. Time was of the utmost importance here. My heart sank.

"Call the venue," I said, "see if we have missed them." My wife placed the call. She got the address (we were only a few blocks away) and found out that there were two opening bands and the first one had just wrapped up.

We all breathed a collective sigh of relief. When we arrived at the venue the Riverboat Gamblers were just getting started. This punk rock band hailing from Austin, Texas, tore through their set with high amounts of energy. The band has toured with Flogging Molly before and said they were thrilled to be doing so again. They will also be on the 2010 Van's Warped Tour.

A short break followed the Riverboat Gamblers before the lights were lowered and Dave King and company took the stage. When the spot lights came up, the crowd exploded.

I was down in the photo pit with about seven others photographers. The shear exultation emanating from the crowd was like a wave forcing the photographers up against the stage. Not that any of us seemed to mind. We had one goal in mind, get as many pictures as we could. Even over the blast of "Never See the Likes of You Agin" I could hear the shutters of the cameras rapidly closing, forever capturing Flogging Molly in Denver.

In the three songs allowed, I fired my brother's Nikon D2H about 300 times. Halfway through the last song, "Requiem for a Dying Song" I made my way to the side of the pit. My card was spent. I figured it was best to extract myself from in front of the stage to give the other photographers a chance to work.
Eventually we were all escorted out of the pit and into the general crowd. Although thrilled at having the chance to photograph the band, I was now faced with the monumental task of finding my wife and friend.

My wife and I had agreed to text each other, our phones set to vibrate of course, to help guide one another to a meeting place. For more than 20 minutes we played a digital game of Marco Polo, me calling Marco and her Polo, before we were reunited.

I had found my friend earlier-apparently the two of them had been separated- and we made our way to him. There we settled in to enjoy the show.
The performance was amazing. King has an incredible stage personality which is strongly supported by the rest of the band. Often a live performance of a band is not near as good as the mastered production of a CD. However, since Flogging Molly tours heavily, they have perfected their live sound.
We finished the show, about two hours later, and trudged trough the throng of people to get outside. We said goodbye to our friend in Commerce City and then turned the van north to begin our trek home.

Our conversation was inevitably about the concert. My wife had always kinda liked Flogging Molly before and was now fully a fan. I had to chuckle at this. If only she had listened to me! Ah well, we each have to come to things on our own terms.

The conversation eventually changed, kids, family, work, topics that occupy the minds of the average American adult struggling to make it in this world. But always, one of us would say, "Hey, what about when they performed …(fill in the song title here)." And when we did, we would smile. Our drive home took the better part of two hours. As we made our way to our bed, both still riding a wave of energy from the show, we agreed that it had been too long since we had done this.

So now I am checking the schedules, seeing who is going to be playing where. Looks like the Reverend Horton Heat will be playing Cheyenne, Wyo. in July and there is always the Warped Tour in Denver in August. Typically Flogging Molly is on this tour but not so this year. However, the Dropkick Murphys are and I would greatly enjoy seeing them.

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