August 16, 2018
Wednesday morning, I hopped out of bed and grabbed my yoga mat from the kitchen. Glancing up at the calendar as I lit some candles to take outside with me, the big bold letters “E.L.O.” in the box marked for the 15th caught my eye. Last summer I had found out that Jeff Lynne’s Electric Light Orchestra was coming to the Chicago area and from that moment I had been planning on being there-- one way or another! I took a little extra time in my morning care routine and dreamed about the concert going on later that day. Due to an unfortunate case of starving artist syndrome I hadn’t bought tickets, but that wasn’t going to stop me or ruin my mood. There was no question, I was going to go to that venue early and hang out late after in hopes of catching a glimpse of Jeff Lynne or if worse came to worse-- at least be in close proximity to him!
It was about five hours before the doors opening meaning time to get all dolled up! I threw on my favorite corduroy, itsy bitsy mini skirt and used some suede cord to lace up a cream vest embellished with little white & blue flowers along the trim. The weather had cooled down a bit so I was able to wear my handmade lace up embroidered boots, and without a doubt I added my straw hat with little paper flowers in the back. I felt like I was glowing; I could barely contain my excitement as I texted a few friends to see if they wanted to join. One of my friends was telling me how he had found some really decently priced tickets-- ones we could make happen! My boyfriend, Andrew, sat behind me as I searched multiple sites looking for the best deal when suddenly I came across the last two available tickets priced at $47!
The tickets were beyond nosebleed seats; to be specific we were sitting on the second floor...behind the stage. We were both in. I just wanted to be there so getting into the venue was a huge step up! I downloaded the E-tickets onto my phone and off we went! The venue was packed and the doors were crowded with people lined up waiting to get inside. Andrew and I made it through the line and into the arena, only stopping for a pretzel before rushing off to find our seats. We sat down enjoying our makeshift dinner and taking it all in. I was so happy to be there-- like actually there to see Jeff Lynne play the songs that changed my life and helped me through the ugly waves of depression. Even as the HUGE music lover that I am there aren’t many bands that I can name that have truly done that for me; whenever I feel really bad, just awful like “what is the point of ANYTHING” I listen to Boy Blue and Mr. Blue Sky and feel a little bit of that “it’s ok” feeling and it’s like Jeff is talking to me. “Hey, boy blue, can’t you hear all the noise? It’s for YOU, all the town’s waiting there!”...“Welcome home! Where you been all these years? Look around, all the crowd is in tears. It’s so good to see you in the streets of your town.” It’s like I feel awake-- like he is welcoming me home, welcoming back into the real world where I feel loved and happy and like I have a purpose. It’s probably hard to explain the true feeling but it’s so good-- it’s like I am boy blue and I’m being welcomed back to reality and can finally feel again.
I was snapped out of my daydream by an usher who came over to us asking if we had tickets for section 208. I thought, “hm pretty strange that they are checking tickets for this section… Who is gonna try to sneak and sit over here?” but I obediently opened my phone and showed the man our tickets. He took a glance at them both and handed me two different tickets. He said, “Take these and go down in front of the soundboard.” I looked at Andrew, collected my things in a hurry, and we moved into the main hallway to examine the tickets closer. I was pulling Andrew down the stairs to find our new seats before he even knew what was happening! The ushers helped us figure out where we were going which really was right in front of the soundboard on the main floor! We couldn’t believe it! The view of the stage was perfect and it was also cool to turn around and check out what the sound guys were doing!
The crowd roared as the lights dimmed and you could see the silhouettes of the band entering the stage, grabbing their instruments and taking their places behind microphone stands. I got goosebumps when the lights came up and there he was in front of me on stage! Unbelievable! There was not a thing to be disappointed by; the band sounded amazing and tears were brought to my eyes when he played Handle With Care and video of the Traveling Wilburys played on the screen behind him. Of course, I also silently sobbed to myself when Mr. Blue Sky came on. It was so surreal and really still is.
When the encore was over and the band left the stage I made a mad dash out of my seat, grabbing Andrews hand, and rushing to the arena door. I had learned not to delay when getting to the tour bus area if I wanted a glimpse of the band leaving and I was determined. We made it past the giant semi trucks purposefully placed around the back entrance and I was smiling wide heading toward what I thought was a gaggle of groupies only to be shooed away by a police officer. Of course, I am more of a fighter than that but Andrew had work in the morning and he just doesn’t have that same flame burning inside like I do, so I decided for his sake we could go back to the car and get home before it was really late! I mean I had gotten way farther than I’d planned at the start of that day anyway! I went from just planning to go and sit around outside of the venue alone, to having nosebleed tickets with my boyfriend, to getting handed floor tickets!
I really believe that this was a result of my positive thinking and attitude toward my situation-- even at the beginning of the day before all the great stuff happened I was excited for the day and what it could bring. I just wanted to be there! It goes to show you never know what may happen in a couple days, weeks, or even just a couple hours but it always helps to stay positive and look at your situation like the glass is half full-- and before you know it that glass could be pouring over. Grateful beyond words.
Love, love & more of that good ole looove,
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