Way back in junior high, I ordered the Guns N’ Roses Use Your Illusion cassette tape from Columbia House (go ahead and Google what that means, kids). It came with a Parental Advisory label and the second my mom saw that, off the tape went to my older cousin. It wasn’t long afterward the band broke up, and so the chance to see them live, it seemed, was quite slim.
I’ve never been a concert regular like some of my friends, but I do love going to a live show – especially to see a band I love. I won’t claim to know every GnR song ever recorded, but you can be sure when I was no longer living at home, I purchased the Use Your Illusion CDs (and let’s be honest, I’ve always had a thing for Slash). When I found out the band was going on tour this year, I knew I had to go. I bought the tickets the day they went on sale, even though I didn’t know with whom I would go. I joked about taking the day after the concert off work (it fell on a Monday) but I didn’t.
I went with a friend – and fellow mom. We were among the few who arrived by 8 p.m. – the stated start time – and watched the opening band. Guns N’ Roses began performing after 9. They sounded great. The sound system at the stadium wasn’t awesome up where our seats were, but the band itself was good. Axl sounded great (“He can still wail,” as one of my coworkers put it). Slash was “in glorious guitar-god mode,” as the Republic review reads, and I can’t think of a better way to say it. Duff was great. Everyone, really. About midway through, we found our way down to closer seats. The sound was better, the fans were on their feet, real lighters (in addition to cell phone screens) lit up for “November Rain” and an instrumental cover of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here.”
It was a great show. But at midnight, working mommas turn into pumpkins, and so we decided to leave then even though the band was still performing. By the time I picked up a souvenir T-shirt for Peanut (they didn’t have any large enough for big sis), walked to our cars and drove home, it was after 1:30 when my head hit the pillow. I had to be somewhere at 7:30 the next morning and speak to a room full of people on less than 5 hours sleep.
I have two kids, so obviously I have functioned on less sleep before, but it has been a while! The kicker … I didn’t realize until I was already at work that Mr. G would be working that night. I got through the day with about a gallon of coffee, but by dinner I was a zombie, and put the girls to bed with no baths.
The moral of the story is, I am really glad I went and made all my junior high dreams come true. I will even go to more shows when the timing is right. But next time? I will be sure to take the next day off, or at least try to sleep in a little later, and if not – hope that at least my husband will be home at night for the extra support if I don’t!