This was my first concert. What made it all the more worth savoring, RATT were the opening act. Weeks of anticipation led up to this evening. RATT (Out of the Cellar) and the Crue (Shout at the Devil) were pivitol bands. Both bands were on the cusp of widespread success and the crowd assembled was proof.
Chaperoned by my friend’s Aunt and cousin, we endured the obligatory pat down from security and then were in! We approached the merchandise stand which was haphazardly set-up in the theater’s lobby. An array of t-shirts,bandanas,tour books, pins, posters and other merchandise creations were assembled under clip-on spot lights.
Precedent had been set by our middle school peers. If you went to a concert you bought a shirt (baseball sleeve length of course) as a souviner to wear the next day. This was the “kill” you brought back to the clan that was said to wield magical powers. If you only had a ticket stub to validate your claim you were under suspicion. The ticket stub didn’t have the voo-doo of the baseball sleeve length t-shirt.
I spotted the goods quickly… black sleeves, white body with a beastly drawing on the front and an image of the Crue with a schedule of the tour on the back.
With our newly acquired loot in hand, we made our way up to our seats in the balcony. The house lights went down and the show began. Unaccustomed with practices at concerts I did pick up on a new, acrid smoke and it was not from the on stage effects.
Throughout the two act show the balcony rumbled, shook, reverbirated with no stop in sight. When the Crue left the stage, the crowd made the balcony rumble. I think that’s how we got an encore.
When all was done we filed out into the cool evening. Other concert goers howling and shouting as we made our way down the street. Everything sounding like the sound of waves crashing on rocks and receeding.
Arriving back at my friend’s home well after midnight, sunrise seemed to happen in an hour. Woefully, we prepared for school donning our newly acquired treasure.
The effect of bringing the “kill” in the next day was not the hero’s welcome, tickertape parade nor did it have the aphrodisiac effect we were hoping. The guys among us did defer every so slightly to us for that day as we recounted the set list and the evening’s details. We were almost kings for a day.