Archive for August, 2022

New York City is returning to normal or near normal and thus the 2800 seat theatre which is near my apartment has been open for business. This concert by rock legend Dion was my first show at the venue which is in the process of being renovated and is similar to a Broadway theatre. I was in the mezzanine level with a front row seat which gave me an excellent view. For sixty-nine dollars plus a five dollar processing fee it was a bargain to see this show. The performers arrived ready to deliver a fun and professional show rather than simply appearing because they had been scheduled. This was the first rock concert I had seen since Waylon Jennings at Lake Tahoe in 1984 and upon realizing this I also noted the significance in regard to rock and roll history. Waylon of course became a country rock musician.

Waylon and Dion were on tour with Buddy Holly in February of 1959 and they were performing at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. The group was using a tour bus for traveling but they were able to book a small plane for a flight to the next stop which was Fargo, North Dakota. The plane did not have enough seating for everyone so Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper boarded the flight and the others had to take the bus. The flight crashed shortly after take off and thus missing the flight was a life saving experience. The details may vary based on who was relating the story but Waylon and Dion decided not to fly. Dion has said that he did not want to spend the amount of the flight because it was the same amount his parents paid each month for rent at their Bronx apartment.

Enough of rock and roll history or at least for the moment. The concert was one of raw talent and not the technological stage presentations that now are common among the younger rock performers. How do I know if I haven’t been to a concert since 1984 because I have seen them on television or brief moments of them. That is what the younger audience wants to see but for those of us who are boomers I think most of us prefer the no frills just give me the goods type of show. Dion and his mates did not disappoint as they played his hits and some new ones with a vigor which suggested that they were enjoying the show as much as we the audience.

The equipment on stage reminded me of the concerts which I had attended when I was in my teens and early twenties. The speakers they were using to amplify their guitars were the old style, for me this made the experience seem as if we were returning to the true roots of rock and roll. This show revived my desire to see more concerts such as this one. I am normally more inclined to attend the theatre. Should the chance arise for me to see Dion again at another venue or perhaps once again at the St. George Theatre it would be impossible to resist.

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