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I attended an 80’s rock concert!

One of the advantages of being self-employed is that you can sit in front of your laptop obsessively refreshing a Twitter page in hopes of winning free concert tickets without fear of being discovered by your boss. The @IndyStateFair Twitter page has been giving away free tickets to various events this month. You just have to be the first person to direct message them with the correct answer to a trivia question. When I saw that they were going to give away tickets to the Journey concert with opening act Heart, I opened up one browser window for the direct message and another with the Twitter feed to refresh every minute waiting for the question.

I didn’t expect to win because I don’t know any much Journey trivia, but after about 10 minutes I hit refresh and was startled to see the question appear, “Which current reality show judge was a member of Journey from 1986-87?” I haven’t watched American Idol since season two, unless you count the weekend I watched every Adam Lambert video online (OMG, Adam I luv u!!!!). However, when I did watch it, I remember judge Randy Jackson mentioning once or twice that he had worked with Journey. I typed the answer as quickly as my fingers let me and hit send, fairly certain someone had refreshed the page and answered the question before me.

Then this popped up, “WE HAVE A WINNER! Congrats @pastaqueen!” And that’s how I ended up going to the Journey/Heart concert with my mom.

PQ and PQ's mom rockin' the Journey concert

I asked a few of my friends if they wanted to come along, but they were all either busy or not interested. I mentioned this to my mother, who surprisingly said she’d like to come. My mom didn’t know who Journey or Heart was (and probably still doesn’t), but she was game for a rock concert, so off we went. As we walked through the state fair on the way to the grandstand, Mom pointed out the building without air conditioning she’d lived in for two weeks in the 60’s when she got to do 4H camp at the fair. All the girls in 4H camp wore white dresses and walked in two lines like in the book Madeleine. I am not making this up.

The concert started about 15 minutes late, but everyone got excited when the Wilson sisters of Heart took the stage. Here they are in my artistic homage to Impressionist painters:


They opened with “Barracuda” and then went straight into “Never.” By the time they played “These Dreams,” I thought they’d played all the songs I knew, but evidently I know a lot of Heart songs and didn’t know it. When the guitar started playing the opening of “Magic Man” I thought, oh yeah, that’s a Heart song too. Same thing when they sang “What About Love.” By the time they sang “Crazy On You” I was wondering why I’d never bought a Heart greatest hits album because I knew over half the songs in their set.

When Ann Wilson broke out “Alone” the crowd went crazy hooting and hollering and a guy started waving around his big banana. That’s not a metaphor.

The big banana

I suspect bands must have mixed feelings about their megahits. Sure, it must be awesome to go around the country and have people literally jump up and down and scream in excitement about something you wrote. But I can’t imagine singing the same song at state fairs for the past 20 years. Wouldn’t you want to murder that song eventually? I looked up Ann Wilson on Wikipedia, and she’s about the same age as my mom. I’m trying to imagine my mom touring the country in a rock band right now and coffee almost snorted out my nose. (No offense, Mom. I’m sure you could rock it out if you wanted to.) So mad props to Ann Wilson.

I felt complicit in the act too, because even though the other songs were fine and all, I really just want to hear the megahits I know. That’s why I wasn’t as excited during the Journey portion of the concert, despite the new front man, who was fairly awesome. I’m certain he got more of a workout leaping around the stage and jumping off of the stairs and tossing his microphone and catching it one-handed than I did through my entire 5K last Saturday. (They were kind enough to provide him with water though.) I only recognized about 4 or 5 songs. One of them was, “Open Arms,” where I discovered people no longer hold up lighters, they hold up the glowing LED screens of their cameras. How 21st century of us. I’m sure the fire marshal approves.


My mom and I left before the encore and screamed our order for deep-fried zeppoles at the vendor because we couldn’t hear. Then we rode the tractor train back to the parking lot by the flashing lights of the Midway. I love the fair!

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Lisa • August 19, 2009 at 11:05 am

Sound like great fun. Congratulations on the free tickets! I think its hard to watch a band with a replacement part in it but glad to hear the new Journey front man pulled it off and didn’t pull a muscle in the process. (Glad he didn’t try to twirl and fall off the stage ala Steven Tyler from Aerosmith. What is a deep fried zeppole anyway????


Laura P • August 19, 2009 at 11:05 am

Thanks Pasta Queen for the Heart/Journey concert details. I love both of those groups and fondly remember many of their songs. (If I’m close to your mom’s age, please never mention it-I get bummed when I realize I’m old enough to have kids graduating from college)!

If you ever do have the desire to hear more of that music, you should listen to the albums Dog and Butterfly and Dreamboat Annie (Heart) and Journey’s Infinity. Infinity is almost a greatest hits album. It was pretty popular back in the day.


shauna/dg • August 19, 2009 at 11:06 am

Rock n roll! :)

MAN it is so nice to know that in this crazy mixed up uncertain world that HEART are still kicking arse. My Mum is a huge fan. Many cringeworthy memories of her driving round town belting out Barracuda in her tuneless way.


barbara raab • August 19, 2009 at 11:13 am

I loved reading this, PastaQueen, because it sounded sooooo much like my experience at the county fair in Elkhart a few weeks ago — I could really picture everything you described, most especially the 4H thing (although the girls didn’t have to wear white dresses and walk in two lines). Oh, and the zeppolle (sp?) too!


Leslie • August 19, 2009 at 11:14 am

I’m entirely jealous of your nice relationship with your mom. She sounds like a wonderful lady! You 2 look great in the rock concert pic. My mom died in ’77, and even if she were around, I seriously doubt she’d be rockin’ with me!


Shanna • August 19, 2009 at 11:18 am

I LOVE HEART!!! One of my favorite songs of theirs is ‘No Other Love’ its an amazing love song :) So glad you shared your concert adventures!! What is a fried zeppoles??


Camevil • August 19, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Steve Perry wasn’t singing in Journey? Damn.

Still, not a bad 80’s concert for the price. That pic of you and mom (with your bandages and sunglasses) is so badass.


Susan • August 19, 2009 at 12:31 pm

So funny- I saw this same concert last night in my hometown!


Dawn • August 19, 2009 at 12:33 pm

I’ve only ever been to one concert in my life and it was Heart so this brought back memories *thanks* lol. I always loved journey too. I’m envious.


Suz • August 19, 2009 at 1:19 pm

Heart ROCKS—I love them….Journey is ok.

As for no more lighters….and burnt thumbs…some guy came up with a PICTURE of a lit lighter as an app on the iphone and made a million dollars…so simple—may we all strive to have that flash of instant millionaire genius!


bobbie • August 19, 2009 at 1:23 pm

That was a nice blog. Thanks for sharing. My husband and I just went to see Billy Joel and Elton John play together in Phila. It was a lot of fun, but I realized again that I like “studio” music a lot more than live music. And truthfully, at 47, I felt old. Even though the concert was a mix of all generations, I just wasn’t up to standing and dancing and jumping and screaming. Now that I think about it, I never was that way when I was younger. Nuff said.


Rahim • August 19, 2009 at 2:44 pm

I LOVE 80’s music too, in fact I shock some people because of how much I remember from the 80’s given my age. I was never into Journey until the series finale of The Sopranos and they played that song. It sounds like it was a great concert though. How’s the scar healing?


Diane, Fit to the Finish • August 19, 2009 at 3:11 pm

How fun that you won! What a great strategy!


Roxie • August 19, 2009 at 4:27 pm



Mme.G • August 19, 2009 at 4:31 pm

I’m super jealous that you got to see Heart live! I had tickets to see them in Cleveland last year, but had to sell at the last minute. Glad you had fun!


Sara • August 19, 2009 at 7:30 pm



tony guinn • August 19, 2009 at 8:24 pm

If you’d asked me I’d have gone. I’ve seen both of these groups and would again if they came near where I live. Congrats on winning tickets, too.


Mom Taxi Julie • August 19, 2009 at 10:34 pm

I went and saw Josh Turner at the fair. It was the first time I’ve been to the fair since I was a kid. I imagine the whole touring thing gets old REALLY quick. Probably why so many turn to drugs.


Ro • August 20, 2009 at 1:51 am

Sounded like you both had fun. Don’t make those kinds of days few & far between. Love both bands music.


GadgetGirl64 • August 20, 2009 at 4:14 am

You didn’t enjoy the Journey portion? Aww man!!

We saw them 10+ years ago at an outdoor venue and sat in the POURING rain to do it. It was awesome.

They had the “new guy” back then. He was so good I didn’t even know it wasn’t Steve Perry til the end of the concert when someone next to us mentioned it. I don’t remember a lot of jumping around though.


Nicky • August 20, 2009 at 12:39 pm

Awww…what a pretty mommy you have! :) Looks like you two had a lot of fun.


Beth Tuohy • August 20, 2009 at 12:56 pm

Loved hearing about your most recent good fortune/adventure. I’m close to Ann Wilson and your mom’s age. Somehow the term “mad props” passed me by. It was fun to look it up and find what it means. I’ll have to try it our on my sons who are in their 20’s and think their mom a “hoot” when she uses or misuses current slang.


Deanna • August 21, 2009 at 12:50 am

I love Heart and Journey… so jealous!!


Jocelyn • August 22, 2009 at 3:44 am

I went to Coldplay in Toronto and Chris Martin led the stadium in a cell phone wave. It was awesome.


Daisy • August 22, 2009 at 3:47 pm

Ann Wilson is 59! Incredible, older women these days just are so different from the women that same age 20 or so years ago! I believe it’s one of the secrets to staying young: staying active and do what you enjoy. Heart still rocks!


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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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